Valley Harvest 10k Pace Bunny Recap ’17

Where to start? I had an absolute blast running this race. I was pacing the 1:10 pace (7:00 minute/km) and enjoyed every minute of it!

I started the day pretty early at 5:15am and snuck the dog out of the house for a quick pee without waking up the whole family. THIS was a big mother runner win! I needed a little time to wake up, change into my running gear but managed to get out the door about 6:08. With no traffic in sight, I made my way to Acadia University and parked on a side street to later avoid crossing runners on their route.

IMG_20171008_072711_857[1].jpg

I met up with with a few runner friends from the city and then got my 1:10 pace sign and bib. It was such a beautiful and WARM day….17c and it wasn’t even 7am at that point! It was a little muggy but still overcast which would later clear and just get hotter. I was able to see Ben Brown take off (Para Track Athlete) for his 10k, the full and half marathon runners start and then it was time for the 10ker’s to line up. We started at 8am.

My running buddy Krystol managed to find me (even with my sign not visible at the time) before we started. I had a few people say that I was their pace bunny or that they wanted to stay between me and Sherry (1:15 bunny). Perfect! As the gun went off we all shuffled forwards only to be halted abruptly as you are at the start of any race. A few laughs later and we were on our way again. Garmin’s chirping all around.

Traditional Pre Race Selfie with Krystol.

received_10155210601199611[1]

KM: One to Six

We weren’t very far into the first kilometre and I was worried I was running too fast. That first km is always the hardest to run the slowest but when you are a pace bunny you’ve got to be really careful. I slowed my pace down a little and kept moving forward. It was rather quiet during the first few kilometres but a lady in red (sorry, I can’t remember your name) started chatting with me. She had paced races before and asked how my pacing was. I said pretty accurate and she said “oh good”.

After climbing Hennigar’s Hill (on the way out) my pace slowed down a bit but I got it back on track and we were about 15-20 seconds ahead of the 7 minute/km pace. I thought I had missed the bucket to drop my sign in and was trying to decide what to do with it. Do I just drop it and pick it up on my way back, do I run with it the whole time – no???? Eventually, there was a volunteer collecting them and I gladly gave mine over and shook out my upper body.  You know, it’s not easy running with a sign!

Down the hill we went to the first water station where I gladly took some water – it was getting HOT! It was extremely flat at this point and runners (50 minute pace bunny) were coming on the opposite side of the road. I always love seeing super fast runners. I enjoyed a few conversations with some runners and made the turn around at the 5k mark. I started to lose a few runners who wanted to finish between 1:05 and 1:10. The sun was blasting on our faces at this point and occasional gusts of wind would stir up and push against us. Luckily another pace bunny (Greg) reminded me of this at the start and I was prepared.

After the wind, we hit the water station again (yes please). We then climbed the hill by the Irvin gas station which I think is the hardest one on runners. The location and the incline and really can get you and as a continuous pace bunny, there was no stopping. I just kept going but slowed down my pace slightly, cheered on those running or walking and made my way up the hill to recover at the top with a slow pace before picking it up again.

KM: Six – Ten.

As I mentioned, I lost a few runners at this point – they either picked up their pace or dropped behind me but I always had small groups of people near by. We had half marathon’s zoom by us which was amazing!

Screenshot_2017-10-11-08-58-04-1[1]

 

Back towards Hennigar’s hill – the last major hill to climb – I again, just kept moving forward and encouraged other runners. From there it was smooth sailing at a nice and steady pace. Towards the last kilometre there is a long incline that most people forget about or don’t realise they still need to run UP before entering the track. As we got to the top I was a little worried I was too fast for my time but managed to smooth it out a bit.

The track is like heaven on your body at the end of this race. The pounding on the pavement vs pounding on the nice soft track is like night and day. I managed to find my running buddy and kept going to the finish line.

One ear up!

Picture_20171011_084419690[1]

I crossed in 1:09:37 out of my 1:10 pace time! I’m pretty happy with my time though there is a little part of me that wished I was closer to the 1:10 like I did two years ago (1:09:59). I had a blast!  I had a few runners come up and thank me for pacing them which was awesome. To know that you did the job that was expected of you during the race is pretty darn sweet.

I guzzled a bottle of water, stretched and grabbed a cookie and banana before heading back out again. WHAT? Yes, that’s right. Most of the pace bunnies when back out on the course to help other runners in. This was a whole other experience.

Post race….happy runners!

received_10155210561799611[1]

Pacing others.

Though my race pace duties were done, I went back on the course and cheered on the runners. You know sometimes that little boost is all a runner needs. I saw some runner friends and lots of people I didn’t know. I came across this lady (which I never got her name) but she wasn’t feeling great and just done. So we walked together for a bit and then ran and walked some more. She had run a half marathon the week before (amazing, eh!!!!) but just wasn’t feeling great during this half.

