Year of Running 2017

Sometimes it’s hard to look back on the year and see all the things you’ve done (or missed out on). Running for me has always been something fun to do, a stress reliever, time to myself, an opportunity to be a better mom/wife and also to take care of my physical and mental health. This year sure gave me a challenge with my running.

For the last few year’s I’ve been doing the “Year of Running” wrap up hosted by Courtney at “Eat Pray Run DC”.  Therefore, I’m doing it again!

Best (and worst) of 2017

Best Race Experience: Pacing the 10k at Valley Harvest Marathon  with White Rabbit Pacing was my best race experience. I ran with two Garmin’s this time pacing just to make sure I was on pace.  It’s such a fun local run and  so rewarding when you bring runners to the finish line on time!

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Best run: Running Cape Split with my husband in September. We don’t get to run together often but when we do it’s awesome. I love that he loves to run (and cycle etc.) but when you can go for 1-2 hour run with your husband it just makes it that much better. Best run hands down of the year.

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Best new piece of running gear: My new Garmin Forerunner 230! This was a mother’s day present from my girls and husband. Love it! Well, and my Tiux compression socks – man they were a life saver for me!!

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Best running advice you’ve received this year: There were many nights when I wanted to run but was just exhausted from the busy day at work and with our girls. On those nights my husband would always say “you’ll feel better if you just go”, “put on your gear and just start”. Without those nudges, I would have just missed the run.

Best Advice I Can Give: Listen to your body. When it’s saying enough is enough – listen.

Most inspirational runner:  I’d have to say Shalane Flanagan.

Favorite picture from a run or race this year: It’s not a race photo, though I do love the photo above from pacing the Valley Harvest Marathon. However, my favourite photo is this one bloew – running with my husband and daughters on January 1st. We now have a tradition of running our first km on January 1st together….even in the rain or snow!

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Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Pacing the 10k – 1:10 finish at Valley Harvest. I love this pace and finishing time. Hands down, I’d pace this race again. I’d also repeat running the Berwick 5 miler Road Race – that was a fun distance and I really enjoyed the course.

Worst Running Moment: Hands down, finding out two days before my half marathon that I was having some heart problems. It was strongly suggested that I didn’t run my half that I worked so hard for in September. I was devastated. Luckily two weeks later, I passed my stress test and told to get back to running. But, oh the disappointment was HIGH!

Favourite Medal: These are my daughter’s medals after they both ran 800m and 1200m respectively. They both had a blast and finished with a smile on their faces. I love that they both love to run and enjoy it as much as I do.

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If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?  Physically hard (car accident/heart problems), rewarding (pacing the 10k) and challenging.

Eat Pray Run DC
That’s how I’d sum up my running in 2017. With a car accident in late March I struggled to get back to running but managed a half in June. Only to train hard over the summer months to be told I had to stop running and then to finish off with pacing a local race made up for some of the devastation of missing my goal half marathon.
What was your best race or run of 2017?
Race you’d repeat in a heartbeat? 
Worst running moment?
My 2016 year in running can be found here. 

 

Post Race Weekly Recap

Ummm….last week was a zero running week for me! ZERO!!! It wasn’t because I didn’t want to but it just didn’t happen. And, I’m okay with that.

Last Sunday I ran my 5th half marathon at Johnny Miles, if you missed the recap you can find it here. It was good, bad and ugly and good again – I’m happy with it. I took Monday off work (planned) and was wanting to rest and take it easy but it ended up being a really busy day of errands (unplanned). This is what my week looked like:

Post Race Running…or Rest Days.

Monday: Rest & Recover Day. I wanted to do a shake out run but that didn’t happen. My thighs hurt so much going down stairs.

Tuesday: Yoga. Oh, yoga felt great…except for the chair pose. I wasn’t having any of that and everyone laughed at me as they knew I just ran a half marathon. I did alternative poses when needed. My thighs still hurt.

I also wasn’t feeling awesome and thought I might have had a touch of heat exhaustion based on the systems I was having. Lots of water and rest in between work and kid stuff.

Wednesday: Rest Day. Relief with my thighs came on day three post half marathon. Hilary had soccer which I’m coaching so I was on my feet that night for a bit.

Thursday: Rest Day but I really wanted to run.

From my garden.

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Friday: Rest Day. I planned to run but decided I need to just do nothing. Honestly, I sat down in front of my TV and couldn’t even figure out how to watch a show because it’s been so long. (We don’t have cable but Netflix).

