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

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

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Pretty sure this bag is too heavy Mom!

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

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One last stop to check out the sunflowers. 

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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?

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This is Carmacks!

So, we adopted a dog!!!!!!!!!! It was a bit of a world wind trip for us but hang on and I’ll tell you all about it.

We wanted to do something really epic for Canada’s 150th birthday, so we decided to drive half way across Canada to Ontario (we live in Nova Scotia) and adopt a dog. Well, it kinda went that way! He is an eight year old Alaskan husky with a little German Sheppard and Collie in him. He is named after a village in the Yukon. The village of Carmacks is one of the checkpoints in the Yukon Quest (major dog sledding race).

Carmacks

Photo credit: Snow Forest Adventures

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We’ve been wanting another dog after losing Maclean last year suddenly but it just never seemed like the right time. We had originally adopted Maclean in 2007 at the age of 6 from the company my husband worked for dog sledding. She was 14 when she died. So when the opportunity came up to adopt another dog from the same company we kinda jumped at this chance. Early June, we decided to drive 19+ hours on Canada weekend, meet Carmacks and bring him back if everyone got along.

Yes, we did this WITH the girls. We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy trip with two kids and it wasn’t but we made the best of it. Canada Day weekend happened to be the only weekend we had free as a family and luckily, Saï was approved for two days off. Having those two days off meant he actually had a week off work (shift work).

We packed up and left right after Lilly’s last day of school, drove all night (yup, crazy!) and got to Ontario mid morning. We stopped in Algonquin Park at their visitor’s information centre, which I’ve been to many times before when we lived in Ontario. Poor Hilary got sick everywhere but was so happy and relieved to feel better. We ate out A LOT, played at a school playground, celebrated Canada Day, slept in our car, slept in two hotels and talked about the Provinces we drove through (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario) to the girls.

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Despite the challenges of a sick kid, little sleep and adopting a dog that had lived his life as a sled dog, we had a great and quick trip. He is settling in as a house dog but sure loves his walks. He is a very routine dog so change is stressful for him. He is also great with the girls and they love him. He didn’t like our stairs at first and hates loud noises but he’s working on it and zooms up the stairs with no hesitation now.

I almost didn’t want to share this story as I feel like it was a really crazy thing for us to do. Drive half way across Canada to adopt a dog when we could have adopted a dog here. BUT, we did it and don’t regret it at all. You’ll start seeing a few more dog pictures on here and Instagram. An attempt at a family photo was taken on my birthday last week:

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I’m really looking forward to running this fall and winter with him. Since he was a working dog pulling sleds, he’ll be pumped to get running again. He loves walks, squirrels and cats, LOTS of attention, freeze-dried treats and follows us around like he is our shadow. He is a quick learner and an amazing addition to our family.

Have you ever adopted a dog?

When was the last time you drove half way across your country?

 

 

 

Week 3 Half Training MRW

I finished week 3 of half marathon training for Maritime Race Weekend (MRW) with a smile on my face but it started off not great and wasn’t sure it was going to turn around. Luckily it did!

Last week (Mon-Fri) could go down as one of those “bad” weeks of training. It was a week of ups and downs, missed workouts, feeling rushed and exhausted and just counting the days until the weekend. It was a week of learning that I can’t win them all but when I do, it feels so good!

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday: Stretch & Strengthen Day | Nothing. To be honest, I had a horrible day. So many things went wrong and it just felt like a gong show at work/home. After a crap-shoot day, I coached Under 6 soccer. We got home from that and trying to get Hilary to bed turned into hanging out eating a bunch of snacks (watermelon, cheese, apples and blueberries) while I made lunch for the next day. I ran out of time to do any type of workout however, my day turned around when Lilly and Saï got home from her soccer. It was also my birthday so we celebrate with some cake (late night to bed for the girls #1).

Tuesday: 5k | Walking. I was on the road for work and wasn’t able to get in a run before we left at 7:30. I did managed to get in a 40 minute walk later that evening as part of our meeting/walking to dinner on a trail – which was nice!

Wednesday: 5K | 5k. After an extremely late night, I woke up early and got out for a run. The first kilometre I’m pretty sure I wasn’t awake but the being about to look out into the ocean while you run kinda wakes you up. It was great to get it in. I also coached U 6 soccer that evening – late night to bed for the girls #2.

