2017; Thank you

thank you 2017

How does one sum up a year full of runs, let alone a year that gave me huge life changes? Well I’m going to try my best!

2017 my only goal was to complete a marathon. When I did my first half in October 2016, I knew I could set the bar higher. I knew it was in me to keep pushing myself. I could have listened to everyone who told me not to try, but that was not me. I needed a goal.

Most people who know me, know that time is just time to me, I get excited when my training and life works together and I happen to get a new PB. My goals always are just to chase the finish line. Most runs are day related decisions with weather and how my body is doing.

My asthma doesn’t stay controlled by a magical wand.

I started 2017 on the injury reserve list, after having an emergency surgery on my birthday in December. Once I was cleared I was back to fully training as I was doing my first half marathon in Alabama in Feb.

In the meantime, life sort of settled out in the aspect of my job, I was able to secure a quick employment contract. Which was amazing and a stress relief.

February arrived and so did our road trip to Alabama. I was beyond happy to spend time with my run family and just relax. Just meeting the amazing people connected to the run family in “Bama was memorable. These people are friends for life. This half marathon turned out to be a new PB. I still am not sure how this happened as this course was hills. I mean hills! I even did an ugly cry to a police officer at km 18, asking when the hills would end. I stopped for selfies on the course just to give my asthma a break, chatted with the fire department but mostly decided to have fun. I even used a port-a-potty. I learned pulling your pants up is not all that easy after running in the heat and sweat.

To this day, I am still thankful for the memories and love I got from the Alabama family.

March brought the Chilly Half, which was going from one extreme for weather to the other. My coach told me how to dress and said I was prepared and ready. No I wasn’t. The cold weather and a half didn’t work out well with me. I finished. It was a beautiful course along the water. It just was a cold day, but at least the sunshine was shining. I would tell anyone wanting to find a run to train during the winter for, use this one as the starter for the year.

March further brought more personal changes, which involved the need to move, job ending and more hospital visits from Feb and March. It was truly a month to deal with the changes and learning new normals.

I was also interviewed in March by the Canadian Running Magazine for an article on the back half of the runs and how I continue to be me. How time is not everything to me and just the success of crossing the finish line is the victory.  https://justmejodie.com/2017/06/26/canadian-running-magazine/

Since I was accepting a new normal, I knew this would be a time of change, reflecting and changing my training plan to accommodate changes.

Spring or was it an early summer month of May arrived;

I did Sporting Life 10k, which was a first for me and I did get a new PB. I was proud of myself, but mostly the memory was talking to a beautiful lady in the corral beforehand. I pushed myself as much as I could and the results were worth it. The atmosphere in this run is crazy and it’s very well organized. Plus the cause is something that is worth it to partake in.

I was in the iRun magazine for athletes for Canada’s 150 birthday. I was honoured to be considered and featured as number 1. I still don’t even know how to deal with this when people bring it up. I am just humble and don’t know how to answer.  https://justmejodie.com/2017/05/23/irun/

I was an ambassador to the Run Ottawa Marathon weekend. Which brought a weekend away in Ottawa. This run needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. The city just has a vibe that is amazing. Everyone chats with everyone and it’s just surreal. The day of this run, it was hot, so my goal was just to finish. While in the corral I met another girl who was running her first half, she asked if I could help her stay safe and keep her going. I of course said yes. I got her to the finish. She was thankful as she was completely unprepared.

I am still thankful for the Ottawa Marathon organization in taking me on as a member of Team Awesome. I am in the back half of runs and it was an honour to be considered equal and part of the family for this.

June brought the Diva’s half marathon, which I was blessed enough to be an ambassador for this event. The weather did not play well with the run, which caused flooding on the Island in Toronto, so the run was moved with last minute, so it was not the beautiful scene, but it still was fun. The weather was crazy crazy hot. This run is amazing. Just imagine running with 3000 women, who are all supporting each other and cheering, singing and dancing. It was truly a remarkable experience. You saw nothing but a sea of pink, tutu’s, and everything in between. https://justmejodie.com/2017/06/12/run-like-a-diva-half-marathon/ & https://justmejodie.com/2017/11/13/run-like-a-diva-2018-2nd-chance/

End of June was the waterfront 10k which was taken over by lululemon. I didn’t get any PB and the experience was fun, had some bumps but it has been ironed out. The day like the rest of my patterns of runs was hot, sunny, but had a bit of a breeze.

