Sackville Sneaker Shredder 10k Recap

Oh my, I don’t even know where to start!

First off, I signed up the Wednesday before the race. What was I thinking? Clearly it would be a fun thing to do! 

Second off, I did not train for this race. I have maintained running between 5-11k and a few soccer games. Clearly, I wasn’t in top form.

Third, I hated it, almost every second of the 10k! Clearly, this race wasn’t meant for me! However, I can laugh when I say that now.


Krystol and I headed into the city sans kiddies. Both of our husbands were taking the kids to soccer and the afternoon was there’s to do whatever with. We were both running 10k in this small, well-organized event. Race kit pick up – short and sweet! Race package: bib #, running hat and coupon for froyo – perfect.

Everything was great. I was having a good time with Krystol and chatting with some other TTP runners (the running group I occasionally run with) – they were dressed up as awesome super hero’s. I also go to chat with a friend of mine I played soccer with for years (and this past summer).

Happy Piper Pre Race

Happy Piper Pre Race

We lined up and off we went. Up the first hill. The first hill of many hills. It was nuts and I normally don’t mind hills. Well Sunday, I hated them. Actually, I hated the route! I’m sorry, but I really hated it. It was up this hill, down that hill; side walk, subdivision running past numerous parked cars with oncoming traffic (hello – unsafe), then on a main road where you rain in gravel/pot holes until you could safely run on the main highway again.

I swear one of the kilometers was over one full kilometer long … just running uphill for 1000 meters. It was ugly.


Foggy photo because I had it in a bag. It wasn’t actually foggy.

This is the rough breakdown of my 10k:

Temperature:  0 degrees Celsius (32F) but felt like -4c (24.8F)

1 – 2 km: I wanted to die. My lungs hurt from my head cold and my body was cold. I actually remember thinking  “I hate running, why am I doing this and how could I have run a half marathon a month ago”.

2-4.76 km  I was hating the course and thought I was dead last – motivation super low.

4.76 km – 6km Saw some people behind me and felt better about my pace. I was comfortable running. I may have cut a few corners because it wasn’t clear where I was to run.

6-8 km – The hate returned.

8-9.79 km I just wanted to be done and every time I saw someone walking I wanted to walk but didn’t.

9.79 km – Done. My Garmin read 9.79 as I crossed the finish line! Krystol’s phone said she ran over 10 km. Weird, eh!

I wasn’t even happy when I crossed the finish line but just thankful to be done running. Krystol absolutely rocked her run (53:xx), another PB!!! My time was 56:43 which is actually pretty great but my run was so terrible I couldn’t even be happy about it. #DebbyDowner.

post race sackvill sneaker shredder

Krystol & I Post Race (happy to be finished)


I don’t like being negative or say negative things about a race, especially when I didn’t do my research on the course and signed up last-minute. However, that run was a terrible experience for me, can’t say I’ll sign up for it again next year.

I do want to Thank the organizers as I know it takes time and energy putting on such an event. The volunteers (6-8) along the course held fun signs and directed us where to go. Thanks for the prizes, I won a gym bag 🙂 I’m sorry I didn’t enjoy your event more.

It’s me…not you. 

Have you ever run a race and just disliked it from the moment you started running?

Ever feel bad for not enjoying the race/event?

Valley Harvest HALF Marathon Race Recap

To say I was waiting for this day all year-long is an understatement. I knew last fall when I ran the Valley Harvest 5k that in 2014 I wanted to run my 2nd half marathon. It’s been 8 years since I ran my first (2:33:56) and I was ready. I’ve run A LOT of race this year, far more than I ever planned. To say this was the year of good running for me is another understatement; I managed to get numerous Personal Bests in 5k’s, 10k’s and yes my half marathon. It went a little something like this.

