Monday, October 25, 2010

I am a Marathoner!!

The Scotiabank Marathon has come and gone. All that training and all the heat this summer and it is over. I can't help but feel a little sad that it is all over. However, I am thrilled that I can now call myself a marathoner.

September 26th, 2010 in Toronto was a perfect day for running. 15 degrees and sunny. Race day was full of emotions. I was crying before the start and was so happy to be doing this with my friends.

The day started at 5:00am. I didn't sleep really well because of all the nerves. I lay awake thinking: "Can I really do this?"; "Have i trained enough?"; "Will I be last?". However, I was so glad that I had talked to my dad the night before because he let me know that as long as I was resting I would be fine. He said it was normal to be nervous and not sleep well at all.

We had all our clothes and paraphernalia all ready to go and we got dressed. Getting ready also included writing the names of those I care about and those I would be running for. Writing those names was emotional and for all of those people who believed in me and always told me I could.
The marathon itself was great. I ran the first 8-10k with my two friends which was actually longer than I expected to stay with them, which was great. I slowed down a little at that point because I thought I may not be able to maintain. I then hung back with the 5 hour marathon group and stayed with them until about 17k. As the 5 hour marathon pace bunny got further away I still felt great and felt like I was maintaining a pretty good pace that I could keep up with. At 20km I saw my friends boyfriend and he took my picture and ran along side me. I felt great at this point. a few moments later my dad called my name and encouraged me. My husband and my mum were right behind my dad and the encouragement at that point was awesome. I felt confident and strong. At about 23k I saw my two friends come around the turn around point they were probably at 25k. It was great to see them and cheer each other on. At 30k I was feeling good but I hated the long turn around in the beaches. The problem was when we hit 30k we could see the 35k marker and at this point it seemed soooo far away. I hit the 30k mark at 3:44 which was pretty good and a 20min improvement over my Midsummer Night Run race in August. I persevered through the annoying turnaround point. I know at the 33k mark I started to slow down and take extra long walk breaks. At 35k I was supposed to see my family, but they were at 36k and I was a bit miserable. My shoulders hurt and I just felt that the 6km that were left were so far away. I handed my water belt to my family and took a few jelly beans and told them I would see them at the finish line. The last 6k were very hard, I tried to talk positively to myself but that only got me so far. The walk breaks started to get longer and longer and I think my last 5k turned out to take about an hour. I remember running along and i looked beside me and there was someone walking faster than I was running. Not pretty but I got it done. At the last 800m I saw a friend who was at Scotiabank to cheer all us all on. She held my hand and tole me I could do it. She ran right there with me and this is when the tears came. I gave her my iPod as I didn't want it to be in the pictures at the finish line. The last 200m I did on my own and heard my friends cheering me on. I picked it up as usual at the finish line. I passed the finish line and it was over just like that in a few steps, I had a brief moment of tears. A few moments letter I got my medal and saw my husband mom and dad, they actually took longer to get to the finish line than!

After I met up with my family all I wanted to do was sit down but there wasn't really a place to sit. We found a chair and I sat. My dad loosened my shoe laces and I realized that all I really wanted to do was lie down. We got back to the hotel and I lied down all sweaty in the comfy hotel bed for about 20 mins. before taking a shower. The rest of the day was spent driving home to London but not without stopping for dinner. The problem with the buffet dinner was that I was not that hungry. My shoulders really hurt from slouching and running with my head down, this is something I need to work on.

It was a big deal to run this marathon for me. I really wanted my dad to be proud and i think he was. I crossed the finish line at 5:46, didn't make my "A" goal of 5:30 but at this point who cares. I finished my first marathon and I will do another one! This whole experience has been a journey, one that I will never forget and one that has changed my life forever. I now see my self differently. I believe that I am capable of more, capable of almost anything! I even may believe that I am a runner!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Night Before, The Night Before!

So here we are! 2 more sleeps and it will be race day! Oh what a ride this has been and I am still so full of emotion and nerve. I have done the training, I have made it through and extremely hot summer, I have finally told my dad that I am running the marathon and I still can't believe that on Sunday I am going to run 42.2km, or 26 miles 385 yards as my dad would prefer I say!

