Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Biggest problem post race so far... SNEEZING NON STOP! (also a few things from that race that I did not put in before!) This update is needed!

I have had a most interesting two days following the santa shuffle 5k....

Remember when, after the Hamilton Half Marathon, I gave you the litany of after effects from taking on such a Herculean task? I had a minor side effect which at the time was minor compared to the asthma cough I had for a week after.  I did my research, as I am wont to do and went out an bought a Balaclava that covers my mouth and nose, since apparently that can help greatly. 

I started the race with both the balaclava and my Santa Beard over my mouth and about a kilometre into the race, I was DYING.  It was like, HUH?  Then I realized that the Balaclava was totally interfering with my breathing and I pushed both it and the beard out of my way since at that point I was like, 'so if i get disqualified for not wearing the beard, I will still have a time, but like this, I cannot breathe!'

In the middle of the race, a couple who were letting their dog walk on a very long leash almost tripped me and when I suggested that they keep it on a shorter leash, was told rudely that it was a public park and they could do what they want.  As far as I know, letting your dog be a nuisance in a public parc is not remotely legal.  It put such an icky taste in my mouth, but eventually, as I got away from them, I let it go and tried to do the friendly thing without stopping or slowing down!

At the last kilometre of the race, I caught up with an older woman who had been walking at my pace but ahead of me since early in the race.  We walked the last km together and it was nice.  She was walking sort of weirdly which it turns out is because she is training for a half in Jamaica in two weeks and though a size 6, was wearing so many layers, she was looking like a 14!

She told me that she was in awe of me because when SHE weighed 300 pounds, she would not have been doing what I was doing.  It turned out she had gastric bypass surgery and then started walking and now she and her husband, who runs, go all over the world walking and running together.

Last year they did a half marathon in every province.  It was a little like seeing me and Marc when we are older and retired.....

It was a lovely way to end the race, and while I am actually pretty sure I could have shortened my time a little, the interaction was very nice and very motivating.  Good thing I am not the most competitive of individuals!  My gun time was 1:00 exactly and my chip time was 59.02. This was 2 minutes faster than the wellwood walk time gun time of 1:01. 

So, here comes the part about the sneezing.  I finished the race and started inside for some water or whatever.  Finding none, I realized I had water on my belt and decided to walk back to the car instead of taking the santa trolley.  As I walked past the finish line again, I had a fit of sneezing like crazy.  I was ready for it, since it happened after the Road to Hope but OH MY GAWD, it lasted for well over 24 hours!  Apparently this is normal for cold weather training but my mouth nose and stomache are so sore from it that I am now seriously considering training inside at mac or something. My friend Jeff says your body gets used to it and stops with the sneezing but I don't know if I can tolerate getting used to it!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

On the heels of last night's post...Ultimate weirdness. Being one santa in a thousand in a 5k race!

More weirdness, dressing in a  santa suit this morning to do a 5k.  I am having a heck of a time getting my chip time result but I know that from gun time my time was 1:00 so it was better than that since I don't rush to get out of the crush of santas.

I walked really as fast as possible the whole way.  I learned that the balaclava has to have a mouth hole or i feel like i am suffocating.

I jogged the last ten feet or so because i wanted my gun time to be an hour.

Later, I was talking to someone who had been at the hanukkah hustle and who believe it or not used me as an example of someone who was getting out there and DOING it- another example of how odd it is to be used as an example!

I cannot for the life of me stop sneezing though.  whats up with that?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

One thing you know is true. If I can do it, you can do it! The idea of me being inspirational is just.... weird.

Periodically, I hear from people who are following this blog and reading about my development into a marathon walker from puddle of goo (ok, not quite, since being a caterer is not exactly a sedentary job.)  I hear that they read my blog, or my Facebook status or maybe they see me walking and suddenly, they are also inspired to hit curves, or the gym or even go for a long walk.  Or, they are inspired to tell me how I am ten times fitter than they are and in total awe. And, wow, its so weird to be 'that' woman who actually is crazy fat and 46 but still working toward a major physical fitness goal.

Whats amazing about it is that hearing about your reading my blog-it totally keeps me motivated to keep on keeping on.  I also love hearing that people are supporting me in lots of different ways, from sponsoring me to sending good thoughts my way, to going for a walk because I inspired them to do so.  It is amazing to know I am not on this journey alone and that my journey is connnected to all of your journeys!

