Run Like A Diva – Version 2018

Wow…the changes! The amazing good vibes on Toronto Island were just phenomenal.

If you ran it last year and opted out this year, you truly missed out. If you didn’t sign up because of last year rain flooded island location move, again you missed out.

I am just saying you should truly consider signing up for the 2019 run. Plus these medals are just amazingly large!

The run / Race Director listened to our voices! There was more water stations, more bathrooms, food was bagged so everyone got food! So there was no chance of anyone grabbing more and leaving none for others. The course had music, with great spots to grab selfies with blow up signs. It had live bands which was amazing to dance along with as we made our way to the finish. There was ample places for families to be around the course to cheer us on.

On course safety was amazing (maybe they knew I was going to be out there)! The bike marshals were excellent in keeping our safety in check. Mike (one of the bike ones guys) was always floating around asking if we needed anything, helping people out who were in distress and just keeping other people from being on course. The golf cart drivers as well, made sure everyone was ok, and if anyone needed a place to sit if they needed rest etc.

The expo was a true boutique style and had lots of vendors, other runs, fire fighters you could pose with as well as buy merchandise. Your swag came in a reusable bag, which was nice, especially for beach days etc.

The run was well planned with the ferry schedule, which I always love riding on to see Toronto from a different angle.

There was ample signs when we got to the island to direct us to the location of the start.

The volunteers again were amazing, lots of them and always ready with the water and cheers.

I loved how the pylons were even pink to match with the theme. It was true we all were divas on the Sunday. You constantly saw staff out on the course making sure everything was ok and runners were protected for when a ferry came with more people.

With being the last runner, there was enough water and electrolytes. There was nothing being taken down in the rear which was nice. The start was taken down which makes sense as it’s a double loop and running over the mat again would not of worked. I found this as a huge positive not to see the course being picked up behind you as you were out running. Not having the pressure of a crew taking the course away is a mental positive. So thank you for not doing this.

The bubbly at the end was still ice cold and very refreshing on the hot day.

Overall this run is a great event. To see this many women, including young females out participating, supporting each other is amazing. There were many mom/daughter teams, best friends and a few fathers running with their young daughters. To see this kind of support of encouragement is awesome.

I highly suggest if you haven’t run this event yet, you add it to your 2019 list. Grab some friends, coworkers, family and empower and support women. You’ll hear laughter, see smiles and just have a good time out, collecting memories and a huge medal for your accomplishment.

Disney; I’m Coming For My Bling

I fly in a few short hours back to the most magical place on earth and mostly I’m going to claim redemption.

I’m off to the Run Disney Princess weekend. This will be my 3rd time running this weekend. This is going to be my second chance weekend.

The last time I did this event (everything the 5, 10 and half), I was ill. Beyond ill. My asthma took me out of my first ever try at a half. I ended up in the “Disney Hospital”. I got the medals but I never got the finish line victories.

This weekend this is going to change. I’m chasing 3 finish lines and I am going to cross them all.

Mentally I’m ready. I know I can’t fail as I’ve done a half before. I’ve done numerous 5 and 10k events. Physically I’m healthier as I’m over 120lbs lighter, I’ve trained. I know the plan. My only concern is the weather keeps getting warmer. This will play havoc with my asthma but I know I’m stronger. I know to be smart.

I know that every run I did last year it was brutally hot! So my body is used to this.

So as I sit here at the airport i know I’m 89% ready for this. I got the plan. My costumes are set. I’m going to sparkle, my brooks shoes have magically been converted to glass slippers that will dance me to the finish line.

I’m also going to be spending time actually relaxing, seeing my girl Minnie all while strolling Main Street sipping my Starbucks!

I’ll be posting videos on my IG: justmejodie so follow along.

See you soon Disney! I’m coming to chase finish lines and be crowed 3 times.

Run Like A Diva 2018; 2nd Chance

Ok ladies…. It’s time to get off the fence before the next price increase and sign up for this event. I am going to clear the air and encourage you to sign up.

The medals are what they look like, huge and weigh more than a couple pounds of butter. They are worth it, whether for the 5k or the half.

It is true, there are fire fighters at the end, and so if you need oxygen, they will help!

