January Mileage

With no planned mileage for January, I managed some decent numbers. I’m pretty happy with my mileage in January.

I was sick for close to three weeks but plugged through it and tried to keep active. January is usually a very low running mileage month for me, mainly because we are skiing or snowshoeing. Between a few wintery outdoor runs, indoor soccer games, a trip to England with my family, a few ski days and one yoga class, my monthly mileage was pretty good!

I’ve yet to set any goals for the year but I’m working on a list of “things I want to do”.

It’s super cold….everywhere, so its bundle up in layers season everywhere too. I’m hoping to get in a few more outdoor runs in February.

I’m still doing my bullet journal and got a little more colourful in January. Also, I’m currently writing this from my phone and thinking this might be the new way of blogging for me. Quick, short posts sandwiched between some longer posts. We’ll see!

How are you staying warm?

How was your January?

Do you prefer to read quick blog posts or longer posts?

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Wintry Morning Runs

Never thought I’d say this but wintry morning runs seem to be my thing lately!

I like to walk my dog before my husband leaves for work so that I don’t have to walk him with my girls before they go to school, and I to work. They aren’t overly enthused in the mornings to begin with. So telling them they have to walk Carmacks with me in freezing cold temps doesn’t always go over well.

This morning I was awake around 5am for no reason. I tried desperately to fall back to sleep but when my husband’s alarm went off at 5:30am, I figured I’d just get up then too.

It took me 30 minutes to pull myself together but Carmacks and I started our run at 6am. So close to the #5at5am club but I’ll take the 6am start time. He was pumped as he always is. Running in the snow is his thing! I swear he’d live outside again if we lived outside but that’s not happening.

Off we went, only running into one other dog and it’s owner. Carmacks cried to say hello but we kept going. Up and down the slippery snowy streets in the dark of the morning. Some people still had their Christmas lights on so that was fun to see.

We finished off our run with a morning chat with my neighbour before heading inside. Carmacks is all business when he gets back….feed me, feed me and then rest. I’m more like a sloth….slowly stretching, taking off my gear, saying hi to the girls and then off to the shower before the real day starts.

Right now I’m enjoying these early morning runs even with the cold temps and snow under-footing. It also means I don’t have to run tonight after the 2nd Christmas Concert this week!

Also it’s my 7th blog-anniversary! Wow….seven years with this blog!!!

Are you all ready for the holidays?

Are you into early morning runs this winter?

Anyone else have Christmas Concerts this week?

Work, Run, Shop, Repeat

With Christmas fast approaching, I’m feeling like I’m not ready for it yet but don’t worry I’m still getting in my running! Priorities….priorities.

Just kidding….well, I’m kinda not. With two birthdays at the beginning of December in our house, it’s hard to think past those and to Christmas sometimes. Weekends are packed with basketball games times two and soon to be ski trips to the hill. We have Christmas parties (hosting) and basketball jamborees this coming weekend – at least we got our tree up last weekend. I’m ready for Christmas break just to do nothing, ha!

As for gifts, I’m mostly done shopping but feeling like I don’t have “enough”. Not that my kids/husband need all kinds of stuff but I just don’t feel ready. Baking hasn’t even been planned though I’m pinning a tone of vegan cookie recipes lately. 

Work is still in full speed which isn’t normal this time of year for us. The good news is that I’m still running, playing soccer and hitting up yoga class when my work schedule permits. I’m really loving yoga after running early in the morning. It’s a nice change mid day!

I seem to be getting into a pattern of early morning runs on Tuesday’s. I’m not sure why. It could be the fact that my husband works that day and if he’s getting up at 5:30….I’m awake too (just can’t sleep thorough it). It’s also the best time for me to get up and walk our dog before he leaves for work. And well, since we have a retired sled dog…..he kinda loves to run! 

Carmacks and I have been running 1-2 times a week and sometimes my husband takes him on his runs. Carmacks is racking up the mileage right now. Clearly, the picture below is not in the early morning hours but after one of our muddy runs a few weeks back.

I’ve even managed one run recently with my running buddy Krystol!!!!! We can just never seem to get our schedules to align but last weekend we did. It was bitterly cold…like -11c but felt like -18c. The plan was 7-8k and I called it at 5k. You win some you lose some but at least we got out together!

Anyone else feeling not “ready” for Christmas?

COLD weather runner or not?

Any early morning runners here? Raise your hand!

