Saturday, June 9, 2018


What started out as a simple idea of running a spring marathon, quickly grew into an amazing girls weekend away.  4 friends, 48 hours, and a little race in between.  We got up very early on a Saturday morning, flew into Toronto, picked up my Mom and drove to Niagara Falls.

We started out with kit pick up.  This race had one of the best race kits I've ever seen.  Not only did it have a full bottle of wine, but it also had Epson salts, hair spray, mascara, lip balm and nail polish.  Everything you could need to freshen up after running a half marathon.

We also got to meet Kathrine Switzer of Boston Marathon running fame.  We bought her book and got her autograph.

We spent Saturday taking pictures and relaxing, getting ready for the Sunday morning run. Sunday morning as we got ready we added in some motivation in the form of temporary tattoos. Looking down at "Actually, I Can" got us through a few rough patches.

We also had our team t-shirts, with our regular running motto: 1) Have Fun, 2) Don't Die, 3) Finish.  They were a hit with the crowds.

I also dyed my hair just for the occasion.  I got a lot of comments on my hair, and even had someone stop running to take a selfie with me.

The route was flat and we went through the mist of the Falls twice.  Those were glorious moments of being cooled off while listening to the roar of the Falls. Otherwise it was fairly warm out, with a lot of humidity. The entire route followed the Niagara Parkway, winding with the river the whole way.  Jeannette and I had planned to stick together no matter what, something I will be eternally grateful for.  Our first 5k was great, clocking in at 49:41, one of our best times.  It's no surprise that both trips through the mist happened in the first 5k.  There was also an amazing water station full of energetic people cheering us on.

Things started to go south for me around the 7k mark.  My knee, which has not bothered me in months, started to hurt.  I tried to keep going with my run/walk plan, but it wasn't meant to be.  The pain got to the point that all I could do was walk.  So we walked.  Jeanette was my rock, sticking with me, encouraging me and just being amazing.  By the time we reached the 16k mark I was done.  Mentally and physically, I did not think I could go on.  Everything hurt and I broke down in tears. Jeanette and I hugged it out and she talked me into walking to the next km and then the next and got me to the finish line. 

We crossed the finish line in 04:12:28.  My slowest half to date, but I'm still proud of it.  I had fun.  I didn't die (even if that seemed iffy at times).  And I finished.

Tire Trot 2018

I haven't done very well at documenting my training or racing this year, so I'm going to start with today's run and work my way backwards, as I want to keep track and celebrate my accomplishments.

This was the second year that I've run the Michelin Bridgewater Tire Trot.  A beautiful 5k that runs along the beautiful Centennial Trail, all along the water.

I wasn't sure what to expect this morning, running 5k a week after doing a half-marathon where I had knee issues.  I was pleasantly surprised that I had a great run without any knee pain!  In fact, when I looked back at my stats from last year, I actually ran 6 minutes faster today than I did last year.  Today the weather was amazing, compared to last year's torrential downpour, which I'm sure played a huge factor. 

And as always the best part of running is running with friends!  

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The next steps

It's been well over six weeks since I've been able to run due to a stress fracture in my right foot.  I'm happy to say that the rest time was worth it, and I am now pain free and back to running.  And it's a good thing to, because in less than 5 weeks I will officially start training for my next half-marathon.  That's right, I'm diving right into my 4th half.  

This one is going to be extra special and extra fun!  I was struggling to find a local 1/2 in and around the June time frame that I could do.  Johnny Miles seemed like a good choice, but the date coincided with a family event, so that was out.  While talking it over with Hilary, she suggested I expand my hunt beyond the Maritimes.  A quick search found the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon in June.

Running in Niagara Falls has been on my bucket list for a while now.  My Grandparents lived in Niagara Falls and I spent a lot of time there growing up. The idea of running through the mist of the Falls and along the river sounded perfect. A plan started to form.

Of course the first thing that I thought was that I didn't want to go to this race alone.  My mom would be there to cheer me on, since she lives less than an hour away, but having someone to run it with me would be even better.  So I reached out to running friends and we all checked our calendars, plane ticket prices and the plan came together.  There are 4 of us going to Niagara Falls!

We had our kick off run this weekend followed by a planning brunch.  We are all at different levels of running - between us we have someone who has never run a half, someone who has run 1, one who has run 2 and myself who has done 3.  And we all run at different paces. We joked that between all of our various injuries we could make one fully working body. We also all have different work/family schedules, so our training plan is being hashed out one week at a time.  Our main goal is to all run together at least once a week, preferably for our long runs, and that other shorter runs will either be done on our own, or in various combinations within the group.

I am so happy to have a great group of friends to join me on this journey.  As a thank you to all of them, and to help us get through some of the tougher runs, I ordered custom made shoe charms with our mantra: 1) Have Fun 2) Don't Die 3) Finish.  

It is definitely a unique mantra, but one we have used for a while now at many races.  Reminding us that having fun is the reason we are there in the first place; knowing that even though we are pushing ourselves hard, we aren't going to actually die; and finishing are the motivation that we sometimes need.

So let the running begin!  Niagara Falls, here we come.