Generally speaking, I’m a bright and shiny person.

I see the good in the difficult and the sunshine in the rain. Wholeheartedly, I believe that just because there is a drop of oil in the ocean, doesn’t make the whole ocean dirty, and there is always something good in people.

I can say though, that today, I am totally bummed.

My heart has cracked a little bit.

And I know, I’m being so dramatic. My intention, though, was to sign up for the Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City as soon as the race opened. That was today. Something for me to live into.

I double checked with my coach just to make sure he was on the same page. His suggestion was to not sign up. Putting big races on the ticket could cause behaviour that has me working against myself.

And I get it. It makes a lot of sense. And I’m so grumpy and on edge. This was more for me. Something to prove that this set back was not going to get me down and it wasn’t going to impact the KILLER race season I have planned for the upcoming year.

It doesn’t mean anything, and I still will have a killer race season, it just isn’t going to look way I thought it was going to look. I know all this.

And I’m still grumpy and on edge and ready to cry at any moment.

And even the ice cream isn’t helping.

So tonight I sit with this. And tomorrow is a new day.



Proud Running Mama

I feel like a proud mama.

Sunday morning was the Niagara Falls International Marathon Race Weekend.

My youngest sister – she’s 13 – did the 5km run. She ran most of the way. When she finished, she was exhausted and smiling, and when we found her at the end, I asked her how she was feeling and she said “accomplished”.


My mama did the 5km as well – she walked and shaved 13 minutes off her last years 5k time. She walked with one of her good friends, and she looked so triumphant crossing the finishing line.


My step-dad did the half marathon – he walked in 3 hours and 15 minutes – in the cold terrible rain. By the end I didn’t get a picture, but I got one of him close to the finish line. He looked like he was having fun.


While I was incredibly jealous that I couldn’t run, I did get my butt out there and I cheered everyone on. It was about 5 times more activity than I had been doing for the past week. By the time my sister was done, I spent some time inside, and we stayed there basically until my dad was done.

It was an interesting experience. I have a great respect for cheering squad – seriously – I appreciate them and count on them when I’m doing races. I do wish I was the one racing. Soon enough.


We had a really nice Italian dinner before venturing home. My youngest sister said she wants to run a 10 km race. Rick uttered the words “marathon”, and laughed and told me I was rubbing off on him because he was already thinking about his next race.

They’re all recovering fine. I, on the other hand and very, very sore. I’ve lost another 3 lbs since last week and now have doctors orders to “eat whatever I want and whatever I can”. Her suggestion…ICECREAM!!! Yes please. I went to the grocery store and spent far too much money on the stuff. Unfortunately I haven’t been hungry enough to eat it, but it’s definitely getting some love tomorrow.

In other news, we have to figure out how to manage the pain with medications that are the right strength. I’m thinking the ones I’m on are too strong since I feel groggy and gross when I take it. We’ll see after Thursday’s appointment.


That’s all for now. We’re still hanging tough.

A Future to Live Into

So this happened…

I was at the EXPO for the Niagara Falls Half Marathon…there’s no refunds, no transfers, all that good jazz, so I decided I’d pick up the race kit, and wear the shirt. My 100$ race t-shirt. (Yes, I know yellow isn’t my color).


And at the EXPO was a booth for the Mississauga Marathon. It was my debut half, it’s a great course and it’s LOCAL. Fabulous. It was also a very good price. No tax, no processing fees and I need a half to do around early May of next year.

Plus, it’s something to live into.

So tomorrow, my family runs and walks in the Niagara Falls Race weekend. I spectate from the sidelines. I’m wearing the shirt and displaying the bib (in some sort of creative way I have yet to figure out) as a reminder that right now I’m running my own race.

This is it. And I’m happy.

Back at the Beginning- Again

There’s only so much I can post on Facebook about my well-being, so I’ve decided to track my recovery to STRONGER THAN EVER before I drive people crazy.

Ideally this won’t be all health related, but it’s been very helpful for me to get it all down on paper and really remember how blessed and lucky I am.

Join me on the journey, I promise I’ll keep my sense of humor.

The Beginning:

Last October, I had my gallbladder out.

A simple, laparoscopic procedure. Three little holes. 45 minutes in surgery. 1.5 hours in the recovery room and another 1.5 hours in the step-down room. Then home you go.

Except when something goes wrong. Sometimes they do crazy things like accidentally clip the common bile duct, have to open you all the way up and then repair the bile duct with a stent and part of my stomach. It’s a risk with surgery, and something you consent to when you sign the consent forms.