On July 21st, I started my training plan and was a little freaked out by the numbers but I did it anyway. I trained on my treadmill while the girls slept at night, I ran during my lunch break and I ran most of my long runs outside when my husband was home with the girls. I probably ran 80-90% of those runs on my own but was really lucky to run a handful of my long runs with Krystol. (She rocked her 1st half marathon at Valley Harvest: 2:03)

Sunday around 3 AM I was up with Hilary and couldn’t get her back to sleep, so in the bed she came. At 5:45 I woke up and put her back in her crib and figured laying in bed for another 15 minutes wasn’t going to do me any good. My parents stayed with the girls and Sai came with me to Acadia University at 7:30. I met up with Krystol, hit up the bathrooms before the crowd and then did a quick warm up outside.

Pre Race Silly VHM

It was cold! Long sleeves and gloves that we later ditched to her husband along the route. The announcements were made and the gun went off…our feet started moving with the crowd and I turned my Green Garmin on as I crossed over the start line.

Off we went into the Town of Wolfville following everyone in front of us, including the 2:00 hour pace bunny. I already made note of the next pace bunny {2:15} as we are friends on Instagram…I told him that I didn’t really want to meet him in person during the race.

3 to 4k VHM Happy runners

Happy delayering runners 🙂 Photo’s by Casey (Krystol’s husband)

I saw my husband and quickly passed him my sunglasses. I don’t know why I wear them as the last two races I ran, I ditched them right away. Again, it was cold and we were running fast: 5:30, 5:31, 5:39, 5:43,5:27. My Green Garmin seemed “off” by .37 of a kilometer as we approach the 1k, 2k and 3k signs. Kyrstol and I were running fast but were good with the pace. I was a little concerned with maintaining that pace as I knew it was going to get hilly.

6-11km: 5:36, 5:30, 5:49, 5:33, 5:44, 5:41

The first hill was easy and the first long incline was rough but we made it through it. Many runners passed us and we passed a few as well. We came to the turn around point which I had never run before and it was rolling HILLS! I ran up and over the first two sets and finally saw the turn around point and said (while pointing with my finger) “WE have to run all the way there?” to Krystol. She laughed and said yes, we do!

PR VHM TimChesnutt Photos

Photo’s by @TimChesnutt (thank you)

12 – 16km: 5:46, 5:51, 6:24, 6:00, 5:57

The turn around point came and I said to Krystol that she might lose me here but we both managed to stay together until the last of the hills in that section. I told Krystol I needed to walk and she was still good to go before the 14k marker. As she pulled away and I walked there was a guy on the side of the road puking …. IT…WAS…AWESOME to hear and SEE (please tell me you’ve read the sarcasm there). So that sound and sight was in my head for a while and it didn’t help that he caught up to me and ran near me for the remainder of the run.

I plowed through the next hill with strong legs and felt pretty good but wasn’t quite ready to push it. Then came the longest, flattest straight stretch of road that one could run on – a causeway/bridge with a long hill at the end. The straight stretch killed me and the hill was easy – go figure! 

17-21km: 6:02, 6:22, 6:31, 6:20, 625, 1:50)

At that point I only had 3-4 k to go but had nothing left in the tank to really push it. All I could think about is maintain your happy pace and you’ll get your happy race in the end. I walked 3-4 times and was able to pace myself with another girl. We would pass each other off and on and say “good job, almost there” each time we could pass each other.

As I was running back into Acadia University, I saw my Dad with his camera on. That made me feel happy and supported. As I ran up the last incline before the beautiful track, my husband was standing there, so relaxed and another smile just plastered across my face. I was able to pick up my pace from there and run the 3/4 of the track to the finish line.


The last few steps….

I did it! 21.33 kilometers = 2:05:10

Yes….not 21.1 but 21.33 km – apparently the course was off a little as everyone’s Garmin’s were off during the course – it wasn’t just me. I have heard that the lead cyclist took the wrong route in the Town at the beginning but it’s yet to be confirmed or times changed.

Am I happy with my run/time? Yes, 100%. Honestly, I was aiming for 2:06 – 2:10 to finish and if I could pull off anything under that it would be amazing! Those last 3 kilometers were the hardest physically but I managed to get through them.

