And then this happened….

runningc2c5 years ago I was sitting in the car with my friend Simone and she was telling me how much she loves running. It released her from her stresses. I replied with…. I don’t understand how running feels good AT ALL. You are crazy, it makes no sense to me.

My dad always ran and my family was always saying “you are addicted to running, this is terrible, you need to stop, its bad for you.”

My dad didn’t stop. He kept running. He basically did what he always does. he replied with a “yeah yeah yeah” and did what he wants. Why? Because my dad is a grown up. He gets to choose his own hobbies, his own passions and his downtime spent freely from obligations.

Go Dad, you rock!

I met a runner who runs marathons…get this…FOR FUN. Seriously? Do you know how far that is? Dude, 42.2 km is FREAKING FAR! I didn’t give him the proper respect. I was all….big deal, so you run. So do lots of people. But the more I listened and understood, the more the Kool-Aid tasted better. I drank enough Kool-Aid that I wanted to give running a try.

Boom, 5 years later I am a bonafide Runner.

I have a Pie Run tomorrow. I get to go for a run and they will give me PIE at the finish line. Seriously….who doesn’t like Pie? I’ll run for pie.

I told my pal about the Run for Pie – the same guy who runs marathons for fun. He said “Pie? That has to be one of the best foods available a race course! But there was one time I had a sub, there was these people….”

We exchanged race stories.

Then we thought, this might be a fun podcast.

So he pressed the record button on one of our conversations.

Suddenly, not only am I a runner, but I am a podcast host who talks about running.

Weird how life takes you down paths so unexpected.

You can find my podcast Running Coast 2 Coast here:

If you like it, please leave a review. If you hate it, please leave a review with WHY. Whys are important for growth.

We are 3 podcasts published and have lots ready to roll out. Even if no one listens, we are having fun. AND I get to talk about running, my next favourite thing to running.

Doing stuff I like and having fun. Can’t get better that that.

Dad’s are smart. Well, mine is. Thanks Dad.

Me and Dadeo at the finish
Me and Dadeo at the finish

Ghosts of Days Past

When I was a kid, my dad was an Education student at the University of Alberta. We often went to meet him after class or walk around Campus while he dropped of papers or popped into the library. It has always been a favourite haunt of mine. When I attended my classes here, I would often eat my meals on the quad or lean up against a tree and just take in my surroundings. I often would plan and set goals for my future and imagine where I might be 10 or 20 years from that point.

Not one of those goals ever came true.

Yet, thinking about how the place made me feel as a kid and then as an adult, not much has changed.

I work on the outer rim of campus. I try to go for a run through there to renew my juice every now and then. As soon as I do, I am instantly transport to being a kid and running around Convocation Hall or the Turtle with my little brother. Mom and Dad would stroll at a leisurely pace as Mike and I raced around and climbed rocks or stone stairs for fun.

This week I had the opportunity to go for a run with my Captain. I had not brought Cap to the fairy ground of my youth, so I figured it was a great day to do so.

We started at our home base – RunClub and left the car keys in the basket. I led Captain West down 87th Ave.

It was reminded of the Universiad Games when they built the student housing and then past the Timmons Centre for the Arts. None of which was around when I attended my Anthropology classes. I showed Cap the Quad and my favourite spot between the Arts Building and the Business Building. There is a little dry creek bed with a pond at the base. It is surrounded by benches and an eclectic mix of architecture.

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We paused for a moment to take in the surroundings and I remembered running up and down the steps of the Arts building as a kid. Its amazing how memories can just flash back into your brain after decades of not recalling them.

We headed North towards the river and past the Turtle – or rather the Tory Lecture Theatre. I often use this great website to interpret the U of A lingo that evades people who are new or never attended Campus. I was likely 24 before I realized the Turtle was actually the Tory Building.

We stumbled upon the Geoscience Garden, which is a Rock Museum/garden allocated at North Campus.

Captain enjoy this part of the run most.

