Saturday, August 24, 2013

Getting Back On Your Feet

First of, I want to say a sincere THANK YOU for the sweet comments and messages after my last post. It's been a tough few weeks and I was really, really touched by your support. If I haven't written back to you yet, I will.

The race was this morning. I wavered for a bit yesterday and for a little while had decided I was going to suck it up and run anyway, but I know that probably wouldn't have been realistic, so I'm licking my wounds and moving on. That's what you have to do, right?

There are a few things that helped... 

1. Some time with family & loved ones. 


After the accident happened I went home to Newfoundland to spend some time with my family. I had been planning a trip home before the accident, albeit a totally different trip than the one that happened. I had been planning on doing a road trip home, taking our time driving across the island and visiting with family along the way. Obviously a 10+ hour drive was out of the question with my back and neck boing so sore so we booked flights at the last minute. The sea kayaking plans were scrapped, as was our 2-day hiking & camping trip along the East Coast Trail with my sister and her hubby. 

Missing out on that stuff was disappointing, but we had a fabulous time in spite of it. My dad's summer cottage is a slice of heaven so a few days spent relaxing and reading on the deck was exactly what the doctor ordered. (PS if you're looking for a great summer read, The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (but really J.K. Rowling) was phenomenal, I couldn't put it down!)

Also: seeing my dog with my dad and sister's dogs all together for the first time was pretty awesome. I think we like little white dogs?

Daisy-Pants is the second from the left, looking at the ceiling!

2. A lil retail therapy (don't worry mom, I didn't go nuts!)

I bought a fab pair of boots when I was back home. I've been looking for a pair of boots in this colour and style for a while and was pumped to find these! 

Ladies, is there a situation on earth that is not made better by new boots/ shoes?!

Truth: an old boyfriend cheated on my years ago, just before Christmas. So I returned the present I had bought him and used money to buy some fab new shoes. They really do make everything better!

I also invested in a new running outfit (and a half?). I know money can't buy happiness, but it can buy pretty things from Lululemon, and those do make me happy! 

For when I am able to run again... and maybe for wearing around the house until then :) A HUUUGE thank you to Amy - I missed out on the elusive plaid shorts when they were uploaded, and she was sweet enough to pick me up a pair at her store and ship them to me. I was still at the hospital when she sent me the message, and it was seriously the best part of that otherwise awful day. Thanks again girl!

3. Speaking of running again.... 

I may have had to miss out on the race today (*sniff!) but instead of dwelling on what has happened and what I can't change, I am looking to the future. 

So I registered for another race. Moncton Legs for Literacy Full Marathon: I will see you in October. 

I had a really good chat with a friend of mine who is also a ER and sports doctor. I knew he would give me a honest and straight opinion, and I know he is all about using physical activity to promote healing. I really believe that getting active is the best way to heal (you can read my thoughts and my experience with it after my last accident here!), and I knew that if he said it was ok to run, then I should do it. As I suspected he would, he recommended that I get back at it asap!

So I'm going to go for my first run since the accident this afternoon. I'm sure it's going to be tough and probably a little painful, since my back and neck are still really stiff and sore. But I also remember after my last accident, things really didn't improve until I started getting active again. So this time, I'm trusting myself and my friend's advice and I'm jumping back in the game. After all, I've got a marathon to train for!!

Have you ever been in an accident?

Is anyone racing this weekend?

Is anyone else a fan of retail therapy? If you were on a retail therapy mission, what store would you most likely find yourself in?

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I've Been Avoiding You.

I have a little confession to make... I've been avoiding you.

It's not personal - I love blogging so much, and sharing this whole journey with you, from where I started with an awful car accident, a very messed up back and out of shape, to running my first marathon and working towards my first ultra marathon, has been amazing. I've met so many wonderful people through here, you all inspire me and I love reading your blogs too. But I want this to be a positive place, where I share the best parts of my day and talk about my favourite things in the world: running, fitness and food.

Trying to write this very post at the airport... over week ago.

The reason I've been avoiding posting (for the past two weeks, anyway) is that things have taken a really upsetting turn and I just haven't been able to come around to looking at them in a positive, upbeat "I will be stronger for this" kind of way just yet. I kind of figure no one wants to read a sad post, so I've just avoided it altogether.

But after reading touchingly open and honest posts by two of my most favourite bloggers (here and here), I was inspired to open up too. I appreciate when bloggers let me into their worlds, and odd as it may seem, the bloggers I follow seem like friends. No one's life is perfect, and it doesn't feel "real" to only read about the great things in a blogger's life - so I'm going to be honest too and hope you'll forgive this downer post for today.

So now I guess you're wondering what on earth happened?!

On Wednesday morning, two weeks ago this morning, I was in another car accident.

(Look familiar?)

Someone wasn't looking as they were coming off the highway onto a merge ramp, and hit my car hard from behind. My neck was fully turned when I was hit, so it's caused a lot of problems with my back and neck. I'm having a hard time sitting and just getting through normal day-to-day things.