I will say this.  Signing up for timed races is necessary to keep me motivated but it's also sort of a drag!  For example:  being in training mode and being in pre race mode are two different things.  Like last week, somehow I managed to chafe myself and thus this week, being pre race mode again, I was reticent to head out because bleeding body parts do not make for good races. So, tororrow, I will do my 5k, and then I think I will walk the 5k back to the car because I don't have any races for a while, and it's been a while since I did a ten k.  I know there is a shuttle, but I don't really care, actually.  Assuming the weather isn't totally a problem, I want to do it.

So, being in races keeps me motivated, it keeps me goal oriented (like improving my times, pushing myself for short races) and as far as the longer races go, I want to be those people who walk 18-20 k without thinking much about it and just do it for fun.  Such oddness really.  There is a tonne of goal making involved in all of this and so much potential for making new goals! But it's also incredibly weird being the person who is motivating others just by sharing my own experience.  Me, who would typically avoid stairs or walking of any distance, even at a saunter.  Me who has never exercised regularly.  Me who was never  a jock in high school. Me who even though i was a swimmer- meaning lifeguard and instructor, was never a swim team participant (except as a lifeguard) and almost fell over in shock at grade 9 track and field day when I came in third in a sprint race because I had been jogging around the driving park track and somehow that made me faster in a sprint.  I think my response to 'congratulations' was 'youre joking!"

I have been thinking recently about nutrition as it relates to the training thing and I have to admit that I am starting to consider following some sort of a training related food plan.  I am doing my research and speaking to 'my' professionals and l am gearing up to make some decisions about how I can change how I eat to benefit my activity without completely throwing me into some sort of a crazy eating binge- the like of which have brought me to my current weight because following a food plan is a HUGE trigger for me and while left to my own devices, I can maintain my weight and not gain (I recently threw out a bunch of clothing i was sick of- that NEVER used to happen-and yes, I am still buying the same size but it's been something like 7 years at this weight now, and the last insane increase happened after a debacle with a 'support' who was not a professional and which spun me out into the atmosphere so badly that not only did I regain all the weight I had lost, but I also gained another twenty to spare.

For years, I felt hopeless about my weight.  in 2009, I had occasion to go to a sleep clinic and the doc there connected me to some medical professionals who I have been working with to try and find a solution to my weight issues without going nuts and spinning off again.  I know that the process has really helped me because I went from completely hopeless about ever finding a solution to hopeful that some day enough factors and supports would be in place that I would be able to pursue weight loss again, or even just follow a maintenance plan.

Anyways, I am just saying out loud, because as you know, I am big on accountability that I am considering this seriously.  I recognize that weight loss will never happen to me   if left to my own devices, but wanting to increase my speed and lower my times is something that is directly weight related.  There is no going around it.  If I remain the same weight and keep working out, of course, I will increase my speed but it would be alot easier to do it the easy way, by losing weight.

So the rules of eating upstairs are changing (downstairs is biz).  No white flour or pasta, or grains.  Eat more fruit and vegetables. Avoid recreational sugar if at all possible, but not at all costs (like, morning races require fast carbs and I am not a good breakfast eater- race days builder bars are my best bet and for long races and workouts, sports beans are helpful...)  Thats as far as i can go today. because increasing the quality of my food is a huge deal.  And for today, it's enough.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

When you should volunteer at a race instead of running it! Hanukkah Hustle 2013- Race dedicated to Sharon Flynn!

Sharon Flynn has been a friend of mine for almost 17 years.  We don't really see each other in person but we do stay in touch on FB.  A while ago, Sharon had a severe and very complex fracture of her leg.  She has been recovering for months and despite her agony and how she has to learn to walk all over again, even with ongoing serious injury she has been positive and upbeat and her own adorable self the whole way.  Last night, I decided to do the Hanukkah hustle (fundraiser for our local Jewish retirement home -shalomvillage.ca 's active living programme) in honour of Sharon's recovery and since I gave a donation in addition to signing up for the race, I mentally thought it would be nice if the merit for that good deed went to Sharon's recovery in the hope that it will be speedy and complete.  So, despite the debacle that was my morning (in more than one way!) I decided that in the race itself, I would be cheerful, upbeat and positive in honour of Sharon since despite her massive injury she has been that way through her recovery!  My only other goal was to beat my Wellwood time of 1:01 and change.  Oh yeah and not to fall since I fell both at Wellwood and the Hamilton half marathon.

