Hilly Runs

I used to love running hills. Sometimes even repeating them over and over again.

That’s not my current mood. However, running is hard for me right now. I struggle to run 5k. True story! No pun intended but running has its ups and downs and I’m feeling more in the downs lately. That’s okay, as I know if I keep at it those hills will get easier and I might enjoy them again.

While in Halifax last night, I decided to go for a run since I had the time. Well, if you know downtown Halifax, is that it’s ALL hills. I literally started my run on a massive hill. This might have been a bad idea but ah well.

I was secretly thankful for traffic light stops and took the time to catch my breath. Clearly, I needed the break.

I had no plan to my run but was hoping I’d survived 5k around town. I saw so many runners out and ran though a group of runners. Not going to lie I felt intimidated, especially as I ran in the opposite direction of most runners I saw. Was I running he wrong way? Nah, I was just running my way.

I ran up Citadel Hill and thought I’d die at the top. Then on e up top, I ran around it and then back down. I wasn’t keeping track of my km and hit 5k and was finally feeling good (after all those hills). I decided to run a little further away from my hotel and then back towards it to finish off for 7k.

My route took me all over. Many roads I’ve run before during Bluenose Marathon (5k,10k, 1/2, kids run) so they weren’t a surprise to me, I fact I probably chose them since I’ve run them before.

Running is hard sometimes. Hills aren’t fun sometimes. But, you keep moving forward anyway.

Anyone else not loving hills right now?

Anyone else struggling right now?

Do you avoid races with lots of hills?

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Bluenose Marathon (10k) Weekend!

It’s Bluenose Marathon weekend!

It’s an extra long weekend for me (feeling lucky about that). It’s Victoria Day on Monday and I am taking today and Tuesday off. It’s going to be like a mini vacation before work gets a little crazy busy.

There is so much to look forward to this weekend; the girls running their 2k, my brother and I running 10k on Sunday and even better…I get to babysit my niece Ava! It’s really a win-win weekend.

Expo & Youth Run 2k

I’m planning to take in the Expo this morning with my husband, a quick trip to the city and back before I head back in with the girls. I didn’t really bother with it last year as I had to sit that race out 😦 Who knows, maybe I’ll sign up for another race or buy something I need like GU’s!

The girls are getting excited about their run; from what “running” clothing they want to wear, to running with their friends. This will be Lilly’s third year and Hilary’s first…fingers crossed it goes well.

10k Thoughts

Alright…the 10k. As I mentioned last week, this race hasn’t been my focus and I’m okay with that. To be honest, I’ll probably finish around 1:02…at least that’s what I’ve been running lately. Who knows, maybe I’ll pull off 60 minutes or 58-59 but I can’t see being able to push it too much as the course looks like this:

2016 Elevation chartBluenose Marathon 10k 2016 Elevation

The middle hill is in Point Pleasant Park and I’ve run there numerous times. Actually, I worked out of that park for two summers doing day camps. The hill at 5k is nasty but it’s short lived and into a downhill. Around 6k, another hill and then a gradual climb just before the finish line.

Right before the finish it’s all uphill and you can see the finish but it’s so far away. You are trying to sprint up that hill only to realize how L-O-N-G it actually is! Everyone is cheering you on and you are trying so hard to finish strong but THAT hill is just rough at the end of a race.

So again, I’m not aiming or a PB (55:59) but feel I will come under my worst time (1:13). To be completely honest, I’m really proud of those times. My 55:59 in 2014, I worked really hard for and then ran another 6k later that day for my long run. The 1:13 in 2010 was four months after Lilly was born and I was using it to get back into shape. For me, it wasn’t a great time/pace etc., however it was more about getting running again while being a new Mom.

There you have it. I’m ready to run on Sunday. Excited for my girls and to start off the race with my brother AND see him cross the finish line. I’m also excited to see lots of running friends and RunAtCan peeps.

If you want to see how it goes, check me out on Instagram.

Who’s running Bluenose?

Do you take in the Expo’s at races or skip them?

What are you up to this weekend?

Good luck to all those running Bluenose!