Do I have goals, expectations... yes! So here they are A Goal: under 5:30:00, B Goal: under 6:00:00 and C Goal: to be up right and standing. I think the goals are realistic. There are not going to set any records except my own and not matter what because this is my first marathon, no matter what it will be a pb! But really, what does it matter, the fact is completing a marathon regardless of the time is on hell of an accomplishment, no matter how fast or slow. I am going to do it! I know it's going to hurt like hell at times and I know that I probably will struggle walking for a few days after, but who cares? A running friend pointed out to me that on Monday when I wake up in the morning I will be a MARATHONER!! WOW!!!! ME? A MARATHONER!!! Does that make me a runner? I should think so but we shall have to wait and see!

In addition to making a concerted effort to hydrate and eat well. I have spent the week giving myself positive messages, saying things like: "I know I can do it", "I will do it", "I am capable", I may have even said "I am a runner" and "I will be a marathoner"! I am excited and nervous; happy and sad.

Today a friend and I watched "The Spirit of The Marathon". It presents the lives of different runners trainer for the marathon from elite runners to Boston hopefuls to gazelles to turtles. They are all training for the Chicago Marathon. This movie made me nervous, excited, terrified and proud all at the same time. Written across the front on the DVD: "When you cross the finish line it will change your life forever!" So bring it on! Scotiabank Marathon here I come!

Run Wild for The Detriot Zoo!

We are one week from race day!! We were scheduled to run 15k but I am doing the 10k Detriot Zoo race instead. The Run Wild For The Detriot Zoo race has become a family tradition with myself, my brother and my dad!

The Detriot Zoo race is a good one. It was slightly disappointing last year to realize that it doesn't actually run through the zoo. However, it does run through some really nice residential neighbourhoods. There is a good turn out of over 1000 people and a great group of volunteers. It is nice because many of the residents come out of their homes and sit on their lawns to cheer the runners on. This race includes a 5k and a 10k. The race is chip timed, but you only get a cotton t-shirt and there is no medal. you do get free admission to the zoo which is always fun to look around afterwards. So for only $25.00 it is a great run!

I felt ready and strong today and I wanted to feel that way at the end as well. With the marathon only a week away I wanted to be as confident as possible. I also really wanted to have a pb. Last year I ran this race 1:03, so it was tough to think I could beat that. Last year the water stops were about 10 mins apart, so my plan was to run to each water stop and take my walk break with the water. This year, however, they did not have as many water stops and the water stops were at least 20 mins apart, I still kept to the same plan and only walked long enough to have some water. My final time was 1:01:02. Next year I would love to be under an hour... we shall see! My brother, Jordan and my dad had a good run too Jordan finished in just over 43 mins and my dad in just over 49 mins. The training is paying off and after a long, hot summer it is nice to see the results!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chicago Half Marathon 2010

September 12th, 2010, 2 friends and I ran the Chicago Half Marathon. What an awesome race it was. The Chicago Half was very well organized, lots of entertainment, the perfect amount of water stops, ideal weather and a whole lot of fun.

Because the Scotiabank Full Marathon is only 2 weeks away, I decided I wasn't going to push too hard. I decided that I was going to run with my bestie and enjoy the experience. And enjoy I did. I felt great the whole way. I made sure that everytime I saw a photo op I took it. I made sure I drank at every water stop. I made sure I stuck to my 10 and 1's. And I ended up with a 10 min personal best!! Yahoo!!!! My time was 2:24:37!

My friend, who has not done much training since April, ran with me the whole way until the 12th mile. At this point she was feeling tired and her feet were hurting, she asked me to go and when I looked at my watch and figured out that I could make my goal time which was 2:25. I would have actually been happy with anything below 2:30.

Last Tuesday our clinic had a talk by an accomplished marathon runner. He talked about race prep and tips for race day. What stood out for me was he said no to look at your watch at the finish line, he said to make sure that you take advantage of the photo-op and put your arms up and smile! So I remembered going through the finish line and I got a great photo out of it! Definitely great advice!
Chicago is an awesome city and I completely enjoyed myself. I know 3 of my running friends are running the Chicago Full Marathon on October 10th.. I am excited for them as I know they will enjoy it as much as I did.

