All I Want For Christmas Is…Gift Giving for Runners

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Oh wait, is that September when kids go back to school or is that now? I dunno. Christmas in our house is getting really exciting! The girls are really getting into it this year. We’ve written letters to Santa, decorated our tree, bought presents for others and are getting ready to bake cookies!

Really, all I want for Christmas is my little family to be together and enjoy the craziness of our little ones! And maybe a new pair of winter running pants, dear Santa. I thought I would share few of my favourite items that could be stocking stuffers or go under the tree. I chose items that I actually LOVE and use all year round.

Piper’s Favourite Christmas Gifts Ideas!

Compression socks. Really, I just love my PRO Compression socks that much, I actually sleep in them (since I run mostly at night). I live in this things when I am training; I wear them to work, during my runs and to recover.

PROCompression SocksPS – who knew that I took so many photo’s of my legs/feet/compression socks!

Flip Belt (Purple Belt in photo). If I don’t have this packed with me for an outdoor run, I’m not a happy camper. I put my cell phone in it, keys and GU’s. It’s easy to put on and so comfortable you forget it’s there.

Flat Piper

Registration Fees, oh yeah! Last year, for my birthday my parents paid my registration fees for my Half Marathon. However, they really bought me 12 weeks of constant training, healthy living habits and helped me reach a big goal! Can’t lose there!

Runners Christmas

Road ID: Gotta be safe on the roads or trails!  Most people have a mantra on theirs but I have medical history (thank you to my Paramedic husband) ;)

road id pr 5

Body Glide For any body part. Honestly, body glide allowed me and my thunder thighs to enjoy short-shorts this summer. Something I thought I would NEVER wear at a running event!

body glide PR

Vega Electrolyte Drink: Lemon Lime is my favourite flavah! It’s one of those drinks that I actually look forward to drinking after my run. I’ve even made it as a smoothie (yet to share on the blog). I like that these are individual packages (sorry, environment), but these are great for traveling.

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Lemon Lime – my fav!

GU’s: I love my GU’s! I know some people dislike them, my husband included but they work for me!

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My favourite GU’s.

Gloves: With winter running upon us, I am now wearing gloves on my run. I actually got these last Christmas and love them. Light enough on the hands yet they keep me warm.

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My favourite Salamon gloves from Sai

Note to family members….I do not need any of these items. Well, registration fees couldn’t hurt or another pair of socks. Oh, and I’m almost out of Vega electrolyte drink…just sayin’ !!!

Excited about the holidays or not ?

Has anyone paid your Race Registration Fees ?

What’s your favourite go-to items for running (or cross fit, swimming, cycling etc)

Please note: None of these companies asked me to promote their products. These are my own opinions and products that I use on a regular basis (my own photo’s provided). 

Happy Holidays!

Piper :)

Injured and Fit Fab Fuel Swap 2014

Okay, I’ve been avoiding this conversation for almost a week now. I’m injured and it’s not going away :( I pulled my right hamstring last Wednesday night at soccer but didn’t know until the next day. Then I ran 7k and 6k on the weekend and figured I could stretch out the “problem”. Yeah, that didn’t work.

Monday I couldn’t walk properly and had to take it easy. Yesterday I managed to get a massage and I’m really hoping that and a few more days rest are going to make me feel better. I’m even skipping Wednesday night’s soccer game :( I hate missing it but I want to heal and get off the injured list.

On to better news……..

Recently, I participated in Fit Fab Fuel Swap! We got to send a package with a Christmas ornament along with our favourite fuel! Let me tell you how fun it is to shop for someone else, especially when you only know them through their blog or social media sites! It went a little something like this….

I sent a package to Janelle at Wholly Healthy, way over on the West Coast of Canada (I’m on the East Coast). Five fun facts about her:

  1. She’s Canadian :)
  2. She just started blogging this past summer and is pretty solid at it!
  3. She’s open to trying new things (Foodie Penpal, New workouts)
  4. She takes really good blog photos.
  5. She’s a Sweat Pink Ambassador too.

You’ll have to check out Wholly Healthy blog to find out what I sent her :)

I received a package from Dawn and she’s pretty awesome! She blogs over at That Girl From Around The Bay, love the name of her blog!