Saturday: I planned to run that evening but totally wimped out last minute and watched Netflix that night. (It was a busy day between errands with the girls and an outdoor birthday party in the rain (it was fun!) in the afternoon. That run just wasn’t happening that evening.

Sunday: SOCCER!!!!!!!!!! Finally, I moved more then walking! Oh, how I love soccer! I do, I do! It was great. Well, not great, we lost but it felt great to play. I need a tan!

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That’s it. Super relaxed, super non-active week! I’m thinking I really need to get my butt in gear as I’m pretty sure I should be at least one week into my next half marathon training. That would be for Maritime Race Weekend 5k & Half Marathon September 15/16th. I might not be on track with training for that but I’m going to get more focused this week and figure out my training plan.

Anyone else take a full week off after a race?

What’s the best thing you do to recover after a race?

How long do you wait to run your next race?

Today I’m linking up with HoHo Runs, MissSippiPiddlin and Zenaida Arroyo. Don’t forget to check out their blogs!

WWGuest-Zenaida

Johnny Miles Half Marathon Recap 2017

Just like that, another half marathon done! It’s been a full year since I’ve run a half so it was kinda nice running the same race/course again. It was great, it was hard, it got a little ugly but got better again and I finished!

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Pre Race

Since it was a family trip, we took our time getting on the road Saturday and left just after lunch. It was raining and the girls weren’t loving the 2.5 hour drive but we only had a handful of “are were there yet?”. My friend picked up my race kit so I didn’t go to the expo. We went directly to the hotel, had birthday cake as Krystol’s son was turning 7. We went down to the pool and swam and hung out in the hot tub with all of the kids – three families, 7 kids. No photo’s were taken at the pool but I’m pretty sure the THREE DAD’s had more fun then the kids did on the twisted slide! (They went back Sunday morning too…with the kids).

We had dinner and tried to take it easy that evening but with bunk beds and a tv in their room it was a much later night for the girls then we wanted. I had a horrible sleep – not sure why but that’s just life sometimes.

Morning of Race

I went and had breakfast with Krystol and Melissa, who were running the half and 10k, respectively. My husband and girls came down after and then we left for our race around 8am. This was probably the best weather a runner could ask for! It was cool but about 18c with an overcast sky. The marathon started at 7 am (lucky!!!) and we started at 9:05.

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Half Marathon

The first 10k was really awesome! My pace was better then I expected (6:20 – 6:57)/km, I felt really good and I was enjoying the course. My plan was to run and walk when I have to. It was a 10k loop, so I had to run it twice and since I ran it last year I felt good about it. I knew where the hills were, where the trail was covered in shade and when I would be in direct sunlight.  The humidity started to increase around 13k which didn’t help me.

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I want to say the wheels started to fall off between 10-13k but they didn’t really fall off. I just felt like I didn’t have anything left in me to give. There were a few moments of “I hate this”, “I’m NEVER running a full marathon”, to “I hate the half marathon distance” but also many moments that I loved.

The times I loved: when I wasn’t expecting to see a friend of mine at the race but she passed me on the route and we quickly chatted. Or the time when an older guy passed me coming in the opposite direction. When he saw me, he put on this big smile and I smiled back. He reminded me that I do love running, that I can love running during hard times and that I’m lucky that I can run right now. It was a good reality check.

From there, I didn’t care if I walked or ran. I powered up all the hills so strong I’d make anyone proud. However, after I’d get past the top and try to recover I struggled so much. I walked on straight stretches feeling a little sour that I was choosing to walk and that I didn’t come here to walk the race…so I’d run again.

I also saw another friend who was volunteering at a water station so it was fun to quickly chat with him and run on. After 15, I was kinda done. I drank my Nuun in between water stations, grabbed Gatorade and a glass of water as well at each aid station. I’d take a swig of water and poor the rest over my head to cool down – relief! Gu’s, chew’s and even a fruit to go bar made it’s way into my mouth over the course.

 

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I noticed a blister forming on my left pinky toe (and later my right) and that wasn’t really all that fun. It’s pretty big (I’ll spare you a photo) but from 15k onwards that pain of a blister forming was zapping me in the toe. (I normally don’t blister).

I wasn’t give up but I surely was done by 17k so I just kept thinking that I only had four more kilometres to go. Then 3k. Then 2k. As you ran, you would see people on the other side of the road – essentially ahead of you. There was so many people saying “great job”, “way to go” and I was saying it back as well. There is something about the running community that can lift you up when you need it OR, you can lift someone else up.

