Move It Challenge

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a challenge on the blog…not my challenges but other challenges that I’ve done, attempted, failed, crushed, surprised myself, hated and loved.

So…here’s the “Move It Challenge” By Jodi Higgs: Facebook Source.


Are you doing a challenge this month? Which one?

Favourite way to move?

Things I Learned On Last Night’s Run

Well…..I think I finally got my running mojo back! Yes, I lost it….didn’t want to admit it but it happened. I did a short 2k run the other day just to shake out my legs on “THE BEAST” but I felt awkward running on it. Almost out-of-place.

I took Wednesday off. Well, really…I had to get groceries while my mother stayed with the girls. You know, grocery shopping at night without any kids is quite fun!!!


Post run fudgesicle anyone?

I learned a lot on my run……..

1. Walking to warm up is a good thing even if you started your Garmin already.

2. It’s okay to put your hand out to “high-five” a 7/8-year-old girl who is running towards you with a smile on her face. Twice 🙂

3. If you run past a Chocolate lab, they will chase you….even if they are attached to a leash around their owner’s waste.

4. I think I might have perfected spitting while I run, finally!

5. I’m think I’m going to hurt later today, more specifically, my abs, shoulders and legs are going to hurt. Yes, my shoulders!

6. I love running after 8pm outside – perfect temperatures, just enough sun shining down, lots of people outside.

7. The sound of sand on a paved road under your feet sounds terrible.

8. Before my run started, I thought I wanted to run with music again which would mean finding my iPod and uploading music. After my run….not so much.

9. It’s 100% normal to run up and down your street to finish off a certain amount of kilometers (or miles). I mean, common’….who wants to finish their run at 4.94 km ?????

you know you are a runner when

10. Life is short, get off your ass and move! 5k done!

What have you learned on your runs lately?

Anyone been chased by someone else’s dog before?

Run with or without music?

Okay, 1/2 Marathon……

It’s taken me a long time to decided between two 1/2 Marathons that take place back to back weekends in October.

1. The Valley Harvest Marathon

2. Prince Edwards Island Marathon

half crazy

I’ve talked about it here AND more extensively here about them but just couldn’t decide until a few weeks ago when I was at a youth run. I was chatting with the race director from the Valley Harvest and she talked about when she ran the 1/2 and FULL and something just clicked. Valley Harvest 1/2 it would be for me.

So…it looks like I’ll run my second 1/2 Marathon this Fall … gulp!

All registered - October 2014!

All registered –  No turning back!

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to do the PEI 1/2 Marathon and will run it someday. I plan on running my Half and then make  our way to Halifax for our family (Canadian) Thanksgiving Dinner….head’s up MOM….I’ll be RUNgry 🙂

Now, PEI isn’t entirely out of the question for me as I am debating on running the 10k distance still. I think it would be a good introduction to the event itself and a fun way to finish off the running season.

So, Valley Harvest 1/2 here I come…PEI 1/2…I’ll run you next year…maybe I’ll run my first FULL in PEI – Ha ha! I have to get it checked off my bucket list one of these days 🙂

How long does it take you to decide on a race?

Anyone running a 1/2 Marathon this Fall ? Which one?

Have you ever met the Race Director of a big race? I have met two, pretty down to earth race directors.


A Week’s Vacation…

….from Running is just what I did!

A week ago Sunday, I ran in the 10k Bluenose Marathon (recap here) and really pushed myself more than I ever thought I would. It was a hard, hilly route but I managed to get a new PB/PR by 2 minutes. The next day I flew out to Toronto for a Conference…just me! I had four days on my own at the 2014 Global Summit on Physical Activity for Children in Toronto! It was the first time I’ve been away from our girls for more than one night! {crazy, eh!}.

I thought it was going to be awesome to be back in Toronto and have a little break from trying to balance it all but I totally missed my girls/hubby and thought of them all the time.

