I Challenge you to…..

be a Motivator-Bunny and here is why:

Leading up to the Diva’s half, I reached out to many women who would be there running their first half or first 5k. I made a connection over a year ago with Robyn. The first time I met her was in my corral for the marathon last October. She was an amazing cheerleader to me. I talked to Robyn leading up to the half, as it was her first. I sent her a bunch of Diva buff’s for her and her tribe. Her tribe trained with her and got her to the start line.

Leading up to the run I told her I’d run with her and if she was faster to run on and spread her wings. Let them fly and soar.

On the morning of the run I up with Robyn and her amazing friend Amanda who is a warrior herself. I was super proud to meet her. This women has a beautiful soul and the Diva’s run was hers to run.

This run was a first for me as I think I was afraid I was going to slow Robyn down. I believed us to be in this together.

I considered my job the Motivator-Bunny, not a pace bunny, because I was not going to push her past the point of still loving running, but to get the job done, be uncomfortable.

We started out perfect and how can you not love the views that Toronto Island has to offer. The weather was perfect. We slowed a wee bit as the sun came up and the temperatures got warmer, but we never stopped, there was going to be no towel tossing in on my watch.

I personally look back on this run and I am pretty sure Robyn might just think I am a wee bit nuts as I danced, ran backwards, sang to her (trust me I don’t do any old school songs justice), told stories but mostly I reminded her why we were out there. She was going to become a half f**king marathoner, which I think I yelled a few times as well. I kept her focused, away from the pain, the mental questions of why did I sign up for this. I was just the crazy cheerleader running beside her. I felt her emotions, I read her body and knew when to be quiet and let her mentally focus, as well as I knew when I could push her a bit more.

I never let her think we are last or in the middle or the front for as long as I could, we did have our own security after a while and he was pretty sweet, as he did offer me food.

The main focus with being the motivator-bunny was remaindering her its only one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, this helped me and we got the 21.1 kms done.

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I cried for Robyn. I cried for her when I told her how proud I was of this amazing woman who crushed a goal, who had the courage to start. She was a diva for sure on that Sunday, but mostly she on her own became a half marathoner. I relived what it was like to be doing this for the first time, but also to experience the emotions on another level.

I honestly don’t think I know how to put the words down in print on how my emotions were. I am thankful for Robyn for allowing me to tag along in her journey. She allowed me again to see how strong this running community is and how much we are a family. Robyn taught me so much during those 21kms, about myself and my love of running.

I don’t know if Robyn will ever run with me again, as I still can’t sing and my dancing is left to the imagination, but I was blessed for this experience. So Thank you Robyn for allowing me this experience, for filling my heart on happiness and giving me the chance to see this half through fresh eyes.

So…. To all those who are reading this, I challenge you to be a motivator-bunny for someone in the back half of a run, who is out there running for the first time, or who is trying to get to a new goal. Remember goals are different for everyone.

I challenge you to see running through the eyes of someone who is so far out of their comfort zone they are scared, fear is right in their face and failure is floating in their mind, but they are going to get it done because the finish line is the victory.

Don’t go pace someone, go motivate someone, time is not what their run is about maybe, but as I said the finish. Help show and remove the stigma attached that being in the back half is an embarrassment.

Go feel how the victory is, how the back half run and get to the same finish you normally do (and in some cases in half the time).

So the challenge is out there…. Go be a motivator-bunny for someone.

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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

My try at a Marathon

I am not a marathoner.

I don’t know how to honestly put all of my emotions and thoughts into words, without wanting to cry. But on Sunday, I did not become a marathoner at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM). I did not reach my goal on Sunday, but I now realize, I will just try again. I am human.

If we back up to before Sunday, I knew I was ready to tackle this goal. I had trained. I overcame many obstacles with my own body and I never gave up. My health at times was not perfect but I never let that stop me, or define me, I was going to be a marathoner. I missed only one long run, but I knew being healthy going into Sunday was more important over getting one last long run in. I talked to my coach on Saturday night, told him all the emotions I had and he basically told me, I was ready.