PR VHM Finish photo

I did everything I wanted to do. I ran comfortable.  I took in the scenery. I ran with my running buddy and on my own. I pushed it on those friggin’ hills when all I wanted to do was stop {mind over matter} and I completed my 2nd half marathon.

A new Personal Best by 28:46 

Place: 70/131  (F30-39)

Gun time: 2:05:46

Chip time: 2:05:10 

Pace: 5:58   (5:52 Garmin)

Calories burned: 1586 – looks like I was ready for Thanksgiving dinner AND desert!!!!

Post Race:

The weather was cold at first but warmed up to be a hot sunny mid morning finish. It was perfect. My husband, our girls and my parents all got to see me finish. I stretched on the field for a bit with Krystol and then we went inside for some food. All of a sudden I had this sensation that I HAD TO sit down. I couldn’t talk, walk or be responsible for either of our little munchkins. I made sure someone was with each of the girls and be lined it to the bleachers to sit and eat.  I wasn’t dehydrated or near passing out like last year’s Mud Hero but I sure wasn’t feeling awesome.

medals garmin

After about 20 minutes of sitting, eating and drinking water I was ready to walk to our car. The good news is that I was in good hands and feel kinda lucky that my husband is a Paramedic. Since he knows me best and know’s the signs to look out for after a race, I wasn’t really too worried about my state 🙂

We got home, I showered and stretched while the rest of my family arrived for Thanksgiving dinner! We ate, I rested and then slept while the girls played outside with Grandad {thank you for that too}. That night, we were all in bed by 8pm!

And just like that my 2nd half marathon is done….if you are still reading, thanks 🙂 It’s been an amazing, long, hard, challenging, good 12 weeks and I will say this: I look forward to my next half marathon all ready!

Anyone race last weekend?

Ever run a course and have it be over OR under the expected distance?

What’s the worst you’ve felt like after a run/race?

TBT: My First Half Marathon (2006)

I thought it would be fun (for me) to look back at my first half marathon in 2006. I ran the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I think that’s when I think I really got bit by the running bug.

I didn’t always want to run a half but after running a few 10k’s I thought it would be fun! Yes, FUN! So, I registered in January and starting my training for the May long weekend event. I was living in Ontario and would have to fly home – sounds good to me!

So, I was training; cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and running. I met my (little did I know) future husband who also ran, skied, hiked, rock climbed etc. while working at the Outdoor Centre. I was surrounded by active people and a handful of runners.

My training was all done on hills! Since I lived at the camp, you had to drive in the camp road which was rolling hills. Big hills, little hills and long stretches, not to mention a lot of wildlife. I trained as much as my schedule would allow and did a lot of my runs during “happy hour” 4:30-5:30. If it was a hot day I would jump in the lake before heading up to the dining hall for dinner. Life was pretty good!

My longest run was 19k before the half and I remember running back along the camp road after 9:30pm thinking that I was crazy! Also, I was a little freaked out about the bears that I could potentially “meet” so I ran that last stretch pretty fast. I also remember some of my staff members were getting a little worried about me and were about to come find me.

Going into the race my only plan was to run 10 minutes and walk one. As we lined up at the start area I remember thinking, I should probably find a pace bunny to stick with. So, I chose the 2 hour 30 minute bunny. I stuck with her until the 15k mark and then lost sight slowly. I also had my first GU and thought it was terrible – not so much anymore!

We had to run up the steepest hill in Dartmouth called Maple Street. As I approached it I saw an ambulance with its doors open and the Paramedics were treating a runner. Needless to say, I was a little freaked out!

At km 19k we crossed back over the bridge and to the finish area. Let’s just say I wasn’t too happy that I still had to run 2 more kilometers after that but somehow managed to do it.