Here are the debacle things!

1)  I could not sleep last night.  I guess I was charged from an event I did and then it just took me a long time to settle down.  It was 4 am when I finally fell asleep.

2) I did not lay out race clothing and equipment or charge a wireless headphone.  Marc found me some ear buds.  This figures prominently in why this race was a totally failed attempt at a better time in a 5k!

3) I did not lay out the builder's bars which i bought for breakfast (I am not a breakfast person but you gotta eat...)

4) No coffee cause I didn't want to have to use porta potties.

5) When I got into my car, it would not start but it was blocking the other car so we had to push it out into the street.  This contributed further into us being quite late.

6)  Race kit pick up ended at 9:45 and I dropped Marc off at 9:40 and then had to park .6 of a k away (which actually was a great warm up since it was right before the race.)

7)  They found my registration but not Marc's

8)  They sent him through the process to register but when I told him I was sure that I had signed him up, he asked them to check again and they found it however I was stopping every couple of seconds to try and find the confirmation email and answer the phone which flew out of my hands a number of times....

9)  Eventually I got there, and he gave me my bib but we put the wrong ones on each other.  Then Lori pointed out that we had no chips on our shoes (which I had never seen before because both the other races I did had chips in the bib- waaay easier!)  We went to go get chips, put them on, and then had to exchange them when we realized our mistake.  We changed both bib and shoe chips (thanks Jeff Laskey for helping me with mine!) and all the sudden, I realized the race had started.

10) Technology was a serious issue this morning.  It was so stupid.  First my phone was not sufficiently charged.  Then I had to wrestle with earphones.  wires just don't work for me when walking and ear buds never work at all.  I can't tell you how many times I had to start and stop, even once the race started- first I put my walking playlist on, but for whatever reason it did not shuffle.  Then the ear buds kept falling out.  Then I realized my battery was going to die.

11) so then I needed a place for the ear buds and put them around my neck but they fell off at some point and some nice gent picked them up and asked each runner if they lost buds.  Thanks man!

12) the plastic on the cover of the iphone holder thingy needs to be cut out.  It is nearly impossible to use with the plastic cover, necessitating stops to fix whatever the issue is.

13)  There were so many people I knew and who were participating!  First I saw the guys from Beth Tikvah house, and then I saw Aunt Goldie who is my late Grandmother's youngest living sister.  Both the Beth Tikvah guys and Aunt Goldie had done the 5k walk.. I HAD to stop and hug and say hello  and take pictures.  I WANTED TO!

14) I suspect I have gained some weight, because my body felt really heavy.  This is the first time that I actually remotely felt motivated to start following a food plan that will allow reasonable weight loss as I continue to participate in this sport that I love so much.  THAT  is a freaking revelation because as a compulsive eater I have felt like the whole thing was a lost cause for a long time and my goal was just to get fit instead of losing weight.

After seeing Aunt Goldie, I was a klik in and at this point, I had no breakfast, no water, no coffee and all of this annoyance as well as the joy of running into people who I was SO proud of for doing the 5K and hugging and chatting and photo ops, so I decided a bunch of things;

1)  Screw the playlist.  Just use runkeeper.  Except that in fact I did not end up walking to beat my time since I had so many interruptions.  I KNEW I wasn't going to beat it but decided having a good time was a more important thing to do!
2)  Walk with a big smile on my face at all times!
3)  Say hello or 'great job' or something to every runner running in the opposite direction or coming up behind me.  It was surprising how few people at this race commented back versus the Hamilton Marathon.  Hopefully even those who didn't reply appreciated it!  If not, it made ME super happy!
4)  In the parts where there were no people, I did walk hard.  Today my fastest pace was actually 9:38 which is considerably faster than the usual 11:40 I usually walk and which is my current marathon pace.  I plan on starting to sprint in my training.

5) I was pondering my weight loss thoughts throughout and decided that I WANT a food plan.  A reasonable one that won't leave me starving but which will make my body feel good and hopefully help me to release weight that is dragging me down in my sport.  I don't want to do anything crazy because that is a HUGE trigger for me to go nuts eating again, but I will sort out a generous but smart food plan in the next week.  That was something that became really clear during this walk and which for the first time in a very long time, I feel the desire to do in a smart way. My goal is still not weight loss overall but how to make the sport easier and faster for me!  I know, I am so selfish!