 

 

 

Bluenose Marathon – As a Spectator

I thought I’d be really sad I wasn’t running Sunday morning at the Bluenose Marathon but I was actually okay that I wasn’t.

I was contemplating volunteering but thought it would be fun to just cheer people on. For a Sunday morning, I got up too early and quickly drove to a store to buy markers, bristol board, clear garbage bags, tape and vaseline. The markers/bristol board were for a sign I was going to make. The clear garbage bag/tape was to keep the signs dry from the light rain that was falling down. And the vaseline…well, that wasn’t for me but my friends who were running the 1/2 course – you know just in case! I also had GU and body glide on hand….cause you just never know!!!

Anyway, I got down to Point Pleasant Park and quickly made two signs in the back of my car….JUST before the first running of the 1/2 marathon ZOOMED by me – he was SO fast! I got excited and quickly finished what I was doing. I then realised that my car was parked in a spot that wouldn’t allow me to leave for a few hours so I quickly moved it and headed back to clear on the runners. I was somewhere around the 17-18 km of the course and stood at the end of the road with this sign:

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Oh my the smiles and laughter that I got was so awesome! I high-fived more people than one could possible high-five. And yes, my hand hurt by the end not to mention it was slightly frozen.

"Keep Calm & Press Button for Speed" {high five}

“Keep Calm & Press Button for Speed” {high five}

I saw some strong women runners I knew: Heather from Girl Goes Running, Sam and some co-workers! It was really fun cheering them on. It was nice to see some other runners I didn’t know laugh at my sign, when they needed a little boost along the course.

Then I saw my running buddy Krystol waving her hands in the air in the distance (we exchanged what we were going to wear so we could easily find each other). It was awesome to see her…she was looking great and happy! I cheered her on and thought crap “I should be in this pace group right now”….then didn’t think about me running it again for the rest of the day.

Krystol looking strong!

Krystol looking strong!

After that I saw my friend Tracey and she too was running strong. She didn’t know I was going to be on the course so it was fun to see her and high five her too. She PB’d by 15 minutes (2:01)!!!!

Tracey running strong!

Tracey 

After seeing both Krystol and Tracey, I thought I’d leave but decided to stick around just a little longer. I’m really glad I stayed as I saw a few more people that I didn’t know were running the Half. As a runner, it’s so awesome to see a familiar face on the course and I, as a spectator was so excited to see a few more people and cheer them on.

After 1.5 hours of standing around and becoming an icicle, I decided to pack it in. I did see a good handful of FULL Marathoners cruise by me too – they are so fast! Once I got to my car and could feel my hands again, I drove off to the gym!

Oh yeah – I’ve been told I can’t run right now by my physiotherapist and surprisingly I’m okay with it. I can bike, swim and power walk outside on hills and that’s what I’ve been doing. Anyway, I when to one gym and it didn’t open until noon so I used a few back roads that I remembered to get to another location (same gym) and worked out. I did 10 minutes on the elliptical, 30 on the bike then ALL my PT exercises (just over an hour’s workout). It was great.

A little elliptical movement

A little elliptical movement

Though it was a huge bummer that I couldn’t run the half marathon and work towards this year’s running goals, I enjoyed cheering people on by myself. It was almost therapeutic. As a runner, I always try to thank volunteers and others along the course but as a spectator….when a runner says “thank you” or “I needed that” or just smile at you when you know they are just getting by – WOW, it’s motivating!

I’ll be honest, as I write this I have tears in my eyes. Running is such a big part of my life and it’s really hard not being able to run right now. BUT….to see all those 1/2 marathoners yesterday – in all shapes and sizes – it’s pretty awesome and motivating to be a spectator.

So, here’s my challenge to you – go be a spectator in the hard part of a course. Make a sign and stay as long as you can to cheer on all those runners. They need it and so do you! 

Have you ever been a spectator at a run/event?

What’s the funniest sign you’ve seen at a race?

I Signed Up for my First Race of 2015!

Yeah, I did it!

It’s going to be a COLD one.

I’ve trained for it.

I’ve carb loaded for it.

Hydrated well.

I even got the “day before” shake out run in of 3k on the treadmill. Plus 6k bike ride, upper body weights, 60 second plank and some good stretching/foam rolling in.

anna gym combo

Getting my gym workout on

I’m wearing my ProCompression socks to bed.

