My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Egg Nog Jog 5k/10k (2014)

So this morning I did my sixth 5k race of the year.

And it was the 4th new race for me this year!

This one was in a neighbouring town, about 30 minutes away.  I still consider that a local race.

I was attracted to this race for a few reasons:

1) free entry, but they were asking for donations for local Coats for Kids program

2) local race

3) new race for me

As always, I was a little nervous before the race.  Today it was mainly because I had never run this one before.  And also because none of my friends who run were going to be there.

The race was put on by the local running store, and that’s where we met beforehand.  I got there with plenty of time to spare.  I got signed in, got my bib and pinned it on.  I was happy to see quite a few participants there.

Soon it was time to head over to start line.  The start was across the street from the store, at a local school.  We got a new last minute instructions and then we were off!

I had struck up a conversation with a lovely lady just before we started.  We continued chatting as we headed out.  She was walking, I was running.  Like I’ve said before, I’m a slow runner, so she and I were side-by-side.

The air was a little chilly this morning, and I’m not used to running in the cold yet, so I switched to powerwalking.  I ran a little bit here or there, but mostly I was walking.  I didn’t mind though because I had someone to talk to.

I remembered to turn on my running app, but decided not to use my music to see how it felt to run a race without it.  I did miss it a little, but because I’ve listened to it so often, I could pretty much hear the songs in my head LOL.

Much of the course was relatively flat, although a little bit before the turnaround, there was a rather large hill.  It was downhill on the way out, but had to go back up it on the way back.  It didn’t scare me though.  Okay, it didn’t scare me too much LOL.  On the way back, I tackled it head on, didn’t even slow down!  I was a little winded at the top, but I kept going.

I cheered on all the runners as they went by us.  And they cheered me on too. (I love that about the running community).

As we neared the end, I switched back to running.  I wanted to cross the finish line running.  And I did.

One of my favourite things about racing is crossing the finish line.

And I was pretty pleased with my time too.  My official time was 1:03:40.  I think that’s pretty good for me, especially since it was a new race and a route I’ve never done before.  I’m pretty proud of myself.

I walked around a bit, cooling myself down.  They were cleaning up the water station.  I was going to ask someone to take a picture of me, but my phone decided at that moment to die.  I hate that.  The race director had her phone and she graciously took a picture of me with the firemen who were there.

Then we headed back over to the store for refreshments.  I had some egg nog mixed with coffee.  It was delicious!  And a piece of apple bread.  I opted not to have a cookie.

Most of the runners stuck around to chat with each other.  Another thing I love about racing/running.  I met some really nice people, made a few new friends.

And because we were at the local running store, I admired lots of products.  And I mentally created a wish list for Christmas LOL.

Finally it was time to head out.  Dan was waiting for me at his office, which was a few blocks away.  I said my goodbyes, zipped up my hoodie and headed there.  And as I did, I could feel myself grinning from ear to ear, and my heart full of joy.  More than 80 people ran or walked in the race today, and well over $1300 was raised for Coats for Kids.  Today was a great day!

I really enjoyed this race.  And I hope to do it again next year.


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“Win the day”

this post was inspired by my friend Nick Foley.  Nick inspires me in many ways.  When I’m having a tough time, he always seems to know what to say to make me feel better.  I’m not sure he even realizes he’s doing it.

Next year, Nick will be embarking on an incredible adventure.  He’s going to be riding his bicycle across Canada, from British Columbia to Newfoundland.  You can find out more about Nick’s ride at

When I’m having a tough time with my training, struggling through whatever I’m trying to do, I think of Nick.  I think of what Nick is training to do.  And I think of these words he has said so many times — “Win the day”

I have goals.  A lot of goals.  Some of them are really big.  And these are the ones that scare me.  As Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said:

“If Your Dreams Do Not Scare You, They Are Not Big Enough”

Well let me tell you, my dreams TERRIFY me sometimes.  If I think too much about my end goals, my big goals, I psych myself out.  I paralyze myself.  I get scared, worried that I won’t be able to do what I want to do, worried that I will fail.  And sometimes that prevents or delays me from moving forward.

One thing I’ve learned is to break up the big goals into smaller goals.  I’ve found that I work better, do better when I have goals to work towards. And even better if those goals are more manageable.  So I have small goals, medium goals, big goals, and end goals.

Some of the goals are time-based.  Some are achievement-based.  Some are just things I want to do.

Some are daily.  Some are weekly.  Some are monthly.

By breaking up the really big goals into smaller ones, I don’t get as scared.  And I don’t necessarily have to concentrate on the big goal.  Achieving all the little goals will lead to achieving the big goals.

Will I achieve EVERY goal I set? Maybe, maybe not.  But I’m sure going to try my hardest.  And in the end, that’s what is important.

