Race for Pace Recap

This race was one that brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. For those of you who don’t know about this race it is an annual super hero themed race that raises money for PacekidsPacekids is an organization that supports families and children with disabilities.  It is truly an amazing cause.  I was super woman and my friend Rob was spider man.  I also was lucky to have my best friend and her husband there cheering us on!

The race started with a 1km run/walk they call the “Super Hero Parade.” This year it was not only adorable but heart warming as we watched children who parents never thought they would get the opportunity to cross a finish line with due to disabilities finish.  Tears filled my eyes as this amazing little girl crossed the finish line holding strong to her walker with who I assumed were her parents. She had a big smile on her face as she crossed the finish line.  What a way to start a run! My heart was so full.

As I choked back tears we began our warm up.  This was lead by the Saucony rep, Tyler.  He did an amazing job getting going.  I pulled myself together and got ready to go.  As we began the countdown I tried to get that competitive edge I usually have but my focus was on how full my heart felt.

We took off and I hate crowed so I speed through the arch.  We got some space and figured out our pace. Our goal was to keep a 4:30 km pace throughout.  I wasn’t feeling super competitive or fast but Rob kept us at a reasonable pace, not far off our goal pace. I was really lucky to have him push me along.

Each km seemed to fly by, before we knew it we were at 8km!  It was a there and back so we could see there were only a couple people that were ahead of us.  Rob is definitely a positive dude so he cheered us on and kept me going.

As we approached the last 500m Rob tried to get me to push harder to finish. The crowd started cheering us on, I smiled at Rob and sprinted to the finish line. I guess I found my competitive edge.

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My official time was 47:16  and Robs was 47:17. Yes I beat him by 1 second! We finished third and fourth overall and 2nd in gender.

Luckily he was a good sport about it all. I think he may be able to beat me! I won’t tell him that though. I guess we will see what happens at the next race!

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It was really a great time and I love having a new friend that I can run with that will also push me and potentially beat me.  What a great race! An amazing cause, amazing friends and 2nd place is always a perk.  Having my bestie also made it just a delgithful day!

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If you would like to donate or find out more about this amazing cause check out PaceKids online. http://www.pacekids.ca/about/

Did anyone else race this weekend? Any amazing causes anyone wants to share? Any upcoming races?

I hope you all had an amazing weekend!

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Calgary Marathon 2016 Weekend Recap

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What an amazing weekend.  I can honestly say this was the most fun I have ever had during a race, which says a lot because I ran my second marathon of the month! The weekend started with a relaxing Friday night at home and prep for my race.  I like to be very organized when it comes to race weekends so that’s just what I did.  I don’t sleep very good the night before my race so I always makes sure to sleep extra the night prior.
When I woke up Saturday morning I had an urge to read my first blog post to remind me why this all started.  It reminded me of how far I came and really got me in the mind set to achieve my goals.

Saturday was great! I woke up and headed to the expo to pick up my package.  That place always adds to my nerves! Once I have my number it is real! I was shaking a tad by the time I got through the expo.

Next I went over to meet the people from We Run Social.  It was so great meeting some really amazing people along with catching up with Kaella an amazing runner/blogger that has helped encourage me through the my marathon experience!

I kept the rest of the day to my regular routine of hydrating, relaxing and eating. I had my regular nervous session about 9pm and fell asleep shortly after. This freak out usually includes me worrying my alarm wont go off, second guessing if I can do it and gripping tight to my boyfriend.  I am pretty lucky that he knows just what to say to calm my nerves otherwise I probably wouldn’t sleep.  My night would not have been complete without laying out everything that I could potentially need for the next day.

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I woke up at 4am super pumped and confident about the race.  The Westhill Running Room manager messaged me to wish me luck.  I really think this was the perfect way to start my day.  I have been coaching runners at the Running Room since October and they have truly become close to my heart.  Knowing that they believed it me gave a little extra excitement to the day.

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I had my smoothie, oatmeal, banana and coffee. My shower felt great, my legs felt great, I was pumped!

I let Daine sleep until 5:30 because I am not sure how much sleep he gets when I have a death grip on him all night long.  He got up and helped me with my chafe guard and away we went to the Stampede Grounds!

My friend Larissa and my Dad were meeting me at the ground so Daine dropped me off at the gate and away I went.

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The excitement of the grounds was amazing! I was thrilled to be there and getting more excited by the minute. I ran over to my Dad and Larissa pumped to get this started! We used the washroom and headed to the corales! I stayed with them in the 4hr Marathon and 2hr Half Marathon spot.  I usually like to get closer but this felt right.

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Away we went! I wished them both good luck and away I went! Dad and I ran together for the first couple km’s which was awesome! I worked on getting my pace together for km 3.  I used my pace band this time as reference rather than the runtastic app which worked out great!  By km 3 I was ahead of my time by just over 30 seconds and was feeling great!

Km 3-10 felt amazing! I wasn’t sore and was loving the energy around me.  I was smiling and cheering on people as I went by.  Every 10 km’s I always do a body check and this one was perfect.  I remembered back to my 10 km check in BMO Marathon weeks before and remember how much my legs already hurt.  The fact that nothing hurt and I was loving life at this point just pushed me to keep it up even more.

I added a couple funny songs to my playlist such as “X gonna give it to ya” by DMX and had mini dance parties through out the run as I giggled about the song.

