2019: Tribulations and Triumphs

With the start of a new year it’s time to reflect on last year. It’s been a while since my last blog and I’m looking forward to writing more consistently this year. I treasure the mindfulness that comes with writing down my thoughts and giving them light. I also feel that it is an important part to my life to feel that I am giving back in some way by inspiring others. This one’s about sticking to your goals even when the cards are stacked against you. Let’s jump in.

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Season’s Wrap Up

Chilly 5k – yeah that’s me NOT shuffling, can you believe it?!

Hey, it’s me. I know long time right? It’s about that time for a long overdue post-season wrap up. Last blog post I just came off a huge PB in the 3000m in Ottawa and was chasing my goal of breaking 10. You know what? I never quite did hit that mark. That race in Ottawa was one of those rare moments where you don’t feel the pain of the race and you just fly. You feel invincible, like you can take on the world. Those cherished experiences are rare to come by in running, and I was lucky enough to have that several times this year – OUA XC, Ottawa, and OUA track. Each race, I crossed the finish line feeling on top of the world. Reflecting on those experiences, several things were in common. I raced with gratitude – thankful to be there and for those opportunities. I had goals but I also didn’t put pressure on myself to perform. I find these two things are somethings very conflicting – I often want to hit my goals so badly that I go the other way and under-perform. I’m still finding the right balance for myself in this aspect.

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The day I stopped saying “I can’t…”

Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t typed a blog in a while but since I’m on a 6 hour train ride back home today I guess today is a good time!

As I approached the fall leading into physiotherapy school (at the University of Toronto) I looked at my schedule.

9am class = 7:25 train from Brantford (15min drive in the morning)

8am class = 5:28 bus from Brantford + 6:20 GO train from Aldershot

I counted the hours back on my fingers, leave the house before 7, that means be finished my run shortly after 6, that means leave the house for a run at 5 or just before. “Okay,” I thought, “That’s doable.” Next, I thought about my 8am class morning. Okay, 5:28 bus, leave the house before 5, that means finish my run by 4…that means run at 3am…”3am!!” I thought, “there’s no way I can do that.” As I looked at my fall timetable, I counted up the number of days that I needed to be there for 8am, and it filled more than two hands! That’s a lot of missed opportunity, that’s a lot of missed training and wasted fitness if I decided that indeed I could NOT make that work. That’s when it hit me, Why can’t I run at 3am? What would be the problem with that, technically I could do it, it’s just whether I decided to do it or not. That’s when I decided to change my mindset, to say why not instead of “I can’t.”

Fall season ensued and I had one of the most successful running seasons to date. I was 11th at OUAs and qualified for USPORTS (CIS) whereas back in university during my undergrad I couldn’t even qualify to make OUAs as part of our “top 7 girls on the team.” I even ran a 6km race on the same course that I ran a 5km race back during those years and I actually ran FASTER for 6k vs that 5k..crazy right?! Instead of complaining about how busy I was or how hard it was to fit training into my hectic class schedule I just did the math, got up and got it done.

That season brought me some of the most joy I have felt with running in years. I realized that I was holding a big chip on my shoulder about my university running experience and racing to the ABILITY THAT I ALWAYS KNEW AND FELT I HAD. Removing that chip on my shoulder about the level of runner that I thought I was opened up my world to the kind of runner I could be, that kind of runner that I will become.

As the season ended Coach Jill asked what were my plans for track. I wasn’t sure, again my head fell back into, “I can’t run track, I’m not fast enough for that.” There it was again I can’t. But what if I could? What would I need to do? How could I make that work? How would I train on the indoor track? Instead, I said yes I can. I can run fast, I can compete with the rest. Now with a 3km personal best of 11:10 you can say I had unfinished business with the track. Over the last few years I have done 3km repeats in almost that pace back to back! Like come onnn. I started adding speed sessions once a week, I looked at my class schedule and found that once a week luckily, I had either a 2hour lunch or 2hours between class and my train home. So I COULD find time to train on the track. Instead of worrying about am I fast enough,I thought what pace do I need to hit for my interval training? 40second for 200 was 10min flat pace… I thought, 3:20/km pace I can do that, I’ve done 3:25s for 5km. The realization dawned on me, I’m going to set my goal to break 10minutes and my pb is 11:10…this is going to be a great experience.

