Apple Tree Foundation 5k Recap

I’ve been working hard at my running goals the last few months and have signed up for a few races. I also have a few on “The List” waiting for when I can afford to pay their registration fees. Some of my goals this year are to:

1. Run 5k under 30 minutes. More specifically, under 29:16 minutes – April 10th 2014

2. Run 10k under 60 minutes.

3. And run my second 1/2 Marathon. Preferably under 2:33:56

The last few months I’ve been “working” at running 5k under 30 minutes and trying to get a PB/PR and have been successful over the last month.  {29: 39, then 29:34, more recently 28:54 –> goal accomplished}

I signed up for the ATF 5k a few weeks ago knowing very little about the event. I didn’t sleep well Saturday night, not sure why but just couldn’t relax and fall asleep. I was up once with Hilary at 1:25 AM and then woke up just after 7am with Lilly snoozing beside me. I have no idea what time she crawled in bed with me so I guess I slept hard 🙂

We got up, had breakfast: bagels with peanut butter, banana’s, a little OJ for me and milk for the girls. Since my husband is away working, my Dad came down to hang out with the girls while I ran. They were all going to come to the run but it was supposed to be rather cold and raining buckets so we decided they would stay home. They ended up playing outside with Grandad for an hour {thank you}.

Flat Piper was ready the night before:

Flat Piper

Flat Piper

But was real Piper ready?

I got dressed and put everything I wanted to bring in a plastic bag. Plastic bag? I know…I just couldn’t find the right bag to put my “stuff” in. I left the girls and went down to run 1-2k on the treadmill to warm up my legs and then realised I left my key’s upstairs. So much for trying to make a clean get-a-way. Poor Hilary struggles sometimes when I leave her, but apparently that didn’t last long.

As I got to the event, I saw a few youth “warming up”. Oh dear lord I thought…what have I got myself into. I heard music pumping at the start area and I decided to go register/get my bib. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I really knew nothing about the event. It was a fundraiser for the Rehabilitation Centre and they were raising money for a new Wheel-chair accessible van.

Wasn't sure which shoe to wear - oldie or newbie. Newbie one in the last few minutes.

Wasn’t sure which shoe to wear – oldie or newbie. Newbie won in the last few minutes.

I got my bib and went back to my car to stay warm. A few other runners trickled in and then it was time to head to the start. There were about 15-20 of us running! This is by far the smallest run I have ever participated in…my nerves went through the roof. Young kids, middle-aged adults and 1 senior plus two-wheel chair athletes. Oh My!

The 5k run/walk was open to all abilities. It was great to see Ben at the beginning, he worked in our office a few years ago as an Rec. Intern. We chatted and I took his photo to send to him later. It was time to line up so the group of us gathered at the start behind the youth…off went the horn. My Green Garmin just caught the signal as the horn went off.


I started running with a lady named Mardi – we were behind the youth and then I moved forward a little with a guy named Wes or Wesley (60+ winner), we chatted a bit and then I decided I was ready to move my legs a little faster on the incline/hill.

I was running fast. My Garmin kept beeping at me “ahead of pace”, then “on pace” and back to “ahead of pace”. It was flat and fast. I didn’t want to stop at the water station or drink any water but the volunteer made great efforts to have the water ready for me, so I took it.

At the 1/2 way mark, my Garmin was reading a little ahead of 2.5k but I just kept running anyway. I turned around and started making my way back. Between the 3.5 and 4k mark I slowed down a bit and then pushed it during the last km.

I was breathing hard at this point but the end was in sight……FOREVER! I could see the RED “Running Room” arch and it looked so far away. Just a little before the finish line my watch beeped 5k and read 28:00. I kept running strong through to the actual finish line. It read 28:24….I’ll take both, thank you. I forgot to actually stop my Garmin until a few minutes had passed so I don’t have my Garmin finish time but it said I ran my fastest 5k to date!