As I approached km 15 I couldn’t believe I was over a minute ahead of schedule… I was running with the 3:45 10:1 pace bunny for awhile and almost had to pinch myself to see if it was real.  I was feeling so amazing.  I kept up with my gels and chews when I felt a little lack of energy along with hydrating at each station.

By km 20 I did my check and still felt great! No pain, lots of energy and I still had a smile on my face! Nothing was getting in my way of a sub 4 hour marathon.  I wanted to go faster but I was still worried that I may hit a wall because there was no way that I could feel that great the whole run right!?  I ran with this great guy for a couple minutes and talked about pace he told me it was his first marathon and asked for tips.  I told him to believe in himself and don’t got faster than your goal pace till km 32. If he still had energy then he could pick it up.  He smiled and away I went.

Km 25 I got this crazy surge of energy so I threw my hands in the air which based on my photos I did A LOT during this race.  I had another little dance party, cheered on some other runners and jumped up to touch a tree branch.  Yes you heard me right…. km 25 I was jumping!

Km 25- 30 flew by! I sang some songs cheered some people on and felt great.  The most bizarre part of this body check was that nothing hurt but my baby toes.  I was so excited! The next 3 km were a breeze.  I do not know what had come over me but I was enjoying every moment of this race!

Km 32-35 were tough….. My pace slowed down a bit but I it wasn’t pain that was holding me back so I knew I could get through this. I have never been a fan of there and back running so this turnaround drained my energy a bit.  I tried to keep my spirits up but focused on believing in myself and counting down those last km’s! I kept my music list the same and specific songs would trigger inspiration from my friends and family.  The song came on “it all started with a beer” which is a song that reminds me of my boyfriend.  I could picture him telling me not to be a sissy and telling me he loved me.  That was just what I needed to get me out of my funk.

By km 36 I was picking up my pace and singing away.  People were cheering I was dancing and throwing my arms in the air. (Crazy right!?) My Tia songs came on which was perfect.  Tia is my best friend and we have dance parties! We did this one Zumba class where we did funny hand movements and threw our arms in the air… I did just that while running.

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Km 37-40 felt great, minus my toe pain.  I was definitely tired but I knew I could do it.  A girl was slowing down next to me so I cheered her on. I actually got her to throw her hands it the air with me.  We were running a marathon!

I lost track of where the km markers were at that point and knew I was getting close to the end.  I powered up my last little hill (it felt huge lol) and I was on the home stretch.  I told myself I was going to finish strong and I knew my legs could do it.

As I came around the corner of Stampede Park the perfect song began to play.  When I was little my dad would always sing “House on Poohs Corner” for us.  This was how I was going to finish my race.  I knew my dad would have finished his race strong because we always did that in our training runs.  I cruised around the corner and saw the finish line! I pulled myself up and I sprinted! My legs felt great!

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I cleared the finish line at 3:57!  BAM! CRUSHED IT! My chip time turned out to be 3:55:05!

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I ran through the finish line, threw my arms in the air (surprise surprise) and grabbed my medal!  I did a sub four hour marathon! I did it! I started to tear up and my boyfriend called, I guess he was walking behind me I looked at him and said “I did it”.

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I spoke to my dad and he ran a 1:59:01 Half Marathon too!

I went home had a shake, a devastatingly cold bath and ate some pizza! I definitely worked for that pizza! What is your reward food?  Right now I am LOVING the pizza!

It was such an amazing race my goal is to qualify for Boston next year on this course!  For now I am going to stick to recovery (lets face it I will be waddling for a few days) and get some new PR’s to finish off the year.

Congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend! Thank you to everyone who helped me get to my goal I couldn’t have done it without you!  A big thank you to the Calgary Marathon Team, all the volunteers and all the people who came out to cheer us on.  You made the day amazing and I cannot wait to for next year!

For all of you who have upcoming marathons my only advice is Believe in yourself and smile!

Can you believe it!? Two marathons in one month and a sub four hour PR? I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store for me!

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My Second Marathon Game Plan

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Photographer: Lee Symborski

I cannot believe it is finally here.  In two sleeps I am going to be running another marathon and boy do I have the pre-race jitters! This race is especially exciting because I have three of my girls from the 10k clinics I coached running their first half marathon, my Dad running his first half marathon and my friend Larissa running her first half marathon! I am so proud of them and so excited for them!

Now back to race talk… I am using these pre-race jitters to put together my race strategy and goals so here they are!

I am going to start with my Goals for the race.  As many marathoners recommended I am using this run as a training run.  Of course I am going to put all I have into it but my main goal is to enjoy this run.  I have put MANY months into training to date and I am excited to see my training in action.  I am a touch competitive and am really time driven so on top of enjoying the race I have set three time goals. If I hit any of them I will be very proud of myself.  I broke my goals into 3 scenarios.  My first scenario is that the weather is perfect, my body feels great and I run the best I can.  In that scenario I would love to be able to run a 3:45:00 Marathon.  My second scenario is where I feel is most attainable thus far in my training is to run a 3:58:00 Marathon.  My third scenario is if I struggle I would like to run a 4:07:11 marathon. Realistically if I can pull off a sub 4 hour marathon I will be ecstatic. I know I can do it and I am determined to do it with a smile on my face.

d926f-11241377_359177470958228_1887918709_nNow that I have ran a marathon and know where my struggles are I have moved my Boston Marathon Qualifying goal to next year.  Through my first marathon I had the distance down but not the speed.  I know I can be speedy when I want to so I need to build that speedy strength and confidence for this run. Now back to my marathon plan for this Sunday!

