Famous from a Small Town

I received love from my small town Ontario- hometown paper this week. I still can’t believe it. I was interviewed sometime back by Sarah and didn’t think anymore on it because I honestly don’t know how newspapers work.

I always feel humble (and a sense of pride in myself) when I see myself in “print”. I never know what to say when I get the compliments. Thank you to all my cheerleaders and supporters.

From the comments and responses I’ve received I know I did what I always set out to do, inspire just one person. For that I feel blessed.

#MyJourney #MeVsMe #TeamNuun #TeamTap #Runner #BackOfThePack #AsthmaRunner #Disney #iRun #Brighton #Metroland #RunHappy

Run Like A Diva 2018; 2nd Chance

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

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

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

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

SO in 2018, they’ve listened;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.runlikeadiva.com

Marathon Training – The Home Stretch


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1- half marathon 

1- 15km

1- 5km (or possibly 2 10kms)

1- 1km victory lap to the finish. 

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

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

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

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

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

Open Letter to Runners

Dear Runners (of all abilities)

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

So here we go: 

I’m starting this off with just thinking:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks

Jodie

Leader of the back half. 

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. 

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. 

Dedicated to me….

I did a side by side picture from 3 years ago to just a couple of days ago. It’s amazing how much my body has changed. But more importantly how much my mental thinking has changed. 
When I started running I was beyond heavier than what I am today. I was always told by my doctors and sports medicine folks every time my foot connected with pavement my body felt like approximately 700+lbs was hitting it. 

I was sore, exhausted and just hurt for days after any big run when I first started running. I felt like my legs became concrete posts. But the thing I tell anyone who is plus size who debates to run. A few days of pain can’t take away the accomplishment of doing the run and earning that medal.

But the thing I tell people, you are the only one who puts restrictions on yourself. Who uses being plus size as a negative. I don’t care what I look like running. I’m running. Running is something that doesn’t discriminate. Health benefits out weigh the excuse “I’m too fat”. 

Mentally I’ve reached a point where I just don’t care what you think of me running. I’m running. You’re not. Mentally I push myself, talk to myself and get myself across the finish line. I always say at the end it’s my heart not my legs. 

Since I started running over three and half years ago I’ve faced my fair share of injuries (dics bulged, moved spine with brokenness, stress fracture), pneumonia (twice) and of course my ever faithful asthma. I won’t even touch in on having to carry an epipen everywhere I go. But I tell people I had a choices every time something wrong happened: fight or flight. 

Do you fight your body and keep on a path to continue to find a better version of the current you? Or do you flight and run back to the couch? Do you give up because of an obstacle that comes along? 

I look at running as anything in life: you just don’t give up.  

In recent weeks I’ve met people who I’ve shown this picture to and they can’t believe the change.I said everyone has a journey inside of them. I just don’t give up. At the end of the day. I’m failing myself. I feel I can be a role model to many people. I can show them excuses are wasted air and words coming from your mouth. 

Now that I’m over 80lbs lighter, my running has changed. My stride has changed and my centre of balance is not the same. I face back issue when running. But you know what, it doesn’t make me want to quit. My biggest issue are my runners. I’m a forefoot runner so everything has changed! (see I need a job ASAP to support my running shoe needs) 

I’m dedicated. Dedicated to myself. The commitment I’ve made since running is to myself. To better myself. To push myself beyond what limits I set. To face fears head on. 

So to anyone who starts to run remember there is no finish line so love the journey. 

Your journey is yours and only yours. 

I am dedicated to me. To this journey. To continue to better myself and be open to helping anyone. Running with anyone who is afraid to be left behind. I’ve been in your shoes. I’m still the leader of the back of the pack. Don’t give up on yourself.