This year in 2017, it was Mother Nature causing problems. I look at it, as she wanted the first date to go horribly bad. It caused some of us runners to have moments where we thought “ya I’m not doing this again” or even to think the worse. Well as all of us have given everything in life a second chance, you need to give this event another chance. The course being moved, with such little time was a scramble that even the best of the best would of struggled.

SO in 2018, they’ve listened;

There are going to be more water stations and more BATHROOMS! It will be on the island, which we know Mother Nature can’t play dirty two years in a row. So let’s give this run another chance, let the Diva crew show us they listened.

The food at the end next year will be given out in bags, so no chance of running out, running low and anyone grabbing extra’s. So everyone will get the same whether you are the first or the last across the finish line.

A lot of you are also thinking of not signing up because you have the Nike Women’s Run memory still in your head. You have to remember the Nike run had over 10k women trying to get off the island at the same time, which caused the big delay. With the Diva run having both a 5k and a half, there are going to be different finish times for everyone, which should not have a 2 hour wait to get off the island.

I like to think that we can all give this event a second chance, a chance to allow them to fully show us what they have in store, what they are capable of doing, without having the issues of scrambling because they needed to move the run to another location.

As I said before this truly is a run of women doing nothing but empowering each other. I listened to women sing together, dance out there and act silly all while running. Some of these women started this event as random strangers but finished as sole sisters. There was so much encouragement along the half that it was amazing.

So like I said let’s give this run a second chance for those of you who ran in 2017. For those of you who are on the fence because of word of mouth, sign up, come run or walk it yourself, you be the judge after next June.

This run is all women (well mostly with the odd husband coming out for support), it is a perfect run for any age, runner or walker. Age is not even a factor. The time is there to go out and enjoy. You have people supporting you as you go. I can’t even describe the vibe that came from this year’s run. It was just amazing. It truly was women empowering women.

So do me the favour, give Run Like A Diva a second chance.  If 2018 will be your first time at this event. I can’t wait to see you, run with you and just have fun!

http://www.runlikeadiva.com

Marathon Training – The Home Stretch


I’m 12 sleeps away from my first full marathon! 

Has everything kicked in? Yes!
Has my mind been bouncing between positive and negative? Yes!

I’ve looked back at when I decided this was going to be my 2017 running goal and I have always known I’ll finish. I’m stubborn and determined that nothing stands in my way when I have a goal.

With ^ that being said during my training I had set backs and set backs in the middle of other set backs. I don’t call them falls more stumbles in the road as I continued to push through them. I was in the hospital 3 times due to my anaphylaxis which leads to a 10 day treatment afterwards and I had bone and blood infection which sidelined me for over 6 weeks. My one specialist told me that the average person would of gave up and went for a shorter distance or not ran at all. What they don’t get yet is I’m not the average Jodie. Never once during these medical issues did I think I should not or I can’t do this marathon.

Also in the midst of all of this I had to move (had a greedy landlord) and re-establish myself. I recently started a job with some crazy hours and the job is over an hour and half away from my home. Its learnings to adjust to the new normal for me. 

All of these are not excuses if I do poorly on my marathon (what you call poorly), so be it, because my only goal is to cross the finish line standing upright. The time in this journey doesn’t mean a thing. It’s the glory in the victory of just finishing. 

This is just me. Showing the world the plan didn’t go as planned to either plan A or even plan C.

I never did get in my last long run, which I needed mentally, to show myself I got this in the bag. I know everyone talks about the “wall” but I know it’s just a matter of being stronger. 

I had a friend offer me advice that it’s better to be well rested and fueled before a marathon over one long run and risking injury or other. Pretty sure he is right.

My mind will play lots of tricks on me in the coming days and that’s ok. I’m still stronger. I will finish.

I’m looking at this marathon almost the same way I looked at my first half marathon just with some changes. In my mind this is how Sunday will going down;

1- half marathon 

1- 15km

1- 5km (or possibly 2 10kms)

1- 1km victory lap to the finish. 

I’m hopeful I will have a new garmin before my marathon (and I thank everyone who offered me one to borrow), as I don’t rely on it for distance (those big signs do it for me) but for my pace. I have paces I need to maintain to stay on track. This honestly has caused me anxiety but I know I will figure it out before Oct 22. 

So for the next few days/week I am going to continue to do short 5km runs and this coming Sunday I have the Niagara Falls Internatinal Marathon 10km which I’ll run at my marathon pace. 

