Team Diabetes Bluenose: me & my girlies

Once again I have joined Team Diabetes, a team of people from across Canada who will be crossing the finish line together and who have raised funds to support the more than 9 million Canadians living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. I will be on the course of the 2012 Blue Nose Marathon (Local). This is not a travel event, so administrative costs are very low, hopefully allowing more of the fundraising dollars to go to research and support.

This year, not only did my oldest daughter (who will be eleven on the race course this year) decide to run again, but her 8 year old sister has decided to join in as well! They are both dedicated to supporting the cause of diabetes research and support because of their Auntie Dana who was diagnosed Type 1 five years ago at the age of 30. Please help us to support people like my sister who and suffer numerous health complications due to Diabetes. You can read my sister’s story here: Why I Run for Team Diabetes.

You can read about my 2010 Bluenose 10K here; and mine & Breanna’s 2011 5K here.

It takes dedication to be part of Team Diabetes, but we are committed to making a big difference in our lives, and in the fight against type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

One of the greatest contributions of the Canadian Diabetes Association is toward outstanding Canadian research. But that is not all the Association does – it runs camps for young people with diabetes and provides education and special services to people affected by diabetes in communities across Canada.

As we participate in this event, you will be with us in spirit and your support will help us be strong all the way to the finish line. A donation for each kilometre is suggested, but whatever you can contribute matters – it all adds up!

Our goal is to raise a minimum of $350 each ($1050 total) by mid-March and continue to raise additional funds until race day!

If you want to support our mission, please click the following link(s):

Pledge Trish

Pledge Breanna

Pledge Payten

Thank you so much for your generosity!

Trish, Breanna & Payten

Team Diabetes Bluenose 5k: Race day

(Click for Part 1)

Sunday morning was upon us. I have not been training due to my chronic pain. B has not been training because she’s simply a really busy kid. I’m confident we’ll be fine, we have no time goals, we’re just going to have fun.

Auntie Dana arrives in time to head out for the races with us. She, Ian & Payten will volunteer with Team Diabetes at the final aid station at the finish line, handing out water to the finishers. After pee breaks we make our way to the start and watch the ~1000 marathoners start. It’s truly a remarkable site, all of those runners in one place. Next up are the half marathoners, then we make our way to the Team Diabetes gathering spot, get a pre-race photo taken and wait for our turn.

From Family 2011

The 5K is truly a fun event to participate in. There are runners & walkers, and while waiting for the start there are photo-ops, including with the race mascot Myles. A pre-race warm-up with something like 1500 runners/walkers all attempting to follow an impromptu aerobic routine certainly got everyone into the spirit of things.

From Family 2011
From Family 2011

Breanna was nervous about the race, but she did fantastic. She ran a pretty steady pace most of the course, with only a few breaks to walk or stretch out a tight muscle. She and another Team D participant played tag for the duration of the 5K, whenever one passed the other, leap-frogging along. With just enough challenge to make it feel like a personal accomplishment, we were so happy to have been a part of the Bluenose on behalf of Team Diabetes and my sister. The icing on the cake was having Dana there with Ian & Payten to congratulate us at the finish line!

From Family 2011

Running for a cause with one of my most precious

It’s amazing what one can bring themselves to do when it involves a cause one believes in passionately. I have run for Team Diabetes twice before. My involvement was prompted by my sister’s late-in-life (relatively speaking) Type 1 diagnosis. She was 30, her sugars 31. Within two months she began having seizures. It’s been a very difficult battle, with many, many new health complications. All of which interact and effect the other. I signed on with Team D when I was at a complete loss to support her while living on the opposite side of this vast country.

Last year my ten-year-old told me upon finishing that she wanted to run for Team D herself next time. Next time, was this past weekend. Much of the fundraising I was able to do simply by setting up our donation pages and posting frequent details about the event, motivation of our participation, and how to pledge. Everyone expressed their support for her extraordinary drive. Breanna took her pledge sheet door-to-door all by herself and collected donations from the neighbors that she knows. I was proud of her for being willing to step outside her comfort zone and do that all by herself.

