As a child, weddings were regular events played out by my toys. Having been gifted Tracy and Todd (a set of husband and wife dolls complete in wedding attire) one Christmas, I would arrange other dolls and figurines of various sizes into an audience and have the bride and groom process, stand in front of their closest inanimate friends and exchange vows in front a Barbie doll missing her half of her hair. It was a classy and dignified affair.

But as I grew older, the dolls were thrown out or donated, and the thoughts of marriage went with them. I never pictured myself in the place of Barbie's cousin Tracy. I didn't have a longing for the white dress, the big fanfare or the handsome husband. Weddings were events my friends had and I stood on the periphery, only a guest or a bridesmaid, never a bride.

And then two weeks ago, after 14 months of planning, saving and fretting, I found myself standing at an altar and saying I do. I officially became Mrs. Hulk.

To say the events were surreal would be an understatement. Even though I was the one in the white lace dress standing in front of our friends and family and saying I do, it never felt like it was my day. I didn't cry over our vows, I didn't feel all that nervous about speaking in front of the crowd and I only tripped over my dress half a dozen times. Despite small hiccups, the day was fantastic and now I get to call the guy I love with all of my heart my husband for the rest of my life.

It’s amazing how childhood fantasies can be crushed by the cynicism of youth and young adult life, but it’s even more amazing that you can find the happiness you deserve despite it all. And as some of my family pointed out, I am ridiculously and obnoxiously happy. 


I’m a better follower

I fully admit I’m not the best teacher.

There are times where my brain seems to fire too fast and my mouth doesn’t keep pace or I end up taking the long way to arrive at my point and I scramble to find answers to questions. This is why I prefer to write so that I can arrange all of my thoughts and try to make some sense of things. Emphasis on the TRY.

When Hulk made the decision to run, I was 100 per cent behind him. To help him train, I created a free plan using smartcoach on Runner’s World. I had him running less frequently but overall faster than I would because I wanted him to have a great time. Yonge Street 10k - Look at me go! Photo courtesy of Linda

Now, I never noticed that runner speak was that complicated. I never had trouble distinguishing between steady, speed, tempo or long runs so I wasn’t prepared for questions or having to justify why training plans are built the way they are. I’ve just trusted the training plan and couldn’t see why anyone else could not. This caused me to get unnecessarily frustrated on several occasions. I had to learn that not everything is a simple as I think that it is and be more patient because it wasn’t my race.

So after several weeks of training, Hulk made it to the finish line, and faster than I had him target – 50 minutes! Sadly, he may have been able to go even faster if he hadn’t been following my advice. Sorry!

The Yonge Street 10k was a great race for him, for jainey who again improved on his kickass time, and our friend Pepper, who also had a PB. As for me? Well, I finished and that’s all that ever matters.

So what now? Well, Hulk is now mulling over the option to run a half in the fall. Or next year.

I have to say, despite my never wanting a partner that runs, I am REALLY enjoying our Sunday runs together. And by together I mean that I tell him to start running, I watch him run WAY ahead of me and he’s already showered and dressed by the time I get back from the run.

And so the training continues.


Update by the Numbers

229 – Days until my wedding.

174 – the number my scale has been displaying for the last month

11 – pounds that I have gained since the marathon. oops.

6 – the number of dresses that I tried on when I went wedding dress shopping.

1 – the number of shopping trips that I wanted to go on to find “the” dress.

14 – the size of the wedding dress I ordered.

3 – the number of times I wanted to kick the manager at David’s Bridal in the taco when I was trying on dresses. The last one was for when she thought I should really order the 14W.

0 – how much motivation I have to lose any weight right now.

7 – weeks until the 10k

1430 – calories tracked for the day

1 – day of 229 that I need to stay on track.

Wish me luck?


New Year = New Running Plans

I’ve always felt blessed to have made some great friends through my adventures in running. It’s been amazing that I’ve also been able to share the sport with important people in my life. From my little brother inspiring me to run my very first 5k to friends made at different Running Room clinics in the GTA and now having friends take up running and sharing their triumphs, I have so much to keep me motivated.

