Valley Harvest Marathon Kids Run 2016 Recap

It seems each year the weekend of Valley Harvest Marathon (Canadian Thanksgiving weekend) the weather is different. In 2014 it was super wet, last year it was the windiest and this year probably the warmest in a few years. With the bright sun-shining down on over 1000 kids, it was a great day!

We actually started the day off with swimming lessons at 8:30 and were amazed that it went so well. We were expecting Hilary have a meltdown since she dislikes water and didn’t want to do swimming lessons. Lilly swam in the deep end for the first time unassisted and Hilary was in the water the whole time with an instructor! Big win!

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After an early lunch we headed off to Wolfville to pick up our race kits and meet up with friends. Race kit pick up with kids can be a bit hectic but they had some activities for the kids to do which was great. We ran into lots of people we knew which is always fun.

drumming-at-vhm-kids

We waited outside from 1:30 until the 2 pm start time which for our three-almost four year old, was too long of a wait (parenting lesson learned).  At 2 pm the under 5 girls went, which meant it was Hilary’s turn to run one lap around the Acadia track. Last year she did it all by herself so we expected her to do it again by herself. That was not the case.

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After see most of the kids pass around the track, Hilary was nowhere to be seen. I made my way over to the other side of the field to see her walking with a sad face. I tried to cheer her up and her response was “I just want to run with you”. With no hesitation, I grabbed her hand that was reaching out to me and took off in my Birkenstock. She cruised around the track to the finish her lap. She’s actually a fast runner so it was funny trying to keep up with her in birks. Afterwards she was so happy to “have won the race”!

Next up was under 5 boys and then it was supposed to be 5 & 6 year olds girls. I’m not sure if they changed it last minute but as Lilly was waiting with the other 5 & 6 year old girls they announced it was only 5 year olds going. Six year olds had to go back and wait with their parents so Lilly stepped to the side of the track. Lilly was fine but it was a little chaotic for some parents and kids. It was 5 year old girls who then did two laps followed by the 5 year old boys who did two laps, then it was Lilly’s turn with the 6 year olds. We waited in shade near the start to watch all the runners finish.

Finally it was Lilly’s turn and she was so excited. We talked a lot about pacing herself as sometimes she goes too fast and then get’s a stitch in her side. She did a great job running and had a happy face as she passed us on her first lap. The best part was watching her get her medal and run over to me with excitement all over her face. So worth it.

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We played on the field with friends and took in the Run, Jump, Throw, Wheel equipment that a friend was facilitating. We got to practice throwing a pretend javelin on a rope which was really cool.

Though it was a bit chaotic for some parents it was a great day to have kids out running and cheering each other on. There was lots of traffic delays due to highway and road construction that you can’t really do anything about. We had typical wait times getting out of Acadia University where the run was held but that to be expected when you go to an event like that.

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I love having such a great event so close to home to watch not only our girls run but their friends run too. Sometimes we parents feel like we run around with our heads cut off when taking your kids to fun events like this but in the end it’s all worth it. The girls had a blast and that’s what really matters.

Big thanks to Valley Harvest Marathon committee for the Kids Run – 1000’s kids registered – that’s awesome!

Do your kids run in kids events?

Anyone’s kids run in the Valley Harvest Marathon?

Do you plan for traffic delays when going to a race?

Valley Harvest Marathon 10k Recap to come…it was great!

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Pace Bunny Adventures & Thanksgiving!

Drum roll…………..I’m running my first race of the year Sunday morning! Eeekkk, I’m kinda of excited and nervous all at the same time. I’m hoping by pacing the 10k (1:10 finish) I will shake out any nerves I have for the following weekend’s half marathon in PEI. Fingers crossed.

Pace Bunny 10k VHM WRP

I even went for a few practice runs this week! Wednesday I tried to follow a 6:45 minute/km pace but was all over the map and didn’t set my Garmin correctly. Thanks to some awesome tutorials I found online, I managed to sort out my Garmin for Thursday’s RUNCH.

I finished a morning meeting and stopped by my house for lunch…well, to run and eat lunch as quickly as possible before returning to work. I was planning to run at 6:50 minute/km and managed 6:48 minute/km…not too shabby, eh! I even picked up a stick (no lie) and ran with it for about a km. Why? Well, I have to run with a sign for the first 5km. It’s a little sign that reads my distance and pace/finish time and it’s on a little wooden doweling. Don’t worry, I dropped the stick when I saw someone coming in the opposite direction 😉

What I’m excited for this weekend?

  • Watching both of my girls run their races: Hilary’s first 400m and Lilly’s 3rd time running this race but 800m this time.
  • Being with my little family and bigger family.
  • Enjoying the local running community over the weekend.
  • Pacing others to a 1:10 finish.

As mentioned, Lilly’s run the Valley Harvest Kids run in 2013 and 2014She’s super pumped. I will more than likely run the 400m with Hilary as she’s a little younger than when Lilly ran it on her own the first time. I’m cool with that, twist my arm 😉 I took them to see the track last weekend so Hilary would understand where she would be running. 

What I’m nervous about?