The week before STWM, I was hit with a cold (picture sinus infection meets chest cold) and my hip started giving me problems after my 10k in Niagara. I went and saw Dr. Ashley, to get it fixed. I was fully confident, and I knew I was going to get this done, nothing was going to hold back my determination.

I don’t think it ever crossed my mind that I was going to fail myself. I kept using the word fail, until a wise man sent me an email this week telling me I did not fail.

Sunday, happened. The weather was not perfect at all for someone with asthma like myself, the sun was out, but I was confident. Koren and I had a pace to maintain and if I was doing just a half I would have scored an amazing PB.

The first half of the run, Koren and I ran a good steady pace, we ran a bit with Jennifer and it was fun. I was having fun. My body was not mad at me, it was getting done. There was plenty of shade in the first half which helped with the blazing sun. I saw people running during the out and back, cheered for them, they cheered for me. This is where the confidence gets built even more when you hear the cheers by random people while running. They know you are getting it done, you’re in the back half, but you’re not giving up.

I am thankfully to the cheering stations who stayed out in this portion for the back half; Black Toe Running and Tribe Fitness. Staying out to support the full run truly means a lot and it carries a lot with back half runners, so thank you again.

I never ever thought during STWM, I would be that one person going to the right, to finish the second half of the marathon as everyone was turning left. It was an odd feeling, because at this point you became alone again. I met my folks at the half way point to grab more Kleenex, a wrap with peanut butter and a cold bottle of water, we didn’t stop, we grabbed and ran. It was all part of the plan.

The second half was out in the sun, it was here I felt the heat and my asthma started acting up. Koren and I was the back half and at this point there was still a few people we could see behind us, but now the guys in the white truck were taking down the km marking signs, so we really didn’t know what distance we were at. Koren found this a comfort. I had my watch, so I knew we just had to follow the road and we would be ok.

When we hit the Bayview extension out and back, our friend Andrea ran with us. She was volunteering with the Red Door Shelter and was waiting for us. She ended up running 5kms with us (in her full skinny jeans and cotton shirt) to her car.


It was at this point the juggler passed us and we became the last people out there, as we had our own personal police escort. It was ok, and I am beyond thankful this officer in the SUV had some common sense and didn’t ride my ass as I ran, I think that would have put me into a panic attack.

Once we made it over into Leslieville area, the runners that were heading towards the finish were amazing, the words of encouragement was one of a kind and it was truly unique. It was here we saw JP, Mary-Anne and crew. We received hugs from Peter and encouragement to keep going.

Koren and I continued for a few more kms until this motorcycle stopped us and told us we needed to move to the other side (around KM 33) as we were being turned around towards the finish. I was not going to be completing the full course.

It was this point, this man that took the wind out of my sails. We slowly walked to the other side of the road. I just stood on the side of the road and cried. Yup, I ugly cried. This man just took my goal away. I was not going to be a marathoner (today). I think most of the runners who went by figured I hit the “wall”. At this point I said why rush back and I really couldn’t stop crying. So we slowly walked on the right side as everyone passed us.

I had to do one of the hardest things for me to do was to text my dad the words below.
We had a plan already in place, so I needed to let my own cheering crew know it just wasn’t happening. So they were not concerned or worried with the jump in kms or if the tracking was off.

We slowly and I mean slowly made our way back. I said there is no point in running to get some amazing time, because this means nothing. The man on the motorbike made sure of that.

Once we got back towards the Bonnie’s Dream Team, we had more people supporting us, but I said to Koren, it feels so fake, if only they knew what just happened. We did run into a woman who has been following my journey, she walked with Koren and I to the finish. I told her I would not be a marathoner, with tears running down my face, she gave me a huge hug.

So Sunday, I crossed a finish line, was given a medal and a time registered on sports stats, but I am not a marathoner, I know the truth, the stats show the truth, I got a useless medal for going 37kms and being forced to turn around. I think having a DNF would have been easier to swallow over everything that took place, if I was being forced off the course and turned around.

Before everyone gets all indifferent about this, let me explain why this has hit home even more with me being in the back half, this is what is on the CRS website regarding this run, time frame etc; 

Koren and I also spoke to information/help at the expo, asked questions about “turn around” spots and if there was anywhere I had to be by a certain time, as if there was, it would of possibly changed how I started the run. The person confirmed there is no “turn around” area and that if anything we would be asked to go to the sidewalk to finish. But I got turned around.

