I’m still running….across NS.

I’m running across Nova Scotia over the 99 days but not by myself.

Two friends and I have teamed up to complete the 792km “Run Across Nova Scotia” together. We’ll each run 264km between June 1st and Sept 7th.

When I saw this virtual race pop up I thought…..wouldn’t that be fun and then immediately thought of … there is no way I could possibly do that distance by myself. Luckily, I have two friends that felt the same way and wanted to take on the challenge together.

We are “Three Moms on the Run” and are running 3-4 times a week each. Basically, whatever our schedules will allow for. Personally, I think I’ll be doing a lot of 5k’s mainly because that’s all the time I have.

I’d like to get back to some long runs again but I’m also loving riding my bike so it’s hard to choose which one I want to do more on the weekends.

This past weekend I ran 10k on the treadmill and it actually felt really good. Not all treadmill runs feel that way and I was occupied with watching Sweet Magnolias on Netflix. Sunday I wanted to run outside with no distance or route in mind. I’m pretty sure I pushed it too far as the last 3k or my 8k run, I was dying – see below!

I took a pack of Endurnace Tap along and gluzzled it around 4k since I knew at that point it was another 4k to return home. Still loving my Endurance Tap but wish I has brought some water with me as well for this run.

The first week of Run Across Nkva Scotia is done and I finished with 28/264km and our team is at 81.99/792km. I’d say that’s a pretty great start and week for Three Moms on the Run. We just need to find the time to get out together and do a social distancing run!!!!

As summer approaches and no races other than virtual, I’m thankful for race directors who are coming up with new and creative ways to keep us running and motivated.

Anyone else taking on a big challenge this month or summer?

What’s your favourite go-to on Netflix? I may have finished Sweet Magnolias already.

What’s one thing you are enjoying about virtual races (if you’ve signed up for any).?

Favourite Gifts for Runners

What do you get a runner who has everything? {I know that’s what my husband is thinking}. The good news is that I don’t have “everything” but I do have a lot of favourite items I consistently use year round. You can never have too many ideas for gifts.

There’s a lot of “stuff” out there for runners from clothing to sneakers, from medal racks to yak tracks and fueling food to books. Each runner is different and each runner might not have tried it all. Having gift receipts might be handy for the person you are buying for as it gives them the option to exchange or return if necessary.

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My Favourite Running Items

These are a few of my favourite things (sing it, it sounds better). Some have been gifted to me and some I may have gifted myself 😉

Compression socks. Oh my how I love compression socks during long runs, post runs and when my legs are tired. There are many brands out there: ProCompression, CEP, Tiux etc., with various colours and sizing.

PROCompression Socks

Headbands. These can be great stocking stuffers and I may have bought some Frozen themed ones for my girls this year! I find headbands tricky as most slide of my head 😦 I have an awesome set of Asics headbands but they don’t stay put which is so disappointing. I’ve been using the same one from Sparkly Soul for a few years and recently bought two Badass Mother Runner {BAMR} headbands and love them! Again, different colours and styles are available.

head bands

Fuel. This can be a tricky one but I’m a big fan of GU’s for long runs – they work for me. I’ve tried other stuff but it never sits well with me. I’m also a fan of Vega products not just because my husband is a vegan. However, in the last few months,  I recently found my new favourite “fruit punch” Nuun. I’ve tried many flavours but fruit punch was the best one (to me) and I’m down to my last tablet…hint hint Saï.

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Belts. I’ve had two different belts to put stuff in when I run. I don’t use the FLEXR belt anymore as it doesn’t fit much it in. A few years ago I won a Flip Belt and use it on almost every single outdoor run. I can fit a lot in it {cell phone, Gu’s} and it’s comfortable and easy to use. I also have a Nathan fuel belt that I bought for my longer runs; I can just squeeze in all my long run stuff plus water.

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Seasonal gear. One of my favourite items I received last year from my husband was this amazing winter toque from the Running Room. It’s really warm and my pony tail can fit through a little hole. I also received a great pair of running gloves – crucial for winter runner in Nova Scotia!

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Safety Tools. It’s so important to be visible to others when running outside, especially now while it’s darker longer than it’s light outside. YOU’VE GOT TO BE SEEN! I always run with a vest on at night and there are many different types out there. Last year I also received an awesome headlight or torch as my husband calls it. Investing in a good headlight is worth it.

This past year, I had the opportunity to review Night Runner 270 lights that go on your sneakers. These too are amazing! They are extremely easy to use and can’t even feel them on your shoes when running. They light up the street in front of you and anything reflective!

nightrunner270 lights

The other items I received as a gift from my husband {remember he’s a paramedic} was a Road ID. In case something happens to you, you can have critical information on this ID and contact information.

