2016….A New Year and New Beginnings

By the end of 2014, I was so happy to see that year go. I had too many injuries (pelvic/hip stress fracture, bad foot infection, overtraining syndrome etc). I thought 2015 HAS to be better. I cut back on my training distances, I cut back on race distances (only 5km’s), I hired a coach to keep me in check (which he did!), and I took a look at my nutrition and training errors and vowed to “get healthy” (which I did!). 

All was going fleetingly well until September of this year….I won’t rehash the details as it could be read in previous posts, but I got a stress fracture in my 3rd metatarsal. While I was waiting for a proper diagnosis (it went misdiagnosed for a few weeks), I said to my daughter, “If it’s a stress fracture, I’m done racing”. She was sad that I said that, but well……..for 2016 and beyond at this stage, “I AM DONE RACING!”. At least I’m done racing in a competitive manner ….. Racing for time, PB’s (of which I think they were behind me…), training programs, etc. 

This is a huge statement for me to announce. For 20 years, I have raced triathlons, road races, trail races (this year….) and participated in cycling charity events. Every year has involved a training program of some sort that on “x day” I do  “x workout at “x intensity”. I’m a Type A planner. I like a rigid schedule and I like to follow a rigid schedule. It makes me feel accomplished and goal oriented. 

However, as with each bad injury (I’ve had my share of less severe soft tissue injuries, plus one planned orthopaedic surgery on my feet which can’t be grouped as a bad injury, cuz you are ready for it!) I come out with a new perspective on things or taken up new activities. I recall a conversation with my GP after my hip fracture that went something like this:  “I can’t imagine myself not being competitive”. She understood my statement as she is a top competitive National Masters swimmer. 

While rehabbing this latest injury at the gym, yoga studio and on my bike, I realized I enjoyed the non – planning aspects of my routine. I liked not worrying about how far or fast I was going and I enjoyed the randomness of my schedule as time went on and more could be included (I started with 3 weeks of almost exclusive cycling with a bit of weights). A lightbulb went off that showed me “I think I can be that fitness athlete”. The one that just does what they feel when they feel, without a structured training plan or end goal. If I plan the night before to go for a run and the weather is crap, I don’t need to run on the treadmill just to get my run in, I can head to the gym, or hop on my bike, or turn off my alarm and go back to bed (this doesn’t often happen, but maybe now it may once in a while…..:).

With this past injury cycle, I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym. It helps that the weather is not hot and sunny, so I don’t mind being inside when it’s dark out or cold out. I’ve gotten into weight training and realized that I just may get more bang for my fitness buck by improving my strength even more and becoming less of a “cardio junkie”.

I know love how I feel when I lift and I love coming up with new routines and seeing my strength improve. And it can only be a good thing for my bones and slower aging metabolism! I’m also continuing to do yoga regularly. In fact I think I almost missed being off yoga for 4 weeks more than I missed being off running for 8 weeks.

Now that I’m back walk/running in the last month, I don’t look to see what pace I am running at. I don’t care if I am running slowly, and I don’t care if I am walking. In fact I am liking this run / walk thing and just may continue on this path. I know the less impact I have the better chance I have of not having those bad injuries again. Plus with the poor mechanics of my foot that was stress fractured, the less impact on that the better for longevity of this whole running thing.

So for 2016, my new mantra is to live each day as it comes. Not be so much of a planner and be more flexible in my day to day when it comes to my workouts as much as I TRY to be in the rest of my life (this too is always a work in progress!). I want to journal daily, use my new meditation app (Calm) daily, and work on my parenting skills with my pre-teen who is not only taller than me, smarter than me (in many things academic and very in tune with the world around her), and figuring out how to work her way in this adult world……as well as be more flexible in my eating (I’ve tested out a ton of new breakfast recipes which I am loving) and social outings. 

I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life and hopefully one filled with less major orthopaedic injuries which force me to stop dead in my tracks once again.

 Balance will be the key as well as rest when needed and knowing it’s okay not to be a slave to any type of schedule. Motivation has NEVER been my issue. So for that I think I call myself lucky. For me it’s always a matter of making myself sit still sometimes and be ok with it.


