Year of Running {2016}

Well, my year of running in 2016 is summed up in a few races out of a handful that I did last year. I had a rough year with three different injuries (2 minor and 1 major) so running was a roller coaster of good and bad.

I wanted to share with you some of my best running of 2016, especially for those newer followers to Piper’s Run. Last year’s recap can be found here: 2015.

Best Race Experience: Maritime Race Weekend was simply the best. The weather was perfect, the hype was awesome and the atmosphere both days was energetic and motivating. Though I went into MRW with a fresh ankle injury and dropped down from the half to the 5k race, I had a blast.

Best run:  Back in August was my last long run during training and it was my favourite! It was week six of training for MRW and I ran it early in the morning from my parents house. I paced myself well, saw many runners on the trail, ran out of Nuun, stopped at a grocery store to refuel and even managed to pick up my pace for the last 2 km. It was just great…then I injured my ankle at soccer the following week….whomp, whomp!


Best new piece of running gear: It’s not necessarily “running gear” but I love my Qalo rings. My husband and I both got two rings each. He wears his all the time and I wear mine when  I run/workout. They are silicone rings that move with your finger if you are picking up weights (or other objects) and won’t catch on anything like a stretcher (my husband is a Paramedic).

Best running advice you’ve received this year: Best to not run and take time to heal.

Best Advice I Can Give: Just because you are injured now, will not mean you are injured later. Take time to rest, heal and get stronger.

Most inspirational runner: I was pretty excited to see Kyla from Early Bird Runner, run her first Boston Marathon. She trained well and finished solid. I also got to meet her last year when she was visiting home visiting family which was fun.

Favorite picture from a run or race this year: Maritime Race Weekend 5k. After a disappointing soccer injury, I was just happy to be running.

Year of Running.jpg

Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: I’ve already registered for Maritime Race Weekend 5k & Half Marathon (Tartan Twosome) for next September.

Worst Running Moment & Favourite Medal: Johnny Miles Half Marathon. This is only for personal reason, the event itself was wonderful and I want to do it again. This was my goal race.

It was to be my comeback race from my hamstring injury from the previous year. It was a weekend away with my running buddy. However, it was such a struggle – mentally and physically. Looking back, even though I felt I failed myself miserably, I ran at a time when I was grieving the lost of our dog. This might sound silly to some but I was more devastated about MacLean’s death the I ever thought I would be. It happened suddenly on Friday morning and I ran the half on Sunday morning.


It was extremely hot (that’s fine) but I struggled through every single step. I wanted to give up after 5k and quit but I kept running….and walked a lot. I almost ran a personal worst and I STILL don’t know my exact finish time. I cried at the finish. It was rough.

It’s taken a few months but I can say now that I am proud this finish and love this medal. Definitely, my favourite medal for 2016.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Disappointing, challenging and determined.

Eat Pray Run DC Year of Running 2016

The “Year of Running”is hosted by Courtney from Eat Pray Run. 

What’s your “Best” of 2016 in Running?

Who is your most inspirational runner?

Best running gear?

Treadmill Runs and Snowy Winter Runs

Though it’s not officially winter, we are now in winter running mode in Nova Scotia. We only have a little snow on the ground but the temps sure have dropped a lot recently. I was rudely reminded of how unprepared I was to run in these temps.

Living on the east coast of Canada, we can get a lot of snow. I love snow as it means I can ski (downhill and cross country), snowshoe and play outside with my kids.I don’t always love shoveling the snow and am thankful I have a snowblower.


After a busy day with the girls, I jumped on the #merrymill after 8pm for a quick 5k as I missed a few days of runs and workouts. It was a struggle but I also challenged myself a little more on the speed so it’s my own fault. I was warm, watched “This Is Us” and tried to hold back the tears at the end, ran upstairs mid run for my water since I forgot it and didn’t have to layer up with clothing.

Bonus: Christmas lights on my treadmill, oh yeah!



I managed to get out for a longer run. I was really hoping to run over 10km but was limited on time as my husband had to go to work. It was bloody cold out but I felt like I had enough on: base later was a tank, then long sleeve smart wool shirt and my jacket; buff around my neck, thermal running pants, long socks, toque and gloves.


The first few minutes I was freezing but I warmed up quickly and had the wind at my back. I knew this would come back to be unforgiving when I had to run against it on my way home. I ran out 4.5 km and turned around and felt completely done.

My stride was off due to the snow and ice underneath. I didn’t care about my pace but just wanted that distance. The wind was whipping through my running pants and my thighs were significantly cold – this is normal for me. However, I could have put another pair of pants underneath – lesson learned.

In the end, I managed 9k completed and was physically drained. I don’t want to come off as complaining about my run but it was a good challenge and I’m glad I completed what I did.

I love running outside but sure am thankful I have a treadmill to run on when my husband is away/working. Plus I love the advantage of staying warm in the winter when I run on the treadmill. However, there is nothing more satisfying then running in the cold temps, feeling the burn on your lungs and getting any distance completed. Okay, maybe there is…but I’ll take a treadmill run or run in the snow any day.

Snow Storm!

We are about to get a dumping of snow today: 15-20 cm of the white stuff so, I’m pretty sure I’ll be out doing the driveway at some point with my husband. Nothing says “date night” like shoveling your driveway, eh! Don’t be jealous! Check out my Instagram for snow storm updates!

Anyone have a snowy run? 

Favourite trick for keeping warm on longer runs?

Would you prefer to shovel the snow, use a snowblower or pay someone else to do it?

Double Workout  Day

It’s not it too often I pull off a double workout day, especially if I didn’t plan it or do it during training for a race. However, I managed to do so yesterday.

At lunch time, I quickly ran over to the yoga studio thinking I’d was late as a meeting I had went a little longer than expected. I was right on time, phew! There were only three of us in the class which was fun.