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There were Geese nesting here which I thought was an odd place for them, so I gave them a wide berth and led Captain far away from where they were perched.

After passing the Faculty Club, I ran through the sciences and saw the Nanotech building for the first time. Strange how I come through here all the time and notice something new.

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We ran over to Assiniboine Hall and checked out the Tulips and Hares.

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The very next day would see 5″ of snow dump on these pour petals.

I marvelled at the artwork on the sides of Civil Engineering, something I had not remembered seeing before.

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It was here that Captain watched a fox saunter around the buildings. He didn’t growl or attempt to go chase him, but gave a respectful distance. It always amazes me at the variety of wildlife found on the edge of the river valley.

The last big stop we made was at the back of the Education Building, I remembering coming to some lectures here I was 4 and again when I was 19.

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I reflected on how different my life turned out than what I expected or planned. I am not a teacher, well, I am not a teacher of children. I suppose we are all teachers in some capacity. I am a runner and work in that industry. Never in my wildest dreams or fantasies would I think I would move into that direction.

Me, the girl who used her brain and not her physical being. Now both are so important to my daily routine. Working on the edge of campus makes me long to go back to school. But for now, I am content to just run the paths and visit the ghosts of my past.

On Your Left

I am one of those lucky girls who gets to run with the man of my dreams. He runs at my pace, is cool with me choosing the route and is equally cool with picking the run himself. He never complains about how far we go and never mocks or teases me about how slow I am. He is the perfect partner.

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Until today…

Captain runs on the left just like Captain America. Until today…

We began our journey at the top of the 109 street bridge; better know as the High Level Bridge. It is one of my favourite places to run because it is so high above the river with the combination of a slope it feels like flying. Cap, as always, ran on my left. It was early, during the morning rush so the bridge was busy with cars. Cap had never been on this bridge before and the traffic spooked him. He didn’t want to run close to the rail, it seemed too high, and the traffic was just overwhelming. He was doing well, until a big truck rolled on by. It became too much. The Mighty Captain dashed between my legs and somehow tied his leash around both of my knees. In super slow motion we both fell to the ground. I am not sure how, but we both landed on top of each other.

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We laid there in a tangled mess and I asked him, “Cap what are you doing” because I couldn’t get him to move. He wasn’t hurt he was scared. We finally freed our mangled bodies and resumed the run. Only he wouldn’t run. He walked very close to my side until we reached the north bank of the river. It was then he decided to run.

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My dog is afraid of heights. Who knew that was a thing?

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We sat for a bit at Ezeo Farone Park so Cap could calm down, but then we were off. We saw a fox and a coyote, neither of which made my rescue dog happy that he couldn’t engage them in battle. He stared at me like I was cruel. We headed north and began running again. Being downtown was a new experience for my pup. He mostly liked the big trees and the soft grassy boulevards. Which is great because I want to move here soon. We turned right and I noticed my Garmin died. So much for tracking my run. Oh well, unplugged is great too. I let Cap lead the way at this point and he headed straight for more parkland, The Alberta Legislature Grounds.

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The trees are just beginning to leaf out and we discovered rabbits, so more running in random patterns all over the park. The cross-country aspect of the run was fun. Lots of down hill grassy slopes. We passed the Totem Pole and my Birthday candle (that’s a long story but it’s always burning on the south side of the legislature if you want to see it.) It was getting to be time to head back to the car, Captain was getting tired and running wasn’t what he wanted to do any more. My pup is getting old, 7 and he is a 75lb sled dog who rather sleep.

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We ran to the park exit and were treated by this sight, which is SUPER EARLY for Edmonton, May Day Blossoms!

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Back over the High Level Bridge, and surprise surprise…Cap would not run. He walked tight next to me not wanting to look over the side at the river, or too close to the traffic. But because we walked, I noticed something I had not seen before. All these love quotes embedded into the sidewalk on the bridge.

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All of these quotes are how I feel about my Cap.

My big ‘fraidy cat.