It was nice to sit for a while on the plane however my thighs were KILLING me. Every step or decline in the ground/road/steps, I would grimace in pain. Actually, I would hobble down the stairs with pain shooting through my thighs. It was brutal. Once in Toronto we missed our shuttle and decided to walk the 25 minutes to the hotel with our luggage. However it took us 35 minute because of all the people, road construction and maybe my sore legs too 😉

exhausted after un

I knew I was going to take Monday off {day after my race} but had planned to run while at the conference with some friends.

5:45am Day 2 of Conference, I wake up and my room-mate asks if I want to run? Nope, I’m going to stay in bed. Legs still hurt and continue to hurt throughout the day 😦

6:00 Day 3 of Conference – Chose sleeping over getting up and running again. My legs are finally starting to feeling better and I no longer dread the sight of stairs.

3:45 pm Day 3 of Conference – While sitting in a session I have this idea that a run would be awesome and I felt ready to run.

Didn’t run. 

6:00am Day 4 of Conference – I’m sure enjoying sleeping in 🙂 Later that day, I almost miss our flight…..3 in our group made it and three didn’t make it AND we were all together. Dam road construction and missing the ferry by 2 minutes.

Friday – Surely I’d want to run by Friday – five days after my run…and I did want to run but decided to go to bed early. Poor Hilary fell while I was away….off the bed and Grammy had to take her to the ER. She’s okay, in a soft/hard cast for a week and another x-ray to go. She was up most of the night because she couldn’t really roll over with the cast on…poor girl.

Saturday  – I really wanted to run and lace up after dinner. But, I didn’t….I watched some TV.

I clearly did not take my own blog advice:

tips to keep running

I still haven’t run yet…ha ha…but don’t worry I’m planning a return soon 🙂 I never planned on taking a FULL week off from running but those first few days I think it was necessary. Now to get back at it and start training for my next 10k at the end of June.

Oh, and I WON a pair of New Balance Running Sneakers!!!! The EPIC Canadian Run I signed up for in June sent me a little message that I won a pair – nothing like a little motivation to keep me going 🙂

new balance sneakers

How long do you take off after a race?

Ever almost miss your flight by minutes?

Anyone race this weekend? Or if you are in the US – any Memorial Day celebrations?

Summer Salad {vegan} Recipe

A few weeks ago we all went to a Pot Luck dinner and I was to bring something vegan for my husband that everyone could eat. I wanted to make sure that he got some protein, good grains and of course some veggies. So when I found this recipe at Once Upon a Chef, I figured it was a win-win.

I love salads in the summer time for some reason more than in the winter. Maybe I just feel there is more variety in local veggies and fruits which to me, makes the salad. In searching for something vegan on Pinterest that would appeal to everyone, I thought this would be it. I had a bulgur/quinoa mix to use up and picked up the remaining veggies we needed. Well, my husband did 🙂

Vegan Summer Salad


  • 1 can of chic peas (drained, washed)
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • Cucumber
  • Red Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup fresh Dill
  • 1/3 Cup fresh Parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 lemons (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cups Quinoa (I put in a mix of Quinoa and Bulgar @ 2 cups and it made a tone of it).

It goes with everything! We had a BBQ pot luck and then I ate it with salmon and asparagus the next day. I changed the recipe a little and had 2 cups of quinoa/bulgur mix which in the end was a lot but good for a pot luck. If I was only making it for us as a family, I would have stayed with the 1 cup.

Again, the original recipe can be found at Once Upon A Chef.

What’s your favourite summer salad to eat?

What do you make for a Pot Luck?

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve put in your salad?

Bluenose Marathon (10k) Race Recap

And RACE I did!

Yesterday I shared my A,B,C goals with you:

A – Best Case or Ultimate Goal: 57:00 Everything is going my way, from eating (my stomach problems I’ve been having lately, vanish), fluids in/out, temperature is perfect and the hills don’t kill me. This would be my ultimate goal.

B – Race Day Goal: Sub 60 – Anything under 60 minutes.

C- The Almost Guaranteed Goal: 1:05 and finish with a smile – heck I just ran 10k!

