Never Set Limits

That’s what went through my mind last weekend when I did my first ever cycling event. Never Set Limits.

I often set running goals which have tested my limits but have limited myself with cycling in the past. Not intentionally but, I just did what I could manage. For me that was sticking to trails where there were no cars and it felt safe.

After getting my new road bike this summer I started testing my limits with longer trails rides and eventually road riding on my own. It felt great and it was something previously limited myself to.

My husband and I signed up for the Gran Fond about 2 hours away from where we live. I signed up for the Medio 67km and he the Grand 118km. My first over 50k ride and his first Grand. It was amazing! I also loved having my Endurance Tap on my ride. Easy to drink and store in my back pockets.

So well organized and easy to figure out for the first time. The route had stunning views of the ocean and we climbed more HILLS then I ever imagined there could be on a course. I may have dropped a few f bombs while laughing that I had to climb another hill…after another hill, after another hill. I also LOVED crusing down the hill faster then I ever have before at 50km/hour. A new record for me.

I never thought I’d be riding my bike on the road with more confidence, let alone a Gran Fond. Sometimes we have to stop setting limits for ourselves and just go for it. Who cares if you fail. It sure feels good trying.

I finished 67km in 3:13:00! And yes, I want to do it again….maybe even further and yes that would require more hills. We both had an amazing experience and plan to do another Gran Fondo again.

Do you set limits for yourself?

When was the last time you challenges yourself?

Happy Friday!

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August Adventures

Oh, I think August is my favourite month of the year. It’s hot, vacation time, soccer season, stupid HOT, perfect beach weather, watermelon heaven and hot. I’m not a fan of the muggy heat we’ve been having (who has) but I love the heat when I’m in the water – beach, lake, pool….sprinkler too!

I started two weeks of vacation late July and into August and have done so for the last number of years. It’s kinda the perfect timing of almost being burnt out from work but we can still enjoy the summer days with our kids.

We hit up PEI for a short trip due to some car troubles (BIG SAD FACE). We got to visit with family, spend time at our favourite beach and had a lot of car time together (not always fun with young kids).

We spent a lot of time at my parents place swimming in their pool, took an unexpected trip to Peggy’s Cove (again, due to the same car troubles) and had tones of ice cream. I’m pretty sure we ate ice cream twice a day for 3-4 days….I’m not complaining.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I bought a new bike!!!! I’ve been wanting a new bike for a few years now and finally broke down and bought the Liv (Giant) Avail 1. It’s awesome and I love it.

I’ve still yet to name her so if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments. I’m feeling Besty or Blue, I dunno. Hit me up some some suggestions. Though I seem to be getting in some nice rides (44km long ride with my husband), I’ve only managed a few runs.

As I mentioned on IG, I’ve been struggling with my interest with running mainly since I got injured in April but even before that as I barely ran any km this year. I’m trying hard to get in 2-3 runs a week and that’s beyond any soccer games (which yes, is running), riding (once, maybe twice a week) and yoga randomly.

Summer has been busy for our girls with soccer practices twice a week for L and games EVERY SATURDAY! Actually, make that TWO GAMES EVERY SATURDAY. We are exhausted from all the soccer but she’s loving it. H is has been doing some private swim lessons which have been amazing for her. My girls and I went on a trail ride last week (8.61 km), lots of visits to the library, the beach, a friends cottage and even the dentist! Who plans dental appointments during vacation? That was clearly a VERY BAD idea.

Any…way. Summer vacation was good to us and it’s back to work now (BIG SAD FACE AGAIN). Only three more weeks from today and SCHOOL STARTS!!!!!!!!!!!! And one more week of vacation for me 🙂

How’s your summer going?

Anyone exhausted from their kids summer sporting commitments?

Loving running lately or not?

Bike name suggestions?

Rolling in July

I can’t believe that we are getting close to the end of July already. That means that summer is almost half over for my kids – woah!

I’ve had one week of vacation so far where we went mini golfing, hiking Baxter’s Harbour with friends, strawberry picking, library (summer reading program), private swim lessons, ice cream eating, my birthday, soccer practice and games, campfire/s’mores, birthday parties and more. I was exhausted by the end of the week and I was kinda ready to go back to work, haha!

I’ve barely been running but have put in a few km on the soccer field. I feel completely out of shape on the field. Sprinting in the HEAT is no joke! It’s taken me a while to even want to run after my calf injury. It’s kinda funny when you are injured and can’t run, it’s all you want to do. Now that I’m officially recovered from that injury, I’m just not loving running lately or maybe I’m just enjoying soccer and cycling a lot more!

I’ve been biking A LOT over the last few weeks. From commuting to and from work a few days a week when my schedule permits to having a biking meeting yesterday! Yes, that’s right, our meeting was on bikes!

We did around 18 k on the Harvest Moon Trail and talked shop (grants, challenges, summer programs in recreation). After we ate lunch, I biked from home and finish the day off with 30 km. My quads hurt a little going up/down stairs last night so I quickly avoided that as much as possible. Legs up the walk and reading last night was my jam.

