Running: What I Love About My Treadmill

Treadmills have a bad rep, it’s true. The “dreadmill”, “the mill”, “millie” or the happymill not to be confused with the “happy meal”. I’ve named mine “The BEAST” only because when I got it, it looks so big. I love my treadmill.

*crickets*….

Are you still reading? Don’t love the treadmill? Well, check out why I do! This is the fourth article in the “Running What I Love About…” If you’ve missed the others, you can catch up here:

Running What I loved About

What I Love About My Treadmill

I got my treadmill in January of 2014, on sale for $400! OH YEAH! There’s is a story behind how it got to our house all the way from PEI (we living in NS) but I’m going to leave that one out. I will however acknowledge my husband, father and cousin had a hand it getting it to our house 😉 Thanks guys!

The BEAST!

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Life Changer

Honestly, having a treadmill was a life changer. At the time we got our treadmill, my husband was away for a few weeks at a time. If I wanted to run, I  would have to do so at lunch time which didn’t always work with my schedule or find a babysitter in the evenings. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve paid for a babysitter so I could run but I can do that multiple times in a week.

As each month would pass, I write my runs down in my little old log book and track the distances. I’d train for races from 5k’s to my 2nd half marathon. I had consistent PB’s in 5k’s, 10k’s and my half marathon and I feel confident it was because I was able to run on my treadmill consistently. I was able to run at home after our girls went to bed. I could run every day if I wanted to, especially in the winter on those stormy days/nights. I ran over 1100 km’s that year – mainly because I had access to a treadmill.

As a mother runner and part time single parent – the treadmill was my me time and my sanity saver.

treadmill run IG

Slower Running

For me, I run slower on the treadmill and I’m okay with that. Why? Well, it’s just the pace I’m comfortable to run at while on the treadmill. Did it bother me – nope. When I run on the treadmill I rarely pay attention to my time/pace unless I’m in the gym and the treadmill is in miles not kilometres. Each time I’d run in a race or training run, I would do so faster then on the treadmill and felt like I could push it more outside.

Don’t get me wrong, I speed up the treadmill often and slow it down as well to change things up. I always try to end my treadmill runs by running faster during the last 1/2 km.

treadmill run 1

Me and “The Beast”

Workouts

There are so many treadmill workouts available, especially on Pinterest however, they are all in miles. I rarely do these because I don’t want to sit down and do the conversion. Ninety-nine percent of the time I run on manual and always have my treadmill at a 1% incline.

Resource

I run in kilometres but a lot of training plans or workouts have it in miles. I found this treadmill conversion a while back which changed everything! For me, I usually run at 9 – 10 km/hour which is 5.6 to 6.2 miles/hour; and in pace it’s 6:39  to 6:01 minute/kilometre. It also shows what my pace would be for 5k’s, 10k’s, half and full if I stayed at that pace.

Right now, I’m running that pace outside as well and a big reason is that my hamstring isn’t ready for me to do any speed work so I’m just keeping my pace to keep my base 😉

Access

I feel lucky to have access to a treadmill and that’s one of the main reasons why I never call it a “dreadmill”. I don’t hate running, I don’t hate running on a treadmill, I feel lucky to have access to one. I feel lucky to be able to run more days in the week than if I didn’t have one.

When the treadmill is your only way of getting the run in, you are lucky to get it in!

treadmill love

Temporarily Break Ups

In the summer there is no doubt about it, I’d much rather run outside then on my treadmill. Fresh air, sun on my face and things to look at, but if it’s beyond hot outside I can easily jump on my treadmill and get in the km’s.

There are times when I get in fights with it; mainly it breaks down because I haven’t readjusted it properly after lubing it up. After a few days of separation and time outs for me, I can get it fixed.

Watching Shows!

This is by far my favourite part of running. I get to watch shows on my tablet since we don’t have TV. Sometimes I watch a whole movie while running. For me, watching something is critical or else I get too focused on my time, pace, etc. I’d rather get lost in a show or movie then see my time and pace. Often I’ll wait until a certain point (half way through show) before I look at my distance. Sometimes I surprise myself in thinking I’ve only run a short distance when in reality I’m close to being done!

Again, I feel lucky to have access to a treadmill and that I can run when ever I want and my schedule permits. Sometimes, the girls have other plans for me in the evenings but as a mother runner, you just have to roll with it sometimes.

In the end, you don’t have to love the treadmill but at least use it for walking or running not a clothing rack.

Happy last day of November – can you believe tomorrow is Dec 1st ???

Do you love – hate the treadmill?

Has the treadmill provided you the opportunity to run when you normally couldn’t?

What’s weirdest thing you’ve seen someone do on the treadmill?

