Category Archives: Running

Not just another morning run.

I wanted it badly and I’ve been working to get it – and yesterday, I did! A nice, new, shiny Personal Best to feel good about.

1:33 – down from my last half marathon time of 1:37.

And it’s these three I’ve got to thank for it.

SuperKRun

SuperKRun: Karyn, Kevin, Megan & Michael – VanFirstHalf 2015

Kevin – I do not exaggerate when I say, he’s the the best coach I’ve ever had in any sport. I don’t need to elaborate on why, because it’s just an is.

Michael – he got me through the last three miles (5km’s), shaved off an extra two minutes from my finish line time and distracted me enough to stop me from crying.

Karyn, who has run along side of me since Chad was in the hospital for his bone marrow transplant – all the way to the last three miles of yesterdays race. She’s kept me on pace on our runs, and in my life.

(Please note: while we would like to think we looked this happy at the end of the race as we did here in the first mile, we did not. At all.)

Karyn Mitchell, Megan Williams at the Van First Half

I can get all emotional when I yammer on about what running has done for me, but I think Lisa captured it best in our interview last week.

“…for a brief moment, when you are breathing so hard, focused on completing the workout, only honesty can come out.”

Body Zone Fitness interview with Megan Williams

(And thanks Lisa, for getting me to articulate what is more than just “another morning run.” )

Gotta run!

Family Day

I often get asked about how my relationship with Brad’s little one is. The short answer is – she’s awesome, I love her, and our house feels like it’s missing something when she’s not with us.

The natural follow up to that question is, “How’s the relationship with her Mom?”

There isn’t as concise an answer to that question – but I do know we’ve got something special. It’s been five years since Lisa and I first met – and like most relationships, this one has taken patience, consideration and thoughtfulness from everyone involved to make it work.

While we’ve spent Madi’s birthdays parties together and cheered from the softball sidelines – Lisa and I haven’t had any one-on-one time – until Thursday. When Lisa messaged to see if I’d be interested in being interviewed for her fitness/wellness blog, my answer was immediately yes. 

So to kick start the BC Family Day Long weekend, I sat with Lisa on her comfy couch and chatted. We giggled so much, we nearly ran out of time to discuss what I was really there for. And after our interview was done, it was confirmed – I’ll take my family the same way I take my margaritas – sweet, strong and blended.

Lisa Reaveley, Megan Williams

_________

I look forward to sharing Body Zone Fitness’s Blog with you later this week, but in the meantime, take a look at their #BZFSelfLove Campaign on Instagram!

Body Zone Fitness Instgram

Dear Chaderella

Hey Chaderella,

I’ve been sad this week. I think about my dreams when you’ve come back – and while it reassures me you know how I’ve been, I realize, I don’t know how you’ve been.

What have you been doing up there, around here, over there… how much have you seen in the five years you’ve been away?

Do you know that Matt and Laura had baby Eddie? Did you know that Beckett now has a baby brother Harrison? I think he’s going to be a lefty.

Did you ever watch the last season of Entourage or see how Californiacation ended…What about Big Love or TMZ before bed? After you left, I stopped watching some of “our shows” as debriefing with myself wasn’t as much fun as it was with you. Have you seen Breaking Bad? I hope so, you’d LOVE it. Matt likes Homeland and while I’m not crazy for it, I feel like it’s something we would  watch.

What about Australia, do you ever spend time there like you wanted? Have you met Justin and Kristi’s baby, or zoom over to Texas to see the Hawkins or Shingletons?

Do you still watch tennis and coach from the couch to the tv? What about late night peanut butter sandwiches and cereal – do you still do that?

I’ve started taking your advice….(I know it’s been over five years, but whatever)… You’d be proud – I haven’t had TCBY for dinner in a super long time, and when I’m at the gym, I try to work on my core, focusing on the muscles I’m using – just like you did.

I run as hard as I can during track workouts – because I can. I know that pushing my body to gasp for air and feel my muscles ache is a privilege, not something that all people get.  Your wheezing and aching wasn’t voluntary. You wanted run and couldn’t. I can, so I should. (Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s you I feel beside me on the seawall, whispering “Push Meggie push” or maybe it’s me thinking of what you would say.)