Other highlights of the trip included the spectacular hotel The Palmer House, The Navy Pier, the real deep dish pizza, the shopping, and we even got $25.00 Rush tickets to Billy Elliot the musical. Billy Elliot was an incredible show, possible the best I have ever seen and the seats were awesome!

I hope to one day go back to Chicago and visit again. There is so much to do. Could I be back for the Full? Any thing's possible!

All By Myself!

Since I started running I have made friends with a lot of really great people. And I like running with them so much that I work extra hard to keep up with them. On the short runs this usually isn't a problem but once we get into the long runs I can only keep up for so long. I usually can maintain for about 15-18km then I fall back. By the end of the run I have walked more than I would have liked and feel like crap.

As it turns out I had to go to a wedding on labour day weekend and needed to run on the Friday. I even took the day off work, lol! So at just after 6am I headed out for the longest run ever- 35km!! I started out nice and slow and was able to maintain. I met my very dear running friend for a water stop at her house at about 10k and again at about 18k. I felt incredible and I was actually enjoying running.

I stuck to my 10 and 1's. At about 25km it started to pour. I was soaked. I ended up waiting under the Wonderland Bridge for about 15 mins. and then headed out again. I only ended up running a tad over 33km that day because my route was adjust a little shy. However, I felt awesome afterwards and even wore very high heals out that night! Usually after a long run I am out for the day.

Running at my own pace is something I need to appreciate. I am now convinced it will actually make my times faster and definitely adds to the "fun" factor. While I love my running ladies on the longs runs I need to run at my own pace. Running alone is character building and it has given me more confidence for the marathon!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Midsummer's Night's Run

So I am little behind updating my blog, but with all this running I just have not had time.

On August 21st, 2010 we ran the 30k Midsummer Night's Run in Toronto Ontario. The race started at 5:30pm so it was quite strange to run such a long distance that late at night. The race was a good one, it was not very big race with about 500 participants in the 30k. However, the "bling" was awesome! We got really nice New Balance hoodies, and the medal was huge and well done! We even got to purchase a New Balance long sleeve t-shirt for only $5.00.

Four of us had shirts made with little fairy's on the back, to go along with the theme. One of the girls actually ran the 15k race with fairy wings! There were some great constumes.

So how did the race go? Well, it wasn't pretty. I had an allergic reaction to something I must have ate at the hotel. I tend to be allergic to something that is common in Italian food but despite having allergy testing, I still can't seem to determine what it is. This is the second time I have had this reaction in the last 2 months. When I get this it makes it very hard to breath, like I cannot get enough oxygen into my lungs.

All in all, I struggled throughout the race and with also just getting over a cold it was a crap shoot! I also got discouaged when the 12k participants came speeding by you, it just took you off guard. The race also got dark and I don't think there was enough volunteers to direct you. At one point I was convinced I had gone off course. At the end of the race my friend ran me in and I was crying because when I rounded the corner I saw the finish line was down, I thought I was last and everyone was packing up. It turned out that the machine that keeps it blown up had shut down. My friend noticed right away that something wasn't right as my lips and nail beds were blue. It took me at least 12 hours before I could breath properly again and I wheezed all night. I probably shouldn't have ran but at least I got it done and got that great medal!! Not sure I would do this race again next year, but defiantly an experience and great prep for the marathon, eek!!

In addition, we had a great time in Toronto and it was a good little break from the ordinary!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say, Say Nothing At All!

You know I really don't get some people. I don't get why or how people think it's OK to say their every though out loud or how they have the audacity to make negative comments for other people to hear. People that barely know you, have nothing to gain or lose from talking about you, still find it OK to put others down. Is it like our mother's always said because they are jealous, because they want to make themselves feel better? I don't know! Now, I know I am no saint and I am not going to lie and say that I am not guilty of a little gossip here and there, but I can say that I would never purposefully hurt someone's feelings.