 

You Know Your A Runner When…

Ever have one of those moments when you realise running is taking over?

You know you are a runner when you pack your bags for the weekend and forget to pack a change of clothing. As in t-shirt and pants for the day. Don’t worry, you’ve remembered to pack your winter running gear, two outfits for the gym in case you decide to stay inside. As you are running you make good decisions like the running sneakers you are wearing are going to remain “outdoor” runners since you now have salt caked on them from the roads.

Yup, I packed all my running gear as we left for the city yesterday morning after Lilly’s swim lessons. However, I forgot to pack clothing for today. The girls spent the afternoon with their Auntie Laura and I shopped! I shopped for more hours then I care to admit but feel like I’m ready for birthday celebrations later this week.

sisters

Birthday celebrations? We have two special birthdays this week; a 3rd and 40th to celebrate. So I had to find presents for these two special people.

This morning I managed to sneak out for a run while the girls spent some time with Grammy and Grandad. After I returned, I saw these branches on the ground and thought it was a sign. A for Anna (my real name) or “A” for Adventure which we will be attending a book launch called “A for Adventure” later today.

pipers run a for adventure

Though I sit here in my clothing from yesterday, I feel good knowing I at least packed extra clean underwear and got my morning run in. Who cares that I forgot to pack my every day clothing, right???

How’s your weekend ?

Ever pack your running gear and forget your real clothing?

Anyone celebrating December birthdays?

Adventures of a Mother Runner

Sometimes as Mom’s we put ourselves second…okay third. Well, actually we do this more then sometimes. However sometimes we see the value in something we are passionate about and do everything we can to make it happen. And sometimes the stars just don’t align.

For me, being active is a priority and I’ve talked about that on here before. Whether it’s running, playing soccer, skiing or being active with our girls, that is more important than other things in life. Being a mom who happens to run has become more of my identity and that is more prevalent now when my daughters ask to go for a run with me.

After each run, my girls want to stretch with me and Lilly will even ask how many kilometers I ran! I’m confident she doesn’t understand how far an actual kilometer is but she knows that’s the distance I use when running and she too can run a kilometer.

A good chunk of my winter running {now until March} will be on my treadmill, a.k.a. THE BEAST. Not that I don’t want to run outside but it’s easier to run on the treadmill then to find a babysitter when my husband is away. It’s also easier to wake up early on a hot summer day and run outside then it is in the cold of winter.

Last night after spending the day on the road and in a workshop, I desperately wanted to run even though I did a little roller skating at lunch time. During dinner with the girls, I told them that I’d be running when they went to bed. I even reminded them during bath time so they knew I’d be in the basement – they were both excited for me which is fun.

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The girls had other plans for me. It wasn’t intentional but they needed me more then I needed to run. I had my running gear on and was ready to go, all that I needed was to make sure the girls had fallen asleep.

They have been struggling with a cough for a few days and it’s nasty. Both girls couldn’t stop coughing and I felt like I was in a tennis match bouncing back and forth between each girls room and the kitchen. The kitchen was my “happy zone” where I would wait to see if either girl would start coughing again. Just as I thought I could walk down the stairs to my treadmill, one of them would start coughing. It sounded like they were in so much pain and I felt terrible.

With a little medicine, water, pajama change for Hilary and some cuddles and rubbing their backs, I thought I was good to go. After looking at my watch and reading 9:32 PM, I decided to call it a night and just go to bed.

Sometimes we have the best intentions of doing something for our selves only to realized your skills are needed elsewhere. So though this mother runner didn’t run, her girls slept all night and didn’t cough again.

At least with my husband home tonight, I’m confident I’ll get a few kilometers in 😉

 

What I Love about the Running Community

Ever find yourself in a community and realize it’s the right one for you? Well, I often find that happens in the running community, whether that is with your local running club, small group of mother runners, online chat groups or social media networks. The running community is no different then the cross fit community or triathlon community – we’re all nuts in our own ways 😉

Kidding aside, when you find a community that speaks to you, you embrace it and develop a sense of pride for those people around you (online and off). This year I feel like my running community has doubled or tripped between local clubs or online chat groups. I feel lucky to be involved in all these running communities and that has change the way I run.

Running What I loved About

I started a “Running: What I Love About” series. If you missed the first two, you can catch up here:

What I Love About The Running Community.

Running Clubs

To me, running clubs are the hub of a running community. Be it a group of 2-5 mother runners that meet every week while their children are with someone else or groups of 25-50 who meet at the local coffee shop after completing various distances, running clubs are their own community.