I woke up in the recovery room 4 hours later, heavily medicated with my poor younger sister crying and upset since she didn’t know what was going on.

Long story short, after an infection, 13 days in the hospital and a large stomach incision and I was home.

I recovered fairly well, albeit way more slowly than I would have liked. I started on the treadmill walking 2.2 mph. I rode the stationary bike and my heart rate skyrocketed. I was sweating buckets and I was seriously uncomfortable but I was moving.

Fast Forward: A Wicked Season

Sure, my times were less than I was hoping for, but I was killing it. I did the training. I trained on my camping trip. I worked out multiple times a day. I took days off (with permission) and I was doing really well. Was still having trouble keeping things down and having trouble with heart burn, but whatever, I can deal with it.

I completed a triathlon, a road race, and a duathlon, as well as went on an EPIC vacation. I was having a blast.

Vacation Catastrophe:

I thought it was the heat. I had major heart burn in San Francisco, but I was sure it was because I didn’t eat. Then when we were in Los Angeles, I was really sick. Throwing up, fever, major heartburn. That certainly wasn’t going to get me down though, I can handle being a little sick. Thankfully my sister was a god send, and didn’t make me feel bad for not moving as fast as I normally could. Then in San Diego, I had some Mexican Food that gave me terrible heart burn. Or I mean, I thought it was the Mexican. Really, I was just sick. I spent the entire drive to Phoenix, AZ throwing up. I’m talking in plastic bags and on the side of the road. But it’s ok. We made it. And we finished our vacation and it was incredible. Every day was better than the last and a little bit of vomit isn’t going to hurt me.

Three Days After Coming Home:

BAM: Heartburn so bad I can barely stand up. Mama drags me by the ear to the local Emergency department. Turns out, I’m a little yellowish, and have elevated liver enzymes. Awesome. So after spending 4 days there, I was discharged on a low fat diet. Everything looked good, so there was no reason to be concerned about this happening again.

Until it did…

October 13th I called in sick to work, and took myself to the local emergency department. Well, I mean if we’re getting specific an UBER did. I had a feeling what the outcome would be, but it was way beyond my wildest imagination.

I saw the doctor who said my liver enzymes were like multiple times what they should be. So of course, we’re going to be admitted. Maybe for a couple of days. But it turned bad really fast. They gave me some pain medication and within 15 minutes it stopped working, and I was super sick to my stomach. The nurse helped me out as much as she could, and we went for an ultrasound.

By the time I got back, she put me on oxygen. It was pretty freaky but still I didn’t think anything of it. I was pretty confused and groggy though. Had a bed (on the same floor as last time) by the morning, and had an MRI before lunch. Thankfully they gave me a medication so that the MRI wasn’t so bad this time. I don’t remember much after this. I was by this point in a room – I guess I wasn’t doing so hot – and was waiting to get a drain placed.

That was terrible. Thankfully I still had some of the sedation medication in my system because I don’t remember much. Apparently the bile duct was so constricted they couldn’t get anything through it to place the drain. I kept begging them to stop but they wouldn’t. I was also in and out of consciousness.

I don’t remember much else. I got back upstairs to the floor and within 5 minutes my blood pressure had plummeted. I woke up the next morning in the Intensive Care Unit. It’s a pretty scary place but I was thankful to have been taken care of SO well. The rest of Saturday is a blur, but by Sunday I was out of the woods. They kept me there one more day to make sure, and kicked me (thankfully) to the floor.

Doing research a little later, I had septic shock. The death rate for that is something crazy like over 50%. It really puts things into perspective, and gives me a little more of

Another Week…

This was a long and lonely week. I started to feel human again by Wednesday and that’s when I lost it. The doctor said I wouldn’t be working out for awhile. Pretty sure I cried the whole morning. Finally the charge nurse came in and explained things a little more clearly and I was up and walking and moving and determined to feel better. Was probably ready to go home on Friday, but they kept me the weekend, to see if there was another option for me.

The Plan:

Ideally they wanted to do an ERCP. Basically go in through my throat and place a stent in the bile duct to keep it open. Due to the previous surgery, the doctor opted against it as it would likely be unsuccessful. This was from the best doctor in the area, so I accept this for now.

They are placing a new drain on Thursday November 3rd. Basically what the hope is, is that the bile duct will heal over this and everything will be ok. If it’s scar tissue that’s causing it, it won’t work and then I have to have open surgery. We won’t know for 6 weeks.