The Book Gift Guide (from a non-reader runner)

Let me preface this post with the fact that I’m not a big reader. I enjoy reading but it’s not something I usually make time for. I value reading and appreciated it but I don’t always love it. Unbeknownst to me, this past year I’ve read more books then ever.

I thought I would share with you some of the books I read as they all are great books (and great gift ideas for the holidays). This is not a sponsored post, nor was I asked to promote these books. I either bought the book or went to my local library and loaned it out. Most of these books I saw through social media shares from people I follow as recommendations. You know what they say about like minded people? Well, you tend to like the same things.

Fitness Junkie: I’ve seen this book time and time again on social media and figured I’d give it a go. My local library didn’t have it in stock so they ordered it and I was the first one to read it. Nothing like cracking open a book from the library for the first time. It’s a funny read about the fitness world and all the crazy (yeah, crazy) trends out there and the length people will go to obtain “the look”. It’s a fun and easy read that I think anyone would enjoy. 

Strong – Kara Goucher. This is one book I will use and reuse year after year. I’m only half way through it but I can see how it can be used over and over again. It’s a very goal-oriented, motivational tool you can have in your back pocket as a runner. But also, not just as a runner. I think any sport / athlete could use this book to help you set goals and reach them. 

I highly recommend reading it and taking the time to sit down to write out your goals. When I read it on my car ride to the city last weekend, my mind was popping out goals and ideas for next year with excitement. Since 2019 is approaching fast, now’s a great time to set you goals for next year! I’ve started to set mine because of reading this book. Some are lofty goals but ones I want to reach as a runner.

North – Scott Jurek. I was able to snag the audio book this summer from my local library. Over a period of three weeks, I listened to the book while driving around to meetings. Sometimes, I’d be in my car for 1-2 hours one way, so it was easy to listen to the book and get through the chapters. 

This book is an amazing story to read (listen) to. It’s about Scott finding his way while running along the Appalachian Trail, along with his wife being his support crew. He tells it like it is, honest, funny and engaging. I loved that his wife…Jenny was part of the storytelling. It brought a whole other perspective when hearing a female voice telling her part of their story. To be honest, it was “their” story that was told.  I’d love to buy the actual book and read but really enjoyed listening to the audio book. I’d really recommend the audio book as a nice change and a bonus to hear their actual voices tell their story. 

Redefining Realistic – Heather Moyse. Nothing better then reading a motivational book from a “local” Olympian. By local, I mean from the Maritimes, not Nova Scotia.

Heather is an extremely inspiring Olympian (bobsled) but successful in other sports: rugby and track cycling. Her book dives into redefining your realistic perspective, your potential and how to own your story. It’s the kind of book you feel like your just having a conversation with her and learning about her life experiences and how they brought her to where she is now – in a realistic kinda of way. I liked hearing about the impact people made on her life – whether is was good or bad. It’s not just for the athlete, her knowledge can apply to anyone.

Sweet Ride by Ann Barry. Now this is local! It’s a really cute book about these four women who ride their bikes from the South Shore in Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island and back again through the Annapolis Valley back in the 1943 (World War II). Not an easy trek by any means. 

It shares their story along with some adventures and challenges they faced. I enjoyed reading about their adventures but also knowing the routes they took and the communities they road through and places they stopped. If you are from Nova Scotia, are a cyclist or just enjoy local authors, this is a great little book to read. 

If you are like me and don’t always love to read but kinda enjoy it and want to read more, give one of these books a try. I’m hoping my new interest in reading this past year will continue to grow and I may actually love it one day. I’m always looking for book suggestions so feel free to leave me one of your favourite books in the comments. 

What are you reading right now?

What’s the number one book you’d recommend right now?

Any favourite local books you want to share?

Umm Hello! Is this thing on?

Knock, knock….Hello! Is anyone there? 

I’m still here…kinda running, kinda not. Playing soccer. Busy with my kids in basketball and swimming, bike riding with my girls (crazy cold) oh and working full time. I’m not going to lie, I’m on the running-struggle-bus these last few weeks. I’ve done the odd run here and there but haven’t found my grove post half marathon…..Oct 14th (a month ago). 

Maybe my body (and mind) needed the break? Maybe I just wanted to be lazy for a while? Maybe I just want to watch TV at the end of the day once my kids are in bed and the cozy wood stove is blasting out the heat! Maybe life is just so busy that I just want to relax a bit more – hence watching TV. It certainly isn’t because I’m sleeping in or don’t have the support to be running/active.

