Mother Runner Life’s Adventures & Challenges

Motherhood is no joke! Before I had kids I new parenting was going to be hard but you don’t actually realize how hard it actually is going to be until you have a child(ren).

I love my kids dearly and love watching them grow, learn and succeed. With our youngest she is learning the alphabet (she’s 3.5 yrs) and doing really great with that. Our oldest just finished her first year of school where she learned to read books, write stories and loved her science, math, music and gym classes.

Being a mom who works full time outside of the home takes me away from all the little things I was able to do on maternity leave (1 year in length with each girl). Laundry happens at night, dishes sometimes sit for a day and bigger cleaning happens a little less because… it’s just life. My husband is a Paramedic who works shift work so he sometimes has to sleep during the day.

This past weekend was a prime example of being what I thought was a good parent and then feeling like a terrible parent the next day. The plan was to take the girls to the Zoo then my boss’s house for a swim while my husband slept Saturday. I figured, no problem.

But first, I had to run 12k!

July 16th long run

I got up early and headed out the door around 6:40ish and had a great run. I returned home to the girls getting dressed and just hanging out with Saï. I stretched, showered and started getting ready for the day. I made a picnic lunch, packed the girls up and off we went by 10 AM (my husband was asleep already).

It was extremely hot outside but that didn’t really bother us. The Zoo was fun. Hilary got on the horse for the first time which was really awesome. It’s one of Lilly’s favourite things to do at the Zoo is ride on the horse.  We had snack, some water and even bought some french fries (yeah, at the Zoo) to go with our lunch.

IMG_20160718_112732[1]

I was feeling good at this point. My legs felt good and energy was great. After lunch we drove over to my boss’s house and swam for an hour or so. It cooled us off in the heat of the day. We got home to spend a little time with Saï before he went to work. I made dinner and got the girls to bed, had a beer or two, then crashed around 9:30. It was a long day but a good day.

Summer beer……

IMG_20160716_175123[1]

Sunday’s plan was to go to the beach with some friends; swim and have a picnic. Great plan but it was a rough day with the girls. They wouldn’t listen, they wouldn’t clean up their mess. They were just giving me a hard time all while I was trying to keep them quiet so Saï could sleep after his second night shift.

We got to the beach late but had a good time. Hilary even went in the water all by herself – this is a big step for her!. Then it was time to head back home. By mid afternoon I crashed and took a much needed nap for an hour. The rest of the night wasn’t great – minor things going wrong that just added to the day’s negativity. I even threw in a soccer game later Sunday night.

Being a mom and runner can be easy peasy sometimes however, sometime it’s a struggle and sometimes it’s just plain old exhausting and HARD. The big thing is to keep going no matter your pace (which I’m not happy with lately) and get in whatever distance you can (I ran 3k last night just to run at 9:30 PM – crazy).

Life happens. Runs need to happen in order to be ready for race day. Sometimes you just have to know when you are doing too much between running and entertaining your kids.

Mother runners: what’s your biggest challenge getting in your runs?

How do you entertain your kids in between training runs and life?

What’s your favourite summer beer?

 

Week 3 Maritime Race Weekend Half Marathon Training

I’m finally feeling like I’m getting back on the running wagon again! This past weekend I actually enjoyed my whole long run…something that I haven’t done in a few months.

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday July 11th: Coaching & Rest Day | Coaching & Rest Day. Pretty much nailed this. I coached my oldest daughter’s team (Under 6 year olds).

Tuesday: Yoga | Yoga Class…felt so good. And I went to Physiotherapy earlier in the day for my SI Joint. I’m seeing some progress but it’s going to take a while. You can read about yoga here.

Wednesday: Coaching & Run | Coaching & Rest Day. On Wednesday’s I coached both my daughter’s teams (under 4 parent/tot and then Under 6’s). After coaching and getting the girls to bed, I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything.

Thursday: Hills | 7k. Since it was such a hot day, I decided to jump in the sprinkler with the girls before making dinner. Best choice of the day!

I went for an evening run after the girls went to bed. It was a super HOT and humid day therefore the run wasn’t awesome but I did it. I’m also adding in my PT exercises here and there.

July 14 sprinkler

Friday: Rest | Rest. Nailed it:)

Saturday: 12k Long Run | 12k Long Run. It was expected to be another super hot day so I planned to get out running early and managed to start around 6:40. I think next time I need to go earlier.

This was the first run that I’ve done and actually enjoyed it. My pace was steady between 6:22 and 6:26/km until I got a side stitch around 5k, then after that eased up I threw in a good hill for the fun of it. Maritime Race weekend is known for it’s big hills, so I best be training on them.