{5:33;  5:31;  5:39;  5:45;  5:36}

It was a fun little event, too bad that more people didn’t show up but I am hoping that if they do it again, the word will get out. Great little course, fun volunteers, nice little running community – what more could you want in a running event.

When I got home and started stretching, both of my girls where “stretching” too …it was awesome!

Anyone race this weekend?

Does your Garmin/tracking device ever give you a different distance then what you are racing?

Ever been in a race with a wheel chair athlete?




ATF Run – 5k

A few weeks ago I signed up for a 5k run/walk event called ATF – which to be honest when I saw it online randomly a month ago, I had no idea what ATF even stood for.  I later found out it’s for ‘Apple Tree Foundation’ which is a non-profit organization that supports a local Rehabilitation Centre.

The registration fee was $25 – $30 depending on when you register  and open to all ages and abilities {fantastic}. It’s actually taking place 7 minutes from my house. Why 7 minutes? Because it’s located right beside the Fire Hall where my husband is a volunteer 😉 so he know’s how long it takes to drive there.

I signed up by myself and am completely unsure how many people will be at this event. When I registered she said she had a handful of people but more were interested. We’ll see how it goes, I’m kinda nervous!

After checking the weather report for Sunday morning…….



…….I got “Flat Piper” all ready to go!!!

Flat Piper

Flat Piper

Yes, 3 degrees celsius (feels like -1 c)…out came the running gloves, winter hat and my long warmer running pants plus a few layers of clothing. It’s hard to know how to dress for such temperatures SO late in April….April 27th to be exact! It really shouldn’t be this cold right now.

Anyway, I’m all ready to go…planning on a little 1-2k on “The Beast” (treadmill) to warm up my legs before I go and then take my 7 minute drive to the event. I do know it’s a timed event so I may get an official time out of it – don’t worry….just in case, I’m bringing my bestie with me….Green Garmin’s coming along for the ride!.

Wish me luck… I’ve scheduled this to post right at the start of my run! So, really……..I’m running right …. NOW!

Anyone running today? Training or race?

Do you get your clothes ready the night before or leave it to the last minute?

Ever sign up for a run and have no idea what to expect? (Number of runners/walkers, the route etc).

Yawn…why am I tired?

Yawn, yawn goes my face today. I slept like a log last night and couldn’t figure out why I was so tired this morning. Then I had the following two conversations that made me laugh, both times… out loud.

Conversation #1 with my husband: 

Me: How was your night?

Sai: Pretty good, had one patient and then it was a quiet night. And yours?

Me: Well, after I got the girls to bed, I took out the compost, shoveled the driveway, did the dishes, washed/dried some laundry then ran 5k, showered and stretched. I got up at some point but can’t really remember if it was with one of the girls or just for me to use the bathroom. I slept like a log.

Sai: Ahh, well that’s a long list of things you did. Could be why you are so tired this morning.

Me: Humm…yes!

Conversation #2 today – with my Mother:

Me: Dialing phone number as I yawn into the phone and say hello mid-yawn.

Mom: You’re tired dear. What were you doing?

Me: Well, last night …after I got the girls to bed, I took out the compost, shoveled the driveway, did the dishes, washed/dried some laundry then ran 5k, showered and stretched.

Mom: While laughing, she replies with “you lost me a ran 5k”. You should really rest tonight, dear.

Me: Yawn…good idea Mom!

Apparently if you sleep like a log it doesn’t always mean you are well rested.


Tonight’s plan after the girls are in bed:

  • Shovel driveway – should only take 10-15 minute … we had light snow fall last night after I shoveled the first time. Might even skip this.
  • Yoga / Stretch and focus on my back exercises
  • Rest with my feet up by the fire *might even take a picture if you’re lucky*

I am hoping this will reduce the yawning tomorrow and make me feel a little more rejuvenated and ready for the weekend!

Do you sleep like a long after a busy day?

How often to you yawn?

When do you need a break from doing everything?

