Like thousands of other social media users, I posted my top nine pictures from 2018 on New Year’s Eve. While I haven’t blogged since my fall marathon, I enjoyed the break from my laptop while spending time with my family over the Christmas holidays. After a cool but sunny 27K run on the trails this morning, and the kids back to school, I’m finally sitting to write a summary of my top 2018 highlights. I’ve had some rather disappointing years, which have allowed me to further grow in my faith and character, making years like this one pretty special.
Placing third at the Boston Marathon.
Let’s start with the obvious. No one, me included, would have ever predicted that I, a 41-year-old mom of three from Canada, would make the podium at the Boston Marathon. But I did. And it certainly was incredible. You can read more about it here, Krista DuChene on her historic Boston Marathon Finish and here, Faith, carbohydrates, commentators, Broncos, and conditions: Krista DuChene takes us inside her Boston win. I still smile and shake my head in disbelief when I think about it. And I’m thrilled to announce that I will be returning to run it for a third time (2005, 2018, 2019)!
Buying a Honda Odyssey with my Husband on our 17th Wedding Anniversary
When I chose to further pursue running several years ago, my husband and I decided that we would never rely on it as an income. If I didn’t earn much, it wouldn’t cause us any financial strain. Factors like prize money, carding, appearance bonuses and sponsorships would take time to earn or were unpredictable. I could continue to stay home with the kids and work part time as a Registered Dietitian. Fortunately with his successful career and support, I’ve been able to continue running for many years, including those with very little income. With my unexpected earnings this year, we were able to purchase an Odyssey and invest more in our children’s RESPs.
Race selections are more important now that I don’t know how many more I will be able to do at an elite level. And while some of my competitors will be having their first baby or enrolling their firstborn in kindergarten in five years, our first child will be entering university.
Coaching my Daughter’s Hockey Team
I knew that someday I would want to return to the world of hockey in some capacity, after playing it for 20+ years, including at the University of Guelph. In the last few years I had felt the desire to step up into a leadership role and give back to the community, not just because I felt I was capable, but because I wanted to see more female coaches working with and inspiring the next generation of women. When recently asked to be the guest speaker at the She’s Got Game – Gryphon Women’s Fundraising Gala, I was honoured and excited to support their initiative to promote gender equity, encourage participants to excel in sports, and ultimately helps girls and women acquire tools to succeed on and off the field of play.
I’m looking forward to this February 16 event. While our Novice Rep Ice Cats team hasn’t yet had a win, mainly because we are a “C” team in a “B” division, we continue to focus on and succeed in the fun and fundamentals of the sport. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see my 7-year-old and her teammates have a great time, developing their hockey skills as well as their character. Another hockey related highlight of 2018 was providing the Hockey Night in Canada opening, and attending the Leafs vs Boston playoff game with my 12-year-old son.
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
It’s no surprise that this is my favourite marathon so I was thrilled to race it for a fifth time, which was also my sixteenth marathon in as many years. Prior to race day I enjoyed meals and media events with several international athletes, including Australia’s Jess Trengove, and Team England’s Helen Davies and Hayley Carruthers. I would go on to run most of the race with Helen, as well as my good running friends, Mitch Free and Rachel Hannah. I’m so glad that the Canada Running Series was able to capture the moment of Hayley and I embracing after our pleasing performances.
While a 2:36 is 8 minutes from my personal best, I hadn’t run in the 2:30’s since 2016. Not only was I happy that I was just 1 minute off my goal time but I was able to capture the Canadian bronze and World Masters gold medals. (Photograph courtesy of Canada Running Series).
Inside an Athlete’s Head
Over the course of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon weekend I spent much of it with the filming crew for the next season of CBC’s Inside an Athlete’s Head. The three of them were so flexible and friendly, and we had a lot of fun. I look forward to watching it in February when it’s to be released.
Taking Risk and Aging Gracefully
In 2018 I enjoyed activities like skiing with my family and skating on the ice during practices, events I would have avoided in previous years due to the risk of injury. One puck off the shin or slip down the slope could easily end it and while it was appropriate to avoid these activities at the time, I’m happy I can include them back into my life again. I used to build my schedule around my training and racing but am enjoying it the other way around. Additionally because I am incredibly content with the accolades I’ve earned in my running career and wisdom I’ve gained along the way, I can allow myself to follow my intuition. If I feel like napping more than core work, I’m on the couch instead of the mat.
I’m an extrovert with a lot of energy, but do know when I need my down time. After Boston, I had several speaking events booked but hadn’t anticipated the extra busyness that would come with placing third. I always enjoy the season of life I’m in but felt a bit overwhelmed, looking forward to summer more than ever before. In July and August the kids and I were able to spend a good amount of time at our cabin with my sister and her kids. While I could train for my fall marathon, I enjoyed the quality time with my sister at the pool, campfires built by my husband, seeing the kids enjoy their cousin time together, and reading and relaxing at our cozy cabin in the woods.
Main photograph courtesy of Osborn Avenue Photography.