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I had the finish line to myself. There was no one in front of me and I don’t remember anyone behind me. It was kinda fun running in by yourself and hearing them call your name. I was happy and relieved I finished. High fives and hugs from strangers – you know, those people who volunteer at races are awesome people! They hug you when you are extremely sweaty 😉 But seriously, thank you to all those who volunteer!

I finished the race in 2:27:11 and was happy it was under 2:30. Was I disappointed with my time, hell no. I finished a race 12 weeks after a winter car accident with no pain. It was great, it was hard, it was was ugly and I finished 🙂 After finishing, we made our way back to the hotel were the girls were enjoying father’s day with Saï. We eventually made our way home but not before lunch at Subway and then ice cream sundae’s and a milkshake for me!

Happy kids!

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Today (Monday), my thighs hurt the most and I’m really hating stairs. All stairs. They – Are – Everywhere! I’m hoping to get in a short shake out run but that’s on the fence as soccer season starts for both girls tonight and Saï is on shift. Even if I walk around the field tonight for a walk, I’ll consider that a win!

How was your weekend?

Anyone race?

Did you enjoy Father’s Day?

Today, I’m linking up with HoHo Runs, MissSippiPiddlin and Run & Live Happy. Don’t forget to check out their blogs!

WWGuest-Tara

 

 

 

 

 

Half Marathon Goals – Johnny Miles

It’s race weekend, wooohooo!!!!

Okay, I’m ready. Birthday party is done, actual birthday for Lilly has passed, 1 more work day, went to yoga, ran two days (5k) and now I’m ready for my 5th half marathon. For some reason this time around I’m not nervous (yet) but kinda feel nonchalant about it. It’s not that I’m being negative or don’t care, I think I’m just really relaxed about it.

Nice to see 5:55/km on last night’s treadmill run!

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Changing my mind set from trying to reach a certain goal time was the game changer for me. I’m not where I was 3 years ago (PB 2:05) and I’m probably not even close to a 2:15 finish but I’m ready. This race is part redemption and part celebration for me.

Redemption run because this race was horrible last year for me. Short story – it was bloody HOT and my dog died two days prior. I finished in 2:31:xx – almost a personal worst (I actually had to look up my time from last year because I still didn’t know it). Background – my first marathon was 2:33 and I’m so proud of that time.

Celebration run because I wasn’t running 12 weeks ago due to a winter car accident. So, running any distance right now without pain is a celebration in my eyes.

Goals

Really, what ARE my goals for this race? Well, I’m not going to lie….I sure like to do better than 2:31 this year but I really don’t know if my pace is there. Ideally, I want to finish under my time from last year (2:31) and I’m hopeful that it’s doable.

Besides doing better then last year, I just want to enjoy the run and not hate it like I did last year. I didn’t hate the course or the event but I hated my run and the experience I went through in my head. This year I’ll have my family with me and I’m really looking forward to spending the weekend with them and enjoying my run.

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Okay, now that I’ve written this post, I’m getting excited. I’m pretty sure I’ll be just as excited as our girls (above) running through their sprinkler come Sunday morning! You can follow me on Instagram for some race weekend updates.

What kind of goals do you set for races?

Any weekend plans?

Happy Friday!

 

 

Johnny Miles Half Marathon Training Week 11 Recap

Well folks…this is the last week of my half training and I feel as ready as I’m going to – which is good! Johnny Miles Half Marathon is next weekend (they also have 5k,10k and Full) which I’m ready to run! Week #11 was pretty good but I threw in a few changes due to work and life.

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday: Cycle | Rest Day.

Tuesday: Yoga | 5k Treadmill Run. Was on the road for work, so I missed my lunch time yoga class. Tuesday evening I ran 5k on the treadmill and my legs felt great! Dirty treadmill run…

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Wednesday: 8k | 8k. I ran with my running buddy and it was rolling hills the whole time. She continued on and ran another 7k! Did you run on Global Running Day?

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Thursday: 5k | Rest Day. But really, I was spending time with my husband….getting ready for a birthday party. Party planning isn’t something I love and procrastination is my game. I wanted to at least jump on the bike and peddle out a few km but that didn’t happen.

Friday: Rest Day | Rest Day. Nailed it! It was also known as “frantically clean the house while the girls sleep night”.