  • Pacing others to a 1:10 finish or faster 🙂

My goals are:

  • Run with Hilary and cheer on Lilly.
  • Encourage those around me to push their pace if they are struggling and to push those ahead of me that are feeling strong and want to finish before me.
  • Finish as close to 1:10 as I can.
  • EAT ALL THE FOOD SUNDAY AFTERNOON!

Thanksgiving:

I have a lot to be thankful for though it may appear on my blog that I haven’t been the happiest camper lately. I’ll be honest, life isn’t easy … BUT, what you make of it is up to you. It’s been a long year injured and a long 2 years being a part-time single parent (and no, it’s not easy on my husband either).

I’m thankful my husband and I have jobs, that our girls are healthy, that they test our patients, that they accomplish new things (biking, swimming, saying full sentences, writing words etc.). I’m thankful for where I live and the friends I’ve made since we moved here roughly 8 years ago.

I’m thankful for an amazing running community; online, offline, local, in Timberlea and Halifax. I’ve learned a lot from blogging, twitter chat groups like RunATCan. I’ve been humbled by comments and brought to tears often by the kind things people have said to me as I’ve struggle with my hamstring and more recently my foot.

Though things are HARD at times, most of all I feel lucky for all that I have in my life.

So, to all those Canadians celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend – I hope you have a lovely long weekend with your family, your friends and your neighbours.

Oh, and if you want to see how all the races go….check me out on Instagram.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good luck to all those running this weekend at the Valley Harvest & Chicago Marathon!

What are you thankful for?

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Anyone racing this weekend?

Fall Eats & Treats for Thanksgiving Dinner

With Thanksgiving coming up this weekend, all I can think about (besides pacing the 10k) is all the yummy food we’ll be eating. Turkey, ham, sour cream potatoes, sweet potato bake, veggies galore and special family recipes that we *hope* the person brings to meal.

My aunt always makes these amazing chocolate coconut {Queen Anne Squares} that are to die for – I’m holding out that she’s making this. I’m on the sweet potato bake (mashed potatoes with peanut butter and maple syrup on top) and of course a few vegan treats!

Last night instead of running *gasp*, don’t worry I went to a great yoga class at lunch time 🙂 Last night I did a little baking…muffins, cookies and pie crusts for the weekend.

Since we went apple picking last weekend we have a bag full of apples to use up: apple pie, apple crisp and I might even make some apple muffins this week too! Since Saï is a vegan, I do all my baking vegan so he can enjoy it. Okay, that’s a lie, I do 90% of my baking vegan.

Some of what I made last night and still to come…..

Vegan Apple Pie

pie

Pumpkin Muffins

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Pumpkin Pie (maybe)

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I’m not sure if I’ll get to the pumpkin pie but I’m pretty sure I’ll be hungry {or should I say “rungry”} after my 10k on Sunday. I’m a few days and a 1 hour drive with the girls and Saï away from Thanksgiving dinner!

What’s your favourite part of Thanksgiving dinner?

What’s your favourite part of fall?

Do you make a secret family recipe to bring to your family dinner?

Anna

Giving Thanks & Valley Harvest Kids Run Recap

Happy Thanksgiving (in Canada)! We’ve had such a great weekend and I have so much to be thankful for.

  • Time with my little family. Sai, Lilly and Hilary – I love you all to the moon and back.
  • My big family – I couldn’t do a lot of the things I do without them – thank you 🙂
  • My friends – those near and far.
  • My health and my family’s health.
  • Beautiful weather Nova Scotia is having this Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Strangers. Yes…I know. I got a flat tire last week and these young kids made me pull over on the highway and helped me. Thank you to both of them.
  • Completing my half marathon training.
  • Completing my 2nd half marathon (new PB) with my family watching (recap to come).
  • Naps, especially post race AND post thanksgiving dinner.
  • Chocolate. Yes, I am thankful for chocolate.

Valley Harvest Marathon – Kids Run

Lilly ran her 3rd run on Saturday night under the lights at Acadia University. It started to rain about 4 PM and I wondered if the rain would keep people from attending. We ate a quick dinner and left the house about 5:45. I asked my husband if we were crazy for taking Lilly to her run in the rain? He responded with “we’ll, we are teaching her that even if the weather is bad you can still be active/run”. Smart fella, eh!

Once we arrived and got inside I took one photo and thought we should head out on the track to wait for the 6:30 start time as it was 6:15. When we got outside I heard “all the girls under 5 are lined up and ready to go”. Thank goodness the stairs took us right onto the track and the start area; I stripped of Lilly’s rain coat and told her to make her way up to the front as she could and to have fun! She said okay Mom and didn’t even turn back once.

L Oct 2014 VHRun

Within seconds they were off and running. We dashed across the turf field and I snapped a few photo’s there. She was running happy and just loving life! After she finished she was SO excited to cheer on the boys next, it was like the whole experience she was on cloud 9.

PR Lilly's Run Oct 2014

We left shortly after the boys finished and were home by 7:15. My husband and I loved watching her run and see how happy she was. Hilary just took it all in and ran around the soccer turf with some other kids too. It was a great event but I’m disappointed they decided to start the run 15 minutes early without any notice; we just made it to the start line and we were early as the start was supposed to be at 6:30. What can ya do?