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Gym Membership.  Not all runners like going to the gym to run on a treadmill…me, I love having access to a treadmill. Memberships to gyms like GoodLife Fitness can come in handy on those bad weather days in the winter or when you want a air conditioned place to run in the summer. If you are not a gym goer but want access to the occasional opportunity, day passes are great stocking stuffers.

REGISTRATION for a race! This has to be one of my favourite gifts to received and I’d be 100% happy to buy registration as a gift too. Even if you can’t register the person for the actual race, you can find out the fees and make a creative card to put the money in for their “registration”. They can either choose the race they want to go in or put it towards a race that they just couldn’t afford.

These are just a few of my favourite things {again, it’s better when you sing it like the Sound of Music}.

What’s your favourite running (or workout) gear?

Ever buy something new for a runner friend and they didn’t like it?

What do you want for Christmas {or other holiday} this year?

Note: This post is not sponsored and reflect my opinions only. I was not asked to write this post on behalf of any products lists. These are simple products that I’ve come to love and use all the time.

What I Love about the Running Community

Ever find yourself in a community and realize it’s the right one for you? Well, I often find that happens in the running community, whether that is with your local running club, small group of mother runners, online chat groups or social media networks. The running community is no different then the cross fit community or triathlon community – we’re all nuts in our own ways 😉

Kidding aside, when you find a community that speaks to you, you embrace it and develop a sense of pride for those people around you (online and off). This year I feel like my running community has doubled or tripped between local clubs or online chat groups. I feel lucky to be involved in all these running communities and that has change the way I run.

Running What I loved About

I started a “Running: What I Love About” series. If you missed the first two, you can catch up here:

What I Love About The Running Community.

Running Clubs

To me, running clubs are the hub of a running community. Be it a group of 2-5 mother runners that meet every week while their children are with someone else or groups of 25-50 who meet at the local coffee shop after completing various distances, running clubs are their own community.

Meeting up for weekly runs become a tradition for lots of runners however it can also be the start of not only early morning runs but life-long friendships. You train together and go to races together. You meet up for a lunch time run since you work in the same area. You may even plan your weekend around your weekly run with your running club. They are important to you, running is important to you and the two just go hand and hand.

Running clubs are socials for the active-minded people who may or may not share a post-run adult beverage or brunch together. Members in the club can make you do things you didn’t think you’d want to do; like run a longer distance, sign up for a new race or dress up in a costume and run in it!IMG_20150725_083958

 

Met up with an old friend and new friend from TTP Running Club this summer.

I belong to a few running clubs though I rarely get out to run with them because of our family schedule. However, when I can get out to the runs, I’m welcomed like I’ve been there from the beginning only I get to introduce myself again to those I haven’t met at past events. Running clubs are welcoming and I love how they include everyone – at least that’s my experience.

I truly believe that running clubs can change your life. Whether it’s getting more active, losing some weight, making new friends or increasing your weekly mileage.

Social Media Groups

There are so many social media platforms out there now and to be honest, I find it hard to keep up. I’ve slowly increase which ones I use and I’ve decided not to add any more because I simply cannot keep up with it all.

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At Bluenose Marathon speaking as part of a panel with these fine fella’s!

Some of the best running tips I’ve learned through social media; through this blog and others, RunATCan twitter chats, mother runner groups and Canadian Runner’s groups on Facebook. I’ve learned about training plans, fueling, tapering, cross training and about races around the world that have peaked my interest. I’ve met new friends and yes, they are friends. When you continually have conversations with them you build a relationship and end up asking how their race went.

Running Atlantic Canada {@RunATCan} is mainly those runners in Atlantic Canada who chat once a week on Sundays for an hour. There is usually a topic with 6 questions. This is where I learn about other races and what local runners are doing, where they are racing and even about products they love. It’s not exclusive to Atlantic Canadians so feel free to check them out on Twitter.

Bluenose Weekend 2015 Running Room Runatcan

Bluenose Marathon with John Stanton & RunATCan peeps. 

Thanks Paul for the photo – see runners are helpful when you lose your own photo, they share theirs with you 🙂

The other great part of this group is going to a local run and meeting up with them, waiting for them at the finish line or having them wait for you. You are apart of an online running community that moves into your “in-person” life at events or for meeting up for training runs.

Networking

One thing I love about running is the networking; whether that is for work or pleasure – you network when you run. You meet new people, you learn about a great place to have lunch or you discuss a project at work. In some cases in the running community you see race directors coming together, sharing ideas, promoting other events and even running of volunteering at other events.