I’m sure you know by now, that Bryn has moved into our mini castle in the sky. He wanted the couches arranged just as you had them. While I think he’ll throw a few more parties and play less Rock Band, the drinks will be the same – rum and cokes.

Anyway, there’s so much I want to hear about, meet your new angel-ish friends, see where you hang out, and how you spend your time.

I know it’s not that realistic, the same way that reading a silly blog isn’t a real way of talking to you (because you can read my mind…obviously), but incase you like to read this, just know – today, like yesterday, and when you were still here,  we think of you. A. LOT. Tonight we’ll go to Cactus Club, have a few thai wings (well, someone will, you know how I don’t care for wings) and whether our friends are at dinner or at home, there will be tequila shots had for you. Just because.

Chad Warren, English Bay

When I saw Kelli in California this summer, she said  – “It doesn’t actually feel like Chad’s gone, it just feels like he’s Vancouver and I don’t get to see him that often; but it’s like he’s still here.”

I’d like to think she’s right about that.

See you soon loverboy.

xo Boobalina.

 

 

 

 

Distance and Time

Unlike last year’s bizarre decision to run the BMO Vancouver International Marathon without training, this year I’ve decided to practice. Encouraged by my time last year of 3hrs:43mins I figure with a little bit of training I can shave a few minutes off and qualify for the Boston and London marathons next spring with a hopeful time under 3hrs:40mins.

I used to go on runs to clear my head. Let my endorphins kick in, make my energy spike and anything weighing on my mind would seem to drip away with the sweat. Not anymore. Lately, for some unknown reason the more I’ve been running and the longer the distance I travel, the more my head fills up.

Chad is on my runs.

Most runs seem to follow a particular pattern. The first 10kms: random thoughts, what do I have to do later? I’d like a coke, coke would be good. So would a smoothie. I love smoothies. Something with banana’s and strawberries. I should do laundry later. I hate doing laundry. I almost have to pee. Should I stop now or stop when I actually have to. I can’t believe it’s only been 10kms. Good song on this play list.

After 10kms, the thoughts start to shift: Chad and I rode our bikes around here. That was so fun. He looked goofy swerving all over the place. I wonder if he could run, if he’d run with me right now. Once in awhile, I’ll feel him join in for a jog beside me. He’s never there for long, just long enough for me to feel he’s there. I liked when he used to talk about getting a bike so he could ride beside me and so he could, “keep up with me.” I wonder if there is a water fountain anywhere around here. I can’t believe it’s only been 15kms and I have another 15 to go. I shouldn’t complain – my heart and body are healthy enough that I can run and lots of people would love to be able to do what I’m voluntarily doing right now. I wont complain. Ugh. I’m so tired of this effing play list.

Now we hit the 20km mark: I’m tired, I’m bored and lonely. My thoughts shift from the fun, energetic memories of Chad and I to ones that I don’t think of very often. The dark memories of him in the hospital, him hooked up and heart racing. How weak he looked at different points, the yellow and blue circles around his sunken beautiful hazel eyes. I remember how he’d look at me while sucking air through a breathing mask. How his backbones stuck out on his muscular frame after transplant. How he’d patiently and calmly listen to doctors deliver bad news, nodding with understanding. Then, as I’m running through these memories my breathing becomes shallow. My throat clogs up, I can’t tell if it’s tears or sweat dripping beside my nose. I can’t hear myself over the music but wonder if people can hear me gasping for air between fatigued sobs. I’m so tired. I know he was so tired. I wish he never felt like that.

These heightened emotions last for a few loooonng km’s before my thoughts start to move again and my breathing starts to normalize.

26-30km’s: In the last few km’s of a run, I think it’s pretty common to visualize ‘the shoot’. The last 300 metres of the race when the crowd gets more dense, you can hear finisher’s names being announced over the speaker system, you start to get that final burst pushing you to finish faster as the race is almost done. I love those thoughts – they are happy, accomplished and rewarding thoughts that pull you through the hard km’s in training.

However, recently thoughts of the shoot are secondary to thoughts of Chad on the sidelines. I think of the races he watched, hearing him yell, “Common Meggy” or “Catch that group ahead of you!”. I think of how he used to tell me how emotional he’d get watching me finish. He couldn’t explain why and I’m not sure either – but thoughts of him cheering me on at different points of the course and at the finish line pull me along until I’m done.