We talked a bit more and made our way into the stadium on that sweet soft track where we walked again. I took her water belt as it didn’t seem to be comfortable for her, so I figured I could carry it and she’d feel a little better. She made her way to the finish line and I stayed with her for a bit. This was probably the best part of pacing – helping a complete stranger finish her half marathon when I believe, all she wanted to do was stop. I wish I would have gotten her name as I’d love to connect with her to see how she made out.

I went back out a few more times and some runners where really having a hard time with the heat. I reminded them to slow their breathing down along with their pace and ran them through to the finish area. There is nothing better then the finish line at a race. To see the faces of all the runners (the fastest to the slowest) is amazing. The blood, sweat and tears that have gone into all that training and their final run – a great accomplishment achieved!

I’ve had a few people say “how do you pace a race?”. Well, you run your run. You trust yourself (practice your pace). You use a Garmin or two like me. You do the math in your head constantly and focus on the other runners not yourself. In the end, you cross the finish line when you cross the finish line and more then likely if you’ve done your job right, you crossed as close to your finish time as possible.

Eventually, I had to leave to get back to my family and make the trip to the city for Thanksgiving dinner with my larger family. That meal was THE BEST MEAL EVER! I ate so much and then crashed hard at 9pm. My body was done!

A big hats off to all the pace bunnies with White Rabbit Pacing last weekend. They all did amazing! I’m looking forward to pacing again next year.

How was your weekend/Thanksgiving?

Anyone race? 

Love hot races in the fall or hate them?

 

 

Advertisements

Valley Harvest Kids Run Recap ’17

WHAT A BEA-U-TI-FUL WEEKEND! We had summer like temperatures over Thanksgiving weekend – what more could you ask for!

We started off our weekend by moving a cord of word…yeah…all four of us. Though I’m sure it might have been more productive if it was just 1 or 2 of us big people moving it but the girls wanted to help. PSA – playing the soundtrack of “SING” can make your kids enjoy outdoor chores that much better. And it can provide entertainment when they start randomly dancing and singing.

IMG_20171007_115049_178[1]

After that, the girls and I grabbed a quick lunch and left for the Valley Harvest Kids run while my husband stayed back and finished cleaning up the last bits of wood. It was HOT; like 27c but felt like 34c! They got their race shirts and bibs and we hung out with some friends.

Picture_20171010_113558624[1]

There were a few age categories before us (under 5 girls/boys A-M, N-Z), then Hilary ran 800m (5-6 yrs) and Lilly ran 1200m (7-9 yrs). Hilary wasn’t too sure she wanted to run it by herself so her and her friend B started the race and I joined them. They both had smiles on their faces and were just LOVING it! They were the happiest runners I’ve seen in a while!

Picture_20171010_113712465[1]

This would be Lilly’s first time running 1200m; around the track, outside the stadium, around another field and back into the stadium to finish. Again, she had a smile on her face that you couldn’t wash off. She walked a little around the field but said she felt good and just kept going when she was ready.

Picture_20171010_113916262[1]

Once all the kids in our little group finished we quickly went inside to hide from the heat, get a snack. After sorting out a little meltdown with Hilary, we decided to head home for the day so Mommy could go carb load for her race the next day 😉

It was such a great event. SO MANY KIDS running! Though for parents it might be a crazy and busy time waiting for your child’s race to start in the heat but it’s so worth it. To see your kid run and enjoy it (hopefully) is a pretty awesome thing! Whatever sport or activity my girls participate in, I love watching them. I like to see the joy on their faces, see them making decisions on their own and coming up with their own strategies to navigate through those decisions.

Fun medals!

Picture_20171010_115053626

It was also so much fun watching other kids run (and some parents too). They ran so fast, so hard, so happy and there were a few tears here and there. I greatly appreciate the time and energy that goes into a running even and even more so when it’s a FREE kids event! Yeah, it was free for all kids! Great job Valley Harvest Marathon!

Anyone’s kids run at the VHM?

Do you enjoy watching your kids (nieces/nephews) at races?

Can you believe the weather we had on {Canadian} Thanksgiving Weekend?

 

Pacing It Up at Valley Harvest Marathon

Only a few days away until the Valley Harvest Marathon oh, AND Thanksgiving Weekend! You know there is nothing better then a good run (race) and then eating all the Thanksgiving food you can!

Sunday, I’ll be lacing up my runners and pacing the 1:10 – 10k (and eating later that day). Two years ago I was lucky enough to pace my first ever race with White Rabbit Pacing at Valley Harvest Marathon. I ran the 10k  – 1:10 finish and finished in 1:09:59. You can read about how it went here.