I am pretty consistent with my pre-race day strategy.  Today and tomorrow I will hydrate and make sure to each extra healthy carbs and drink a couple sports drinks. For those of you who are first time long distance runners I suggest you drink water ensuring your pee is always fairly clear. This is a funny concept but it has worked for me through all of my races.  I like to drink two to three bottles of water with a NUUN tablet in it per day as well. In regards to food I always have a smoothie with my oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, a cliff bar for my snack, chicken and rice for lunch, pasta or quinoa for dinner with usually chicken, oatmeal if I am still hungry later in the evening and popcorn if I feeling snacky.  Make sure you listen to your body though because what works for me might be to much or to little for you.

The day before my race I don’t eat to late, I always have a Lush Big Blue Bath (greatest bath bomb ever) followed by laying out my clothes.  I haven’t picked out my outfit yet but I have ran in all my clothes A LOT so pretty much anything I have is fairly chafe free.

My morning will go as it usually does, I will freak out, drink water and eat the regular breakfast.  Get all ready then dance around and drive my boyfriend crazy. This time the race starts at 7 so I am wanting to leave the house at 545.

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Now for the actual race plan…

I usually aim to do a negative split but I am going to aim for a steady 5:20km pace run.  I am going to be a little faster getting out of the coral but from km 1 to 30 I want to keep my pace the same. If I am feeling amazing at km 30 I will pick up the pace.  I will do a head to tow body check every ten km’s and take a gel every 40 minutes.  I also have some honey stingers just in case I struggle hard. I am also going to stop at each station to hydrate.

So that’s my plan! For all of you who are racing this weekend I wish you all the luck in the world and if you are running the Calgary Marathon I will see you there!

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My First Marathon

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Well it is official I am finally a Marathoner! Yesterday I ran my very first marathon and cannot believe how alive (and sore) I feel!

The weekend in a whole was amazing.  My boyfriend and I left for Vancouver Friday afternoon.  After a very full but smooth flight we landed in Vancouver.

What a beautiful city! The ride from the airport was when things really started to get real! In less than two days I would be a marathoner.

The stay in Vancouver started off amazing. Our room wasn’t ready so they upgraded our room to an ocean view.  The view was amazing so we had to take a couple selfies to celebrate.

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From there we got unpacked and headed to the expo to pick up my race pack.  The expo really made things sink in even more.  I was really running a marathon.  I took some pictures but was freaking out completely on the inside.

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The next day I had everything planned.  I had an amazing breakfast and ventured out for coffee.  I even got to say a quick hello to my friend Bob (and his girlfriend) who was running the marathon.  He is an AMAZING runner and has ran Boston twice now so he is truly an inspiration.  He let me know I was going to do great which was reassuring and nice to hear.

From there we went on an air plane tour of the city. Daine loves this stuff, I am trying to get into it but definitely get scared at time.  It was really beautiful. I really enjoyed it… For the most part.  Occasionally I may have looked like this….

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My boyfriends aunts came and met us to drive the course to calm my nerves. It was breathtaking.  My main concern was the consistent downhills… I mean I train for hills but this course had more down than up.  I knew that I may have to adjust my strategy a tiny bit to ensure I didn’t injure myself going down the hills.

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As I am sure most runners do before a race I have a certain traditions the night before my race. First I always eat butternut squash ravioli.  Its my favorite!  I also always have a LUSH Bath bomb bath with their Big Blue bathbomb. This bath was followed by a reassuring phone call from my dad who is training for his first half marathon at the end of May.  He calmed my nerves, stopped my tears and let me know to relax and its just like my other runs with dad. I don’t know what it is about parents but they are magic in knowing exactly what you need to hear.  This calmed me enough to move on to the next tradition I have, laying out everything I am going to use/wear during my race.

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I think I drive my boyfriend crazy because through all of this I tend to pace and over analyze, which I did the night before this race as well.  I finally fell asleep only waking up 3 times for water and then stayed awake when I woke up a 4th time at 4:30am.

I couldn’t believe it was race day! I started by making coffee, slamming some water of course and jumping in the shower.  I had my banana and my pre-race breakfast of oatmeal and a smoothie then continued to get ready.  I phoned my mom and messaged funny pictures to my sisters and brother saying “Race Day.”

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I know they appreciate my early messages although they are reluctant to say so.  From there I jumped on my boyfriend to remind him it was race day and that I wanted to be 1.5 hours early for my race.  Thank goodness he is so supportive.  He didn’t even question me… It may have been the crazy look on my face.  Once I got all dressed up and stretched, rolled and hydrated I was ready to head out.  As we walked out of the hotel I started feeling overcome with nerves.  My boyfriend reassured me that I was going to do great. I am not sure it helped me believe that but realistically he saw me at my worst in more than one occasion and still had faith in me.  I should probably trust his word right?