A few pictures from the race:

First Half Marathon Bluenose 2006

My Dad drove around the course to snap these shots of me and then met me at the finish. My mother was volunteering and gave me a blanket since I finished the half. The year before when I ran the 10k, she wouldn’t give me one since they were only for half and full marathoners – maybe that’s why I challenged myself to the half – just to get a space blanket from her 😉  The things parents do for their grown-up kids.

Finish time: 2:33:56

Pace: 7:13 (I believe)

After that race I changed my mind about half marathons. I figured I’d to another one someday but didn’t think it would take me this long to get back at it!

Things I have learned since my first half:

  • I am a different person
  • I’ve trained a lot more
  • I have a husband and TWO beautiful daughter’s
  • I am loving running (physically, mentally, emotionally)
  • I’ve met some amazing people because of running and because of our girls
  • I am more prepared for this half marathon
  • I like GU’s now
  • I am comfortable running in running clothing (not soccer shorts and t-shirts as I did years ago)
  • I know I can go the distance
  • I really need to buy a new running jacket and winter running pants – those are both over 8 years old 😉

This weekend I am super pumped, scared, excited, nervous, energized and happy to be running my 2nd half marathon. Thanks for reading my weekly recaps. Your comments have helped me learn and grow as a runner and person.

Anyone racing this weekend?

Do you remember your first BIG race?

Do your family members volunteer at your runs?

Half Marathon Training Week #11 and Week #12

I’m currently on my last week of training for the upcoming Valley Harvest Half Marathon. Week # 11 is all done and in the books and it was A LOT better than week #10. It looked a little like this…..

What was planned VS What REALLY happened:

Monday: Stretch & StrengthenYoga, Foam Rolled and 1 minute Plank

Tuesday: 8k8k. After facilitating a workshop all day and standing on my feet for 6 hours, I ran 8k and couldn’t figure out WHY my legs just didn’t feel the run. I was fried! Bad decision to run 8k after being on my feet for 6 hours. {mental note – don’t do that again}

I saw this recently and just LOVED it!


Wednesday: 10 x 400 @ 500 pace. Let’s be honest…I have done track work since week 5.  Unplanned rest day, was in bed at 8pm and watched 2 episodes of Pretty Little Liars…I’m hooked!

Thursday: 5k + Strengthen5k Super late afternoon 5k run in the sun! It was gorgeous outside and I took advantage of that.

Friday: Rest Day – Rest Day 

Saturday: 5k – Rest Day 

Sunday: 19k – 19k I wasn’t sure about doing this long run but after my conversation with my buddy Hal Higdon on Facebook, I decided to go for it. Yes, I am convinced he personally responded to my message. The run started off terrible but I ended strong, fast and had A LOT on my mind.

Yoga/Stretching post long run :)

Yoga/Stretching post long run 🙂

Total mileage: 32km

Total training mileage: 359 km since July 21st <– seems SO long ago.

Week #12 (this week)

As I mentioned, it’s my last week of training ….. I can’t believe I am saying that. Up until this point, I really haven’t thought about what’s next until the other day. Yes, I have a 5k run on October 25th but what’s next. I think I might miss my long runs!

The thought of running the Hypothermic Half  (Feb 10th) has crossed my mind. Then that thought went out to door as I’m not sure if I want to train in December and January a.k.a winter/ice/cold season for a half marathon. Who knows, maybe I will change my mind.

Week #12 looks like this – I’m planning on doing everything but won’t recap it.

Monday: Stretch & StrengthYoga and hip flexors/abductors exercises – Done.

Tuesday: 7kTreadmill tonight.

Wednesday: 30 minute tempo run

Thursday: 5k

Friday & Saturday: Rest Days. I’d like to run/walk 2-3 km Saturday afternoon just to shake out my legs.

Sunday – VALLEY HARVEST HALF MARATHON!!!!!  Whoop whoop! 21.1km

Needless to say I’m pretty pumped, not only for my 2nd half marathon but to spend time with my family this weekend during Thanksgiving Weekend 🙂

Canadians – what are your Thanksgiving plans?

Anyone running/racing soon?

Are you thinking about 2015 races yet?