There is snow covered trails, maybe even some ice! Oh my!

It’s a half marathon in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

More specific, it’s the Hypothermic Half Marathon.

Now, I know what you are thinking….aren’t you injured? Why yes, yes I still am still injured but that doesn’t mean I can’t sign up for a race.

….to volunteer 🙂

Today I am volunteering at the Hypo Half. Back in December I thought about signing up for this race (pre injury) but decided the day before the prices increased not to register. Why? Because I knew the course would be snow & ice-covered trail and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that. A week later I pulled my hamstring. a.k.a. not ready.

I don’t get to volunteer that often so I’m excited about being there today. I’m at the furthest water station (away from the start) and am volunteering with people I’ve never met before. My running buddy Krystol is running it and some other friends. I’m sure looking forward to high fiving her, passing along a warm GU, non-frozen water and hopefully a little motivation.

Though I won’t be running, I’m happy to be able to volunteer and give back to the sport I love so much. If one can’t run, one can still volunteer.

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Flat Volunteer Piper – Ready to Roll!

Fingers crossed that I don’t freeze my butt off as it’s going to be -12 C (feels like -17 C)….I’m really hoping all those winters (5) of working outdoors will pay off and I can manage to stay warm.

Good luck to all those running the Hypo Half today in Halifax…you crazy Haligonians (and others).

Follow me on Instagram for updates

Cheers, Piper 🙂

Mama’s Night Out

Yup! Mama went out for a night on the town without both girls! Shocking, yes I know.

This night out was planned before baby H joined the world last December – yeah 4 months ago (post to come on that soon). I am a bridesmaid for the first time in a wedding this June for my friend Kelly. We chose the bridal shower date in April as it worked for everyone and the planning started. We had a lovely bridal shower in the afternoon and then planned the stagette for the evening. Drinks, dinner out and some games at one of the bridesmaids house.

Knowing I would have a (just) 4 month old when we booked the date, I knew it would be a hard night leaving her with someone else for the night. The first time is always the hardest. My husband stayed home with Lilly and they had a fantastic weekend hitting up the Farmer’s Market, playing soccer and getting some one-on-one time. She only asked for me once! Hilary on the other hand came with me to Halifax for the bridal shower and then was to hang out with Grammy/Grandad and Auntie Laura while I partied it up!!!

Over the last month we’ve had a challenging time with Hilary not wanting to be in the arms of someone else – even her father 😦 So, I figured the night would be a disaster and bottle feeding might be a challenge since I nurse her 99.9% of the time. She hasn’t had a bottle of breast milk in a few months which may have been a problem.

As I drove late to Jayne’s house and spent 15-20 minutes trying to find her place, I finally arrived. I was so flustered about not finding the place as it was a stupid error on my behalf – stressed out mama.

A group of 7 girls went out to the Bicycle Thief restaurant (North American Food – Italian Soul) for some AMAZING food. If you live in Halifax, this is a MUST GO TO! You can see their menu here, I forgot my camera so no food photo’s but this is what I ate:

  • Two-minute flash fried Calamari, garlic & sundried Tomato aioli
  • Linguine, green Asparagus, Sweet peas, scallions, fresh mint & basil, creamy Goat cheese.

DELISH!

Bicycle Thief - photo taken by bridesmaid Jayne

Bicycle Thief – photo taken by bridesmaid Jayne

Anyway, I managed to be away from baby H and survive the night – I had a great time. The stress slowly melted away throughout the night but baby H wasn’t far from my mind.

Hilary on the other hand struggled a little without mama; drinking less than 2 oz of pumped milk, crying until her legs were free from pants and socks but did managed to take in an NHL game on the TV.   Whatever works, eh! She went to sleep around 9:30 pm (not too far off her normal time) and slept well into the night. She was pretty happy to see me the next morning and not have to drink from a bottle.

My husband and I are already planning a night out in May for something with his Fire Department – let’s hope we have her taking a bottle by then.

PS – this took me all week to write, not because it was hard to write but because I’ve been so busy with baby H and de-cluttering the house.