We stopped for a quick coffee and then followed the trail of runners to the train.  The train was full of marathoners.  Everyone looked so calm.  I figured they were doing the same run as me so I should probably chill out.  I even heard some great advice, do a body check every 10 km, making sure nothing hurt and form was good. When we got to the race grounds my nerves got crazy.  I saw that start line and panicked.  Nothing a quick call to mom can’t fix though.

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I took my first gel and then I was ready to go.  My boyfriend gave me a great big hug and reminded me I was going to do great.  This time I believed him.  I wiggled my way into my corral and calmed my breath… After a couple selfies of course!

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I couldn’t believe how many people were there! the sea of marathoners to be went on forever!

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At this point it becomes a bit of a blur as I was so focused on staying calm and not letting my nerves get ahead of me.  And we were off! I was officially running my first marathon! The first bit was a struggle to get out of the crowed.  This mile was one of the hardest as everyone was eager to do the exact same thing as me. I remember reminding myself to stay calm and run in the shade.  There was no rush as it was a marathon not a sprint.  That’s the only time I have ever been able to use that saying literally. The km markers flew by! The downhill was not something I had trained for and well the front part of my legs began to get sore but I tried to block it out. When I got to km 9 it was hill time! My music made me giggle as I turned the corner to go up the hill Miley Cyrus “The Climb” began to play. I was quite excited because I like up hills.  I train them and love them.  To top it off it was a nice break from the consistent downhill I had been running the last 8k.  This hill lasted a couple km’s.  When I got to the top I felt so alive! It hit me again… I was running a marathon!

The run proceeded into the UBC area which was beautiful. The old trees were so nice and the shade was even nicer! I made sure I was stopping at every water station even for a little sip of water and Ultima. The km’s began to fly by again.

As we got closer to the water our half way mark started to approach.  At this point I was running slightly ahead of the 4:00 pace bunny.  I could feel the heat.  I noticed people were starting to slow and  some even stopped.  I even saw someone collapse! At that moment I decided that I was going to go as slow as my body needed me too.  I made sure that I was keeping up with my 10 km body checks, stopping by every station for a sip and to pour water on my head.

The crowds cheered which was so amazing, people would say my name (Which was weird at first as I forgot my Bib said it) and fellow runners would cheer me on for running my first marathon. Every few minutes I would be reminded of how my legs still hurt, I don’t really remember any point that they felt 100% but I pushed through.  I would follow that reminder with the fact that I was really running my first marathon!

I don’t think think any runner says they look great in their race photos but man I have no word for mine.

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I made sure to take a gel every ten km’s, It was a great little perk up as I was feeling the energy drain from my body.  As I approached the 30 km mark I knew I was getting close to where I would see my boyfriend as he said he would come around Stanley Park. The only picture I am smiling in while running was the second I saw my boyfriend.

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He was just the pick up I needed.  I mouthed “This Sucks” to him and smiled.  He smiled back and I continued on my way.  Stanley Park is beautiful and was full of people cheering us on.  Stanley Park is GIANT.  That road felt like it went on forever.

Before I started my race I decided I was going to dedicate each mile to a person I love and count down for the last 10k.  The markers were in km so it kind of messed up my flow but I knew about who’s mile I was running. I had also asked each person to send me three songs to listen to while i ran their mile. My music timing wasn’t right so I missed that but I still focused on them.

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10 km to go! My best friend Tia helped me through mile 20.  She has been my best friend for over 5 years and she has been there and helped me through everything.  I thought of funny stories about things we did and laughed at some of the random stuff we have done through the years.  I could picture her say “Go Jocey Go.”  That’s just what I did.  I knew if i stopped it would make the pain in my legs worse so I kept going!

8 km to go! My boyfriend Daine was mile 21. He has been there for me and supported me through everything.  I thought of how lucky I am to have someone that will stand in the sun for four hours with the hopes of seeing me, jumping between cheering stations. I could picture him telling me that I could do it and not to be a sissy.  Crazy techno started playing which helped me pick up my speed a bit. I reminded myself to just keep going because I am no sissy! He always knows what to say to make me laugh. I wish the photograper’s would have caught me on this mile because I would have been smiling or laughing I am sure.

7 km to go! My brother John was mile 22. My little brother is an amazing person. He is hard working and does everything he puts his mind to.  We don’t talk as much as we should but I am so proud of him and I know he is so proud of me.   I am really lucky to have such a great little brother.  I could picture him saying “You Can Do It Sis.”  I couldn’t stop there I had to keep going.  I knew my brother would push through even if he was tired so that what I did.  I just had to keep moving.  I said that out loud every couple second.. “Keep moving, you can do it.”

5 km to go! My sister Sheralee was mile 23. My little sister knows me better than pretty much anyone.  She is strong and supportive.  She is always my go to. The funny part was I she had to coax me to keep moving on my very first 5km run 2 years ago in October. She is also a great cheerleader. This may sound crazy but I think I even argued with her as I could picture her saying I was doing great and to keep going.  I laughed because I figured the people running past me may think I am a little crazy for talking to myself but this was my marathon and I can talk to myself if I want to. Sher would laugh at that too because well she would justify my self talk as well.  I figured I was probably making a horrible face as I run with this almost confused/tired look to me.  Oddly enough I was right… My facial expression was just that.