I will continue trying to get proper rest and keep my fuel on track to be ready for STWM. 

So folks, I didn’t stop training, I had life happen, things out of my control, new changes, obstacles to face but I never backed down from this goal. I always “Cowboy Up”. 

The countdown is on. I have zero doubts that I will not finish. On October 22, 2017, I will become a marathoner.  

Open Letter to Runners

Dear Runners (of all abilities)

This is an open letter to all runners, because at the end of every run we cross the same finish line. So it doesn’t matter your abilities, but this letter is being wrote from the back half runner.

So here we go: 

I’m starting this off with just thinking:

When you cross the finish line with crazy pride, feeling the victory high and you’re on cloud 9 for being super happy because you crushed it, you proceed to get your medal, you only grab one, correct? 

So now we have our medals we move on to the next tent, or transition station which is usually the food stations. This is where it becomes tricky. Remember this is still all about just you.

So you’re in line and it comes the time to get your food. You want to quickly get through because your own cheerleaders are waiting for you. 

Are you consciously aware of what you are grabbing? Are you taking only one of everything? Or are you taking multiple items? Do you exit the food station with an arm full and not enough hands to carry it all? Have you grabbed for a cheerleader waiting for you? We are being honest here, we all have done it over the course of our running careers.

Well after thinking about everything I’ve asked about, what you might not realize is, the extra(s) you’ve grabbed and what someone else has grabbed it adds up.

When you finish did you stop and think: are there other runners out there still doing their best? Did you think that maybe someone might not get food?

Race Director’s do their best to budget food, but if everyone takes extra here and there is leaves a sour finish for those in the back half. 

So here I am telling you runners if you ever take extra, you are actually leaving zero food for the back half. It adds up if you take basically someone else takes share. 

So for an example; the Army Run there was zero food left in the first transition zone for the Commander’s Challenge. When I finished my half marathon I was offered just a half a banana. For the Lululemon Waterfront 10k, there was nothing. 

I’ve busted my ass just the same as you have regardless of your time, your place. I don’t take 2 medals because I worked extra hard and nor do you. So why do people continuously take extra food?

The people of the back half of all runs deserve more then a medal, they’ve worked up an appetite, they have the same pride and sense of accomplishment as you do, so why not leave them some food?

There are more runners out running, doing their best, chasing their own personal goals, we may not all have the same time as you, or the person who crossed behind you, but I truly believe we deserve the same as you when we do cross.

We put in the same effort and just have a longer time, we are out there not giving up, but regardless if you’re first or last we as equal runners deserve the same.

I do not deserve to be told “sorry we ran out”. 

So fellow runners, run family, next run you do, run these thoughts through your head. Are there more people still out on course? Am I taking away from others?

I’m getting tired of crossing finish lines to empty food bins/stations. 

Race director, you do have a wee bit of responsibility to make sure this doesn’t keep happening. Other races have “food vouchers” which avoids this whole disappointment.

So if you take anything from this I hope it’s just the awareness for your next run.

Thanks

Jodie

Leader of the back half. 

Lean Fit Brand 

When I was told to become a plant based eater with no soy and rice, I was left scratching my head. 

I started reading labels on everything from bread to my go to protein powder with everything in between. 

On my IG I follow an amazing athlete name David Freake, who randomly posted information on a protein powder that was plant based along with information.

I researched the company as I’ve tried other plant based products and I couldn’t do it, get passed any of the taste and how it made me feel.

I reached out to the company with a couple of questions on basically where can I buy the vegan soy free powder as I’m currently living in a small town Ontario. I also asked other questions, as I wanted to make sure I was going to try the best and this would work for me.

After a few emails back and forth I received this amazing care package in the mail.

This totally took me for a surprise. I’m completely grateful to this company. The part that made it amazing and heartfelt was the personalized note offering encouragement and support. That note sealed the deal for me with this company which is a huge, yet someone took the time to write me a note.

So this is my review (not asked to by the company);

I love it. 

I love the taste of it regardless if it’s mixed with water, almond milk and or made with fruit and veggies.

I had zero tummy issues. I didn’t feel bloated or heavy. I didn’t have any side effects.

I had energy. I was able to use the product before and after a run as fuel.

