2018 Running Wrap Up (Late, I know)

I’m not very on top of wrapping up 2018, am I? It’s almost the end of January and I’m just getting around to it now.

2018 was a year of trying to avoid injury and get back to enjoying running again. I signed up for two half marathons, one 5 miler, a 10k and paced a 10k race as well.

The Bluenose Half Marathon was my first race of the year (May) and mainly signed up because a friend of mine convinced me to (well in advance). We both started our training plans in February and both managed to get through it all. The course was in reverse direction from previous years so that intrigued me for some reason.

I’m not going to lie, it was rough! Well, the first 11-13km was great – really great and then it all went downhill for me. Actually, it was literally all uphill from 13k on…hill after hill, after hill but I sure wasn’t ready for some of those climbs. The rain wasn’t a problem – even the downpour of rain didn’t bother me during the last few kilometers but those hills were a killer. In the end, we both had a great run. I finished in 2:25 – not awesome but I was happy to finish.

Then came summer with no races planned but lots of soccer, swimming and cycling. I started training for my next half marathon which I’d run later in October.

September brought two races my way. I ran the Berwick 5 miler which I feel this could be one of my favourite routes to run in a race. It’s super flat with an incline that lasts forever but not bad. I hope to run this again in 2019. I look like I’m dying in the photo below, that’s because I was. I pushed the pace in this race, something I haven’t done in a long time. I was literally trying to catch my breath when this was taken. Note my kids on the right hand side of the photo are clearly NOT concerned about me!

In September I also ran the Maritime Race Weekend 10k and felt great during that run – another great event! It was an extremely hot morning once the fog lifted but a great course on run on by the ocean! Finish line photo from my running buddy Krystol, (the only race we ran together.

During the month of September I managed to run 123 km training for my October half marathon. I’ve never run this much before in a month and most of these runs were done at 5:30 am or 6 am. I was finally doing some speed work and seeing the result during my runs.

October arrived and I was lucky enough to be a pace bunny for the 10k (1:10 finish time) at the Valley Harvest Marathon with True North Pacing. This was my third time pacing this distance and time and finished in 1:10:06!! I’m pretty sure I love pacing races more then I do running them for myself. It’s a lot of fun, motivating and inspiring.

A week later, my husband and I drove over to PEI (4.5 hour drive) to run the PEI Half Marathon together. Well, not really together since he runs so much faster than me but you know what I mean.

We both had awesome races. Saï finished in 1:46 and I in 2:16. I managed to knock off 9 minutes from my May half marathon. We had a great weekend away with our kids – yes, we run races while on vacation without our kids. I’ve already said to Saï that we have to pick our race for this year to run together.

So, 2018 was a great year for running some great races in Nova Scotia and PEI. Though some were rough, challenging, some were amazing experiences and an chance to continue being active in the sports I love.

How was your 2018?

Have you planning out your 2019 races? (I have not)

Anyone repeating a race from last year? (I will be – likely many).

New Year’s Race Registrations

I’ve yet to sign up for a race this year!  *GASP*!!!!!!!!!!

I know! Crazy, eh!

Well, to be honest I’m already signed up for a double race at Maritime Race Weekend for the Tartan Twosome (5k & 1/2 Marathon) in September but I signed up a while ago. One of my favourites!

registration for run

I have my 2016 list of race only half ready…in my head. I’m just not ready to commit! I’m not sure if I’m just scared to register in case my hamstring doesn’t like training again. BUT…….I DID just run 42.2 km over 6 days and my hamstring stayed happy. So what I am waiting for?

Honestly, I have no sweet clue!

I’m hoping to register for a few new races this year and maybe even do something a little adventurous for my birthday but I have 6-7 months to figure that one out.

Every time I see someone register I get excited for them yet worried that I am behind the eight ball when really I’m not. It’s only January 5th, there is plenty of time…right 😉

What’s even better….I wrote this post and then went back on my blog to find the photo above……only to come across this post. Basically, saying the same thing! At least I’m consistent!

Have you signed up for any races? How many?

Are you putting off registration?

What’s the earliest you’ve registered for a race?

My First DNS

It’s official…I’ve had my first DID NOT START!

I was supposed to run the ATF 5k (Apple Tree Foundation) this morning with my running buddy and after seeing my Osteopath last week, she recommended no running outside for at least 2 weeks 😦 I think I’m more sad that I can’t do a race/run with my running buddy more than having a DNS. It’s been months since we ran together and I miss her company and motivation. The DNS, meh…it’s not what a runner wants but at least my registration goes towards a good fundraising event.

I did however manage a nice 5k run on the treadmill yesterday afternoon. My leg felt great during my run and afterwards was leg was great…or so I thought. We went out to pick up a few groceries and when we got home it was starting to get sore. So, I grabbed some ice and sat down for a little bit. I believe I left the ice on for 30 minutes (a little long) and then just used my ace-bandage to compress the muscles.

