Marathon, you’re helping me evolve

Dear marathon…
Thanks to you, I’m able to enjoy an extraordinary entrepreneurial adventure where I continually have to step outside my comfort zone and learn at unbelievable speed.

Last weekend, at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, you once again allowed me to discover another facet of myself.

I ran the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last Sunday. On the previous Friday, I’d eaten a whole batch of Bear Paw energy cookies, providing my body with an overload of glycogen. (hahaha!)

Even though I “FUEL MY DAY” by eating energy cookies that are the talk of the town and I’m driven by an inner desire and the unfailing strength to say goodbye to refined sugar and hello to date puree in order to better “ENERGIZE MY DAY” and I therefore have this amazing energy that pushes me to always go further still, I’m nonetheless human. (Hahaha!)


I’m a motivated woman, a mother, an entrepreneur and a marathon runner who often gets asked how she does it all. “With all your launches, conferences, business ventures and then taking your kids to all their lessons, just how do you find time to train for a marathon?”

I do it because it gives me incredible energy and inner strength. I do it to stay in shape and be happy. I do it because it makes me feel alive. I do it for myself.

During the period when I’m getting ready for a marathon, I do indeed sometimes run up to 100 km a week… but I manage to fit it into my schedule despite my busy lifestyle. Once again, it’s a matter of choice.

At this Sunday’s marathon, my body decided I was going experience something quite different. First, there’s something you need to know: a marathon, when you’ve done everything you need to do, is not as bad as it may seem. With proper training, it’s not really that hard and afterwards you always feel like running another one. After 12 weeks of more serious training, your body is even excited at the prospect of taking part in this great celebration of physical activity called the marathon (42.2 km or 26.2 miles).

This weekend however, it was my right hamstring that decided to rain on my parade. While my energy and my mind were both up to the task and I was craving being able to pound the pavement, my hamstring decided otherwise. On the starting line, I felt good. I was eager to start. I was in shape and I was ready. Was I at the top of my game with everything that I was going through at the office? No. I had my share of worries. But I felt confident. I’d done everything I needed to do and I had faith. But at km 17, I started to feel something behind my right thigh. I reached km 21 (the halfway point) in a conservative amount of time, the target time I’d set that would leave me with enough strength to make it to the end as well as the option of running a negative split (running the second half faster than the first). I felt some pain, but I said to myself it would be fine, that I’d be able to live with the slightly unpleasant feeling until km 42.

Finally, when I hit km 23, everything started falling apart and every single step felt like a mighty hammer blow to my hamstring.


It was horrific.


Pure hell.


It was atrocious.


I concentrated. I wanted it all to end. I was feeling a mixture of disappointment (a sort of grief worthy of a state of grace), as well as frustration and a lack of understanding of what was happening to me. I wanted to finish my race, I wanted to cross that finish line. But I also wanted to stop and just lie down on the ground. I longed for my mother like a 2-year-old child.

I forbid myself from looking at my watch, that displayed a speed that was soooooooo far from the one I felt in my legs. Even though I figured I had the energy I needed, the jackhammer pain kept bringing me back to order. I was focused, and looking for a way to run that would ease the pain. Anyone who witnessed Madame run by that day must have wondered if I had a genuine disability. My running was all crooked. (With hindsight, watching a video of it would maybe bring a few laughs – hahaha). But at the time, I was suffering.

As I ran, I kept telling myself not to think about the pain. I took it one kilometre at a time and I didn’t allow myself to stop. Why? Because breaking my pace would have been even worse. I passed km 38 and said to myself there were only four more to go. I knew it definitely wouldn’t be my best performance, but I willed myself to give it my all. This living hell would soon be over.

I finally crossed the finish line. I stopped my watch.


I was disappointed.
And proud at the same time.

My head was spinning. For the first time, I noticed that they handed out ice bags to runners. I took one. I didn’t even know where to put it, I was hurting so much all over. I walked very slowly, afflicted by the sheer pain. I had swayed my hips so much while running and my right one was really painful. I picked up some snacks they were handing out.

Behind my glasses, I was crying in agony.

Because I’ve learned to savour the moment, I took a break and stopped for the photographers.

I finally found my hubby, who’d been waiting for me. Just walking was unbearable. Not because of the pain from running 42.2 km, but genuinely because of the insufferable jackhammer still pounding my right hamstring. The hip that compensated in order to help me run had also started to hurt… just like on the day I gave birth.

It was impossible to walk, or even move.

The emergency services arrived and there was a discussion about a possible broken hip. I ended up in a wheelchair at the Marathon’s medical tent.

They put ice all over me, I was subjected to a battery of quick tests and they applied bandages to support not one but several painful strains.

My hubby asked why I hadn’t simply stopped running?

I didn’t know what to answer.

The truth is, I was so determined that I didn’t even realize that I could stop. In my book, you always finish what you started. On the day of the marathon, we do credit to our training.

We returned to the hotel.
Very slowly. The one-kilometre walk took at least 45 minutes.

It was far from my best marathon, but in the circumstances, it was excellent. Some people will still say I’m a machine regardless… but the way I see it is that we’re ALL unique and we all have our own personal objectives.


After the marathon, I understood that my body needed some rest.

I’ve never considered giving up.

Some people may think it’s senseless. All I can say is that when I’m on a mission, I look towards the horizon and I forge ahead regardless of the obstacles. I’m a runner in the marathon of life. And it’s a choice I’ve made.

A few days later, I met up with my personal trainer and he told me that next time, I’d be better off stopping in order to avoid doing greater damage to my body. But I didn’t know I could stop, I told him. He replied that if it’s going lead to more serious health issues, it’s better to just stop.

It took six months for my injuries to heal and there’s still a slight weakness today, but I know that I’m now going to listen to my body more than ever before.

There were 45,000 runners from all over the world taking part in the Chicago Marathon. Just imagine if one day an event like that was hosted by Madame Labriski.
Wouldn’t that be insane?

I wanted to share this with you because I don’t like the way everything showcased on social media always seems perfect. Life is life. We’re all human, and we all have our ups and downs.

Thank you for the experience.
Marathon, I’ll be back for another race where I’ll be in a state of grace and have wings to fly. Because I want to. Because I deserve it. Because it’s a choice I’ve made, and I’ve made it for me.



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