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Thanks for being the best dog and running partner I have ever had.

Oh I am brave alright…just ask mom #yavin #starwars

When I was 10, Star Wars appeared at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Edmonton. Most Sunday afternoons, my mom would take my brother and I to the movies. We had seen every Disney Flick from AristoCats to Escape to Witch Mountain. Any movie that held zero chance of reality instantly captivated my imagination and I would fantasize about those scenarios.

The Paramount was one of those new-old style theatres. Huge red velvet curtains opened when the movie was about to start, there were 2 entrances, left and right. The box office was a single person sitting in a glass booth outside the theatre. One movie showed at a time. This particular afternoon it was Star Wars A New Hope in bold black letters on the outside marquis.

Mom bought the tickets and then we stood in line for the popcorn and drinks. well, a single drink because we always shared. As I scan my memories for crowds, all I can remember is the theatre being so full, my brother, 8 years old, had to sit on my mom’s lap for the movie. We had to sit too close to the screen and off to the side aisle.

We sat in the dark.

The red velvet drapes opened and this large and strange space ship was flying over our heads. I knew it was real because I could HEAR THE SOUNDS behind me, over head and all around me. This was the first time hearing a movie made such an epic response from the entire audience I was apart of.

It was an unbelievable experience.

All you Star Wars fans know how the story continues, but the ending of the movie was by far the most fun for me.

They got a medal mom, A MEDAL FOR BRAVERY MOM! Did you see it MOM? MOOOOOOOM!!!!! Can we go again? I wan that medal MOM! I am brave, I can jump off the shed and pretend to fly, I can skip school for a week and then march in there like nothing happened with you in tow, I can build a raft and play in the pond even though you said its too dangerous. I am BRAVE ENOUGH for that medal MOM!! MOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!

Medals

As I grew older, I saw the injustice of Chewy not getting the medal because he was a Wookie. Hello? Leia? HE WAS THE CO-PILOT and was a HERO TOO. Blatant discrimination if you ask me. Han asked Leia to give him one in a private ceremony…I call *Cough *cough…

At any rate, the time has finally come for  ME to earn that Yavin Medal for bravery.

I am going to run a 10km on May the Fourth – because that is the best Star Wars holiday EVER. (I will be celebrating it on May the 3rd – my long run day).

This is a virtual race, meaning you can run it anywhere/anytime/anyplace. You get a nifty Yavin bib and the coveted YAVIN MEDAL!  THE YAVIN MEDAL MOM! I FINALLY GET THE YAVIN MEDAL!!! All for $30.

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The proceeds of the virtual are going to the Do Away With SMA Foundation, a charity that supports research and families in search of a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. You can visit the Charity web site here: DAWS

Now here is the best part:

As a reader of my Edmonton Tourist Chronicles, you get a special coupon code if you want to earn this medal as well (I will let you in on a secret – if you wan the medal just buy it, I am sure you did something brave in your life too. You don’t need to be a runner, just a Star Wars fan/geek!)

Sign up here: Yavin Virtual Race and use the coupon code YEG (its the airport code for Edmonton) to get 10% off!

Here is the art work for the medal – its pretty cool!IMG_7598

Step out of your comfort zone because “Travelling through hyperspace ain’t like dustin’ crops, boy!”.

Things and Stuff

Cluttered-House

I read an article on Facebook today that discussed how Millennials are telling their Boomer parents to keep their crappy stuff as they downsize.

Damn, I needed to say that. I have a giant oak dinning table in my basement.

Apparently, the two very different generation’s values are in different places. The younger generation wants to spend their money on experiences while their parents want stuff.

Me, being a child of a boomer yet old enough to fall on the tail end of boomer-dom, although technically I am a Gen-xer, I fall somewhere in between. I have a lot of toys. I love my lego, my T.A.R.D.I.S, and my Vinylmation. I have Muppets and Doctors. Yet, I would give them all up for a chance to travel on a regular basis.