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4 km to go! Mile 24 was my dear old dad.  My dad had been running with me as he is training for him first half marathon on May 29th.  My dad cheers me on, inspires me to be better, and is there to hold me up when I can’t take any more. In both running and life.  Luckily with running he hasn’t had to help me up because I am stubborn and keep going.  My dad would say (as he did the night before) just think of it as another run with my dad and that I can do this.  He would tell me to quit with the negative talk and that he was so proud of me.  With that I pushed the I cants out and told myself I was doing great and to keep going.  At this point I thought I smiled for the camera but apparently not. My dad always takes amazing race photos… That gene apparently doesn’t run in the family. At this point I remember thinking this was never ending.  I repeated to myself again (almost the full last hour I think) You can do it, just keep going.

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3 km to go! Mile 25 is dedicated to my sister Kathleen.  She is a fighter and inspires me everyday by her strength and hard work.  She is also kind of a hard a**.  I knew with her she needed to be 25 because the last 10% is always the hardest. Kathleen is so busy with her life. She dances for Shumka and is going to school to be a nurse while also working at the hospital. She never gives up on her dreams!  She also really believes in me which I know all family members but it still means the world to me.  Kath would never sugar coat it if she didn’t think I can do it.  Her drive kept me going.  I could hear her say that I’m killing it and that I’ll get through.  She has done dance performances in front of thousands of people with a stomach flu so I knew I could manage a couple more miles.  I splashed myself with some water at the next station and reminded myself I am almost done my first marathon! Just a note for any of you who may be running your first marathon in the future do not cry while running.  At this point I was overwhelmed with emotion and started to tear up, I could feel my airway getting a little blocked so I did some breathing exercises to calm me back down.

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1 km to go! This is where my fearless momma came into play.  I needed my mom to be mile 26.  She is who started me running, She is who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and she is the person who would jump in and run with me if she could have.  The past year my mother has been diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis which has made her have to quit running. I was running this for her because I knew she would have loved to run that last mile with me. A couple days before the race my mom sent me the sweetest message.

 

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I repeated those words in my head over and over. The dog days are over is a song my mom used to run too.  This also fits my life as in the past couple years I had gone through a lot with my poor dogs.  I lived through all that and I knew I could get through this last mile.  I could feel her pulling me forward with her positive words.  As I came around the corner a lady yelled out “Great Form Jocelyn.”  My mom always poked my tummy when I ran and would emphasize the importance of good form.  So what amazing timing.  As I turned the corner for the final stretch I could see the finish line.

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I pulled my core tight and pushed forward. This was it! I was finishing my first marathon! I held back the tears and put all my energy into staying strong through that last UPHILL km which by the way felt like it took a year!  I was doing it! It was real!

As I crossed the finish line I threw my hands in the air and made sure to keep moving I grabbed my medal. 4:07:11 was my official time! I didn’t beat the 4 hour goal but I did it and I felt great! At that moment I realized I was a marathoner, who cares about the time! (I always care about time so this was a big moment in my life)

I saw John Stanton who I would have loved to say hi to as I help train runners at the Running Room and have read his book way to many times.  But I was feeling pretty emotional and would love to not cry on him the first time I met him.

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I did it! I was a marathoner! This wonderful lady handed me an apple juice and I remember just wanting to walk.  I saw Daine and I am really not sure what I said to him but I figured I would find him.  Note to self make a plan on where you are going to meet your loved one after your marathon.  You do not want to have to walk around looking for them.

Everyone kept congratulating me it was so amazing.  My phone rang. It was my dad!  I burst into tears yelling “Daddy I am a Marathoner!!” He told me he knew I could do it and he was so proud of me!  I hung up and was going to take a couple pictures but my phone died. I proceeded to waddle around looking for Daine.  A nice couple talked to me about my time and how I was feeling. I made my way back to the hotel and Daine called my name and hugged me.  I think I repeated “I am a marathoner” and “that was so hard” one million times that afternoon.

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I had some Nuun and a banana, showered and stretched. I then headed to the hotel lounge where I ate the tuna tataki I had been craving followed by beer and a chicken club with french fries.  At this point i remember feeling like food was my favorite thing in the world.

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People smiled at my as I waddled by. I wore that medal proudly. I was a marathoner!

Thank you so much to the BMO Vancouver marathon for putting on an amazing event and for all the volunteers that made it possible!  Thank you to all my boyfriend, friends, family, running buddies, fellow runners and bloggers for you support! Thank you the Sweat Pink and Move More Fitness Community for constant encouragement! You have all made my first marathon one to remember and I couldn’t have done it without!

If I have one tip for anyone going to run their first marathon it would be to believe in yourself, talk to yourself as much as you need and trust your training because you really can do it!

Can you believe it? I am officially a marathoner!

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Legacy Run Race Recap

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My morning started with ZERO excitement.  I was expecting to be so excited that I couldn’t sleep, instead I was struggling to even get out of bed.  I didn’t sleep very well the night before either and was nervous that I wouldn’t be as fast as last year. I really wanted to do my race in under 50 minutes but wasn’t sure if it was possible seeing as I have done little to no speed work over the past couple months.  To top off the anxiety the days prior I had a very sore hamstring which fortunately was cured when I woke up on race day.  I was still not overly excited but got moving in my routine.

