Merry Mill Time of Year

Oh December, I can’t believe you are here already! Snow storms (4 days and counting), birthday’s to celebrate (6 year old and 40+ year old), basketball games, soccer games, Christmas concerts and then Christmas! Oh, and we are getting a new roof – happy Christmas to us! 

I broke down and got on my treadmill last week but before I ran on it I decided it was time to decorate it. We don’t decorate for Christmas until after our two family members birthdays  – mainly to keep them separate and hopefully make their birthdays FEEL like a birthday. I needed a little boost for my treadmill run that day and figured the lights would be great.

This is my third year decorating my treadmill…also known as the “merry mill” until I take them down. I didn’t start this trend but another mother runner I follow on Instagram did @mittenrunner.

I’m thinking I might need a few more lights or some garland but we’ll see. My daughter’s think it’s hilarious that I’ve decorated it and want the lights on all the time. It sure makes running inside in December that much better. 

I missed the two local Santa runs on the weekend as my girls had basketball and we had a twelve 6 year olds celebrating our daughters birthday. I’m hoping to get out with a few friends and do our own Santa run!

Any motivational tricks you do for treadmill running in December? 

What’s your favourite way to run and celebrate the holidays?

What’s your least favourite thing about December?

Running: What I Love About My Treadmill

Treadmills have a bad rep, it’s true. The “dreadmill”, “the mill”, “millie” or the happymill not to be confused with the “happy meal”. I’ve named mine “The BEAST” only because when I got it, it looks so big. I love my treadmill.


Are you still reading? Don’t love the treadmill? Well, check out why I do! This is the fourth article in the “Running What I Love About…” If you’ve missed the others, you can catch up here:

Running What I loved About

What I Love About My Treadmill

I got my treadmill in January of 2014, on sale for $400! OH YEAH! There’s is a story behind how it got to our house all the way from PEI (we living in NS) but I’m going to leave that one out. I will however acknowledge my husband, father and cousin had a hand it getting it to our house 😉 Thanks guys!


treadmill nov 30th.jpg

Life Changer

Honestly, having a treadmill was a life changer. At the time we got our treadmill, my husband was away for a few weeks at a time. If I wanted to run, I  would have to do so at lunch time which didn’t always work with my schedule or find a babysitter in the evenings. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve paid for a babysitter so I could run but I can do that multiple times in a week.

As each month would pass, I write my runs down in my little old log book and track the distances. I’d train for races from 5k’s to my 2nd half marathon. I had consistent PB’s in 5k’s, 10k’s and my half marathon and I feel confident it was because I was able to run on my treadmill consistently. I was able to run at home after our girls went to bed. I could run every day if I wanted to, especially in the winter on those stormy days/nights. I ran over 1100 km’s that year – mainly because I had access to a treadmill.

As a mother runner and part time single parent – the treadmill was my me time and my sanity saver.

treadmill run IG

Slower Running

For me, I run slower on the treadmill and I’m okay with that. Why? Well, it’s just the pace I’m comfortable to run at while on the treadmill. Did it bother me – nope. When I run on the treadmill I rarely pay attention to my time/pace unless I’m in the gym and the treadmill is in miles not kilometres. Each time I’d run in a race or training run, I would do so faster then on the treadmill and felt like I could push it more outside.

Don’t get me wrong, I speed up the treadmill often and slow it down as well to change things up. I always try to end my treadmill runs by running faster during the last 1/2 km.

treadmill run 1

Me and “The Beast”


There are so many treadmill workouts available, especially on Pinterest however, they are all in miles. I rarely do these because I don’t want to sit down and do the conversion. Ninety-nine percent of the time I run on manual and always have my treadmill at a 1% incline.


I run in kilometres but a lot of training plans or workouts have it in miles. I found this treadmill conversion a while back which changed everything! For me, I usually run at 9 – 10 km/hour which is 5.6 to 6.2 miles/hour; and in pace it’s 6:39  to 6:01 minute/kilometre. It also shows what my pace would be for 5k’s, 10k’s, half and full if I stayed at that pace.