Lately I have really become comfortable with me. I am so proud of my accomplishments, especially with the running. I have been liking both the outside and the inside me. I am strong, healthy and happy! OK so I am not a size 2, nor will I ever be. I wear bathing suits that cover my stomach and I have accepted the fact that I will never wear a bikini, it's just not in my fate. But do I think I am an attractive person? Most days yes. There are always things you'd like to change and funnily enough I have always hated my teeth and recently go braces to correct this. I care about my appearance and I LOVE fashion. It's funny because I know I look so different when running, my hair all tied back, sweaty most of the time and that damn spandex is not too flattering on anyone.

This weekend I got a blow to my ego and I am so upset that it got to me this much. Someone had said behind my back but loud enough for others to over hear that they "didn't understand that if I was doing all of this running, why was I still SO BIG". SO BIG? Since when did a size 12 become "SO BIG". I haven't really thought of myself as "SO BIG" in a long time. I have always and will always struggle with issues around weight. My mum always has and so will I. I am a strong person and I can take a whole lot, but call me BIG, or FAT or something like that and I lose it. Now as much as my feminist friends won't like this I would honestly rather someone call me "a C_N_" that a "fat cow". The dreaded "C-word", really can't insult you, I mean what does it really mean? But "fat" or "BIG" that stings. Now I am not condoning the use of the "C-word", in fact I hate it but I just want to get my point across how much this hurts. When I heard about this I become an emotional mess. Now fine, if it was an isolated comment but why did this person have to connect it to running? Running is for me and it is the hardest and best thing I have ever done. It is something I am proud of!

Yesterday I felt defeated, and if I am honest, I still do. I couldn't stop crying about it and hate myself for letting it get to me. I wanted to quit running all together. Although I have talked to people about it and they keep reassuring me, I can't stop thinking about it. It plays like a broken record, over and over in my head. Bringing tears to my eyes every so often. I have visions of people laughing at me because I am the circus creature that could run an almost marathon. Why? Why I am I so hung up on this person and their thoughtless, shameful comment? Why does it matter? We have all heard the saying: "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all!" Since when did we forget about it?

New Distances

Over the last several weeks I have climbed to covering kilometers I never thought possible. First it was 23, then 26 and now 30 what an incredible accomplishment! Deep down inside I am so proud of myself and can barely believe that I am able to do it. Does it hurt? Yeah, sometimes. Does it take a lot of time? Oh yeah! Is it worth it? For sure!

Running is all I seem to think about, it consumes most of my brain and I cannot wait for the day that I become one of those few people who can say they have ran a marathon. I can't really imagine my life without running, what would I do with my time?

With the new distances covered, comes new fears. Right now I am worried about the next 12km and what about the damn wall... what will I do if I hit it? Although I love how far we have come, I still question my ability. The training is getting more intense and I really need to keep up the positive thoughts and believe in me!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


So today I ran a very hot 19k and I actually ran with a group of 5 of us which I really liked and while they chatted back and forth I listened to my headphones and joined in the conversation on the walk breaks. After a year and a half of running, I still find it difficult to talk while running no matter what the pace. And I still rely on my MP3 player to get me through a run long or short. 5 k is about the longest I have ever ran with out music. I get the music is a huge crutch for me and I honestly think that I would just walk if it gave out during a long run.

There are several reasons why I love my headphones. Firstly, it keeps me pumped. My running buddies have rep roted back to me that they know it must be a fast paced song because I run a little faster or they see better posture (something I need to work on). Secondly, I find it difficult to talk while running and I think people don't talk when they see you are listening to music. I love my running friends and love chatting with them, but it honestly takes everything I have to run and chatting, especially on the long runs is too much for me at this point. Thirdly, I hate listening to myself pant because it makes me feel exhausted, the headphones block that out.

Recently one of my running friends gave me a iPod Nano and an arm band. Before this I was using firstly an iPod Shuffle, then my iPhone. I accidently washed my i-pod shuffle and I found the i-phone cumbersome and the band terrible for shafing. The arm band is awesome! IT is made of dry-fit fabric and is super comforatable; it is made my Nike (my favorite running products)! She also gave me the Nike+ iPod chip, which I have not figured out how to use just yet but my thoughts on this will come too! It is great to have such wonderful friends who really get you!