Runs should make it clearer that there are certain “turn arounds”, so every runner is aware. They should also make it clear if the counting clock for the course is from the first elite who touches the starting mat or the very last runner a crossed the start.

I have a heart that still hurts over all of this (and sort of feels broken). I am beyond happy for everyone who completed in all races of STWM, who had fun, an excellent run etc. But my own heart still hurts on how this happened to me.

On Sunday and the following days, I had all these messages flooding my phone, SM with congratulations, how proud they were of me, etc., I had to take to SM to advise the following message:

It hurt a lot to have to explain this to everyone, not that I couldn’t do the marathon, I was told I couldn’t do it.

I felt like I failed. Not just myself but the companies and people who believe in me. I felt like I let people down, including Koren who was with me for this journey. I know that if I was given the full chance I would have crossed that finish line as a marathoner and done it successfully. 

I sent a message to someone at Nuun (he has supported me from the start years ago) who replied back with the dad role and said these words to me: –> “You didn’t “fail”. Just please stop using that word right now, child. Failure, in my eyes, is never signing up, never doing the training and never getting to the start line. That is failure, as I see it, in the endurance world. You have made so much progress with your physical wellness since we first met years ago. Failure??? Please!!!”

When I told my coach what happened, he replied being super supportive and told me next time my dig deep will happen and this won’t happen again.

I had messages from random strangers who saw my SM post writing that I am an inspiration, I never gave up with all my setbacks. I’ve had so much support from people who have helped me get over this, emotionally I’ve been a wreck all week. I told someone, I figure this must be how the second place team feels in losing the Stanley Cup or the World Series.

I received a text message from a friend who told me I am the phoenix I will rise again, which is true. I will try again at a marathon and be fully successful. I will be a marathoner, this goal didn’t die when I was turned around.

So thank you to everyone for the support this past week. It means a lot, the words have helped heal my heart.

I still am going to show the world that the back half can and will succeed when we put our minds to something, regardless of what a man on a motorbike thinks.

So I am not a marathoner, this does not define me or my running ability, it just means my goals will be adjusted for 2018. I will still lead the back half in and represent us at runs. I will continue to be me, work towards my goals.
Some pics from before:

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. 

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! 


🍍

W5 and W6 = Blur or Epic Fail

I started my week 5 off on a good start. I was on track to make up missed kms from when I was in anaphylaxis and in hospital. So I was feeling good. I ran Monday (6km)



Tuesday (7km) and Wednesday (6km)


I was feeling amazing, proud of myself for running 3 days in a row. I was becoming more confident in myself for running. Thursday I took a rest day. Friday I was unable to run, as I had to do a commute (which took an additional 4 hours). 

During this week Koren learned that after multiple tests and doctors visits she would be sidelined with an injury in her ankle/foot, and is off running for 4-6 weeks. It was a blow as I losing my long run, running partner. 

The long run we had scheduled at the end of week 5, we did thinking and Koren was going to either bike or roller-blade beside me, keep me company and support me. Sunday was an epic fail. My asthma was off the charts and uncontrollable. I can run through most things but I can’t run through wheezing, short breath and sever lung pain, so I played it smart and bowed out of my long run to go back into the AC and recover. 

I told myself week 6 will change and everything will be on track. 

‪On Monday/Tuesday of ‬week 6 (this past week) I had a meeting with my specialist. I had a discussion with them over more testing, further options, more information. After it was all said and done, we decided on doing some changes with my food, to bring it back to basic. So I am now eating a vegan life style, well more plant based as I’m still consuming honey. 


This to be quite honest has been a difficult change, as I was just tossed into it. I haven’t really had time to wrap my head around it, where most people take the time to do research, study recipes and options before making the full leap. I went cold turkey and started on Tuesday. So not being consumed in this life style is all meats, dairy, all soy products and no rice. I know I’ll eventually figure this out.