Five Fun Facts about Dawn:

  1. She’s friggin’ funny. Gotta love those Newfoundlanders :) You have to read her most recent post here 
  2. She loves tea!
  3. She values her family and their support.
  4. She’s run the Tely 10 miler - something I’ve never heard of before this year. It’s a pretty BIG thing.
  5. She’s a Sweat Pink Ambassador too :)

This is what she sent me!!!!!! Fun gingerbread packaging!

From Dawn!

From Dawn!

Tea for days, hot chocolate and apple cider! Yum. I’m going to have to hide the tea from my husband. Knitted socks from her husband’s grandmother – serious socks! Yeah, my toes will stay warm! Not one but three ornaments (one had tea in it!) and some stickers and toys for the girls – how thoughtful!

Thanks so much Dawn. I’m going to make a cuppa tea now, sit back and enjoy it!

Thanks to Running with SD and Naturally Fit Sisters  for hosting this Swap, they are the masterminds behind FitFabFuelSwap2014 !

What’s your favouirte Winter Fuel?

What’s on your list for Santa to bring?

Ever send a stranger a gift in the mail?

Liebster Award (Again) and WINNERS!

First off – Tranquil Headband Winners: 

Jessica T

Cynthia K

Krystol B

Congrats! Check your email so I can get them out in the post to you :)

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I’m trying to get through my draft post and this one popped up recently. I wrote the whole thing but just never managed to HIT publish – my bad! Meg over at Meg’s Life Running nominated me here, so I am finally hitting publish. 

race kit pick up

 1. Why did you choose to start running and what do you love and hate about it?

Okay, that’s three questions Meg ;)

I started running as a teenager to train for soccer but then picked it up again about 10 years ago when I wasn’t able to play competitive soccer due to working at a camp. I love the challenge and the fact that I can set some goals and it’s up to me to achieve them. No one else is going to do it for me. I love the rush afterwards – how good you feel.

I hate hills. Most Days.

2. What is your dream race?

Good lord, I don’t know. I don’t think I have a dream race but would love to run a race (any distance) in every Province/Territory in Canada. It would be a great way for me (and my family) to explore our country.

3. What is another favourite form of exercise for you? Soccer, hands down. I LOVE SOCCER, playing it, coaching it and sometimes watching it. However, being married to a Brit … watching “football” matches can get a little intense!

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4. Who is your biggest inspiration? (doesn’t have to be fitness related).

I mentioned in my last Liebster Award that my running buddy inspires me. This past weekend while visiting my mother at work, we watched a middle-aged Dad pick up his teenage son from his wheelchair and put him in the front seat of their car. I turned to my Mom and said… WOW, What a Dad! and thought about everything that Dad does to help his son. So, that day, that Dad inspired me. He made me think that all MY little problems were nothing and just showed me what love is all about. So thank you to that person for inspiring me last weekend.

5. Did you go to college/What is your highest level of education? If college, what do you have a degree in and do you use it.

Yes, I went to University – Acadia University and have a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management. I have been working in the field of Recreation/Outdoor/Environmental Education and Physical Activity fields since I graduated over 12 years ago (thanks for that reminder) ;)

6. Do you ever/do you have a television program that you just had to be home to watch? What was/is it?

Years ago it used to be Grey’s Anatomy. Now, I don’t have one I have to be home for. We actually got rid of our TV 2 year ago but got Netflix recently. I watch Netflix while I run on the treadmill – that’s my secret to not being bored on the treadmill ;)

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Treadmill, baby monitor and Netflix!

7. What is your favourite childhood memory? 

I would have to say being outside ALL the time. Riding my bike, playing in our “fort”, playing soccer, “capture the flag” all over our neighbour’s backyards. Just the freedom to play outside would be my favourite childhood memory.

8. If you could visit a time/era in the past, what/when would it be?

I think I would choose the 50’s. I love the clothing, the music, the dancing and just the vibe!

9. Do you collect anything?

No….it used to be shoes ;) but then I had kids. Now it’s running gear ;)

And, in with the NEW!

And, in with the NEW!

10. What is your go-to recipe? Do you make it, or someone else?  Oh my go to recipe is a Vegan Avocado Pesto Pasta – to easy to make and my whole family will eat it!

Creamy Vegan Avocado Pasta

Well, that was fun! Meg, I hope you learned a little about me (as well as others).

Leave a comment by answering some of the questions above :)

What’s your go-to recipe?

Do you collect anything?

Cheers, Piper 

 

Happy Blogiversary!