According to people I know, I travel a ton. I am always going somewhere, while this is true to a degree, I do not travel near the amount I would like to. My parents are in China, and my daughter is in Europe. My plans for the rest of the year are The Rocky Mountains, a road trip down the Pacific Coast, and a fall trip to a Wine and dine Festival in Florida. Not too shabby since I have already been to Florida this year. I am happiest when I am planning to travel or actually traveling.

This leaves me with a problem.

I have a giant house I do not want. I do not want to be saddled with the stuff that surrounds me. Most of it is cast offs from others…somehow I end up with it because no one knows what to do with it. I have a suitcase filled with electric massage things from the 70’s. Why? An uncle moved into a nursing home and somehow my home has his things in it. I have a sectional from the 50’s that was my grandmothers. If I had the money to spare, I would recover it because it is currently gold velvet… not my choice but I would rather fly to New York to than spend the cash on fabric. So I suppose it IS my choice.

We are looking at downsizing.

Sure my kids still live with me and will for a while yet. But does that mean I need to live in the burbs? I hate it here. It is FAR from my playground. I love to run in the river valley and need that sense of urban/nature uniqueness. I do not like the cookie cutter sameness of my neighbourhood.

Why did I choose it?

Good Question.

I think partly because it was expected. My husband is older and has generational values of a boomer. Home in the burbs, 2 cars, and family heirlooms. I agreed because for a long time I didn’t know what I wanted or I went along with the idea because it is what one did.

I picked this house because it was the best compromise. It was not my dream home.

My dream home is a 3 bedroom condo on the 11th floor of a high-rise overlooking Vancouver/New York or some other coastal Urban city. Is that the dream my family shares? Hells no.

So what does one do when you live in a shoe? Good Question.

Does anyone want my Royal Dalton China I never use? Or how about the Scrapbook room full of tools and papers? or how about the bins of toys my children do not want to part with? I have a basketball hoop and an Air Hockey table, then there is the Christmas decorations  that I never want to put up again or the Halloween decorations that people keep giving me. I HATE HALLOWEEN! STOP GIVING ME STUFF!

I kind of want to sell everything, but then I think, I should just give it away. I wish I had a home filled with things I wanted rather than things that I accepted because I didn’t really want anything anyways… or I lacked the cash because Id rather travel.

At any rate, the next time you come to my house and you see something you love. Take it. Everything is up for grabs expect my toys, my art and dog.

2015: The year of the big purge.

#WhyIRun

I was challenged this morning by my coach Brian

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at Running Down a Dream23 to post a video about #whyIRun.

That was easy.

I run for all sorts of reasons, but I started because someone told me I couldn’t. Nothing gets my dander up more than being told I am not capable. I narrow my eyes, focus on the goal and say in the dreaded whisper I give my staff “Watch me”.

I also run because I believe in being kind. You may be asking yourself, “What has that got to do with running?” I figure, if I have to work anyways…work to make a difference.

If I am going to run, I might as well raise money for a great cause. Check!

My cause is simple. I run to support children and their families who cannot help themselves and are in need of support. That is also a big reason why I am proud to say I help start a charitable foundation from the ground up. We are still little but I have a vision and just like the reason why I run, don’t tell me I can’t do it. I will drag you, Mount Robson and part the Red Sea to make it happen. People who are nay sayers have tunnel vision, are somehow misguided as to my reason for the charity and think I am in competition. Let’s get one thing straight right now. Any charity that helps children and their families who cannot help themselves is not in competition with me, they are in PARTNERSHIP with me. It will take a boatload of kindness to change the world. If we all work together we can change the world. I believe it to be true and it will happen. It just might take longer than expected.

Giving of self for others is a HUGE reason why I run…HUGE.

The other reason of course…this is a no brainer, is COOKIES

jammie_dodgers_2655228b chocolate-chip-cookies ba70b2e156ac36981dff4a301bddedbbDamn I love cookies. They are a ritual in my #CivilizedSaturdays and are that special treat for me where they used to be my daily/hourly food of choice.