If I achieve whatever goal I’m working on, I win.

If I do my best and try my hardest, I win.

Sometimes if I’m feeling overwhelmed and unsure of myself, I tell myself that I just need to get through the day.  If I can do that, I win.

So sometimes, that’s how I look at it.

Yes, I have some very big dreams.  And yes, they scare me.

But I don’t have to do it all at once.

I don’t have to finish tomorrow.

The things I’m working on and towards are creating a better life for myself.  You might say I’m training for life.

So each day I get up and do what I need to do to make myself proud.  I work on my goals, whatever they may be.  And if I do that, I win the day.

And that’s the goal – to win each day. 

Do what I need to do that day and then move on the next and the next and the next.

And when I achieve a goal, any goal, big or small, I can look back and be proud.  And know that I won.

I won each day it took me to get where I am.


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A runner’s letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I know you’re already busy getting things ready for Christmas, so I thought I’d get my list to you early.  I’ve really gotten into running this year.  And the more I run, the more races I do, the more I realize I need more gear.  So with that in mind, here’s what I would like:


A.  Shoes (or gift certificates to buy them).  Probably the thing I’ve learned the most since I started running is how important it is to have the right shoes.  (I learned that the hard way).  And that having more than 1 pair is really best.  The one pair I currently have are seriously worn out.  I really really REALLY need new ones.

B.  Running/workout clothes (or gift certificates to buy to them).  I need different types of clothing to run in different types of weather.  (I learned that the hard way too).  I don’t currently have anything to run in when it’s cold or rainy.

C.  A membership to my local YMCA.  I’ve been out of the gym for far too long.  To continue on my journey to be healthier, I need to get back into the gym.  I need to get back to lifting weights and cross training.  The Y offers so many things, including various classes and a swimming pool.

D.  A cute pair of earbuds.  I really loved the duck ones I had, but they died.  I’d love another pair of those or ones equally as cute.

E.  Yaktrax (or another type of shoe grips).  These are so I can run (and walk) outside when it’s snowy/icy.

F.  Tech gloves.  So I can use my phone without having to take my gloves off.

G.  An armband for my phone.  So I don’t have to worry about pockets.

H.  A fuelbelt.  So I can stay hydrated during long runs.  And I’d like one with a pouch where I can keep snacks.

I.  A foam roller.  I’ve heard a lot about them from fellow runners.  I really want to try one.

J.  Gift cards/certificates for places I can buy running/workout gear.  Places like The Running Room, SportChek, and WalMart.


That’s all I can think of for now.  If I think of anything else, I’ll drop you another letter.

Say HI to Mrs. Claus, the reindeer, and the elves for me.  I hope you and the Mrs get a chance for a vacation.




P.S. and as long as I’m asking for stuff, how about some money so I can register to run more races next year 😉



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October recap (2014)

Well another month has come to an end.  Where has the time gone?  This year seems to be going by really fast!

I didn’t run any races in October.  I had the chance to run one the first weekend of October, but I was still pretty sore from the race I ran the last weekend of September, so I decided against it.

I continued to log a lot of kilometres between running and walking.  Most of the kms this month were from running.  Between running and walking, I covered a total of 173km in October.  I would have logged a few more, but I had a little issue.  Earlier this week, I was running around the indoor track and landed a little funny on my right foot.  It’s been a little sore for a few days, so I’ve been taking it a little easy.  Hopefully I’ll be back on track for November.

Around mid-month, I started stretching more before running.  I’ve always known stretching is important.  I always did a little bit beforehand.  But for some reason, I decided to do more to see if it would help.  So a couple of weeks ago, I started stretching for about 20 minutes before running.  The first class I ever took when I joined my first gym was a stretch class, so I tried to remember some of the stuff we did in that class.   Nothing too hard or strenuous, just easy gentle stretches.  And I think it’s really helping.

I continued my workouts with Tyler.  We did more leg work, which hopefully will help my running.  And we started working with weights more.  It feels good to be back at it.  I haven’t done much with weights since before the car accident.  I still have to be careful with my shoulder, use lighter weights and watch movements, but I think I’m making progress there.  It will be a while yet before I can do heavier weights like I was doing last year.  But I’ll get there.

The biggest thing I did this month was deciding to do a half marathon next year.  It’s something that’s been on my goal list.  I had been thinking I was probably 3 years away from being able to do it.  But Tyler thinks I can do it next year.  So after talking with him and a few other friends, I decided to make the leap.  I’m terrified, but excited.  It’s not until October of next year, so I have lots of time to train.

Overall, I think October was a pretty good month.  Some days felt better than others.  I just have to keep reminding myself that every little bit counts.  Hopefully I’m making progress with both my running and my workouts.  I’ll just keep doing the best I can.




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