I got out of bed, had my coffee, smoothie, banana, oatmeal and liter of water. When I would usually call and scream RACE DAY into the phone to my friends and family I instead pouted to my boyfriend about how not excited I was.  He told me to drink my coffee, blast my music and get excited so that’s what I did. Sometimes all you need a little kick in the butt to get out of a funk.  I had to take a selfie to commemorate my moment of mood change.  This selfie is sponsored by coffee and a kick in my butt.

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From there I blasted my tunes, had a little more water, got fully dressed and away I went! My dad decided to do this race with me which was really amazing! I have been really lucky to have him join pretty much any race I suggest.  He will Be running his first half marathon end of May! I may or may not have registered him prior to asking him.

Now back to race day! As dad and I stretched a lady directed me to a much needed quote on the ground.

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Its true, the struggle was real but I really needed enjoy the moment.  It reminded me how lucky I am to be where I am and also took some pressure off the time of the race and to enjoy the run. I did just that!

Standing at the start line my excitement started to kick in. My dad was obviously holding in his excitement.

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This wasn’t a big race with only about 500 participants but was going to a creat cause. This race raised money for the first responders family, providing support as being a first responder on the scene can be very traumatic.  The route was along the river which is absolutely beautiful.  As they counted down I bounced around and got ready as usual.  I took off slow instead of my usual eager beaver way and tried to enjoy the scenery.

As per usual my first 4 to 6 km’s are the hard part for me, once I get past that I can run forever. As the km signs passed me I noticed that I was really taking my time running my race at about 5 minute km which is a huge difference from my 4:15 10k pace.  I found myself staying at this 5km pace for the first 5 km which was nice as I had another girl running next to me.

FINALLY my competitive edge kicked in at km 6 and sent me flying finishing off my last 4 km’s at about a 430 pace. As I came up to the last 500m I saw one of the girls I coached slowing down.  And by slowing down I saw her have a look around and then start walking.  This was a little extra push for me to catch her.  I ran up to her and gave her a little swat on the arm.  She smiled and uttered something at me, probably along the lines of “I hate you” but all in fun.  Deep inside she is glad I push her!  She got a PR as well!

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I really enjoy the feeling of sprinting to the finish line so that’s just what I did.  Crossing the line at 49:15. I was happy I beat my 50 minute goal! As always I wished I went faster but I don’t think that would change no matter what my speed was.

My dad got a PR with a 53 minute 10k! I am so proud of him! I think it is the first time I have ever seen him tuckered out as he crossed the finish line!

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As they announced the awards I was so excited hearing my name as second place female and tenth place overall.  What a great feeling and what a great race!

A big thank you to the Legacy Place Society for putting together a really amazing fundraising run.  For more information on what they do you can visit their site at http://legacyplacesociety.com/

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Cramps and Bananas

Well my title is a tad deceiving because today is actually an amazing day. My day started with a banana and a smoothie which resulted in a crampy run. This made our 5k a little slower then per usual but I am okay with that. Slow and steady wins the race.

I am really loving this smoothie so here is the recipe in case anyone wants to try it!

  • 1/3 cup Strawberries
  • 1/3 cup Bananas
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1/4 cup protein powder
  • 1 cup coconut water

Delish!

Today I am feeling good about everything. I have had some really grumpy days over the past week. I have learned to really appreciate the good days.

I have started doing this grateful thing in the morning that my best friend does regularly. Firstly let me tell you a little about this girl, I’m going to call her Vegas because it fits. When we first met she had moved from Vegas to Lethbridge and at first we weren’t really close but our friendship grew and now I don’t know what I would do without her. We both were in some less then desirable relationships for years. Our boyfriends hated each other and I am pretty sure us too. They didn’t want us to hang out so we had to like sneakily keep in touch. We would get caught all the time and as I am writing this I realize how ridiculous this all was. I am pretty sure Vegas’s boyfriend would have fought me if we ran into each other. Anyways she finally left him and I finally left as well. We both felt so much better and to top it off Vegas found an amazing man who she is now marrying! Her wedding is in July and I am just so excited to be part of it! I am so happy for them, Vegas is one of the most amazing and kind hearted people I know. Now back to being grateful. When I am having a hard time Vegas always asks me what things I am thankful for. When you are having a rotten day it easy to forget how lucky you are.

Everyone has at least three things to be thankful for. I am going to share my three things and I recommend that you start your day with expressing what you are thankful for.

  1. Successful recovery
    1. I may be short a finger tip but I have been very lucky to be healing at the rate I am going.  It may look a little different but its getting better every day and I am so grateful for that!
  2. Supportive Parents
    1. I am so lucky to have the support of my parents. Not only have they always been there for me when I am a giant pain in the butt but they have supported my dreams and aspirations.  They helped me get to where I am and I don’t know what I would do without them.
  3. Great Friends
    1. I have been so very blessed with great people in my life.  I have such a great support system.  They all help and support me through everything and I am just so lucky to have them.

So overall today has been great!

Now back to running! This am we ran 4.69 km in 27 minutes. We are getting quicker and we didn’t even realize it today! The cramps were really horrible though so anyone have any tips on getting rid of cramps or where they come from? I am running another 5k today at lunch! Hopefully my cramps don’t come back! Wish me luck!

My quote today is “I am proud of the women I have become because I fought to be her.”  Through the good and the bad make sure you don’t lose you!