So, fingers crossed. I’m a little anxious, and the people whom I associate myself with are providing great support. They’re very powerful people and having them join me in my intentions will be helpful.

I’ve got way to many things to do, and I’ve missed WAY to many races to have this go any other way.


Georgina Sprint Tri Er…Duathlon

Signed up for the Sprint Triathlon. 750 m swim, 20 km bike, 5km run.

The waves were whitecapped.

They cancelled the swim. I spoke with the medic who ran the swim course as I panicked while looking at the waves. He told me that he thought about 10 of the 400 participants would be able to complete the swim.

I wish I still got the swim cap, though.

Leading Up to the Event:

I went on an epic vacation. I’m talking the kind where you drive 2884 miles, see most of the California west coast, go to Phoenix, The Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Rim, St. George, Utah, Las Vegas and then back to Los Angeles because the Canadian Consular General is in Los Angeles and your passport gets destroyed.

I loved every minute of it. I did some working out, but at one point I even considered not doing this race since I felt like I had lost so much fitness. At one point, I was at the Grand Canyon and I was short of breath. In retrospect, that was probably the altitude but it still wasn’t good for my brain with a race coming up.

During my vacation, I had several days where I wasn’t feeling well. Epic heartburn that wouldn’t go away, several times where I couldn’t keep any food down and a terrible experience with Mexican Food. Don’t worry, though. It only affected my vacation once – when we were driving from San Diego to Williams, AZ. I could keep nothing down. I could only drive 30 minutes without having to stop and rest for 30 minutes. It was silly. We arrived in Phoenix and got a hotel – I was not going any further.

I got home and within 3 days was in the ER with super bad heartburn. Nothing I took would give me relief. My mother dragged me by the ear and after promising everyone I wasn’t a baby, they looked at the blood work, and my eyes (I had turned a lovely shade of yellow) and said I was staying there for a couple of days – to which I was very unhappy.

Fast Forward: Doctor said I can exercise as tolerated. I had to go into the event with no expectations. I had to be willing to not finish the event.

Race Morning:

My cheering squad and I woke up bright and early to take the 75 minute drive to Georgina. It was a lovely remote area, and I was well rested, had just purchased a new wetsuit and was ready to go.

I did register race morning, since I still wasn’t sure if I was going to do the event. They’d cancelled the swim and while I was disappointed, I also was thankful since I didn’t drown.

I set up transition – it’s much easier when you don’t have a swim to set up for, got some sport beverage ready, and went back to find my family.

We found my cheer squad a place to set up – by the start and finish line, I took a super gross disgusting gel (I don’t digest things very well right now) and we hung out until start time.

2016-09-11 | 2016 MultiSport Georgina Triathlon
View Photo: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/viewphoto/19905-110-28047139/1/

Start time was 9:00 in waves. It was bizarre though. The young women and very old men were in the same wave at 9:09am.

5km Run:

And we are off. I went out fast. The cool thing is though, is that I maintained it virtually the whole time. It was a flat course. A couple of rollers but nothing terrible.

Glanced at my heart rate occasionally. 192. HAHAHA.

It was at this point I realized that not finishing was not an option. Not only that, I wanted to do well. Clear I was going to pay for it later I kept it up. My run split was 26:58. It’s much faster than I do my current 5km so I was pretty proud of it.

Crazy part is I felt pretty good. My legs were not that sore, my lungs burned but not overly. I was totally in my element. I’d find someone and make a point to pass them, and stay ahead of them. It was pretty liberating

The pictures they took here were terrible. I got one decent one where I’m behind a couple of people but the others looked like I was having a stroke.

2016-09-11 | 2016 MultiSport Georgina Triathlon

I totally had really cool socks on, though.

Transition 1:

Something like 2 minutes. Which is pretty long considering all I had to do was throw on bike shoes and a helmet. Whatever though, I was a little tired.

The Bike:

The bike was my bee-otch.

Bike split was 50:58. Way faster than I do 20km now. To be fair though, the course was flat. Baby hills at best.

I got on. I settled in. I kept my cadence high. I didn’t pay much attention to heart rate but I’m sure that was pretty high too. I really enjoyed myself. Enjoyed the scenery, enjoyed the act of riding my bike, focused on full pedal strokes. Counted down the minutes until I’d finish.

I also was able to drink on the bike. This was especially important since it was warm. I didn’t need the supplemental energy, especially since I knew I only had 2.5km to run after the bike, but it was good practice taking my hands of the breaks to take sips of liquid, and then having the co-ordination to put the bottle back in the bottle cage without dying or causing an accident.