In the end, I had a great race!  I came in 8 minutes LONGER than the Wellwood race, but I had such a great time!  And I did hit a personal best pace time within that longer race!  What I decided is that next year, I am totally going to volunteer at this race because it will give me the opportunity to cheer people on and have a great time.  I can walk to my station if need be and still get the walk in but I KNOW I will be a great volunteer!  Also, I want to be in charge of volunteer RUACH (Spirit) if they will let me to make the runners/walkers feel entertained, amused and appreciated!  After two races with volunteers with noisemakers and pom poms and stuff, I sort of missed the spirit today.  One volunteer was clapping and shouting nice stuff but the others were mostly quiet and serious.   It makes much more sense for me to contribute to this race as a volunteer than as a racer because I am incapable of not stopping and talking.  I can do other timed races where I don't know people!

AAAnyways, that was my morning and the hanukkah hustle.  LARGE KUDOS to my husband Marc who had a personal best time!  Once again, I am SO happy that we do this together!

Sharon, I did you proud baby!  I did this race like you are doing your recovery!  Don't take it personally when you think people are not responding positively to your postivity. They are mired in their own stuff and its enough that YOU are positive for YOU!  And you never know, its possible that at some point one of them will start feeling positive and start doing it  themselves, or at least appreciating that you do!  One of the things I am going to bring along to races if I can get my hands on them are some cheerleader pom poms!  They arent' heavy!  I can walk with them!

I wore the rain hat because I thought it was going to rain and I didn't want rain down the back of my neck but instead there was no rain and I just looked dorky!

Check it out my Hamilton Marathon injuries have healed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

More Road to Hope 2013 debriefing- Whatever possessed me to try so soon?

So the day started early and we got to the Confederation Park Lot where there were school buses waiting to take us to the start line.  There was such a feeling of reality having gone missing- here we were with all these ATHLETES.  People who LOOK like runners.  People who clearly belonged there. It was super cold and I was struggling with how many layers to take.  Luckily I had brought something I bought for a couple of bucks at the Christmas tree shop, since I had read somewhere that a marathon that starts cold is a good place to get rid of old sweatshirts.  Runners dump stuff along the route which is then picked up and usually donated somewhere it can be used.  All along the route I saw gloves, sweats and even a pair of pants.

I ended up leaving my own windbreaker in the bathroom at the community centre where we started.  I actually forgot it, but I doubt it would have helped much to have another layer on.  The wicking stuff can't work without eventually being exposed to air, so having something that does not breathe would probably have made me sweaty.

I think I made it out to the start line after the actual start of the race, which of course does not really matter since I knew a couple of things- the race starts for each runner when your chip goes over the starter thingy and thus, its a personal time.  I suppose if you wanted to make sure you got out in front of the pack so as not to get stuck in the congestion that exists until the pack thins out,  then it might be annoying, but as far as I can tell, being in the back of the large body of starters is just as useful, especially if you have no expectation of being anything but last!  In addition, I wasn't seriously doing this marathon, I was just trying to get some experience!

Marc started out walking with me, but when he realized how hard it was going to be to slow his stride for so long, he went on ahead with my blessing.  For the first 5k or so, there was a cop car on my butt (literally) and I had the thought that this poor cop was gonna be there for a looong time, if he followed me all the way.   After we got on the Red Hill Parkway, there was no one following because it was shut down though so the poor guy caught a break after all.

I have to say- the crowds and volunteers that were at the sides of the road were awesome.  Some were there looking for specific runners, but others just seemed to be there.  At one point a whole group on a bridge erupted in cheers when I came down the  expressway and I shouted ' you guys must be freezing' and they shouted 'no we are warm cause we are watching you!'

Just before the Red Hill, the first runner ran by me.  He had gone 19 km at that point and me, 5km.  As he passed, he said really loudly and clearly 'YOU are doing GREAT!  Keep up the good work!' and that was when I discovered that respect is earned in a marathong JUST by showing up.  People respect that you are there and others are not.  No matter how fast or slow, running or walking.  They just respect your presence.  It was more than respect.  It was like KAVOD which in the simplest of terms means 'respect' in hebrew' but its like honour, really.  It's more than 'just' respect, sort of like respect and admiration mixed together.  That is what I got from the guy in first place, and I was clearly in last!