Sooo let’s take a moment and go back to about 2 weeks ago, I went to the lake to visit friends. I got some good mosquitoes bites. I had one that was basically on the back of my upper leg, that I just figured was a more meaty area for them to bit. It started out the size of a pea and over the last 2 weeks has continually grow into this really red ugly, raised rash that was larger than my hand. I also started to feel worse as each day passed. I was achy, my bones hurt and I felt like I was getting the flu, which was not leaving me. I had zero energy, it was an effort to crawl out of bed in the morning. I was needing extra coffee during the day to stay awake. But I literally thought it was that “summer flu”.

On Thursday I had a doctors appointment, so I brought it to my doctors attention that I had this rash that was itchy and wasn’t going away. She took one look and went into “doctor mode”, and was draining the rash site and telling me that the infection was in my whole body, as I had a fever and other issues upon further testing. So I was given a beyond heavy duty medication to treat a blood and bone infection, if the spot is not cleared up by Monday, I need to go back in for a heavier medication, which will most likely be an IV treatment. 


So to sum up the last two weeks, I haven’t felt like running. I haven’t felt like doing any cross training, just walking a flight of stairs had(s) me ready for a nap. My body is tired. Which is ok, its fighting an infection. 

I can say with all this, when I told my friends, they have been amazing, good sense of humours and mostly kept checking in on me, showing concern, yelling like mother’s. Sometimes you need to find humour in siutations that want to make you cry. 

For 4 weeks, my body has been broken, hospitlized and on a treatment plan and everything else. 

I haven’t ran for 11 days and that is ok. The sun still rose in the morning and set in the evenings. Its all ok. 

Do I have guilt for not running? Maybe

Do I have sadness over everything? At times

Do I think this will change my marathon time and outcome? HELL NO

Set backs happen whether minor, big or just a small hiccup. This doesn’t change anything. 

My determination is wild and I’m driven to be back on track, back on targert. I will continue on this marathon journey. 

My body may want to continue to fight me, but I’m stronger. 

🍍

Week 4 – Pt 1 of Marathon Training 

Well so far this week is being summed up as life truly does happen and we can’t control everything. 

For those of you who don’t know (or haven’t followed the journey from the start), besides having severe asthma I have idiopathic Anaphylaxis. Which means I’m in anaphylactic shock daily. Somedays my meds just don’t work and this was the case on Monday. I went into full blown anaphylaxis (closed airway, tight chest, hives, swollen etc), so I got a fancy ride in an ambulance with lights and all to the hospital. 


After treatment and I was given the ok to leave the hospital, I did manage to ask the doctor when can I continue my marathon training plan for the week, I’m pretty sure his eye roll said it all. If you don’t ask you don’t know was my motto, but he just didn’t know me. This was not my first rodeo with this. I don’t sit back. 

I came home on a heavy duty treatment plan which I get every possible side effect; insomnia (yes I haven’t slept in days), sweats, burning skin, swollen skin and joints that feel broken and so on. 

So I’ve sat today looking at my marathon training plan, seeing what I’ve missed this week and mostly trying not to be sad. 

I was on such a roll and beyond proud of myself for the full commitment and then my body decided to fight me. This body likes to think it can beat me. But little does it know I’m stronger then this challenge. I’m stronger mentally. 

So I’m listening to my body and with it being Thursday I’ve used most of my energy to go up and down stairs and walk around. I know tomorrow is a new day and one day closer to being finished the treatment plan and adjusting back to being in the new routine. 

Nothing in life is craved in stone; we are like rivers, streams, constantly are flowing, changing directions and adjusting to hurdles in the way. That’s what this week is about accepting and adjusting. 

Until then I’m going to stare at my runners, my clothes, hydration pack, dream and set new goals. 

I still have three days left in week 4 of the marathon training plan. I’m pretty sure I’ll be on the pavement before the end of it. 

My body is not going to fully win this round, when I have determination in my blood.

Stay tuned for part 2 of week 4!
 

W3 – Marathon Training

I started this week out more concerned over the upcoming doctors appointments. My main focus going into the week above the medical aside was my food, changing the fuelling up and trying to figure out the proper balance for myself.  

Tuesday I was at the hospital meeting a new specialist who will be working with my asthma doctor. I completed a series of tests and came away with another medication to use before I do any exercise. Hopefully this helps with keeping airways open. Needless to say it wasn’t a fun day.

