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.

 

Oh Hey! I’m still running!

Hey there!

I’ve been running but not blogging lately. We’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks and I thought about writing some blog posts but in the end, I took a bit of a social media break. I even logged out of my apps on my phone *gasp*!!!!!!!! It was WONDERFUL!

I’ve been running a lot, playing soccer, swimming a bit in the OCEAN and lakes, doing a little yoga and cycling while on vacation with my family. We went to the beautiful Prince Edward Island and swam in the ocean during our intense heat and humidity.

Brackely Beach Pipers Run

We also hit up the Butterfly house, visited with family, had an amazing even with friends and their kids. I ran super early in the mornings … ha ha okay, not super early. However, 7 am or 8 am runs while on vacation is early while the rest of the family was still asleep.

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We hate so much ice cream! SO. MUCH. ICE CREAM!!! I might have hit my quota for ice cream this summer…. *might*. We have a list….oh yes, a list of ice cream places we wanted to go to and we’ve hit all 7 of them. Looks like we’re going to have to add on to that list because summer isn’t over.

What else? I’ve been reading more then I ever have. The girls are doing a summer reading program with our library so I figured I’d sign up. I’m not a big novel reader but I’ve found some good ones to read. Ones that I can’t put down which is nice!

summer reading

This past weekend the four of us went to Valley Yoga Festival. The girls went to the kids class and my husband and I went to the other class – his first time! It was great! Also, coaching soccer is wrapping up this week so life is going to be a lot less chaotic in our house!!

What else….oh I signed up for two fall races! I’ll share those with you soon but I’m in week 4 of half marathon training with my husband. Yup, we’re running a race together this fall 🙂

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I’ll start blogging about my half marathon training soon!

How’s your summer going?

Beach or Lake?

Training for a fall race?

 

 

PEI Half Marathon RACE RECAP {Part 2}

If you missed Part 1, check it out here!

Sick kid update – thank goodness for Advil, Tylenol and snuggles. As I put Hilary to bed last night, she said stay a little longer. So I did, I stayed a little longer with her in my arms in the glider, I sang a little longer and I just enjoyed her being under the snuggles….you never want to see your child sick but the snuggles aren’t going to last forever. I soaked it in as long as I could.

21.1 km continued….

I took my first Chocolate GU around 42 minutes, roughly 6k and kept running with the package in my hand as I wanted to find a garbage bin to put it in. Eventually, we crossed the highway and were on the Confederation Trail – beautiful crusher dust and fall colours everywhere!

I instantly had a pebble in my left shoe and was annoyed as it bounced under my toes like it was in a pillow fight, floating back and forth. That’s all I could focus on for a long time. It eventually made its way to my heel and started to feel more like a rock. The level of annoyance was getting up there but I kept running even when it felt like the stupid rock jumped out of my left shoe and into my right shoe in an instant. Seriously! I don’t know how that happened or if I just wasn’t paying attention but the pebble was now in the right shoe! *face palm* WTF!

Around 57 minutes in, I figured I’d finish my first 10k around 1:03 and then did some math. If I kept at this comfortable pace, I could do 20k in 2:06 and or maybe, just maybe push the last 2-3k to finish under 2:10. I hate doing math when I run but this got me excited.

My motto for the run was “stay comfortable” and when I saw “behind pace” on my Garmin, I would say “that’s okay” and smile. Because, really…it was okay. It was okay that I was behind my 6:20/km pace as I felt comfortable and was really enjoying my run. Now, I wasn’t that far off my pace but within reach, right where I wanted to be.

I took out my other GU around 10.5k to warm it up in my hand {really, it’s a nice stress reliever to squish between your hands when running} and it’s easier to swallow when warmed up. As we left the trail and onto the road my legs felt like they were in heaven! Happy legs, happy runner….right!

PEI Finish

Again, I felt so comfortable running. “Ahead of pace” flashed on my Garmin – awesome. This is such a great run…no, don’t say that…it’s such a good run, I thought. The last time I said “great run” when running, I hurt my foot. We ran through a cemetery and I was not prepared for that at all. It was short and sweet but I couldn’t help but think about the people who were buried there. I started to read the names and then got refocused on my run.