I lost 5lbs in January. Total over three years 117lbs. I’m about half way. Think about that.

I have a lot of extra skin now. I am not ready to have it removed because it will interfere with my goals this year. Next year I will take care of the that. But I look back at photos of me, old clothes I used to wear. I got rid of everything except one pair of pants, and they kinda look like circus pants. They don’t have a fly because they didn’t put zippers in pants that big. But then someone says something to me about how heavy I am and I think…. you small minded F#$%T%#$

It sure doesn’t take long for someone to be mean.

JUST BE NICE PEOPLE! Jeeze… it isn’t hard! Okay, it takes practice to be nice, but it IS doable!!

Meanwhile….back to #WhyIRun

I am going to challenge YOU all of YOU who read this blog to do 3 things:

1. go friend me on Facebook because its fun and then I can see your video a little easier

2. Record a video and challenge 3 friends to comment on why they run. Tag me in it so I can see it.

3. Use Hashtag #WhyIRun #whyIWalk

Here is ME challenging YOU. I feel like Romper Room, I see Karen and Sharon and Tiffany and Scootadoot and Chef, I see Jenny and Ebone and Barbara and Cristina and Patty, I see Tammy and Mer and Charlotte and Kathy, well, I see all of you.

Let’s inspire the world to move more.

So, I hear you Quit: Deuxième Partie

A week ago I wrote this: So, I hear you Quit…

Since then I have had a lot of private messages come through from fat gals like me.

When I write, I get it out and then walk away. I haven’t given much thought to the blog post since I published it. But its resonated with readers, so I went back and re-read what I wrote.

I cried all over again. DAMN YOU TOURIST PEEPS!

Okay, not really, I appreciate you and the way you make me think and feel. Apparently, you appreciate me for those same reasons.

Lots of the newsy letters and comments from you had a common theme.

  1. People are judgey
  2. Boys are mean
  3. People like it when others fail
  4. Honesty is raw and strikes a cord

Lets just get this out the of the way and then I will answer questions and respond to your comments, okay?

First things First:

Write this out and fill in the blanks, sign it and date it. Put it somewhere to light the fire you are needing to get this show on the road.

Dear (insert the name of the person who hurts you most) ______________,

I am tired of crying because of the thoughts and words that you express about me. I am tired of you telling me that I am not going to make it or I shouldn’t even try because I was not (insert adjective of your choice – in my case its READY/FIT/PREPARED).

Without your help or support I will let you know I did a myriad of things that you deemed impossible. I succeeded in spite of you and I will succeed again. And when I do, you will be the LAST PERSON ON EARTH I will celebrate with. I will turn to those who high fived me, cheered for me, cried with me, gave me a hand up, quietly supported me and secretly knew I could do it. 

I am sick to death of supporting you and being the one you lean on in this one-sided relationship. Grow a pair, and I mean ovaries because balls are just too tender and delicate for this situation. You are my emotional vampire and quite frankly I just don’t need the drama. 

When I cross the finish line/graduate/lose weight/find a career, you being there won’t make a whit of difference because you didn’t help me get there in the first place. So stay home and sulk, because it’s not about you and you wish it was. Do yourself a favour and set some goals, then maybe you will finally understand what this whole exercise is about. 

For the official record, this is my plan for the year:

I am going to (insert your major goal here)

This is how I plan to achieve it (list the steps you will take to achieve your goal here)

This is how I plan to celebrate my success (insert the celebration of choice here)

Suckit.

Sincerely,

Me (sign your name here)

Now that you have filled it out, take a deep breath.

Your person who is blocking/sabotaging/jealous of your dreams/goals/abilities is honestly not thinking all that hard about you. They don’t think you can do it, the end. They don’t lay awake at night thinking about you. They lay awake at night thinking about them. They think about stupid stuff like, how can I get what I want by getting (you) to do it for me? Or I wonder if that sale on those great boots is still on, or damn its hot in here, I hate this Old Lady Hot business.