The Running Room is generally against listening to music especially in a group run. So I have broken the rule and continue to listen to music, despite what RR tells me. I have explained to everyone I run with why I do it and that it's not that I am a snob and most people get it. I am always amazed at those who can carry a conversation and run, I love talking and would love to find running almost effortless to the point where I can chat. Perhaps when I can chat while running this will when I call myself a runner. It is definitely something I may try to when myself off of at some point, but not now.

P.s- The Globe and Mail produced an article proving that music can increase a workout especially with upbeat music.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No Turning Back Now!

So, it's a done deal. Today I officially registered for the Scotia Bank Toronto Water Front Marathon! That's right the FULL MARATHON... gulp! On September 26th, 2010 I will hopefully run 42.2km! This distance still seems so far off, but I know that if I keep up the training, listen to my body and keep a positive attitude it will be possible and I will cross that finish line upright and smiling... fingers crossed!

They say this race is supposed to be "flat, fun and festive" and I am hoping it is all of these things. 2 of my good running friends also signed up today and we were all equally as nervous, but there is strength in doing it together. We are staying at the race Head Quarters hotel the Marriott. I love hotels and heard this one is great!

I have no time expectations for this race and only want to finish. They asked my the expected time and I put down 4:46 +. My only hope is to finish, and what an amazing accomplishment that will be. When I run the full with my dad for his 50th birthday in October 2011, I will hope to improve on the time.

Today I also signed up for the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon. This race is special to me because it is the race my dad runs almost every year. My dad is alos going to do the hald this year instead of the full because he says that he doesn't have the time to train properly this year because he is coaching a few soccer teams. I am a little disappointed but glad we are still going to be able to do this all together. My borther Jordan followed in our foot steps and also registered. It's a family affiar! I partiularly love this race because you start in the U.S., cross the bridge into Windsor and then go back to Detroit through the tunnel... very cool!

So my race schedule for the next few motnhds is as follows:

-August 21st- Mid Summer Night's Run (Toronto) 30k

-September 12th- Chicago Half Marathon (Chicago) 21.1k

-September 26th- Full Marathon (Toronto) 42.2k

-October 17th- Detroot Free Press Half Marathon (Detriot/Windsor) 21.2k

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Survived Post Vacation Run

Well, it wasn't pretty, but it wasn't as ugly as I thought it was going to be. Getting back at 5am and not sleeping that well combined with being in vacation mode did nothing to help getting back into running. But at the same time let's be realistic it was only 5 days not 5 months. I think I need to give my self a break, easier to say now I have completed the first run post vacation.
Today's run. following clinic night on heart rate monitoring, was a simple 6k. I felt really great the first 10 mins then began to fatigue but I made it. Glad it's over.
I think running is taking up so much of my time. I mean don't get me wrong I really enjoy it and really love the friendships I have gained. My husband thought I was so silly for going on and on about missing the 16k LSD on Sunday. And it's true my family has had to sacrifice while I make running my top priority. I have been told it will be worth it... fingers crossed!


So I have not run for 5 whole days!! I am worried about getting back out there. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it is more days in a row that I have not ran in a very long time. After being in the sun and relaxing for 5 days I am worried about tonight's 6k run. So far my running circle has told me not to worry about it; that my body will probably benefit from the little break. We shall see. I am also really nervous that I missed the 16k LSD run on Sunday. Luckily the 16k will be repeated this Sunday. So off I got to clinic night 4 and a easy 6k.... fingers crossed!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Marathon Clinic Week 3 done!

