Inspired to Run

All the time people ask me why I’m on social media networks. They want to know what value I see in the tools. They want to know why it intrigues me. They want to know why I keep on coming back.

One thing I love about social is how easy it is to be part of a community and align with people who have similar interests. Since learning to run {and later founding Runcouver}… I have immersed myself in health/fitness/running/racing/etc communities online. I follow races, teams, pro athletes, local runners, nutritionists and a ton of inspirational dynamos kicking ass and crushing goals. I join in on conversation via twitter chats, hashtags blogs and message boards. It oozes through my every day {Note: I don’t follow the people who just post ‘skinny’ quotes everyday with disturbing photos of way too thin women. Ugh.}.

A local runner, friend of a friend and someone I need to get to know better is a young man named Dave {he’s a total babe btw :)}. For the last few months, I’ve been following Dave tweeting and Instagram’ing his day to day. He’s a beast. Truly beastly. He’s the king of goal setting and always thinking of a new way to challenge himself.

This morning I randomly woke up {rested} at 6:30am. I was going back and forth in my head – one more hour of sleep… yes… no… one more hour of sleep… yes… no… Then all of a sudden I realized that Dave was probably running.

Dave loves a hashtag called: #10ktostarttheday.

Dave kills it on the pavement morning after morning. My brain turned into competitive “you must continually improve yourself” mode and I immediately knew I needed to run to.

I hate running in the morning – and something I know for sure is that it’s good to get out of your comfort zone.

Running at night – in the dark – is my comfort zone. It’s peaceful, calming and one of my favourite times of the day. Since I’ve been banned from running by myself in the dark {read about that time I fell on my face}… I probably need to start liking early mornings.

So just after 6:45am, I left my house. Runners on, rain jacket on and prepared for a brisk run in the dark {I knew it wouldn’t be dark for long…}. :)

Epic RunI headed to Burrard Bridge… 3K turned into 5K… 5K turned into 10K… 10K turned into 15K… and before you knew it…

I was at 18.9k!

Whoa. So long broken face!!!

My iPhone died just outside of Chinatown, but I continued running to Yaletown. I hit 20k and felt more alive than I have in weeks.

#20ktostartthedamnday

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Dave.

Thank you for getting me out of bed. Thank you for getting my head in the game. Thank you for being a source of inspiration, both online and offline.

Your presence is noticed.

See you on the seawall. Run baby run.

Why Hello Pavement…

15K playlistYesterday afternoon started off perfect. It was a gorgeous sunny day in Vancouver and I was set to do a long run. The plan was minimum 15K. I was planning on running Stanley Park, then English Bay to Yaletown, but at the last minute I switched to an adventure in Kits. I was worried I would get caught in Stanley Park in the dark — and we all know I don’t like that park in the dark. :|

I updated my tunes and off I went {pssst… if you have Rdio, you can view and listen to the playlist here!}

I headed over the Granville Bridge as an epic sunset was taking over the sky. My legs were moving and I was excited to tackle new ground. A friend / mentor / ultra running crazy man, Adam Campbell, has been reinforcing to me that I need to switch from counting kilometres to focusing on time and going with the flow. I decided to do just that …. {briefly at least… I had good intentions :)}.

I ran past Burrard Bridge, then Kitsilano Beach and before you knew it I was en route to Jericho Beach. I was feeling great and decide the I would turn around at 10K instead of the planned 7.5K — I felt like I could do 20K and I wanted the challenge. Jericho was new territory for me and I didn’t know the area. I got to the beach (10K mark) just as the sun was setting and pink was taking over the sky. I knew I wanted to get away from the beach area before it was dark, so I booked it back up to the street. A few blocks away from the beach I bailed.

One moment I was running, the next moment I heard my cheek hit the pavement. My right cheek struck first, then my right shoulder. I was immediately in shock, but conscious. My whole body was screaming with pain and I turned over to sit on the pavement. I had torn my Lululemon thermals open and I could taste blood on my mouth and see it on my legs.