We bathed the girls and I was starting to feel like my leg was feeling a little better. I ice it again before going to bed and stayed off it for the night.

Last week’s workouts:

Monday: Nothing, still in pain.

Tuesday {Osteopath} / Wednesday / Thursday: Nothing – 100% rest days.

Friday: A few PT exercises. I was going to run but just wasn’t feeling 100% so it was a night with the fam-jam.

Saturday: 5k treadmill run, stretched and foam rolled {later that night}.  I wore my “Keep Calm & Run On” shirt as I thought I needed a little motivation since I knew Sunday morning’s 5k race wasn’t going to happen.

Pre run treadmill selfie

Pre run treadmill selfie

Sunday {today}: My first DNS 😦 No running today as I want to rest my leg but I’ll my PT exercises later today.

Have you ever had a DNS?

If you have a running buddy/group – do you dislike missing running with them when it happens?

How was your weekend?

Weekly Workouts, Hamstring Update & Upcoming Races!

It’s been another good week of running/workouts. I’ve been working hard on getting my hamstring back to 100% and signed up for two races!

Monday: I had the quickest workout at GoodLife Gym. Did 15 minutes on the bike and then ran 3k. I wanted to run more but ran out of time as I had to get back on the road with our girls. Though it was quick, I was happy to get it in.


Tuesday: Ran 6k; 3k on the treadmill and 3k outside before the sun set. Both were great runs!


Wednesday: Ran 7k on the treadmill. It was a slow run and felt like it took forever for some reason.


Thursday: Osteopath appointment – not allowed to workout for 3-4 days. Everything on my right side was pulling my hamstring which was causing the pain when I sit. Hopefully I’m all good to go and will see some improvements in my hamstring. I already feel better than before.

Friday: Required rest day.

Saturday: Required rest day thought I managed 12,270 steps on my Fitbit. We had a busy day with the girls. Swimming lessons for Lilly and Hilary decided to climbing the stairs a ba-gillion times (I was exhausted), then a play date in the afternoon!

Sunday {today}: An easy day (hopefully). I’m hoping to get an easy 3-4k run on the treadmill at some point today if the girls will cooperate 😉

Hamstring Update:

My hamstring is feeling good. As mentioned my whole right side of my body was out of whack, so said the Osteopath. That’s why I was still feeling lots of pulling on my hamstring and my glutes were pulling as well on my hip flexors etc. So far so good.

I’ve been doing little things over the last few weeks to try and feel better:

  • Sitting on an exercise ball at work
  • Using my stand up desk at home more and at work when I can
  • Foam rolling EVERY day
  • Doing my PT exercises and squats every day

I’m hoping to get back to a regular running/workout schedule that includes a new workout (see tomorrow’s book review post) and bringing back yoga. I had to stop yoga because it was over stretching my muscles and I was having MORE pulling/pain.


I’ve registered for two races! The first one is the ATF 5k {local run and fundraiser} that I ran last year; you can read about that here. I also signed up for the Bluenose Marathon 10k, which I also ran last year; you can read about that here. My plan is to take them easy and finish without any pain. Last year I PB’d at both races; 28:00 at ATF 5k and 57:17 at Bluenose 10k. PB’s are not on the agenda right now; pain-free running is.


Over all, another good week of running, resting and getting my hamstring stronger. Make sure to come back tomorrow for a running book review!

Weather report: Though we still have a TONE of snow, it’s finally warming up. It’s going to be plus 8 degree Celsius today and tomorrow it’s going to be +13C – WOAH! Melt snow melt!

How was your weekend?

Sign up for any races/runs?

Do you still have snow where you live?

PSS – I wrote this post twice – lost the first one because I forgot to hit save…ALWAYS hit save 😉

No Races Coming Up

I have no races coming and I am totally fine with it (for once)! This time last year I had already run one race and had a handful more planned/registered for.

So far I have only actually registered for one double race: Maritime Race Weekend Sept 11th (5k) and 12th (1/2 Marathon). Don’t worry that will change…in time.

registration for run

The first race I ran last in 2014 was the MEC Race One and it happened last Sunday in Halifax (and all across Canada). I thought about running it a while back but with a pulled hamstring and limited fitness I decided not to. Also, I didn’t feel like packing up the girls and heading into the city for the weekend.

I thought I might be upset that I didn’t run it but after seeing some of the photos and having a great weekend with my girls, I’m happy I didn’t. One run over that I didn’t run last year and I’m okay with that.

There are two other winter races I wanted to do: Frostbite 8 miler (Feb 21) and the Hypothermic Half Marathon (March 1st). Back in November I was trying to decide if I would run the Hypo Half as it was on a beautiful trail in Halifax that at the half way point, would have me running near my parent’s subdivision. Prime kiddie cheering section! My only concern was the snow and ice and running for 21.1 km on those conditions wasn’t something I was ready to commit to. Good thing I didn’t register as I’m on the injured list 😦

The Frostbite 8 miler runs the almost identical course to the Sackville Sneaker Shredder 10k I ran last November. This event was well-organized but I hated it! After having a conversation with my running buddy who reminded me how much I disliked the course, I decided not to register. So…it’s out.

