Pace Bunny VHM 10k Recap

Over the past four years (minus 2016), I’ve paced the Valley Harvest Marathon 10k – 1:10 finish time. Pacing a race is an experience that is hard to explain to others.

I was really hoping to pace VHM this year but there was no pacing group organizing pace bunnies. Less then two weeks prior to race day, former pace bunnies received an email saying that True North Pacing (new group) was looking for bunnies, so I quickly replied YES PLEASE!  I wasn’t really sure I wanted to run the 10 k on my own since I was really supposed to be doing a 18 km long run as part of my half training. So when the opportunity came up to pace, I jumped at it.

I was lucky enough to be the 1:10 pace bunny for the 10 k. Knowing that this coming weekend I have my half marathon I’ve been training for, pacing a 10 k would be enough for my body. It was also Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada), so I planned to cook a turkey and roasted butternut squash for my vegan husband.

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Race Day!

I hardly slept and this seems to be a night-before-race-day-theme along with dealing with a head cold. The head cold was easy to deal with but lack of sleep just isn’t fun. Pushing both of those things aside, I got up and out the door and off to Acadia University. There were multiple events: wheelchair, ultra, full, half, 10 k and 5 k. As each race started, the crowds grew a little bigger. It was a little on the chilly side, around 7 C (44 F).

As the bunnies lined up, I met a few people that wanted to run with me, exciting!!! The gun went off and we moved forward a little, only to be stopped before the start line. As I passed over the starting line, I turned on my Green Garmin (Forerunner 10) and then my 230. Yes, I use two Garmin’s! I like how easy it is to set up my Forerunner 10 to keep me on pace but I wanted to have my 230 on to track my current pace.

My plan was to run between 6:55 and 7 minute per km to keep us on track for a 1:10 finish time. We went out a little fast but I managed to slow it down and have the first km in 6:58. I chatted with runners, warned them of pot holes and upcoming water stations, along with hills either up or down. Most know the route though.

The wind picked up as we crossed over the Dyke Road/358 hwy and my bunny ears moved slowly backwards but never fell off. I’d see each bunny that was ahead of me with their pack of runners pass by. I also saw friends running their race which is always exciting and motivating. There is magic in the motivation of seeing other pace bunnies that just paints a permanent smile on your face. At least, that’s how I felt running as a True North Pace Bunny.

We hit the turn around point and it was mainly flat until a big long hill before a gas station. I had to keep my pace no matter what so I kept trekking along up that hill and passed a few people all while encouraging them and telling them I’d see them at the top.

Hennigar’s Hill was next…down then up. This can be a hard point in the race for many, it has been for me before. Down we went, me keeping the same pace and runners taking advantage of doing down a little faster. I caught up to some people and pushed up Hennigar’s Hill feeling pretty good.

As we neared the 2k mark, two women looked back and me and in shock let out a “oh no” and sped up – it made me laugh quite a bit as I knew they wanted to finish before me. I also had a man say that he was following me for a while, lost me and found me again. He then went far ahead of me and finished strong. I had one gentleman running with me for most of the run and he was great company. I hope to run with him again with a local running group.

We climbed the last incline and into the stadium and I thought I was 2 minutes under (but wasn’t) so I slowed my pace down a bit more while running around the soft track. As I encourage my group of runners to go for it and they all did. I crossed the finish line in 1:10:06.

Though I was over by six seconds, I was pretty proud and happy that I accomplished what I committed to doing.  I high-fived a few runners, grabbed some water, dropped off my medal into my bag and ate a banana. After that, I headed back out tackle Hennigar’s Hill again.

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A number of pace bunnies went back out to help other runner’s up Hennigar’s Hill – the last BIG hill. I think I ran up it 7-8 times before I felt too cold to run anymore and ran back with a group of women. They were running fast and were super motivating! It felt good to run with a small group of fierce women. I didn’t want to intrude on their run but also wanted to encourage them along the way as I ran back. As they circled the track, I ran directly to the finish line and finished 7 k for a total of 17 k for the day.

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I still don’t know how to explain how it feels to be a pace bunny, other then it’s hugely motivating, inspiring and awesome experience for me. I hope to pace a few more races next year with True North Pacing. And yes, then went home, cooked a turkey dinner, filled my belly with WAY to much food and desert and enjoyed the evening with my family. Full heart, happy body and my soul filled immensely on Thanksgiving weekend.

Have you ever ran with a pace bunny?

Anyone else race last weekend or this weekend coming?

Past pacing 1:10 – 10k: 

  • 2015: 1:09:59
  • 2017: 1:09:37
  • 2018: 1:10:06

Thanks True North Pacing and Valley Harvest for another great event! I don’t blog daily but you can follow me over on Instagram. I’ll be running the PEI Half Marathon this Sunday!!!