Remember the ultra marathon that I am registered to run on Saturday, the one I spent the last 4 months training for and putting in back to back 20 to 22-mile runs, followed by 10 mile runs the next day? I was REALLY hoping to still be able to run. Yes, I know that was probably naive and stupid, but you know how it is when you want something so badly. I was convinced that I would run anyway, even though I knew it would be very painful.

I started physiotherapy yesterday, and got the news that I was dreading: the ultra is out of the question. Not happening.

Needless to say, I'm heartbroken. It's hard not to feel a little bitter that barely 2 weeks before the big day, after all the miles had been logged and so much of my free time this summer was sacrificed to get those long (and I mean looong!) runs in, I won't get to experience the feeling of crossing that finish line, or to call myself an ultra marathoner.

I'm trying to stay positive, but I'll be honest, it's a struggle. I went back to work yesterday and I am starting to get back into a routine again, but I am still spending my evenings in bed with ice packs on my neck and heating pads on my back waiting for things to start to heal. I know I have a long road ahead of me, lots of physiotherapy and I know it's going to be a painful process.

Sister time and ocean help to make everything better.
Now if only I could turn my neck!!

Right now I am leaning on my family and friends, and taking things one day at a time. It's hard to wrap my head around everything, but I know I will come around, and I'll set my sights on a new race to work towards.

And when I cross the finish line, it will feel that much better knowing that I will always choose to fight, and I will get back on my feet no matter what.

- - - - - - - - - 

Tell me about something that you're training for (so I can pretend I'm cool and training for something too!)

What was your proudest race you've ever finished?

And, because I'm planning on consuming at least my body weight in ice cream this week, tell me what the best flavour is!!

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'm Back... And 2 Months in a Nutshell

Hey friends, I'm sorry I left for so long!

It started I was feeling kind of burned out and I needed a few days off.. and that kind of turned into 2 months. Oops!

Here's the Coles Notes version of what happened while I was gone.

1. My little sister got married!!

Me, my 3 sisters and my Daddy

My sister had the best wedding in southern Ontario. She was a stunning bride - and she was so laid back about the whole thing. It was a blast. Also: weddings are an insane amount of work.

2. New Job

I could talk forever about this one, but here's the short and sweet of it: I loved my old job and I really loved the people I worked with. I miss them a lot! But a fabulous opportunity came up with great benefits and I couldn't resist it. I am now doing all family law - it's challenging at times, but very rewarding work.

The view from my new office

The irony of it is I was really loving the work-life balance offered by the new job (the office closes at 4:30 pm!) but the work load has been really heavy so far, and it cuts into my free time (read: blogging time!) I am really trying to work on this - hopefully when things settle down a bit at work I will have more time to blog.

3. Ran a Half Marathon in Fredericton

I ran the half pretty much on a whim in May. It was far from my best race (a whole 8 minutes worse than my PB) but I really hadn't trained for it.. or done a long run since my last half marathon in February.

On the bright side, it was a great roadtrip with a group of friends and visiting Ryan's sister on her turf for the weekend. The race course was beautiful and very well organized. I'd definitely do it again.. but I might train a little next time. Not gonna lie, and I should know this by now, but half marathons aren't that fun when you haven't trained properly!

(hand over heart for Boston)

Ryan had a fantastic race - he came along for the roadtrip when he found out he had the weekend off at the last minute. With zero training and running about once a week over most of the winter, he somehow still pulled off a 1:35 half marathon. Yeah I secretly hate him a little for it too.

4. Ultra Marathon Training

Remember that ultra marathon I signed up for earlier this year? Well I'm hard at work! Fredericton was the wake up call I needed to get my ass in gear. I've been running a lot, but I feel really strong. I've gotten to a point where I feel like I can run forever. Slow and turtle-esque, but forever.

Yesterday I did what I would have thought was impossible.. Remember when I ran 15.5 miles on a treadmill last year and thought I was cookoo bird? I've outdone myself... On Sunday I ran 22 miles on the treadmill. Yes, seriously.

Why? (<-- I know you're all thinking it!) Well, it was swelteringly hot here (34*C when I checked and it may have gone up from there. Super muggy and humid. Yes, I could have suffered it out, but I have a really important week this week (5 weeks 'till race day!) and I didn't want to destroy myself for the rest of the week's runs or risk heat exhaustion (had that before - a mild version - and don't care to ever experience it again!), sunburn or dehydration. Hydrating properly is a big issue on these hot summer training runs - I cannot possibly bring enough liquid with me to keep hydrated or fuelled even close to properly. So I stuck to the treadmill and just put it on an incline of 1-2% to make up for natural hills and wind resistance outside.

^ Happy post run!

I will post more in he coming days about running in the heat, ultra training thus far and all the mishaps along the way (and trust me there have been lots of them!)

I'm so happy to be back at this, I've really missed it dearly!

xo Jenn