January Mileage

With no planned mileage for January, I managed some decent numbers. I’m pretty happy with my mileage in January.

I was sick for close to three weeks but plugged through it and tried to keep active. January is usually a very low running mileage month for me, mainly because we are skiing or snowshoeing. Between a few wintery outdoor runs, indoor soccer games, a trip to England with my family, a few ski days and one yoga class, my monthly mileage was pretty good!

I’ve yet to set any goals for the year but I’m working on a list of “things I want to do”.

It’s super cold….everywhere, so its bundle up in layers season everywhere too. I’m hoping to get in a few more outdoor runs in February.

I’m still doing my bullet journal and got a little more colourful in January. Also, I’m currently writing this from my phone and thinking this might be the new way of blogging for me. Quick, short posts sandwiched between some longer posts. We’ll see!

How are you staying warm?

How was your January?

Do you prefer to read quick blog posts or longer posts?

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2018 Running Wrap Up (Late, I know)

I’m not very on top of wrapping up 2018, am I? It’s almost the end of January and I’m just getting around to it now.

2018 was a year of trying to avoid injury and get back to enjoying running again. I signed up for two half marathons, one 5 miler, a 10k and paced a 10k race as well.

The Bluenose Half Marathon was my first race of the year (May) and mainly signed up because a friend of mine convinced me to (well in advance). We both started our training plans in February and both managed to get through it all. The course was in reverse direction from previous years so that intrigued me for some reason.

I’m not going to lie, it was rough! Well, the first 11-13km was great – really great and then it all went downhill for me. Actually, it was literally all uphill from 13k on…hill after hill, after hill but I sure wasn’t ready for some of those climbs. The rain wasn’t a problem – even the downpour of rain didn’t bother me during the last few kilometers but those hills were a killer. In the end, we both had a great run. I finished in 2:25 – not awesome but I was happy to finish.

Then came summer with no races planned but lots of soccer, swimming and cycling. I started training for my next half marathon which I’d run later in October.

September brought two races my way. I ran the Berwick 5 miler which I feel this could be one of my favourite routes to run in a race. It’s super flat with an incline that lasts forever but not bad. I hope to run this again in 2019. I look like I’m dying in the photo below, that’s because I was. I pushed the pace in this race, something I haven’t done in a long time. I was literally trying to catch my breath when this was taken. Note my kids on the right hand side of the photo are clearly NOT concerned about me!

In September I also ran the Maritime Race Weekend 10k and felt great during that run – another great event! It was an extremely hot morning once the fog lifted but a great course on run on by the ocean! Finish line photo from my running buddy Krystol, (the only race we ran together.

During the month of September I managed to run 123 km training for my October half marathon. I’ve never run this much before in a month and most of these runs were done at 5:30 am or 6 am. I was finally doing some speed work and seeing the result during my runs.

October arrived and I was lucky enough to be a pace bunny for the 10k (1:10 finish time) at the Valley Harvest Marathon with True North Pacing. This was my third time pacing this distance and time and finished in 1:10:06!! I’m pretty sure I love pacing races more then I do running them for myself. It’s a lot of fun, motivating and inspiring.

A week later, my husband and I drove over to PEI (4.5 hour drive) to run the PEI Half Marathon together. Well, not really together since he runs so much faster than me but you know what I mean.

We both had awesome races. Saï finished in 1:46 and I in 2:16. I managed to knock off 9 minutes from my May half marathon. We had a great weekend away with our kids – yes, we run races while on vacation without our kids. I’ve already said to Saï that we have to pick our race for this year to run together.

So, 2018 was a great year for running some great races in Nova Scotia and PEI. Though some were rough, challenging, some were amazing experiences and an chance to continue being active in the sports I love.

How was your 2018?

Have you planning out your 2019 races? (I have not)

Anyone repeating a race from last year? (I will be – likely many).

Sneaking in a few more KM in 2018

I’ve been trying to sneak in a few more running kilometres the last week or so. Nothing major – just a handful of 5k’s here and there.

We survived the holidays, enjoyed some much needed family time with LOTS of good food and laughs. I even packed up the tree today! Kinda early for me to pack Christmas in but to be honest, I’m ready to move on from Christmas and have my house back to normal. (Well, as normal as it can be with two kids – we have sports gear EVERYWHERE not to mention toys and books …. but I love it).

We’ve had some crazy weather recently: -9c one day and then plus 9c the next day! Snow, rain, and now everything is frozen! I’ve barely used my #merrymill lately mainly because I’m running more with Carmacks but I have a feeling I’ll be using it more in the coming months.

I’ve reached my running goal for the year but still just enjoying some short runs to keep me active in between playing soccer and skiing!! We got in our first ski day last week and hoping to get there again before the girls are back to school!