Roughly 15-16k

I was feeling good at this point and just kept running at my comfortable pace. We came out onto a street and I floated down the hill. It was rolling massive hills from here on in. I ran up every single hill and kept a comfortable pace for each. I struggled a few times towards the last two hills but didn’t stop. I remember looking at my watch around 17k and was feeling really good still but knew I had more hills to come.

As marathon runners passed me – actually whipped passed me – with what looked like fresh legs, I felt like I was moving at a snail’s pace. A few times I’d yell out “great job” but most of them were focus on their run to reply back. I heard music pumping out of a stereo and the song reminded me of my girls; that made me feel good.

I was hoping to really push it between 18-21 km but I just couldn’t. I did maintain my “pace” and then managed to push it a little more during the last 2km. I knew my husband would be at the finish line so I kept my eye out for his jacket. I noticed him instantly and the smile on my face grew bigger. I was happily finishing my 3rd half marathon with enough juice in my legs to finish strong.

As I high-fived a bear, I knew I had accomplished my goal of running another half marathon. I push those last few steps as the MC called out my name my hands went into the air in celebration. The last few steps I ran with my eyes closed for some reason….maybe I was taking it all in, maybe it was in relief to be finishing, maybe I was overwhelmed with joy. I’m sure my race finish photo’s will tell the story on my face and I can’t wait to see them.

PEI 3rd Half Marathon 2015

I made my way through the finish shoot, grabbed some food and water and found my husband. I gave him a hug but told me not to squeeze him too tightly….as he had an egg/gouda/bacon sandwich inside his coat waiting for me! SCORE!!!! It was still warm as he ordered it from Starbucks just minutes before I finished my race.

I stretched a little (not enough) and ate my sandwich and YES, I had a moment of ugly crying with my husband as the last 10 months came crushing down on me. It couldn’t have been a more comfortable run, I loved every second of it.

Pace Breakdown

1 – 10km pace: 6:06 | 6:18 | 6:23 | 6:16 | 6:21 | 6:17 | 6:26 | 6:16 | 6:21| 6:29 |

11-21.1 km pace: 6:30 | 6:30 | 6:07 | 6:16 | 6:04 | 6:29 | 6:13 | 6:28 | 6:28 | 6:08 | 6:08 | 0:58 |

Average: 6:18/km (goal 6:20/km)

Chip Time: 2:13:28

Garmin Time: 2:13:30

After I ran, we waited around for another RunATCan member to finish his first half marathon and it was great to see him finish. Great job Andrew and congrats! I ran into an old soccer friend, Jenna who was running the corporate distance with some friends.

Later that afternoon we went to The Gahan House for beer, mussels and calamari…I’m pretty sure I made my vegan husband ill with my food choices but it was so good!

Post Run Beer Food

I hurt all over! My hamstring isn’t good but my calf muscles hurt too. I’m taking the week off running since it’s a crazy work week and trying to get my hamstring happy again. The road to recovery after an injury is NEVER over – that’s what I’ve learned this year.

Thanks for reading about my journey to my 3rd half marathon. I’m excited for a 5k Santa Shuffle in December and just enjoying working out and getting stronger. I’m not ready to give up my long runs or half marathon training so expect to read more about that in the new year!

Congratulations to the PEI Marathon for an awesome event! The course is beautiful in so many ways. The vibe at the finish line is energetic. Great job….I will be back!

Again, thanks for your comments, your support and encouragement along the way.

What’s your favourite post race meal or drink?

Do you have any upcoming races?

How do you finish your races?

PEI Half Marathon RACE RECAP! {Part 1}

Whoop, whoop…I finally ran a race for me and didn’t get hurt! Ba, ha ha ha!

Seriously, though…I probably had one of the best races one could have after 10 months of physio (Massage & Osteopath), 4 missed races, lots of volunteering and 2 FRIGGIN’ injuries. Thank you for all your comments on the blog, on twitter, on Facebook and the text messages and phone calls I got from family and friends this past weekend. I’m surrounded by amazing and supportive people and I greatly appreciated ALL of your comments.

