Sunday, 28 April 2013

Night Running

There are lots of different events that runners can do, short distances and long distances and even ultra long distances.  I do not think I will ever try one of these ultra distances but I have learned enough to never say NEVER! We have a friend training to run a 100 mile event at the end of May and I have been in awe of her training, she is a machine.  Most days she has 2 or 3 workouts and on the weekend she runs crazy long distances.  These runs are so long that she recruits friends to run portions of it with her to have company for the 6  or so hours she is out there.  She always has lot of people willing to run with her but I have never stepped up since I am considerable slower.  Not that other runners care but I hate to slow people down as I run when they are faster.  This is a "me" problem, not a "them" problem since I have never had anyone complain about me slowing them down.  

Last night I got my chance to run with her, I had the 12am to whenever shift.  Her 65k run started at 8pm and would last as long a necessary.  I only had 10K on my schedule but I would do what I could to help out.   I had finished a race before in the middle of the night (Disney Wine & Dine) but never started one in the middle of the night before, something else to check of the list of awesome things done. There was a gorgeous almost full moon out when we arrived at the parking lot at 12am.  My hubby and hers were riding along with us for company and we did not have long to wait before she and the 10-12 shift arrived (like I said she always had people willing to run with her).  I managed almost 13K and I did not slow her down too much (I think) and I had a fun abet chilly run.  Instead of iPod music we were serenaded by frogs and crickets and the occasion slap of a beaver tail....and my heavy breathing.  It felt to me like I was running faster then the Garmin said and at one point I started to struggle but I dug deep and said keep on moving, don't give in...and I didn't.  

So maybe a 13K race pace run was not on the taper schedule for today but I am sure glad I finally had the chance to run with my friend and do my small part in her training odyssey.  If you have followed my blog for a while, you may remember I wrote about this friend before and what and inspiration she is to me and she continues to  be. There are not a lot of people I would go running with at 12am in the morning but she is one of them and given the list of people willing to run crazy distances with her, I am not the only one who feels this way.   

One week until my next half marathon in Toronto and I am ready, well as ready as I will ever be.  This race is not about me, it is about running for all the people I know and love with Diabetes.  I will also run as a dedication to those who died or were injured in Boston, for those runners who finished the race and especially for those who did not get the chance.  The running family is a tight one, especially here where I live so Sylvie and Terri, this one is especially for you. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Running for Boston

Let me start by saying I am upset and angered by the events last Monday.  The Boston Marathon is the brass ring for runners and to have some people destroy this day for so many is so very sad.  I cannot put into words how I feel now, but I can tell you about the absolute fear I felt on Monday afternoon while I waited to hear from all our runners. I had just emailed my friend Shauna, telling her what an inspiration she was when ABC “Special Report” came onto the screen.  I did not hear from her until 5:30 and by then I knew the rest of the RR runners were safe and I could finally breathe.  All I can think about is how fickle life is and how we cannot waste a minute on emotions or people that do not bring us joy and happiness. 

I saw a photo on Facebook after the Boston bombing that summed it up to me

Yesterday I had my last long run before my May 5th Half Marathon.  The schedule said 20K and I was a bit worried; it was on my 20K run before the Army Run that I got injured.  It was a nice sunny day with little wind, the perfect running day and I had the perfect running partner.  I love running with Barbara, she keeps me in line as I tend to run too fast on my slow runs and we spend the miles chatting and do not notice the distance traveled.  Barbara was scheduled to do 23K and I felt so great that I decided to go the distance with her.  I have never run anything above a half marathon so for me this was mental thing, if I struggle at my Half, I can say to myself, you have gone further so be quiet and run.   Too bad for me that Barbara will be doing the Marathon in Toronto and I will be running the Half on my own but I will keep the spirit of Boston in my heart and run strong.

Friday, 12 April 2013


So on Wednesday night I was lucky enough to hear and see Oprah.  It was a fabulous night and I do not care what anyone says, she is great.  I first saw Oprah when I was a University student in 1986 and with the exception of a few years when I was in New Zealand and England, I have watched her most days.  I did go through a period of dissatisfaction but in the 1990’s when Oprah turned her back on the Jerry Springer style of talk show, I followed her along the path of self improvement.  In the late 90’s I was home with my boys, questioning my purpose and life choices and she showed me it was OK to  put myself before others (still working on that one), that I did not have to settle for less in my life and to dream BIG dreams.  I had the courage to get my Financial Planners designation (CFP) and in 2005 to go back and finish the University degree that I failed to get the first time (BA in Economics). I started crossing things off my bucket list and began to find myself again.  I still dream big dreams, I still add items to my bucket list as I cross others off and somewhere along the way I found myself again.  I took what I learned added the love of my husband and sons and have evolved into a person I like.  The stranger in the mirror is gone and the reflection smiling back at me is a better, stronger me and I love it. 

My friend Caroline wrote a beautiful blog piece about her night at Oprah, I could not have put it any better so please read her blog and I second every word she wrote.