I am running for him. I am running because he can’t and I can.

So this morning, regardless of what thoughts and memories cycle in and out my head, I will run my little healthy heart to that finish line and hope I’ll be fast enough to get to Boston.

****

Last year, I took bets for $42 to finish the 42km’s of the BMO Vancouver International Marathon in under 4hrs:20mins to donate to Chad’s goal of $1,000,000 for the Haematology Research and Clinical Trials Unit at VGH. I’m not taking bets this year but donations are very very very welcome anyways.

Here is how you can generously donate:

Short version:
Visit this quick link here.

(Make sure that “Research/HRCTU” is chosen)

Long version:
Go to the Foundation’s web site – http://www.worldclasshealthcare.ca/ Priorities > Leukemia, Myeloma, and Other Blood Diseases and Conditions > Donate > In Memory > At the end of the page it will ask you “Which Priority would you like to donate to?” Make sure that “Research/HRCTU” is chosen.

Thank you so much for your support. xo

Summer lovin…

Summer lovin, had me a blast…

As expected, the summer season has come with a force. Almost as quickly as the temperature increased, so have my memories of last summer.

I kind of anticipated this re flood of tears and memories around this time of year; Christmas wasn’t Chad’s favorite time of year, so that was ok and spring last year was spent helping/watching/witnessing his recovery from Transplant #2, so that was ok too. Now summer. Summer was ‘our’ season.

It was right around this time last year that things really started picking up. After returning from our Europe trip in June of last year (2009), Chad and I went to Texas for one of his best friend’s, Brennan and Amanda’s wedding. It was awesome.

All Chad’s hard work throughout the spring was really starting to pay off. Traveling was a big one, but now more improvements were starting to be seen. Not just little bits of improvement, but leaps and bounds.

He was walking full pace up Centinal Hill with his Dad, (which I distinctly remember daily updates months earlier, “I will eventually be able to keep up with him. Slow and steady.”) Then, he started going back to the gym. This was huge.

Throughout the spring, Chad had been doing moderate workouts at home trying to get himself healthy enough to get to the gym for a workout he could actually feel good about – and not feel as he described, “a pussy.”

He would come back glowing. Not from sweat, but from accomplishment. I was so pumped. He knew and I knew this was one of the many victories that began rolling his way.

Starting in July, we’d be able to wake up every morning with the sun shining into our apartment, and I’d ask – “How do you feel?” And every day, he’d say, “I feel good!”

His blood tests showed no trace of the cancer proteins – and his energy showed the same. We’d wake up early, I’d go to the gym, and he’d work on his stocks. I’d leave for work, he’d lay out and soak up the sun. I’d text him to see how his day was going and his replies were always something like, ‘at the gym, playing tennis with his doubles partner JJ, cruising around in his Audi, at parents house for lunch or walking with his Dad’. Perfect summer days for someone who has seen the bleakest days of winter.

We spent our evenings hitting a tennis ball, driving around, going to see my parents for dinner or having people over. We’d sit out on the couch on our deck and talk about what has happened these past few months, how this was the best he felt in eight years, how he never thought he would feel like himself again – and if this was the recovery and ‘cure’ we had been waiting for, what were we going to do.

We watched our friends at the local tennis tournaments while discussing, “I’d like to think next year I could compete with JJ again – next year, we’ll play the 35 Provincials together.” (JJ won the 35’s this year with another friend, making Chad inexpressibly proud, Im sure).

I remember walking around the Stanley Park Open feeling like I had grown 2 inches, (reaching my ideal height 5”7), had my hair done, looked like Gisele Bundchen and was decked out in the latest Prada collection.

No, I didnt have the model good looks nor did I have the Prada collection, but the feeling was the same. I was so proud and so happy to be walking around with him; I wanted to show him off. Look at what he did! See! Energy! Spunk! Chad is back!

While on a gorgeous bike ride last night, I was thinking to myself how Chad wanted to get a bike so he could ride beside me while I ran. I felt sad knowing we never got to do that. One memory lead to another, and I had this flash of the first time I actually saw him run. Not after transplant, but ever. Of course I had seen him run on the tennis court, but we had never really been able to run together; except this one hot evening last July.

We decided to race, speed walking to his parents house. With about 4 blocks to go, this guy starts running! Im not sure how to react. 1) He’s breaking the rules of the race 2) HE’S RUNNING!?!? 3) Im not going to lose.