Flat Piper ready to go!

Flat Piper ready to go!

Can you guess which one I achieved?

I’ll leave you in suspense for a few more minutes (unless your on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter – you already know).

I got up early, 6am and got ready. The girls were up at 6:30 – early for them but stayed with Grandad and my sister Laura. My Mom came down to the course with me – thanks Mom!


We got downtown Halifax around 7:30 and my stomach was STILL bothering me from last week 😦 I only ate a 1/2 a bagel and some OJ before leaving the house and I really wanted a banana. We parked fairly close to the start line and walked to a local grocery store and waited for them to open at 8am.

As the Full Marathon started I went to the facilities one last time (5th time since waking up). I then drank my Vega Sport Pre Workout Energizer drink, ate 1/2 a banana and then watched the 1/2 Marathon runners start too!

We hung out around the start line for a while –

Ball of NERVES near the 51-60 minute sign!

Ball of NERVES near the 51-60 minute sign!

I was getting beyond nervous, had a few tears of fear in my eyes (okay, rolling down my cheeks), decided if I should go pee AGAIN but stayed put. I lined up behind the 51-60 minute marker and waited. The music started and off we went…. Happy by Pharrell Williams was playing as I ran through the start 🙂 I was HAPPY! What a great way to start any race!

There was a sea of pink shirts in front of me but I managed to wiggle my way through people and find a few open spots to run…keeping my pace steady and enjoying the moment.

Run For The Hill of It (wore it post race)

Run For The Hill of It (wore it post race)

KM 1 – 3: Pretty flat, easy pace, felt great…then started to climb the bridge.

KM 3-5: Hard, bridge up hill at a steady pace, bridge down fast and then up Nantucket (long and hard) but I made it 90% up before taking 10 seconds to walk…then back at it. There was a little down hill, and uphill I wasn’t expecting and was starting to regret the run! I even thought “I should stop” but I didn’t. I was finding it really hard – my head and heart just weren’t in it 😦 I was frustrated with that but kept going.

KM 5 – 8: I was running around the corner on Slayter Street and saw my friend Gabby – supermom and boston marathon runner 🙂 That made me feel better.

I headed down Nantucket at a pretty fast pace and HIGH FIVED my friend, Meredith – that made me feel better too. Thanks Gabby and Meredith 🙂

I wore my favourite necklace during my run; it has both of our girls names on it and their birth stones. Every so often when I was struggling the stones would chime together and I couldn’t only help but think it was my girls saying “you can do it mommy”….guess it’s my lucky necklace now.

Thoughts in my up to this point:

  • You’re doing great, better than those sitting on a couch 
  • Slow and steady pace wins the race x10
  • You trained for it, you earned it x10
  • You’ve got this, keep your pace and you’ll get it.

Km 8 – 10: Had a few doubts on the way up the bridge again, had to walk and that’s okay. Started running again before it flatten out, down the bridge and UP ANOTHER FRIGGIN’ HILL. I managed to run 95% of it and then just gave up. Five seconds later I was running again and only had 1.5km to go.

“Slow and Steady Anna, you can do this”.  Do it for your girls, your husband, my family but do it for you….I thought. “Keep your pace and you”ll get your sub 60.” At this point I saw that I had 9 minutes until the end and I knew I was going to do it.

I still had one great downhill to go and one LONG uphill for the finish line. Who does that?

Let’s just say, I pushed it when all I WANTED to do was walk. There were so many people at the finish line it was AWESOME. I guess I did what Lilly did with her run and sprinted towards the finish line.

Sub 60 – 10k: 57:17 – Best Case/Ultimate Goal 🙂

My results: 

  • 58:14 Time
  • 57:17 Chip Time
  • 57:22 Garmin Time (thought it was 57:23 when I finished)
  • 5:44 Pace
  • 144/667 Category Place (F 30-39)
  • 468/2281 Gender Place
  • 1067/3411 Place

What’s really exciting is that I got a PB/PR by 2 minutes!!! My last 10k training run I ran was 59:22 (a PB/PR then) and now a new one today 57:17 … so HAPPY!

