Second Race Complete!

Running sucks.

Yep, you heard correctly… it sucks.

Start Line!

Today was Harry’s Spring Run Off aka Haley and my SECOND race! Yep made it through the 5K in January and today was our first 8K. Training has been blah since I got back from Costa Rica. I’ve barely been running and yoga-ing once a week and my longest run this year was yesterday at 5.4km.

I hate excuses just as much as the average person, but the reason why I’m not sticking to schedule comes down to time. I book my nights {yep 5 nights a week} with events, coffee dates with my mentees and late nights at work. In my head, ‘after work’ is when I should run. So I run on the weekends, then have a bad exercise {or no-exercise filled} week and run again the following weekend. I was chatting with a friend last week about my lack of evening commitment to the sport and I think morning runs are going to be my new friend.

So anyways I was expecting today to be TERRIBLE. I have run just over 10 times since the start of the year, barely attend yoga and I’ve been cramping like 5 mins into every run. So last night I’m texting my friend, Harry Saini and he told me to drink truckloads of water before a run {or a race} and that could be why I’m cramping. Then I read, you’re supposed to be fully hydrated — which means you’re pee runs clear. So I drank truckloads of water… and it worked!

Today’s race was great! It was a gorgeous day in Stanley Park and a few thousand people came out to create awareness and fundraise for prostate cancer. In my opinion, I did really well until about 6.5km. At that point I was winded and felt like I was going to throw up. The blue gatorade didn’t sit well {note to self}, I super had to pee and I was just done with running.

I ended up finishing in 54:06. I was expecting a little quicker, but all good considering that’s the longest distance I have ever run in my life! The last 0.5km I just kept chanting — I’m going to puke, I’m going to puke, I’m going to puke. Except for that one point, I jumped in the air and posed for a picture. :) I crossed the line, walked past the crowds, grabbed a juice box, sat on the ground and within a few minutes I felt superb.

So why do I think running sucks?

It’s a real test on your mental sanity:

While I’m running… think about all sorts of things — everything from someone else’s running outfit to how blessed I am to live in this beautiful city to how determined I am to beat the person in front of me. Once I prance, skip, dance my way through the first few km’s, then I switch to ‘Why am I doing this again?’  I go over all the reasons why running is good for both my mind and body — then I switch to, you shouldn’t be doing anything you don’t love. Around 5km, I end up back in the mind frame of – “I CAN DO THIS.” By the time I finish any goal or race, all I want to do is lay down in silence and let my mind and body calm down. It’s very exhausting.

You learn a hell of a lot about your body:

Running has made me give so much respect to my body. It’s a machine. Ever since I had my Scoliosis surgery, I’ve always felt limited. My breathing and lungs took a huge hit and I know I need to train them back into shape. My surgeon from Calgary, Dr. Richard Hu, told me that exercise is the best medication. He always encouraged me to drag my ass to the gym or put feet to the pavement. Nowadays, I forget that I have rods in my spine, I forget that I have weight limits and sports restrictions — instead, I just move. I move until my body tells me to stop. Even with the little running that I’ve done thus far, I feel stronger, healthier and I sleep like a baby.

I am bored out of my skull:

I have yet to figure out how people find running to be so relaxing and calming… how running allows them to escape from their brain and just breathe. I think the entire time. I play song after song after song — not engaged in a single one. After 5 or 6 songs, I’m bored of music and I want more. I want to be learning, doing, eating, something. The only thing that currently helps my boredom is changing my route. {Note: If anyone has good running routes in downtown-ish Vancouver between 5-12km, let me know!}. I’ve thought about audio books, but haven’t headed down that path yet. I know that I need to get the boredom resolved as I train for the 10-20km distances.

Finish Line!

Perhaps with any hobby or activity comes positives and negatives — but I want this whole running thing to be awesome all the time! I am 100% learning a lot. Running isn’t easy — it’s challenging! 2 months ago I never would have thought I could run 8k.

I was lucky to have my running partner in crime, Haley in town for the race — we’re both headed to Seattle for the Half Marathon in June. We ran into Kittima at the start line too!

Haley and I originally started with a list of races we wanted to do to work our way up to the Half Marathon. We had 4 in mind — but in the last few weeks we’ve added an additional 3! 10km used to be frightening, but now we feel ready for it {with a few more weeks of training}. We’ve signed up for an additional in Victoria, a fun run in Seattle and a new run taking place in Vancouver in early June. The charity is Because I am a Girl, which totally hits close to my heart — must do!

 

The updated race goals:

Not terrified of the Vancouver Sun Run in a few weeks… actually rather excited. :) Congratulations to all those who ran today — whether it be at the event or feet to the pavement anywhere in this beautiful city.

Happy Sunday!

