iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk , Vancouver, BC

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava , Calgary, AB

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel , Calgary, AB

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk , Calgary, AB

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw , New Westminister, BC

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris , Winnipeg, MB

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan , Brampton, ON

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua , Caledon, ON

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh , Nottingham, UK

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller , Laval, QC

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter , Clearwater , BC

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt , Halifax, NS

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie , St-Antoine, NB

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette , Carp, ON

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling , Ottawa , ON

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley , Stittsville, ON

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve , Ottawa, ON

iRun for meKiza Francis , Ottawa,ON

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan , Brampton, ON

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker , Etobicoke, ON

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier , Gatineau, QC

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch , Ottawa, ON

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham , Avonmore, ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre , Ottawa, ON

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan , Ottawa, ON

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil , Lombardy, ON

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn’t Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it’s cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu , Ontario

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird , Ontario

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall , Alberta

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka , Alberta

iRun to my happy place and some days it’s very Doreen May , Alberta

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston , Alberta

iRun because I can’t dance Mario Javier , Ontario

iRun so I don’t say never ever again Linda Klaric , Manitoba

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur , Quebec

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde , Alberta

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard , Alberta

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy , Ontario

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur , British Columbia

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson , British Columbia

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop , Yukon

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter , Alberta

iRun because otherwise I’m grumpy Alexandre Charest , Quebec

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton , British Columbia

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang , Alberta

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey , New Brunswick

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx , Ontario

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis , Ontario

iRun because it’s like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson , Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan , Alberta

iRun because I’ve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly , Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour , Ontario

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick , New Brunswick

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie , Ontario

iRun because it’s a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney , British Columbia

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin , Manitoba

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith , Manitoba

iRun because it’s fun when it’s done Sue Matte , Ontario

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer , Quebec

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas , New York

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua , Ontario

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston , Nunavut

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan , Ontario

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean , Ontario

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung , British Columbia

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell , Nova Scotia

iRun because it’s better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn’t Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen , Manitoba

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins , Alberta

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott , Québec

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby , Saskatchewan

iRun for me! Judi Wearing , Saskatchewan

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie , Yukon

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello , Ontario

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts , Ontario

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher , Alberta

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott , Ontario

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas , Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent , Québec

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams , Ontario

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville , Ontario

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail , Ontario

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar , Saskatchewan

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle , New Brunswick

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra , Ontario

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor , Saskatchewan

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier , New Brunswick

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon , British Columbia

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase , Nova Scotia

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes , Ontario

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp , Ontario

Marathon Mom

My Worthwhile Struggle of Daring to Dream by Krista DuChene

Like my journey to the Olympics in Brazil, I thought I would share my journey for high altitude training in Africa. Many people told me how much they enjoyed it and some day I will appreciate looking back on the details of this experience. I will plan to post every few days, either on this blog or social media.  

It’s 8:00 pm on Thursday, March 9 and I’ve now been at the High Altitude Training Camp (HATC) in Iten, Kenya for just over 24 hours. Planning this trip was exciting and knowing what I could get out of it was even better. 

Then there was doing it. 

I’ve experienced various degrees of pain and sorrow in my life and completely understand the difference between being prepared for and having the knowledge of something vs. actually living through it. The two things that come my mind are deaths of loved ones and childbirth. After losing my parents two years apart to cancer when I was barely an adult, it was then that I completely understood what it was like to mourn someone. I can’t say that it was something that I had prepared myself for; not many do at that age. Then there was childbirth, something for which I completely prepared. Then I gave birth, three times. Wow. Both sets of pain, emotional and physical, were by far the most difficult experiences I’ve ever had.