I’ve run a few early morning run and by early I’m talking out the door before 6 am. Sometimes it’s 5:59 sometimes it’s earlier. It doesn’t really matter what time I run as I still love that post run feeling once I get home. Energized and ready for the day! My girls are just getting up and I usually have 15-20 minutes before my husband leaves for work.

I had a fun-ish trial run on Sunday nearby my house. It was only going to be a 5k run but that turned into six when I realised my Garmin would have me finishing just around the 5.7 km mark when I hit home so I kept running. Sadly, my Garmin died on me! Only because it wasn’t charged, not literally died (that surely would have resulted in an immediate blog post. “Garmin dies while runners finishes trail run”.

It was cold, muddy, windy and part of the trail was covered in horse shit…yeah, fresh stuff too! It was clearly a run that you had to really watch your footing and not because of the roots or trees…but the squishy stuff.

Along with the limited running, I’m clearly blogging yes and reading blogs less. Is this a trend? Maybe, maybe not. I still like blogging and reading blogs, so much so that I’ve renewed this blog for another year! I mean, it’s kinda fun writing about running, my struggles and successes with running, and being a mother runner. On top of that WordPress has rolled out a new format of “blocks” which I’m struggling to figure out as I write this post. (Let’s hope when I hit publish, it all works out right). 

Though I’m not running much, I am getting out to soccer once a week and getting ready to get my bike on it’s indoor trainer. Indoor soccer season has started and goes until April!!! I’ve mentioned this before on my blog but soccer is my favourite sport. I can just get lost out on the field and not think about anything but that moment. It’s kinda my mind-full time vs running. Running can be a mind-full practice but it can also give me a time to think about everything and nothing all at once.  Maybe that’s why I’m missing my “scheduled” runs – to get back that routine of mind-full times. 

As I sit here and wrap up this post, I had no clue that I would end it with talking about mindfulness. I think that’s what I like most about blogging or my blog in particular. I can start writing one thing and then it takes on a completely different approach by the end. 

Are you an avid blog reader?

What’s your best way to motivate yourself to run (or workout)?

Since I’m not always blogging, you can follow me over on Instagram for my struggles with running 🙂

Do you use running or another sport/activity as mindfulness?

PEI Half Marathon Recap ’18

Two weeks later and I’ve barely run the distance of a half marathon!  I haven’t run very much since my 7th half marathon on Oct 14th and I’m totally okay with that. Sometimes you have to listen to your body and rest….and rest some more.

PEI Half Marathon Recap

This race weekend all started with a conversation with my husband, Saï. He asked me back in July if I wanted to run the PEI half marathon and I, of course said yes! (Thanks love).

Going into this race weekend, I really had no clue what my pace would be or how fast I could run for twenty-one point one kilometres. I sure felt physically great going into it; no injuries (knock on wood), limited back pain (thank you Chiropractor), fresh legs (lack of runs the last week of training) and we were child free (thank you grandparents!).  Yup, my husband and I took a race weekend away without the kids.

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We spent Saturday driving over to PEI, about a 4.5 hour trip for us. Of course at the race kit pick up, we both ran into people we knew. You can’t drive 4.5 hours to a race and not – not run into someone you know. My friend Tracy was running her first full and she nailed it! After getting our kits, chatting with friends we tried to find some throw away clothing as it was going to be 2C (35F) at the start of the race. F….F…Freezing!

We grabbed dinner at the Gahan House in Charlottetown (so good) and made it back to the hotel which was right at the start/end of the race. With our flat runners ready, we hit the hay early but I didn’t sleep well. This seems to be my new normal the day before a race. Oh well, life goes on – maybe those sleepless nights with our babies prepared us for shit like this. Running races (long races) on no sleep. Thanks kids 😉

I woke before my alarm went off at 7:30 am – late eh!!!! The race started at 9 am and we literally could walk out the hotel doors to the start line in 30 seconds. With no need to rush out the door, we ate breakfast, got dressed and waited in our warm hotel room rather then freeze outside like some of the runners we could see from our window.

Around 8:40 we met up with a friend of ours, still waiting inside the hotel with many others. Eventually we all were drawn outside in the bitterly cold winds and stood at the start line listening to “Oh Canada”. So great to hear that at the start of our run. My husband went way ahead as his goal was much faster then mind.