I’m going to try and capture it all but will do it in two posts…I know, I know….but I have a sick little girl on my hand and need to get ready for a rough night ahead of us.

Vacation!

It took me a while to get over the guilt of leaving my girls for four days. Crazy, I know! I just had this guilt over me for a few weeks thinking I should bring them with me so we could all be together for a weekend. This would have meant Lilly missing two days of school {which I’m fine with} but it also meant all four of us would sleep in the same room. Recipe for disaster for a mother runner!

My parents came to our house to take care of the girls and I left Friday for Prince Edward Island. It was about a 4.5 hour drive. Thanks Mom & Dad!

Once in PEI, Sai and I decided to go out to a British pub called “The Churchill Arms”. The food was awesome! The guilt went away and I was able to enjoy time with my husband and actually relax – like feet up on the couch relax for hours! Gasp!!!

The Expo {Friday}

This was pretty neat for someone from out of Province. It was held at the Confederation Center for the Arts in Charlottetown {Ch’town}. I had no idea where I was going once we got inside but figured it out after I saw a few other runners in front of me. The expo is small but just right. They didn’t give you a swag bag but you could get a bag if you wanted on along with any printed material along the way. There were probably 10 booths set up: Running Room, Fusion belts and a few others but I didn’t stop. I kept walking to find out where to pick up my bib and tried to convince Sai to sign up for the 5k. He wasn’t budging 😉 I got my bib and shirt and was good to go!

My cousin Jennifer works at the library so we went to visit her. You know, it’s ALWAYS great seeing your family when you are away. We chatted for a while and she suggested going to The Gahan House for drinks post race….we kept that in mind.

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{Saturday}

We had no obligations Saturday, other then to find a pair of throw-away shirt. We hit up the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market, were unsuccessful at finding a throw-away shirt and couldn’t find “the right poncho” anywhere. We made my favourite vegan avocado pesto pasta for dinner and went out one last time to find “the right” poncho for my run. Fun fact: I had two of these poncho’s in my running container at home, oops!

My poor husband! I’m pretty sure he was ready to kill me Saturday…or loose me shopping. I couldn’t decided what to wear for my run as it was calling for +5C with rain but feels like 0C. WTF  – oh, and I may swear a lot in this post {sorry Mom!}. All day I’d change my mind about what I was going to wear.

I started off with this….

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…and ended up in this….

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The Poncho look.

Okay, I didn’t run in the sweat pants or the fleece sweater but I rocked the yellow poncho! Thankfully after dinner, Sai recommended we head out one more time to find a poncho, hair dryer since I forgot mine and sweat pants. Gotta love Wally world for some super warm and comfy pants – they were a life saver!

Pre Race {Sunday}

5:27 am I woke up but tried desperately to keep my eyes closed as I just wanted to sleep a little longer. That didn’t work, hence knowing the time I was awake. I got up around 6:10 and started my day. When Sai met me for breakfast I was super nervous. I sat there eating a cold piece of bagel with coconut peanut butter and OJ. My right leg was resting on a chair and my left leg was trembling up and down under the table. Every so often, I’d tried to control the trembling but my leg just wanted to shake. Nerves were totally settling in and I could only eat half  of my bagel. I’d later eat a banana in the car.

We arrived at the start around 8am {note – way too early for a 9am start in the rain}. The Full Marathon started in a different location at 8am and would finish with the half, 10k and 5k runners downtown Ch’town. I am SO thankful we found a poncho the night before as it was piss pouring rain when I met Charlotte, a #RunATCan friend who was running the 5k.

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I was wearing my shorts under my sweatpants but decided last-minute to switch out and put on my winter…YES, WINTER running pants as it was wet AND cold at this point. I’m not sure how it happened but the rain went from piss pouring down to a light shower to nothing within 10 minutes of the race starting. As I started to walk towards the start area I ran into another twitter friend, Erin – she was running the 5k. After a quick photo, I went up to the START area and waited patiently as my Garmin caught the satellite. I was super nervous!

