Parenting Edition:What’s In A Race Photo?

With race season wrapping up in our area, race photo’s are starting to pop up on Facebook news feeds and emails. The anticipation of seeing your photo can be thrilling or scary then to see the photo and think, oh shit, I looked horrible (or great). They are fun because it brings you back to that moment in time when you may have been struggling or you nailed a new PB.

As a parent, if your kids are in sports you get to watch them over and over AND over again. Soccer games, rugby matches, cross country meets or swimming lesson. Growing up I played multiple sports and my parents were always at my games/siblings games. Soccer games, volleyball games, badminton games etc. They sat and watched over and over again all three of us play. They drove us to games, wiped our tears when we lost an important game, played with us, coached us; they were our biggest cheerleaders.

For me and my husband (Saï), as parents of an almost 4 year old and 6 year old, we now get to watch them play sports. It’s all introductory lessons and practices of soccer, swimming and now gymnastics.

I believe that since Saï and I both run, the girls like to run. You know monkey see monkey do. They genuinely love to run but have different running styles. Lilly is calm and collected like her father and Hilary has fast feet…not like her mother.

So why am I writing this post? Well, all because of this photo:

Lilly 2016 PipersRun VHM.jpg

{Thank you Valley Harvest Marathon for the free photos, it’s much appreciated!)

This wasn’t her first kids run, she’s done a handful of them over the last three years. She run twice around the beautiful Acadia University track with other six year old’s at the Valley Harvest Marathon Kids Run.

BUT, this photo…the face of focus, I’m hoping not pain. Her hair bouncing to the side from her body gliding over the track, her posture and form pushing her forward, her outfit that she picked out to run in. I also love the other girls in the photo, all doing their own thing and enjoying it. Oh, I love this photo of my daughter.

I’m sure there will be more sports over the years and, I so look forward to watching and capturing moments like this.

So what’s the value of a race photo as a parent – SO MUCH HAPPINESS 🙂

Happy Friday Folks!

What are your weekend plans?

What are your thoughts on race photos?

Last – for those that commented on Wednesday’s post – thank you.

Run, Barre, Yoga and Pumpkins

That pretty much sums up life in the last week. It seems as if running is taking a back seat lately as I just don’t have the interest/drive/motivation to do it.

What’s been going on?

Last week I tried Barre for the first time and had a blast! I had lots of aches and pains in muscles that I didn’t know existed. I even went back this Monday! I’m trying to get back into weekly yoga but missed it yesterday because I was just too busy and needed my lunch hour to get stuff done. That just made me more grumpy which really, no one needs to be grumpy.

Blogging Confession

Honestly, I’ve barely signed in to WordPress all week to write, read or comment on other blogs. This might be the longest I’ve gone without writing a post. Right now, I just seem to have no desire to write and contemplating wrapping up the blog in December. Don’t worry, since I’m grumpy I’m not making any decisions but I’m sure trying to figure why I blog and if I’ll keep it going.

Should we go right or left?


Running, My Ankle & Soccer

I’ve gone on two 9k runs in the last 2 weeks and that’s it. They were a week apart but so different even though I ran the same route. My first run, I loved and seemed to just want to keep running and the second run was horrible from start to finish. Can’t win ’em all!


My ankle is getting better. Both long runs started off with no pain or stiffness so that’s a big win! I’m still in physio which seems to be working. I’m also back to playing indoor soccer each week and loving it!


Yes, I was THAT Mom last week who dragged her kids to her 7 o’clock soccer game which resulted in an a 1.5 hour delayed bed time! I made dinner the day before so that would it be quick and easy and lined up a sitter lined up but it fell through last minute. Luckily another Mom has a teenager coming who loves kids! She took care of the girls while I played. Have you ever been half dressed for work and half for a run/workout? I tend to make dinner and get half ready for soccer: work blouse and soccer shorts for the win! After the game it was home to settle the girls down for bed time.


We went a last minute pumpkin picking with my brother’s family on the weekend. Sunshine, a rainbow, cold winds and then a downpour of rain. It was the fastest pumpkin picking I’ve ever done!