Commute to work!

I’m not a big reader at all but this year I challenged myself to read more books. Specifically, 12 this year. I figured 1 per month was doable and I’m almost at my goal. Not going to lie, I’m loving the GoodReads app.

So reading has kinda taken over my time to run. I’ve even skipped a morning run to finish a book as it was due that day and I was SO CLOSE to finishing it. As for running, I think I need to sign up for a race in order to kick start my running again. I have a few local runs I want to do – mainly 5k and 8k. I do love my early morning (5 am) runs so maybe I’ll get back to those soon. I’ve signed up for a cycling event but nothing else to date.

We’ve also been enjoying some pool time at my parents place this past weekend in the sweltering heat!

Anyone else struggling with your interest in running?

Favourite summer drink?

What’s your favourite activity to do with your kids this summer?

Also, since I’m not blogging a lot, you can find me on Instagram at pipersrun almost daily.

Early Morning Run – Global Running Day.

Last September I was getting up at stupid o’clock…aka 5am to get my runs in. It could have been a 5k, 6k or 8k training run. It really didn’t matter the distance, I’d get up to run it and I feel in love with EARLY morning runs.

I found it really hard to get up but I have a dog that loves to run whenever and my husband was always getting up at that time of day for work. I started taking advantage of that time to get our dog active and my training runs in.

Being injured the last few months allowed me to get super lazy, Haha. Seriously though, it allowed me to crave those early morning runs….well any run really. I figured it was time to get back to it now that it’s light out at 5am here.

So, today was the day. Global running day was a good motivator and again, I had to walk my dog. I did a 1k loop of mostly walking my dog till he pooped, then we ran the rest of the way home, about a 1/2 km.

I ran my semi regular route with a little change up to try and keep it somewhat flat except for that one BIG incline. I found I wasn’t struggling like I have been lately. My fitness is B-A-D. Really bad but I’m not letting that stop me.

This coming weekend I should be pacing the 10k (1:20) time but because I got injured ack in April, I had to back out. Not going to lie, I’ve got some BIG FOMO going on and trying to limit my social media time so I don’t get too sad I’m not pacing it. I really love pacing races. I’ll be keeping myself busy this weekend with my daughters soccer games in Truro and then possibly a family cycling event Sunday.

Anyway, I got my 5k run in this morning just after 5:30am. Man, I was sluggish starting out but woke up quickly as I got moving. I almost had a progression run but was off by 10-15 seconds. I’m not paying attention to my Garmin when I run right now but going by how I feel, so I wasn’t paying attention.

My calf muscle feels awesome and I’m still doing my PT exercise for a while longer. Almost 100% cleared…well hopefully in 2 weeks time.

Anyone else run today for the Global running day?

Early bird runner or no, just No?

May Runfessions

Knock, knock!

Hello….anyone?

My, my…. I’m a terrible blogger. I’ve really fallen off the radar these last few months with my blog and I’m not going to lie but I’ll runfess that I’m kinda not all that upset about my lack of blogging.

I’m also going to runfess that I’m back to RUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, let’s back that up a little bit.

Happy runner!

Last week, I was give the a-okay to start some light jogging. So that’s what I did. My first run since I sprained my calf muscle was a walk/run/walk. I walked for 7 minutes, ran for 10, then walked for 6 minutes. Those 10 minutes of light jogging was plenty for my calf muscle. I had no pain but it felt weird and awkward.

I did a second run but with my running buddy, Krystol. We haven’t ran since last fall or summer together, I believe. Anyway, it was a great walk/run/walk. Just what we both needed – a little running, more walking and some good conversations with a great friend.

I ran again the other night and was told to increase my running time. I ran for just over 20 minutes and managed to increase my pace each km. This was not planned or something I was focusing on. I just went with how I was feeling. I will runfess that those first two kilometers, I honestly thought I was going to die. Man, starting over is friggin’ hard work but so worth it. Also, I should avoid hills and inclines during my first few km of any run right now.

Starting over!

I runfess that I have zero interest in running any races right now. Likely because I physically can’t do them but mentally I just don’t want to even think about trying to run in a race. However, I’m eyeing some summer and fall races that are local events.

I runfess that I’m jealous that my husband ran Cape Split last weekend and that all I really want to do is go run some trails with him. We don’t get out together very often but we do love getting out on a trail run together. When I first hurt my leg on Easter weekend, we had plans to go for a run together but that went out the door fast.

I’m also going to runfess that I’m absolutely LOVING the new TIUX compression socks that just came out!!!!

I runfess that though I was completely exhausted this morning, I loved getting up at stupid o’clock to walk our dog. I’ll also runfess that I want to start running at stupid o’clock and secretly eyeing the houses around us that have sprinkler systems for those hot summer morning runs.

That’s all I have to runfess for this month. Sorry I’m not blogging much these days but you can find me almost daily on Instagram.

Have any runfessions from May to share?

Early morning runner – heck yes or heck no?

Road run or trail run?

Check out the Runfessions Link Up here with Marcia at The Healthy Slice.