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Thursday: 5k + strengthen | Nothing. Okay, I didn’t do nothing. I walked my dog for 20 minutes first thing in the morning which was actually really peaceful. I worked all day then picked up the girls in different locations. We had a picnic dinner at my work and then went to Lilly’s soccer game! Not done yet….when we got home, I cleaned up the girls, gave them a snack and tried to get them to bed – this took us until 8:30/9pm – late night #3.

During this painful extended bedtime, I did a load of laundry, folded two loads, made half a lunch for Lilly, got all the garbage ready for garbage day, took the dog out in the yard twice. Oh yeah, we got a dog two weeks ago. It was 9pm and I’m pretty sure the girls just feel asleep. I was beyond exhausted but wanted to work out. Instead, I crashed on the couch where my dog just wanted me to pet him (Doggy blog post to come).

Friday: Rest Day | Rest Day. I brought all my gear to run at lunch but ended up not running. At least I was prepared, right!!!

Saturday: 5k Race | 11k Long Run. Oh this run was just what I needed! It was so great! I got up at 5:30 and was out the door just after 6am by myself. It was an out and back kinda of run.

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As the sun started to rise and hit my face on a very cool morning (12C or 53F), I trekked along, one km, two km, three km, four. Sidewalks, cross walks, pavement and crusher dust/gravel. I started off around 6:40/km and then 6:30/km and managed to work my way down to 6:24/km and 6:20/km, I even managed 6:18/km. IT. WAS. GREAT!  I haven’t felt that good after a long run in probably a year.

We then spent the day at Lilly’s soccer tournament where they lost two games and tied one! She had a blast and Hilary did too playing on the playground.

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Sunday: Run | Soccer Game (aka speed work). Sunday night I had a soccer game after a busy day with the girls. We won 3-1. Though the girls didn’t come to my soccer game, it was late night #4 of going to bed!

Weekly mileage: 16k + a soccer game.

Though my week started off rough and I missed some workouts, I’m happy with what I could accomplish with my training. You can’t win the all but you can at least try, right?!?!

We are skipping our girls soccer tonight as they are so exhausted. Between late nights at soccer, long days outside and extremely hot weather both girls are done! Poor Hilary isn’t handling the heat well so we’ve got to get her back on track. Sometimes you just have to miss out on a night of soccer practices (both girls) to regroup for the rest of the week.

Today I’m linking up with HoHo Runs, MissSippiPiddlin and Janelle at Run With No RegretsDon’t forget to check out their blogs!

Though I’m not posting on here much these days, you can always find me over on Instagram.  Also, check out TIUX compression socks (as seen above) and use this discount code for 20% off your next order: ANNASTIUX .

What’s your number 1 summer tip for staying healthy?

Anyone else have a roller coaster week?

Anyone race/train this weekend?

Bluenose Youth Run Recap 2017

Last weekend the girls both ran in the Bluenose Marathon Youth Run. This was Lilly’s fourth year and Hilary’s second year participating.

Friday afternoon we drove into Halifax to pick up their race kits. This was the first year I wasn’t running at the Bluenose and they were. I kinda wondered if we were silly for doing this just for them and then I snapped out of that thought. Yes, they are with it – the drive to the city, the stress of navigating a race with two kids, the few complaints they may give us as they creep towards fussiness from waiting in line or walking a lot to the start line. It was worth it.

Pretending to run up Citadel Hill

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They LOVED the expo!! Free sample foods, pictures taken, seeing Bo from Bo on the Go (TV show), and seemed okay that we didn’t see Myles (Bluenose guy) this time. Navigating a race expo with kids can either be super fun or mayhem, we just went with it. After the expo we got to have dinner with my family and visit with my niece.

We had the girls up at normal time on race day and out the door to get good parking. We arrived way to early and had some unhappy campers but….sometimes it’s worth a good parking spot, right?!?! We met up with our friends and made our way down to the start where we had to walk even further to get into the start area. Lots of walking!

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There was a sea of kids. I’m unsure how many participated this year but for every child there was at least 1 parent, if not two it seemed. There were strollers with little ones and all ages dancing to “Sunshine in my pocket”…oh I mean “Can’t Stop the Feeling” as part of the warm up. Hilary didn’t like my dancing….I’m confident my husband didn’t either 😉

Didn’t like my dancing…just kidding, father-daughter pep talk!

