CTV London's Jan Sims shares her preparations to join Theresa Carriere - a breast cancer survivor - on a small leg of the 100 km OneRun between Sarnia and London.

June 12, 2015. - The big day!

One run & one fantastic memory!

Today was the day I’d been training for these past couple of weeks. And it was an amazing experience.

I joined Theresa Carriere at kilometre 49 of her 100 kilometre OneRun from Sarnia to London.

We were just outside Watford, and lucky for me the rain held off.

I was surprised at just how fast Theresa runs at almost the halfway point. Keeping up with her was a challenge!

Fortunately there’s a terrific team behind her, which included emergency services personnel from Sarnia who ran beside me as Theresa continued ahead at the faster pace.

I was delighted to meet one of my fellow one kilometre runners at kilometre 56; six-year-old Claire – the youngest runner to take part.

Along the way, people were very supportive – cheering Theresa on. It was a sea of pink, in recognition of what the run is all about - support for women with breast cancer.

Tonight the OneRun team celebrates and gets a well-deserved rest.

For my part – the journey is just beginning. I think I’m going to keep up with running!

June 9, 2015.

I’m coming into the home stretch – with ONERUN only a couple of days away.

Am I ready?

With a couple of weeks of training behind me, I’m a lot more confident and perhaps a bit stronger.

Slow and steady has definitely paid off. I’m now able to run much more consistently between breaks for walking.

I’ve also learned more about the way that I run, and in turn which kind of running shoe is best for me.

The running shoe selection can be a bit bewildering at first. And I’ve found it helps to have expert advice on proper fit.

I tend to run on the sides of my feet, so being conscious of that together with the right shoe has definitely improved my stride.

Confidence is something that’s come with time.

In comparing notes with members of my running group, we’ve noticed that in weeks when we don’t do our “homework” (i.e. slack off) it’s harder to meet the new and tougher goal before us.

Perseverance pays off!

May 26, 2015.

“How was the rest of your run?” Graham asked.

“Fine” I replied, “but that last 10k was tough.”

“Yeah, right Mom.”

From the mouths of babes. To be more precise from the mouth of my 18-year-old son Graham. He kept me company part way through a recent morning run before continuing solo at his (much faster) pace.

Okay, I was kidding, and I’m a ways away from being in shape for a 10 kilometre run, but I continue to see improvements. And I’d like to think that part of it is paying closer attention to what I eat and when.

First, I’ve become conscious of the right mixture of carbs and protein.

On the advice of the experts, I’m making sure I focus on the carbohydrates at least an hour before a run. That’s not so difficult, especially in the morning when I naturally prefer carb-loaded foods. My go-to foods are bananas and whole-wheat bagels.

After the run, I’ll have a small snack of about 300 calories with a mix of carbs and protein for muscle repair.

I understand that a lot of runners turn to prepared foods designed especially for athletes.

But, in my case I’m reminded of the advice of Brad Arndt – a trainer for Theresa Carriere. He suggests for someone like me, just following a well-balanced diet is okay. Although I’m aware that running expends energy, and food is fuel, I’m conscious of not going overboard with high calorie foods.

It’s all about balance.

May 21, 2015.

“Sometimes I get discouraged.”

Theresa Carriere? No way.

Tonight Theresa is telling my running group about how she stays motivated for the gruelling OneRun from Sarnia to London.

It’s all about the people. In Theresa’s case, the people who support OneRun.

For me it’s been joining a group of people who’ve made a commitment to take up running.

But as we ramp up our training, I’ve been reflecting on the difference between motivation and goal setting.

For a lot of people I know, the goal is getting in shape for a five kilometre run this summer. But I think for many of us it can be challenging to stay motivated, even with a goal in mind.

Here’s what’s working for me:

  • Taking pride in the little things. This week I added more minutes to my walk/run mix.
  • Having the support of a group of beginning runners who cheer each other on.
  • Knowing that I’m doing something that’s new and challenging.
  • (I also find it’s helpful to keep my gym bag in my car - that way I can take advantage of spur of the moment decisions to stop by the gym on my way home from work.)
  • Location, location, location. Our run the other night took us through the park. I definitely find it helps me if I have something nice to look at.

Interestingly, there’s a study that looked at what people think about during periods of intense physical activity like running. It turns out, elite athletes focus on how their body is performing. The rest of us tend to let our minds wander.

It’s something to think about as I hit the road tonight.

May 15, 2015.

“You have to walk before you run." Truer words were never spoken, as I embark on my training for OneRun.

As part of the event, I’ll be among the people running one kilometre with Theresa Carriere on June 12th as she runs 100 kilometres from Sarnia to London to help women with breast cancer.

And I’d like to get in shape for the big day.

Although I’m pretty good about regularly hitting the gym and walking and cycling, running hasn’t been part of my fitness mix.

So, the other night I had my first session at the running clinic.

Talk about strength in numbers! I joined the beginner group and everyone was very supportive (most people in my group were aiming for five kilometre runs this summer).

We were put through our paces with interval training. It was a manageable four minute walk to start then a mix of walking and running - one to two minutes each - for a total of about 20 minutes.

We all went at our own pace, and we all finished. After our run, we spent about five minutes doing stretches. I’ll be repeating this two other times this week on my own.

I really enjoyed running with other people, and found it very motivating. I’m also pleased to report that easing into my running program resulted in no painful muscles the next day!

In the weeks ahead, I’ll be picking up the pace - in more ways than one. I’ll also be delving more into things like running and nutrition.

I’ll keep you posted.

Check back in for more posts on Jan's preparations.