Though pumpkin picking was so quick due to the weather it was completely unplanned and so great to see my brother, his wife Jen and my niece Ava. Best part of our weekend for sure!

Pumpkin everything or ex-pumpkin lover?

What have you been up to?

Bloggers – how long have you been blogging ? When is it time to stop?



Running Moment of The Week


I’ve been a little MIA on the blogging front lately because we’ve been busy. I’m also feeling a little lack of motivation on what to write these days. We’ve moved into fall mode which consists of swimming lessons AND gymnastics for both girls. For the fun of it this past weekend, I threw in an afternoon of hiking with friends and mowed the lawn/cleaned the yard. Phew!

Running Moment of The Week

I haven’t run in the last few days but I wanted to talk about a run I did last week. Since I’m not training for anything specific at the moment, I have no commitment to running other then trying to do it every other day. My ankle feels better when I’m active and I’ve been given the go ahead to run, play soccer etc., along with my PT every other day.

Thursday night I wanted to run and my husband was home so I decided to run outside. It’s getting darker earlier here (yuck) so I knew it would be in the dark. I love the community I live in but there are some places that are just so dark that if you don’t carry a flashlight of some sort, you can’t see the footpath you are on. Luckily I still have my Night Runner Lights that I use.


The plan was to run more then 5-6k, take it easy and just see how I felt. Ideally, I want to get back to half marathon training which might start next week. The beginning of my run felt amazing, which hasn’t happened since my ankle injury mid August! My ankle felt great and physically I felt good though I was starting to get another head cold (meh, that’s life with kids). I didn’t feel like I was dying until a few of the hills.

I just kept running to enjoy it. I ran out 4.5k and back to finish 9k around 9pm. My ankle was a little stiff/sore after 5k but nothing new or painful. It was great to feel so good during a run again and I kinda missed that feeling. So, I continue my PT exercises for my ankle and back…yup still doing those to keep my SI joint happy.

What’s your favourite running moment of the week (last or this week)?

When was the last time you felt really good on a run?

Do you drop your PT exercises once you are feeling good or keep going with them?



Valley Harvest Marathon 10k Recap 2016

It seems as if the Valley Harvest Marathon is now becoming a tradition during Thanksgiving weekend. I’ve run it six times! I’ve ran the half in 2014 (my PB), paced the 10k (1:10 finish) in 2015 and this year’s 10k. In 2013, I ran the 5k, I skipped it in 2012 as I was very pregnant with Hilary. In 2011, I ran the 5k and in 2010, I ran the 10k four months postpartum after Lilly. I only have one distance I haven’t completed….yet.


Sunday morning I got up at 5:30 otherwise known as stupid-early o’clock and left the house at 6:28am. Acadia University is only a 15 minutes for me on a good day and I had no problems with traffic or road construction. I ran into some friends, hit up the washroom one last time and met up with Krystol who was running her 10th half marathon! I really miss running the long distances right now so I tried not to think about what distance I was doing. At 7:45 the half marathoners took off and then us at 8 am.

Traditional pre-race photo & Krystol finishing her half marathon.


Before the race, I got to meet some  people from Instagram {teamaldred, fit_pedagogue and newshell73), some during the run as they passed by and then after as well. It’s always nice to put a real personality to a face from IG/Twitter and having a conversations beyond 140 characters or “heart likes”.

I stood by Matthew, the 1:05 pace bunny from White Rabbit Pacing. They are awesome and I felt a little disappointed in myself that I wasn’t pacing this race again. It was on my list of things to do this year but being injured and having an unreliable pace, I couldn’t commit. It wouldn’t be fair to the runners if I couldn’t keep up the pace. I didn’t see the 1:10 pace bunny so decided while waiting for the gun to go off, that I’d keep with the 1:05 (6:30/km) pace bunny however that didn’t last long.

My main goal was to run a steady race and don’t give up. Obviously, I know I could do the distance but with little training and motivation lately, my confidence was rather low. My Green Garmin beeped at the 1k mark 6:24…not bad. Comfortable. My stiff ankle was to be expected and that feeling went away after the first k. I hadn’t gone out too fast, as I have before at the beginning of a race. I was just where I wanted to be. 🙂

I was keeping my pace relativity consistent and had the 1:05 pace bunny behind me somewhere. I kept looking forward as I didn’t want to know how close I was with him. Then kilometre two hit: 6:16 – that felt nice even with the hills where people passed me right and left. My goal wasn’t to be fast, it was to race smart and steady…forget about everyone else passing you. Sometimes that’s hard to do!