Meeting up for weekly runs become a tradition for lots of runners however it can also be the start of not only early morning runs but life-long friendships. You train together and go to races together. You meet up for a lunch time run since you work in the same area. You may even plan your weekend around your weekly run with your running club. They are important to you, running is important to you and the two just go hand and hand.

Running clubs are socials for the active-minded people who may or may not share a post-run adult beverage or brunch together. Members in the club can make you do things you didn’t think you’d want to do; like run a longer distance, sign up for a new race or dress up in a costume and run in it!IMG_20150725_083958

 

Met up with an old friend and new friend from TTP Running Club this summer.

I belong to a few running clubs though I rarely get out to run with them because of our family schedule. However, when I can get out to the runs, I’m welcomed like I’ve been there from the beginning only I get to introduce myself again to those I haven’t met at past events. Running clubs are welcoming and I love how they include everyone – at least that’s my experience.

I truly believe that running clubs can change your life. Whether it’s getting more active, losing some weight, making new friends or increasing your weekly mileage.

Social Media Groups

There are so many social media platforms out there now and to be honest, I find it hard to keep up. I’ve slowly increase which ones I use and I’ve decided not to add any more because I simply cannot keep up with it all.

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At Bluenose Marathon speaking as part of a panel with these fine fella’s!

Some of the best running tips I’ve learned through social media; through this blog and others, RunATCan twitter chats, mother runner groups and Canadian Runner’s groups on Facebook. I’ve learned about training plans, fueling, tapering, cross training and about races around the world that have peaked my interest. I’ve met new friends and yes, they are friends. When you continually have conversations with them you build a relationship and end up asking how their race went.

Running Atlantic Canada {@RunATCan} is mainly those runners in Atlantic Canada who chat once a week on Sundays for an hour. There is usually a topic with 6 questions. This is where I learn about other races and what local runners are doing, where they are racing and even about products they love. It’s not exclusive to Atlantic Canadians so feel free to check them out on Twitter.

Bluenose Weekend 2015 Running Room Runatcan

Bluenose Marathon with John Stanton & RunATCan peeps. 

Thanks Paul for the photo – see runners are helpful when you lose your own photo, they share theirs with you 🙂

The other great part of this group is going to a local run and meeting up with them, waiting for them at the finish line or having them wait for you. You are apart of an online running community that moves into your “in-person” life at events or for meeting up for training runs.

Networking

One thing I love about running is the networking; whether that is for work or pleasure – you network when you run. You meet new people, you learn about a great place to have lunch or you discuss a project at work. In some cases in the running community you see race directors coming together, sharing ideas, promoting other events and even running of volunteering at other events.

pace bunnies

Networking is about building up your community and the runners community always seems to be successful with this. It’s about building up your opportunities to train, to volunteer, to meet people, to challenge yourself and to learn from others.

Supportive

When you suddenly see yourself on the injured list, you start to question “why me”. What did you do, why did it happen to you, why now? Sometimes you’ll get an answer to your questions but there is a good change you might not. Your running buddy loses their partner, your office chat about your weekend runs are no longer, your blog updates about your increasing miles decrease in enthusiasm.

pirates

However, when you do becoming injured you suddenly become supported by more people the you think you know. Your encourage and offered tips on what to do, who to see, that your not alone. You feel that community around you.

When I had the opportunity to pace the 10k at Valley Harvest Marathon, I didn’t really think of how I could impact someone else’s run. Yes, I knew that people would want to finish before me, with me or close behind me. I was excited when I got an email from Sandye saying that she’d be keeping an eye out for me. What was even better was meeting her just before the 5k mark, chatting along the route and then seeing her finish well before me.

sandye and I post race

Though it was hard to hold back at the end of the 10k so I’d finish on time {1:09:59), I felt like I did the job I was supposed to do and supported the runners (community) to finish on time.

For me, the best thing about the running community is how supportive they are of one another. That could be the runners themselves or race directors. It could be waiting for your new friend to finish their race and celebrating with them. It could be learning about a new sports bra that won’t disappoint.

If you aren’t part of a running community, it’s time to get immersed.

Do you belong to a running club? How often do you go?

What’s your favourite online running community?

What do you get out of your running community?

 

Stretch It Out

After taking over a week off from any form of workouts I finally got back into running and it felt great. The stomach/body bug just keeps morphing into something else which is frustrating. I just want to feel healthy again. Last week’s runch was so great that I ran a negative split at lunch last Thursday – not sure if it can get any better then that!

Thurs Nov 19 Run

However, Friday I woke up with lots of pain in…….my hamstring. Seriously! I thought I was over this injury but clearly I’m not. WTF {sorry Mom}. It hurt a lot. It hurt more then my other tired and sore muscles that were screaming at me every time I walked down the steps at work or home. It hurt more then I thought it should.