The pre teen in action

Happy 2016 to all.



Metatarsal stress fracture recovery week 5

So this Thursday marks 5 weeks since the real stress fracture diagnosis but it’s been 8 weeks today since I’ve REALLY run. I am itching to get outside and be free again to run through the quiet morning streets. I’m being very patient with my rehab (as patient is for me!). I don’t plan on running until I can hop pain free for two weeks. I think the way things are at this point it will be another 4 weeks. Maybe 3, but I don’t want to rush anything. Technically when you are 1 week pain free you can run but I’m going to wait an extra week. 

So what have I been doing with my non running time for fitness? Biking. A lot of biking. Pretty much daily riding with a day off every week or two. Riding my trainer with Trainer Road app and riding the bike at the gym. I also had the odd outdoor ride but with it being dark and colder and not being able to stand up and pedal I preferred the safety of the indoor trainer. It’s funny that you will do something that you normally wouldn’t enjoy (gym bikes) if it’s your only option. Yes, I could swim and water run, but the pool I use has a very small deep end so it makes water running even more mind numbing than it is. My daughter did ask me to go to the pool with her last week so we did and she played around me while I ran a bit and swam 500m for the first time in over a year! It felt good when I was done but it’s not something I love to do anymore. After 18 hrs of tolerating swimming for triathlon, I gave it up last year in favour of weights and yoga. Only so much time in my days. 


trainer road

 I wore the Aircast boot for just over 3 weeks. Then I walked like I still had it on for another week, and finally I am walking pretty normally and wearing shoes other than running shoes. I also got back to yoga last week which felt good but I made sure to modify anything that put too much pressure on my foot. The second class I did last night I was actually able to tolerate downward dog, so again progress is being made. The one neat thing about recovery from bone injuries is the progress is pretty linear if you treat it right. Unlike soft tissue injuries which often have more of an up and down progression of healing. On the flip side you have to be far more cautious when dealing with stress fractures. 


Lets do a little pool running

This week I hope to test out short bits on the rolling staircase and the Arc Trainer which I have never used at my gym but after doing some reading seems like a better alternative for runners than the elliptical.  Then if these go well I will start some early morning sessions at the gym to vary my cardio from the bike trainer! I can’t do weights in the morning as my body just feels too stiff but cardio I love for getting my day going (well that and coffee!). 

As for silver linings…..I’m still trying to find if for this go around. Last time (pelvic stress fracture in May 2014),  I realized I was harming myself by overtraining, focusing more on results, the need to workout even when I felt tired and maintaining a certain body type.  Since 2014, I have put on a good amount of weight, reduced my stress levels with yoga, started to respect myself more, listen better to my body and it’s needs and adjusted my training to lessen the load from running. However by cutting back on distance but continuing with intensity (under a coached guidance). So I guess what I’m learning this time is patience and that even when I tried to change factors it doesn’t protect me from the inevitable that many runners face. 

It is suspected that this stress fracture is from my poor foot mechanics after my surgery for bunions almost 5 years ago. Add the speed work and racing and perhaps not having enough cushion in my shoe. So now what have I decided to do? Cut out speed work. Up the cushion to my shoes. Race for the fun of it vs. needing to be competitive. I guess one comes to realize that as much as the brain wants to go in one direction, the limits of your body say another and ultimately that is the one that wins. My body is telling me my feet can’t handle the weekly speed work. I’ll just be so happy to be able to run a few times a week at whatever pace feels good for me on that day and if I choose to jump into a race it will be for the pure pleasure of participation not race times. 

This morning I read an article in the December Runners World. It  was an interview with a guy who’s been uninjured since 1978. He mentions no speed work, quick cadence and small vertical displacement, running by feel and easing into his pace. All these things are what I will do (I already use that type of stride) in order to hopefully run injury free for many years to come. 

When you are recovering from bigger injuries I find it important to connect yourself with others who understand what you are going through and can work through your rehab alongside them. I’ve done this again on this injury and it really does help you feel like you are not alone. 