I had no after tastes and I didn’t have those “repeat second time around” tastes. You know those ones you get. I didn’t have anything.

I’m completely sold on this product. I will be using Lean Fit because of the benefits that it’s not filled with garbage. The energy and fuel was there.

I highly suggest you take your protein powder more serious. Read labels, ask questions including where and how it’s made. This is all to benefit you, help you in your journey which is all helping you to continue on the path of success.

This company and product are going to get me to my Marathon and beyond. Because there is going to be another goal when my Marathon is done, we all know it. 

So do me the favour, check out Lean Fit Brand on Social Media, their website and educate yourself. Find what works for you. 

Week 10 – That 21km Training Run 

Well this was the week I tried to talk myself out of the long run. I didn’t get it fully done on Sunday with only doing 10k.

I said to myself on Sunday I’ll do it Monday. Monday came and it became Tuesday. Finally the weather God’s offered me the perfect weather on Wednesday. 

So I was up Wednesday with it still being dark, stars in the sky before the sunrise with my route mapped out. I was off running chasing the sunrise.This run, I still was having trouble wrapping my head around the end; it was training. There would be no medal, no sweaty hugs or other runners along the way or people cheering. I had to keep saying “training”. 

I mentally was against a wall. 

During the run I said to myself just screw it for time. I mentally was just going to win over my body by completing the 21k training run. I wasn’t out there doing a half marathon.

 

I wanted to give up at the 10km mark. I felt like I was done. I kept going and when I hit the 15k I knew I had this. By now the sun was up, it was getting warm and my asthma had me coughing like a smoker. I slowed down a bit, but I wasn’t giving up.

I finished. I did it. 21k by myself, for a training run. I was successful. To mentally say I did 21k as a training run over saying I did a half marathon. This is a whole new game in my running career.

So I passed the wall. I went thru it, hit it dead on and got over it.

I decided to rest my legs (After the 21k I was at the farm show walking another 5k) as I had to help koren out Friday and Saturday while she recovered we decided to do a bestie date day and head to the beach. It was needed. Nothing like a day at beach to mentally recover and do some soul searching.

Thank you to everyone who gave words of encouragement and believed in me during this week. You gave me the push to help me fly. So thank you.

This week I have a 10.5k and a super long run. Koren and I will be together on this. Again it’s about the distance not the time.

Nutrition is also key again this week. It’s a balancing game.

So until next week. 

Week 9/2 -Marathon Training 

So with the reset button fully hit and plans made, this week was successful. 

I started back slow as my body had to get used to running again after being off for the month. I ran this week when my body would allow me. 

Well I’ll start with this:


I want to say “dear coach I can’t explain”, but I did finally narrow it down to the leg/foot of an ironing board. I had an ugly purple toe that I couldn’t even bend and it was beyond swollen. Touching it brought tears to my eyes. 

I did take a break after I did 5k not thinking it could be broken. I was happy with my results from the run so I guess that counts. Not counting that I needed to ice my foot after and often for a few days. 

The rest of this week I focused on my food. I’m still trying to adjust to being a plant based eater without the normal things most plant eaters would eat. I’ve been hungry and unsure of all foods I’ve ate. I’m trying to monitor my symptoms with my anaphylaxis to see if there is any improvement, as well as keep fuel in my body so I have energy. It’s still been a struggle. 

I reached out to friends and fellow members of team nuun for help. I’ve gotten somewhere. This is a process which won’t be fixed over night. 

I did make my own bread this week, it might of taken a couple of tries because even the squirrels would not eat the one loaf.  It weighed about 7lbs and could of been used as a weapon. It wasn’t good.


This past weekend my plan was to run 21k. If I was thinking and looked at the weather I would of ran Saturday, but I was thinking I would still incorporate it into my #JPsTeam fun run on Sunday. It didn’t happen. The weather on Sunday was gross in Toronto. So all I ran yesterday was 10k. Which is ok. It worked my lungs with the humidity. I was uncomfortable with the heat but I got it done. 

Plus I enjoyed my company on the run. I was able to catch up with an amazing person, who I wish I saw more of! So to me that was the win. But the huge surprise of  the fun run was the wedding vow renewal in the middle. It was so perfect and heart warming. I was blessed to be there and included.