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Lilly ran with Saï, my friend Krystol ran with her son while I stayed back and ran with Hilary and Braegha, Krystol’s daughter. Both girls were LOVING IT! We ran 90% of the almost 2k distance, stopped once to take off a long sleeved shirt and then once more to catch B’s trucker’s hat blowing away in the wind as we turned the corner to the finish line.

She looks like a bad ass (cause she kinda is) but really she has a mouth full of food. 

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We managed to find everyone in the metro centre…yes I still call it that. I think it’s called the Scotiabank centre now but to me it’s the metro centre. The girls had some snacks while we watched the crowds trickle in from the 4k youth run.

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After that we went out to lunch and back to my parents place again. Saï and I snuck away for a 15k afternoon run while the girls hung out with their cousin Ava. We then had another family dinner before heading back home later that evening.

It was a whirlwind 24 hour trip to the city but by far so enjoyable, so much fun and really, just a great weekend together. That’s it’s, another great running weekend with my family.

.Anyone take in a race with their kids?

How close to a race do you try to park?

Do you dance/do the warm up at races? (I do 🙂 )

 

Half Marathon Training Week 8 Wrap Up

Last week’s training plan had me running lots and not just on my own. It was a week of sunshine runs, cool breezes (enjoyable) and some family time.

Technically, last week was week #8 of Johnny Miles Half Marathon training. I missed placed my training plan and was just kind of going with what I normally did in the past. Usually I have my training plan on my fridge in the kitchen so I see it every day and can check off each day I complete. Having that visual is an easy reminder of what’s to come in the coming days. This time around, my training plan was completed but I never checked off each day or each week. It was kinda lost and I was aloof with it and care-less about it. You can’t training half ass for a half marathon. Okay maybe you can, but I sure can’t! If I don’t put in the time, I suffer late in the training or on race day/recovery.

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday: Rest Day | Cycling. 17k on the indoor trainer.

Tuesday: Yoga | Yoga. Nailed it, loved it.

Wednesday: 8k | 6k. I got my days mixed up and thought I was supposed to run 7k but I knew I could only fit in 6k during my lunch break.

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Thursday: 5k | 8k. I wanted to make up for not getting in the 8k so I did so during my lunch again. This was a HOT ONE! I hydrated all morning, brought water and Nuun with me on my run, ran in the shade (trail) for a bit and finished super sweaty! Thank goodness I was the only one in the office 😉

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Friday: Rest Day | Rest Day. Nailed this one too!

Hilary had her Primary orientation day in the morning which was really exciting and then we headed to Halifax to pick up their race kits for the Bluenose Marathon Youth Run (2k). We had a great evening with my family and even got to spend some time with my niece.

Saturday: 16k | 2k + 15k. This was a loaded day of being on our feet!

Bluenose 2k youth run: My husband Saï ran with Lilly and I ran with Hilary and her friend Braegha. There were thousands of kids and parents and it was a tone of fun! They did awesome, I’ll recap this tomorrow.

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15 Long Run: My husband and I planned on running the Bluff Trail which is a 9.5k loop near my parents place. Forest, open areas, rocks, lakes – heaven really. I’ve hiked it before a few times but Saï had never been. I thought it would be fun to run and then finish off my distance on the BLT section. However, my ankles had other plans.

We started out and earlier in the day I had tweaked my good ankle running with the girls, yes my good ankle 😦 It apparently didn’t like the uneven terrain and I broke down crying because it hurt. We walked back out of the Bluff trail and walked for a bit before we decided to run on the BLT trail. {BLT = Beechville – Lakeside – Timberlea}My husband didn’t care where we ran but that I wasn’t injured badly. I wasn’t, however I was determined to get in a long run.

We ran along the BLT trail together for an hour and forty-six minutes. We took our time, chatted and just enjoyed being outside together. We ran out from our car 7k and back 7k, then added on 1 more kilometre.

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When we got back to our car, we stretched and checked our Garmin’s, then I did something to mine and it froze!!! I lost all my steps for the day (30,000+) and thought I lost my runs too 😦 However, my husband reset my watch later on and I only lost my steps. We then had another family dinner and had awesome entertainment from our 21 month old niece. She had everyone around the table clapping and laughing hysterically. After dinner, we drove home (an hour away) and got the girls to bed, then enjoyed some wine 🙂

I have to admit, this was my favourite weekend so far this year! So much family time, being outside together with our kids, having some time as a couple and then relaxing a bit more on Sunday.

