August Adventures

Oh, I think August is my favourite month of the year. It’s hot, vacation time, soccer season, stupid HOT, perfect beach weather, watermelon heaven and hot. I’m not a fan of the muggy heat we’ve been having (who has) but I love the heat when I’m in the water – beach, lake, pool….sprinkler too!

I started two weeks of vacation late July and into August and have done so for the last number of years. It’s kinda the perfect timing of almost being burnt out from work but we can still enjoy the summer days with our kids.

We hit up PEI for a short trip due to some car troubles (BIG SAD FACE). We got to visit with family, spend time at our favourite beach and had a lot of car time together (not always fun with young kids).

We spent a lot of time at my parents place swimming in their pool, took an unexpected trip to Peggy’s Cove (again, due to the same car troubles) and had tones of ice cream. I’m pretty sure we ate ice cream twice a day for 3-4 days….I’m not complaining.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I bought a new bike!!!! I’ve been wanting a new bike for a few years now and finally broke down and bought the Liv (Giant) Avail 1. It’s awesome and I love it.

I’ve still yet to name her so if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments. I’m feeling Besty or Blue, I dunno. Hit me up some some suggestions. Though I seem to be getting in some nice rides (44km long ride with my husband), I’ve only managed a few runs.

As I mentioned on IG, I’ve been struggling with my interest with running mainly since I got injured in April but even before that as I barely ran any km this year. I’m trying hard to get in 2-3 runs a week and that’s beyond any soccer games (which yes, is running), riding (once, maybe twice a week) and yoga randomly.

Summer has been busy for our girls with soccer practices twice a week for L and games EVERY SATURDAY! Actually, make that TWO GAMES EVERY SATURDAY. We are exhausted from all the soccer but she’s loving it. H is has been doing some private swim lessons which have been amazing for her. My girls and I went on a trail ride last week (8.61 km), lots of visits to the library, the beach, a friends cottage and even the dentist! Who plans dental appointments during vacation? That was clearly a VERY BAD idea.

Any…way. Summer vacation was good to us and it’s back to work now (BIG SAD FACE AGAIN). Only three more weeks from today and SCHOOL STARTS!!!!!!!!!!!! And one more week of vacation for me 🙂

How’s your summer going?

Anyone exhausted from their kids summer sporting commitments?

Loving running lately or not?

Bike name suggestions?

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Rolling in July

I can’t believe that we are getting close to the end of July already. That means that summer is almost half over for my kids – woah!

I’ve had one week of vacation so far where we went mini golfing, hiking Baxter’s Harbour with friends, strawberry picking, library (summer reading program), private swim lessons, ice cream eating, my birthday, soccer practice and games, campfire/s’mores, birthday parties and more. I was exhausted by the end of the week and I was kinda ready to go back to work, haha!

I’ve barely been running but have put in a few km on the soccer field. I feel completely out of shape on the field. Sprinting in the HEAT is no joke! It’s taken me a while to even want to run after my calf injury. It’s kinda funny when you are injured and can’t run, it’s all you want to do. Now that I’m officially recovered from that injury, I’m just not loving running lately or maybe I’m just enjoying soccer and cycling a lot more!

I’ve been biking A LOT over the last few weeks. From commuting to and from work a few days a week when my schedule permits to having a biking meeting yesterday! Yes, that’s right, our meeting was on bikes!

We did around 18 k on the Harvest Moon Trail and talked shop (grants, challenges, summer programs in recreation). After we ate lunch, I biked from home and finish the day off with 30 km. My quads hurt a little going up/down stairs last night so I quickly avoided that as much as possible. Legs up the walk and reading last night was my jam.

Commute to work!

I’m not a big reader at all but this year I challenged myself to read more books. Specifically, 12 this year. I figured 1 per month was doable and I’m almost at my goal. Not going to lie, I’m loving the GoodReads app.

So reading has kinda taken over my time to run. I’ve even skipped a morning run to finish a book as it was due that day and I was SO CLOSE to finishing it. As for running, I think I need to sign up for a race in order to kick start my running again. I have a few local runs I want to do – mainly 5k and 8k. I do love my early morning (5 am) runs so maybe I’ll get back to those soon. I’ve signed up for a cycling event but nothing else to date.

We’ve also been enjoying some pool time at my parents place this past weekend in the sweltering heat!

Anyone else struggling with your interest in running?

Favourite summer drink?

What’s your favourite activity to do with your kids this summer?

Also, since I’m not blogging a lot, you can find me on Instagram at pipersrun almost daily.

Week 4 Half Training MRW

It was a week of a variety of activity for me: running, cycling, soccer and a little more running and cycling. I’m enjoying adding in cycling to my training as it’s a great leg workout yet low impact on your body.