Hard to believe that 2018 is almost done but you know what? I think I’m ready for a new year! Lots of fun adventures ahead!

I’m super excited to become a Endurance Tap Ambassador for 2019! If you haven’t tried Endurance Tap…aka…amazing maple syrup – oh I mean, fuel (maple syrup, ginger and sea salt) for your runs/rides etc. Keep an eye out in the new year!

I’m also returning to Tiux as an Ambassador – my favourite go to compression socks. Still wearing them, still loving them. You can use ANNASTIUX for 20% of your order!

I’m working on some year end posts that will likely be posted early in 2019. Stay tuned for some wrap up posts: 2018 running and mileage totals!

Anyone else getting in a few more km/miles before the end of 2018?

Have you set your 2019 goals yet? ) I haven’t.

Any New Year’s Eve plans?

As always, you can find me posting on IG at “pipersrun”.

Wintry Morning Runs

Never thought I’d say this but wintry morning runs seem to be my thing lately!

I like to walk my dog before my husband leaves for work so that I don’t have to walk him with my girls before they go to school, and I to work. They aren’t overly enthused in the mornings to begin with. So telling them they have to walk Carmacks with me in freezing cold temps doesn’t always go over well.

This morning I was awake around 5am for no reason. I tried desperately to fall back to sleep but when my husband’s alarm went off at 5:30am, I figured I’d just get up then too.

It took me 30 minutes to pull myself together but Carmacks and I started our run at 6am. So close to the #5at5am club but I’ll take the 6am start time. He was pumped as he always is. Running in the snow is his thing! I swear he’d live outside again if we lived outside but that’s not happening.

Off we went, only running into one other dog and it’s owner. Carmacks cried to say hello but we kept going. Up and down the slippery snowy streets in the dark of the morning. Some people still had their Christmas lights on so that was fun to see.

We finished off our run with a morning chat with my neighbour before heading inside. Carmacks is all business when he gets back….feed me, feed me and then rest. I’m more like a sloth….slowly stretching, taking off my gear, saying hi to the girls and then off to the shower before the real day starts.

Right now I’m enjoying these early morning runs even with the cold temps and snow under-footing. It also means I don’t have to run tonight after the 2nd Christmas Concert this week!

Also it’s my 7th blog-anniversary! Wow….seven years with this blog!!!

Are you all ready for the holidays?

Are you into early morning runs this winter?

Anyone else have Christmas Concerts this week?

Work, Run, Shop, Repeat

With Christmas fast approaching, I’m feeling like I’m not ready for it yet but don’t worry I’m still getting in my running! Priorities….priorities.

Just kidding….well, I’m kinda not. With two birthdays at the beginning of December in our house, it’s hard to think past those and to Christmas sometimes. Weekends are packed with basketball games times two and soon to be ski trips to the hill. We have Christmas parties (hosting) and basketball jamborees this coming weekend – at least we got our tree up last weekend. I’m ready for Christmas break just to do nothing, ha!

As for gifts, I’m mostly done shopping but feeling like I don’t have “enough”. Not that my kids/husband need all kinds of stuff but I just don’t feel ready. Baking hasn’t even been planned though I’m pinning a tone of vegan cookie recipes lately. 

Work is still in full speed which isn’t normal this time of year for us. The good news is that I’m still running, playing soccer and hitting up yoga class when my work schedule permits. I’m really loving yoga after running early in the morning. It’s a nice change mid day!

I seem to be getting into a pattern of early morning runs on Tuesday’s. I’m not sure why. It could be the fact that my husband works that day and if he’s getting up at 5:30….I’m awake too (just can’t sleep thorough it). It’s also the best time for me to get up and walk our dog before he leaves for work. And well, since we have a retired sled dog…..he kinda loves to run! 

Carmacks and I have been running 1-2 times a week and sometimes my husband takes him on his runs. Carmacks is racking up the mileage right now. Clearly, the picture below is not in the early morning hours but after one of our muddy runs a few weeks back.

I’ve even managed one run recently with my running buddy Krystol!!!!! We can just never seem to get our schedules to align but last weekend we did. It was bitterly cold…like -11c but felt like -18c. The plan was 7-8k and I called it at 5k. You win some you lose some but at least we got out together!

Anyone else feeling not “ready” for Christmas?

COLD weather runner or not?

Any early morning runners here? Raise your hand!

The Book Gift Guide (from a non-reader runner)

Let me preface this post with the fact that I’m not a big reader. I enjoy reading but it’s not something I usually make time for. I value reading and appreciated it but I don’t always love it. Unbeknownst to me, this past year I’ve read more books then ever.