21.1 km

There was a little announcement and we were off running…no gun warning. I knew nobody around me, though I made sure to keep an eye on the 2:10 and 2:30 pace bunnies. I started running in my yellow poncho as it was still raining and I was cold. I didn’t want to be wet AND cold starting off so I thought I would keep the poncho on as long as I could.

As I ran with the crowd dodging puddles, pot holes and cracks on the street, I just ran at my pace not those running past me. It took a while but I managed to get into a comfortable groove. My plan was a 6:20 pace, to run comfortably and then push the last 2-5k as I could. Seemed like a good plan to me!

We ran around Victoria Park and I took in the view of the ocean and land off in the distance as the sun was starting to peek out from behind the clouds. I looked around and thought…man, I’m lucky! My poncho was starting to piss me off but I wasn’t ready to part ways with it. As we entered my Aunt/Uncles subdivision, I felt comfortable and like I was in my old neighbourhood. I’ve run these streets many times on vacation and while visiting Sai and family. {Newbies – my husband works in PEI as a Paramedic}.

I ran most of these roads and knew what hills to expect or at least I thought I did. I saw a soccer field near the ocean and all I could think about was if a ball went in the water, they’d be screwed! Around 4k, I took off my poncho and stuck it in my belt….that felt awkward but I kept running. Around 5.5k I saw a water station and decided to ditch the poncho.

I felt comfortable and was really enjoying my run. At times, I thought about all my physio (and other) appointments. I thought about all the frigging pain in my hamstring I had but kept running. I ran up hills I didn’t know about and passed people – I felt really strong!

Every so often my watch would beep “behind pace” and all I could think of was “that’s okay” with a smile on my face. I literally said that every single time I saw “behind pace”. As the crowds of runners thinned out, I still felt comfortable. “On pace” would appear on my Garmin and I’d smile more….I was right were I wanted to be! I aimed for a 6:20/km pace but hoping to keep it under 6:30/km.

Okay…..sick kid needs my attention…..I’ll leave you hanging for a day now……………….

Hope you all had a great weekend?

Anyone race? PEI? STWM ? Others?

Have any snow this weekend? We did!

Let the PEI Half Marathon Weekend Begin!

It’s here!!!! PEI Marathon weekend is upon us Maritimers and I’m one of those lucky ones running the half! After an adventurous year of injuries, multiple treatments, 4 missed races and lots of tears, I’m excited to run this race.

Yesterday (my only day in the office) I managed to squeeze in a quick 5k at lunch and I’m so glad I did. I needed the fresh air and sun on my face. It’s nice to have a few last runs before the big day. I’m hoping that after my 4.5/5 hour drive today, Saï and I can go for out for a short run…a run date if you must 😉 {Sai…get your running gear ready}.

Oct 15th PR Run

Goals

I’d love to say I have some lofty goals like a new PB (2:05:10) but for this race my main goal is to run the 21.1 pain free and feel good the whole time. Don’t get me wrong, if a PB happens, I won’t turn it away but I can honestly say I’m not in that kind of shape….and THAT’S okay. If I’m having a really good race I might be able to pull off 2:10 but I’m feeling like I’ll be around the 2:15-2:20 and again, I’m okay with that. No A, B or C goals for this race.

Emotions

I have butterflies floating around my stomach as I write this and a few tears forming….gosh, it was such a shitty running year for me for so long. I’ve cried periodically on my runs for no reason at all. At the beginning, in the middle and sometimes when they are over. Maybe it’s the fact that I can vision myself running the distance, maybe it’s just because I want to run the distance so bad and seem to have fought hard to get here. I dunno. When you want to do something and you physically are held back it can become such a mental game. It can also become something you work hard for…..really hard for.