For this week I have some new goals. Just getting the kms in, not the time. I know I’m improving I can tell with each run I do. With each time I push myself a bit further. I’m going to teach my legs that it’s ok to still run dead tired. Going to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

My goal is to get in a 21k in the middle of this week, a 5k and do a long run on Sunday.  

To me this marathon is about being my best. Doing my best and reaching the finish line with a smile.

This is my journey, it’s not anywhere near a mirror image of anyone else’s and that’s perfect.

Until next week, let’s hope I get my food figured out and I do some runs with a smile. 

🍍

The Official Marathon Re-Start 

Well I am officially back “in the saddle” or in other words, my running shoes and I have been happily reunited. My infection has cleared, my body is recovered and I feel much more like myself than I have for over a month. 

Earlier this week I was speaking to my coach, I almost felt like a bad student being called to the principals office as I wasn’t sure what he was going to tell me, how the conversation was going to be. I was ready anything, he knows me well enough to know what my commitment is, my goals are and that I am full of determination. I knew it was going to be a tough conversation. 

So I have a new marathon training plan. A restart, revised schedule, call it what we want, but I got a fresh start, starting yesterday (Sunday). I am now in the mode of “holy shit” this is fast approaching. This new plan is a just a wee bit more intense, but I am up for the challenge, so I can accomplish my goal.

When I set out to do this full marathon, I knew it wouldn’t be a straight easy road. I knew it would be full of curves, hills, blind corners and mostly a road as Rumi said- 

Yesterday I went out for a 10.5km run. It was in the plan, but around 8kms the heat was so intense that I was thinking to myself, maybe I should of just ran 5k to get my feet back wet into running. I’m stubborn, so I couldn’t give up. I have a plan and I am sticking too it. I completed the 10.5km, also drank over 2 litres of nuun from the heat. I was hot. 

So this past weekend was my starting over.

On a completely different note, but it’s still hooked in with my training because you can train all you want but you also need to properly fuel your body. 

I am still slowly adjusting to this plant based, no soy or rice eating plan. I am still struggling I will admit that. I have days I wander around the kitchen because I am craving something and I know I can’t have it, or I am just lost. 

I do my best with meal prep. I am still reading labels because a couple of things surprised me. Did you know that the bread you buy from the store almost all of it contains soy? What happened to the days when bread contained the simple 5ish ingredients like our Grandma’s used to make? Not all this added crap our bodies don’t need. So I have went back to basics and make my own bread, where I can control everything that is in it, as well as what goes into my body. My food is all mostly from scratch. The local markets are my friend. 

I am working on being creative and making sure I refuel after runs, so its a matter of figuring calories burnt to what I need to add in. It’s almost like its an exam from high school. 

I’ve reached out to people via SM and asked questions as I am a believer you won’t know until you ask. I’ve found a protein powder (lean fit) that does not contain soy, which I am excited try when I get it. 

I think if people who read calories as part of their daily lives should also include in ingredients. There are so many added ingredients to our food, which is a wee bit scary. With not being able to consume Soy I’ve learned quickly how much it is in stuff that it doesn’t need to be there. 

To run its not just about your legs and heart its about the fuel that you need, so you are not always on empty.

So I’ve hit reset. Which is allowed. This is my journey. 

I have the support of my friends and family to continue with this more intense program. The finish line I will cross, all the extra running times and added kms is going to make this journey even more worth it.

My outlook now its one training run at a time. One day at a time. This medal will be well earned and not given.

Thanks again to everyone who has checked in. Offered help regarding meal plans, ideas and where to look. It’s been appreciated. 

Well lets see what this week and running have in store for me, I am going to be comfortable being uncomfortable! 


🍍

Lost Control & Mental Health 

In the last few months, I’ve had many changes, some for the good and honestly most out of my control.

Fast forward to the now. In the last 2 months I’ve been hospitalized (taken by ambulance), seen doctors, new specialists, been to the hospital for testing, had my food choices taken away and entered a whole new unknown. Which I’ve embraced head on as you’ll see. 

This is not a pity party, because no one should ever pity me or feel sorry for me. I’ve taken every set back and totally made the best of it.  Found the positive, because whether you believe it or not there is always a positive in a storm or road block.