On the way back home I decided to take a few walk breaks and the heat was really starting to increase. I needed the walking breaks as it was just getting too hot. Though the temperature only read 18c (felt like 23c)…I could have sworn it was feeling like 28c. I was literally dripping in sweat (but happy) when I got back…there wasn’t a dry spot on me.

Happy Runner!

July 16th long run.jpg

Random running moment: As I entered back into my subdivision I came across this lady. She was walking out of her driveway with a lawn mower (it was off). She stop when she saw me and didn’t move, so I wasn’t sure if I should run behind her or in front of her and the lawn mower. As I approached her she looked at me and said “you’ve been running for a long time, I saw you up further on the highway”. I just responded with “yes, it’s a long run day” and kept going. I think she though I was crazy for running that far in the morning heat.

Sunday: Soccer Game | Soccer Game. It wasn’t the best day as a parent. The girls weren’t listening, were rude and fighting with each other. Everything seemed to go wrong (I dropped my dinner, my large glass of water was spilt everywhere, I went to the wrong soccer field). Just. Not. My.Day. I even had to take a nap mid afternoon as I was just exhausted from everything. I eventually made it to soccer and played. It was great but we lost.

If you are wondering where week #1 and week #2 updates are….I didn’t write about them only because I didn’t have a training plan figured out. However, all the workouts I did are updated in my training plan.

KM this week: 19k

KM this training cycle: 36k

Overall: I’m easing into this training and so happy I finally enjoyed my long run.

Do you think non-runners think we are crazy running at 7am?

Anyone run or race this weekend?

Would you jump in a sprinkler with your kids?

 

Yoga Aches and Pains

Yoga has been one activity that I started doing more regularly last year. There is a local studio near my work that offers a variety of classes but I’ve mainly been going to their lunch time class on Tuesdays when my schedule permits.

I missed a few weeks due to work meetings which I’m okay with but I always notice how much of an impact yoga really has on my body when I miss too many classes in a row.

Earlier this week, I went to yoga after missing two weeks and I really enjoyed it. It relaxed my body, challenged my muscles and eased my mind. However, when I woke up Wednesday morning I couldn’t understand why up upper arms hurt. It took me a half hour of being awake to remember that I went to yoga the day before

My arms even ached on my run Thursday night which reminded me that running isn’t just your legs working. Really, I should be doing more yoga at home and not just the 20-30 minutes I do post long run (and 5-10 minutes on short runs).

I wore the Under Armour HeatGear Capri’s for the first time and loved them. They didn’t move around or fold over in the waste like another pair of capris I have. I felt great in them – you know that feeling when something just fits your body and it makes you feel good? Well, these capris did it for me.

yoga July 12th

They have a signature moisture transport system that wicks away the sweat to keep you dry. If only that worked on the rest of my body (lower legs/ankles and arms). Yoga class in a small space in the summer time can get really warm fast. Thank goodness they had some fans going towards the end of the class.

The other thing I liked about the capri’s is that I could wear them under my dress and it just worked as an outfit. Double bonus!

Now, I have to be completely honest with you, I didn’t want to share the photo of me doing the tree pose. Why? Well, all I could see were flaws. My leg is too forward, my hair is a disaster (post class), my glasses have a reflection, I can see the chub on the side of my shirt. I got the instructor to take the photo for me quickly after class and have sat on it all week. Do I post it or not. So…I just decided to post it and whatever…that’s me, not my favourite shot but honestly, feeling comfortable in my own yoga abilities and the clothing that I’m wearing.

Happy Friday! Any weekend plans?

When’s the last time you hurt a day after a workout and took a while to associate it with your workout?

Do you wear capri’s in the summer to yoga class?

Ever double up your workout clothing for every day clothing?

All opinions in this blog post are my own thoughts and experiences. These products have been provided as part of the summer SportChek Ambassador program.  Thank you SportChek!

 

Maritime Race Weekend (MRW) Training Plan

I’ve finally found the time to figure out a semi-training plan for my next half marathon. Though as I write this post, I’m still not 100% convinced I’ll run the half or change over to the 10k, either way…I’ll train for it and see what happens.

Race: Maritime Race Weekend 

When: September 16 & 17th.

Location: Cow Bay, Nova Scotia

Number of runners: 2,500

Fun: It’s a double race weekend. Friday night 5k and Saturday Half (or 10k).

Claim-to-fame: Best.Race.Ever., Pirate theme and crazy cool medals!