Truth.

We all think everyone is thinking about us but its not true. WE think about us. We dwell on comments made in passing and read more into things than are necessary…. well, I do anyways. And after reading so many of your stories, a lot of you do the same thing. If I am being honest, I much rather people be judgey to my face so I can fight back than if they silently click their teeth at me and I can’t defend myself.

So on that note,lets deal with the list of common themes from you.

1. People are Judgey. Hells yes they are! But you are too. You judge them right back for being judged. Its this never ending circular movement that makes my head spin. Here is what I am going to do about it.

Do my own thing with or without approval.

Boom.

My goal will be reached. Then End. Do I care that I don’t have the support I crave? Hells yes I do! But wanting it and having it are two very different things. I will carry on and complete my goals and Boom… I win, The End. So the moral of this story? JUST BE NICE PEOPLE!

2. Boys are Mean. No argument there. Boys are mean, but so are girls. That’s right, I called you on it. GIRLS ARE SO MEAN TOO! The big problem here is that males are different from females so it gets foggy in terms of hurt feelings. What one person calls truth another calls mean. its complicated. My boys were hurtful to me, but I was hurtful back. The End. Humans are stupid. Just BE NICE PEOPLE! 

3. People like it when others fail. This is human nature. I know a gal who yelled some smack that was shocking to hear. She said “someone is lying and it aint me”. True, but she was loving that the other person was failing. I wish I could say I am above this, but I heard that someone who annoys me failed and I felt smug… I didn’t want to admit it because I knew that it was shameful that I felt this way… but there was me feeling it anyways. At least I had the good sense to keep it to myself. Feelings just are. You can’t control them you can’t manipulate them, they exist without your permission. What you can do is control what you do with them. From NOT TEXTING stupid stuff, to biting your tongue when necessary. Kicking someone when they are down is inhumane and just plain cruel. You should be able to tell when a person is down, and not laughing at themselves. If you can’t, you need social queues to help you. There are books for this. But most people can figure it out. So whats the plan? JUST BE NICE PEOPLE!

4. Honesty is RAW and Strikes a cord. Hells ya! You know what annoys me? When someone is just plain mean and says “I’m just being honest” Really? Or are you Judgey, mean and enjoying the fail? Honesty can take a couple of forms, 1) your friend is being an idiot and you say “What the hell are you doing? SNAP OUT OF IT MAN!” Calling someone on their actions is not the same as calling them a douche bag. Its just not. And 2) so and so did this and blablabla… That’s gossip, not honesty. Gossip is hurtful. If you wouldn’t talk to your friend about it and can’t say it to their face, its not honesty, its gossip. Totally different. Honesty can be kind and painful, but not hurtful.

Here is what I mean, 1) you are a very thoughtful person. See how that was kind and true? That’s honesty. Now, here is painful honesty, 2) when you did this _______, I felt this __________. Ouch but important to know your actions cause pain. That way you can change your act.

The bottom Line? BE NICE PEOPLE! Why is this so hard?

I don’t have an answer, I just know its hard.

So here is my goal plan:

I am running Dumbo Double Dare the September long weekend.

I am doing strength training on my knee to get it into the best possible shape before I start running again.

I will run 4 times a week, include hill training, speed work and LSDs. Core and muscle work will continue as well as weight loss.

I will cross the finish line, get my photo taken and wear my medal around my neck all damn day, then drink to my success. I am dripping with confidence.

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There you have it, my goal. Simple and it doesn’t require help. I will not turn down support, but I have enough going on that I don’t need to search for support. Once bitten, twice shy and all that jazz. I know who my supporters are, they hugged me when I failed. They will hug me when I succeed.

Boom

The End

And for crying out loud…. JUST BE NICE PEOPLE!