 

 

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Half Marathon Update & Pacing VRM!

Though I haven’t been blogging about my half marathon training – I’m now 2 weeks out from my 7th half marathon in PEI!! Also, I literally had to go through my blog to figure out how many half marathon’s I’ve run to date.

Training

My training has been going really well. I’ve managed to log almost all my miles and surprisingly in September, most of those miles had me running at 5 or 6 am before my family was even up. September was the month of morning miles and I loved it! It’s starting to get a little colder and my early morning motivation is starting to dwindle.

October is off to a slow start with no running as of yet. I played three games of soccer over the weekend (we won the tournament and I scored a goal!!) so I took Monday off to rest. And rest I did. I was in bed last night at 8:49 pm – lights out! I’m coming down with a head cold which really sucks timing wise. I just feel lousy and have an 8 k run on tap for today. I’m really unsure if I’ll run at all today. Any tips on getting better quickly?

From runners to cleats!

Runner Soccer

Pacing!

On a more exciting note…….. I’m pacing the 1:10 – 10k at Valley Harvest Marathon again!!!!! I’m a wee bit excited as this is my favourite distance/time to pace! This will be my third time pacing this distance and race. I’ll be running with “True North Pacing”. They are the pacing group the came together recently to provide pacers for this race. Can’t wait!

Also – I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner this weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving). After I pace my 10 k and help out a bit more I’ll be heading home to cook up a turkey and a roasted butternut squash for the vegan husband.

Anyone running Valley Harvest this weekend?

Favourite Thanksgiving dish?

Best advice to get rid of a head/throat cold? (Vit C, honey, garlic, sleep – what else). 

Don’t forget, you can follow me over on Instagram – I post there almost daily.

Maritime Race Weekend 10k Recap

It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper race recap, so I thought I’d do one from this weekend. I ran the Maritime Race Weekend 10k Saturday. Though I’m training for the PEI Marathon (HALF marathon – Oct 14th), this 10k didn’t actually fit into my training plan…..but I made it work anyway.

In previous years, I go in Friday night and run the Tartan Twosome (5k sunset, 5/10/half/full sunrise Saturday) race but with both of my girls in school and my husband working, I just couldn’t pull it off this year. It’s hard getting to the city with two kids and a dog after working/school all day. This year, I decided 10k Saturday would be enough. I’m not going to lie – I missed running the 5k sunset but I quite enjoyed not stressing out about getting into the city on time!

I had a horrible sleep the night before at my parents place, basically awake every hour and one my daughters woke up with a night terror – yeah, those still happen. I got up early and was out the door by 6:10 to get over to the race about 30 minutes away. It was smooth sailing over and I got a decent parking spot which is about 1 km away from the race line.

Fisherman’s Cove fog!

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I met up with my running buddy, Krystol and we hit up the extremely long yet fast moving porta-potty line. I saw lots of people I knew but didn’t get a chance to say Hi to everyone. The fog was HEAVY but the sun was trying to blast through and it sure did. In a matter of minutes it was hot and humid – like hot summer running.

Happy runners!

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The gun went off and off we went with the rest of the crowd of runners. My first km was around 6:26 and that’s a faster start then I would do for a longer run but also felt in control sandwiched in-between runners. In the past, I’d likely get frustrated running with so many people close by and unable to move around them but this year I just didn’t feel rushed to get out there. I zigged zagged when I could around runners and eventually felt comfortable running.

Just before the 3km mark, you start running up this hill. It’s the hill that never ends and almost doesn’t look like it’s a hill until you get to mid way and then you start working really hard. I don’t dislike it but I definitely worked hard getting up it. I thought I’d have to walk at the top but was able to recover enough to keep my feet running.

As I hit the second water station before coming down that big hill, I grabbed a water, took a sip and then poured the rest over my head. I figured if it was this hot now, I’d be super hot towards the end of my run. I repeated this at every water station – minus the time I was given Gatorade. The cold water felt wonderful on my head. I cruised down the hill, rather fast and got going into a pace the felt really good. I was running around 5:45 – 6:00/km. Not going to lie – I was shocked at how fast I was running for me.

At the bottom of the hill you turn left and run along a very flat road beside the ocean. It was super bright as the sun was shining directly at us. I enjoyed seeing friends pass on the other side and high-fiving them along the way. I was working really hard and pulled off a few decent paces: 5:52/km, 5:59/km and 6:01;km (km 5 – 7) then I started to slow down.

At the turn around point all I could remember is how beautiful it was. The warm sun on my back and the beautiful blue ocean to my left and I remembered why I really loved this race – the views! I was on a bit of a struggle bus in trying to keep that 6 min per km pace and just couldn’t do it. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other knowing that after the race I still had to run another 6k.