Years Participating: Twice. In 2014, I ran the 5k & 10k – both PB’s and then volunteered in 2015 after getting injured for the second time. You can read about my 5k race here, my 10k race here and volunteering last year here.

In the past I’ve used Hal Higdon’s training plans which I love but this time around I’m changing things up and kinda using his format but kinda not. This time around, I’m playing soccer AND coaching both girls so that takes up my Sunday, Monday and Wednesday nights. I’m not going to stress over getting in a run or workout on those days but will do something as my work and home life schedules permit.

My plan

MRW 2016 Half Marathon Training Anna

So between soccer, coaching, yoga, running and still wanting to add in cycling, swimming (for fun) and hitting up GoodLife Fitness when I’m in the city…it’s going to be an all-over-the-place training cycle. I’ve committed to training for the half but my heart and head aren’t ready for that distance. I’m hoping in time, I’ll be ready to run the half distance again or settle with nailing an awesome 10k (I kinda love the course).

Elevation Map for MRW Half Marathon

MRW Half Marathon Elevation Map

I’m looking forward to getting back into my long runs as I’ve missed those but I am hoping to run a little less this time around 3-4 times a week. So, here’s to an increase in my laundry pile, purchasing more hair conditioner and deodorant then one should really need, many litres of Nuun consumed, #runches and 10-12 weekly blog posts keeping you up-to-date on my training! Cheers!

Anyone else training for Maritime Race Weekend? (Or a fall race?)

Do you always stick to a training plan?

How do you incorporate other activities into your training?

 

 

Weekend Shenanigans

July just seems to have snuck up on me after a busy June (busy at work, busy for Lilly at school, both girls starting soccer, half marathon training and the race and the loss of our dog etc. etc.). I love July as it brings super warm temperatures, we get outside a helluva lot more, I get a little order and usually lots of soccer.

As I mentioned before I wasn’t planning on playing soccer this summer as I didn’t think my hamstring was ready for it, turns out my hamstring is good to go but my SI joint is still giving me a problem. I’ve been back in physiotherapy for a few weeks and my SI joint still hates when I sit!

This weekend we had a lot of rain – some MUCH needed rain. It’s been so hot here (yeah) but we desperately needed the rain for our farmers etc. It got cold over the last 4-5 days, enough to need pants and a sweater but I’m totally fine with that as we’re about to get back to super hot summer days this coming week.

Weekend

This weekend (Saturday) I played in a soccer tournament, we won our first game and lost our second (lost on Sunday too) but it was great to be on the field again. I finally feel like I’m getting my feet out there again and playing at a level that I want to be playing at. It was also fun because the girls and Sai came to watch both games.

IMG_20160709_133550 (1)

Sunday was my birthday and I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to do a long run after two games of soccer but the night before, I got my gear ready just in case. For some reason I woke up at 5:30 and figured that if I went back to sleep my 6am alarm clock would have been turned off and on permanent snooze. So, I got up at 5:45 and was out the door around 6:30.

I have a loose training plan that I’m working from and will share soon but figured 10k would be a decent amount for a birthday run and post two games of soccer run.

IMG_20160710_103741

Good lord that run was hard. I felt like a slug. I looked like a bad 80’s party in neon sludging down the highway! However, it was also great! 10k done before breakfast. After my run we went out to Cora’s for breakfast. The only photo I took was this one of Sai and the girls….though you can’t seem them well, I love it. They were doing a craft Lilly got for her birthday.

 

20160710_114844

My brother, sister-in-law and niece Ava came for lunch which was a great last minute surprize! I didn’t take any other photos, so I have nothing to share but let me tell you I’m still as sharp as a whistle as Ava almost did a face plant from the chair to the ground after a little miss-communication with my daughter who was holding her. Have you ever had that feeling of “holy shit, I almost dropped my niece face first on the floor” or the look of death on your face when you look at your bother and SIL – I felt ill. I don’t know who was more freaked out but I’m super glad I caught her.

Since it was raining buckets outside we just stayed in and hung out for a bit before we skyped with Sai’s Mom (she’s in England). We had a great weekend as a family. No photo’s of the cakes (yes, I had two). I did however, get a new helmet for biking so I don’t have to wear my old granny helmet:)

Old helmet

IMG_20160705_211743

How was your weekend?

Sunny weekend or rainy weekend for you?

Anyone race/run???