A Long Time Ago…It seems like a Galaxy Far Far Away

Facebook this week has people tagging each other to post their original profile pic. I dug mine up and laughed my head off. I do not even look like that girl anymore. 10805809_10153052104311337_3776625163417669245_n Let’s examine this closely, shall we? Round face: check! Short curly hair dyed mouse brown to be inconspicuous and asexual: check! Hiding behind children to block the fat view: check! Extra large boobs resting on the belly for comfort: check! This is me 8 years later: 1937498_10152992100491337_432840494231829037_n Round face: yes but more oval, cheeks are still mine but I can no longer see them when I smile. Short curly hair dyed mouse brown to be inconspicuous and asexual: Nope! Letting the grey show through highlights and low lights. Not afraid to be proud of the age. I’m pushing 50 and earned all those greys. The highlights make the hair shiny. Grew out the hair to have more options. Running with long hair is easy and not as hot. Hiding behind children to block the fat view: Nope! I am not skinny, but I am sure happy with how my body has changed! Here is me and Coach at Disney Studios, sure I am still on the cuddly side, but I’m cool with that. I am a work in progress. I don’t feel the need to hide anymore. 10835140_10153038437086337_6177125536509154145_o Extra large boobs resting on the belly for comfort: NOPE! Those babies are gone and so is all that extra skin up top. Next on tap the extra skin on the belly. I am pretty motivated to keep moving forward in the progress. It’s always a great idea to see where you have come from, so you don’t beat yourself up in the now. I want to run the 10km at the Star Wars Weekend in Disneyland next year. I also want to dress up for it. Never before have I had the desire to wear a costume in a race, but COME ON people! This is STAR WARS! I have been a huge fan since I was a kid! I waited in line at the paramount with my little brother to see it, not once but 3 times! That took a lot of convincing my mom. The last time we didn’t even tell, we just took the bus into Edmonton and saw it ourselves. We had the action figures, well, my brother did. I was allowed to be Leia and the Sand People. Leia was the first time I saw a strong woman who didn’t need a guy to save her. She was kick ass from the word go. This is what I want to wear: Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 4.04.37 PM This gal wore this for the Princess Half Marathon in WDW. Things I love, the sleeves, the length and the slit in the skirt. Things I will add will be a hood because SERIOUSLY look at that hood! Its awesome! Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 4.07.27 PM I will likely wear shorts instead of leggings, white leggings are just…well…no. White compression socks and some sort of white gator over my running shoe. The belt will have my firearm and hidden pockets for running stuff. I will use a sock buns for hair. But that HOOD! That is the best part! One whole year to wait! Meanwhile I need to:

  1. Fix my knee
  2. Speed Work
  3. Get my sewing machine back from my friend
  4. Keep losing weight
  5. Post a photo of Leia on my dream board

CAN’T WAIT!

So, I hear you quit…

I am now home.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I have been at Walt Disney World for the last week and now that I am home I feel discombobulated. So good to see my family but so sad to leave my team.

I traveled down to Florida to support my team in their epic quests for The Dopey Challenge, to attend some DAWS Foundation meetings and events and Participate in the Donald half marathon. I did a ton of stuff I had never done before and learned new things, met new people and had an amazing time over all. I honestly can say I love my team and wish I could spend all my days with them.

It was pointed out to me that I may enjoy starting fights at the end of the vacation because it is easier to leave in anger than to say good bye. Well…sure? I didn’t do it intentionally and I much rather leave crying because I will miss everyone than crying because I am mad. But then I learned that I made THEM mad.

Interesting.

Apparently I had a secret agenda for the half marathon. I was going to walk through the Castle and then call it quits.

I don’t remember it that way.

I do remember thinking “there is no fucking way I will be able to keep pace ahead of those balloon ladies with my knee the way it is. No freaking way.”

And there is it is.

That moment of mental strength out the window. The real reason my journey ended in the medical tent. I lost it.