And thus began all the 42 k people passing by me and it was remarkable how many greeted me as such.  I was so glad not to be wearing earphones, because if I had been, I would have missed all those awesome greetings and the opportunity to return those good wishes to them!

Coming down the Red Hill was gorgeous and it was FREEZING because there was a head wind off of lake ontario.  I was pretty warm by then and the cold didn't really bother me.  I can't imagine walking a half marathon in hot weather- the day was gorgeous and clear so it was beautiful  and crisp and the view was spectacular.

At that point, I kept laughing about aiming for last place to all those people at the side of the road, but in truth, I wasn't sure I was even going to finish! That was too hard to explain really, so I just kept saying 'aiming for last- right on target!'  and thought that I would figure out exactly what I was aiming for once I got to fifteen km, which was my goal.  I knew from some other walkers that at about 17 k, I could skip the loop if I wanted to come in without going the whole way, so when I got to about 14 or 15, and the diversion was there, I was still feeling pretty good and decided that I would just go with it since I was doing ok anyways.  The thing is that its a really good thing I did that.  I would have learned stuff anyways had I not gone farther than 15k but I learned the most after I started getting blisters and then wearing out at about 16 and 18 km.  18 was about when I felt the 'pfft' happened and all in one second I learned how important carb loading and sports beans and or gels are.  After that point, I was seriously green for the rest of the race.  exacerbated by drinking which I had to do and which might have been alleviated by eating some sports beans but I was too nauseated to do.  This means next time, I need to schedule the eating of the beans by the kilometer so that it isn't all at once and is a steady stream.  I know it was also exacerbated by the fact that I did not carb load properly since my natural preferences run to eating proteins.

I ran into Marc who was doing great guns  as I turned down to km 16 and that portion was all along the waterfront.  Lake ontario was gorgeous and blue and the path is stunning and in excellent shape. seeing him lifted my spirits too!

at around 17 i discovered that what i thought was gravel in my shoe was actually a blister.  Even then i never intended to stop, thinking that the worst thing about blisters is that they are annoying. They hurt but they dont kill you!

So, finally, here I was, approaching the finish line.  People are cheering and talking to me and I am literally steps from the finish when BOOM I am on the ground and my left calf is charlie horsing like I never felt before in my life!  I had tripped on someones' water bottle that was in the final runway and I guess since I was so tired, could not avoid tripping and falling.  The jolt caused the spasm and I heard the words 'RUNNER DOWN' and thought 'OH SHIT they think I am dying!' and suddenly I am surrounded by first aid people. I keep saying 'I am ok, I am just having a charlie horse in my left leg, I am fine- I will stretch out and finish' when one of the first aiders says ' youre bleeding.'  So, yes, I was, my thumb was bleeding and I was going to get a fun blood blister, but it was no worse than something I could give myself with a ceramic knife in a catering situation.  Or even just cooking dinner for my family!

Someone went and got a wheelchair and I was like 'HELL NO' I am just going to stretch this cramp out and walk across the finish line!  Someone figured out that it would be easier for me to get up if I got on my hands and knees from the uninjured side (I landed on my left arm and leg- to this day, my left leg is sore in places when I get on it in the wrong position), so I did as they suggested and got up to someone saying 'you need first aid' and I was like 'sure, just let me WALK across the finish and I will come to the tent for first aid.'

I walked across the finish line, made sure a number of pics got taken with my bloody thumb and a crazy look on my face and then went over to the first aid tent.  They were hemming and hawing over me needing stitches and I was like 'um. I can do this to myself in the kitchen.  The bleeding will stop, the skin will fall off and it's gonna be fine.'  They bandaged me up and we were like 'hey listen we have a massage appointment at 2 in Niagara Falls, so BYE!'

It was sort of comical and then my friend Ira, who is an emerg doc told me that someone actually died that day and I felt bad for not taking the first aid people seriously.  After all, what else would they think when they see a 300 pound woman on her butt after 21.1 k.  Of course they thought I was dying!

Thats two for two though folks, because I fell at my first timed race too, although I was ok.  That time I missed the curb to get out of the way of a city bus!  But then I finished the last 4k.