Wednesday I had another appointment to get some answers from the popping sound and pain in my chest and my legs. So the end verdict on my ribs is the intercostal muscles are moving, inflamed and angry, so they are moving my ribs (I have previous broken ribs & chest bone), which is causing me the pain. So I have a treatment and a game plan. Mostly remember to listen to my body and the pain. Now on to my legs and hip, I’ll be needing surgery and have been referred on to a specialist. Nothing crazy but serious enough. I have a plan; doctors recommendation and always remember to listen to my body. 

So with all this news I had to re adjust to a new normal

My runs this week I added kms to the runs just to try and make up missed kms. The humidity spiked this week so it was difficult to run outside. On Thursdays run I went out and did the loop, it wasn’t my fastest time but I look at it the 8km were done and completed. 

The long run was moved again this week to Saturday. Scheduled was 14.5km. We decided to do the waterfront trail, just to make it fun, with a bit of water and trees for coverage. 


Once we got going we realized we missed judged the starting point to get all the kms in, so yes at one point I was that fool making up kms in a parking lot. 

This run was a mix of good hills and flat all mixed in with repeats. It was good a workout.


Koren and I had fun again on this long run, last week we named the run “picking daisy” and this week it was all about the dance party. Koren forgot her headset so we ran with the music playing. So it was a dance party. 

​You have to be able to run and train all while keeping it happy. Who cares what others think. Have fun and be you. 


This run we kept a good pace for the first 8kms and from there it went downhill quickly. We both became hungry. I felt pain. I forgot my asthma medicine (don’t ask). I was hurting. But! I was ok with the slower finish because we still finished! 

Learning to listen to your body and realize you are not failing the plan or yourself is an adjustment. Knowing that I’m being smart and sensible because this goal is the goal of 2017, that makes me ok with everything. It makes me realize I’m a strong person. 

So again this week it’s almost like a reset button on last weeks goal. I’m going to figure out my nutrition, learning the new normal, listening to both doctors and following plans. 

So bring on week 4 with some changes and mostly me working on the other side of running. 

Run Like A Diva – Half Marathon 

This was the first time this running series was brought to Canada. It was on the bucket list for sure to do! I was beyond fortunate to be selected as an ambassador. I was able to be me, speak to women throughout my travels (and runs) to bring the idea forward of a diva filled women’s run.

The week before this run, my body fought me and won. I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance and had a nice stay. All week leading up to this run, I was doubting my ability of evening being able to tie my runners without the side effects of the medication / treatment plan (to keep me going). All week I suffered. I told myself that just showing up was the victory, but even if I started and got a “DNF”, this did not change my ability as runner, it didn’t change me as a person. It was just me being smart and my body was talking to me. So yesterday I went in with the intention of just supporting women, doing a half marathon in the mind frame of I was going out there to pick daisies and make art from cloud shapes. There was no time in my mind.

Yesterday, well summer surely hit yesterday in Toronto. Monday we were freezing and yesterday we had a medical examiner heat advisory in effect. I was not prepared. My lungs were not prepared. But again, I was just going out to pick daises and try. I was just going to show up.

A couple of hiccups with the run was Toronto Island is flooded. So the course had to be changed last minute, this is nothing the organizers had control of, so we ended up on a pretty blah course, with very very very little shade. This didn’t deter women from supporting each other as they passed each other, had random conversations and just kept checking on each other. This is what women are about. We support each other.

Arriving for the run yesterday, I dressed cool as possible with the weather being so HOT. Koren and I started in wave 3. We were shot off around 8:48am. The sun was up but we had this breeze that was amazing. We started out slow and steady. My goal; just try to maintain a pace, not fall back and not give my body a chance to say… “STOP”. The side effects of the meds were still very present but I just said I’m tougher than this body. I will win. I battle daily with this basically invisible illness, I fight myself daily to stay out of the hospital, so I had to be the tough one yesterday and beat my body. It was a mental fight.

The course was an out and back, so we were constantly surrounded by Diva’s running. It was nice to see people, hear encouragement and just have so much positive vibes, even in the extreme heat.