That morning at 2:30 AM I woke up and was not nervous. I felt good. My knee was being a jerk, I taped it up, put on compression to keep swelling down, dressed and couldn’t think what I was going to wear to keep warm. I failed to bring throw away clothes for the start. I wrapped myself in a pashmina and figured I would be fine. It was quite cool and damp, but I was doing okay. I got separated from my team, but I was okay with that. I was mentally preparing for the fight ahead. I wanted to finish for a couple of reasons:

1. I love crossing the finish line.

2. There was a huge judgy rant back at the room the day before about slow runners and moving up corals so they can finish, people who don’t even try….yadda yadda yadda….

3. I have lost my mojo this year and need it back. My confidence is gone and this feels like one be giant fail of a year. It was harder than it needed to be or I am more sensitive than I need to be. At any rate, I wanted this.

I was enjoying the solitude of the coral when my guys show up. They found me. I was both elated and devastated at the same time. I had talked to my coach and told him my reasons for needing to run alone. I never run with people and have a great run. It is stressful for me. I don’t enjoy it. I can’t get into my zone and just go. I constantly worry. I know I am holding them back, I know they could go a whole lot faster, I just think about them instead of me. The WHOLE POINT OF ME RUNNING was to focus on me. That alone was a difficult thing to do. I am not that person. I am the caretaker and learning to set aside me time was really difficult.

Stressing that they would be running with me pretty much ruined my trip. It was hard for me to relax in the days leading up to it.  I would tell them no thank you, and I would get, too bad, we are running with you.

So there was that.

After I talked to my coach, I felt relaxed. I then had it in my head that I was doing this. My race, my terms, my way. Run my OWN race, the way you are supposed to.

When we reached the start line, I hugged and kissed them all, wished them well and was ready to watch them take off at the speed of light.

But that didn’t happen

They stayed around me.

I told them to go but they didn’t and it flustered me.

I ran too fast, I ran too slow, I tried to lose them, I was all over the place and started to cry. This was the WORST RACE EVER! I was in Walt Disney World! This was supposed to be AWESOME.

The worst of it is, they meant well. They were there to support me and I tried everything to get rid of them.

Coach came up to me and I told him how angry I was at them. He said he would make them leave at the first mile marker.

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It took 5km for me to calm down but I never found my stride.

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By Mile 5 my knee had swelled so much I had lost mobility and need to walk for longer stretches. I wasn’t having fun, I had no business being in this race and I wanted to just sit and cry. As I walked into Magic Kingdom, it hit me. I was doing what I had long dreamed about! I got my shit together and kept movingI was going to finish this freaking race. I stopped to take a selfie in front of the castle.

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Keep moving forward was my mantra.

Passed Buzz Light year, the weird happy guy from Tangled, a bear from Country Bear Jamboree and was able to really focus on the awesomeness of the course through Magic Kingdom. I checked my garmin and my pace was slowing. I had fallen behind pace by 3 minutes. I tried to step it up.

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I left back stage and made it past Mary Poppins and Bert on the left and the gold course was on my right. I was just over half way.

A big bus pulled in front and boom….. done.

The Grim Sweepers won and I sat on the cry baby bus with all the other crying/injured/slow runners/walkers. Worst feeling ever.

Almost.

I get to medical, they wrap me up, ice my knee, wrap me in a blanket and off to go look for my team. I have no idea where they are, I’m not getting text service, I am lost and defeated.

Coach calls and asks where I am because they were had already started to leave without me.

Ouch.

All mad at me for quitting.

It was that moment where I wished I hadn’t come. I wished I wasn’t me and I wished for someone to take the knife out of my knee.

I sat in a ice bath and cried. I felt lonely, disappointed and lost. I became that fat girl who couldn’t do anything again. Who wanted to fit in and just didn’t. Who wanted people to understand but couldn’t.

I was so ready to go home.

WORST DAY EVER.

So there we are. 2014 is done, this race is DONE. Soon the crying will be DONE.

Knee will get better and I will begin again….from scratch.

I can’t go back there until I am different. That may take a while, but I am working on it.

When I do… I will own it.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.