As I went through the warm up, I started to forget everything from the morning and I quickly settled into the class. I was feeling stiff from sitting most of Monday in a meeting and traveling to and from the city.  If felt good to stretch so I’d hold the pose just a little longer than normal.

Towards the end of the class I noticed my left big toe looked dirty…kinda odd I thought. So I looked at my right toe and wondered why it was so clean looking. Did I wear dirty flip flops recently and my toe strap was dirty? Nope, I’m all about warm socks these days (and clean feet). So, I poked it and it hurt. It was a bruise. A bruise from last week’s soccer game when someone stepped on my foot by accident. Apparently, I forgot all about it but it didn’t bother me until I saw it.

I got through the rest of my yoga class and an afternoon at work. Then I picked up the girls, got home and made dinner. I wanted to run, but I had already worked out. Should I run or just relax? And by relax I mean do house chores.  After doing dishes, getting the girls to bed and starting some laundry, I jumped on my treadmill at 8:10 PM.

I was motivated to decorate my treadmill with some Christmas lights from @mittenrunner on Instagram. My girls are going to laugh at the lights tomorrow and I’m sure my husband is just going to shake his head at me. Either way it was a fun way to run.

I managed to get in a 5k but happy to have accomplished that distance. I’m slow getting in some running this month mainly due to the busy weekend and being lazy Monday night. However, I managed an unplanned double workout day. I am taking that as a win!

Do you do double workout days often?  

Ever forget about a minor injury like a painful?

Decorate your treadmill or not? 

My Favourite Running Gifts for the Holidays

Now that the birthday weekend is done (two birthdays and LOTS of cake for our family), I can finally get focused on the holidays. I’ve done a little shopping here an there for our girls but have yet to buy anything for my husband for Christmas…though it was just his birthday yesterday.

A Few of My Favourite Running Things!

Over the last year I’ve tried a few more “things” that have become regular items for me when I run, play soccer, go to yoga or barre and workout at home. I’ll share them with you!  I have not been asked to promote these items by the companies, these are strictly my own opinion.

5 Running Must Haves This Holiday Season

Qalo Rings

At the beginning of the year I came across Qalo Rings online. They are a silicone ring. I was first drawn to their Blue Line which represents Paramedics/First Responders and thought it would be something that my husband would like. Funny enough, it was exactly what he wanted as his wedding ring would get caught on things at work. We each ordered a ring (dark blue below) and realised the sizes were too big. We contacted their customer service and it was extremely easy to exchange them for a smaller size.

My husband then order a second turquoise ring for me that I originally wanted but it was sold out when we went to make our purchase online. You can also have a special note engraved on the inside, which he did. And the best part about the turquoise ring, it glows in the dark! Our girls think it’s really funny. He also got a second one too that glows in the dark.

Qalo Ring

Why I like these rings: First off, they are super comfortable and easy to put on. I wear it when I run or workout at home with weights as my hands sometimes swell up. It moves with your finger and whatever you are holding or grabbing and doesn’t get caught on anything. They come with a little pouch that I use when I’m travelling. I’m confident my husband and I will have these rings for a long time.

I even wear it when I’m a wannabe-cyclist 😉

Anna S Polar Biking


Nuun are little tablets you add to water to make them an electrolyte enhanced drink. There are various flavours and as you can see below; I have a nice stash. My husband introduced me to Nuun a few years ago. They are gluten free, vegan, dairy (yeah) and soy free, safe for clean sport and made from plant based ingredients.


Why I like Nuun: When I first tried this product years ago, I actually didn’t like it.. WHAT?!?! Crazy, eh! It was about two years ago that I received a sample when I ordered a “bad ass mother running shirt” and I was pleasantly surprised. So I bought a tube and then bought a few more different flavours after a while. I am currently an ambassador for Nuun and no they didn’t ask me to write about their products. I like how convenient it is to travel with these tubes and the tablets don’t break. Plus, we then reuse the empty tubs for snacks for our girls or hair elastics in my bag.


I genuinely like this product and use it often. My favourite flavours are Tropical Fruit, Lemon/Lime and Fruit Punch. I’m hoping my Christmas stocking might have a tube in it this year 🙂

Night Runners 270 Lights

These things are great! I did a review last year you can read here. They are lights that you attach to your sneakers so you can see and been seen when running/walking in the dark. They have different levels of brightness and flashing red lights. They are light weight and I don’t feel them when I’m running.PicMonkey Collage

Why I like these lights: First off, they are easy to use. Second, I’m all about being visible when running in the dark. I also like that I can use them for more then running and that they have different levels of brightness. I’ve worn them running, cycling, raking leaves in my yard (true story) and even in the winter months.

Runners, you’ve got to be seen!

Lululemon Yoga Mat

I don’t know about you but when I stretch after I run, I need to have something under me. I usually do my stretches right away and it can involve my daughters from time to time. I’ve gone through a few yoga matts in the last 10+ years but only recently came across this one from Lululemon, which I won at a Yoga Festival this summer. Oh my, this one is the best!

Valley Yoga Fest 2

Why I love this mat: It’s a little thicker then my other mats and very cushioning. It feels good and comfortable under my feet, unlike my other mats that are pretty flat and basic. Basic is good but honestly, until I stepped on this mat I didn’t know what I was missing. When this one bites the dust (hopefully not for a while), I will invest in another one.

Race Entries

You can’t go wrong with this one! Everyone wants a free race entry, so if your significant other, friend or family member loves to run races – buy their race fees for them! Some events have “gift cards” for this type of thing. Or get creative and make them a running card with money in it for the race they want to register for. Trust me, you can’t go wrong.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without? 

What’s on your list for Christmas?

Ever receive a race entry as a gift? I have 🙂