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Networking is about building up your community and the runners community always seems to be successful with this. It’s about building up your opportunities to train, to volunteer, to meet people, to challenge yourself and to learn from others.

Supportive

When you suddenly see yourself on the injured list, you start to question “why me”. What did you do, why did it happen to you, why now? Sometimes you’ll get an answer to your questions but there is a good change you might not. Your running buddy loses their partner, your office chat about your weekend runs are no longer, your blog updates about your increasing miles decrease in enthusiasm.

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However, when you do becoming injured you suddenly become supported by more people the you think you know. Your encourage and offered tips on what to do, who to see, that your not alone. You feel that community around you.

When I had the opportunity to pace the 10k at Valley Harvest Marathon, I didn’t really think of how I could impact someone else’s run. Yes, I knew that people would want to finish before me, with me or close behind me. I was excited when I got an email from Sandye saying that she’d be keeping an eye out for me. What was even better was meeting her just before the 5k mark, chatting along the route and then seeing her finish well before me.

sandye and I post race

Though it was hard to hold back at the end of the 10k so I’d finish on time {1:09:59), I felt like I did the job I was supposed to do and supported the runners (community) to finish on time.

For me, the best thing about the running community is how supportive they are of one another. That could be the runners themselves or race directors. It could be waiting for your new friend to finish their race and celebrating with them. It could be learning about a new sports bra that won’t disappoint.

If you aren’t part of a running community, it’s time to get immersed.

Do you belong to a running club? How often do you go?

What’s your favourite online running community?

What do you get out of your running community?

 

MRW Half Marathon Training Week #5

And it goes a little something like this……

SorryNotSorry for that 😉

What Was Planned VS What Really Happened!

Monday July 20th: Rest Day – Rest Day – Really nailing Monday’s rest day!!!

Tuesday: 5k5k humid morning run. 

Wednesday: 7k7k run outside. I was pretty convinced this run was NOT going to happen but I’m sure glad it did. You can read more about it here but to sum it up: rough day = fast pace Piper.

Thursday: 5k5k Treadmill run at 8:15 pm. Nothing special about this run other than it was another long day, soccer night for Lilly but I managed to get it done. 

Friday: Rest DayRest Day . Nailed this rest day too 😉 We hit the road late afternoon to hang out with our family in Halifax. 

Saturday: 13k – 13k outside. I met up with three other mother runners around 7am. Renee has three children, Natalie currently has two and Tracey has two as well.The plan was to run out 6.5k on a gravel trail (BLT Rails to Trails) and return. 

We stayed together as a group of four until the half-way mark and then I had to slow down A LOT! The first 6k of our run was a little fast for me to maintain so Renee and Natalie kept their 6 minute/km pace and Tracey and I slowed down to 6:20 minute/km.

1 – 6km was fast for me but it was great as I was still able to have a conversation. (6:27; 6:12; 6:04; 6:07; 5:59; 5:52)

7 – 9km was terrible. I walked way more than I wanted to. I answered questions with “Yes/No” and didn’t elaborate because I couldn’t talk, and I questioned it being a hard run vs me being lazy. (6:52; 6:46; 6:26)

10 – 13km Some how I managed to maintain a good solid pace (or what seemed like a good pace) and the short walk breaks were behind me. We even plowed up the last hill to finish off our run.(6:35: 6:58; 6:14; 6:08)

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Tracey, me and Natalie (Renee kept running).

Then I left on a 4 hour drive to visit a good friend of mine – sans kiddies!!!! I forgot what it’s like to drive long distance with no one in my back seat!

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A girls gotta drive in comfort, right? Don’t worry, I didn’t step out of the car like this.

Sunday: Cross Train – NothingThe plan was to hit up the gym on my drive back but that didn’t happen. I was in a hurry to get back to meet my new niece that was born earlier that morning. She’s beyond beautiful and she held my hand for a 1/2 hour – I’m in love again!

Overall: It was a good week but I had a few struggles along the way. Really, no complaints here. I noticed I wear a lot of purple some days (not planned):

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Highlights:

  • Having an awesome run when I wasn’t even expecting to finish 3/4 of the distance.
  • Long run with some awesome mother runners.
  • Meeting my niece.

Week 5 # of km: 30km

Total km of training to date: 132 km

Looking forward to next week: This is going to be an interesting week of my planned runs and workouts happening on random days. I think my long run will happen mid-week instead of the weekend since my husband will be away. The plan is to just get what I can done when it’s possible.

Week #4 update here, in case you missed it. I can’t believe I’m starting week 6 – halfway there!!!

Do you rearrange your running schedule often?

What’s the most important run(s) during your training cycles?

Did you love hearing a little Run DMC ?