July and August, I take off from “organized” runs. I had my marathon training plan set out, I was following the plan, running and training and it worked out. I was happy with how well it was turning out.

My mom became my side line coach, with the water head offs, she would show up with bananas and just check up on me. Especially on long runs. I am grateful in her support. My long runs I would work in with Koren’s schedule so we could do them together, until her injury set her on the sidelines.

My anaphylaxis never stopped and I had several hospital visits during the spring and summer, which put me down for a week or so after each attack.  In August I was bit by a poisonous spider, which resulted in me not feeling well for a few weeks, which included a heavy dose of medication for a bone infection.

September brought the RBC Race For the Kids and Army run weekend, yup, they both were on the same weekend. I did the 5k with RBC and raised money for Youth mental Health, which I am it believer in. If you are in Toronto on this weekend, please consider signing up this year. Lots of fun.

On the Sunday in Ottawa I did the commander challenge, which was a 5k and a half. It was hot. If you haven’t ever done the army run, you need to add it as well as to your bucket list. It’s emotional. It’s an honour and mostly it’s a huge sense of Canadian pride. I love this run.  https://justmejodie.com/2017/09/22/canada-army-run/

Right after this weekend, I ended up having a bad experience with my anaphylaxis and put me behind on my training, which mentally I had a hard time dealing with.

The end of September brought more new changes, with a job that took me back to the City and working an odd shift. Which I was unable to honestly adjust to.

October came in like a rush, I had the Niagara Falls International Marathon 10k just before the weekend of my first Marathon. The course for Niagara is beautiful (again the weather was all over). Running beside and ending at the falls is beautiful. I will be doing this run again. The town is alive and the community is full of support.

My marathon weekend came. I don’t even know how to re talk about this, but you can read it again here, or for the first time. https://justmejodie.com/2017/10/26/my-try-at-a-marathon/

I took a step back from running after my attempt at my first marathon. My heart broke. I had to heal. I had to reflect and accept as well as know I am capable of finishing. It was hard to find my grove again, but I knew that I would not quit. It was a matter of figuring and finding.

I learned more about myself this year as a person, what I am capable of. I learned I can accept change, I can handle curve balls and it’s ok to have a new normal. I was able to process my own thoughts and fears.

With the end of November brought more personal changes as after years of bouncing and playing the game, I finally secured the long awaited forever dream job. So I’ve learned to adjust, make new routines and make a new normal.

I closed off 2017 feeling my own self pride, my own sense of accomplishment knowing I can do all that I am capable of. When I set goals, I will push myself to the limit. I have been knocked around and faced many hills but through it all, I never gave up. I learned I am strong. I am ok being uncomfortable.

I can’t say thank you enough to all of you who have believed in me, helped me with the journey and lifted me when I did struggle. The messages and comments have been appreciated. The companies that took a risk on me, stood by me and supported me even when I didn’t feel like they should, thank you.

I do represent the back half of all runs and the runners within, but I hope that if anyone can take something away from my 2017 experience is that, you are capable of everything, you can do anything you put your mind to, and mostly, set and dream large.

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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! 


🍍

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. 

🍍

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. 

Ottawa Marathon Weekend

Ottawa Marathon Weekend, also known as Ottawa Race weekend. 

What everyone first needs to understand about this weekend is; It’s the City of Ottawa welcoming you in, as if you are family. Restaurants, stores and attractions all were offering deals and specials, to make this weekend memorable. Everyone was talking to everyone, and the most often heard question was “are you here running”, which always opened the door to more conervsations. 

Everyone had a fan, a cheerleader and a random stranger congratulating you. 

Now on to the other good stuff…. 