I thought I would share with you some of the books I read as they all are great books (and great gift ideas for the holidays). This is not a sponsored post, nor was I asked to promote these books. I either bought the book or went to my local library and loaned it out. Most of these books I saw through social media shares from people I follow as recommendations. You know what they say about like minded people? Well, you tend to like the same things.

Fitness Junkie: I’ve seen this book time and time again on social media and figured I’d give it a go. My local library didn’t have it in stock so they ordered it and I was the first one to read it. Nothing like cracking open a book from the library for the first time. It’s a funny read about the fitness world and all the crazy (yeah, crazy) trends out there and the length people will go to obtain “the look”. It’s a fun and easy read that I think anyone would enjoy. 

Strong – Kara Goucher. This is one book I will use and reuse year after year. I’m only half way through it but I can see how it can be used over and over again. It’s a very goal-oriented, motivational tool you can have in your back pocket as a runner. But also, not just as a runner. I think any sport / athlete could use this book to help you set goals and reach them. 

I highly recommend reading it and taking the time to sit down to write out your goals. When I read it on my car ride to the city last weekend, my mind was popping out goals and ideas for next year with excitement. Since 2019 is approaching fast, now’s a great time to set you goals for next year! I’ve started to set mine because of reading this book. Some are lofty goals but ones I want to reach as a runner.

North – Scott Jurek. I was able to snag the audio book this summer from my local library. Over a period of three weeks, I listened to the book while driving around to meetings. Sometimes, I’d be in my car for 1-2 hours one way, so it was easy to listen to the book and get through the chapters. 

This book is an amazing story to read (listen) to. It’s about Scott finding his way while running along the Appalachian Trail, along with his wife being his support crew. He tells it like it is, honest, funny and engaging. I loved that his wife…Jenny was part of the storytelling. It brought a whole other perspective when hearing a female voice telling her part of their story. To be honest, it was “their” story that was told.  I’d love to buy the actual book and read but really enjoyed listening to the audio book. I’d really recommend the audio book as a nice change and a bonus to hear their actual voices tell their story. 

Redefining Realistic – Heather Moyse. Nothing better then reading a motivational book from a “local” Olympian. By local, I mean from the Maritimes, not Nova Scotia.

Heather is an extremely inspiring Olympian (bobsled) but successful in other sports: rugby and track cycling. Her book dives into redefining your realistic perspective, your potential and how to own your story. It’s the kind of book you feel like your just having a conversation with her and learning about her life experiences and how they brought her to where she is now – in a realistic kinda of way. I liked hearing about the impact people made on her life – whether is was good or bad. It’s not just for the athlete, her knowledge can apply to anyone.

Sweet Ride by Ann Barry. Now this is local! It’s a really cute book about these four women who ride their bikes from the South Shore in Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island and back again through the Annapolis Valley back in the 1943 (World War II). Not an easy trek by any means. 

It shares their story along with some adventures and challenges they faced. I enjoyed reading about their adventures but also knowing the routes they took and the communities they road through and places they stopped. If you are from Nova Scotia, are a cyclist or just enjoy local authors, this is a great little book to read. 

If you are like me and don’t always love to read but kinda enjoy it and want to read more, give one of these books a try. I’m hoping my new interest in reading this past year will continue to grow and I may actually love it one day. I’m always looking for book suggestions so feel free to leave me one of your favourite books in the comments. 

What are you reading right now?

What’s the number one book you’d recommend right now?

Any favourite local books you want to share?

Merry Mill Time of Year

Oh December, I can’t believe you are here already! Snow storms (4 days and counting), birthday’s to celebrate (6 year old and 40+ year old), basketball games, soccer games, Christmas concerts and then Christmas! Oh, and we are getting a new roof – happy Christmas to us! 

I broke down and got on my treadmill last week but before I ran on it I decided it was time to decorate it. We don’t decorate for Christmas until after our two family members birthdays  – mainly to keep them separate and hopefully make their birthdays FEEL like a birthday. I needed a little boost for my treadmill run that day and figured the lights would be great.

This is my third year decorating my treadmill…also known as the “merry mill” until I take them down. I didn’t start this trend but another mother runner I follow on Instagram did @mittenrunner.

I’m thinking I might need a few more lights or some garland but we’ll see. My daughter’s think it’s hilarious that I’ve decorated it and want the lights on all the time. It sure makes running inside in December that much better. 

I missed the two local Santa runs on the weekend as my girls had basketball and we had a twelve 6 year olds celebrating our daughters birthday. I’m hoping to get out with a few friends and do our own Santa run!

Any motivational tricks you do for treadmill running in December? 

What’s your favourite way to run and celebrate the holidays?

What’s your least favourite thing about December?