Thursday, October 20, 2011

The End of this story.

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Winston Churchill 

I started blogging for a few reasons. A friend encouraged me to, saying that with my asthma perhaps I could help others who wanted to improve their health. Also, I thought a blog would be a great way to track my journey from running a few kilometers to a full marathon. It also ended up being extremely motivating and inspiring. The plan was to continue blogging at least until I'd reached my goal of running a marathon and I had no idea how long that could take. 

In case you're wondering. I started blogging on January 3, 2010 (I was 50 years old) having just completed my first ever 10K training run. 21 months later I completed my marathon (I am 52 years old). I had been running a grand total of 2 years and 3 months. 
Training run - January 2010

First Half-Marathon - Ottawa May 2010

Niagara Falls Marathon 2010 039
Third Half-Marathon - Niagara Falls October 2010

Marathon - Montréal September 2011
Over the course of this blogging experience :
  • I completed one 5K; two 10Ks; four half-marathons; and one marathon.
  • I infected many people with the racing virus. Some directly and some through others. It is now a family affair when we go to races! :)
  • The longest I went without prednisone is 143 days. Which is excellent, but I want to go longer and longer.
  • After switching my blog address, I went from 191 to approximately 50 followers. Yet, I still had about the same number of comments. So, you are my real followers and I appreciate each and everyone of you! 
  • This is my 209th post.
  • I won some really cool things and got to review some great stuff.
  • I injured my right knee; my left foot; my left groin; my right ankle; my right foot; and my left knee. My PT could have put my name on his lease I was practically paying for it at some point (Being in my 50s and corticosteroids may have had something to do with this). Thankfully, the last two injuries did not require PT and I was able to run cautiously through both. Finally, I am currently uninjured doing well!
  • The above led to cross-training so, I started biking and I even got a trainer for winter (BTW, that photo is the only time I ever tried to read on the trainer...I quickly switched to TV).
  • I stopped going to the gym and started strength training at home (hmmmm it's been a while...must get back to it - that may not have been the best move. To be reassessed).
  • I was chosen to be part of a book on first time marathoners.
  • Of course, I learned tons of stuff about running!!
  • Last, but certainly not least, I became a grand-mother :) :)
There is so much more that occurred over the course of writing this much that I gained and learned. Every once in a while I would get an email from someone who was asthmatic or dealing with some other chronic illness, telling me that I inspired them. I remember googling high and low trying to find out if anyone had ever managed to wean off prednisone and I never found anything encouraging. So if I could help even one person believe in their ability to take control of their health, then I've achieved my ultimate goal. 
So this is the end of the beginning. The goal is to keep running for the rest of my life. Running is going well once again and I will be running a 10K with my little sister, my brother, my Super SIL, her brother, his wife...well, you get the picture...on November 5th in Oka. Other goals over the next year include some trail running and the winter Pentathlon in Québec City. Uber H is on sabbatical starting at the end of January and this seems like the perfect year to do this. The winter Pentathlon includes five winter sports and we will do them as a team (Biking; running; cross-country skiing; skating; and snowshoeing). I will do the running and skating (In another life, I used to figure skate :)). There will be other races and there are plans to go to Philadelphia in November 2012 with some members of the "Lacets rouge". 

Therefore, this will be my last post for this blog. I will have it printed into a book, which I will keep as a souvenir of my journey. I will still read your blogs and comment once in a while. Also, I will be on Daily Mile and so if you want to stay in touch, you can always connect with me there. For those of you already on DM, you know that I usually write in French, but I promise to alternate and write some of my training comments in English :) 



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I would like you to meet...

"A new baby is like the beginning of all things, hope, a dream of possibilities."
Author unknown

Baby Léa (pronounced Lei-a)

Les than 12 hours old

A grand-mommy in love

3 days old :)

Sleeping in grand-daddy's arms

Birth weight was 6lbs 2oz and she was 18.5 inches long...a tiny, but perfect little bundle.

Tomorrow, I will start running again, and I will be using a progressive-return-to-running program. If all goes well, I will register to run the Oka 10K on November 5th :)


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Post-Marathon Thoughts

“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”
Paulo Coelho 

It's been almost a week and I am just as excited about my marathon and find it hard to believe that I finally DID IT. However, I am definitely still recuperating. Here are my post-marathon thoughts in point form...because that's how my brain is working today.

My very cool medal!
  • When I first started running, completing a marathon was the ultimate goal. The goal that seemed impossible. A little over 2 years ago, I was 50 years old, severely asthmatic and I had never run before (actually, I didn't like running). Yet, somewhere deep inside, I believed that if I put my mind to something I could do it. As impossible as it seemed, I still wanted to try. Crossing the finish line last Sunday, was everything I hoped it would be and more. It was also very liberating...I did it and so now the pressure is off. I can enjoy running for the sake of running for a while...I love running! 
  • I was exhausted on Monday and Tuesday...and quite tired the rest of the week. Even today, I ended up taking a nap in the afternoon. 
  • I tried to go for a short easy run with my little sister this week, but I stopped after about 2.5K because of foot pain. Strangely, the pain on top of my right foot was worse after this short run, than after my marathon. The left knee is getting better though. Still, I'm taking the hint and will give my body a break.
  • My marathon photos have arrived and I can't believe they didn't take any as I was crossing the finish line. That's the one I was most looking forward to. I was disappointed, although there are some very good ones.  
  • The cool thing is that in all the photos, you can see that I was landing mid-foot...there were no heel landing photos. I am really proud of that. Here is one you've already seen and you can see my foot landing. That's at 38K.
  • Will I set new goals? Of course. But, interestingly, my goals are not time goals. I do not have the urge to run faster. I didn't know I'd feel this way and perhaps it's partly because of my age, but I just can't imagine focusing on speed (at least for now). I don't feel the need to run a faster marathon...but, if I run the Marathon de Paris in 2013, I would like to run it without pain, which is likely to be faster, if only because I won't be hurting. 
  • I would like to try trail running and Uber H has gotten me excited about the Québec winter pentathlon for 2012 (that's biking, running, cross-country skiing, skating and snow-shoeing). We would do it as a mixed couple and I would do the skating and running :) 
  • Finally, on a non-running note, any day now my grand-daughter will be born. *Edit: She was born this morning at 6:36am...How cool that I became both a marathoner and a grandmother during the same week!! I am super excited about becoming a grandmother and I can't wait to hold her tonight :) Pics to come of course!
A great big thank you to each and every one of you for your kind words. I thought of you all as I crossed the finish line and I couldn't wait to tell you that I was finally a marathoner! THANKS!