I’m coming for you, March!

I love new beginnings of any and all sorts (well, except birthdays). When a new week and a new month start together, I get especially excited about the possibilities. Hello, March!

Today I only wanted to stay inside and look at the internet, but I kicked myself out the door, and found that my legs had never felt more ready. For the first time since I was on Couch to 5k, it was my lungs holding me back, rather than my muscles. And in the end, I had three astonishing new records!

Screenshot of a watch face. It reads: "Records: 1 km 4:53.86 Today"

wow, Jacqueline, how did you do this!?

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#CLEMarathon half training – week 1

screenshot of a phones lock screen. An alert has popped up that reads "Half marathon training starts tomorrow"

This is it, the beginning of my half marathon training! I’m following a slightly modified Hal Higdon Novice program. The Higdon program is a bit low on mileage, compared to a lot of other training plans. I chose it because I still have occasional niggling glute pain, which made me very nervous and cautious in getting ramped up, and my base is not what it should be. With this in mind, my main goal for my first half marathon is to feel good. If I could feel good and come in at under 2 hours and 15 minutes, that would be a sweet bonus.


You can view the unadulterated plan here, but it basically consists of doing the following each week:

  • 1 day –  long run (starting at 6.5 km, gradually going up to about 17 km)
  • 1 day – shorter run (starting at 5km, going up to 9 km)
  • 1 day – shorter run (3-4 km) and strength training
  • 1 day – stretching and strength training
  • 1 day – cross-training (eliptical, cycling, or brisk walking in a pinch)
  • 1 day – either a short run (4 or 5 km) or cross training

Yup, that’s six days a week. Eek! I’m a little worried about fitting it all in, but lots of people with busy lives do it, so I need to make a solid effort!  This will be especially hard when I’m on the west coast for three weeks, though running in California sounds like a total dream about now.

Anyway, that’s the plan! So how did week 1 go?

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5 Things I’ve Learned About Running

It used to be that when I saw someone slogging along on the street, I assumed they were both insane and close to death. “Why would you torture yourself like that!?” I would want to yell. Well, now I am that slogger, but the truth is that it’s only a slog some of the time, and even when it’s awful, it’s one of my greatest joys.

Since I became an annoying running evangelist last fall, I’ve had a number of friends express surprise, sometimes surprise so vehement it could be called ‘shock’, at what I’ve turned into. No one is more surprised than me. Here are five things I’ve learned in the  last few months, 5 things that changed my perspective and my willingness to push on:

1) Running as fast possible is a terrible goal

This sounds really obvious in retrospect, but it wasn’t to me! The biggest misconception I had about running was that the point of the sport was to run as fast as possible. So once a year or so I’d decide to give it a try. I’d start running, and about ten minutes later I’d barf. And then I’d be sore for days, and vow to never do such a thing again. How could people subject themselves to such horror? Why on earth would you do something that made you feel like you were dying the whole time?

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From an old diary

October 1, 2006:

So I did cry on my birthday (I am still!), but I am crying because I am so excited about what my life can be. Maybe twenty-one isn’t old. There’s so much that’s going to happen to me. I just feel like I’m going to have an exciting life. I guess a lot of it will be my own responsibility.

Things are going to happen. Wonderful things. Every year I feel more like myself.

How’s that for optimism?

Happy 2015!

Bye, 2014

I have been trying to throw out our 2014 TVO calendar for days, but it’s still here on the counter. There’s nothing left there that I need a reminder of except, of course, a whole year of events I want to remember. I thought I’d jot down some events that stuck out, just so I’d have a record.

January: Raptors game. The first conference I’ve been a planner for came to fruition and went pretty well.

February: Started taking Turkish lessons. Taught a social media workshop at the iSchool.

March: Went to Kansas City for the first Library Publishing Forum. Took a marriage preparation course. Went to Austin to present at ER&L with Meg Ecclestone.

April: Hosted many friends for dinner. Had my first trip to Langdon Hall for tea. Went to my first wine show.

May: Got married! Went on a hiking honeymoon in the UK. Best month!

Couple in wedding garb seated on a bench smiling at the camera

Awww, pretty nice, right?


June: Started running. Enjoyed Field Trip, a visit to Henry of Pelham with Meg and Scott, and then a sojourn to Charleston for the DH in Libraries conference. Bonus visits with Mimi Luse, who’s moved south.

July: According to the calendar this was a pretty quiet months. Nice dinners with friends, and I got a Nexus card. Big leagues!

August: Hosted Jon’s sister and our niece for a visit. Went to Peterborough to see the Constantines.

September: Ran my first race (Longboat 5k), passed my driving test. Spent a glorious weekend with friends at a cottage on the Trent Severn.

October: Turned 29. Ran the Scotiabank 5k. Tore my glute. Mourned. Elected a new mayor (well, I didn’t do that part, but it got done, and in the end, thank goodness).

Scotiabank 5k stats



November: This is another quiet one. Mostly I couldn’t run, and was miserable about it.

December: Hosted a big work event. Hosted a Christmas party with a hot chocolate bar and carolling (i.e. it was exactly what I wanted), attended many parties, re-joined a gym, began running in tiny baby steps. That was enough.

The truth, of course, is that you mostly only put the nice things in the calendar, save the dentist appointments and vegetable pick-up reminders (also nice). This year brought a couple of big challenges, and they’re not solved yet. I am grateful to have a whole new year to work through them.

Farewell, 28

It’s my last day as a twenty-eight year old! When I wake up tomorrow, I will be 29. Rumour has it that’s a good year, in general. It’s going to have to work prettttty hard to top what came before it.

This year I:

  • levelled up to Librarian III
  • got married!!!!
  • started running and ran a 5k
  • got my G2 license

As well, I:

  • wrote a (short) novel as part of National Novel Writing Month
  • went hiking in the Lakes district
  • volunteered for my first political campaign
  • saw a little more of America, travelling to DC, Baltimore, Austin, and Charleston, with lovely friends at every stop!
  • sang all over town with my beloved choir

There were low points as well. Someday the beginning of a great joke will start with the story of how I actually hit another car on the way to get my drivers’ license. People whom I love very much struggled. Sometimes I was my best self to help them. Sometimes it was really hard to be present, and helpful, and loving and I could have done better. These moments are documented as well, just a little more privately.

I would characterize my state of being at the end of this year as calmed. No one has ever used this word to describe me, but it’s starting to be true. I feel more centred than I have in a long time, maybe ever. Wedding planning was not a calming experience, but being married very much is. Running is a huge part of that.

I haven’t dreamed up many lofty goals for next year. Running more! Getting more self-directed projects off the ground at work! Being a good and useful human! Will report back more regularly, I hope.


Missing Nanny Whyte

It’s ten years today since my maternal grandmother, Mary Hayden Whyte, passed away at age 84. I miss her often, and wish so much that she’d lived to meet Jonathan and be at our wedding. I don’t remember her as clearly as I used to, so I thought I’d write out a few bits and pieces I’ve had on my mind today, as I’ve concentrated on remembering how much she gave me.

Nanny, about 2001

Nanny, about 2001

Nanny, Mary Hayden, was born in Toronto in 1920. Her mother died giving birth to her sixth brother in 1927. She grew up hard.

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