Here’s to the next phase of recovery and getting back out there soon with another progressive run walk program . 

Here we go again!!! 

So I regret to write this post but I have another stress fracture. This time it’s in my metatarsal (4th) bone of my right foot. Opposite side to the pelvis one in May of 2014. How did it happen? Well about a week before the 5Km Canadian Championships I felt a significant pain in the front of my ankle. Felt like something pinching or a sprained ankle that I never sprained. A visit to a sports doc and he was 98% convinced I did not have a stress fracture in my ankle and diagnosed some early OA signs in the subtalar joint. I progressed within a couple of weeks to be able to go on the elliptical, step mill and stand in yoga poses plus downward dog without any pain. Within 3 weeks everything was pretty much pain free except hopping. But knowing I didn’t have a stress fracture I ventured out with the goal of 4K as 3mins run and 1 mins walk so I could get a rhythm going. Cuz that’s better than 1/1 for 2km. Knowing I wouldn’t be totally pain free and wanting to see how it felt AFTER I kept going despite pain in my whole foot. The first minute was fine:(. I don’t know what takes over my brain when I set out for a run but something sets in me and this time I was unwilling to give that up. Mistake #2. Mistake #1 was running when I still felt some pain with hopping and light drills. I got home and could not put weight on my foot again fully. On went my boot I had bought for episode #1 a few weeks back and a quick text to my awesome GP and I had an X-ray done and booked for a bone scan a week later at the first available appt. The metatarsal lit up like a Xmas tree on the scan. 

How frustrated am I? Very. Why? Because I’m mad at myself for trying to run when it hurt to hop. Frustrated that I didn’t request a bone scan initially as I know my body. But is it worth my time to act this way? No it’s not. What I learned from my last go around is time heals regardless of whether I am angry or happy so may as well be happy. Focus on what I can do (cycle, weights, modified yoga, pool running if I so choose but I don’t cuz I hate it😩). Hopefully in 3-4 weeks I’ll be back on the elliptical and able to walk. As for running I’m not rushing this at all and am happy to wait 8-10 weeks or whatever it takes to be more than 3 days pain free. 

Yes I will live to run again. Will I race again? I’m not sure I want to give it up but clearly the added intensity combined with the poor mechanics of my right foot post bunion surgery may not be able to continue. I’m not making this decision yet but I may just wait a good year of healthy slower running before I start back to intensity. Here I thought just racing 5km’s would protect me from this injury. Clearly I had that wrong even though I had a great coach to guide me. With each major injury I learn more about myself and what I perhaps need to accept as I get older. 

The other thing I’ve learned is my nature does not do anything “easy”. I push and even when I think I’m not pushing I always am. I am a body that likes to stay in motion. I challenge myself often and finish what I’ve started. In many aspects of life this is a good quality. When it comes to running it may not be so good!! 

Here’s to the next 6-8 weeks of becoming a really good cyclist and weight trainer! And continuing on with life cuz that’s all I can do while I wait to get back on the roads. 

Race report- Canadian 5km Championships

Today I raced in the 5km Canadian Championships as part of the B&O Yorkville run. This race is in its 4th year (I believe) and I have raced it every year except for last year when I had my stress fractures. Last year was the first time it hosted the Canadian Championships. I was so bummed not to be able to participate last year. In 2013, I had my fastest 5km time here in 19:34. Thankfully that qualified me to participate today and compete against some pretty speedy Masters runners! Not to mention all the whipper snapper young ones! Knowing my time was no where near the one in which I raced in 2013, I briefly considered switching to the masses race which went at 9:45. Meghan Brown, the organizer of the 5km Championships convinced me to stick in it as there were some good competitors in the 21-23 mins range. I’m really glad I stuck in it as it was really neat to run in an elite group of people. Only about 100 ran in the Championships race and it was great to be able to pace off of others who are faster with lots of breathing room around you. Here’s how the race went down…….