As kilometre three hit we neared a long downhill where I tried to just glide down it easily. I grabbed some water took a sip and put the rest on my head and neck as the humidity was starting to increase a bit. The first place male was approaching us FAST and I was amazed by his speed. I then saw the first female! The next little stretch was flat so I picked up my pace a little more during kilometres four and five {see below}.


I felt really good but knew I still had another 4k to go and didn’t want to push it too early. I hit the turn around spot and took a short walking break and was back at it.  Sometimes I find this long stretch of road very daunting and was trying to focus on other people running in the other direction.Occasionally I would find someone to catch up to and pick them off one by one – I’ve never done that before.

I saw Kendra who was running fast shout “stay strong”.  After the straight stretched we approached another hill, near the Irving station (for those that now the area). I slowly moved up the hill passing people walking and heard a women saying “great job, looking strong pushing up the hill” which gave me a little boost. I then had to stop at the top of the hill to catch my breath. I conquered the hill but knew my limits and took a good walking break which is reflected in kilometre seven {6:46}.

anna and kendra.jpg

As I approached 8k, running downhill then up another my fitness level or lack of started to show. Taking 6-7 weeks off consistent running really takes a told on your body. Though I was active by cycling, yoga and swimming it wasn’t enough to keep me in running shape. This is when I just kept thinking “one foot in front of the other” with a few brief walking breaks. This was a rough patch.

I had nothing left but a long incline with lots of people watching everyone finish. As I approached Raymond field (track), I was just done. That last little incline or what felt like a long incline took the last bit of energy out of me. As the group of people bottle-necked the entrance to the track, I took short steps and slowed down enough to catch my breath again. It felt relieving. As I ran on the soft track underneath my feet my body felt happy and I was able to pick up my pace. It felt nice finishing strong around the track and turning off my Green Garmin at 1:03:59. Not a PB but such a great run for me right now. I couldn’t have asked for a better run/race and time. Though I’m still a good 8-9 minutes off a PB, it felt great.

vhm finish 2016.jpg

My ankle felt great post run which was also a key piece to this run. The Physiotherapy and exercises are working. I saw lots of friends and chatted with them before I realised Krystol would soon be finishin. I decided to walk the track backwards so I wouldn’t miss her and saw her approaching the finish with the clock ticking 1:59:xx ….she made it under 2 hours! I was a little concerned for her as she came across the finish line not looking great so I immediately got her attention and met up at the end of the chute. She was 2 seconds off a PB and has been dealing with Achilles pain for a month now.

Another great run/race done! No regrets, no complaints, no “what ifs”. I ran into more people who successfully grained new PB’s which is always awesome. Thank you Valley Harvest Marathon committee for a great event, it’s greatly appreciated. And thank you to all the awesome pace bunnies from White Rabbit Pacing.

That was a long post…thanks for sticking around. After my run, we drove to the city for Thanksgiving dinner with my family and had such a great visit and I ate all the food!


I think that is my last official race of the year! I’m hoping to run a Santa Shuffle in December but that’s it for big races. My head is spinning for next year but I need to focus on my PT and some good cross training to avoid injuries next year.

Anyone race last weekend?

Do you use pace bunnies?

Canadians – how was your thanksgiving weekend?

Have any holiday races planned in the coming months?







Valley Harvest Marathon Kids Run 2016 Recap

It seems each year the weekend of Valley Harvest Marathon (Canadian Thanksgiving weekend) the weather is different. In 2014 it was super wet, last year it was the windiest and this year probably the warmest in a few years. With the bright sun-shining down on over 1000 kids, it was a great day!

We actually started the day off with swimming lessons at 8:30 and were amazed that it went so well. We were expecting Hilary have a meltdown since she dislikes water and didn’t want to do swimming lessons. Lilly swam in the deep end for the first time unassisted and Hilary was in the water the whole time with an instructor! Big win!