I may have had a lot of fun!
Finish photo at Valley Harvest marathon Pace Bunny

Valley Harvest Marathon is a great local event and it’s celebrating it’s 25th year!!!! I’m excited to be apart of White Rabbit Pacing again and hoping I manage to finish in one hour and ten minutes.

Pacing for me is a way to help other runners accomplish their goals. It’s a way of meeting new runners. A way of contributing to the running community – and local community at that.  I plan to wear my tutu and bunny ears again, fingers crossed the weather holds out!

1:10 – 10k Plan

My plan is to run a continuous pace of 6:55 – 7:00 per kilometre (not 10/1’s) to ensure that we finish in 1:10. Below is roughly the pace I’ll be aiming for – give or take a few seconds on the few hills and to recover.

  • 1km – 6:55
  • 2km – 13:50
  • 3km – 20:45
  • 4km – 27:40
  • 5km – 34:35
  • 6km – 41L30
  • 7km – 48: 25
  • 8km – 55:20
  • 9km – 1:02:15
  • 10km 1:09:10

So if you are running the Valley Harvest 10k this weekend and wanting to finish under 1:10 or around it – come find me. Introduce yourself and let me know what time you are wanting to finish in (well before me or with me). I’m really looking forward to having people to run with but also having people reach their goals and finish before 1:10 as well.

You can pick me out in the crowd!

And maybe one of my ears 😉

where's anna 10k pace bunny 2

Good luck to all those running Valley Harvest this weekend! And good luck to all those eating Thanksgiving dinners – don’t forget your stretchy pants!!! Check back on Tuesday for an update on my run as Monday I’ll be recovering from eating all the food 🙂 Or you can follow me over on Instagram for some updates.

Have you ever paced a race before?

Have you ever used a pace bunny (pacer) to finish in a certain time?

Have you ever avoided a pacer to finish in a certain time? (I have!)

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving this weekend! 

September Mileage & October Goals

Another month, another list of numbers to add up. I was hoping September would be a little more active but life happens and sometimes you are forced to slow down.

Even with missing my half, I was still active. The highlight would be a toss up of running my last long run of 18k (early September) and running 13k at Cape Split with my husband. If I had to chose one of those to do this weekend – I’d chose Cape Split with Saï – it’s just so beautiful and to be honest, I love running with him.

I mean really….this is the view at Cape Split!

IMG_20171003_084615_827[1]

September Goals:

HA! I almost want to laugh at my goals for September! Some I accomplished and some I didn’t. I did try!

  • Back to school (celebrate!) – Yeah!
  • Run Maritime Race Weekend Tartan Twosome (5k & Half marathon) – NOPE.
  • Keep running post half marathon. Well, I did run later in the month, does that count?
  • Ride my bike more – maybe 50 km of cycling. – Nope, na-ta!
  • Bullet Journal my running. – YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been loving the #journaltherunproject on IG during the last two months.

IMG_20171002_085730_405[1].jpg

October Goals:

  • Pace Valley Harvest 10k – 1:10 finish time – Oct 8th.
  • Enjoy time with family (especially on Thanksgiving – Oct 8th).
  • Visit Pumpkin People and do a Corn Maze with our girls.
  • Complete October’s “Journal the Run Project”.
  • Continue to get my back/chest better (related to car accident from back in March).

All ready to put my mark on October!

Picture_20171003_150215668[1]

How was your September?

Any goals for October? It is a BIG race month after all! 

Have you heard of #journaltherunproject on IG before?

 

Sometimes You Just Need to Run

Sometimes you just need to run – that statement has been true for me the last few weeks. If you missed why I wasn’t running or had a DNS for my MRW half marathon – check out the post here.

Almost every day for two weeks, I just wanted to run but I couldn’t until I was “cleared”. So once I was allowed to run, I did. Taking two weeks off running kinda sucks. My lungs hurt after that first run. My body ached for two days after that first run. I just needed that run even if my lungs hurt or my body was going to ache.

Saturday I went for a “long run” to test out pacing for my upcoming race. I’m pacing the Valley Harvest Marathon 10k – 1:10 finish on Sunday (Canadian Thanksgiving). Oh I can’t wait to eat all the food as well. This will be my second time pacing this race, this distance and this pace with White Rabbit Pacing – I’m kinda excited!

Before last Saturday’s run, I just wanted to get out their and test out my legs, my lungs and my pace. I had no plans of where I was going to run until I stepped outside. I had no clue how far I wanted to run until I hit the 5k mark and decided I should turn around and head home. I had no plan other then to practice pacing and then had a little fun on the last two km’s.

IMG_20170930_133445_007[1].jpg

I practiced my pace of 7:00 minute per kilometre. I really want to run 6:55/km this Sunday in order to finish under 1:10 but I’ll talk more about that in my next post. So I ran, up a steep hill that I thought I was going to die on and figured that if I can do this now, next week will be easier. I ran on rolling hills, an old unpaved country road with cows and horses on each side of the road. I got chased by a dog for a minute until the owner called it back – that wasn’t really fun. But, I ran.