Right now, I’m running that pace outside as well and a big reason is that my hamstring isn’t ready for me to do any speed work so I’m just keeping my pace to keep my base 😉


I feel lucky to have access to a treadmill and that’s one of the main reasons why I never call it a “dreadmill”. I don’t hate running, I don’t hate running on a treadmill, I feel lucky to have access to one. I feel lucky to be able to run more days in the week than if I didn’t have one.

When the treadmill is your only way of getting the run in, you are lucky to get it in!

treadmill love

Temporarily Break Ups

In the summer there is no doubt about it, I’d much rather run outside then on my treadmill. Fresh air, sun on my face and things to look at, but if it’s beyond hot outside I can easily jump on my treadmill and get in the km’s.

There are times when I get in fights with it; mainly it breaks down because I haven’t readjusted it properly after lubing it up. After a few days of separation and time outs for me, I can get it fixed.

Watching Shows!

This is by far my favourite part of running. I get to watch shows on my tablet since we don’t have TV. Sometimes I watch a whole movie while running. For me, watching something is critical or else I get too focused on my time, pace, etc. I’d rather get lost in a show or movie then see my time and pace. Often I’ll wait until a certain point (half way through show) before I look at my distance. Sometimes I surprise myself in thinking I’ve only run a short distance when in reality I’m close to being done!

Again, I feel lucky to have access to a treadmill and that I can run when ever I want and my schedule permits. Sometimes, the girls have other plans for me in the evenings but as a mother runner, you just have to roll with it sometimes.

In the end, you don’t have to love the treadmill but at least use it for walking or running not a clothing rack.

Happy last day of November – can you believe tomorrow is Dec 1st ???

Do you love – hate the treadmill?

Has the treadmill provided you the opportunity to run when you normally couldn’t?

What’s weirdest thing you’ve seen someone do on the treadmill?


Kid in a Candy Shop

That’s how I felt yesterday! I got a call around lunch time that the Physiotherapist I’m scheduled to see on May 11th had two openings next week! When she gave me the date (May 4th), I jumped at it and was so excited……I was like a kid in a candy shop 🙂

Honestly, I’m excited because that’s one more week I don’t have to wait to start this new path of treatment on my hamstring.

Bad Hair Day!

Bad Hair Day!

I was hoping to run last night and managed 5k. I took it nice and slow and watched “The Mindy Project”. I stretched, foam rolled and then iced my hamstring just in case. After 20 minutes, I realised I had the ice pack on backwards (is that even possible – yes!). My bed was colder than my leg…whoops! So far my leg is good today, no pain but not feeling 100%. My calf muscle has been giving me some problems too…not to mention my glutes. My whole right side is pretty wonky right now!

It was an Asics, Balega, and Adidas kind of run.

It was an Asics, Balega, and Adidas kind of run.

My current workout plan is to run one day/ a few PT exercises and then the next day do more PT and strength training exercises. I’d love to try to fit in a trip to GoodLife Fitness in the city when my schedule permits, one of these days. I’d really love to tackle a body pump class but am going to wait for the a-o-kay from my new Physiotherapist before I can attempt that…..might be a few weeks or months away but that’s okay.

PS – It snowed yesterday….I’m not kidding! I was sitting in a meeting and the snow was just coming down. Luckily, it melted as soon as it hit the ground, thank goodness. It’s expected to snow again today, WTF!!!!

Ever get excited about an appointments that get’s bumped up?

What’s your favourite go-to work out right now? 

Anyone else getting random snow ?

Treadmill Fixed….Happy Girl.

After almost of week of looking broken {really, my treadmill just needed to be adjusted so the belt wouldn’t keep buckling} I finally managed to fix THE BEAST. I put off using the treadmill because I was in a fair amount of pain on the weekend and running was out of the question. Then after my Osteopath appointment on Tuesday, I had to take a few days to rest as your body resets itself (at least that’s how I understand it).

"LUBE BELT" incident {again}

~Treadmill out of order since last Thursday~

Good lord, they should really teach small mechanics to everyone (plus plumping, car repair and hair design) – Yes, I truly believe we should all learn that…OH, and how to change a tire. Anyway……..

I ended up taking the tail end of the treadmill apart to see why I couldn’t get the belt to tighten up and not buckle. There were a few loose screws so I took it even more apart then I normally would. Trial by error, right? The buckling that was happening on the right side of the belt would lead to it breaking and that’s just not something I wanted to do since I am only allowed to run indoors. I could run outside but it’s not advise since it causes me so much pain currently.