As I was nearing the finish I thought I could make an attempt at a sub 60 but it was just too far out of my reach. I was trying to push hard but it just felt like it wasn’t there until I turned the last hairpin corner and passed a handful of people to the finish line. My whole body hurt and I thought you could see if all over my face. I was lucky enough to finish 2 minutes or so behind Krystol who captured my finish.

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I really love this race and will do it again and again! Great job to Michelle (Race Director) and all her volunteers! Krystol and I hung around for a bit, grabbed a yummy bagel, tones of water to hydrate and took a few photos along the way.

10k Finsher at Fisherman’s Cove – sunshiny day!

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I left Fisherman’s Cove around 11am and headed back towards my parents house to run my next 6k. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to do it and almost backed out. I’m not sure what inside of me made me do it but off I went to run another 6k. I had changed out of my sweaty clothing and ran along the COLTA trail (Chain of Lakes Trail Association). It was such a beautiful place to run and so many bikers and walkers! I think I was the only crazy one running in the HEAT of the day. Good lord it was H-O-T!!!

This run was much slower with paces of 6:52 to 6:11/km. I think towards the end of my run I just wanted to be done and picked up my pace somehow! It was a hard run but I was able to jump in my parents pool to cool off with my girls – so worth it! We also snuck in a trip over to Peggy’s Cove – so beautiful!

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I had to look up my race etc today as I didn’t look after the race. My chip time was 1:01:27, gun time was 1:02:38, 50th in my age group (out of 187). Not too bad!

How was your weekend?

Anyone race?

Have you done a double day run on race day before?

 

Hello Race Weekend!

Happy Friday!

It’s a race weekend here!!! I signed up back in the summer for this race and can’t believe it’s here already!

Though I am training for my half marathon in October (PEI), I figured it couldn’t hurt to add in a few shorter races. Early September, I ran the Berwick 5 mile (8k) road race and had a great run! It was my second year running it and though I ran it two minutes slower, it was still a great race for me. I haven’t seen paces like that in over a year and it was nice to know I could still run fast (for almost 8k).

Post run pain all over my face! Berwick 5 Miler.

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This weekend is Maritime Race Weekend. There is a 5k race tonight and then 5/10/half/full tomorrow morning. I usually participate in the double race but it’s getting harder and harder to get into the city (an hour’s drive) with both kids and sometimes the dog. My husband’s schedule has him working this weekend so I’ll be taking the kids and Carmacks with me. With both girls in school and travel time, I just can’t do the Friday night sunset run. It’s a bummer but it’s also reality!

Having said that, I’m really looking forward to my 10k tomorrow. I have no plans, no intentions other then to run 10k and still be able to get another 6k later on to complete my long run for the weekend. Half marathon training problems solved!!!

This race and course is my 10k PB of 55:59 and I know I’m now where near that time – which is totally fine by me. I’m looking forward to running with my running buddy, seeing running friends and just being in the running community/event. It’s such a fun race/place to be!

Half Marathon Training:

It’s going pretty good so far. I’m on week 7 and have been doing a TONE of early morning runs. With our family schedule it just seems easier to go to bed early and get up super early for a run of 5k – 7k and sometimes I do speed work as well.

As of now I don’t have any goals for my half but if I keep running the way I am for my long runs I should finish under 2:20. Part of me wants to run faster then 2:13 which is what I ran the PEI half in 2015. I’m just going to wait and see what happens.  I know what the route looks like and those BIG rolling hills during the last 5km won’t be a surprise to me this year!

I’ve been using my Tiux socks a lot when running and for recovery. I’ve been known to wear them around my office with my dress clothing. You know you are a runner when you wear compression socks at work!!! You can check out their new crew socks here: Tiux. {Also – use “ANNASTIUX” for 20% off your order} These crew socks are $22.99!

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Good luck to all those running this weekend – be it at Maritime Race Weekend, Berlin or another run!!!  Happy Friday! You can follow me more over on Instagram here!!!

Are you racing this weekend?

Loving the fall weather (I am)?

Do you repeat races races over and over again? (I do).

August Runfessions

Happy last Friday of August! This month went by SO fast – did it for you?

We’ll I’m just going to jump right into my August runfessions since I haven’t blogged in a while. My first runfession is that I didn’t plan on writing a blog post today, whoops. I’m on vacation and the last thing I wanted to do was sit on my computer and write. Which brings me to runfession #2.

I runfess that I signed up for another race this morning (hence being on my computer). I registered for the Berwick Gala Days 5 miler! It’s only a 10 minute drive from my house and a great local community event. I ran it last year and really enjoyed it.