I got there early to get a close parking spot to the finish as I wasn’t sure how the bag check would go and my husband was running down so he needed to easily be able to find the car! I warmed up with 3km on a windy, cloudy and rainy morning. I wore some warm clothes and by the time I was ready to strip and head to the start I was more than warm. Excellent plan this time as usually I stand at the start too soon and shiver. Today I got there with about 8 mins to gun time. I found my husband and gave him my Breath Thermo top and gloves. (I should have kept the gloves!) I was happy with my choice of clothes so I was not overheated. 


My race outfit

I felt good on my warm up. Always a good vote of confidence. My goal for this race was to go sub 22. I am nowhere near that 20 mins time anymore. Maybe I won’t get there and maybe with another year of training I will. What’s important to me at this moment is I am healthy and uninjured (knock wood)…..! If I never go that fast again I won’t be disappointed. My attitude going into races is so much more relaxed and that feels great. I saw a lot of people I knew running the event and it was nice to catch up and wish everyone good luck. 

I seeded myself towards the back so as not to be taken down by the sub 20 mins crowd! I felt great for the first 2km. I didn’t look at my watch. I went by feel for the whole race, checking only around 4km at my average pace. I was running with some of Meghan Brown’s girls who were being paced and coached and I passed them as I heard the coach say to them at 2.5km “conserve here for the hill….. I thought what hill? Oh then I hit Queen’s Park (said hill!, which gets me every time!) The pacer asked me what I was gunning for and I said, no clue but something in the 21’s. She said stick with us we are running 21. Oh and then they dropped me:). Oops guess that first two km I did in 4:02 and 4:05 was too ambitious. I then slowed to 4:24 for the next km….4:30 towards and up the hill, plus the nice 30km/hr headwinds. With about 500 m to go I thought about my track workouts and pushed it. 4:20 for that km. I finished with not much left in my tank but kept good form. The finish photos will tell me if it was! 21:39. Nearly two minutes slower than 2013 but with the same effort! Man as frustrating as that seems I was totally ok with it.  I was really happy with how it went. I found out that I was 12 seconds off 3rd in my category. 


After the race, keeping warm to watch some friends

I met up with my husband , collected the great post race food and watched some friends in the main race. The rain stopped and other than the wind it was perfect running weather. I love this event and hope to be invited back next year. Maybe there is a sub 21 in me again and maybe not. Either way I’m happy, healthy and enjoying these short and fast races. 

I have one more on the schedule on October 24th back at the TO Women’s finale. 

July has come and gone …! 

Well it’s certainly been a longtime since I have posted anything. Not that I know many people are reading this🙂. Summer in Canada just flies by. I swear I could live in a climate like this year round and not miss the other seasons. However my husband would not be interested at this stage in leaving. So as usual I start to look at fall and winter with a slight hint of dread. Don’t get me wrong I love fall but it’s what comes after that makes me sort of dread it! 

Anyway on to a summer recap of sorts: 

Racing- I did the 5 Peaks Albion Hills race at the end of July. My husband came to do it as well and it was a hot and humid one! But as usual so much fun. Trail races are so great because I never look at my watch. I run by effort and watch the obstacles. This time around I only had one little ankle roll and came away unscathed. Not like last time! I only had to pull my cuboid ankle bone out of its wedge:) I could just feel every off step and angled turn but no issues cropped up. The course was major hilly as usual and with the humidity and heat it made it all the more challenging. I did the sport course which is 6.3 km. I came 5th in my category. 

 This past weekend I decided to jump into a small 5km on the Whitby waterfront. The weather was warm (it is summer after all) but not humid for the 9:30 start. It was a tiny race with just about 50 total in the 5km. Archaic timing and start finish line but sometimes the small races are just nice for a speed workout and good for ego in placing:). I followed this girl for the first 2 km and knew I did not think I could catch her. I was quite happy when she turned off for the 10km route! I was then the first female and stayed that way for the remainder of the race. It was fun to cross as first woman regardless of the small field. My time was 21:36. Slower than the Pride run but hillier too. I’m happy to stay in this range and I know that the 19:34 of my past is bound to stay there and I’m ok with that too. The next race I have is the TO Women’s 5km on August 29th. Always fun as a Mizuno event and my friend as the race director. We volunteer as a family and have a great time too. 