Then we were invited to share our story and our “why”, the story behind our support for the cause. We spoke briefly at the pre-race pasta dinner, and as scared as B was, she overcame her nerves and shared a few details about four people she knows who have their own battles with the disease, most importantly her auntie. I probably rambled for too long. I did not prepare notes as it felt like it would be more impressionable if it came directly from the heart. I had to compose myself a few times, but I managed to keep it together and share some of the biggest challenges Dana faces, as well as my desire for people to know how much impact Diabetes can have on a life. So many people have no idea what it can look like.

This was a really great lead up to the race and helped both of us to feel more connected to the larger movement.

(Click for Part 2)

Why I run for Team Diabetes

My sister is a brittle diabetic.

Since about 2004 my sister Dana has been through a turmoil of information and emotions. For years she had battled illness causing drastic weight loss, and a low immune system. She’s been on a roller coaster with her health. Finally, she seemed to have gotten under control, what appeared to be Candida. After carefully limiting yeasts, carbs and sugars, she was back at a healthy weight and feeling better than in a long time.

The cycle began again. Within a matter of months her weight plummeted 30+ pounds to a level that left many inquiring after her health, and again came an onset of infections. While in a walk-in clinic for bronchitis, she mentioned to the doctor the concern about her weight loss, and low immune system, as well as her observations of being thirsty most of the time, and that she thought she needed new glasses.

In October 2007 Dana learned that she has Type 1 Diabetes. When tested, her sugars were at 29. Dana is and always will be insulin dependent. It is uncommon to be diagnosed Type 1 (or Juvenile Diabetes) outside of childhood. My sister was 30. There have been many, many lifestyle changes for her and a great deal of ongoing learning. Dana experienced her first two seizures (back to back) three months after her diagnosis. Since then she has experienced a multitude of health complications from recurring infections due to her compromised immune system, to kidney problems requiring multiple procedures, drastically fluctuating body weight, wrist and foot complications, vision problems and all of the challenges that come along with accepting this disease for what it is (incurable) and incorporating all of the dramatic changes required to live with it.

At the present time my 34 year old sister is unable to work, live alone, or drive a car on the highway.

After MANY challenges with balancing her blood sugars Dana eventually ended up on an insulin pump. While this has saved her many needles each day, it has not stabilized her blood sugar levels for any significant period of time.

My sister has approximately 10-15 medical practitioners she works with on a regular basis. She sees her family doctor weekly, an endocrinologist, neurologist, urologist, gynecologist, diabetic nurse, social worker, and more. She carries a heavy bag with emergency/back-up supplies of insulin, testing strips and monitor, snacks, water and more with her everywhere she goes. Walking to the mailbox can cause her sugars to plummet. A change in stress levels can cause them to skyrocket. Everywhere she goes she must ask careful questions about the food she eats, watching for sugar content, carbohydrates, as well as her many allergens. She has had to instruct those of us who accompany her places how to recognize when her blood sugars are at dangerous levels and need to be adjusted immediately.

I first ran for Team Diabetes one year after Dana was diagnosed, in 2008 at the Okanagan (Half) Marathon. Last year I ran the Bluenose 10k for Team D. My daughters (and my spouse) are mine and my sister’s biggest cheerleaders. They ran in the youth run at the Bluenose last year, and after they finished my oldest told me that she wanted to run a 5k for Team Diabetes at the next Bluenose event. She is now ten years old and we are signed up to run together.

Please help Breanna and I do something that will have an impact on the life of my sister, my grandfather, my friends Jason and Deborah, and the many other millions of people with Diabetes in Canada.

Follow this link to contribute to our campaign:

My 10-yr-old daughter joins me in the fight for diabetes research & support!

Help us raise funds for Team Diabetes Bluenose 5K!  This year my 10-year-old daughter has decided she’d like to join in.  Breanna ran the Bluenose Youth run last year and has decided that this year she wants to run for the cause and enter the 5K event!  You can make a donation in support of this cause at the links below.  :)

You can read about my 2010 Team D Bluenose 10K here!

I have once again joined Team Diabetes, a team of people from across Canada who will be crossing the finish line together and who have raised funds to support the more than 2 million Canadians living with diabetes. I will be on the course of the Bluenose Marathon 10K in Halifax, NS on 23 May 2010.