Saturday: 15k | 12k Treadmill Run. The morning was spent finishing cleaning and setting up for 12 girls to come celebrate my daughters 7th birthday. This meant that the afternoon was party central….12….girls….for….2….hours! Wow, they are busy and loud!

I wanted to get my run in but it was going to have to happen on the treadmill (hubby was working all weekend). So, I jumped on the treadmill and figured after the day I had I’d run 10k. It was 8:30 PM. I ran at a steady pace yet I pushed the speed a little bit throughout my run. As I approached 10, I figured I had another 2 in me so I finished off with 12k.

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I’ll be completely honest here – I’m probably more stuck in my ways or stubborn and less determined but I’m so glad I got that run done. I  got off the treadmill feeling ready for my 5th half marathon next weekend.

Sunday: Cross Train | Soccer Game! Yup, I’m back at it! It was my first game since March and my car accident. I was a little “off” during the first half but felt a lot better in the 2nd, we tied 3-3.

Smile for the picture. Hilary – NO!

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Total km this week: 25k.

This training cycle has seen the lowest amount of “km” I’ve put in during 12 weeks of running! I know that I should have done speed work to improve my pace but I also know that I listen to my body way more then I ever have. This would be because of the whiplash I’ve been dealing with and I’m finally feeling good about where I am.

Week #12 will have me running a little bit, going to yoga and celebrating our daughters 7th birthday. This race will be what it will be and I need to keep in mind how far I’ve come in 12 weeks (not running due to car accident to running a half marathon).

 

What’s your favourite thing to do during your last week of training? 

How was your weekend or week of training?

Birthday parties at your house or elsewhere (pool, theatre etc.)?

Today, I’m linking up with HoHo Runs, MissSippiPiddlin and Kooky Runner Don’t forget to check out their blogs!

Weekly Wrap

Half Marathon Training Week 9 Wrap Up

Half marathon training is moving along, hard to believe week 9 is done. I’m kinda loving the fact that June is in a few days and hopefully some more consistent warmer weather for us!

Last week wasn’t the best and at times I felt like I wasn’t progressing with my pace. At the same time I don’t want to put all kinds of pressure on me to complete my 5th half marathon in a certain time. I just want to run it and enjoy it…okay, and finish better then last year.

My pace is way off for me and I’m finding that hard to accept but your pace can’t change over night. In 2014, I ran A LOT!!!! And my pace got really good (for me) but with so many injuries in the last few years, my pace has gone out the door. What I need to remind myself is that I’m just lucky to be running at any pace and not injured anymore.

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday: Rest Day | Cycling 17km. I’m really loving adding in a day of cycling to my half marathon training. I’m hoping that it will help reduce some injuries yet keep my legs active.

Tuesday: Yoga | Yoga. Still loving my Tuesday yoga class.

Wednesday: 8k | SLEEP. I just needed sleep and nothing else after a few sleepless nights.

Thursday: 5k | 8k. Somehow, I managed to get in 8k after a full day of work. My husband was home so I went for an evening run and it was a hard one but I got it done.

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Friday: Rest Day | Rest Day. I woke up with a nasty head cold – just not my week! I was pretty run down from lack of sleep and trying to do it all…I guess.

Saturday: 10k Race | Rest Day. Still was feeling horrible and spent the afternoon at a parade in the cold. When we got home, I made hot chocolate, put a fire on (yes, May 27th I had a fire in my woodstove!!) and did nothing that night.

Sunday: Cross Train | 10k. No racing. Ha, the thought of “racing” a 10k right now isn’t pleasant. Actually, let me rephrase that – I’m not “racing” anything. I’m simply running the distance in whatever pace I can manage these days. No “racing”.

This long run (cut back week in my plan) was kinda last minute in between swimming lessons for the girls and my husband leaving for work. I was cranky, still sick and was encouraged out the door….so I went.

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It was an ugly run. There really wasn’t anything pretty about it. I’m confident it was the head cold, not enough food, warmer weather and just being in a cranky mood that didn’t help. BUT, I got it done and for that I’m happy.

Sometimes you can’t have a great week of training. Life happens and you have to readjust your training and take care of yourself. That was me last week and so far this week too.

Weekly mileage: 18 km running, 17 km cycling.

Last year’s week nine was a great training week, you can read it here.

How was your week?

Anyone else wishing the weather was warming up?

Do you worry about your pace?

 

 

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.