Summer is always my favorite time to read. I always equate outside with reading and since I spend all my in between client time reading, I get a lot done. Here are some of the good ones: 

  • The Other half of my soul 
  • In the Unlikely event 
  • Tell the Wolves I’m home 


We didn’t travel too much this summer mostly because we have a few large expenditures coming up and needed to hold onto our money! My husband and I went to lovely Prince Edward County for a night. It’s 3 cute towns with kitschy shops and cafes and restaurants plus a beautiful beachfront called Sandbanks. Sadly it rained for our first day but we managed to see two out of the three towns and enjoyed a nice Saturday outside. We tried a bike ride as the town roads are pretty quiet. Unfortunately my husband who had not been on his bike really in 10 years took a spill in the first 5km so we headed back. Next time! 



the best chocolate chip cookie from Miss Lilly’s in Picton!

We also did a day trip with our daughter to Niagara on the Lake. Another beautiful Ontario town. I’m planning a weekend visit to Montreal before summer is up for my dad’s 75th birthday and to visit my sister and her family who live there. 

Miscellaneous :

I’ve been riding my hybrid everywhere!! It’s so great to get somewhere in just about the same time as driving would take. But I get to be outside and save money on gas and parking. Unfortunately I had an almost new bike stolen in early July but with gift money was able to replace it. I also got a good lesson on proper use of the Kryptonite lock! I’m still paranoid though. 

My car insides were eaten by some animal in late July. All the systems of the car were compromised and basically the entire engine and interior need to be rebuilt! Yah 11,000$ worth. Thank goodness for car insurance. Nuts. Thankfully when all the warning lights went on I called the dealership and took it in instead of driving it up north which was where I was headed. It could have been deadly! I’m still waiting for my car but have a rental for now. 


Finally I’m feeling great! Healthy and happy and after a visit for a physical got great news about improved bone density and balanced blood work. All my hard work at life balance, good nutrition and listening to my body is working. 

Have an amazing rest of the summer cuz school and fall’s craziness is right around the corner 😩. 

June and Race Recap Pride and Remembrance 5km

Lots has been going on here in the last month! It’s all been great stuff but just busy busy with no real down time to just hang out. My daughter graduated from Elementary school where she has spent the last 8 yrs. It was hard to say goodbye to a place where so many of your formative time is spent. Not to mention the school is small, with just 305 students. This means everyone knows everyone from students to teachers to helpers. It’s been her place of comfort as well as mine for her. I’ve spent many hours and days on various committees and volunteer gigs that I won’t know what to do with all this “free” time during my regular working day! 😃. I’ve also had great memories of all the staff and parents I have worked with and formed friendships with.


My valedictorian

Jada was also nominated as Valedictorian for her class. This was a hugely emotional moment for me when she was voted as well as when she spoke. She had been seeing the school Social Worker for the last few years and has never had an easy time socially up until this year or the back half of last year. So to be nominated by her peers was HUGE! I’m so proud of the girl she is and has become. (Sniff sniff)

June also had a lot of end of year parties for school and extra curriculars plus the odd trampoline meet and family celebrations. So to say by the end of the month I was exhausted is an understatement . Jada left for sleep away camp with a massive cold. Another exhausted member of the family. She’ll be okay though in a few days I hope.

This last weekend I raced in the Pride and Remebrance 5km. This race is during Pride Week in Toronto. It’s a race I’ve always wanted to do but always had some triathlon to train for or recover from so it never fit into the plan. This year there are no such swim/bike/run races so I was free to do it. It was a blast. It’s a low key, no frills race that has one goal of being a time for the LGBTQ community to raise funds and to run as a community as well as anyone else of any gender, race, age and sexual orientation. It basically kicks off Pride weekend. There are no medals, no volunteers pretty much, no mile markers. There was some good food and pastries from Dufflets! I did my 3km warm up and my legs didn’t feel sprightly even though my week of workouts was low because of all the grad festivities in the evenings. Once the gun went off I managed to hold a pretty good pace until the last couple km when you have to loop around again and try to weave through the second wave. Oh and then there was the massive head wind for the final 400m stretch or so. Thankfully the rain held off though. At one point a girl asked me if I was running 4:20’s and I said I have no clue Cuz I’m not looking at my watch. I’m still trying to run by feel. In the end I finished in 21:30 (4:15/km). Again far off my PB but over 2 mins faster than March and 40+ seconds faster than a month ago. The best part was I didn’t feel the same fatigue and weakness set in my left leg that I have in past.


