Happy 2019!

We are well into 2019 and I have no new year’s resolutions (though I don’t do resolutions), no goals (well, I do but I haven’t shared any of them yet) or BIG things I want to accomplish in 2019….as of yet.

And that feels good!

I’ve been since since New Year’s Day, just with a nasty head cold but it’s taking the good out of me. January 1st, I spent the day in bed in pain and then Jan 2nd I woke up feeling awesome. Maybe even too awesome! However, I didn’t sleep well that night and then went skiing the following day with my Dad. I likely over did it and then spent that Saturday afternoon in bed. The head cold was shared around the family so we’re all sick.

Having said that, I’ve only run once so far this year! We did our annual “run the 1st km of the year together” run on January 2nd. Check out those road conditions….they haven’t changed.

It was super icy and C-O-L-D but my girls wanted to go anyway. And that was after we went skating for an hour. That was the 5th time we’ve run my first km of the year together and the 6th with Lilly. A fun tradition to do each year. Lilly enjoyed it so much she wants to run more with me!

I’ve managed to get to soccer as well – thinking that running around an indoor soccer facility would help break my head cold. It didn’t but I got a goal and felt great during and after the game. So, that’s a win!

I have a few things I want to do this year (goals, I guess) and I’ll share those soon. I still have to wrap up some 2018 running post….which I’m slacking on folks! Eventually, I’ll get them done (this month).

Anyone else not set goals, resolutions yet?

What’s your number 1 goal for 2019?

Anything non-running (workout) goals you are working on?

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Sneaking in a few more KM in 2018

I’ve been trying to sneak in a few more running kilometres the last week or so. Nothing major – just a handful of 5k’s here and there.

We survived the holidays, enjoyed some much needed family time with LOTS of good food and laughs. I even packed up the tree today! Kinda early for me to pack Christmas in but to be honest, I’m ready to move on from Christmas and have my house back to normal. (Well, as normal as it can be with two kids – we have sports gear EVERYWHERE not to mention toys and books …. but I love it).

We’ve had some crazy weather recently: -9c one day and then plus 9c the next day! Snow, rain, and now everything is frozen! I’ve barely used my #merrymill lately mainly because I’m running more with Carmacks but I have a feeling I’ll be using it more in the coming months.

I’ve reached my running goal for the year but still just enjoying some short runs to keep me active in between playing soccer and skiing!! We got in our first ski day last week and hoping to get there again before the girls are back to school!

Hard to believe that 2018 is almost done but you know what? I think I’m ready for a new year! Lots of fun adventures ahead!

I’m super excited to become a Endurance Tap Ambassador for 2019! If you haven’t tried Endurance Tap…aka…amazing maple syrup – oh I mean, fuel (maple syrup, ginger and sea salt) for your runs/rides etc. Keep an eye out in the new year!

I’m also returning to Tiux as an Ambassador – my favourite go to compression socks. Still wearing them, still loving them. You can use ANNASTIUX for 20% of your order!

I’m working on some year end posts that will likely be posted early in 2019. Stay tuned for some wrap up posts: 2018 running and mileage totals!

Anyone else getting in a few more km/miles before the end of 2018?

Have you set your 2019 goals yet? ) I haven’t.

Any New Year’s Eve plans?

As always, you can find me posting on IG at “pipersrun”.

Wintry Morning Runs

Never thought I’d say this but wintry morning runs seem to be my thing lately!

I like to walk my dog before my husband leaves for work so that I don’t have to walk him with my girls before they go to school, and I to work. They aren’t overly enthused in the mornings to begin with. So telling them they have to walk Carmacks with me in freezing cold temps doesn’t always go over well.

This morning I was awake around 5am for no reason. I tried desperately to fall back to sleep but when my husband’s alarm went off at 5:30am, I figured I’d just get up then too.

It took me 30 minutes to pull myself together but Carmacks and I started our run at 6am. So close to the #5at5am club but I’ll take the 6am start time. He was pumped as he always is. Running in the snow is his thing! I swear he’d live outside again if we lived outside but that’s not happening.

Off we went, only running into one other dog and it’s owner. Carmacks cried to say hello but we kept going. Up and down the slippery snowy streets in the dark of the morning. Some people still had their Christmas lights on so that was fun to see.

We finished off our run with a morning chat with my neighbour before heading inside. Carmacks is all business when he gets back….feed me, feed me and then rest. I’m more like a sloth….slowly stretching, taking off my gear, saying hi to the girls and then off to the shower before the real day starts.

Right now I’m enjoying these early morning runs even with the cold temps and snow under-footing. It also means I don’t have to run tonight after the 2nd Christmas Concert this week!

Also it’s my 7th blog-anniversary! Wow….seven years with this blog!!!

Are you all ready for the holidays?

Are you into early morning runs this winter?

Anyone else have Christmas Concerts this week?