The weekend leading up to my departure for Kenya was busy, which was a good thing. I then had to work Monday evening, which at first I wish I had rescheduled but was later glad because it helped to occupy my mind. However, after my last patient, I really started to feel awful. The tears started earlier that day and started up again. My stomach was tight and I had that lump in my throat you feel when fighting tears. I had texted my husband the idea that our daughter could open my spring Saucony shipment as something to distract her Tuesday morning after seeing I was gone. But in his wise and gentle words, he replied, “Honestly, I don’t want to make a huge deal about your trip with her. She will have her sad times, I know this, but I don’t want to create drama where none exists. You can open with her tonight.”
That is when I had to let it go. I had done everything possible to help them, but likely more me, during my absence. His words helped me move along in the process of actually leaving my family for four weeks but I still felt terrible. I held it together when saying goodbye to the kids and tucking them into bed for the last time, but lost it when my husband came to say goodnight. I hadn’t felt like this since my dad died in 1995. 
I’m very glad that I had an early ride to the airport so that there wouldn’t be any good byes with me trying to get out the door. Thankfully with our dog’s loss of hearing, he didn’t hear the car (and bark) and I escaped quietly. The 24-hour door-to-door trip to Iten had me teary much of the time, but I knew I was doing the right thing. I knew this season was about giving everything with no regrets. I kept speaking truth to myself while continuing to pray that I would get through it. Messaging family and friends while at the airport and reading messages was so encouraging. As always, my friend Stacey was supportive and my sister was incredible, encouraging me with her story about returning to teach full-time while leaving her young children at home. After posting a picture of my Team DuChene goodbye note, a Kathi Dewey from Instagram wrote, “Always remember that your children are watching what it looks like to work hard, to chase your dreams and to sacrifice — you are teaching them all of this by going! What amazing lessons!”
I even tear up now, writing this. Kathi, I can tell by your profile picture that you are a mom and I deeply thank you from the bottom of my heart. Those were the exact words I needed and continued to read along my journey to Africa. They were words of truth.
So, moving along. Thanks to Reid and John, my travel was perfect. They gave me much assistance and several helpful tips to make everything go as smoothly as possible. I left home Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. and arrived at Pearson Airport at 6:30 a.m. for my 10:15 a.m. flight, which would be about 13 hours to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I then immediately got a connecting flight to Nairobi, Kenya, which was about a two-hour flight. Once landing I had a few hours to get Kenyan shillings, a SIM card and eat something before checking in for my next flight, which would get me to Eldoret in 45 minutes. Like many flyers, I killed time by napping, reading, watching a few movies, taking washroom and stretch breaks, and waiting for the next meal or snack to be served. I met a man from China who was also travelling to the HATC and we easily found our ride to the camp, which was about a 75-minute drive to Iten.
With every moment closer to the camp, I felt that much better about what I was doing. My children would be cared for and I was making a great investment. Immediately upon arrival to the camp I was greeted by the staff and Speed River teammate, John who introduced me to two other Canadians, Kristina and Neasa. I met my roommate, Julia, and unpacked some of my things before John took me to get some water. I went for a shake-out run with the women, had a shower and joined the group for my first delicious meal. African living is simple, but the food made with just a basic kitchen is far beyond simple. I’ve now had four meals, which I’ve enjoyed immensely (ok, yes it definitely helps that I am not doing any of the prep, cooking or clean up). The camp set up is bang-on perfect for that of a runner; sleep/rest, run, eat and repeat.  
After being in bed at 9:00 p.m. it took me a while to get to sleep, but it was decent and I was out running with Julia at 6:30 on the red dirt paths with countless other runners doing the same. Breakfast, rest, more unpacking, tea time, visiting, lunch, nap, another easy run, time in the pool and sauna, showering, dinner and a trip to the “club” filled my day.
I have much more to say, but have plenty more time for that so will leave you with these words for now. 

March 9th, 2017

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One Response to “My Worthwhile Struggle of Daring to Dream by Krista DuChene”
  1. Janice Smith Says:

    I’ll be following along your journey, Krista, praying for you while you’re away training as well as for your family at home. They will be fine! You’ve raised amazing kids and have an amazing hubby who adores and supports you and your kids. There will be so much for you to learn during these times of training and refreshing. Just the naps alone – oh my!!! Kind of jealous about that :-), but it’s also a very spiritual law that we need to take time for ourselves to be still. So run, rest, eat and repeat, dear Krista! You’ve got this! God’s go the rest. 🙂 Praying and cheering from the sidelines!! HUGS Jan

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