Valley Harvest Marathon 5k Race Recap

It’s been a few days since I ran 5k at the Valley Harvest Marathon but it was Thanksgiving weekend so I had to get all my ducks in a row before writing this post. Lilly ran her first race on Saturday and then I ran Sunday morning followed by Thanksgiving dinner with the fam. Let’s just say I was beyond exhausted when we got home and all four of us were in bed by 8:45 pm!

The night before my run was a bit of a gong show….in brief; Sai came home, both girls were up multiple times, we all had very little sleep and I had very little training as Hilary was pretty sick for 2 weeks.


My day/run went something like this….

5:15 am Up with Hilary – got her back to sleep at 6 am. (We were up at midnight and 1:30 am also).

6:30 am Alarm goes off – I get up and get ready.

Somewhere between 7 and 8:22 am we all ate breakfast, got dressed, packed up and hit the road for the run.

8:40 am Arrive at Acadia University in Wolfville where the run was to take place. We parked are car, loaded up the stroller and headed down to the start area. There were lots of runners going by as the Ultra, Full and 1/2 Marathon started before the 10 and 5K runs.

9:00 am 10K runners start – we cheered them on and then it was my turn to delayer my new jacket and fleece pants and wait in line.  I lined up in the “Sub 30” group hoping to finish under 35 minutes. While waiting for the start, I saw two people I knew; one girl I coached 10 years ago in under 12 soccer…I felt a little old at that point 🙂 But it was great to see her.anna vhm 2013

Pre-race cuddles (warmth), finisher and family photo!

9:15 am 5k Run starts…I started my Green Garmin and off we went. Sai, Lilly and Hilary were up ahead and as I approached them Lilly was happy to see me…and I tossed my sunglasses to Sai. Even though it was sunny and BLOODY cold (+2 C ) I decided I didn’t want them.

Not even a minute into the run and my pants started falling down. NOT A GOOD SIGN!

It was an awesome flat course through the Town of Wolfville, then onto the Dykes (trails) and then back to the Acadia track via crusher-dust trails. The views were pretty sweet looking over the dykes and ocean (Minas Basin). There was one small, smallest of small inclines and it killed me AND the professional photographer was RIGHT there taking my race photo. AWESOME!

Terrible photo of me running :)

Terrible photo of me running 🙂

My Garmin did not disappoint! It told me when I was ahead of my pace, behind my pace and how fast I was running each kilometer. Best. Running. Purchase. Ever!

The last kilometer was completely a head game. I KNOW I can run the distance but my body hadn’t put in the time and I wasn’t sure how I would do. My goal was to run the last 1k as much as I could. In my head I would say don’t walk until this point and then my legs would stop. Twice I walked when I really should have just kept running and that may have cost me 20-30 seconds on my time … which would have been awesome to get!

I came up to the track and finished the race strong but as I crossed the finish line buddy beside me took a step to his left and STOPPED right in front of me …. so I had to dodge his body or I would have smacked into his back. Thank goodness NO ONE was watching the finish line… oh well, I don’t think my finish looked too bad.

I found my little family hanging out with our good friend Meredith. We hung out for a bit, got some snacks, water and enjoyed the sunshine as it had warmed up.

mileage at VHM 2013

My stats: 5 K (3.1 miles)

Garmin Time: 32:11

Chip Time: 32:10

Finish Time: 32:21

Average Pace: 6:26/k

Overall place: 224 out of 468 runners in the 5k

Division Place: 67 of 156

vhm medal

I was really happy with my race and my time. After I started running my goal of finishing under 35 minutes dropped to finishing under 33 minutes and I did that. However, if I only pushed it a little more during that last kilometer I may have broken 32 minutes.

swag 2013

My running outfit and awesome swag!

My ultimate goal is to run a sub 29:18 either at a race or in training. Knowing where I finished at this race, balancing two girls (sometimes on my own), and not always getting out to train, I know my goal is in sight I just have to make it happen now.

Have you ever almost run into someone at the finish line?

Ever run into your mind saying one thing and your body doing another?

What’s your favourite FALL race to run / watch ?