My running buddy and I keep emailing each other potential races but I have still yet to sign up for anything. I’m just not in a rush because I want to get my hamstring 100% better before I jump into training. I have good and bad news on my hamstring/full marathon training but am going to leave you hanging another day to find out how it’s going.

Do you run all the same races each year?

Ever miss a race a regret it / not regret it?

When’s your next race (or event)?

Pre Race Rituals

Recently I was reading a thread on the TTP Running Facebook page and someone asked a question about Pre Race Rituals. There are a lot of TTP runner’s  that are getting ready to run the Bluenose Marathon this coming weekend so it’s a great place to get some advice right now.

It made me think….what are MY pre race rituals? I really had to think about it. At first all I could think of were my pre game rituals for soccer:

  • Thin socks under my shin pads, than soccer socks on top.
  • A warm up/stretch.
  • A few touches on the ball with someone else or on my own – a must.

Pretty basic. But, if I don’t have thin socks under my shin pads….it throw’s off my game!

sleeping in my running gear

After thinking about my running rituals, this is what I came up with:

  • Pasta dinner the night before a race
  • (More recently) Getting “Flat Anna/Piper” all ready to go
  • Charge Garmin
  • Bagel with peanut butter and banana for breakfast, maybe a little OJ.
  • Pee as much as I can before the race
  • Talk the butterfly’s out of my stomach as I line up for the run
  • Sandals for my post race drive home 🙂

Some rituals that were shared:

  • Left sock on then right sock on. Left shoe on then right shoe.
  • Don’t wear race t-shirt before/during race
  • Double knotted laces
  • Music pumping while you get dressed/drive to race
  • Bib numbers with a specific number in it (ie: favourite number)

Bluenose I'm going to Giv'er

So what are your Pre Race Rituals ?

Are there any rituals that you don’t think anyone else does?

What is the weirdest ritual you’ve heard of?

Running Race Dilemma – Which One To Do?

Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook saying that registration was opening for one of the races I want to do this year. My heart rate went through the roof! HA! The thought of hitting register/paid made my heart rate increase and I could feel it happen – seriously! I had a good laugh at that!

registration for run

I haven’t posted my running schedule yet as I am still decided on a few runs. I have however decided that I will run my (2nd) 1/2 Marathon in the Fall. I’m toying between two runs: Valley Harvest Marathon (10 minutes from my house) and the Prince Edward Island Marathon (5 hour car ride with both girls one way). What do to? Let me break it down:

Valley Harvest Marathon – 1/2 Marathon – October 12th 

  • $60 (early bird is before Aug 31st)
  • Kids Run (Yes – Lilly ran last year)
  • 10 minutes from my house
  • Thanksgiving weekend
  • Sunday morning @ 8:30 am
  • Have run the 5k and 10k before in the past – great events
  • Could just run the 10k this year (and do PEI 1/2 the following weekend)
  • Potential of have family and friends throughout the course – if they want to get up that early 😉

Prince Edward Island Marathon – 1/2 Marathon – October 20th 

  • $67.50 (early bird April 30th)
  • Kids Run – YES!
  • Travel costs ($250- $350 – gas, bridge fees, food)
  • Sunday morning 9 am
  • Having my little family there to cheer me on and maybe a few others too
  • 5 hour car ride with both girls (one way)
  • Staying with family for 4-5 nights (Drive over Friday and come back Monday)
  • Did I mention it would be a 5 hour car ride with both girls more than likely on my own
  • Weekend with my husband and girls…plus Aunts/Uncles BONUS!!!!
  • Driving 5 hours BACK HOME a day after the 1/2 Marathon more than likely by myself (unpacking car, laundry, meals etc)….maybe I’ll just take some vacation time.

My heart really wants to run the PEI 1/2 (like, REALLY WANTS TO) but the logistics of doing that could be pretty stressful leading up to and then still having to travel back home. I just have a feeling that it would be a great run to do. I want to do the Valley Harvest because its 10 minutes from my house, I’ve run the 5k and 10k before, it’s familiar to me and I feel like there will be less stress (potentially). 

race kit pick up

Registration opens tomorrow for The Tartan Twosome Run!!! (Sept 12th  & 13th) A coastal 5k Friday night at sunset overlooking the ocean and the Classic 10k the next 8am sunrise. This would be perfect for training for my 1/2. Plus, I can dress up like a Pirate…RRRRRRRRRR! I’m in! 

What to do, what to do. My heart is torn. Valley Harvest (Oct 12th) OR Prince Edward Island October 17-19th?

Also, I never realised how much I value those kids runs! Lilly is already excited to do another run this year!

Have you ever been stuck on which races to run?

Do you register the day registration opens or wait?

Do kid’s runs matter to you?