Sunday: Cross Train | Rest Day. I thought about doing a short run or a little cycling, I didn’t do anything. The girls had swimming and I got busy with house chores. In the evening I wrote this blog post I enjoyed more wine with my husband and relaxed.

Total Mileage This week: 37 km running, 17 k cycling, 1 yoga class!

Definitely my highest weekly mileage in about a year! My body was super achy Saturday night but after you take 30,000+ steps between walking and running, you should be achy. Though I’m achy, I’m happy 🙂

Oh, and I think I managed to avoid FOMO running the Bluenose for myself. I think between all my kids running, family time and enjoyed 15k with my husband, I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything! Now to enjoy Victoria day (Monday) off with my girls (Saï is working).

Where do you keep your training plans?

How was your week/weekend?

Have you ever run a race with your kids before? 

Anyone run Bluenose Marathon weekend ?

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I’m joining the Weekly Wrap “Guest Host Series” hosted by Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin.

Long Weekend Friday Five

Oh, the glorious May 2-4 weekend is here! Monday is Victoria Day (celebrating the Queen’s birthday) so I took today off to  have an extra long weekend.

This is one of my favourite weekends as I usually run the Bluenose Marathon but not this year! I might have a little FOMO (fear of missing out) going on but I’m trying to focus on other things this weekend.

May 2-4 weekend

I’m excited that my youngest is doing her Primary orientation today…woah! I can’t believe she’s going to school in September, however she is ready for the change. She is so excited to be going to school today. I, on the other hand am writing this post before I have to take her so I can stay awake! I had a horrible sleep last night – it was well after 3:30 when I fell asleep! I’m hoping for a short nap while she’s at school.

I mentioned the infamous Bluenose Marathon is this weekend. Both girls are running the 2k kids run which means I’ll be running it with them. I love seeing how many people are there as parents can run with their kids!

Last year’s Bluenose Kids Run:

Kids Bluenose Run 2016

I have a 15k long run today and I’m really looking forward to it! I think that’s a good sign I picked the right race (June 18th) for me this spring. I’m hoping to do my long run with my husband which makes it even better. We’ll see if we can find someone to watch the girls.

My ankle is acting up a bit from the increased running I guess so I need to figure that one out. I wish I could find my own cupping set to massage out the pain I’m feeling. I’m not going to let it bother me this weekend. Positive thinking.

The girls have swimming lessons on Sunday (one of the reason I chose not to run Bluenose) but I’m hoping we’ll get out biking! It would be great to get the girls out on the trail but the bugs are just starting up so we’ll see if they’ll been keen.

That’s what I’m looking forward to this May long weekend! Oh and maybe a little BBQing, enjoying some of my Mother’s Day wine (Tidal Bay) and having all four of us home! Monday will be an bonus day with the girls since my husband has to work.

What are you up to this weekend?

Are you taking advantage of the May long weekend (if applicable)?

Anyone have any strategies to avoid FOMO?

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I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!

Hop Hop Hop Easter Treats & Tricks

Happy Easter!

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend with family and friends. We’ve managed to spend most of our time outside at the Zoo, in our yard, playgrounds and found a bunch of chocolate in our house this morning?

I may have got a sunburn Friday watching them play (this playground was actually massive! This is just one section.

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Then we climbed a dead tree at the Zoo – a must-do each visit.

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Yesterday, we started making these Easter nest/eggs together but somehow the girls were drawn to the outdoors and started raking our neighbour’s leaves with her. So, I continued to finish them by myself and brought some over to taste test.

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We’re off to spend today with my family in the city while my husband has to work. Sure thankful for Paramedics (fire fighters, doctors etc.) who have to work holidays but kinda wish it wasn’t my husband’s weekend to work. Oh well…we still got to see him before his shifts.

I’m looking forward to seeing my family and doing our little Easter egg hunt that ends up becoming a bit of a competition to re-hide the eggs. You see, we each get 1 egg with our name on it that the Easter bunny leaves behind while we all eat….but we never notice (this is actually pretty cool for the girls). Anyway, my brother and sister tend to re-hide each other’s eggs to they can’t find it and then the Easter Bunny can’t remember were it was hidden.

Never a dull moment with the family on Easter weekend 🙂

How’s your weekend going?

Do you have any Easter traditions? Egg hunts, family dinner, church?

Anyone excited about Boston?