Happy Piper 57:17

Happy Piper 57:17

About 5 steps after the finish I stopped put my hands on my knees and spit on the ground…sorry Halifax but I just had to. I stood up and a volunteer was right in front of me. Laura – an old soccer buddy, that was cool.

As I was walking with lots of other runners through the chute someone came up to me that I didn’t know. She said that I paced her through her race!!!!! I was shocked! She said that she kept me (my Piper’s run shirt) in sight but lost me a few times! Her name was Carol (Hi Carol if you happen to look up Piper’s Run online) and we finished very close together. I always thought I was just another runner out there like everyone else but little did I know, I was helping her run her race. That was really cool!

I proceeded to get my medal and saw Katie (a runner with the TTP group). I coached her in soccer when she was 12 years old … let’s just say…that was about 10-12 years ago! I was so happy to see her and receive my medal from her.

I quickly found my Mom, got some food and we walked to my car. I had tears in my eyes over and over. I’ve worked hard for this run over the last few months and was overwhelmed with everything. I came home to this sign:

Love My Girls :)

Love My Girls 🙂

{I thought my Garmin time was 57:23}

We got to see one of the Kenyan’s running by – YES, three Kenyan’s were invited to run the Full and Half Marathon – what a sight to see. SO FAST, SO AWESOME!

Though I struggled mentally in the beginning, pushed it when I could and slowed down when I had to. It was a great race and I’m beyond happy with my results. Now if I can only pull off something similar June 28th at my 10k EPIC Canada run 🙂

The volunteers were amazing, the water stations I passed were full of awesome people, the multiple bands playing music throughout the route was motivating and the time and effort put into this Marathon by the committee is greatly appreciated. Bluenose Marathon – you’ve pulled off another successful event – 11 years strong. Thank you.

And, thanks for everyone’s message on the Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I was nothing but a ball of nerves leading up to this race and especially this morning – so thank you for keeping me focused.

Happy Running!


Race Day and Lilly’s Run!

As you are reading this, I am running (or already finished). I’ve been training for this 10k for a few months and having a lot of fun, challenges, tears and laughs along the way.

But first, Lilly’s run:

Pre Race Fun!

Pre Race Fun!

As we walked by the medical area Lilly stopped to watch them paint a few lines. He looked and her and said “wanna help me”… “sure she said”. This was the medical area at the finish line!

Lilly helper Lilly

Lilly helper Lilly

And we had some fun during the run at the 41km marker and after giving out HIGH FIVES!!



Last but not least…after walking A LOT, running a little she slowly lets go of my hand and takes off, then sprints towards the finish line! Atta girl!

All done!

All done!

We had a lot of fun!

 Okay, my 10k today:

In learning from others in this lovely blogging world, Amy from Fitness Meets Frosting wrote a post last fall called ABC goals for her 1/2 Marathon and I liked the process…so I’m giving it a try. I’ll let you read her descriptions as I don’t want to copy them…and they’re funny.

A – Best Case or Ultimate Goal

B – Race Day Goal 

C- The Almost Guaranteed Goal 

So – what are MY goals???

A – 57:00 Everything is going my way, from eating (my stomach problems I’ve been having lately, vanish), fluids in/out, temperature is perfect and the hills don’t kill me. This would be my ultimate goal.

B – Sub 60 – Anything under 60 minutes.

C – 1:05 and finish with a smile – heck I just ran 10k!

I’m actually going to pace myself just behind the 55:00 pace bunny and see what happens. Lofty goal and I don’t expect to finish in 55 minutes but if I could get 57 minutes, holy moly…I’ll cry at the finish line.

Wish me luck. 

Positive thoughts….I’ll need them. 

I’m going to Kick it up and Go for it.

Just Giv’r … true Bluenose style.

I’m off to get Flat Piper ready 🙂

What are you doing today?