Collage 2016-10-08 17_21_04.jpg

After an early lunch we headed off to Wolfville to pick up our race kits and meet up with friends. Race kit pick up with kids can be a bit hectic but they had some activities for the kids to do which was great. We ran into lots of people we knew which is always fun.


We waited outside from 1:30 until the 2 pm start time which for our three-almost four year old, was too long of a wait (parenting lesson learned).  At 2 pm the under 5 girls went, which meant it was Hilary’s turn to run one lap around the Acadia track. Last year she did it all by herself so we expected her to do it again by herself. That was not the case.


After see most of the kids pass around the track, Hilary was nowhere to be seen. I made my way over to the other side of the field to see her walking with a sad face. I tried to cheer her up and her response was “I just want to run with you”. With no hesitation, I grabbed her hand that was reaching out to me and took off in my Birkenstock. She cruised around the track to the finish her lap. She’s actually a fast runner so it was funny trying to keep up with her in birks. Afterwards she was so happy to “have won the race”!

Next up was under 5 boys and then it was supposed to be 5 & 6 year olds girls. I’m not sure if they changed it last minute but as Lilly was waiting with the other 5 & 6 year old girls they announced it was only 5 year olds going. Six year olds had to go back and wait with their parents so Lilly stepped to the side of the track. Lilly was fine but it was a little chaotic for some parents and kids. It was 5 year old girls who then did two laps followed by the 5 year old boys who did two laps, then it was Lilly’s turn with the 6 year olds. We waited in shade near the start to watch all the runners finish.

Finally it was Lilly’s turn and she was so excited. We talked a lot about pacing herself as sometimes she goes too fast and then get’s a stitch in her side. She did a great job running and had a happy face as she passed us on her first lap. The best part was watching her get her medal and run over to me with excitement all over her face. So worth it.


We played on the field with friends and took in the Run, Jump, Throw, Wheel equipment that a friend was facilitating. We got to practice throwing a pretend javelin on a rope which was really cool.

Though it was a bit chaotic for some parents it was a great day to have kids out running and cheering each other on. There was lots of traffic delays due to highway and road construction that you can’t really do anything about. We had typical wait times getting out of Acadia University where the run was held but that to be expected when you go to an event like that.


I love having such a great event so close to home to watch not only our girls run but their friends run too. Sometimes we parents feel like we run around with our heads cut off when taking your kids to fun events like this but in the end it’s all worth it. The girls had a blast and that’s what really matters.

Big thanks to Valley Harvest Marathon committee for the Kids Run – 1000’s kids registered – that’s awesome!

Do your kids run in kids events?

Anyone’s kids run in the Valley Harvest Marathon?

Do you plan for traffic delays when going to a race?

Valley Harvest Marathon 10k Recap to come…it was great!

Friday Five: Running & Thanksgiving

Oh me oh my, I finally ran last night on the treadmill and it was great. Yesterday I said I was going to get on my running gear as soon as I got home but I lied! Well, I didn’t intentionally lie but I just didn’t bother changing out of my work clothing until after the girls went to bed.

Getting back into running regularly after figuring out my ankle injury hasn’t been easy. No motivation, lack of energy, exhausted from long days at work and being up in the middle of the night with the girls. One thing after the other has kept me from running and it’s only up to me to change that. It’s the life of a mother runner, a dad who runs or life without kids too….and it’s okay. I’ll get there.


Last night’s treadmill run was just what I needed. I hopped on the treadmill around 8:10 and watched Chicago PD on my tablet. Mid way through I had to run upstairs, which is fun to do when you’ve been on a treadmill for 20 minutes or so. I desperately needed something to drink and had made a tropical Nuun before my run. I guzzled half of it and back down I went to finish off 5k. It wasn’t much and I wanted to run longer but Hilary has been struggling lately with some night terrors. I decided to stop at 5k and of course after I finished my PT exercises she woke up screaming. {Any tips on night terrors with kids?}

Favourites This Weekend:

One: It’s Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada! That means family, friends, running and ALL THE FOOD!!!! We are having Thanksgiving dinner at my parents place in the city and I’m pretty sure I’m making this vegan apple pie:

Thanksgiving Vegan Apple Pie

Two: We just got a big box of vegetables from Nourish Nova Scotia. It was a fundraiser for Lilly’s school. In the box was sweet potatoes, beats, onions, potatoes, acorn squash, carrots, turnip, kale and parsnips! ALL THE FOOD!!!!!