So we are moving a long quite nicely in the marathon clinic and I must say so far so good! We have had some good runs and some more challenging!
This week I had a great 6k run, I really pushed myself and only took 2 walk breaks. The walk breaks really help me and I rely on them to get me through. The Running Room uses 10 mins walking and 1 min running and this works well for me. When the going gets though I just say to myself just make it through this interval and then you get a break. It is totally psychological but it works.
Wednesday night was a 10k and that went ok, the route was full of hills and I HATE hills even though I know they are good for me and my training. Friday I ran at the wee hours of 6:30am and had a nice 5k with 2 great friends who were nice enough to join me at this early hour.
Sunday I had a really great 13k run and really tried to remember that it was an LSD (long slow distance). I started it out nice and slow and felt amazing towards the end. The truth was it turned out to be quite a good time. There is something to be said for not going out to fast. I am learning that it takes me about 25 mins - 35 mins to get into the grove of my long runs! I am learning as we go!
This week I would have liked to have gotten one more run in but 4 plus a boot camp isn't bad. The boot camp is fun but it is killing my shoulders. 2 days later I can still feel it.
Week 4 here we come!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Marathon Clinic & Boot Camp!

So I am currently in the second week of the Marathon Clinic... so far so good! I am keeping up with the schedule and commit ed to maintaining it. I think my running buddies and I have decided that running needs to happen 4x a week + one day of cross training. So for cross training we have joined a boot camp! What fun this will be! I am actually looking forward to doing something other than running to spice things up. And super excited to do it with my running friends! The friendships that I have made are getting me through this and after every run, short or long, it is those women who make me think I can do it again!
So here we go I am back on the Blog, keeping up the running, learning, laughing and sweating a lot! The heat is here and it looks like it is here to stay. I HATE the heat! I would rather run 20k in -16 than 5 in +30. I keep telling myself that our bodies will eventually adjust. Come on body... remember that you did run last summer!!!

Long time no see!

So, I have not updated this blog in quite sometime, however I am back!!! Haven't taken a brake from running but have been discouraged. To make up for my sick Retina Race I decided to do the Forest City Road Race Half Marathon. Although this was a better run, I only came out 4 mins. faster than Retina. The course was harder, the hills seemed to be steeper and I made the classic mistake of going out to fast! Even though 2:34 was a race PB it wasn't even close to the 2:26 that I ran when we ran the Retina Route 3 weeks before the race!
So what is the deal? Why are races turning out to not be that great? I am never really nervous, I mean I know I am not going to win so I may have a couple of butterflies before the race but nothing crazy. Maybe I am not excited enough. I don't know.
Even though it wasn't the time goal I wanted it was awesome to see so many people cheer me on. I really appreciated the support and just when I thought I couldn't go anymore there was a friendly, familiar face telling me I could.
So, it's been 14 months and I have 3 half marathons under my belt. Am I a runner yet?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Run for Retina 2010 Half Marathon

Yesterday was the 2010 Run for Retina! What an amazing day it was for a run 14 degrees and a beautiful sunny sky. There was just one problem- I was sick. All winter long I have not been sick and then surprise here it is! My throat started hurting on Wednesday and I knew it was coming. Despite pumping Cold FX and living in denial, my fever on Saturday spoke volumes but I was determined to run. My dad was visiting and running the race too and I really worked hard at not allowing him to know how sick I really felt.
The morning of the race I took Tylenol Cold and Flu and went to the race. It was so amazing to see all of my running buddies there and it was really the perfect day. I was armed with Kleenex and a hanky from my dad.
John Stanton was also there to help cheer us on, that was really neat. He even got in our group picture, which I will try to post soon!
And it was awesome having my dad there. I told my dad to run his own race and thank goodness he listened. My bestie and I ran together and for the first 15-16k we were right on track for a half of 2:20-2:25 and then I hit the wall. My lungs hurt and I started coughing up green phlegm (gross I know). At 17k I had to take a few extra minutes to walk and the truth is I think I gave up a bit. I knew I wasn't going to be able to get my goal time and I gave up until this really wonderful woman caught up to me. She kept me going all the way to the finish line. I seriously owe her and she did such an amazing job!
When I got the the 20k mark, I still felt as though it was too far. I came around the corner and saw my dad he ran alongside me and cheered me on. My other running buddy was there two cheering me on. I sprinted for the last 100m or so and with that last surge it was over. I felt sick at the end, in fact I felt exactly as I did one year ago. And although I was disappointed that I didn't beat my first half marathon time of 2:36 which was so sad because I ran it in 2:26 in the practice Retina Run only a few weeks ago. I had to realize that a) I was sick and b) a year ago I felt like vomiting at the finish line after a 37min 5k. In one year I ran a half marathon twice and I think I need to be proud of that.
The rest of my group did amazing and it was so great to see how happy and energized everyone was. My two usual gals that I run with did amazing and I can't help but be a little jealous. I really want to have a second chance and run another half in May... but we will see.
I can't help feeling a sense of loss, it is the end of the clinic and I will miss everyone although I know many of us are moving on the the full and hopefully we will still see everyone at the Running Room. I am so grateful for the Running Room I could never have done this without there supportive clinics.
Today I went to the doctors and I have a bronch infection I am on antibiotics and the doctor was even supposed I finished, so sometimes life hands you lemons and you need to make the most of it!
So that was it... a day to remember! Congrats to everyone!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Midsummer Night Run

