My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Spring Thaw 4k (2015)

Yesterday I completed my 2nd race of the year.

It was the annual Spring Thaw 4k/10k, a local race that has been going on for many years.  For me, though, it was a new race.

This is only my third year racing.  Last year at this time I was recovering from a car accident, and the year before I had just come back from vacation and was not ready for a race.

As she often does, my friend Karen offered to pick me up.  I was up early, as I normally am on a race day.  I like getting up extra early on race day so I have time to have breakfast, coffee, and stretch a little.  I don’t like to feel rushed.  I tend to be a bit nervous on race days, and it just adds to my anxiety if I’m feeling rushed.

So I got up, showered, dressed (I had my race outfit picked out the day before), had my coffee and breakfast, and then waited.  Closer to the time Karen was to pick me up, I did some light stretching just to loosen up.  It had rained Saturday night, so I knew it was going to be humid.  Not a fan of running in humidity.  Thankfully, I had just gotten my asthma puffer refilled.  I made sure to have it with me.  I learned that lesson during my first ever race.

I was not as nervous as I often am before a race.  I figured it was because the route is one I’m very familiar with.  It’s near my house, and I’ve run it many many times.

Most of the time, I don’t preregister for races.  My races are small local ones and it’s usually not a problem registering on race day.  I think, though, I need to get into the habit of preregistering.  As I move towards bigger races, it will be required.  Anyway, Karen and I got to the race and registered.  We saw several familiar faces, which is always nice, including our friend Aidan.

Soon it was time to run.  Karen and I were both running the 4k; our friend Aidan was doing the 10k.  I used my puffer just before start time, but I knew the humidity could still be a problem throughout the race.  Even though I was the last of the 4k runners, I tried to keep the ones in front on me in sight for as long as I could.  I had to walk more than I would have liked during the race, but I kept going.  The sun was shining brightly so I was glad I sprayed on sunscreen before I left the house.

I exchanged pleasantries with the volunteers as I went by.  I stopped at the water station at the halfway point for a much-needed drink.  Because I knew the route well, I knew that there would be a couple small hills on the way back.  I kept pushing myself as hard as I could, and walked when I needed.  I had to use my puffer a couple of times.  I was really glad I had it with me.  With about a kilometre left, Karen came back to find me. And she brought a bottle of water for me.  We chatted as we continued along towards the finish.  My toes were cramping a little, so I had to walk a bit more.  Just before the last turn, I started running again so I could run across the finish line.

One of my favourite parts about racing is the crowd cheering as I cross the finish line.  I walked a bit away from the finish area before I remembered to turn my running app.

Aidan won first in her age group in the 10k; and Karen won first in her age group in the 4k.  Pretty awesome.

I didn’t get my official time yet, but my running app said I finished in 53:10.  I’m happy with that.  The most important part is I crossed the finish line.

So 2 races down for 2015.  Only 8 more to go.


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Mother’s Day

I both love and hate Mother’s Day.

I think moms are awesome. They are very hard working and do way more than sometimes we know.

Moms love us without question. Moms love us unconditionally. Moms love us at our best and our worst.

Moms want the best for us. Moms want us to be happy.

Moms teach us things we need to know, even if we don’t realize it.

Moms aren’t just moms. They are teachers, chefs, seamstresses, coaches, judges, mediators, counsellors, advocates, protectors, friends, and so much more. And that’s just at home.

If we are lucky, we are mothered by more than just our moms. We are mothered by our grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and friends.

I’m not a mom. Except to 3 cats.

I know a lot of great moms. I’m often in awe of them. They are all such strong women. I’m envious sometimes.

The best mom I’ve ever known is my mom. She was a great mom.  Although I admit that I didn’t always appreciate her as I was growing up. I didn’t realize that until I was older. I hope she knew just how much I loved her then and still love her now.  And how much I miss her.

And this is why I hate Mother’s Day.

Because she’s gone.

She died 4 years ago. This is my third Mother’s Day without her.

I still find myself wanting to pick up the phone and talk to her. And it hurts so much more when it dawns on me that I can’t.

I think about her almost daily.

I try to remember things she did or said.

I reflect on things she taught me or tried to. I didn’t always want to learn. Sometimes I wish I had paid more attention back then.

I try to remember her mannerisms, her laughter, the sparkle in her eyes.

I often see things that remind me of her. Sometimes it makes me smile; sometimes it breaks my heart; sometimes both.

I love my mom very much. Always have. Always will.

And even though she’s no longer on this earth, I hope she knows that. And I hope she’s proud of the person I have become.

And to all my mom friends out there, know that you are doing a great job. You may not think so, but trust me, you are. You are loved and appreciated more than you may know. And by more than just your children.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom.

And to all mothers everywhere.

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