Injured Runner Life {Lately}

I’m not going to sugar coat this, being injured sucks. I’ve been trying really hard not to focus on what I’m missing out on but sometimes that can be hard.

Having said that, pre injury I hadn’t signed up for any races (minus pacing Bluenose 10k). With lots of races starting here this weekend, I’ve got some serious FOMO. Even seeing someone run while I’m driving makes me sad I’m not running.

Now having said all that, I’m doing really well with this recovery. I’m progressing way faster then I expected and seeing really good results because I’m working hard at what my physiotherapists has given me to do.

I’m getting tired of the doing the same exercises three times a day but they are making me stronger. Basically, I heat up my calf muscle, do band exercises, then various double calf raises followed by 20 minutes on my bike (once a day) which is on a trainer in my basement. After that I do my balance exercises to strengthen my ankle (to support my calf muscle).

I was told I had a Grade 2 Sprain in my calf muscle which was extremely painful for about 2 weeks. It’s been 3 and a half weeks since I got injured and I’m now able to drive. Not driving sucked more then not running.

I can now walk up and down stairs without pain, something I wasn’t sure would happen for a few more weeks. So that’s really great too. I’m thankful that I can get on my bike but eager to start running again. Running will have to wait until my PT gives me the a-okay.

So, that’s where I am at. It’s also Mother’s Day today and I’ve been spoiled with home made cards and gifts, swim lessons (not me) and a big breakfast. I’m looking forward to some time with my family today and maybe a little run…..just kidding, but a ride on my bike later today.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Tell me how your running is going!

Anyone else having FOMO?

POP, Goes The…..

Calf Muscle.

I’m just going to jump right into this one (not literally though)…I’m injured. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the injured list and boy am I thankful for all those uninjured months. Sometimes it takes an injury to really appreciate what your body will allow you to do. I’ll back it up a bit and share what happened.

I was playing soccer a week ago (yeah, another soccer injury) and we were about 45 minutes into the game and I stepped with my left leg and felt and heard a POP in my left calf with instant pain. I hobbled off the field and everyone thought I got a charlie-horse. You know, those painful cramps in your calf muscle that EVERYONE dreads. And they are even worse when pregnant (talking from experience years back…not pregnant now). No, it wasn’t a charlie-horse. So, I sat on the bench the furthest away from my team’s bench because I couldn’t even walk. Eventually, I got some ice on it and was chauffeured off to the hospital by a team mate (and her family). So thankful for nice people out there.

I arrived at the hospital after 11 pm as it was a 10 pm soccer game and waited for hours. It wasn’t life threatening, so you gotta wait your turn, right. Eventually I saw the ER doctor who said I tore my left calf muscle. I can’t say I was a happy camper at that time but that was my new reality. The worst part – I couldn’t drive my car which is a standard for 4 weeks. And yeah, no running/soccer/yoga for 6-8 while it recovers with physio.

Note – this was Thursday night of Easter weekend…..so nothing is open. Certainly, not my physio guy. I took a cab home because I couldn’t drive my car and my husband was home with our girls….sleeping. No need to wake kids up at 4 am to go pick Mom up at the hospital. I crawled into bed, waking my husband and told him that we’d have to put off our planned weekend run together for a while.

Since I couldn’t drive, my husband has had to run around for me: picking up my car, crutches, groceries (which isn’t unusual) etc. Friday and Saturday were a bit of a right off and I became one with my crutches. Sunday rolled around and we had Easter dinner with my family in the city which was great.

It’s been a challenging few days as I can’t drive myself to work or for work meetings. Nor, can I get the girls from the sitters or to their soccer practices etc. I kinda feel helpless in the family department. And, 3 out of 4 of us are sick with a head cold in our house. We all just kinda feel like shit.

Enter good news: I got into physio Tuesday morning and my amazing neighbour drove me there and I cabbed it back. After a second physio session on Thursday (a friend drove me there AND back!), my physiotherapist determined I have a grade 2 sprain which is WAY better then a torn muscle. Agreed! I’m walking with the aid of crutches now and can ditch them by Monday! As for driving my car….it might be a while off.

I know all you runners are thinking…..it’s time to give up playing soccer as you get too injured playing it. I’ve actually had a few people tell me that to my face. (Which is really frustrating). Sure, I can get injured playing soccer, running or heck – cycling on the road or walking down the trail – but I’m not about to give them up because I get injured everyone once in a while.

So no….I don’t regret playing the sport I love the most. I am disappointed that this injury has other plans for me right now. And, that it won’t allow me to be a pace bunny at Bluenose this year (I was the 1:20 -10k bunny). This injury has definitely given me a greater appreciation for when I’m healthy and strong to not be lazy and waste my time doing nothing.

Life’s too short to not enjoy playing soccer, running in a race, hiking a trail or trying to break my fear of riding next to cars on the main road in town.

Has anyone ever told you to stop playing the sport you love the most?

Anyone else on the injured list right now?

What’s your favourite non-weight bearing workout to do at home?