In 2016, I had this grandiose idea of signing up for a runDisney Fairy Tale Challenge with the intention of getting my act together and losing weight. Day after day I kept using my “mom” status as an excuse, always too busy taking care of the kids, and before I knew it February was here and it was race time. It was the hardest thing I have ever done physically but somehow I managed to finish both the 10k and 1/2 marathon. The energy from the runners, elaborate costumes, and cheers from spectators were amazing. However, nothing compared to the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment crossing that finish line. It left me wanting more. Within the month I had signed up for several local races and the 2018 runDisney Fairy Tale Challenge (plus the 5k).

This time, I made a promise to myself I would give it 100%, no more excuses. Looking back I am very happy with how far I have come in 9 months. I went from doing nothing to running, yoga, and cardio 3-5 days a week. Between training runs and races I clocked about 182 miles for the year which isn’t a lot but I managed to shave 10 minutes off my 5k and 22 minutes off my 10k.

I am and will probably always be a #backofthepackrunner but I am okay with that as long as I keep improving my time and crossing that finish line!

In case you noticed my 10 Mile time is much shorter than any of the other times. That’s because it was a race I did in 2010, before having kids, when I was 100 pounds lighter, and 7 years younger! I decided to keep it on there as a reminder of my ultimate pace goal.

Best race experience:
Hands down the Ottawa Fall Colours 1/2. It was a reasonable price and well organized. There were tons of water spots staffed with energetic volunteers and goodies to keep you going. Runners were so supportive, especially to us slower ones. Even though I was lapped by many completing the marathon I never felt defeated. At the end of the race there were massage students offering free 10 minute massages. They also had warm bowls of chili for all participants!

Other favorites this year were the Canadian Army 10k, Rattle Me Bones 5k, and Beat the Bridge 10k.

Best run: Rattle Me Bones
Although is was cold and pouring rain I was so happy with the way I felt at the end and my overall time. It was the first race where I ran 1/:30 intervals and couldn’t believe the difference it made. My pace improved and I maintained the same level of energy throughout. It was also the first time I actually liked a picture of myself in a long time.

Favorite piece of gear:
Since this was my first year I purchased quite a bit of gear but my favorite is definitely my Garmin 235. I love the shape, size, interval training function, and the “find my iPhone” function.

Most inspirational quote:
Definitely the words that I lived by this year were “forward is a pace”. As a #plussize #backofthepackrunner I often had to tell myself towards the end of each race to keep putting one foot in front of the other. As long as I kept moving forward I would finish.

Favorite running song:
I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! At the Disco

February
Princess 10k 1:52:10
Princess 1/2 Marathon 4:06:51

May
Diefenbooker Classic 5k 49:06
Shoppers. Love. You. 10k 1:38:37
Tamarack 10k 1:41:36 RACE RECAP

July
Canada Day 10k 1:34:28 RECAP HERE
Foam Fest RECAP HERE
The Farm 5k 46:27 RECAP HERE

August
Disney Running Shorts Virtual 5k #1 46:00

September
Run 4 Texas Virtual 10k 1:35:28
Wiggle Waggle Family 1k
Canadian Army 10k 1:40:43
Disney Running Shorts Virtual 5k #2 50:00

October
Disney Running Shorts Virtual 5k #3 47:07
Ottawa Fall Colors 1/2 Marathon 3:58:32 RECAP HERE
Dashing Divas Virtual 5k 42:42
Rattle Me Bones 5k 41:44
Rattle Me Bones Family 1k

November
Beat The Bridge 10k 1:30:46
Gobble Till You Wobble Virtual 5k 43:40

December
Santa Shuffle Family 1k
Ugly Sweater Virtual 5k 49:00