Marathon – 2.0

I decided I was going to try this again; I am going to become a marathoner in 2018. It was just a matter of finding out which run I was going to do it at. I did a lot of research, with an open mind and was open to driving a great distance if the course was the right one for me. The first thing I did was select a few, I emailed Race Directors. I learned the hard way that websites are not always correct, race expos are not always giving out the right answers. So I emailed the amazing people at the Niagara Falls International Marathon. I ran the 10k last year, I enjoyed every experience at this event, including watching from my hotel room of the last marathoner coming in. I learned after running that this event is a hidden gem.

Once I got my email back getting my answers, I knew this was going to be the event for me. So I committed myself, I signed up this week, I am going to be running and becoming a marathoner all on October 14.

marathon confirm

I want everyone to understand, this run, has become epic, they have changed timelines, courses and mostly they are wanting us back of the pack runners to become involved, to drop our fears of the clock and just get out here and have fun. To become marathoners and even half marathoners.

2018 What’s New:
Option of RACE MORNING kit pickup for the Half Marathon, 10k & 5k races. Marathon is currently still a mandatory day-before race kit pickup process

  • Alternatively, race kits can be picked up on Saturday October 13th at our NEW venue – The Grand Hall of Table Rock Welcome Centre (beside our finish line). Please note that we are working on options for Marathon runners that work on Saturdays & are unable to pickup their kits. Stay tuned for developments!
  • Looking for the ULTIMATE Niagara Falls experience on the Saturday? We have outlined close by, FUN options to experience the Falls at various price points from free to $$$. Read more about that here
  • The HALF MARATHON course is now an out & back. This means NO MORE SHUTTLE BUSES. This means you park RIGHT AT THE START (same location as the 5k/10k start). This means sleeping in and/or driving morning-of for kit pickup if you’d prefer all in time for your 10 a.m. start
  • NEW Marathon start time – 9 a.m. This mean a glorious 7 hours for those who need a bit more time to finish their bucket race achievement! Shuttle buses will run from the Crowne Plaza in Niagara Falls 1/2 an hour earlier – from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
  • NEW Marathon CUTOFF point – to abide by Niagara Park’s permit regulations we have added a cutoff at the 21.1 k (13.1 m) at 12:30 p.m. (half way point). You will receive a Half Marathon medal & be bused back to the Finish Line
  • NEW “Tailgate party for friends/family” program. This FREE service will bring your friends/family out to various points of the Half Marathon course to cheer you on!!!  Stay tuned for details on this one!
  • The GREAT 5k Canadian-American Challenge. Boy! This one is FABULOUS – read more about this one HERE and be prepared to RUN FOR YOUR COUNTRY!!!
  • Lastly, we will REWARD you $$$ for referring friends that register!!!  After all, YOU are our BEST Ambassadors!  Read more about how to earn cash here

I know this journey is going to be just as tough as the last one, but the thing I learned from last year is my mind is a strong piece of me. I changed my runs around and my training is mainly focused on October 14.

Due to my injury from running in Florida, I am bowing out of runs that are happening in the next couple of weeks. I am staying the course with following doctors instructions on doing things right, this is not a simple injury, my concussion is pretty serious and even 5 weeks post-accident I still have symptoms that happen.  I met with my run coach on Easter weekend and we discussed a lot, including a lot of small training and giving myself more time. I trust him, I also trust in this process.

I don’t feel that this is a comeback, more of I paused life. pause

I am just going to hit play again this weekend and start slow. I’ll be blogging this experience as I am thinking of it as Marathon 2.0 training. I will have changes, I will be still showing the world and mostly myself, you don’t give up when a goal or a dream doesn’t happen, you adjust the course, change the sails and find the wind again.

So I hope a few of you, read the NFIM website, see that this course is beautiful, you run along the Niagara River and literally end at the brink of the falls. I hope this encourages those of you who have the small fear of the time clock to sign up. Join me, run a first or a 10th.

I will be running this adventure with my best friend, Koren. We will train together when time, distance and work allows us, but we are committed. She is going to run beside me again and together we will cross. I couldn’t ask for a better friend to “give up” her own time to run with me in the back half, to support me, encourage me and mostly we both keep each other laughing on the course. I’m pretty darn lucky for her.

So if you sign up, please let me know. I’d love to do a meet up on the Saturday, if you are in town, or after I cross (if you’re still around), keep me posted on your own journey.

So stay on the look out for more updates on Marathon 2.0 training!

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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.

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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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:

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. 

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. 

🍍

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-Part 2 – Marathon Training

Well, I’m going to be honest; I didn’t run at all this week. My plan was there, my mind was ready but my body didn’t work. This time around the treatment they gave me knocked me down and kept me down. My body rebelled.

I talked to my doctors. I listened to my body. Mostly I didn’t trust my body to behave, from being dizzy, swelling and everything in between I decided I couldn’t risk it, a run was not worth me falling or passing out. To be honest I didn’t even leave the house until yesterday. This was my Friday night views..
So the remainder of this week I focused on making a better plan. I spent a lot of time researching foods and being creative with what I can eat right now. 

So today it was “meal prep” day.


I’ve made my breakfasts – egg cups. My lunches are planned for each day and are ready to be grabbed from the fridge. My snacks are measured, made into appropriate portions and again are ready to grab and go. I’ve made protein balls and super health sugar free banana protein muffins as well.

My dinners are made. Each day I have something different but healthy and clean. I will be having fish, chicken and pork (yup I eat pork).


I have everything ready to go. No excuses and no standing in the kitchen wondering.

So week 5 I have goals. First, I’m hoping the side effects are all gone and sleep will come back to me. 

I’m going to be adding extra runs. Making up runs and eating right. I’m going to aim for 5 runs this week including my long this weekend which Koren and I will do together. 

Yes this is a set back but it’s not going to change the outcome of this marathon. I will finish. 

Life happens and my body is an original so I have to protect it. I could be angry I’m behind but I’m not. I am going to focus on the positive in making this week count. Making up for lost kms. 

Bring on week 5!