First Clipped In Ride (and second).

It was finally time to take my bike off the indoor trainer after putting it off a few extra weeks. It was too cold, too wet, too snowy…yeah snow in May; there seemed always to be an excuse.

I bit the bullet last Friday afternoon in a bit of a step by step process. One – get the bike off the trainer which is the easy part. Check ✔.

Step two – take the trainer tire off the bike. Sounds simple but I’m still new to all of this. Deflated the tire, tools in hand, a few swear words later and I got it off. Success, check ✔.

Step three – take a break. Seriously, I left it for an hour or so and came back to it. Eventually, I got the tire on but wasn’t convinced I did it right. I cautiously pumped up the tire, deflated it and pumped it up again. I was worried the inner tube would be caught and I’d mess it all up. I got it done, check ✔. Next step was to put the tire back on the bike….a few more swear words later (and no, my girls weren’t near by).

This part I suck at and literally couldn’t get it on the right way even though I felt I was doing everything right. I really wanted to be able to do this on my own and feel confident in doing so. No confidence was built….well, maybe a little bit. Later that night, I asked my husband for help as I just couldn’t sort out the chain, derailleur and mounting the tire. I wasn’t that far off and learned that I can move the derailleur more than I had previously (I didn’t want to break it).

Saturday afternoon I went on my first clipped in ride. Not going to lie, I was scared shitless. Would I fall, crash or burn? Would I be fine? I just went for it and went slowly. I road down to the local trail where I’d feel most safe and off I went. Stopping occasionally at crossings, I’d unclip one foot way in advance. Clipping back in was pretty easy and my confidence grew a little more each time.

It was really nice to be out on my bike and on the trails but I also wanted to test out riding on the road. On my way back home, I took the main road and felt really good cycling by cars for the first time this year. They gave me a good amount of space and I felt confident on my bike….slightly uncomfortable with my clipped in shoes. Eventually, I made it home safely with no issues which felt great. However…..

On Sunday, we went for a family bike ride on the same trail. It was beautiful outside and our girls are loving their bikes this spring. It was going well and I decided to go off the trail a little into the woods but on another path.

Well, that path had a different plan for me as I began to return back to the main trail and suddently, I fell over clipped it. It all happened extremely fast and I remember thinking my bike should not be in the air and me on the ground right now.

I managed to get my feet unclipped, popped up and had to dust off dirt, leaves and branches from the right side of my body. Luckily, it was somewhat of a soft landing as opposed to the road or gravel we were on. A few bruses and one cut on my leg. Slightly shaken and embarrassed I peddled on ahead and tried to shake off the fall.

So, I survived my ride ride clipped in and I survived my first fall on my biked clipped in. And yes, I’m ready to do it all over again.

Have you ever fallen off your bike clipped in?

How are you spending your spring being active?

Running: Food for the Soul

Running these days is like food for the soul. It can allow you to escape reality, forget your troubles and engage you in away that nothing else can.

I’m running more now than I have in the past for many reasons (no injuries being one of them) but it’s also a great stress reliever. Working full time from home, helping my kids with “school” work and other normal life responsibilities are taking a toll.

Good sleep has become a big priority over the last few months. I actually slept-in for the first time in weeks this morning and it was lovely. I didn’t have to get up and get ready for work as it’s Victoria Day / May 2-4 long weekend. I also did my long run yesterday, so no early morning run today. I’m still in my PJ’s as I write this, also not normal for me at this time of day.

Our bubble expanded on the weekend in Nova Scotia and we got to see my parents in person for the first time in 9-10 weeks – it was just what we all needed. The weather is finally feeling like spring too – we really needed this weather.

Yesterday I participated in my second virtual run…. which should have been my 8th half marathon at the Blunose Marathon. They offered a “distance run” for free. It was so great to see all the #BN2020 over social media this weekend.

I ran the 15k distance run as I my body isn’t quite ready for a half marathon right now.

I ran 5k around my subdivision, which has some good hills, then headed out on hwy 1 (sidewalks) for 5k and returned home, another 5k. My legs felt heavy towards the last 4k but I kept going and felt great once I finished, in 1:44:19. Not an amazing time but I’m happy with that pace for now.

I’m looking at a few more virtual races over the coming months, cause why not! It will keep me running, healthy and fuel my soul, mind and body.

On a separate note, I’m barely reading lately. I had a goal of reading 20 books this year and so far I’ve finished 9. I have one book on the go but not loving it – I’ll spare you the title. Then I’m digging into “Little Fires Everywhere”. I’ve read the first few pages but want to finish my other book before getting into this one.

I’m still loving early morning runs to start my day and getting close to taking my bike off its trainer. Still hoping unclipping my shoes will be as easy outside as is inside on the trainer. We’ll see soon!

What books are you reading ?

Anyone else doing virtual runs?

What’s fueling your soul right now?