I just needed that long run. A confidence booster after my bubble was burst out of my hands a few weeks ago. I’m moving on from that thankfully but sometimes you just want to run! I needed that run Saturday.

How was your weekend?

When was the last time you needed a run? (or ride, yoga etc).

Anyone take in any fall-like activities?

September Runfessions

Lots of runfessions this month! Oh September….how I wish I could rewind you. I feel like each month I sit down and review what I did or didn’t do, I’m still amazed that the month is ending!

September is such a busy month: back to school, work picks up, new activities are starting, birthday parties, races to run, family obligations and just daily life can exhaust you. We had a touch of fall weather only to be followed by a surprise heat of the summer during the last week and we are now back to fall! I’m holding off on running in leggings and long sleeves but it’s going to be hard.

Runfessions

Runfession #1: Though I’m sad to see summer end I’m finally ready for fall. I will runfess that I miss running early in the morning before anyone else us up. I miss the sunrise on my long runs and the feeling of accomplishing yet another distances in my half marathon training.

Picture_20170814_094723655[1]

Runfession #2: What half marathon you ask? Yeah, that’s how I feel too! After finishing 11.5 weeks of great training, I runfess that I had a “DNS” at Maritime Race Weekend. Some days I wonder if I’m even supposed to run this half marathon as I was unable to do it last year as well due to injury. Is this a sign or just unlucky? 

Runfession #3: I took a much needed social media break the weekend I was supposed to run my half marathon. I logged out of all the apps on my phone. I ignored people’s posts and I disengaged from it all. I even took a two week hiatus from this blog. I runfess that I just needed to disengage from it all.

Runfession #4: I didn’t run that half marathon because two days before I had some health problems related to my heart and was told by the ER Dr. and head of Cardiology not to run the race. (I’m fine). I tried to laugh it off  when the Dr. told me not to run but that didn’t really work. I also tried to really enjoy walking over the last two weeks because that’s all I was allowed to do. You know walking is lovely but it sure isn’t running.

I wasn’t very pleasant to be around (Sorry family). Really, I was stressed out. However, after more testing my heart is absolutely fine and I have nothing to worry about. I was even given the go ahead to run an upcoming local race by the Cardiologist, pretty sure he’s a runner as he knew of ALL the races.

Good news, i’m back to running in the evenings….

IMG_20170927_213224_060[1].jpg

Runfession #5: I runfess that I still want to run the Maritime Race Weekend on my own soon. I don’t share this one lightly or because “if you write it down, you’ll be more likely to do it”. No, I share this because I genuinely want to run the half marathon at Maritime Race Weekend. So, I might just go do it randomly one weekend that works for my family.

There…………I shared, I runfessed, I feel better. Now to enjoy running over the next few weeks and oh, one more runfession! I runfess that I’ll be pacing the Valley Harvest Marathon 10k (1:10 finish) again!!! I’m really looking forward to it and {Canadian} Thanksgiving weekend on Oct 8th.

Have anything you want to runfess?

When was the last time you took a social media break? 

Ever run a course of a race after the fact?

You can check out my other Runfession posts: AugustJuly, JuneMay, AprilMarchFebruary, and JanuaryI’m linking up with Marcia for today’s Runfessions post. It’s hosted on the last Friday of each month.

Runfessions-300x294

Fall is here. So is Apple Picking.

I didn’t really want to say Goodbye to summer but with the weather we are having the last 4-5 days, it still feels like hot summer days! I’ll eventually embrace fall with cozy sweaters, socks and maybe even a cup of tea. Who am I kidding, it will be hot chocolate – not a tea drinker.

One thing we do every fall is go apple picking. We’ve been going to Gates Farm in Port William (NS) for the last three years. This past weekend, we decided to go last minute. They do a wagon ride around their orchard and tell you the best spots to pick the apples or pears. We even got some small pumpkins – it just fees too early for pumpkins 😉

Hiking through the fields

Picture_20170925_125629772[1]

You can’t go apple/pear picking without tasting 1 of each. OR 2,3,4…..!

Picture_20170925_125022185[1].jpg

Pretty sure this bag is too heavy Mom!

Picture_20170925_125129799[1].jpg

After filling these two bags, she was calling it a day!

Picture_20170925_125818125[1].jpg

One last stop to check out the sunflowers. 

Picture_20170925_125236815[1].jpg

In the end, we had two – 10lbs bags of mixed apples and pears! Guess I should get baking! I’m hoping we can get in a corn maze and some pumpkin people next month! It’s hard to believe that October is next week!

What’s the one thing you are looking forward to the most this fall?

Do you go apple, pear, or pumpkin picking?

Is it feeling like fall or still summer for you?