Plus, I always love the bike pics.


Transition 2:

Again, something like 2 minutes. All I had to do was switch shoes and take my helmet off. But I guess the run from the timing mat to the bike rack and back to the timing mat took awhile.

Run 2.5km:

Time: 14:08

Felt…good considering. It didn’t take anytime to have my legs get used to being off the bike. They actually felt quite fresh.

2016-09-11 | 2016 MultiSport Georgina Triathlon
View Photo: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/viewphoto/19905-110-28055734/1/

I saw a group of cyclists hanging out at a coffee shop. I jokingly said “I wish I was hanging out with you right now” and kept my little legs moving.

I was fatigued by this point. I just kept counting in my head. 1,2,1,2,1,2

Eventually I counted to 4.

Didn’t stop at aid stations, just kept going.

Before I knew it, I was done.


  • I like triathlon (Swim, bike run) better. The swim is still pretty scary, but I’ve been working really hard on the swim so I was really looking forward to it
  • Not finishing is not an option for me. Neither is doing less than my best.
  • I learned I can dig deeper than I thought before. It hurt at points and I was very fatigued, but I kept moving. It was pretty liberating.


More to come


Durham 1/4 Marathon – A Race Report

Impromptu events are a blast.

Last Saturday July 23rd, my friend picked my up from my house, and we drove about an hour to run a race. It was a 10.54 km run. It’s called the Durham 1/4 Marathon

And it was so much fun.

The race was a net downhill with some nice rolling hills near the end. I’m pretty much a hill rockstar so I was not concerned.

Best part is that they donate all the proceeds to youth who are homeless in the area, and it really takes the forefront of the race – Example: the race kits are in boxes you can refill with items that would help and return them after the race.

The Night Before:

It was actually a terrible day. I didn’t sleep – and had to take my car in.

Turns out that the funny noise that we thought was nothing – was actually almost a 1000$ job. I took the “B” word home from my dad’s house – we don’t speak of that *bus* thing around me unless it’s someone else taking it. After a short nap, I went to a movie with my brother, and before it started I texted my friend and asked her if she’d pick me up. She graciously agreed and we set a meeting time.

Race Morning:

Bam-I can’t believe how early 6 am came. I woke up a couple of times before that – I never like being late, and finally at 6 am I decided to get up. I threw on my clothes, hopped in the car to get some breakfast – and was ready and downstairs by the time she got there.

The race start was a party. We got there early enough that we had FABULOUS parking, clean porta potties, and I was able to register very quickly. Just like the morning had, start time came before I knew it, but I had enough time to drink a pre-workout shake, pop my heart rate monitor and race bib on and lather up with sunscreen.


I tried to get my Google Play Music to work, but I guess my internet was no good, so about 2 minutes into the run, I gave up. Looks like I was going to listen to everyone’s heavy breathing.

Kilometers 1-5

My race buddy and I ran together for the first 5 minutes. She had a time goal that was significantly faster than mine so she took off. I wished her luck, and told her I’d see her at the finish line.

Kilometer 1 was way faster than I was expecting. I chalked it up to race adrenaline and left it at that. The next was pretty much identical. Ok, I thought, let’s do this. I was going to keep this pace up as long as I could.



1 kilometer -5:46

2 kilometer-5:45

3 kilometer-5:45

4 kilometer-5:49

5 kilometer-5:43







Destination Workouts

This past Wednesday, I turned 28. While the day itself was pretty low key, I had made plans to go camping with some awesome people from Thursday to Sunday.

While I love camping and was totally looking forward to it, I was a little anxious about how I was going to get all my workouts in.

We made it happen though, and it was pretty epic. I basically did a different workout in a different place everyday. On the day I had two workouts, I did the first one in my home town and the other about 4 hours away.

Thursday I started the day with a run, and stopped abut half way there to do a bike ride.

Hard Bike Ride into the wind in Port Elgin

Friday was a rest day, so of course we went hiking in the caves



Saturday was a long brick – here’s the view from where I was:


And this is where we went after:

wp-1468916531627.jpgAnd finished off the weekend with a long run here:


Side note: Running on the beach is not as glamorous as it sounds.

This past weekend gave me a total confidence boost, that’s for sure. I’ll be able to swing just about anything, and not really have it impact my day to day activities. My California adventure is in less than a month. While I’ll be doing a lot of running while I’m there, I’ll be aiming to get to a spin class or a length swim once a week.

Do you workout on vacation?