Team Awesome! When I was selected to be a part of this family of strangers (minus a couple of peple I knew from my Toronto running family) I was excited and nervous. I was thankful that Ottawa Marathon took the risk in selecting me as I am a back of the half runner to be part of this unit. 
I loved engaging on all forms of Social Media with Team Awesome as well as with other runners who ran this weekend, I had many people reach out to me and seek advice and just chat about training and all things the love of running with the challenges. 
When I went to Ottawa and met these amazing people I felt like I had known them for years, this weekend just built the foundation for friendships.
So thank you for allowing me the honour of being a part of this amazing run and team awesome. 

Expo…

This expo is in such an awesome building which you basically went from the bottom to the top to get your bib, shirt and visit the vendors and sponsors of the run. It was great seeing old faces, getting hugs and volunteering at the iRun booth as well as seeing my nuun family. I love and always will love engaging with other runners and their family. I love hearing the whys, the nerves and the emotions. We all have been there and each run is different to each of us. 

Now…. Preparing for this half 


I went into this half marathon feeling ready. I was coming off an amazing 10k a couple of weeks before and I just felt ready. I went and saw my lung specialist and received the news that my lungs hadn’t improved but to continue doing what I needed to do, be careful and understand my body. I always listen to my body and trust in myself. There just are times that with the weather etc the conditions just suck, but at no time does it every cross my mind to stop. 

The day of the run, half marathoners start at 9am and depending on corral spot of the actual start, I was in Red… no this did not mean I was in the first corral off, I was in the last corral which was where I belong.

Koren chose to run with me because she wanted to see if I could push for a new time. Plus her training with everything that has happened in the last month was not where she wanted it to be. But you know…. life happens and this is allowed. 

On my way back to the Red (best corral), I ran into Robin who is a member of team awesome, he was great with me, he gave me advice on the course, told me there was no hills (not sure if we both have the same idea of no hills), gave a good description, but mostly he relaxed me. Made me feel at ease and ready. So Robin if you read this, thank you. 

While in our corral I started talking to a girl who had never run a half before. I basically told her that with the heat we would be going slow and steady but pushing ourselves when we could, I said she could woggle along with us and we would make sure she finished. I told her I wasn’t going to go for time but for the victory of just crossing the finish line. I was happy to forego anytime to help a first timer cross the finish. I was able to offer her advice as to water stations, electrolytes and when to push and not, how to save energy for the end of the run so you could push it home. I was happy to help her and mostly see her finish her first half marathon. I once was her, so I fully got it. Everyone needs to do a run where you take someone under your wing, guide them and be their wings when they need it. This wasn’t my first time nor will it be my last time in helping a random stranger out. 

I did have 2 asthma attacks on course, the first one hit around km 18, where one of the xtra mile crew, helped me, walked with me as I got my wings back. The next time we had an xtra mile person help us was getting us to the finish line I think by this time with the sun beating down on us for 3 hours, little wind we were just running on fumes, I crossed the finish line and to be honest I don’t remember much after that, but the medics helped me and I got a free wheel chair ride until my puffer kicked in. I think at this point I felt bad for the girl we ran with, that she was running with a half broken runner, but she was happy. 

We ran the streets of Ottawa, saw some pretty crazy and funny signs, had residents hose us down, stand out and offer us refills for hydration packs and bottles. I kept my sponge and kept getting it wet at each water station to help keep me cool. The misters were great. The cops, fire men and volunteers along the way were just awesome. It was amazing to see a city out supporting all of us. 


The only two negatives I had to this whole run was the weather and water stations out of nuun. The hot sun beating down on you, and this course offers little shade. If I could of went off with the marathoner’s at 7:30am, I’d loved it. It would of been cooler, and the sun wouldn’t of been so hot. I’m in the back half of a run, we are out there longer then most and we feel the heat much longer. I was thankful I had my hydration pack on me, but others didn’t and I could see them suffering. It took us until the 3rd water station to have nuun and after that it was just hit and miss, if any had it. Even when we crossed the finish there was no nuun being offered only water. This is a very important part of recovery after a run.  

I’ll be back Ottawa. I have a course time to beat. I have more friends to meet and I loved the city vibe for the weekend. It was a truly special weekend. 

Thank you Ottawa and Team Awesome for the memories. I collected a lot! 💜