(Yesterday, my blog turned 3!)

Happy Blogiversary

Happy Blogiversary!

Happy BLOGIVERSARYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Happy Blogiversary! 

(I bet you totally sang that when you read it) ;)

Yeah, I’m three years old today! 

It’s been a fun three years telling you all about my running life, mommy hood, my attempts at vegan cooking and other random posts!

Me and my friend: Green Garmin!

Me and my friend: Green Garmin!

Piper’s Run sure has evolved over the last three years! My very first post went a little something like this….Well HelloThere! Yikes!

Out little family Dec 2014

Out little family Dec 2014

Photo credit – Krystol (my running buddy is also an amazing photographer for fun!)

Anyway, thanks for reading, following, liking and leaving comments on the blog. I’ve learned a lot from other bloggers with running, parenting and random pinterest stuff that I fail at….kidding ;)

Ran 6k for my 3rd Blogiversary!

Ran 6k for my 3rd Blogiversary!

Thanks again folks for making this a fun thing to do in my spare time (ha ha ha). Don’t worried I’ll be around for at least another year ;)

What’s your favourite thing about blogging?

What’s your favourite thing about reading other blogs?

How was your weekend?

Piper’s a.k.a. Anna.

Find me on Instagram (It’s a fun time!)

Find me on Facebook (I post pictures and workouts)

Find me on Twitter  (I tweet a little)

Find me on Pinterest (My attempt to change my world) ;)

2014: My Year of Running

Oh what a year it has been!

So many ups and downs, way to many loads of laundry, three pairs of sneakers, more running clothing then one actually needs, increased shower gel/deodorant purchases, lonely runs, runs with my buddy, treadmill/outdoor runs, late minute races with friends – What a great year!

Best race experience? Valley Harvest Half Marathon October 12th This would my 2nd half marathon ever, but first one in eight years! It was a beautiful day, perfect temperature, ran with my running buddy for the first 14k, enjoyed most of the scenery, struggled in the last 3k but seeing my whole family at the end was just the boost I needed. I also PB’d by 28 minutes (2:33:56 in 2006 and 2:05:10 in 2014) and we ran an extra 300 meters.

PR VHM Finish photo

Best run? I think I’m going to pick my Maritime Race Weekend 10k (Tartan Twosome) as my best run. I wasn’t going into it expecting a PB but managed to do so! You couldn’t have asked for a better September morning run in a beautiful community. I tried to take in the scenery at this one as well – just soak all the ocean views in….and Pirates.

Rrrrrrrrrrrr……………

PR Post 10k Tartan Twosome

Best new piece of gear? My Pro compression socks hands down – I LOVE THEM! I ran in them, I slept in them, I wore them under my clothing many many times!

Best piece of running advice you received? Stick to your training plan (From HAL himself!) and don’t worry about what other people are trying to tell you to do. Trust your training.

Most inspirational runner? I’m going to say my running buddy Krystol. She’s a determined, strong, a Mom of two little ones (2 and 4) and worked her butt off to reach many goals throughout the year. She ran two half marathons within 2 weeks: 2:03 and then 1:59 !!!!!

Krystol, my running buddy and I back in June (Epic Canadian)

Krystol, my running buddy and I back in June (Epic Canadian)

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? 

Amazing, Challenging and Rewarding.

Last 14k for August (long run)

Last 14k for August (long run)

Thanks Miss Zippy for hosting! If you haven’t checked out her blog – click on the photo!

year of running 2014 Year of Running 2014

Your turn…how was your running year?

Favourite run? 

Who’s your most inspirational runner?

Tranquil Force – Fitness Gear With Flair Giveaway

I’d love to say that recently I had the opportunity to review these pretty neat headbands from Alisha at Force but she sent them to me in the summer and well…it’s no longer summer. My apologies for not getting this post up. Having said that….I’ve got a few headbands to giveaway!

What I liked about them:

  • Comfortable (cozy)
  • Colourful
  • Easy to put on
  • Easy to wrap around wrist and use to wipe off sweat (I know, I know it’s not what it was made for but it worked)
  • My girls loved wearing them. Actually, come to thing of it, Lilly wears mine a lot!
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Little H rocking out the headband!

I did have some challenges with it falling off my head. Granted I was going from running to jumping jacks to push ups and burpees when I tested them out. Also, I was too focused on keeping it folded and should have just opened it up fully to wear it – see below.