A Little Boston Inspiration

Today was the Boston marathon, which honestly is something I would love to be able to do. This probably helped with my perky wake up this morning.  My alarm went off at 6 am and I actually wanted to get up.  I got dressed and even made a smoothie.  I am not good at eating in the am so a smoothie is a giant accomplishment for me however, it was a little thick so lets call it frozen yogurt. I have always heard that banana’s are great at giving you energy and never really believed it but I was relatively perky today which was nice.  Did i mention that I am not a fan of banana’s?  I honestly didn’t think that was going to be the case since I watched the hockey game last night and well it didn’t end till 11.  My Mondays usually require 8 hours of sleep to make it through successfully.  Thank you Mr. Banana for helping me with that I am going to try really hard to like you!

Now to the run! Well my and my buddy met up at the office as per usual and he was even more perky then me.  He must have eaten like 5 bananas! We started off with a little warm up (fast walking and catching up) until we got to the river then we ran.  We are getting so much faster! To switch it up and make it a little less watch focused we run to land marks.  We only walked three minutes out of our 4.69 km run and its only day 5. My biggest tip to anyone in the same running boat as me is have fun with it.  If you focus on the runny nose or difficulty breathing you will hate every second of it.  Now I laugh about how unbelievably unattractive I look with bright red cheeks and a pouring nose. It really helps!

I kept track of the race today and was blown away that people can run a full marathon in under three hours! One day I will be in Boston and do that! My biggest goal right now is to run 5 km in 20 minutes on May 10th.  I think that is possible so root for me!

Today we did 4.69 km in 23 minutes with walking so I think I will be able to get there! Day five was a success!

My quote for today is “Anything is possible!” Not only did someone run faster in Boston then i ever thought was possible but I enjoyed a banana! Yay for day 5!

Wish me luck for day 6!

2016 Spring/Summer Race Schedule

My 2016 Spring/Summer Race Schedule

Okanagan 2015

Here is what I will be running this year as of now! I know I am so excited to finally have this down on paper and organized.  I cannot wait to run every single one of these races!
Legacy Race Calgary, March 12th, 10k
This race is the target race for the 10k running clinic I am coaching at the running room! I am so excited to run this with my team 🙂

BMO Vancouver Marathon, May 1st, MY FIRST MARATHON
This will be my very first Marathon.  This race is more focused on finishing with a smile however I do have an ideal goal of finishing under 3:45.

Scotiabank Calgary Marathon, May 29th, MY TARGET MARATHON
This is the Marathon I have been training so hard for and is my official target race.  I am hoping for a PR of 3:59:59.  Last year I did the Jugo Juice 10k with my mom and dad and it was a blast! I am really excited for this one… and a little scared.

Color Me Rad, June, 5k Fun Run
This one is still up in the air for me. I had fun with my friends at this one so as long as I get a team in I will for sure do it again.

Stampede Road Race, July 10th, 10k (This is where I got my 10k PR of 46:16 last year!)
I love this race! This was where I got my 10k PR last year and hoping to get a new 10k PR under 45 minutes at this one!




Race for Pace, August, 10k
This was a really fun race last year that I did with my friend. Its super hero themed and was overall a really great time.

There you have it, that is what I am planning so far for this spring and summer. If you will be at any of these races let me know because I would love to meet you!

Okanagan Half Marathon 2015

My First Half Marathon

Well it happened! This past weekend I ran my first half marathon! It is one of my most favourite accomplishments!
My weekend began a day early! I took Friday to go for a quick trip to Lethbridge for a little pampering prior to race weekend! My best friend came with me and we got all pretty then had a sushi date and I headed back to Calgary! She also logo’d my shirt for me! (She is much more crafty then me!)
My boyfriend and I packed up and headed toward BC once he was done work we headed out of the city! I was so excited that I am pretty sure I talked about it the whole way.  Thank goodness he is patient!

When we arrived in Kelowna we went and picked up my race pack and got all settled in our hotel. I got all my stuff organized and carbed up!  I don’t think I have ate more carbs in my life.  My week consisted of brown rice, chicken, fish, vegetables and whole grain pasta.  I found it tough finding things to eat on menus at restaurants.  Does anyone have any suggestions in that area?

I set up all my race gear on the bed, called my mom, and then I made sure to get a good night’s sleep.

Before I knew it it was RACE DAY!!!

I woke up to a great inspirational message from my mom and dad!  In running my mom has always been an inspiration to me and I don’t think she even knows how much her and my dads support means to me!  She wrote” You got this! Love Mom and Dad with this picture.  How perfect it that!

I woke up at 5:15am and did my usual routine.  Blasted my race playlist, made coffee, drank half a litre of water, ate a banana, had a smoothie, showered, ate some oatmeal, drank a cup of coffee, drank the other half litre of water, pee, vaseline where needed and then got my gear on! (Note to self pack a spoon for oatmeal, its really hard to eat without it.) I also like to arrive to the venue at least an hour early to calm my nerves, venture around, stretch and I always pee twice.  That may be to much information but you are getting the play by play anyways!

We stopped and got my very dedicated boyfriend some coffee because well it was Sunday morning at 6:30 am and headed to the venue!

When I get nervous I get quiet so I spend the next hour walking around and taking in the day. I was so nervous I don’t think I said a word. I can only imagine what a treat I was to be around.  I am pretty lucky to have a great boyfriend who just supports me and ttys to understands me.  I am pretty pumped he actually started to run. 5k in 27 minutes!  (He’s actually pretty quick).  Anyways back to RACE DAY!

