Sunday, March 30, 2014

5KM Race? CHECK!

Today I completed in my very first 5km race. And I couldn't be more proud of myself.
The morning started off with some pre-race jitters. I was nervous about a lot of different things - mainly that I wouldn't be able to run the entire 5 kilometres, that I would come in last.

We headed to Hamilton and met a sea of people getting ready for their own race.  I say "their own race" as I told myself that I am not competing against anyone else - I'm not doing this for them - I am doing this for me.  This is my own race - my first race. Racing for me! This definitely helped my nerves.

We met my cousins Paula, Jessica and Nathan at the starting line, had a few laughs, excited about the race which would start shortly.  I was so happy to have the kids and Tim at the starting line with me - knowing they were there, cheering for me, so very proud of me was
such a huge comfort.

It was time for the race to begin - We headed over to the starting area, joining the 30+ minute racers. There were so many runners that it felt like forever to reach the actual starting line, slowly walking with the pack...but once we crossed it was GO time!

I felt as though I started off strong - was thrilled to see Tim, the kids, Mom and Dad cheering for us as we ran by.  It was a beautiful morning - perfect for running.  But into my second km, I started to get tired and hot. Remember, I hadn't trained properly for this - the weather hasn't been great for spending any length of time outdoors, in my opinion anyway. LOL  I had trained on the treadmill and felt good about my running until I ran outdoors - wow, what a difference!  I began second guessing the clothing I had chosen.  My new running tights kept falling down, I felt like I spent most of the run hiking up my pants. =D

I began the negative self talk.  "You can't do this" repeated over and over in my head.  My cousin Paula, was amazing - encouraging me to keep going, I hated that I was holding her back but she didn't seem to care one bit.  She told me prior to the race, even if we have to walk a bit, that's OK, we will make sure we run across that finish line together.  And so, I turned off that negativity and began repeating over and over "you can do this" - started picturing Tim and the kids waiting for me at the finish line and remembering all the amazing and encouraging messages friends had sent me on facebook prior to the race.   And at the 4km, when I was feeling exhausted, a police officer reached out his hand to me
for a high five and said "You got this" - that was the boost I needed to get to the finish line.

Turning that corner into Copps Collisuem, running down the ramp and into the arena, where you could start to hear the cheers of the fans waiting for "their" runners was such a rush.  As I crossed the finish line, I began to cry - not because I was sore or tired, but because this was such a huge accomplishment for me.  Not in a million years did I think I would actually complete a 5km race.

Did I run the entire 5k? No.  Am I ok with that? Absolutely.  I had set my race time goal at 45:00 minutes.  Judging my treadmill time at about 8minutes/km, I figured this was doable.  When I crossed that finish line at 43:03 and later finding out my actual chip time was 40:43, I was so proud.

I am so happy that I did this - a few thank yous.

My first medal!
First to Paula - I am so thankful that you convinced me to sign up for this race.  Your constant positivity and encouragement is exactly what I needed -  I couldn't have done this without you!

Tim - Thank you for believing in me even when I didn't believe in myself. Thank you for being my biggest fan, for cheering me on when I was ready to quit. I love you!

My fans. L, E, Mom and Dad.  Thank you for coming to the race and being my cheerleaders.  Seeing you at the start and at the finish was such a great feeling.  Thank you for your words of encouragement and for believing in me.  I love you!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My 5K Journey

Back in December, my cousin Paula had posted a status to Facebook about how she had just joined the Around the Bay 5K race with her daughters.  I commented on her status...and within minutes she had convinced me to sign up too.

I have never been a runner but have always been intrigued by the thought of running a 5K.  I am envious when I pass lean runners on the street, people posting photos of themselves with a medal around their necks.  I would love to be a "lean" runner with a collection of medals.

So - I dusted off my running shoes and treadmill and began my training.  I began running with my Couch to 5K app on my iPhone.  I have started it a couple times, made it to about half way and then got out of the routine of running. I was doing pretty well - running for 4km - the longest I've ever run in my entire life. I was so proud....

For those who don't live in Canada or the northern states may not know about the extreme cold winter we have had.  The "polar vortex" left this winter very uninviting to spend ANY amount of time outdoors - for me, outdoor training just wasn't happening.  When a nice day finally came, I decided to head out and oh my gosh! Running outdoors was completely legs and hips were SO sore after only a few minutes.  The hard road was not as shock absorbing as my bouncy treadmill.  I became very discouraged.

Since that day, I have been out a few more times, each time getting easier and easier - My training is not where I hoped it would be...but even signing up for this race is a HUGE accomplishment, and whether I run the entire 5K or have to stop and walk every once in a while, I will be so proud of myself.