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day {IWD}. A day where the world can celebrate the achievements of women, inspire other women and reflect on the progress women have made over the past few years.

In honour of IWD, 189 events are taking place in Canada this week. Everything from conferences to networking events to speaker series and more. The conversation continues on social media through the hashtag #IWD2012. Women and men are talking about who inspires them, what they are doing to make changes in their community and what the biggest milestones have been over the last few decades.

In 2007, I enrolled in Introduction to Women Studies at the University of Lethbridge. To be honest, I had to take an options course and that is the only one I could get into. The Instructor was Brittney Price; an incredible young woman {maybe late 20’s} who had completed graduate education in Political Science, worked by day in oil & gas and was extremely committed to changing the way young women define feminism. I was expecting the class to be loaded with women and Brittney would provide an old school look at women in business and politics. Instead… this class was mixed with men and women — and the content was current and refreshing. We learned a lot about 1st wave, 2nd wave and 3rd wave feminism. We used real life examples from media on how our opinions were being skewed and how women were being portrayed. We talked about the political scene and what was working and {clearly} not working. We would read articles, paying close attention to tone and stance.

I learned so much from Brittney that semester. She taught me that everyone should be a feminist. Yes, every single man and woman in the world. That, feminism means equality.

That single point hit my heart and my head. I immediately thought… “Yes… that’s the kind of movement I can stand behind.”

All the time I go to local events targeted towards young women. Often the mentality in the room is “rah rah I’m a woman hear me roar.” These young women bash men, bash past history and commit to taking over the planet. They want to be given opportunities because they are a woman. They want to be treated differently because they are a woman. They think that if they are continually given chances… ratios, statistics and the ongoing uneven representation of women in the world will correct itself.

To me, feminism isn’t about privilege or elitism.

You shouldn’t be given something without working hard for it.

What the world needs is for women {and communities} to stop putting up with bullshit.

Yep, bullshit. Case in point:

  • If you are told you will not get the job because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you will not get a pay raise because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you will not get a promotion because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you cannot run for office because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you cannot purse education because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you cannot leave the home because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you will be beaten and raped because you are a woman — that is a problem

These situations happen every day all over the world. The good thing is that many people and organizations are working hard to correct the Gender Gap and create global equality. We still have a long way to go, but if we {as a world} start paying attention, creating awareness and offering solutions, I believe we can make the changes that are required to reach equality.

Regardless of your race or gender, you deserve respect. That’s what we must fight for.

“My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it’s very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.” – Ani Difranco

On this International Women’s Day, I am working out of a hotel room in Toronto. Tonight I have dinner plans with one of my favourite me in the world. Yep, a man. Crazy! ;) I have no plans to high five women in the street or follow a forum preaching how fabulous I am to the world. Instead, I plan to reflect and give thanks.

Reflect on how I live a blessed life.

Appreciate all those that have shaped my life and expanded my mind.

I have access to everything I would ever need. I have clean water, healthcare and a safe home. Every day I have the privilege of working with outstanding individuals. I work with women — and men who I truly respect and look up to. I have opportunities to travel and learn about the world. I am involved in the community and continually give back to causes I believe in. I have friends, family and a network of colleagues I admire.

Blessed.

Over the past few years, I’ve have had the privilege of learning about these organizations. They do a whole lot of good in growing girls and providing awareness on equality:

Happy International Women’s Day babes. Always expand your mind and strive high.

PS – Years ago on Twitter I made 2 lists. The first one being ‘Women to Watch‘ and the second, ‘Men on a Mission.’ Check them out for some movers and shakers in the global community!

PPS – I really super love these women. They may not know it, but these women push me to be better — every single day: Chantelle Alberts, Corrinne Austin, Judy Brooks, Chantelle Buffie, Reagan Burwash, Jessica Cartwright, Lisa Charleyboy, Ashley Dasent, Izabela Domachowski, Christine Donohoe, Cassandra Dux, Jill Earthy, Bridgette Engler-Newbury, Melissa Godsoe, Alida Hagemeyer, Amanda Hamilton, Amy Harder, Tara Hunt, Brenda Ikenouye, Cadi Jordan, Katie Jeanes, Haley Lonsdale, Claire Masikewich, Kymme Paul, Jessica Pauletig, Ashley Petryshen, Brittney Price, Kittima Raksarat, Julia Rosien, Fannie Roy Smith, Sabaina Saif, Jen Schaeffers, Katie Schaeffers, Dawn Smytaniuk, Heather Stang, Arpen Thandi, Elena Verlee, Natalie Viselli, Bethany Wall, Doris Wilson, Fiona Walsh, Shannon Ward, Tasha Westerman, Stephanie Wiriahardja and Melissa Wusaty. {… the male version will be published on International Man’s Day. :)}