Last year was a big year for me and I was lucky to have Hulk see me through an injury that I thought was going to crush my dreams of running the New York marathon but instead saw him cheering me along the way of 26.2 mile journey.

What I didn’t know was that our Big Apple experience left a huge mark not only on me but on him as well. My post-marathon mantra of “NEVER AGAIN!” was met with “Really? I think that I want to run one now.”


I know that I’ve said before that I never want to have a runner as a partner but I feel as though this is different. This is him wanting to share in that experience. It’s not about comparing pacing, talking race strategy and training methods.

And with that, we’ve planned to run the Toronto Yonge Street 10k together in April, with our lovely friend Pepper* and hopefully Jainey.

He’s already looking at a goal time and I’m trying to help him with a training plan. My plan is just to show up and run. My only goal for the race is to cross the finish line and give him a giant hug.


*name changed to increase awesomeness


Marathon Marie

When my Weight Watchers Success Story came out, I thought the title that they chose for it, Marathon Marie, wasn’t really appropriate as I had yet to run a full.

Even after my first full, I still felt like a fraud and not a true marathoner. I resolved to run another last year in Ottawa only to have my butt break down on me. So after a year off and visiting an amazing physiotherapist, I was back pounding the pavement and ready to run the ING New York Marathon.

And I did this past Sunday. And now I finally feel like a marathoner.

The race was a fantastic experience for so many reasons.

  • Mouse and Niffer with their medals after the ING NYC MarathonIt gave me a chance to yet again run a full with one of my best friends, someone I admire for determination and strength (and also because she is crazy). We started together in the same corral but ran our own race. I waited for her at the finish line so that we could recreate the photo we took at my first marathon only this time she managed to pick up a Canadian flag from the crowd on the last mile. It made me smile to hear her tell of how she came by it and see her waving it proudly. Sharing the entire weekend with her was a blessing.
  • It gave me a chance to finally have someone I love come out and cheer me on beyond the finish line. Hulk was able to see me at three different points of the race with the last one perfectly placed at a point where I really needed support (mile 25). Seeing his face light up when he saw me was a great boost.
  • It gave me a chance to meet new people. Of all of the places, we ran into a fellow Canadian in our corral and she ran with me up to the half mark, something I am so grateful for as it kept me distracted but truly wish my legs could have kept up with her the whole way when I got into my head on the back half. We also had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger, someone who I have followed since I began this blog in 2006 and is just one of the loveliest people you could ever hope to meet. We may have also made friends with a bartender who had a great sense of humour and made us feel home in a city so far away from ours.
  • It gave me a chance to really see NYC. The course is really fantastic. Yes, even the inclines of the bridges. I can honestly say that the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge wasn’t that big of a challenge as I knew to start out slow, but the Queensboro Bridge did me in. Loved the views from them, though. And the crowds. My goodness! They were so fantastic and supportive. I was so thankful for them, even though I wanted to tell those who told me not to give up and keep running to switch places with me or STFU at times.
  • Crossing the finish line at the ING NYC Marathon 2013It gave me a chance to have a real comeback. Being injured last year was so hard, both physically and mentally. Going from running long distances without much thought to wondering if you’re going to make it through 30 mins without wanting to cry messed with my mind and had me fall into a bit of a depression. Although I had a lot of pain while completing this race, it wasn’t related to the injury and will go away in time.

Now, my result was far from what I had hoped. In fact, I came in around the EXACT same time as my first marathon. I’m disappointed that a great race turned south after the half way point, but I am so thrilled that it was 5:25 considering how much walking I had to do just to cross the finish line.

The New York Marathon certainly isn’t an easy course, but it truly is amazing. It’s an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world and is worth every penny I spent on it. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to run (and walk) it, even more so now that I’m walking normally again :) .

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