Work, Run, Shop, Repeat

With Christmas fast approaching, I’m feeling like I’m not ready for it yet but don’t worry I’m still getting in my running! Priorities….priorities.

Just kidding….well, I’m kinda not. With two birthdays at the beginning of December in our house, it’s hard to think past those and to Christmas sometimes. Weekends are packed with basketball games times two and soon to be ski trips to the hill. We have Christmas parties (hosting) and basketball jamborees this coming weekend – at least we got our tree up last weekend. I’m ready for Christmas break just to do nothing, ha!

As for gifts, I’m mostly done shopping but feeling like I don’t have “enough”. Not that my kids/husband need all kinds of stuff but I just don’t feel ready. Baking hasn’t even been planned though I’m pinning a tone of vegan cookie recipes lately. 

Work is still in full speed which isn’t normal this time of year for us. The good news is that I’m still running, playing soccer and hitting up yoga class when my work schedule permits. I’m really loving yoga after running early in the morning. It’s a nice change mid day!

I seem to be getting into a pattern of early morning runs on Tuesday’s. I’m not sure why. It could be the fact that my husband works that day and if he’s getting up at 5:30….I’m awake too (just can’t sleep thorough it). It’s also the best time for me to get up and walk our dog before he leaves for work. And well, since we have a retired sled dog…..he kinda loves to run! 

Carmacks and I have been running 1-2 times a week and sometimes my husband takes him on his runs. Carmacks is racking up the mileage right now. Clearly, the picture below is not in the early morning hours but after one of our muddy runs a few weeks back.

I’ve even managed one run recently with my running buddy Krystol!!!!! We can just never seem to get our schedules to align but last weekend we did. It was bitterly cold…like -11c but felt like -18c. The plan was 7-8k and I called it at 5k. You win some you lose some but at least we got out together!

Anyone else feeling not “ready” for Christmas?

COLD weather runner or not?

Any early morning runners here? Raise your hand!

The Book Gift Guide (from a non-reader runner)

Let me preface this post with the fact that I’m not a big reader. I enjoy reading but it’s not something I usually make time for. I value reading and appreciated it but I don’t always love it. Unbeknownst to me, this past year I’ve read more books then ever.

I thought I would share with you some of the books I read as they all are great books (and great gift ideas for the holidays). This is not a sponsored post, nor was I asked to promote these books. I either bought the book or went to my local library and loaned it out. Most of these books I saw through social media shares from people I follow as recommendations. You know what they say about like minded people? Well, you tend to like the same things.

Fitness Junkie: I’ve seen this book time and time again on social media and figured I’d give it a go. My local library didn’t have it in stock so they ordered it and I was the first one to read it. Nothing like cracking open a book from the library for the first time. It’s a funny read about the fitness world and all the crazy (yeah, crazy) trends out there and the length people will go to obtain “the look”. It’s a fun and easy read that I think anyone would enjoy. 

Strong – Kara Goucher. This is one book I will use and reuse year after year. I’m only half way through it but I can see how it can be used over and over again. It’s a very goal-oriented, motivational tool you can have in your back pocket as a runner. But also, not just as a runner. I think any sport / athlete could use this book to help you set goals and reach them. 

I highly recommend reading it and taking the time to sit down to write out your goals. When I read it on my car ride to the city last weekend, my mind was popping out goals and ideas for next year with excitement. Since 2019 is approaching fast, now’s a great time to set you goals for next year! I’ve started to set mine because of reading this book. Some are lofty goals but ones I want to reach as a runner.

North – Scott Jurek. I was able to snag the audio book this summer from my local library. Over a period of three weeks, I listened to the book while driving around to meetings. Sometimes, I’d be in my car for 1-2 hours one way, so it was easy to listen to the book and get through the chapters. 

This book is an amazing story to read (listen) to. It’s about Scott finding his way while running along the Appalachian Trail, along with his wife being his support crew. He tells it like it is, honest, funny and engaging. I loved that his wife…Jenny was part of the storytelling. It brought a whole other perspective when hearing a female voice telling her part of their story. To be honest, it was “their” story that was told.  I’d love to buy the actual book and read but really enjoyed listening to the audio book. I’d really recommend the audio book as a nice change and a bonus to hear their actual voices tell their story. 

Redefining Realistic – Heather Moyse. Nothing better then reading a motivational book from a “local” Olympian. By local, I mean from the Maritimes, not Nova Scotia.

Heather is an extremely inspiring Olympian (bobsled) but successful in other sports: rugby and track cycling. Her book dives into redefining your realistic perspective, your potential and how to own your story. It’s the kind of book you feel like your just having a conversation with her and learning about her life experiences and how they brought her to where she is now – in a realistic kinda of way. I liked hearing about the impact people made on her life – whether is was good or bad. It’s not just for the athlete, her knowledge can apply to anyone.

Sweet Ride by Ann Barry. Now this is local! It’s a really cute book about these four women who ride their bikes from the South Shore in Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island and back again through the Annapolis Valley back in the 1943 (World War II). Not an easy trek by any means. 

