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.

IMG_20150516_143800

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.

pace bunnies

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.

pirates

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?

 

What’s In A Running Photo?

That’s a good question! Those who attend races know that at some point you are going to have your photo taken. We don’t always know when that’s going to happen or sometimes the camera is right in front of us. You finish your race, celebrate and then a day or two later remember a photo should be waiting.

You check your email for the notification, double check the website and BAM…..there’s your photo. Only it didn’t turn out the way you had imagined. I’ve got a handful of those – actually most of my race photo’s are horrible…ha ha! However, I recently entered a contest where you had to submit a photo of you reading Canadian Running Magazine’s recent publication. Since I have a subscription anyway…I had already read the entire thing.

The contest is for a LIFE TIME registration {Yes, you read that correctly – LIFE TIME} to Maritime Race Weekend’s Tartan Twosome (double race). This is what I submitted:

“Read Canadian Running Magazine on MRW, must start training to avoid injuries”

Piper's Run MRW Contest

Though I didn’t win the contest, I love having these photo’s taken by my running buddy! She did an amazing job…all I did was run back and forth, back and forth…back and forth 🙂 A few more for you…..

Gotta run…

PR Read article Must train.jpg

And….

PR Arggggggg MRW Canadian Running Magazine.jpg

Last but not least…

PR Running Running Running Must Train for 2016.jpg

Don’t I look like a happy runner?

Now for a few funnies and bloopers….

MRW photo bloopers

Do you have good race photos?

Ever enter a contest like this?

Do you ever wish you had a personal photography along all your good runs?

Half Marathon Training – Maritime Race Weekend

Well folks, training for my 3rd half marathon has begun! I’m training for the Maritime Race Weekend Tartan Twosome (double race). I’m running 5k on Friday Sept 11th (evening) and a half marathon Saturday Sept 12th.

Website: www.maritimeraceweekend.com

Location: Cow Bay, Nova Scotia

Number of runners: 5,000

Theme: Pirates!

Fun facts: this races has been named Best Designation Race by Canadian Running Magazine (a MUST RUN) and has the BEST BLING / Finisher’s Medals ! (seriously, the medals are ah–ma –zing!)

Past participation: I ran the Tartan Twosome last year – 5k Friday and 10k Saturday where I got two Personal Bests!! Review for 5k here and 10k here.

Training Plan for 2015:

MRW HALF Training Plan

Piper’s Maritime Race Weekend (Sept 12th) Half Training Plan

Thoughts:

I’m really excited for this race as it will probably be my first race of 2015. That’s what happens when you spend 6 months on the injured list!

I am using the Hal Higdon Novice 2 Training Plan and have adapted it to kilometres. Last year, I used Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Training Plan and loved it! I wanted to use it again but felt that I’d be jumping into TOO much running for where I am at with my hamstring (which is really good at the moment!).

HAL HIGDON HALF MARATHON TRAINING Novice 2

HAL HIGDON HALF Marathon Training Plan Novice 2

I’m scaling it back a bit but that’s not to say I won’t adapt the weeks as I move along. I’m planning on doing some cross training: DVD workouts, cycling and swimming with the girls J Yes, I’m totally going to count swimming with the girls as part of my training, ha ha!

Today’s plan was a 5k run! After two days of running 5k’s on my treadmill, my legs and body were a little tired. Not to mention I am still rocking the 30 day plank challenge each morning. I’m up to 2 minutes and 25 seconds – holy poop! It’s hard most days but today for some reason I got through it with very little struggles. Not sure what that means for tomorrow’s plank (2:30).

Today’s run was nothing but a struggle! It was terrible! I started off with a few hills (bad idea) in the shade and ended with a flat trail in the direct sun. It was rough but I feel great now!

hard run june 25

                 

Would you rather run hills first or flat trail during a training run?

Would you rather run in the shade or sun your entire run?

Life Balance and Mental Health – #BellLetsTalk

Today is Bell Let’s Talk day in Canada. What’s that you say? Well it’s Bell (company) raising awareness about Mental Health in Canada. You can text, tweet, call long distance or share their image on Facebook and they will donate $0.05 cents towards mental health initiatives throughout Canada. I wrote about it last year here and in 2013 here. Last June, I took a Mental Health First Aid Course for work and I 100% recommend it for EVERYONE. Look it up people!

Mental health first aid course

A few weeks ago (January 19th) I participated in a weekly Twitter Chat with @RunATCan. That stands for “Running in Atlantic Canada”- Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador. It’s a great group of people who are beyond encouraging, knowledgeable, friendly and a lot of fun!

This specific chat was about “Life Balance” and was huge! So many people or tweeters were on this chat, it was awesome. So, since today is #BellLetsTalk day, I thought I would share the questions and MY responses below…because I believe “Life Balance” and “Mental Health” go hand-in-hand…and so did many of the other tweeters.

Question #1: Give your personal definition of life balance.

My response: A1 Making sure I can fit in my priorities first: family, health (activity), friends. Being okay with NOT doing it ALL. 

Question #2: Do you sometimes struggle w/ life balance as a runner? (running taking over, annoying others/not running as much as you want).

ResponseMy mental health is a priority over many other things and if that means running then yes, running takes priority

Question #3:  Have you ever made a physical list of what your priorities actually are? Whether yes or no, what are the top 3?

ResponseFamily, Health (mental, physical) and then everything else as needed. I also know what is not my priority.

Question #4: Have you ever taken a few days & tracked your time & see how you actually use it? Work, sleep, TV, phone, family, running, etc

Response: Ha ha, yeah but only for a blog post not for me. 😉

Question #5: If you feel like things are unbalanced, how do you hit reset? For some, it’s easy – for others, quite hard. Share your tips! 

Response: Usually it’s after a breakdown (ha) & a good conversation with my husband to get my priorities focused Spouse support

Question #6: Is improving our life balance as runners all about increasing positive things, decreasing negative things or both?

Response:  I think a little of both. You need the good with the bad as life isn’t always perfect. 

So, now you know a little bit more about me, how I attempt to balance my life, running and my mental health. I feel lucky to have this awesome running group on Twitter that meets up at local events as well. I feel lucky to know what supports are out there if I, yes me…or anyone else needs them to help balance their life.

IMG_20150127_161538

My little family in yesterday’s storm 🙂

 

Mental health is important to me and talking about it is even more important. So, please if you can text or tweet #BellLetsTalk today – THAT would be awesome.

Now it’s your turn……leave a comment or heck, write a blog post about these 6 questions and leave me your link.

Question #1: Give your personal definition of life balance.

Question #2: Do you sometimes struggle w/ life balance as a runner? (running taking over, annoying others/not running as much as you want).

Question #3:  Have you ever made a physical list of what your priorities actually are? Whether yes or no, what are the top 3?

Question #4: Have you ever taken a few days & tracked your time & see how you actually use it? Work, sleep, TV, phone, family, running, etc 

Question #5: If you feel like things are unbalanced, how do you hit reset? For some, it’s easy – for others, quite hard. Share your tips! 

Question #6: Is improving our life balance as runners all about increasing positive things, decreasing negative things or both?