On Wednesday I surprised myself with an awesome run after a long day and coaching U6 soccer on one of the hottest and most humid night of the week. Those poor kids were feeling the heat just as much as all the coaches.

What was Planned vs What Really Happened

Monday: Stretch & Strengthen | Stretch & Strengthen. I was really stiff after my soccer game on Sunday, so during my lunch break I transformed our office boardroom. After moving tables and chairs around, I did a 20 minute Melissa Bender stretch & strengthen workout. It was just what my body needed.

Tuesday: 6k | 10k Cycling. I wasn’t feeling the best as a stomach bug was going around our house so sitting on my indoor trainer was the best option for any activity.

Wednesday: 35 tempo run | 37 minute (6k) negative split run! This was the best run I’ve had in ages. I started out with no intentions of trying to run negative splits but it just sort of happened. As I was knocking off the km’s, I noticed I was getting faster but didn’t know if I could hold that pace for the last 2km and going up a steep hill. Somehow I managed to really push my pace and even saw 5:45/km! The breakdown of my run per km: 6:47, 6:33, 6:21, 6:04, 6:02, 5:45.

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Thursday: 5k + Strengthen | 20k Cycling. I rode my bike to work 9.92 km and then home for 10.42 km. This was my first time bike commuting to work and I loved it. Though I can’t do it all the time, I sure enjoyed it and can’t wait to do it again.

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Friday: Rest Day | Rest Day. Nailed it!  I was pooped from my week and my legs/boy were just ready for this rest day. I ended up hanging out with my running buddy that night without kids and without running! We may have enjoyed a nice summer beverage 🙂

Saturday: 3k | Leisurely swimming. I had wanted to try and get in my long run Saturday as I had soccer Sunday night but it didn’t happen. Instead, my girls and I swam for 4-5 hours in my parents pool!

Sunday: 11 km Long Run | 10 k Long Run + Soccer Game. WHAM! I decided to get in a 10k run before my husband went to work Sunday morning. My legs felt heavy for the first 5k but I seemed to get into a better rhythm for the last 5k. After a busy afternoon (mowing the lawn, playing outdoors with the girls and walked Carmacks), I somehow manage to play soccer. The girls came with me and had a blast on the playground while we battled it out on the field. We lost 5-2 but I got a goal….from half field! It was kinda weird as it just bounced passed everyone and we all weren’t sure it was a goal or not. Anyway….I did a lot of sprinting that game so my legs are toast! I’m sure looking forward to some stretching tomorrow.

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Weekly mileage: 16k running, 30k cycling.

Though I wish I didn’t miss my run on Tuesday and Thursday, I’m still happy I got in some good leg activity on my bike. I really enjoyed riding my bike to work and hope to do that again this summer at least once more. My week ahead of running might be all over the place but I’m going to do my best to get in what I can.

Do better: I need to do better with my strength training. I missed yoga and with confess I haven’t been doing many PT exercises for my ankle. They need a little TLC, so back at those PT exercises this week.

I’m linking up today with Darlene at My First 5k & More,  HoHo Runs, and  MissSippiPiddlin Don’t forget to check out their blogs!

How was your weekend?

When was the last time you did double sports in one day?

Do you have a “do better” for this week?

Week 3 Half Training MRW

I finished week 3 of half marathon training for Maritime Race Weekend (MRW) with a smile on my face but it started off not great and wasn’t sure it was going to turn around. Luckily it did!

Last week (Mon-Fri) could go down as one of those “bad” weeks of training. It was a week of ups and downs, missed workouts, feeling rushed and exhausted and just counting the days until the weekend. It was a week of learning that I can’t win them all but when I do, it feels so good!

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday: Stretch & Strengthen Day | Nothing. To be honest, I had a horrible day. So many things went wrong and it just felt like a gong show at work/home. After a crap-shoot day, I coached Under 6 soccer. We got home from that and trying to get Hilary to bed turned into hanging out eating a bunch of snacks (watermelon, cheese, apples and blueberries) while I made lunch for the next day. I ran out of time to do any type of workout however, my day turned around when Lilly and Saï got home from her soccer. It was also my birthday so we celebrate with some cake (late night to bed for the girls #1).

Tuesday: 5k | Walking. I was on the road for work and wasn’t able to get in a run before we left at 7:30. I did managed to get in a 40 minute walk later that evening as part of our meeting/walking to dinner on a trail – which was nice!

Wednesday: 5K | 5k. After an extremely late night, I woke up early and got out for a run. The first kilometre I’m pretty sure I wasn’t awake but the being about to look out into the ocean while you run kinda wakes you up. It was great to get it in. I also coached U 6 soccer that evening – late night to bed for the girls #2.