After yesterday's misery I needed something to get me motivated so me and my running pal, signed up for the Mid Summer Night Run in Toronto. We also booked the hotel and I am excited, it looks so mcuh fun and will be a good girls weekend! This race is a 30k run and will fit perfectly into our training schedule for the full marathon at the end of September. Check it out online!

An Ugly Run and What to do about Injuries?

Ok so Sunday was not the best 16k I have a ever ran. My legs hurt, I was tired and the funny thing is I knew this was going to be a rough run when I woke up. However, I was motivated by breakfast out wit the bestie.
Unfortunately, one of my good old running buddies was injured. Her knee just gave out, out of the blue. This got me thinking... how do you prepare for this? What makes the difference. I am so luck to not have suffered an injury but many of my friends seem to be experiencing this. How do I steer clear? Will I be next? And all before I can even call myself a runner.... I think the most important thing is to listen to your body, if it's not going to be a super star day then it's just not and it is important to be ok with this. We need to go slow when our body tells us to. Listening will be important because as much as I can say that I always listen and I never go to fast and I never push too hard we all know that this isn't quite the case, but as more and more of us are talking about physio and chiropractors and massage therapists I think it's time to become more in tuned.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Joined the Marathon Clinic

So today I took the big step of actually singing up for the Marathon Clinc at the Running Room. OMG! It was scary! But here I go... still pretending to be a runner?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Am I a Runner Yet? As it was in the beginning...