It takes dedication to be part of Team Diabetes, but I am committed to making a big difference in my life, and in the fight against type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

One of the greatest contributions of the Canadian Diabetes Association is toward outstanding Canadian research. But that is not all the Association does – it runs camps for young people with diabetes and provides education and special services to people affected by diabetes in communities across Canada.

Please help me to support people like my sister, Dana, who was diagnosed Type 1 Diabetic 4 years ago (at the age of 30) and suffers numerous health complications due to Diabetes.

As I run the course, you will be with me in spirit and your support will help me be strong all the way to the finish line. A donation for each kilometre is suggested, but whatever you can contribute matters – it all adds up!

To support Breanna on her run, please click here: TBA

If you want to support my mission, please click

Thank you so much for your generosity!


Team Diabetes Bluenose 10k

Just over 6 weeks earlier, I had finished the very last of my school obligations, and decided that since I had a little time on my hands and needed the motivation to get off my butt for some more regular exercise, I may as well sign up for Team Diabetes to run the 10K at the Bluenose Marathon. The fundraising deadline was just 30 days away, but I was certain I could raise $500 in 30 days, in fact I did it in just over 2 weeks! I have raised a total of $555, so far – and can still collect more if anyone missed their chance to donate before the race.

Training was still tough. My ankle will never be the same, and most weeks that I ran consistently at least 2 days, cycle-commuting 1 other, I felt it in my ankle afterwards. It swelled and it ached, but it rarely gave me any pain while I ran, and I really do love running, so I did what I could. I’d built up form a limit of 20 mins/run, to about 45 mins, or 6.5+km. I also walked additional time, so that my longest distance on my feet accumulative, the week before the race, was 8km.

The day before I jog/speed walked with Payten as both girlies ran the Youth Run, a 4.2km event with more than 2800 kids participating. This event was a blast. I was so proud of my girlies for doing so fantastic and I woke up on my race day felling like I’d already run my race. I wasn’t feel motivated, and with a lack of sleep the previous week due to insomnia clinic changes to my routine I was seriously tempted to DNS.

However, I was confident leading up to the event that I could finish 10km within a reasonable timeframe. While I went into the race with no time goal whatsoever, there was a little voice saying go for one hour, and an even smaller voice saying, hey wouldn’t it be amazing to pull a PB out of your @$$ ?? I didn’t PB ( My PB was just under the hour), but it was a slightly tougher course and I wasn’t far off in the end.

DVH, a buddy of Ian’s was visiting from SJ’s for the long weekend and had registered for the 10k, hoping to run with Ian who was pacing a 55min. finish. He didn’t get the training in that he’d hoped, and wasn’t sure what he’d do after all. I’d told him he was welcome to run with me if he felt so inclined, I knew my own limits and with the little devil-voice firmly pushed under, I planned to push it without hurting myself. As it turned out, we ran together for almost the entire race, a little chitchat, a little time to enjoy the view, and a little discussion of heart rates and pace.

At about the 8km mark my body was telling me “Woa! You haven’t pushed us this far, or this hard for an eternity! Are you sure you want to do this?” I let myself take a couple of walk breaks when another part of me was saying, just push through it – you can do it! The twinges in the knee were enough excuse for me, and who knows without those walk breaks early on, I may have been crawling through the finish. In the last 700m it was all I could do to keep pushing through. I kept hearing this other evil voice in my head saying, you COULD just walk it in! I was determined that I could make it and that I would do it running, but when I finished I had nothing extra left in me, not even the slightest sprint. I was confident that at 1:04:21 chip time, I had run as hard as I safely could.

Thanks to Caro, the girlies got to come out and cheer once again. They seem to be really getting into the whole road race lifestyle.

But the best news of the weekend was when I suggested to the director of Team Diabetes that they really ought to include some youth events (I just know Breanna would eat that up) and he told me that they are in the works for next year, including the Bluenose! As it turns out Breanna has already decided she can handle a 5k anyway, so we’ll be signing up for more Team D events in the near future. 🙂