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Thursday: 5k + strengthen | Nothing. Okay, I didn’t do nothing. I walked my dog for 20 minutes first thing in the morning which was actually really peaceful. I worked all day then picked up the girls in different locations. We had a picnic dinner at my work and then went to Lilly’s soccer game! Not done yet….when we got home, I cleaned up the girls, gave them a snack and tried to get them to bed – this took us until 8:30/9pm – late night #3.

During this painful extended bedtime, I did a load of laundry, folded two loads, made half a lunch for Lilly, got all the garbage ready for garbage day, took the dog out in the yard twice. Oh yeah, we got a dog two weeks ago. It was 9pm and I’m pretty sure the girls just feel asleep. I was beyond exhausted but wanted to work out. Instead, I crashed on the couch where my dog just wanted me to pet him (Doggy blog post to come).

Friday: Rest Day | Rest Day. I brought all my gear to run at lunch but ended up not running. At least I was prepared, right!!!

Saturday: 5k Race | 11k Long Run. Oh this run was just what I needed! It was so great! I got up at 5:30 and was out the door just after 6am by myself. It was an out and back kinda of run.

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As the sun started to rise and hit my face on a very cool morning (12C or 53F), I trekked along, one km, two km, three km, four. Sidewalks, cross walks, pavement and crusher dust/gravel. I started off around 6:40/km and then 6:30/km and managed to work my way down to 6:24/km and 6:20/km, I even managed 6:18/km. IT. WAS. GREAT!  I haven’t felt that good after a long run in probably a year.

We then spent the day at Lilly’s soccer tournament where they lost two games and tied one! She had a blast and Hilary did too playing on the playground.

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Sunday: Run | Soccer Game (aka speed work). Sunday night I had a soccer game after a busy day with the girls. We won 3-1. Though the girls didn’t come to my soccer game, it was late night #4 of going to bed!

Weekly mileage: 16k + a soccer game.

Though my week started off rough and I missed some workouts, I’m happy with what I could accomplish with my training. You can’t win the all but you can at least try, right?!?!

We are skipping our girls soccer tonight as they are so exhausted. Between late nights at soccer, long days outside and extremely hot weather both girls are done! Poor Hilary isn’t handling the heat well so we’ve got to get her back on track. Sometimes you just have to miss out on a night of soccer practices (both girls) to regroup for the rest of the week.

Today I’m linking up with HoHo Runs, MissSippiPiddlin and Janelle at Run With No RegretsDon’t forget to check out their blogs!

Though I’m not posting on here much these days, you can always find me over on Instagram.  Also, check out TIUX compression socks (as seen above) and use this discount code for 20% off your next order: ANNASTIUX .

What’s your number 1 summer tip for staying healthy?

Anyone else have a roller coaster week?

Anyone race/train this weekend?

Mother Runner Life’s Adventures & Challenges

Motherhood is no joke! Before I had kids I new parenting was going to be hard but you don’t actually realize how hard it actually is going to be until you have a child(ren).

I love my kids dearly and love watching them grow, learn and succeed. With our youngest she is learning the alphabet (she’s 3.5 yrs) and doing really great with that. Our oldest just finished her first year of school where she learned to read books, write stories and loved her science, math, music and gym classes.

Being a mom who works full time outside of the home takes me away from all the little things I was able to do on maternity leave (1 year in length with each girl). Laundry happens at night, dishes sometimes sit for a day and bigger cleaning happens a little less because… it’s just life. My husband is a Paramedic who works shift work so he sometimes has to sleep during the day.

This past weekend was a prime example of being what I thought was a good parent and then feeling like a terrible parent the next day. The plan was to take the girls to the Zoo then my boss’s house for a swim while my husband slept Saturday. I figured, no problem.

But first, I had to run 12k!

July 16th long run

I got up early and headed out the door around 6:40ish and had a great run. I returned home to the girls getting dressed and just hanging out with Saï. I stretched, showered and started getting ready for the day. I made a picnic lunch, packed the girls up and off we went by 10 AM (my husband was asleep already).

It was extremely hot outside but that didn’t really bother us. The Zoo was fun. Hilary got on the horse for the first time which was really awesome. It’s one of Lilly’s favourite things to do at the Zoo is ride on the horse.  We had snack, some water and even bought some french fries (yeah, at the Zoo) to go with our lunch.

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I was feeling good at this point. My legs felt good and energy was great. After lunch we drove over to my boss’s house and swam for an hour or so. It cooled us off in the heat of the day. We got home to spend a little time with Saï before he went to work. I made dinner and got the girls to bed, had a beer or two, then crashed around 9:30. It was a long day but a good day.