I placed my self in between the 1:50 and 2:00 pace bunnies.  I figured that was a safe bet since my goal was 02:00:00. I set up Charity Miles, Runtastic (so people who weren’t there with me could check me out as I ran) and my half marathon playlist!

Right before I started I even got a call from my running buddy to wish me luck!! Awesome right!

The countdown began and I focused on the goal of 02:00:00.  I remember trying to calm my nerves while going over my race plan in my head.

Yellow(13)-Red(7)-White(1.1)  Yellow-Red-White   Yellow-Red-White

Just to clarify here is what that means to me:

Yellow:  Can sing Taylor Swift without difficulty (5:45 minute kilometres)
Red:  Can hear my breath but not pushing it to hard, making sure to smile every minute and enjoy the scenery. (5 minute and under but still leaving some energy to sprint the end of my race)
White:  Push it!  (Under 5 minute km, 4:07 was my target)

I didn’t exactly stick to this but I had the right idea. All I really wanted was a negative split! Thank you Taylor Swift for helping me get through those first six km.  I don’t know what it is about the first 6 but I don’t love them.  After that I can run forever.  I even found myself getting frustrated with people stopping mid stride and bunching together.  Any tips on how to get around that? Next run I will definitely place myself a little closer to the front and give my self a little more distance rather then playing it safe.

Once I got past the six km I went into my little running zone where I focused on the scenery and breathing.  Every once in awhile I would get a live cheer from my amazing friends!  I even got person voice ones from my best friend and her family! They made me laugh and brought back the fun into the run when it was starting to get hard.  To top it off one the 13 km water station they gave out my favourite gel!  Its the Sea Salt Chocolate one and well this just made my km for sure! Its truly the little things.

After that I picked up my speed and it felt good! I gave myself a little surge to perk up and shut up the “I cant’s”.  Surprisingly I didn’t have a lot of trouble doing so which I am so so proud of myself for.  I also had a big help in that area from my great cheerleaders! My best friend, her step daughter and husband would send me love every few km which really really helped!

I started fading at km 20.. I knew I had it in me but I could feel my legs and was running out of energy and a little ambition.  As I came around the corner my boyfriend was starring there smiling and taking photos of course! Just what I needed to push to the end!  To top it off my best friends husband who runs half marathons sent me a personalized cheer saying “DIG DEEP.” And I did!

As I came to the final stretch I dug deep and picked up my stride hitting my max speed on 19.9 kph!

I finished strong with a chip time of 1:49:36! I even did a negative split! I put my hands in the air and just took it all in!

I had my running buddy and boyfriend waiting at the finish line and honestly I have never been so proud of myself!

So thats it folks! That was my run! I am so proud of myself and even though it was a tough journey I loved every minute of it!

My quote for that run definitely is sent from my momma “Work hard, do your best, live the truth, trust yourself, have some fun!”

Next stop Marathon Training! Any tips, trick or insight is greatly appreciated!  Here I come Calgary Scotiabank Marathon 2016!!!!

September 2016

30th Birthday and three 10 k’s!

It has been one heck of a month! AS you may get from the title It was not only my 30th birthday but I  did three 10 km races and ran some really long runs! (In my opinion anyways).

So lets start with my birthday! It wasn’t so scary with turning 30 to be honest! My best friend and her husband came down and surprised me with a cooking class Friday!  And I am the hardest person ever to surprise because I am the most planny person ever.

Saturday we then went to my parents for brunch and went to the lake! I took the plunge into the less then warm lake with my family and friends! It was a blast

We all went for dinner and sang karaoke after that! It was a really great time! I couldn’t believe how much love i felt! I am really lucky to have such great friends and family! My sister and brother even came down from Edmonton!

Now to the running portion of my month!

My first ten km race of the month was the Race for Pace! This race raises money for children with disabilities which is a great cause! Running for those who can’t is something i feel very strongly about! This race was also my running buddies first 10 km race and he did so amazing! I didn’t get a PR this one but really enjoyed myself!

My second ten km race of the month was the Terry Fox Run! This run raises money for Cancer research which really hits home for me.  My grandmothers breast cancer was missed and not diagnosed till it was progressed substantially.  It was also a great day out and so great to see all the supporters! Terry Fox’s story was so touching! I am so happy that I could run in support of this!

My third 10 km race was the Heartbeat Run.  This was one for the books…. Have you ever got lost in a race?  Well now I can say I have! This race had the most hills I have ever seen! As we began the race on a steep hill my eyes almost bulged right out of my head when i saw what we had to do!  Thank goodness for hill training! I was 3rd in the pack when we reached the 5 km mark… I did not turn around and well I was supposed to! I proceeded to run another .5 km prior to realizing no one was behind me.  I ran back and caught back up ending up in 7th place and 1st in the women. The kicker is that I went off track so the time is not counted on my runners dashboard. So in the future when someone is cheering and waving their hands at you, you may be going the wrong way!

As you all know as well I am training for my first half Marathon in October! The Okanagon Marathon on October 11th to be exact!  I finished my longest run for 17 km and am going to start tapering down for the first weeks in October!  It felt so good and I kept just enough energy to finish with a good sprint! Check out my pace stats!