Evening trail run

evening trail run

runfess I desperately wanted to sign up for a triathlon late September called Keji Multisport. A good friend/co worker of mine is behind it all and I thought it would be a great event to dip my toes into doing a triathlon. Sadly, I just can’t pull it off between home stuff, other races, logistics of getting there and the BIG problem that I have a strong dislike for swimming in the deep lake water. Okay, maybe not a dislike but it brings me some anxiety that makes me panic. So, I didn’t sign up #sadface  Maybe another year.

runfess that I have three races on this fall…well summer/fall since summer doesn’t technically end until Sept 21st. A 5 miler (8k) this weekend, 10k on Sept 15th at Maritime Race Weekend and my half marathon on October 14th in Prince Edward Island.

runfess that I’m most excited about running the half marathon with my husband. We’ll, we likely won’t run together very long as he is faster but we’ll start the race together AND have a weekend away on our own!

I runfess that I haven’t been biking much this month but got in a great bike commute to and from work last week. It was super hot on my way home but so beautiful and my workout was done for the day!

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I runfess that I have no clue where this blog is going and I’m totally fine with it. When it first started I was excited to see the numbers of viewers etc, then had a REALLY awesome year with some high stats which was fun and now I just don’t have the time to put into it like I did. Having said that, I’m not quite ready to give it up but will likely just blog when I can. 

Ahhhh, that feels good to get those runfessions out!

What are you runfessing this month?

Did summer zoom by for you?

What’s one thing you’re trying to do before the end of summer?

I’m linking up with Marcia for today’s Runfessions post. It’s hosted on the last Friday of each month!

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Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Salad

Three for three! Don’t get use to me posting so much but I had to share this recipe today!

While visiting with some friends in Prince Edward Island this summer, we had an amazing dinner together. Great company, great weather, amazing food and drinks, kids off playing together = best summer days!!!!!

My friend made this dish called “Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad“. It was so good, I got the recipe from her and made it myself. Now, being a family with a vegan, I couldn’t just make it with chicken. I made two batched of the marinade and used tofu for my husband’s meal.

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken PR

This meal was amazing and probably my go to recipe for the rest of the summer. I’ve had it as left overs and my girls actually really liked it as well – parent win for sure!

I did a couple of things different:

1 – I used 4 chicken breasts not thigh fillets.

2 – I made three batched of marinade. One for the chicken, one for the tofu and one as the salad dressing for left overs.

3 – I grilled my veggies (peppers) and chicken on the BBQ.

4 – As for left overs, I actually paired the chicken with some rice and it was delicious!

For the recipe, head on over to Karin’s blog called Cafe Delites! I’ve also made her Chili Lime Texas Caviar before and it did not disappoint!

I’m actually making this tonight for dinner for my girls and I, my husband has to work the night shift, so no grillin’ tofu tonight. My chicken is marinating all day and I might text my husband as ask him to “shake up my chicken” when he gets up for the day – so the marinade can redistribute.  Is that an odd text to send to your vegan husband…….ah yes, yes it is on a few accounts!!!

Enjoy!

What’s your summer to-go recipe?

Any favourite ways to cook chicken?

Do you have multiple diets (for lack of better word) in your house?

July Mileage & August Goals

Two for two!!! I’m playing catch up…so you get two posts in two days from me on two different topics. My July goals (and August), then July Mileage!

July goals were super simple:

 July goals

I ran. I went to the beach. and I biked A LOT.

Running wasn’t high on my list and I dropped my “fun” long runs that I was doing back in June but I managed 55 km of running. We went to the beautiful Brackley Beach in PEI a few times and a local beach as well. I can’t get enough of that beach!

I bike A LOT: 119 km to be exact! I did my longest ever solo ride…well longest ride ever of 40 km! I was kid-less for a day and my husband was working so I decided to see if I could bike 40 k. I ran into a cow – not literally but it was on the trail I was riding my bike on and was rather intensely running towards me. Little did I know that it’s calf had escaped and she was retrieving her from the other side of the trail. I had to wait a while for it to cross over the trail and go back home. I peddle my little legs out and the cow was hiding on the side of the trail!

July Mileage:

July mileage

 

August Goals:

August goals

Again, another simple month! Yes, I realise that it’s the middle of the month and I’m posting my monthly goals but part of the month was spent relaxing…with my family….outdoors…and off social media/blogs. So, I’m basically nailing it this month – ha ha!.

How’s your August going so far?

Any major goals this month or taking it easy ?

What’s one thing you won’t miss from the summer? (Me, the insane humidity). 

Though I’m not posting all the time on my blog these days, you can find me over on Instagram – I don’t log out of that app 😉