When we hit the last 4 kms it was high sun and it was bad. I stopped to offer my nuun (hydration pack) to women who were suffering from the heat, we checked on women as we passed them. I knew I was suffering from the heat as I had goosebumps, and I was cold. I just said to Koren, please don’t let me go down. Lets get this done.

I crossed. I finished. Yesterday I won. Barely, but I did it. I earned the bling. I am a Diva.


I was happy to see many of my running family out yesterday, to the Holman family and to Mike and his wife Rose, I am thankful for these people, the cheerleaders and the supporters. You at times keep the wind blowing in my sails.

I can’t thank Koren enough for just putting up with my “ugly” and my emotions yesterday, there was times I thought of myself as crazy etc, but I actually felt good keeping a good pace, to what I thought I was going to be. I felt that I maintained a steady run. I didn’t push myself. I didn’t make my lungs scream at me. The only thing that hurt was my feet (I still have the blister from running my last half in Ottawa).

Anyone who has a complaint about yesterday’s run, remember hiccups were bound to happen as this was the first time it was here in Canada, as well as having 2 weeks to come up with a big plan B. Mother nature didn’t help. I know that next year they will make it great, hiccups will be ironed and and who knows it could be snowing come June, we can’t predict the weather, but just roll with it. Plus you did see the firefighters, although I wish they had the hose going and spraying us down at the end cause it was hot 😉

I was happy to be a part of this and I want to thank the Run Like a Diva Series (Canada) for letting me be a part of this. I truly felt empowered yesterday, and it was an amazing day full of positive. I’ll be back, because I need to keep my Diva status.

Group Runs…Fun Runs…

running-group

I think I’m going to explain the fear that most people have with joining these type of running group events.

When the “no person is left behind” motto comes out, we don’t believe it for a minute. Our guilt kicks in and we know we are not the best of the best of those running. We have this fear that we will be left behind. We have this guilt about holding someone back.  So we just don’t run in group runs. When someone offers to run with us we never know if the offer is serious or just a pity offer. We end up with guilt because we know you are better and we are just a hold back.

I’ve been told that “no person is left behind” and everyone runs as a group. I had the chance this past weekend to go out as a cheerleader to support my fellow running family. I guess it was my way of looking to see how well the whole “we run together… no one is left behind” goes.

I watched a group of people come to the finish area and check/stop their garmins etc, looked at their time and see how well they ran. Again, I thought it was a “fun run”, out supporting each other. Nor did these people turn and run back, to bring in the last of the people. There was a bit of a long break between the “Elites” and the next group as well as an extend time to those who came in with the tail end. Again, I thought this was a fun run, run as a group, whether you are an “Elite” (Or think you are) and have to do a light jog beside the person you are running with or could end up walking, but you still run as a group.

If it’s a fun run, why are garmins allowed? Maps can lay out routes that can tell you the distance. Time shouldn’t mean a thing on a fun run? Maybe I am just wrong, maybe I need to become competitive in running a fun run?

Why can’t the elite runners who came in first turn around and bring in the back half? Or yet, why can’t they push and support someone in the back half, who has the fear and anxiety that they are last even in a fun run.

This again is the whole fear factor that the back half of any pack of runners have, we just are not good enough to run in a fun run, group run. It’s like the fear of being picked last in public school. We just end up feeling like asses. So we just don’t bother to come out. Maybe the “Elite” runners consider those of us who run a bit and end up walking a bit as not legit runners? Someone has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to being equals in the running community.

A fun run needs to be organized in which pairs “Elites” with the back half of the runners, so both parties benefit. “Elites” can actually remember what it is like to be starting out. To re-experience the struggles those of us in the back of the pack have. The “Elites” can maybe push us a bit harder, to experience something out of comfort zone but also realize we have what it takes. When was the last time someone had a conversation during a fun run with a beginner runner? Both parties benefit to learn something new. But maybe you’re a gifted runner who has no idea what the struggles some runners have.

So until I better myself as a runner, I highly doubt I’ll ever participate in a “fun run” only because I don’t need to be last or felt left behind by my running family. We all are playing in the sandbox, so someone needs to remove the line (or the word “Fun”) and remember we all are equal.