That Long Morning Run Feeling

Not going to lie, when I signed up for my May half marathon I was pumped. That quickly turned into feeling not so pumped…sick, run down, and injured. Running was going nowhere and I kinda dreaded it.

After being in isolation for seven weeks now, I’m running more than I have in about 2 years! What changed? I don’t know, everything!

With spring races cancelled, that left little hope of my training. Working full time at home…day after day….with two school kids at home had me run down. So what did I do? I started running more. It started off as unplanned runs with my dog which later turned into a routine of morning runs. That lead to a few long runs on the weekend.

It’s been since October 2018 since I’ve done a long run and that was the PEI half marathon. A week ago, Nova Scotia had a major life changing event for 22 people and shook us all to our core. I was out running that morning but didn’t know anything until I returned (about 2 hours away from where we live). Nova Scotia was a sad place that day and since. So many wonderful people are hurting, it was a hard week to focus on anything.

I kept running. Oh and walking. Good lord, I signed up for a Strava Walking challenge of 15 hours in April. Why, I don’t know and I likely won’t do that again in May. I don’t love walking but my dog needs walks and my kids need to bike/scooter. I’m 11 hours into my walking challenge and unsure if I’ll meet the 15 hours on time. We’ll see.

This past weekend I had THE BEST long run in years! I stayed closed to home, brought some Nuun Endurnace (first time) and my Endurnace Tap (Male syrup) and hit the roads. Mostly subdivision running followed by a BIG hill to a dirt road then back to the subdivision and sidewalk running.

I felt really good, even on the BIG hill and all the other hills too. A few weeks ago, I would have given up and walked those hills and inclines but not this time. I’m getting stronger. I’m feeling good. I’m loving running again and it feels good.

Now, not every run is going to feel like that but I’ll take what I can get right now and embrace it. The days are stressful, busy, full, exhausting and something we are trying to embrace. I don’t have much down time for watching hours of Netflix’s. That just doesn’t even happen these days, if fact I barely watch TV anymore!

I’m missing seeing family, friends and colleagues in person. Zoom meetings just aren’t cutting it anymore. I’m loving seeing neighbours on our walks and our kids friends as we pass by their houses. Trying to embrace the little things lately and long runs are one of those!

What’s keeping you busy these days?

Morning, afternoon or evening runner?

What’s one thing you miss before Covid-19 hit?

Running Off The Stress

At the beginning of March, I struggled to even want to run. I struggled to run while sick – cause duh, sometimes you just need to rest. It seems now that the more stress I feel, the more I need to run and the more I want to run.

Anyone else stress running? Is that a thing? Fresh air, being outside, escaping my house, solo time, family activity time….whatever it is, I need these runs.

I’ve run more in the last two weeks then I have maybe all winter. January and February are usually spent skiing snowshoeing and playing indoor soccer but I still would run occasionally.

The feeling of being overwhelmed with work and life is high, as I’m sure it is for many people right now. Getting groceries is my only “outting” besides one trip to work for printing materials needed. Managing kids and working from home is stressful. This week we add in “school work” on top of everything else. Its going to be interesting…..and maybe a bit of a shit show. We’ll see!

I kinda feel like I’m doing everything half assed, and no one is getting 100% of me. Stress is high but running is keeping me level. I might not be training for a race anymore but maybe it’s a new race. The stay-sane-while-working-from-home-during-a-crisis-kind-of-race.

My kids are missing school, their friends and their teachers but making the most of life. We started something called “ditch soccer”. They dribble the soccer ball in the ditches while I walk our dog, Carmacks, on the road. It’s becoming a quick and fun activity for all of us.

We are heading out for a family walk and ditch soccer right now….off to my happy place. Stay safe and keep running (or cycling, or lifting or yoga-ing).

Anyone else feeling the stress of everything?

Are you stress running?

Have you made up a new game or activity with your kids?

Half Marathon Training….Relieved

I feel relieved! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh…………!

Last week, I posted about not being into half marathon training and now I’m feeling relieved.  About an hour after I wrote that post and email arrived in my inbox. “Race postponed”. Instantly I felt relieved. Relieved that I didn’t have to keep training. Relieved that the last 4 weeks of horrible training wouldn’t matter. Relieved that I didn’t have to make the decision for myself to keep fighting with my lack of training. Relieved!

Now, just because my half marathon is cancelled doesn’t mean I’m not going to run. It definitely means I’m not going to bother trying to even FIND my training plan to follow anymore. I’m done with a structured training plan and just running and riding to take care of me – physically, mentally and emotionally.

I’ve been out twice running since receiving word that my race is cancelled. The first run was great and did it with our dog, Carmacks. It’s still good running weather for him, so we’ll take advantage of that while we can. The second run was just a struggle from start to end. My legs felt heavy and I was super angry at everything! After my run, I felt a lot better and wasn’t SO angry. Life is just too up in the air for my liking right now.

