"Don’t race"

Sooooo…this is the response I got from my coach when I updated him on my head cold and plans for just continuing to rest until race day on Sunday:

I think the best plan would be not to do the race. But it is your call. If you decide to do it then I think resting until the gun goes is the thing to do.

So this is where I’m reminded how different he and I are.  When I moved back to Ottawa, Ken (coach) was given my name by someone who knew I ran and he called to interview me to see if I’d be a good fit for and was worthy of his team. Traditionally he only accepts runners (FYI we’re all women) who can run a sub-20 minute 5k.  The problem with me is that I had never run a 5k (or a 10k – and still haven’t) but I had run numerous full and half marathons and was heading to Boston that year for the first time. So I think he figured that I was “good enough”. Ha!  And while I really do love the women on the team and appreciate Ken’s guidance, I do often feel that I have a very different philosophy than most of them.  I run because:
  • I love the feeling during and after
  • Thrive off the challenge I pose to myself
  • It’s a great social opportunity and have made great friends
  • I have used it to travel the world
  • Keeps me fit
  • Helps with stress
I really could go on and on. But these reasons are probably also why I work as a pediatric exercise specialist – specializing in severe complex obesity. 

When I was in grad school, my research was in nutrition supplementation in elite male cyclists and it was great – I spent my days in a lab with guys who I could push on their bikes until they literally puked. 

I dug this picture out – it had to be scanned in ’cause it was taken over 10 years ago on a camera with FILM and it makes me laugh because the equipment is so out of date compared to what I use now!! This was one of my subjects just doing a practice test…in our time trials, he was a guaranteed puker!


And my subjects they loved it.  And they were hungry to know how to push it to the next level in terms of their fitness and racing abilities. I enjoyed it, I learned a lot, I had fun with my subjects and testing my hypotheses, etc, but I always felt this kind of emptiness and almost guilt. I realized that I didn’t get satisfaction from helping those who already had so much – that there was an entire population of people who had low quality of life because they struggled to complete their activities of daily living (showering, getting dressed, etc) let alone purposeful physical activity. So after grad school I started working as an exercise physiologist at a cardiac rehab clinic and right away knew that THAT was where I belonged. Helping people enjoy the best life they could by increasing their physical activity tolerance, boosting their self esteem and confidence and allowing them to be proud of themselves – and not be fussed about what others around them could do.  The majority of my patients were over the age of 75 and so when I took a job as a pediatric exercise specialist I really wasn’t sure how different it would be. Turns out that ultimately it’s not that different – I’d say the biggest difference is that I have to keep up with the current lingo in order to be legit with the teens! And it’s TOUGH!! LOL!!

But the point is, I want everyone to be proud of the body they have, be physically and mentally able to participate in activities they are interested in and to be happy with their abilities when participating in them.

That is where coach and I are diametrically opposed. He cannot comprehend why you would do anything if you weren’t going to do it to win, to dominate. Yeah, he agrees that running is good for your health and blah, blah, blah, but he thinks that if you’re going to do it, you do it full out.  So if I’m going to race this weekend, it’s because I’m trying to win (ok, neither of us really thinks I’m going to win, but that’s the overarching attitude) and if something might prevent that, then you don’t race. Because there’s not point in racing. 

*sigh* there is SO much more to the race than that for me.

All to say, I will be making my own call. I will be racing this weekend. And I cannot wait.  My head cold continues to improve. Oh, which reminds me that I need to add in some directions to go along with my recommendations to take the nasal spray!! If you take it, make sure YOU DO NOT take it for more than 3 days (it will start to have the opposite effect!!) and it’s REALLY  MUCH BETTER if you take a hot shower after snorting the stuff – helps make it work best!

Ok, that was a lot of serious talk for a Friday – let’s end on something that makes fun of me. So I am scared of spiders. At a level that I know is completely irrational and ridiculous.  Please don’t even ask me touch a picture of a spider in a magazine. That’s just terrifying.  Last night I was taking Abby out before bed and as I got to my front door I let out a shriek. A HUGE spider was at my front door (note: any spider is HUGE to me!). I took a pic – it’s blurry because I was standing about 10 feet away and zooming in!!  It was about the size of a quarter (with its gross legs). I used to have to get someone to come over to deal with spiders – but I have now graduated to being able to use Raid myself. But I still shriek the entire time. It’s annoying, I know.

The BIGGEST spider I ever encountered was in my old house when, one day, I was taking off the bbq cover and felt my head go into a spiderweb (OMG that is THE WORST!!) and when I jumped back, I just about died.



I was convinced that someone’s tropical pet had escaped. I made my boyfriend at the time come over to “deal with it”. He had grown up on a farm and made fun of me his entire drive over…until he saw it. “Woah. Ok. That’s big”.  He actually used a trowel to “deal with it” because it was so big.

After some google searching, turns out it was a harmless garden spider indigenous to North America. But still – that’s one scary looking spider, right???

Happy Friday everyone!!


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