Yesterday, I headed to Copps Colliseum First Ontario Place to pick up my very first race packet.  The whole experience was pretty cool - half of the concourse was strewn with vendors and filled with runners, all ages, all shapes and sizes.  It was pretty surreal to be walking amongst them, as I still can't believe what I've signed up to do.  I picked up my package and got my chip activated.  Inside was my bib, an Around The Bay shirt and hat plus my race timing chip.  I ran into my cousin, Paula, and her daughter Jessica there - so excited to participate in this run with them.

While I was leaving, I poked my head into the arena.  The finish line had been set up - allowing me to see where I would be "running" in, finishing my first 5K.  It was an emotional sight.  Sometimes while running on the treadmill, I would envision myself crossing the finish line to keep me motivated to keep running.  I'd see T and the kids there cheering for me - I'd get teary with the thought.

It's hard to believe that in roughly 13.5 hours, I will be crossing that finish line.  Completing my very first 5K race.  I will make sure to smile, but I'm sure there will be tears of happiness and pride.  I'm still saying to myself at times "What am I getting myself into?" Chatting with my cousin tonight, she said "This time tomorrow night, we will be saying "What were we so nervous about, we killed it today :)" I love her positivity.

My clothes are laid out, my iPhone is filled with a rockin' playlist filled with some great beats to keep my feet and legs moving. I have drank lots of water today to help keep myself hydrated.

My race chip is ready, even if I may not feel ready.
Even though I may not run the entire 5K, I am pleased with this incredible journey.  I am doing something that I never dreamt I would do.  I am remembering not to focus on my time, to be happy with the accomplishment of competing in a race for the first time.

I will finish off this post with a quote I found on another post about running 5K:

love yourself in the now. love who you are & what you can do now. don't wish for something you aren't or what you might be in the future. enjoy & savour the now.

And that is what I plan to do tomorrow! 
Wish me luck =D

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Have you seen this video?

     My brother (in law), Dennis posted it to Facebook the other day and I watched it in tears.  As soon as I saw the women covering up their faces when noticing the video camera, I remembered how many times I had done that, or how many times I watched home videos and now remember my Mom, Aunts, Grandmothers doing that. And then I saw the wonderful little girls - no insecurities, no signs of embarrassment, no self doubt - just pure and utter happiness.

The video asks "When did you stop believing you are beautiful?"
   For me, I can't honestly remember when I truly did. In grade 3, when 'friends' used to tease me about a small bump on my nose -  In grade 5, I was a bit heavy, insecurities started - not sure I ever looked at myself in a positive way again.   Even on my wedding day, when I should've felt the like a princess, I had anxiety about walking down the aisle, second thoughts on my dress and hair - these thoughts overshadowed the "beautifulness" I should have felt.  There are times when I look in the mirror and think, for a split second, "I am pretty", but it is soon taken over by thoughts of self doubt and a lot of negative self talk - will save that for another blog post.

I take a look at my daughter, who is almost 9, with admiration and love.
She doesn't worry about her appearance or if her clothes match.
She is happy and seems confident.
I wonder when she is going to stop thinking she is beautiful.
I hope she never does.

So, I ask, When did YOU stop believing you are beautiful?

Friday, March 7, 2014

6 years old!

6 years ago today, our not so little man came screaming into the world.  When I say "not so little", I mean "NOT SO LITTLE" - E weighed a whopping 10lbs 4oz and man, I loved every single ounce of that chunky newborn boy.
He completed our family - Daddy, his big sister, Lo and I loved him so much.

E has filled our lives with so much love and laughter.  At 6 years old, he is a loveable, cuddly, sporty, hilarious, kind, little boy. He is so friendly and we are always surprised by the kids that say "Hey, Ev" on the black top.  He loves school and is really starting to pick up on his reading.  He is an absolute Mama's boy, loving to twirl my hair.  He loves his Daddy's tickles and wrestle time.  He and his sister are great friends, although sometimes they fight like cats and dogs.  They really do care about each other.

A few of Ev's favourites, age 6:

Favourite Movie:  "Turbo"
Favourite Food:  "Pizza"
Favourite Drink: "Orange juice"
Favourite Thing to Do: "Playing X-Box"
Favourite Book: "Green Eggs and Ham"
Favourite Place to Eat: "Spoon & Fork"
Favourite Sport Team: "Cardinals" - Daddy's baseball team <3 p="">Favourite Sport to Play: "Baseball"
Favourite Colour:  "Orange"
Favourite Super Hero:  "Human Torch"

I couldn't imagine our life without our little man.  He makes every day brighter!