PR Family 2014 October VHRun

The rest of the night was spent prepping for thanksgiving dinner, prepping for my half marathon and a last-minute blog post. I was rather excited when I went to bed so it took a while to fall asleep.

Half Marathon Race Recap up next!

What are you thankful for?

Do your kids (niece/nephews) participate in kids runs?

Thoughts on taking kids to events in the rain? Yeah or Nay? 

Kids Run, Thanksgiving and A Half Marathon

It’s finally here…Thanksgiving weekend AND my half marathon – double bonus weekend!

I am loving this fall weather we are having in Nova Scotia and feeling lucky to be able to enjoy it with my family each weekend.

This weekend, Lilly get’s to run under the lights at Acadia University (400m). Even though she got knocked over fell down last year, she is super pumped to run! You can read about her run last year here. She has grown so much since last year!

PicMonkey Collage

Sunday is my half marathon and I’m a little nervous because this happened Tuesday night:

KT Tape and Ice

Actually, I don’t even know what happened. I was planning to run 7k and was on my treadmill when all of a sudden at 4.1km I had this shooting pain up my left knee/thigh. I was shocked as all I was doing was running. I slowed down to a walk and tried to run again but it wouldn’t go away, so I walked until 5k and hit the ice 😦

Ice, Ice Baby…..that’s my theme this week. Oh and rest/foam roll as much as I can. I bought some KT tape just in case. I even managed to turn off the lights before 10 pm a few nights in a row – I’m pretty sure that habit’s not going to carry over into next week. I’m trying to eat well and hydrate as usual and somehow I’ve managed to live without chocolate for a few days! Impressive, I’d say!

The best part about this weekend is that my husband is home and we will all get to see Lilly run and have Thanksgiving Dinner together and oh, I get to finish my running goal for the year: run my 2nd half marathon!

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian family, friends, bloggers and followers!

Eat lots, get outside, enjoy the fresh air and time with your family and friends!

Good luck to those running at the Valley Harvest Marathon Sunday and other races 🙂

Anyone running this weekend?

Anyone running Valley Harvest? 

Favourite Thankgiving food ?

PS – You can follow me on Instagram for race updates Sunday 🙂

 

WIAW: Canadian Thanksgiving

Since we celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend I thought I would share photo’s from our dinner. Being the busy family that we were that day, I took no pictures as I forgot my camera behind but I’ve stolen borrowed photo’s that my sister took; so photo credit goes out to my sister 🙂 Thanks Laura.

Drinks & Decorations

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Food

There were so many people  (17) that we had to set up two tables in separate rooms and the food stayed in the kitchen. It was my mom’s side of the family, friends of mine and friends of my brother’s who came to dinner.

It’s always a big crowd for Thanksgiving in our house. In the past (separate years) we’ve had a family from South Africa and two University girls from British Columbia (other side of Canada) come celebrate with us). Always a great time!

Turkey, mashed potatoes AND cream cheese potatoes *amazing*, carrots, corn, peas, stuffing, sweet potatoes and gravy.

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But more important … the deserts. Three pies including my Vegan Apple Pie.

Not shown – chocolate cheese cake and Queen-ann squares (heaven).

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Those were most of our eats for Thanksgiving dinner.

There was also a tofurky, vegan cream cheese potatoes, and vegan stuffing for Sai.

And then we had left overs Monday 🙂

What do you eat for Thanksgiving dinner?

How many people usually attend your Thanksgiving meal?

Happy Wednesday! 

Thanksgiving Vegan Apple Pie

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada ! One of my favourite times of year. We are gearing up for Lilly’s first run today and then Thanksgiving dinner with the fam on Sunday. After going over the menu with Mom I realised I should probably make something for my vegan husband and remembered this yummy pie I made last year.

VEGAN APPLE PIE

Thanksgiving Vegan Apple Pie

Thanksgiving Vegan Apple Pie:

Ingredients:

6 – 8 large baking apples (Granny Smith are best) cored and sliced

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

3/4 maple syrup

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp cinnamon

2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1 pie crust (See end of post)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Core and slice apples into bite-sized pieces.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to boil, then reduce heat to medium and add the apples and optional raisins to simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  • Save 1/4 cup of “apple water” for use later.
  • Drain apples and place in a large bowl.
  • Mix carefully together the cooked apples, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, mix the 1/4 cup “apple water” with the cornstarch over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture turns very thick.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture to the rest of the ingredients, stirring until mixed well.
  • Pour into a pie crust and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Pie Crust: (Similar to Cristco pie crust – one serving)

  • 1 cup and 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick of shortening (I use Earth Balance as it’s vegan)
  • 3-6 tbsp of ice-cold water

Directions:

  • Mix flour and salt together.
  • Cut up shortening and mix into flour.
  • Add water by the tbsp.
  • Put in fridge for 30 minutes to chill (or freezer for 10 minutes)
  • Roll into pie crust

Happy Thanksgiving!

What’s your favourite pie to eat? or make?

What are you Thankful for?

Me: my little family.

Reminder – today’s the last day to enter My Race Ragz Giveaway (US Residents only).