Summer beer……

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Sunday’s plan was to go to the beach with some friends; swim and have a picnic. Great plan but it was a rough day with the girls. They wouldn’t listen, they wouldn’t clean up their mess. They were just giving me a hard time all while I was trying to keep them quiet so Saï could sleep after his second night shift.

We got to the beach late but had a good time. Hilary even went in the water all by herself – this is a big step for her!. Then it was time to head back home. By mid afternoon I crashed and took a much needed nap for an hour. The rest of the night wasn’t great – minor things going wrong that just added to the day’s negativity. I even threw in a soccer game later Sunday night.

Being a mom and runner can be easy peasy sometimes however, sometime it’s a struggle and sometimes it’s just plain old exhausting and HARD. The big thing is to keep going no matter your pace (which I’m not happy with lately) and get in whatever distance you can (I ran 3k last night just to run at 9:30 PM – crazy).

Life happens. Runs need to happen in order to be ready for race day. Sometimes you just have to know when you are doing too much between running and entertaining your kids.

Mother runners: what’s your biggest challenge getting in your runs?

How do you entertain your kids in between training runs and life?

What’s your favourite summer beer?

 

Summer Soccer

I was pretty convinced I wasn’t going to play soccer until this fall when the indoor (winter) season started. Honestly, I wasn’t convinced my hamstring was good to go….I was scared to get on the field and injure it again.

It took a little ( or a lot of) convincing but I decided after running Johnny Miles that if my hamstring was good, I’d play. And just like that, I’m back on the field. It’s been since December 2014 since I last played and it sure felt great.

I’ve joined a women’s 7 aside league which will be different for me as I still loved playing 11 aside. What matters is that I’m on the field and with a group of women (mom’s too) that I don’t know, except for two. It’s kinda fun not knowing most of the team as it gives me an opportunity to meet some new people.

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We only play 60 minute games but it goes by quickly and it’s amazing how exhausting you can get from a quick sprint and then recovering back by doing the slowest trot you could ever do. Speed work at it’s finest! Actually, thinking back to when I was 14 and was doing fartlek’s, trail runs and sprints on the field…that’s where I got started with running.

Last week, after the first game, I just hurt, all over! It felt good to be on the field but I felt odd and uncomfortable for the first 5 minutes and then I just sank back into the game. My shins hurt from my horrible cleats that were being held together by electrical tape and my upper thighs were sore from sprinting. My second game was much better and I didn’t feel odd or uncomfortable as I was able to make better decisions on the field then the previous game.

When I was on the field I got completely lost in the game. You know that feeling of completely being in the moment. I’d forgotten about my family, work stuff, stress, house/yard stuff…everything. It wasn’t until after the game that I realized I was so focused on playing. It’s been a long time since I felt that way and it was kinda nice.

There is lots of soccer games ahead of me this summer between playing once a week and coaching both girls in U4 and U6 soccer. I love it and forgot how much I missed it. Now to just figure out a training plan for what is suppose to be my next (5th) half marathon in September!

When was the last time you ran (played a sport) with people you didn’t know?

What are your summer plans?

What’s your favourite thing to do in the summer?

Happy 4th of July to my American readers! Hope you got to celebrate!

Summer Fun List 2015

This past winter, I never would have thought we’d see the hot summer days ever again! Man, we got blasted with snow storm after snow storm from the end of January to the end of March. IT.WAS.NUTS!

That being said, I’ve been writing down things I wanted to do this summer with our girls. It’s now turned into a summer fun list. These are very specific to Nova Scotia (where I live) and hopefully lead to a lot of great adventures:

Bridgetown Playground

  • Strawberry pickingdone.
  • Go to the Bridgetown Natural Playground (pic above) and have a picnic
  • Swim at Lumsden’s Beach
  • Hike the trails near our house/play in the stream
  • Trip to Prince Edward Island
  • Hit up a beach on the South Shore of Nova Scotia (1.5 hours or so away)
  • Girls – weekend with Grandparents & Me – weekend with my girlfriend who’s expecting in Sept.
  • Camp in the backyard with my family (or camp site if time permits)
  • Go paddling with my family
  • Swim in a lakedone once already.
  • Go to the drive-in theatre – probably sans kiddo’s
  • Complete all my long runs
  • And of course…snuggle with a new niece or nephew later in the summer 🙂

There are more things I want to do this summer with the fam, but I’m keeping it to this list for now.

What’s on your summer fun list?

Traveling far or staying local this summer?

Hope you enjoy your summer!

Cheers, Piper 🙂