The other great thing is my whole mental state before a race is better and calmer. Pre stress fracture I would get really stressed and worried. Now I am in it for the fun and happy to be out there! However I still don’t smile in race photos! One day……….

Toronto Women’s Run Recap 

This past Sunday was the 7th Toronto Women’s 5km and Half Marathon in Sunnybrook Park. As I stated in my last post my friend Cory Freedman is the founder and race director of the series. There are 3 races of various distances in May, August and October. My husband and daughter have also volunteered through the years and my daughter and I have run the 5km’s both together and sometimes separately. This race we decided to run separately. In her words after this last race she said “I run better when I have no one to whine to”. At least the sentiments were shared! 

As part of the Mizuno Ambassador team, I proudly sported my new spring/summer gear and got to hang out a bit with fellow ambassadors. Because I had two different volunteer gigs for the morning my visits were short! Part of the race environment is support of your fellow women during the race. A great newish tradition is to have Mizuno Run Birds on course. These Birds are Mizuno Ambassadods sprinkled along the course route to cheer, encourage, run alongside and support their fellow runners. I was not an official run bird but did join in after my jobs were completed. What an awesome experience. Running and walking alongside women who needed and appreciated the company and encouragement was so rewarding. One woman in particular was a 61 year old from India. She was in Toronto for 6 months for the birth of her grandchild. When I asked her if this was her first half marathon she said “no it’s my 18th and I’m 61!” We were all so impressed by her. She said she was slow and one of my fellow ambassadors said ” but you are out doing something not everyone would do and you have done more today than most people who may still be in bed!”. How true. The look on this woman’s face when she saw her son and spotted the finish banner was amazing. I had so much fun going back along the last km or so of the course to help others in. I hope to do this again at the coming races! 


My fellow ambassadors


Our rainbow of Mizuno shoes!


Now on to my race. This time around as compared to March at ATB I didn’t have any fears of a stress fracture. I still feel like I’m holding back a gear but I definitely worked harder this go around. I started out a bit quick I think as my pace dropped significantly through the last 2 km. My left leg is still considerably weaker than my right and as a result my leg starts to tire and drag a bit. As much as I’m trying to strengthen a few times a week with yoga and gym work I think I need to up this at home too. I tried hard to pick up my pace towards the end but just had nothing left in my legs or lungs maybe? I didn’t once glance at my watch as I wanted to run by feel again. I finished in 22:11, which is almost exactly a minute faster than March so I was pretty pleased at that and pleased that again I was able to race and not hurt myself. I think with each race I will gain that confidence back. It was fun to see my daughter on the out and back and high five each other. I had asked her if she wanted me to double back after and do the rest with her and she said nope. So I waited about 50 m from the finish and watched her sprint in. A friend of hers from school and her mom also ran their first TO Women’s run and really enjoyed it. The best thing too about the race is the great Awake chocolate at the end! Oh and the free photo downloads from Zoom Photo! 



Jada sprinting to the line!

 My second job of the morning is giving out awards. For the first time in this race when I’ve raced and not run with my daughter I didn’t give myself an award. I was 4th in my category. A couple fast girls have aged up! And I’ve slowed down but it seemed less stressful to podium in some ways. It was the first time in a few years I didn’t receive an award and it actually felt good!!! I’ve come so far mentally it still blows me away:) 

I’m really looking forwards to the next TO Women’s Run in August. There is a 10km and a 5km and I’ll race the 5km again then hopefully do some run bird duties! It was very rewarding and a fun way to give back other than my usual volunteer gigs. 

My daughter and I took some fun photos too. She is more into photo bombing than smiling it seems lately:)