PR Run

My half marathon will now happy early November – which is kinda cool as I’ve never run a half marathon in November before! The fall is getting busy with normal races and now rescheduled races.

So, though I’m relieve that my half-ass training is over I’m still going to run and ride as much as I can, when I can, wherever I can. We just had a big dump of snow yesterday!!! After all the snow had melted we now look like a winter wonderland again. Not going to lie, I’m done with winter and snow. Bring on spring please and thank you!

How are you coping with everything?

Are you relieved or not at all that your race is cancelled/postponed?

 

I’m Just Not That Into You…..Half Marathon Training

Ugh. I was so excited when I signed up for my next half marathon months ago. But I’m just not into training anymore and week 4 started a few days ago. (heads up, slightly downer of a post but my reality).

I came up with a training plan and have misplaced it between work and home. However, it doesn’t change that much from week to week minus speed work and long runs. To be 100% honest, I kinda don’t care that I’ve misplaced it. I’ve barely put much effort into finding it as well or printing a new copy. I’m just not into half marathon training right now.

With all the cancellations here due to Covid -19, I just kinda don’t care if my race in May is cancelled. It might actually be a relief if its cancelled. To date, it’s still on. Or should I say, as I write this it’s still on.

I’ve also been dealing with tendinitis in my rotator cuff all winter which actually really sucks a lot. The littlest things hurt it. On top of that, for the last 3, almost 4 weeks I’ve had pain in my neck….like when you sleep funny on it and wake up with a kink. Well, I’ve had a kink that won’t go away until this week. I’ve had two massages on my neck and finally felt some relief until I went to soccer last week. I collided with another player providing a set back to my neck. Between physio and massage, I feel like I’m kinda just holding myself together with a little physio tape and no patience.

We are on March Break and everything we planned to do is closed as is the case around the world. It took a few days of feeling sad but we’ve moved on. It’s life right now. We are also sick, not Covid-19 sick but sick. Advil, tylenol, vicks, humidifier, lozenges, gargling with salt water, you name it we’ve tried it. My girls have it the worst and my husband is at work. Paramedics don’t get to work from home. I’m also scared of this virus.

In between feeling miserable and moments of feeling okay, we took advantage of the nice sunshine but cold winds and have gone for a few walks. I have no interest in running, no mojo, no dedication to running, na-da.

My new happy place?

I did get on my bike yesterday for a nice 23 km indoor ride while the girls relaxed in front of the tv. That felt nice but as I rode my bike and I looked at my treadmill beside me, I felt no love for it. No love for having the opportunity to run on it. Maybe that will change in the coming days like everything else is changing so fast. However, my training for an upcoming half marathon is almost none existant.

So what now? I dunno. I have a week off with my sick kids (husband is working) then I’m back to working from home with my kids who don’t have school for two weeks (much like everyone else), maybe longer.

Anyone else struggling with training (if your race is still on)?

Anyones race got cancelled – are you still training? What now?

Parents – what are you doing to keep your kids from not fighting?

I don’t blog post often but you can find me on Instagram: @pipersrun

February Freeze

It’s a wee bit cold here in Nova Scotia but not unlikely temps for February. Yesterday was -17°C (1.4°F) but felt like -22°C ( -7.6°F) and we snowshoed in the morning and skied all afternoon.

Normally, the girls would have had school but it was day three of snow days. I don’t think it was necessary but apparently the roads where bad enough to cancel school three days in a row. Meh….we got around just fine in our car.

January was a busy month of a little running, lots of soccer, skiing and some skating and snowshoeing. Each year come January I tend to run less and take advantage of our winter weather and get outside with my family more. #notjustarunner

I logged 38.67km running, downhill skied 4 days, cross country skied 3 days, snowshoed once, played 5 soccer games, hiked once with Carmacks , and went skating twice.

February hasn’t seen as much activity but I’ve been walking my dog 2k Tuesday- Friday and sometimes on the weekend (my husband walks him other times)…..so at least I was moving. Not going to lie, if we didn’t have a dog I wouldn’t walk at all….not my favourite activity to choose to do. Unless I have our four legging friend, its work related (walking meetings) or family hiking, I’m not going for a walk.

I had a week where I planned to cycle but every night when the time came I just couldn’t do it. Exhaustion is real! Time to figure out a new evening plan cause my mornings are for hibernating or walking my dog. Funny how last summer and fall I was living for #5kat5am runs.

I really need to get my butt into running again as I’ve registered for a half marathon this spring and excited about that distance as it’s been two years since I’ve ran it.

As winter progresses, I’ll continue to ski, skate and snowshoe as our schedules permit and soccer games as I can make them. I need to find a good (for me) half marathon training plan and have always use Hal Higdon’s plans….but open to others as well.

What’s your favourite half marathon training plan?

Anyone else judging snow days?

What’s your favourite way to stay active in the winter?