Saturday was all about swim lessons, craft fairs with the girls and some time with Grammy. I even managed to do some shopping on my own. Sunday was a busy day with both girls at soccer {no tantrums for Hilary – WIN}, Christmas pictures {tantrums for Hilary and I} and lots of frustration. I was mentally and physically needing to run Sunday night to shake off the frustrations. Since my husband is away for work (5 days, 6 nights on a rotating schedule), I usually find running helps curb the stress, ya know!

Once I knew the girls were asleep I jumped on the treadmill and was hoping to run 4-5k but stopped at 3k. My heart just wasn’t into it however the sweat dripping from my body could tell you otherwise! I should have just kept going but I wanted to stretch out my leg and soak in some epsom salts. The stretching alone helped and the pain had decrease significantly. I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming the pain went away or if stretching actually made the pain go away. The epsom salt bath made my leg feel a lot better as well.

Piper's Asics

Today I woke up and would normally cringe when bending over with my sore hamstring but it wasn’t sore. In fact, it feels pretty darn good today. So is it the fact that I’m not stretching enough after my last run outside while at work or is my hamstring just messed up? I’m really hoping it’s the fact that I didn’t stretch as much as I normally would – similar to my half marathon in October.

So what now? I have no friggin’ clue. Do I go back to physio which will take 3-4 weeks potentially to get back “in”. Or do I just keep plugging along and focusing more on stretching post runs? Don’t get me wrong, I can sometimes spend 15-20 minutes stretching post run but that’s not always the case when I run at lunch. Or there is something seriously wrong with my hamstring. It’s been almost a year.

All I know is that I’m taking it one day at a time. Run when I can, do better at stretching, strength train, do yoga once a week which I am LOVING and rest.

How was your weekend?

Anyone race? 

What’s your number one hamstring stretch?

What’s In A Running Photo?

That’s a good question! Those who attend races know that at some point you are going to have your photo taken. We don’t always know when that’s going to happen or sometimes the camera is right in front of us. You finish your race, celebrate and then a day or two later remember a photo should be waiting.

You check your email for the notification, double check the website and BAM…..there’s your photo. Only it didn’t turn out the way you had imagined. I’ve got a handful of those – actually most of my race photo’s are horrible…ha ha! However, I recently entered a contest where you had to submit a photo of you reading Canadian Running Magazine’s recent publication. Since I have a subscription anyway…I had already read the entire thing.

The contest is for a LIFE TIME registration {Yes, you read that correctly – LIFE TIME} to Maritime Race Weekend’s Tartan Twosome (double race). This is what I submitted:

“Read Canadian Running Magazine on MRW, must start training to avoid injuries”

Piper's Run MRW Contest

Though I didn’t win the contest, I love having these photo’s taken by my running buddy! She did an amazing job…all I did was run back and forth, back and forth…back and forth 🙂 A few more for you…..

Gotta run…

PR Read article Must train.jpg

And….

PR Arggggggg MRW Canadian Running Magazine.jpg

Last but not least…

PR Running Running Running Must Train for 2016.jpg

Don’t I look like a happy runner?

Now for a few funnies and bloopers….

MRW photo bloopers

Do you have good race photos?

Ever enter a contest like this?

Do you ever wish you had a personal photography along all your good runs?

I’ve Been Down & Out

It’s been a full week of nothing. Well, nothing but feeling absolutely miserable. I think I had every symptom in the book: nausea, head ache, sort throat, stomach problems, light headed, dizzy….did I mention nausea? I seriously wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get better. It started Nov 12th and I only started to feel better yesterday.

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a break from running/working out for this long but my body had some other plans for me. I would start to feel better and then BAM…all the symptoms would hit me hard for hours on end. It sure isn’t fun being sick and trying to take care of two little girls on your own since my husband was away for 5 days.

Monday night I had planned to do some baking but all that happened was cooking up some home made chicken soup and laying on the couch next to the fire watching a show. I was getting annoyed with feeling ill so before bet I did a 1:25 minute plank since I stopped doing them last week.

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Yesterday, I decided to go to yoga class at lunch. As I ventured off to studio in town, I wasn’t sure how I would feel but I was determined to go and enjoy it. Luckily, most of my symptoms were gone yesterday but my stomach is still yucky today. Yoga class was GREAT! I even managed to hold the “birds of paradise” pose for the first time on both legs – this is progress!

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I was hoping to get back to the 21 day fix with my co-workers today but I’m not sure if my body is up for that…I did bring my running clothing to work as well. We’ll see what happens.

How’s your week going?

Anyone else sick right now? Sure hope you don’t get what I have.