Three: The Valley Harvest Marathon is this weekend. Since getting in my run last night I’m feeling a little better about my 10k on Sunday.  There will be no PB’s or close to 60 minutes but I’m just looking forward to doing a long run and getting back into training fo another half.

The course has three hills on an out and back course. Some people don’t like the hills on this course but I actually don’t mind them. They are long and gradual and there is something about getting to the top of them that I like. I paced the 10k (1:10 finish) last year and had so much fun doing it. I wish I could have paced this year but due to my ankle injury I didn’t think it was fair to commit to that and have to back out. I’m just not reliable enough to keep a steady pace for others.

The girls are also running the kids run tomorrow around the track at Acadia University. They are both really excited about that.

Lilly last year

VHM Kids Run 2015 Lilly

Four: Swimming lessons start tomorrow for both girls and it’s either going to go two ways. One – awesome or two – horrible for Hilary! She hates the water and really isn’t happy we signed her up for swimming lessons. She’s okay if she can wear a PFD (which they will for this level) but isn’t loving the idea. Fingers crossed it goes well. The good news is after swimming, we head off to the kids run which Hilary loves so I’m thinking that will be a good way to end the day for the girls.

Five: Last but not least: I’m looking forward to time with my little family AND big family. It’s been close to a month since I’ve seen my niece Ava so I’m looking forward to getting my mitts on her 😉 and the girls are going to go nuts over her. They can’t get enough of her.

That’s it for me. Keep an eye on Instagram for this weekends shenanigans. I’m linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia who are hosting the last of the Friday Five Link Ups.

DC Trifecta Friday Five linkup

Anyone racing this weekend? 

What are you doing for Thanksgiving weekend? 

Favourite food item at Thanksgiving dinner?

Good luck to all those running Valley Harvest Marathon and Chicago Marathon this weekend!

Running Confession

I kinda don’t want to run!

There, I said it….ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

I brought my gym bag…actually it’s my hiking bag but that’s okay. I brought my bag with all my running gear to work today with intentions to run at lunch. Somehow, in the busyness of the morning shuffle, I managed to remember every essential running item I would need. I didn’t forget my sports bra like that other time, or my sneakers, or underwear like that other time! Nope, I had it all. Even my Garmin fully charged. It was as if everything was aligning for me to run, but me.

It just sat there with it’s back turned to me all morning long. At lunch time I didn’t even open the bag. It sat there behind my seat. I knew it was there. I knew the opportunity was there but I just didn’t take advantage and go for a run.


I feel lazy. I am exhausted. I’m just kinda blah and not liking that feeling. Nothing’s wrong, no one is sick (well, we are at the tail end of head colds but minor now), my ankle isn’t hurting when I run. I just didn’t have any interest in going for a run at lunch time today.

The funny part is, I’m not really feeling ready to run 10k on Sunday but I love this local event. It’s close to home, my family can watch, my girls are doing the kids run, friends are running it and it’s THAKNSGIVING WEEKEND!!!! Obviously, I know I can do the distance but it’s not going to be pretty and I’m confident there will be times when I struggle – AND – I’m okay with all of that. I just don’t feel ready.

Since this is a running blog and I’m not running…OR blogging much lately, I felt I had to confess. I’m just not digging this right now. I’m hopeful this feeling will pass but looking for some motivation….and maybe some blog ideas.

I think my plan for tonight after I get home with the girls will be to put on my running gear after I walk in the house. That way, after I make dinner, bath the girls and get them to bed I can just sneak to the basement and jump on the treadmill with NO excuses….dishes can wait…right!

Do you have a running confession?

Canadians – what are your Thanksgiving plans?

Anyone running a race this weekend?

Hit me up with some blog post you want to hear about 🙂