He took off on me. It almost looked like Forest Gump breaking out of his casts. A few quick steps, followed by a bit more momentum until he gets to a full on stride. What the?

Not knowing whether to stop and yell, “Run Chad, Run!” or, “You’re breaking the rules you big cheater!” – I take off after him. (Im sure anyone who might have seen us were curious what was going on, as Im sprinting to keep up with him while giggling and trying to talk shit all at the same time.)

I pull it together just enough to beat him in the last block, run up to his parents door and throw my hands in the air Rocky style and yell, “Ha! I Win!”

It might have taken him about 20 minutes for his heart rate to recover and he might have to stretch for half an hour afterwards, but at the end of the night, he did it. He ran, he raced and he was ok. For the rest of the evening, I evenly gloated and praised how awesome that was. This was incredible.

The rest of July was incredible. The rest of August was incredible too. Even if Chad and I were spending this summer together as well, last summer was one I will never forget.

Dont get me wrong, this summer season is shaping up to be fantastic as well. However, that doesn’t mean my eyes have stopped leaking, or I don’t think of “this time last year” every single day.

I look at my screensaver and see the photo of us on a boat and him with is head back, laughing. Everyday I see that photo, I can hear him laugh and am reminded of how much can change in a year.

I never thought during our discussions of, ‘Now that you’re healthy, next summer we can…’ – that we would never have another summer together again.

‘Cause after that Summer lovin…it happened so fast.

A little better than expected…

Hi everyone!

Thank you so much for the rooting and cheering on. I have to say, if I didn’t have money on the brain (and Laura and Voltaire to put in a few km’s beside me), those 42km wouldn’t have been as successful.

My final clocked time was better than my expected 4hrs/20 mins, at 3 hrs/43 mins (just 3 mins shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon – oh well) Anyways, the goal was reached and Im ready to collect for Chad.

There are 2 ways you can generously donate to Chad’s foundation: (and you will receive a tax receipt for your donation this way)

1) Online. (Its quick!) –
If you visit https://vgh-ubchospitalfoundation.akaraisin.com/Donation/Event/DonationType.aspx?seid=336&mid=48

– The first page, click ‘In Memory of’ – the next page you can enter ‘Chad Warren’
– When a page asks for what unit or division you are donating to, scroll down the list to ‘Blood Disorders and Hematology Clinical Trials Unit’
– These 2 steps ensure that Chads foundation will be getting the money, and not going to the general fundraising.

2) Cheque –
Pay to the order of: VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation
Memo: HCTU – Chad Warren

You can either send in the cheque yourself to the foundation at:
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
855 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver BC V5Z 1M9
Canada

Or you are welcome to send the cheque to our apt, and I will deliver it to the foundation myself:

1611 – 2004 Fullerton Ave
North Vancouver, BC
Canada V7P 3G8

Chad’s family and I will get a list of people who donate, so I can track my bets that way 🙂

Thank you again for entertaining this little challenge of mine. I feel pretty good about it, and even better that I can help raise some money for Chad.

Thank you – to those of you who have already written cheques – especially to Charlene who bet me an additional 5 bucks for every minute I shaved off of 4:20 (=$227.20) and Matt who doubled his bet if I could beat his dad’s time (=$84.00)

Running After Chad


So – what started as a friendly bet with a friend has turned into more of a motivator…..

*42kms – in under 4hrs20mins – for $42.00*

I have signed up for the Vancouver Marathon on Sunday May 2nd (1 day from now), and havent trained for it. The furthest I have run is 24km.

I dont anticipate my body will let me go very fast because I havent trained, but in efforts to raise money for Chad’s foundation (and beat Oprah’s marathon time of 4hrs:29mins) I am betting/challenging anyone who will take me up on finishing 42 km’s in under 4 hours/20 mins/20 seconds for $42.00

If I can finish the marathon in this time, I will donate any bets accumulated to Chad’s foundation. (You dont have to come watch or anything, I just want your money 🙂 )

Wanna bet?
I will post my official time after the run – if I make it in time, I will post the best ways to donate to Chad’s 1 Million Dollar goal. Whether considering this in mockery or in challenge, I am very appreciative.

Thank you in advance. From both of us.