Today, as I travel on my way home from my 2nd indoor track meet after running 10:23 last weekend and just fresh off another personal best of 10:04 today, I think of my commitment to myself. Instead of saying I can’t, why can’t I, what can I do that’s in my power to make that happen. So the next time you set goals for yourself, set bigger ones. Go for it. Why can’t you make that happen. Why can’t you perform to the level you’ve always known yourself capable of? I hope I have inspired others that if you truly love something, talent means nothing. If you work hard enough, for a long period of time, with unrelenting commitment to your art, you CAN achieve everything you’ve wanted and more. Next step, break that 10minutes.


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Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

Wow! September is only a few days away – where did the summer go! I’ve been wicked busy this summer filling my time with meaningful experiences. Continue reading

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What a great weekend! Josh and I went away to Blue Mountain (Collingwood) for a few days while I raced the North Face Summit 700 Challenge. Blue Mountain is so beautiful and only a few hours away so why not! The Summit 700 had distances of 6k, 10k and 21k. As I found the race a few weeks ago, I tossed between the 10 and 21 but ultimately decided that I wanted to be able to walk afterwards so 10k it was!    Continue reading

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The Fallacy of Memory

IMG_20180625_190926_530Every Thursday, as I lace up my pink Skechers Go Ultra road2’s to hit another day’s mileage, I also download my favourite podcast to plug in to during my run – Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist history. This season (season 3) Gladwell explores the topic of memory and I find myself drawing a parallel in my own life. I find this constantly happens to me: as I am reading or learning about something, my own life provides a real-life example of that content. For example, while studying anatomy this past spring, I would read a chapter on a specific disorder and have a consultation the following week present the very same disorder. This time, the topic is memory, and how it plays tricks on us. Gladwell’s two-part episode on memory this season dives into the topic and how our memories aren’t quite as permanent as we thought – they change over time.  Continue reading

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VLOG: Hamilton Trail Adventures

Hey everyone! Thanks for tuning in! I’m feeling much better since my last post with the help of some awesome trail runs. It’s about time for another video blog! Check out today’s adventure on one of the many trails in Hamilton along the Bruce trail! 17k and just beat the rain storm of this weekend!

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Climbing out of the dark hole

I just wanted to write about my experience. Partly for others, partly for myself if I find myself in that unfortunate place again.


Over the last few weeks I’ve been quiet, and for good reason. I’ve been trying to climb out of the dark hole I put myself in these past few months. I finally am feeling a lot more like myself and am able to move forward. You see, I have a pretty strong family history of anxiety and depression and mine is usually doesn’t give me much trouble other than the occasional stressful day. About 6-8 weeks ago something just changed. I dug myself into a hole in many ways, making my anxiety worse than it’s ever been. Now this isn’t something people talk about much, it’s all talk about sunshine and rainbows when it comes to performing at a high level. But I think a lot of people who have anxiety and/or depression get into running because it helps them feel normal, calm. And it’s important to talk about disappointments as much as success. It’s the reality of a sport that can be so accurately measured by time and distance, minutes and seconds.  Continue reading

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Debuts all around!

Looks like some of you were right! It was in fact the 10,000m on the track where I made my debut in last weekend! I’m not quite sure exactly where the idea came from, but as I created my racing schedule this winter I thought yeah why not, let’s give it a try. I made my way through my season and before I knew it I was only a few weeks away from the Athletics Ontario 10,000m Championships. I originally had it in my head that it would be 2weeks after my race in Mississauga (recap here). However, only a few weeks before, I realized that it was the very next weekend and I hadn’t run on a track for 6years.  Once I realized this, I targeted a few track workouts to get used to it again – 15×200, and 7x1k. Continue reading

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The Art of Pacing

How fast should I aim for? Always the big question before a race. We don’t want to go out 32411221_10156358986412334_4101271241682321408_ntoo hard and die but, we also don’t want to go out too slow and have more left to give at the finish line. This is where the art of pacing comes in. I have to admit, this is something I was HORRIBLE at. Until the last year or so, I’d say I was stuck in the Rob Watson #FFTF (fade from the front) style of racing. Every time I raced I was worried about not hitting my goal time so I would go out on that pace (most of the time a bit faster) and then pay the consequences when I started to fade hard later in the race and lose much more time than I “banked.” This was such a common occurrence that 2 years ago during CRS Waterfront 10k John Lofranco told me he was going to pace off of me but someone told him beforehand that I always go out too hard and he just stayed back and waited for me to blow up – he told me this as he caught me and went by me. Bye bye John! Now, obviously this is not something I was proud of. But, I have always found it hard to pinpoint exactly where my fitness is at.   Continue reading

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