What I’ve Been Wearing Lately #SweatBetter

I’m not a big fashionista or anything but I would say that I do enjoy some fun workout gear and clothing. Having said that, I’ve been wearing a few new things lately on my runs, bike rides and just in general, every day.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might notice I’ve been sporting some new things like the Polar A300 Activity Tracker. I’m also recently wore the grey Under Armour Run tank on a hot afternoon run (below). The word”run”on the front is reflective (safety bonus) and Under Armour HeatGear® long shorts.

July 2nd Run Polar

I’m a big fan of longer shorts to avoid any chaffing because let’s be honest – it happens. And it happens to women’s legs more then not! The shorts are super comfortable and I’m thinking I want to go back to SportChek and get another pair so I can run in them more then my short-shorts.

The Polar A300 has been a fun addition and I’m still in the process of figuring it all out. Just when I think I know what I’m doing, I hit another button or sync it to the app on my phone and wham-o …it does even more! I’ll talk more about that next week.

Even though I took two weeks off running, it didn’t mean I wasn’t still active. Between playing soccer, coaching, going to yoga class and getting out on my bike, I still got to wear a few more things!

When the Nike Free RN sneakers arrived I had to wear them to work as I couldn’t just leave them at home to sit all day. They fit like a glove! I was super nervous about running in them as I didn’t think they’d give me enough support. As well as, I’m super cautious about getting injured. After wearing them at work for a few days and around the house, I knew they would become my go-to shoes when I’m not in sandals this summer.

Anna S Wear to Work

They are super light weight and again, fit like a glove. I finally tested them out on a run recently and was really surprised (I’m not just saying that). As I started my run, I couldn’t even hear them on the pavement. You know when you hear runners hitting the ground really hard in a race, that’s all I could think of and how quiet these were. They felt great on the road, then in the woods/trails, crusher dust trail and then back on the road again. I love the colours too.

A while back I wore my Nike Run “There Is No Finish Line” tank which is a bit more of a muscle shirt and something I’m not used to wearing. I did like how comfortable it was and enjoyed the change in style for my workouts. Plus it can show off my fun-coloured sports bras underneath which isn’t something I’d normally do either😉

There is No Finish Line.jpgThat’s what I’ve been wearing lately during my workouts. It’s so nice to finally have summer weather to wear lots of tanks and get new summer tan lines and a few more freckles, ha ha! I’ll share a little more next week.

All opinions in this blog post are my own thoughts and experiences. These products have been provided as part of the summer SportChek Ambassador program.  Thank you SportChek!

What’s your favourite piece of summer running gear to wear?

Do you have a go-to shirt or shorts that you love?

Do you use an activity tracker and app?

Summer Soccer

I was pretty convinced I wasn’t going to play soccer until this fall when the indoor (winter) season started. Honestly, I wasn’t convinced my hamstring was good to go….I was scared to get on the field and injure it again.

It took a little ( or a lot of) convincing but I decided after running Johnny Miles that if my hamstring was good, I’d play. And just like that, I’m back on the field. It’s been since December 2014 since I last played and it sure felt great.

I’ve joined a women’s 7 aside league which will be different for me as I still loved playing 11 aside. What matters is that I’m on the field and with a group of women (mom’s too) that I don’t know, except for two. It’s kinda fun not knowing most of the team as it gives me an opportunity to meet some new people.

IMG_20160626_203528[1]

 

We only play 60 minute games but it goes by quickly and it’s amazing how exhausting you can get from a quick sprint and then recovering back by doing the slowest trot you could ever do. Speed work at it’s finest! Actually, thinking back to when I was 14 and was doing fartlek’s, trail runs and sprints on the field…that’s where I got started with running.

Last week, after the first game, I just hurt, all over! It felt good to be on the field but I felt odd and uncomfortable for the first 5 minutes and then I just sank back into the game. My shins hurt from my horrible cleats that were being held together by electrical tape and my upper thighs were sore from sprinting. My second game was much better and I didn’t feel odd or uncomfortable as I was able to make better decisions on the field then the previous game.

When I was on the field I got completely lost in the game. You know that feeling of completely being in the moment. I’d forgotten about my family, work stuff, stress, house/yard stuff…everything. It wasn’t until after the game that I realized I was so focused on playing. It’s been a long time since I felt that way and it was kinda nice.

There is lots of soccer games ahead of me this summer between playing once a week and coaching both girls in U4 and U6 soccer. I love it and forgot how much I missed it. Now to just figure out a training plan for what is suppose to be my next (5th) half marathon in September!

When was the last time you ran (played a sport) with people you didn’t know?

What are your summer plans?

What’s your favourite thing to do in the summer?

Happy 4th of July to my American readers! Hope you got to celebrate!