So I am pretty much done with the race itself although next entry will be about a call I got after the race, and which was so inspiring.

I am off to the after hours clinic because I am having some symptoms that are concerning and want to get them checked out.  Believe it or not, I think I am anemic (who could possibly eat more meat than me?!?!?) and the symptoms are annoying so I need to get it fixed up.  Or maybe it's something else, but I definitely need to find out what is going on.  I am feeling like light training only until I figure it out.

These are symptoms I have had before but not quite so much of it.  I don't know if the half had anything to do with it but I know that this new walking and race thing has spotlighted to me how much I want to keep my health, so, instead of ignoring it, I am going off to the doc and seeing what is up!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

This incredible woman just inspired me to make this the beginning of alooong road in endurance walking!


When I  read this article, I was so overwhelmed by emotions.  Having walked and completed my first half marathon on November 3, 2013, the same day as the New York Marathon, I was absolutely flying.  Me.  A nearly 300 pound, 46 year old woman.  I walked 21.1 km.  Continuously.  In a timed race.

So, waking up and reading this story, both brought me to tears and filled me with joy.  It brought be to tears because I was sad that this woman passed away, but filled with joy because I cannot imagine a better death than one coming after a perfect day of doing what I love, like this incredible marathoner.

I was also experiencing joy, thinking that I never thought I could be one of those people who participate in extreme endurance sports into their mid eighties. I realize that at 46, my mid eighties are forty years off, but on the other hand, since beginning this journey, I love this sport and I know that the key for me to remain motivated is participating in these races.  5k, 10K or halfs.  I feel like the potential for continuously growing and achieving is endless.  I especially loved reading elsewhere about this woman, I saw that her times got longer over the years but she still participated right until the end!

I really had so much that ran through my mind in last week's race.  I also realize that I didn't really tell you all the weird stuff and the funny stuff.

So, let this be about Joy Johnson.  May she rest in peace, and may she always be at the head of the pack.  Like she said 'I am just lucky to be here- so many people my age are in wheelchairs.  And that is how I feel.  I don't mind being in the back of the pack.  Because everyone who isn't in the race is behind ME!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hamilton Marathon- Road to Hope -I CAME IN DEAD LAST, BUT I CAME IN! and that is so much more than I ever dreamed I could do!

I had a lot of time to think about this post on Sunday.  like 4 hours and 20 minutes as I walked the ENTIRE Hamilton half Marathon.  Yup, 21.1 km or 13.1 miles.

I went without the intention of finishing.  I went to see what being in one of these things is like and to get some experience, so that when it really counts (FOR TEAM YACHAD IN MIAMI ON FEB. 2) I would have a clue what I was getting into.

We got up around 5 am and slathered ourselves with body glide and a product from Ellenoire.com,  their 'Double Rich Body Butter' (70% pure SHEA!) in the more delicate places.  I was told by Jean at Moving Comfort (movingcomfort.com) to make sure that I slathered myself with the stuff everywhere chafing could possibly take place.  That meant wherever clothing ended, had seams or met with skin.  Yup pretty much everywhere.  Jean was actually quite a font of information about what I needed to know.  I met her when I picked up my race package and then was thrilled to see her twice on the day of.  She actually works for a company (moving comfort) that makes sports stuff that might actually be large enough for me! This of course is one of the interesting things about being a super overweight half marathoner- most stuff in running stores made for endurance (like flat seams etc.) is made for runners who are often very small in size.  I realize as an oddball I have to do my best and have been cobbling things together to the best of my ability so I am not complaining, but the idea that there is a serious running company out there with stuff I would be able to wear if I lost a little weight is amazing!

I wore three layers of tops and shorts and capris for pants.  I also turned some socks into legwarmers because I knew it was going to be about 2 C and windy.  I took a fanny pack from Mountain Equipment Coop (mec.ca) and a water bottle.  I had purchased some Jelly Belly sports beans at the Expo tent at the race kit pick up Friday and had frozen some water in the bottom of my bottle.