Big L trying to sit still for the photo!

Big L trying to sit still for the photo!

You can check out more of her products on her website Tranquil Force, find her on Facebook or Twitter.

I have three to giveaway! It’s going to be quick because I want to get them in the mail ASAP :)

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To enter go to this go here –> a Rafflecopter giveaway <–

  • Open to anyone that I can mail a package to – yup, I’ll be mailing it directly to you.
  • Contest is open Wednesday December 10th – Sunday December 14th. Winner will be announced Monday and contacted via email.
Me trying to take a selfie side shot of the headband out fully.

Me trying to take a selfie side shot of the headband out fully.

Now MEN….just because it’s headband doesn’t mean you can’t enter. I’m sure there is a lovely lady friend in your life that would totally rock this headband. OR, if you want to wear it, I’m all for that too :)

Thank you Alisha for providing this product for me to review. My apologies for taking beyond forever to get this post up.

And… GO!

 

Liebster Award – I’ve Been Liebstered!

The fun thing about the blogging world is getting to know other bloggers. Over the last little while I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award, drafted a post and just never hit publish. Since then I’ve been nominated twice.

Since I’m hitting my blogiversary on the weekend I thought it would be fun to actually fill out both. So, yup, you are going to get to know me a little more over the next few days.

Most recently, Sara from Sweaty Mess Mama AND Heather from Girl Goes Running nominated me. If you haven’t come across their blogs – start reading both. They are pretty motivating! 

1) What is my current health related goal? Never get the family stomach bug again! That was not fun. Fitness related: maintain my weight, keep running and working out. More specific run 2-3 half marathons next year – maybe a FULL. Don’t get too excited, I said maybe ;)

2) What is my biggest irrational fear? That I’m going to wake up next to a tarantula – even writing the word makes me sick! And doesn’t my best friend’s fiance have one!!!!

3) Do I enjoy wrapping presents? Yes. I love wrapping presents but since the gift bag came into style I usually default to that. Bags are easy. Not this year….wrapping paper will be EVERYWHERE :)

4) What’s my favorite cross training activity? Soccer, hands down. Since I mainly run now, soccer has become my cross training. I’m slowly getting into yoga and trying to make it more routine.

Number one Fan

Number one Fan

5) If you came to visit me, what would we do? Well first off my girls would give you the once over and then play with you for hours. After they were done with you, I’d probably feed you some yummy food and then take you out for a hike or take in a local event.

6) I have 2 weeks off work and 2 round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take?

I’d hop on a plane with my family and head to New Zealand and if we could squeeze in Australia that’s what we’d do!

7) What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me during a run or race?

Can’t say that anything embarrassing has happened to me during a run – maybe that is yet to come! So far, only my pants falling down Fall of 2013 during a 5k race could classify. It wasn’t that bad other but I had to keep pulling up every so often.

Update – as I was editing this I remembered Mud Hero 2013. Not necessarily embarassing but I felt like a tool afterwards ;)

8) The 3 best days of my life? Or at least the top 3 that pop into my mind…

  • Day I got married
  • Day Lilly was born
  • Day Hilary was born

9) Okay so I HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would I choose and what do I order? 

I’d do Boston Pizza and get their Perogy Pizza; something I’ve never had before but sounds SO good!

10) Have you ever met a celebrity? Nope :(

11) Share a pic of myself in non-workout clothes.

Does this count? I was shopping for a new winter jacket a week ago. Bought the jacket in the end :) This is what one does when shopping alone…they send their husband pictures saying “What do ya think?”

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12) If I could choose to have a ‘do over’and switch careers, what would I choose and why?

I don’t think I would switch over any careers. I love what I do and every job I’ve had lead me here. However, I would do over my University years! The one thing I’d like to do over would be to play University soccer; rather than working to pay for my schooling. And, I would study better ;)

13) If I won an Olympic Gold Medal how do I think I would react? I would CRY! Look around and sob like a baby!

14) What do I want for Christmas? 

  • New winter running pants

15) What skill do I lack? Patience :(

Now it’s your turn? Answer one of the 15 questions. 

And to follow with tradition….I nominate the following blogs:

Taylor & Jesse @ Single tracked Mind

Suz @ Suzlyfe

Kerri @ Kerri Is Running

Cynthia @ Ups & Downs

Cheers, Piper

Stay tuned for a little giveaway too!