I started off with the 2:20 pace bunny who was running a 10/1’s so I eventually lost her as I was running continuous.  I was freezing cold but I kept my throw away sweater on until about 3 km in, gloves, long sleeved shirt, thick headband, shorts and my Tiux compression socks on. The first 7 km flew by and I felt great!!! I knew the hills at the end might be a challenge but I wasn’t focusing on that right now.

I caught up to the 2:15 pace bunny who was doing 10/1’s as well but I just kept running my continuous pace as it felt good. It’s how I trained so it’s how I wanted to run the race. At the 10 km mark I was at 1:04:xx and thought sweet…I could go for a 2:08 finish. The 2:15 pace bunny would be ahead of me and then behind me (10/1’s) off and on. Ideally, I was hoping for a 2:15 finish and felt that it was close to happening.

I remember running up Sherwood Road that lasted forever and I desperately needed a drink. I took out my Nuun and took a swig and felt like I drank and ice burg. It was SO COLD on my teeth I almost spit it out.

My pace had slowed down and I was struggling a bit. Part of me wish I didn’t wear my fuel belt but part of me was thankful I had my Nuun when I wanted it. I knew the hills were going to be rough but I thought they wouldn’t get to me this time. They did. My friend, Sarah caught up to me but I just didn’t have anything left in the tank to keep up with her.

I did managed to pick up the pace for the last 2 km, where the course became flat again and into the finish line. That finish line! It’s so far away yet so close. I ended up finishing in 2:16:21 with an average 6:28/km! I cut off 9 minutes from my half marathon in May, so I was happy! I was still a good 10-11 minutes off my PB but that was never the focus on this race.

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My husband finished in 1:46:05 – his goal was 1:45. As I walked through the finish line/food area with my space blanket wrapped around me, I felt relieved that it was over and I finished another half marathon (injury free). I felt great!

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We celebrated with some good food (fish and chips for me and a veggie burger for him) and beers. We walked around Charlottetown for a bit, cheered in some amazing full marathoners finishing their races. We followed all that up by taking an afternoon nap.

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We then snuck in a visit a visit with my Aunt and Uncle that evening and crashed hard that night. We stayed Sunday night in Charlottetown and headed back home to our girls on Monday (smart decision staying an extra day). Thanks PEI Marathon for a great race – we’ll be back again!

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As I mentioned above, I haven’t done much running since this half but have been out twice and it felt great. Yoga is my friend and I’m back at indoor soccer as of last night – sure feeling it today (still hate sprinting and recovering, ha ha). We’ve been busy with both girls playing basketball, swim lessons, and biking (yes, are girls are loving biking still).  Happy Fall!

How’s your fall running going?

What’s your favourite race moment from this fall?

Anyone else taking a semi-break from running post race?

 I don’t blog daily anymore but you can follow me over on Instagram.

 

Bluenose Half Marathon Recap 2018

Woohoo…half marathon #6 completed!

We started off my traveling into the city Friday afternoon where I took in the expo sans kiddies and took zero photos, whoops! It was a in a new location which I hadn’t noticed in any of the emails so that threw me off a bit. It was a packed expo with so many great booths to visit. I ran into some runner friends which is always a bonus.

Saturday, I took the girls to the 2k youth run. Our youngest didn’t love it and really just wanted to walk and our oldest just wanted to run. We compromised with a run/walk combo since it was just me with them. They had a blast and their favourite part was getting the food after and acquiring multiple tattoo’s at the expo (again).

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Weekly workouts:

I was really nervous about this half. Last week I did the following runs: Monday – rest day, Tuesday 6k, Wednesday 5k, Thursday and Friday rest days and Saturday 2k – well 1.74km with the girls. I was feeling under trained – which shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve been following along for the last 10-12 weeks. It was what it was and I was running it whether I felt trained or under trained.

Saturday was beautifully hot and sunshine for hours for the youth run and 5k that afternoon. Come Sunday morning, it was pouring rain and temps were expected to be 12c. It ended up being a little warmer at 15c but still lots of rain. I didn’t know what to wear so put on my shorts, tank/long sleeve shirt and Tiux socks. I brought my running jacket and long pants just in case. I ended up changing from my shorts to long pants in the car and wore my tank, long sleeved shirt AND my running jacket – a little warm for all that but it was good for the first 8k of my run.