Runner’s Life

You jump out of bed at 5:45 am to make sure you are up and ready to meet your running buddy for a long run. You follow your training plan or mix it up depending on what life decided to throw you that day. You take a rest day when you really shouldn’t but your body and sometimes your mind just needs it. And you do way more laundry then you’d ever expect! Oh, and you struggle to get up at 6:30 am on your work day….yeah, that’s real. I strongly dislike getting up on a work day but leap out of bed on an early morning run day.

{Random Finish Race Photo from last week’s Valley Harvest Marathon 10k}

Finish photo at Valley Harvest marathon Pace Bunny

Sorry, that was too good not to share. I’m unsure of the photographer who took the photo but Thank you!.

For my 3rd half marathon, I’m just going to run. Run for me. Run for my girls and husband. Run for my friends. Run for the various running groups and communities I belong to. Run for the races I’ve missed. Run for the many races I volunteered at this year and run for the love of sport. That’s what it really comes down to, I do love to run.

Race Updates

I can’t promise a race recap on Monday as I’ll be spending most of the day in the car and the remainder of my day/evening with my girls. Plus Canadians will be VOTING Monday {Don’t forget to vote!}. I will keep my Instagram and my Facebook page updated so you can check out how the race went that way….if you want a sneak peak 🙂

Good luck to all those running the PEI Marathon (#peimarathon); all distances – Charlotte, Andrew, April. Good luck to those running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon (#STWM). 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Cheers, Piper. 

Two Weeks Out from PEI Half Marathon

It’s been a great week of running! So I’m just going to get right to it…….two weeks out until PEI Half Marathon (half #3 for me). I’m getting excited, eager to run the distance, looking forward to the challenge of a new event/course, meet up with some #RunATCan peeps and of course spending some time with my husband {sans kiddies}.

Last week went a little like this……….

What Was Planned vs What Really Happened:

  • Monday: Rest Day Rest Day (though I really wanted to run)
  • Tuesday: 5k 6k on the Treadmill.
  • Wednesday: 8k8k on the Treadmill (getting my fix of Scandal)
  • Thursday: 5k5k Outside
  • Friday: Rest DayRest Day (might have over indulged on food and wine)
  • Saturday: Long Run18k Long Run – you can read about the fun here!
  • Sunday: Cross TrainJillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 Level 2

Total km: 37

Weather: It’s been much cooler these days and nights. Long sleeves are required but I’m trying to push-off wearing capri’s as long as I can. Early morning runs require lots of reflective gear and lunch time runs (which I didn’t do last week) would require shorts / t-shirt or rain gear.

I’m feeling: Relieved to have 18k under my belt with no pain during, after or the following day! This is a big win!!!

I enjoyed: Taking our girls to see the Acadia track so they know where they are running next week {Kids Run}! After that, randomly deciding to go apple picking 🙂

track and apples

I’m looking forward to: Pacing the Valley Harvest 10k but slightly nervous about keeping my pace at 7 min/km for a 1:10 finish time. This race isn’t mine. I’m using it to do a tapered long run a week before my half marathon. I’m running this race to get those who want to finish under 1:10 or around 1:10 to the finish line on time. I’m running this race because it’s a local race that I enjoy doing. It’s going to be a good time!

I’m also looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner and making vegan apple pie with all the apples we picked this weekend.

I’m motivated by: An email message I got from an old friend. She called me “amazing” and I truly feel far from that. I’ve yet to mention on the blog but I’m now a 261 Fearless Ambassador! I don’t feel that this makes me amazing (but thank you Kathy for the comment)…I feel encouraged to motivate others to be active. And by being active I mean doing an activity of your choice (walking, running, hitting the gym, yoga, karate, soccer, swimming, cross fit etc.), to be healthy and happy.

So, in return I’m motivated by my friends, family, bloggers, readers of my blog (bloggers, family, friends and strangers I will meet and most I will never meet). Thanks for following my crazy journey of running, motherhood and just life in general.

This week: I’m planning on a rest day, 5k, 8k, 5k, rest day, KIDS RUN with both my girls (Hilary does 400m and Lilly does 800m), then pacing the 10k on Sunday 🙂

How was your weekend?

Anyone race, run or do anything fun?

Ever pace a race?