Am I a runner yet? Since I was in grade school I always wanted to run, I always wanted to be great and always thought that since I wasn't exactly the most coordinated person I could aleast run, but somehow that never worked out for me. In grade 11 I ran a 1500m in door and came dead last. At that moment I decided that I am just not a runner. This would also be a good time to mention that my perfect brother and my dad are indeed runners. Everything my brother touches turns to gold... seriously he doesn't even train and he is out there running like he has ran every day for 10 years. And my dad well he has ran his whole life completing several marathons. It is just a natural thing for them so why not me?
In March 2008, I hurt my back so badly that I thought I was surely doing to die. After many trips to the ER, they finally figured out that I had 2 slipped discs and would need surgery. At a very young 26 years old I had back surgery. At this time I was told that I would never be able to lift anything over 10 lbs... darn there goes my chance of being a body builder.... kidding! Seriously, it was major, I was way to young for this. The doctors recommended swimming but I have never been a really big fan of swimming. I was fearful of hurting my back again and knew that I had to be careful.
When my dad, who is definitely a runner, turned 47 he announced to me and my brother that for his 50th birthday he would like us to run the Detroit Marathon with him. OMG... I thought hahaha, funny, but I was really thinking... I wish. I had been out to cheer my dad on several times at the Detroit Free Press Marathon and would get the overwhelming feeling that I want to do this, but then I went home, back to life, school and work and it was never more than a thought. But my dad giving everything for his kids, I thought I can do this for him; it may take me 24 hours and it may even mean I end up in ICU, but what kind of daughter would I be if I didn't try? And secretly I was excited to embark on the challenge, knowing full well that it would be an up hill battle.
A year ago I joined a 5k clinic at the Running Room in London. I remember that first night me and my bestie, Meagen ran for about 20 mins doing a 5 min run and then a 1 min walk break. It almost killed me. Yeah sure I tried to look all calm and collected but I really thought my heart was gonna jump out of my chest. Boy oh boy, almost 8 years without gym class, 2 University degrees and working like a dog the entire time sure did absolutely nothing for my cardio fitness level. That night we went to Costco, ate a giant hot dog and could barely walk to the car afterwards.
But we persevered, we did our first 5k race in 37mins 3 weeks later. I almost threw up at the finish line. My dad ran this 5k with me too, actually I think I looked back once or twice and I swear he was walking, but he was proud and he probably knew it was just the beginning; after all I am his daughter!
A few weeks later Meagen and I ran another 5k coming in at 5 mins faster than our first 5k race. We were thrilled, progress was being made and fast. I was already hooked.
I wanted more. After finishing up the 5k clinic I decided to go for the 10k clinic. This came with more training, better gear and more of a commitment. Our instructor was amazing and I was so grateful to have her cheering us on and motivating us to stick with it. We also started to develop friendships. I mean come on, if you can sweat and heavily breath all over another person while running for many kilometers at least 3 times a week, it must be real! The friends I have made are to be cherished and although my dad always says he likes running because he can do it on his own (true!), I like having my friends there and I look forward to our runs, even if it means complaining the whole way along!
After a very steamy goal 10k race in Niagara On the Lake which wasn't anywhere near any water at all, in fact it was on a stinky farm with no shade, it was 40 degrees and we sweltered. My dad tagged along on this one too! I was disappointed with my time at this race but it was 40 degrees! My dad, who likes the heat... ewww, jogged alongside with me, carrying 2 cups of water so I would have some when I need it.
At this point I thought... nope not a runner yet... I wanted more and a friend said lets do the Disney Half Marathon... yeah ok, that will never happen I am just pretending I am a runner! Two weeks later I mailed in my application and a cheque. I was doing it. With no clinic to train for the Disney Half Marathon we did it by ourselves. This is where my running buddies come in, they did it with us, they got me to Disney and if it wasn't for them I would have likely been picked up by the bus that picks up the people that cannot maintain the minimum pace.
Whilst training for the Disney Half we also did a Relay for the Detroit Marathon which was awesome. I ran the leg that went through the tunnel which was really cool! We had shirts made and our team of 4 included my brother and my 2 friends that completed Disney with me. We were called "You, Me, Her and Him" It was great fun, the only sad part was my dad was supposed to run the full as per usual, but he got sick and had to skip it but he was there cheering us on... as per usual!
During this time we also ran the Detroit Zoo Race, my brother with little to no training won 2nd place in his age division... told you... perfect! Lol! We also ran the Turkey Trot also in Detroit and the Running Room's Resolution Run on New Years Eve here in London, again with my dad and my brother and of course my fearless running companions.
Then came Disney. So it may have been more like Antarctica than Florida, it may have been raining, snowing and hailing but it was incredible. 21.1k and I did it. It took me 2hrs and 36 magical minutes running from Epcot through Magic Kingdom and back to Epcot it was insane. The whole time I couldn't believe I was doing it! Moments after I crossed the finish line I called my dad. I think I was more surprised than he was that I finsihed, yes it hurt, yes it stung but I did it! It also touched me to know several of my running friends were tracking me online. I actually had to text one them for my official time but I still asked myself: Am I a runner now?"
Back in London it was time to really start training with the half marathon clinic. We have 2 amazing instructors that really keep us motivated and make us believe in ourselves. Hills, speed work, tempo runs we do it all. It is hard to believe that we are almost at the end of this clinic, how fast the time flies. April 11th, 2010 will be my second half marathon "Run for Retina" I am hoping for a PB! My dad will be there and of course all my running friends I will keep you posted on my progress and hopefully as a friend just said about her blog, the blog will keep me accountable and maybe inspire others!
I think I am embarking on the Marathon Clinic next... even though I ask myself: "Am I a Runner Yet?!"