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My friend Sarah was running her first half marathon (and did awesome), so we drove in together and hung out in the dry car before making our way over to the Scotiabank Centre in our poncho’s that kept us dry. After a few bathroom breaks and running into friends (my friend Tracey was running and did awesome as well). We went up to the start area around 8:08 am for a 8:20 start as we didn’t want to stand in the rain for a long time.

As the gun went off we moved forward only to be halted by the crowd in front. I always laugh at this because it happens at every race. Have you experienced that before? We cross the start mat and beeped our Garmins to start. It was crowded but that’s expected. Sarah and I ran together for the first 10 minutes and then she moved onto a 10/1’s while I did continuous. We would catch up to each other over the first 3-4k and then she eventually move forward but I could pick her out in the distance up ahead because of her hat and socks.

Around the 5k mark my Garmin beeped so I went to look at it and rolled my right ankle. No joke! Frig! I just kept moving forward and tried not to think about it and managed to run off the pain for the time being. We ran through Point Pleasant Park which was beautiful and relaxing by the water. The first BIG hill of 300 meters (0.3km) was approaching and my thought was to just push it as far as I could. I managed to run the whole thing which gave me a little confidence boost for a later HILL I would be climbing.

We ran the streets of Halifax and I was feeling really good. I was a little worried about my pace which was 6:38/km roughly from 1-11km. It just felt good and then it didn’t. It started to go downhill around 12k and I went through every thought of:

  • just keep one foot in front of the other
  • run and be happy
  • you can do this
  • I hate this
  • I never want to run a half again
  • just walk for a few seconds
  • I hate this
  • suck it up and just run

From km 12 – 18 roughly, I hated it. It was hill after hill, and I’m not just talking about little hills. These were BIG hills you had to climb forever!!! For the most part I feel I did a good job on the hills except the biggest hill and that killed me. Each time I though we were making our way to the finish area, the route would take us in an opposite direction.

When I ran this half in 2006, the route was completely different. This year they used the same route as previous years (not 2006 route) but reversed the direction. This is the main reason why I wanted to run it. I’ve learned that for the Bluenose Half Marathon it really doesn’t matter what direction you are running in because you are just going to hit hill after hill. You need to be ready for lots of hills.

I gave up a lot…like a lot. I had no drive, no energy, no interest in running – which you kinda need while running a half marathon. I really wasn’t loving it but I kept moving forward be it running or lots of walking.

Elevation Chart!!!

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Around 18k it started to pour and the wind picked up. My face was tucked under my Nuun visor but the wind was strong and blew the rain up in my face. Nothing on me was dry….I just kept running – one foot in front of the other. “You are done soon. You are almost there”. I chatting with other runners as they approach me or I approach them. I thanking volunteers and police officers who were blocking traffic in the rain! I tried to enjoy the moment even though I was struggling. I had many, many thoughts on this run.

The funny thing is, I was expecting to finish around 2 hours 30 minutes and finished under it but was so hung up on how much I had to walk and that I had no desire to run. With the rain pouring down and feeling like a kid playing outside, I managed to turn my sour-puss attitude around and enjoy the last 3k in the rain.

I thanked one of the last police officers and he said “your welcome and enjoy the remainder of the race”…I smiled and said “I will” because it was a fast downhill and then uphill to the finish. As I cruised down Cogswell Street and onto Brunswick Street to finish – close to the finish line I saw my friend Kerri who called out my name (she’s involved in the youth event) and it made me smile and just enjoy the finish shoot. I turned off my Garmin and volunteers were there giving high-fives. It took everything in me to raise my arms for three high fives – ha! I was done!

I met up with Sarah as she finished just ahead of me. We hit up the food station and then got a massage!!! I’ve never gotten a massage at a race. I was soaked from the rain and sweat, salty as heck and I stunk – I just ran a half marathon – you can’t not stink after running that long. the massage was worth it.

I finished in 2:25:44 (chip time).

That’s it! Half marathon #6 done with no races scheduled for the rest of the year! I was thinking about running a race in June but have decided I need to regroup, slow down and not race for a while….I think 😉 I want to pace a few fall races as I really enjoyed that. Oh, and my ankle is okay. Slightly swollen and sore but nothing a few days of ice and rest can’t fix.

Congrats to all those who ran the Bluenose Marathon (5k, 10k, 15k, half, full and youth run) – what a great weekend for runners in Nova Scotia!

How was your (long) weekend?

Anyone race this weekend? How’d it go?

When was the last time you rain a race in the rain?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap today.

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