It shares their story along with some adventures and challenges they faced. I enjoyed reading about their adventures but also knowing the routes they took and the communities they road through and places they stopped. If you are from Nova Scotia, are a cyclist or just enjoy local authors, this is a great little book to read. 

If you are like me and don’t always love to read but kinda enjoy it and want to read more, give one of these books a try. I’m hoping my new interest in reading this past year will continue to grow and I may actually love it one day. I’m always looking for book suggestions so feel free to leave me one of your favourite books in the comments. 

What are you reading right now?

What’s the number one book you’d recommend right now?

Any favourite local books you want to share?

Merry Mill Time of Year

Oh December, I can’t believe you are here already! Snow storms (4 days and counting), birthday’s to celebrate (6 year old and 40+ year old), basketball games, soccer games, Christmas concerts and then Christmas! Oh, and we are getting a new roof – happy Christmas to us! 

I broke down and got on my treadmill last week but before I ran on it I decided it was time to decorate it. We don’t decorate for Christmas until after our two family members birthdays  – mainly to keep them separate and hopefully make their birthdays FEEL like a birthday. I needed a little boost for my treadmill run that day and figured the lights would be great.

This is my third year decorating my treadmill…also known as the “merry mill” until I take them down. I didn’t start this trend but another mother runner I follow on Instagram did @mittenrunner.

I’m thinking I might need a few more lights or some garland but we’ll see. My daughter’s think it’s hilarious that I’ve decorated it and want the lights on all the time. It sure makes running inside in December that much better. 

I missed the two local Santa runs on the weekend as my girls had basketball and we had a twelve 6 year olds celebrating our daughters birthday. I’m hoping to get out with a few friends and do our own Santa run!

Any motivational tricks you do for treadmill running in December? 

What’s your favourite way to run and celebrate the holidays?

What’s your least favourite thing about December?

Umm Hello! Is this thing on?

Knock, knock….Hello! Is anyone there? 

I’m still here…kinda running, kinda not. Playing soccer. Busy with my kids in basketball and swimming, bike riding with my girls (crazy cold) oh and working full time. I’m not going to lie, I’m on the running-struggle-bus these last few weeks. I’ve done the odd run here and there but haven’t found my grove post half marathon…..Oct 14th (a month ago). 

Maybe my body (and mind) needed the break? Maybe I just wanted to be lazy for a while? Maybe I just want to watch TV at the end of the day once my kids are in bed and the cozy wood stove is blasting out the heat! Maybe life is just so busy that I just want to relax a bit more – hence watching TV. It certainly isn’t because I’m sleeping in or don’t have the support to be running/active.

I’ve run a few early morning run and by early I’m talking out the door before 6 am. Sometimes it’s 5:59 sometimes it’s earlier. It doesn’t really matter what time I run as I still love that post run feeling once I get home. Energized and ready for the day! My girls are just getting up and I usually have 15-20 minutes before my husband leaves for work.

I had a fun-ish trial run on Sunday nearby my house. It was only going to be a 5k run but that turned into six when I realised my Garmin would have me finishing just around the 5.7 km mark when I hit home so I kept running. Sadly, my Garmin died on me! Only because it wasn’t charged, not literally died (that surely would have resulted in an immediate blog post. “Garmin dies while runners finishes trail run”.

It was cold, muddy, windy and part of the trail was covered in horse shit…yeah, fresh stuff too! It was clearly a run that you had to really watch your footing and not because of the roots or trees…but the squishy stuff.

Along with the limited running, I’m clearly blogging yes and reading blogs less. Is this a trend? Maybe, maybe not. I still like blogging and reading blogs, so much so that I’ve renewed this blog for another year! I mean, it’s kinda fun writing about running, my struggles and successes with running, and being a mother runner. On top of that WordPress has rolled out a new format of “blocks” which I’m struggling to figure out as I write this post. (Let’s hope when I hit publish, it all works out right). 

Though I’m not running much, I am getting out to soccer once a week and getting ready to get my bike on it’s indoor trainer. Indoor soccer season has started and goes until April!!! I’ve mentioned this before on my blog but soccer is my favourite sport. I can just get lost out on the field and not think about anything but that moment. It’s kinda my mind-full time vs running. Running can be a mind-full practice but it can also give me a time to think about everything and nothing all at once.  Maybe that’s why I’m missing my “scheduled” runs – to get back that routine of mind-full times. 

As I sit here and wrap up this post, I had no clue that I would end it with talking about mindfulness. I think that’s what I like most about blogging or my blog in particular. I can start writing one thing and then it takes on a completely different approach by the end. 

Are you an avid blog reader?

What’s your best way to motivate yourself to run (or workout)?

Since I’m not always blogging, you can follow me over on Instagram for my struggles with running 🙂

Do you use running or another sport/activity as mindfulness?