I am not a control freak by any means, but I live for a structure (which I am sure 98% of us do) and planning. Please don’t get me wrong I am all for last minute road trips, changing plans and just doing random things at a drop of a hat. But I am totally a planner or like to have control over some of the things going on, so with the last few weeks it has mentally been a struggle.

Becoming a forced plant based eater on such short notice has been completely overwhelming. I’m a repeat eater, I don’t go too far off my “regular” foods, meal prep and mix things up. I’m not creative, I don’t need to be, as I am a repeat eater. I’m that country kid where all I need is a meat and a veggie. When your options are striped from you, that is mentally tough right there. I didn’t become a plant eater because I am against everything to do with animals etc. I did it because talking to my specialists it was decided we are taking me back to the bare minimum for food for my anaphylaxis. So I’ve mentally struggled with new foods to eat that are not meat, dairy, soy and rice.

BUT I am trying, it’s reading labels for a totally different reason, it’s going to learn that I soak something for how long and why. It’s a new learning curve and I’ve embraced it head on, because that is what a strong person does. This is for me, learning and hopefully finding an answer for my anaphylaxis. I’m thankful to every person who sent me messages, whether it be a movie to watch, a book to read or information on where to find some cool recipes and mostly I’m thankful for those who have supported me.

Now added in that dangerous poisonous insect bit I got on my body with a crazy infection, I haven’t been able to work out, run or do anything but heal. This has been hard on my mental health with everything. I’ve been struggling a lot lately.

With being on the bench from running, considering I have a plan, something that in all of my life’s chaos it was permanent, set in stone and can’t change or bend, it was controlled. It was something I knew had to be done on the days coached and I agreed to. Even if I missed one day I knew I could make it up in that week of training. My plan was designed for me.

Running is not my “alone” time or a time I use to think, mostly I am thinking of random things I see along the run, or just singing to myself. I don’t use running to escape anything.

Running is the one thing I can control in amidst of everything right now in my life. I follow the plan, I am in control. Right now the rest of my life is not in any control and I’m struggling.

Running I am in control, I pick and choose the time I am going out for my run. People who know me know that I am a robot, but lately I’m not a robot. I’m all over the place, taking what is being tossed at me, falling back on this mountain I am climbing. Everyone has a different reason as to why they run, besides the important factor its excellent for our health, but my reason as I said it was one of the last thing I can control right now in my life and always been able to control.

I can’t control when my body rebels, or if I get a bit from some bug, or my veins in my leg act up, I can’t control any of that. Having this marathon training schedule set in black and white, I can control this.

So you add all this up and you have a mental health upset. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. Yes I just admitted it again, so let’s end the stigma while we are at it. There is no shame in this. This is me.

When I get overwhelmed which I have been for the past 3 weeks, I have a 1000 thoughts running through my head, I get anxious when control is gone, when I don’t know what to do, when I feel like I need to know it and try to plan. Add in worry and it’s a perfect cocktail for a bad mental health day. Which are ok to have, but you don’t stay down. I work my way out of them and continue on. The sun always rises and will always set. So I work with what works best with me and I get through those tough days.

But when I look back over the last few weeks I lost the last thing I could control, maybe losing this control is a life lesson and afterwards I’ll be able to be thankful for the lesson, but right now I am still confused, but I know that I will be able to run soon again, the infection is clearing. I will be able to control and plan and have something in each day that I controlled. 

I am learning better ways to cope with my anxiety and my panic attacks. I’m learning how to talk through them, not to be alone when I am down and also acknowledge I do need alone time to be me, and just settle.

Running right now in my life will be the only control I have, this makes me stronger as I haven’t given up, when things go bad, when my body rebels etc.

I am climbing this mountain to show my body, that it can’t beat me, mentally and physically. To show others your journey is worth it, never give up, that you just find a way around road blocks in your path, and you will climb your own mountain in the speed you’re meant to climb it at.


I’ll be back running it’s just a matter of time, I will be back in control again of something and feel a relief. I will be back on my marathon training plan, making up lost kms, following the plan, having fun while at it, smiling and knowing come October, this marathon will not beat me, I will finish. Because this journey is too important not to love and be successful.

I want to thank everyone again for their support, checking in with me, your friendships are golden to me. I’ve had bad mental health moments and sometimes you folks pop in just at the right time. Again there is no shame in admitting you have a mental health issue, the stigma needs to end. We are humans. 

🍍