Maybe it was the Oprah effect, knowing I would be seeing her soon, or maybe it was the encouragement of my running buddy Barbara but on Tuesday I decided to dream HUGE and registered not for the Disney marathon in January but the Goofy marathon and a half.  That’s right, on the Saturday I run a half marathon and on the Sunday I will run my first ever marathon.  OK, running it might be a stretch, running/walking/crawling might be more accurate but I will sure give it 110%.  Barbara will be there to do it with me (thank God) and she is even running the 5K the day before with her family.  I swore when I started running I would never run a marathon and now I have signed up for this crazy event so pass the ketchup, once again I have to eat my words.

I think that most of us have a tendency to sell ourselves short, to downplay our abilities and strengths and to aim too low. We focus on what we cannot do instead of what we can do.  We find ways to criticize ourselves and to belittle our accomplishments.  We waste too much energy on what we are not, at least in our own mind.  One of the quotes I took from the Oprah talk was “Whatever follow, I am_________, follows you. “  For years I have told myself and everyone else that I was not a runner…well guess what? 




Now it’s you turn, write your own I AM statement and put it somewhere you will see it so when you have moments of self doubt you can remind yourself what who you truly are. 

Monday, 8 April 2013

Strong women

So I have been thinking about the strong women who influence me in my life. I will be going to hear and see Oprah on Wednesday night, a great women who helped shape the last 20 years of my life with her talk show.  Oprah had a large platform to influence other but many of us have small ones and our influence is less celebrated but equally important.

I want to celebrate my friend Josee who wrote a heartfelt letter to Lululemon about their lack of clothing for real women.  It is ironic that an athletic clothing company has small sizes only and no clothes for real women with curves and junk in their trunk.  I know how I felt not being to to fit into their clothes, I now do but just.  Thank you for having the courage to speak your mind and take a stand for real women everywhere. 
Here is a link to her letter on Facebook.

I want to celebrate my friend Barb who is training for her first marathon.  Training for a marathon is hard enough but doing it while working a full time job and having a family is extra tough.  I look forward to celebrating your success with M&M's on the train ride home from Toronto on may 5th.  You are showing me that anything is possible and I look forward to running my first marathon with you next January. 

I am thinking about the strong women I connect with in a Facebook group I am part of.  We all struggle with our body, we have fitness goals and challenges.  When we have a bad day, we have people who help lift us up and tell us it's OK.  Twice a week we celebrate our successes and celebrate others, it's the favorite part of my day.

Mostly today I am thinking of my friend Shauna.  About 6 years ago, Shauna asked her dermatologist to remove a small mole on her hip that bothered her when she wore her bikini.  Shauna started running and worked hard to get into shape and wanted to feel better in her bathing suit. It turned out Shauna had stage 4 skin cancer and her vanity had in fact saved her life.  She fought hard and is now cancer free, changed her life and eventually started running again.  This year she turned 40 and qualified to run the Boston Marathon next Monday.  However the run goes, it is her victory run, a victory over Cancer, a celebration of life and I will be celebrating with her that day.

We all have strong women who influence us in big and small ways.  Take time to thank them and tell them they are making a difference in your life. 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Weighty Matters

So it is April, 33 days until my first half marathon of the year.  I finally got a great long run in on Sunday with my running buddy Barb, 19K in the sun on Sunday, it was fabulous.  I also attended a 2 day swim camp this weekend, hoping to get some help with my swimming, more efficiency with my stroke.  Part of the swimming clinic was a body analysis and review. I have struggled with my weight for years and in 2010 I finally got to a healthy (according to me) weight.  For the 2 years that followed I ate what I wanted, exercised regularly and stayed with 5 lbs of my goal weight.  I used my clothes as my guideline, if they felt tight, I cut back on the extras for a few days and things went back to normal.  

Last September I decided maybe I should lose a little bit more weight, as I increased my distances; I was worried about the wear and tear on my body.  Well let’s just say I am wasting a whole lot of energy worrying about calories, what to eat, when to eat it and in what combination.  Normal eating, attuned or mindful eating, Paleo, Low Carb, whole food, clean eating, it gets so confusing.   Am I eating too much, am I eating too little, how much is enough…I don’t know anymore.  

This is what I know for sure:
- I need to eat to fuel my body so it can do the things I ask of it.  
- I am human; I have good days and bad days 
- I do not want to have cheat meals/days, I am too important to cheat on.  

To me the 80/20 philosophy seems like my best option, if I eat well 80% of the time, who cares about the other 20%.  I can not and will not live without wine or chocolate, cheese or peanut butter and I should not have too.  Same goes with exercise, if I hit 80% of my scheduled daily workouts, the other 20% will not make a big difference.   I do not care what the scales say or my body fat %; I finally have a body I am proud of, a body that gets me over the finish line, a body that is mine.  I have decided that I need to spend my energy living in this body; living life to the fullest and not worrying about numbers…and that is a big thing for me.