I made myself a Starbucks plain iced coffee with about 4 ounces of water, because I wanted to make sure I didn't set myself up for needing a porta potty (I HATE them!)  I took along some shreddies and a single pack of cookies I got in my race kit at the Wellwood walk.  We set off to Confederation Park and then headed toward the buses.  The buses took us to Arcelor Mittal Park and we stayed in the nice warm arena until it was time to get out to the start line.  Things to remember from this part:

1)   I lived in Vanier Residence in my York University days.  We had co ed bathrooms.  I have ZERO problem with seeing a guy at a urinal since you can't see anything.  Lines to mens rooms are shorter because the only guys who are using the stalls are the guys who need to have a sit down and the womens bathroom lines are nuts.  All in all there were over 2500 of us JUST in the half marathon. You can imagine what the bathroom lineups were like.  I am glad I went to the mens room because I would have been still in the bathroom for 15 minutes after the race started.

2)  I need to find things I LIKE to eat before a race and don't involve preparation.  Next time, energy bars, like clif or lara or something. And I need to eat at least two of them.

3) I dislike carb loading since my favourite foods are all proteins.  best way for me to carb load is a thick chicken noodle type soup, or beef soup.  or with wet rice.  But just choking down carbs is not gonna happen and protein makes me too full to eat enough carbs.  Loading food of any kind sort of goes against what I think is a good idea in general, but it is absolutely needed for even a half marathon.  I could feel the moment I ran out of the carbs pre loaded.  Its a horrible feeling.  Sports beans probably got me through but on the other hand, choking them down dry is hard and it would be better if I didn't need too many of them while moving.

4) If its a cold day, I need a face mask.  My face was FREEZING!  I could barely talk!  There was a very stiff breeze coming down the Red Hill expressway and by the time I got to the lake my face was numb.

5)  Baseball hat good but band needed over it to keep it flying off my head! Also velcro to secure the back band which opened during a flying off episode.  Or maybe wear my outdoor research hat which has a string on it and is lined with gortex.  (now you know that since my next race is Miami in February that I definitely intend to keep doing this....)

6) LOVE WICKING CLOTHING! Have Bought from Addition Elle, Penningtons, Lane Bryant, Walmart, MEC, and Costco Make sure everything I buy has flat seams.
7) Buy blister resistant socks (Nike)!  What doesn't give you a blister at 14k could give you one by 16k
8) Buy throwaway layers to wear when I see them cheap.

I have to go get shopping for United Shabbat so I will have to continue this later!  Thank god for Advil!
Please consider sponsoring me!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Picking up race kits for the Hamilton Marathon Half?!?!?!? WHAAAAAT??? Getting up at 4 am is gonna be the worst part!

Yup, its true.  After I write this, I am going to pick up our race kits for the Hamilton Marathon.  Honestly, I never thought I would even consider writing words like this, because at so morbidly obese and so uninclined to exercise, it would have just been a ridiculous idea.

So in the mean time, if you have been keeping up with my blog, you know that I now do regular 10 k walks and one Shabbat did a 13.5 k walk so 21 K is no longer the ridiculously unachieveable goal I might have once thought it was.

In fact, the idea of going to pick up the race kit is more intimidating to me than the actual race.  Its totally bizarre.  Totally.

I am all ready for Sunday.  I was actually pretty sick to my stomach this week and did not go walking but that is actually perfectly acceptable behaviour for a week before a race.  Escpecially since i did not have 3 weeks notice, like you would normally have for toning down the training.  Hopefully the problem with my stomach will be resolved by sunday and the day will dawn (and I will get up at 4am- OY!)

I have my clothing picked out, my shoes are ready to go, and I am packed for a post half marathon recovery day on Sunday night before heading into United Shabbat shopping on Tuesday. I just need to go buy some electrolyte jelly bellys since i have no idea how gross the jell is and i am not going to risk barfing all over the course on sunday!

I decided to do this for a  lot of reasons, and my big concern was that they were going to shut down the course before I got off it but it turns out that as long as I can get off the Red hill parkway before 11 am (starting at 8:30 am - no sweat) they keep the chip timers up until everyone who is going to finish, does.  I have a massage scheduled in Niagara Falls at 2pm so hopefully I can finish and get there in time as well!

So, think good thoughts for me, and sponsor me on team yachad please!  The organization is amazing and I am so pleased and proud to be representing them.  Even if not in this particular race!

My goal is just to do it until I can't do it anymore.  I do think there is a reasonable expectation that I can finish but its not my goal, unlike with Miami.