At the moment, I realized I was in the middle of no where. Somewhere near Jericho. No idea where I was — and not in the sight of a runner. I started calling all the friends I knew in Kits, someone who could come and pick me up. No one answered and I moved to my downtown friends. Katie {from the #RunCrew} picked up her phone and in tears I told her that I needed her to come get me. {Thank you for the cement rescue darling}.

320964_4836531684629_330669936_n

We made our way to St. Paul’s Hospital and soon enough we were in emergency. My cheek was swollen up and my legs were angry. I had no idea if anything was broken, but felt like the fall was sketch enough that I should probably get checked out. I was fast tracked to see a nurse and the process began. X-rays of my shoulder and legs — thankfully both banged up, nothing broken. Then a CT scan of my head and face — right cheek bone fracture. Then a EKG, blood work and a whole lot of questions to answer.

The doctors were less concerned about my physical injuries and more concerned about why I fell. They either think I fainted or that something was going on with my heart {irregular heartbeat etc}. No history of fainting or heart issues by the way. I was moved into another unit to meet with the Cardiologist and shortly after 1am, I was admitted to Cardiology for the night. They wanted to monitor my heart and meet with the Head of Cardiology in the morning.

I haven’t been overnight in a hospital since 1999. It’s funny how it all comes flooding back to you. Vitals every hour. Nurses coming in. Machines beeping. Code white. Code blue. They hooked me up to the machines and told me they’d let me sleep for a few hours. Just after 6am, the hospital hustle started. They were back to do more blood work and hook me up to more machines.

Shortly after 9am, the Head of Cardiology arrived to chat. We walked through what happened on the run and the tests that were run in emergency. As I had been stable overnight, he would release me but wanted me to stay attached to the Cardiology unit as an outpatient for the next few weeks. This week I’ll have an echocardiogram {heart ultrasound}, do a cardiac stress test {watching your heart when you run on a treadmill} and pick up a holder monitor {electrodes applied to skin and attached to tape recorder for 1-2 days}.

Fingers crossed, all tests come back good, I get the all clear from the Cardiologist and I’m back to the grind soon. He did confirm that running is good for the heart and he wants me to be back at it as soon as I can.

580556_4836531964636_1570522840_nRight now, I’m sore as hell and it’s the last thing my body feels like doing. My head on the other hand… knows I was on my way to an epic 20K run and can’t wait to get back on the pavement.

Thankful for everyone that has reached out since my tumble — and thank you to Katie for sticking by my side. The team at St. Paul’s was fabulous — I couldn’t have asked for better care.

There are likely lessons that have come from this event — but I’m not far enough removed from the situation to think of them yet. :) For now I will focus on healing my broken face, doing the required cardio tests this week, and getting myself to physio this week to take care of my shoulder and legs.

Runner’s High

 

What was once this….

Is now THAT plus THIS…

When I first set my running goals… I had full intentions that they would end on June 23rd when Haley and I completed the Half-Marathon in Seattle. Now that I’m running, I’m actually enjoying it. Haley and I have had a number of successful races and we’re continually achieving personal bests. We are making progress — and progress is motivating.

This weekend I volunteered at the BMO Marathon and Half-Marathon in Vancouver. I cheered on thousands of people as they crossed the finish line. I gave thumbs up, high fives and ran beside people to get them moving and push them to finish the last 200m.

Watching all these people of different sizes/shapes, age and degree of training gave me  hope that Haley and I will rock out the Half Marathon in June.

It’s only 21.1 km.

Only 10km x 2 (and a bit).

Only 2 (and a bit) hours of running.

Only 2 (and a bit) albums of good tunes.

Only Stanley Park (and a bit) twice.

It’s not 25km, 42km, 50km. Just 21.1km.

Everyone who completed yesterday’s BMO Marathon and Half-Marathon dominated the pavement. It gave me the motivation {and perhaps inspiration} to continue the journey towards becoming a runner.

Congratulations to everyone who completed the race yesterday. #RunVan was a complete success.