Saturday, March 24, 2012

Running For Those Who Can't.

I'm a little late this year on my annual "nothing is impossible challenge". In 2010 after I raced TransRockies (which I thought was impossible when I originally signed up), I challenged everyone to run this absolutely crazy marathon: the Powderface 42. Initially I had about 25 people sign up as part of the facebook group. And the day of the race there were 7 finishers that I could not have been more proud of, including my 56 year old father who I ran with for 8 hours through the mountains. You can read the post from last year. It was amazing. And for those who didn't make it to the race, I know that a lot of them started running or set new goals for themselves. And that is enough for me. I just want people to realize that sometimes you just have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and that more often than not, you will surprise yourself at what you are actually capable of. We tell ourselves stories and it becomes a pattern of "I can't". When in fact you CAN. So here is this year's challenge:

Blaine and Sarah Penny have a little boy, Evan, who is slightly older than my daughters Natalie and Jasmine. A few years ago Evan was a normal and healthy little boy. One day he complained of stomach pain, went into the hospital and came out a quadriplegic. He can no longer talk or eat. He has been diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease.


I didn't actually know Blaine or Sarah a few years ago and heard their story one day on CBC radio and I think because of how close Evan is in age to my girls, it really hit me hard. I couldn't imagine having something like this happen. Turns out, Blaine and Sarah are both ultrarunners (in fact Blaine won the 50 mile Canadian Championships last year despite going off course due to a flagging mishap) in Calgary and we know a lot of the same people, and their daughter now goes to the same school as Natalie and Jasmine. I have been so inspired by their story and their dedication to building awareness and raising money for research into Mitochondrial disease. They are tireless. And they have built incredible momentum. They were a huge force behind starting a non-profit "Mito Canada" and have rallied incredible support from the running, biking and skiing community, getting people to run for Team MitoCanada at any race they enter. They've got people all over the place "Running for those who can't." Blaine, Sarah, Evan and Julia, I'm sorry I haven't done more to support you.

So don't tell me you can't. Evan can't. You CAN.
And today is the day you are going to start.

I am calling you to the start line of either the Calgary or Ottawa marathon weekend on May 27, 2012. You can run a marathon, a 10k, a 5k or even a 2k. And there are kids races too! You can join the MitoCanada team and Run for Those Who Can't. Help Blaine and Sarah fundraise. Their goal is to raise $15,000 but if they get 200 people registered and each raises even $100 that's $20,000. I've got 250 people on my health coaching page alone, can I get 20 of you to sign up?

So whether you come to Calgary and run with me (I will be doing the half that day), or you get some friends together and sign up for a local race and have Blaine ship you a team Mito tshirt, let's all get behind this. You only have two months to train, I know. You should ideally have three. But you just have to get there and finish it. That's it. Just finish it. If you need help getting started there are lots of local running clubs, the Running Room clinics, or just step outside your door with a pair of running shoes. Grab a friend and do it together. Here is how to register and start fundraising for Team MitoCanada:

Please post your progress on my facebook page or through the MitoCanada facebook page or website or both, because it will help others to get inspired. Talk about how your training and fundraising is going.

Nothing is impossible. You just have to take that first step.

Power's On. Go!

You can watch the Running on Empty documentary here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Let's Dance

I have to admit this about myself. I run faster with good and/or new music. I've just been introduced to a podcast so I don't have to keep buying music, and I can ditch my usual sound track which I was getting so bored with. Is this why I was running so slow? Because I was bored? Bored with my usual road route, bored with my music? I needed a change.

I just about quit running the other day. Seriously. I was ready to give up. My legs hurt, and I felt like I was getting nowhere and I was not recovering from my runs. And I had no idea why. On top of this, my Achilles seemed to be getting tighter and tighter and nothing was working. Not ice baths, not acupuncture, not even time off. It's been driving me nuts.

Yesterday I left work for a lunch run and almost cried my Achilles hurt so much. I stopped at home (only 2 blocks away from my office) to switch shoes as a last ditch effort. Instead of my old road shoes, I decided to try one more time with my new Inov-8's. As I ran down the hill towards the river, on my toes rather than my heels... nothing hurt! I was hesitant but finally I was able to hold a decent pace so I came back to work happy. This morning Matt and I ran a 10k loop and we were even able to hold race pace for 4k of it, once again pain free. I didn't think I could go that pace any more but the music was fun and it's warming up to 15 here today. Thank God. All is not lost.

We get to work together from a coffee shop this afternoon and then plan to do a nice long trail run with Maui at Nose Hill before we go babysit my gorgeous niece Blaire this evening. I'm hoping this is the end of the injury... knock on wood.

So assuming my legs hold up, here is the tentative race plan for the year. As usual it's a bit road heavy at the start but gets into the trails in July. I've also got the three trail running camps and plan to spend most of my training time after Seattle on the trails.

January: Phoenix Marathon. Done.

April 1: Glencoe Icebreaker 10k
April 29: Policeman's’ half

May 27: Calgary Half Marathon

June 23: Seattle marathon

July 14: Powderface 42 trail marathon
July 21: Nipika Crazy Soles trail 25k

August 14: TransRockies Run 3

September 1: Meet your Maker 50 Sept 1

October 7: Victoria or Chicago Marathon Oct 7

Now I just have to stay healthy and injury free!