To say my treadmill is my life line is pretty correct. With my husband away (previously 2-4 weeks at a time) for 5 days at a time currently, I can only run during the evenings once the chores are done, once the girls go to bed….screw the chores 😉 I can’t run outside with my injury at the moment so “runches” are off the table for the time being. Running is a way to relieve stress and to take care of myself.

Ummm, what's this piece for again?

Ummm, what’s this piece for again?

After learning about all the small parts to our treadmill, I finally managed to tightened everything back up after adjusting the belt. Since I couldn’t run on it last night(1 more day), I walked on it for a short period of time to make sure it was good to go.

THE BEAST is all fixed so I can run tomorrow night! Kinda excited about it but don’t worry, I’ll take it easy. Keep an eye on my Instagram for my run 🙂

Have you ever taken a treadmill apart?

What’s one thing you’ve learned to fix on your own? 

Anyone running this weekend? I’m a DNS for the ATF 5k 😦

Sad Drum Roll………still freaking injured!

I feel like I am a sounding like a broken record. I’ve been injured for FOUR months – this is by far, the L-O-N-G-E-S-T I have ever had an injury – EVER!

It’s beyond frustrating and I am at a complete lost for what to do……..other then go back to see my family Doctor in three weeks (that’s the earliest I could get in) and see what I should do next. For now, I see the Osteopath tomorrow – thank goodness and I might be stuck running on my treadmill for life.

Last week’s workouts:

Note: PT exercises, foam rolling and stretching are a constant. I plank a few days a week. 

Sunday: 5k easy treadmill run – it was great.


Treadmill run 🙂


Monday: Woke up with a bruised feeling on my hamstring only later that night to find the actual bruise. I had no pain other then the bruise feeling.

Tuesday: 6k treadmill run – really good run.

Wednesday: Nothing

Thursday: 8 minute warm up walk before resetting my treadmill then “LUBE BELT” appeared. The friggin’ thing won’t work until you lube it up…so I did. And if you remember the last time I touched the belt….well, I couldn’t get it fixed. Needless to say my treadmill is still looking like this………

"LUBE BELT" incident {again}

“LUBE BELT” incident {again}

Friday: 5k run outside…it was lovely…just awesome. I even managed my first sub 30 – 5k {29:18} for the year! The run was great, my legs felt good (hamstring fine), my lungs were challenged with the cool air, the three long hills kicked by butt however I managed to run up them and not walk.

An awesome 5k run at night.

An awesome 5k run at night.

It was like OLD time running. Hard but good. I loved the fresh air and just being outside.

Saturday/Sunday – NOTHING because I was in a lot of pain with my hamstring. I’m almost ready to give up BUT……..I have another Osteopath appointment on Tuesday. PLUS, I am seeing results since my last Osteopath appointment. I no longer have pain when sitting in a chair. I only noticed this last week after 2 hours of sitting. I looked at the time and realized that I should get up and move around, THEN noticed that I had no pain – so that’s a BIG WIN for now.

I’m home sick today – stomach bug that I’m hoping the girls don’t get. It would have been a perfect day to go for a run but after a 2 hour morning nap I’m thinking I might just go for a short walk. Just enough to get some sunshine on my face and fresh air into my lungs. Then catch up on Boston!

I guess for my running, I’m thinking no running or at least no running over 3-4k outside on hills is out of the question for me for a while. I may just have my first DNS on the weekend and I can’t even begin to think about running the Bluenose 10k that I registered for in May.

How was your weekend?

Are you watching BOSTON today? (so exciting)

A little shout out to Heather at Girl Goes Running. Good luck girl! 

What’s the longest time you’ve been injured?

Night Time Running

Slowly but shortly I’m getting back to the running I want to be doing. My husband got home yesterday which meant I am not on my own with the girls…..yeah! He’s going to be home every 4 days (essentially) since he now has a term position and regular schedule! No more 2-4 weeks on my own 🙂


Usually I run after the girls go to bed, which means starting my runs around 8 pm at night. After working all day, night-time stuff with the girls, dishes and sometimes checking emails/blog stuff, I go run. The real kicker is that Lilly falls asleep before she hits the pillow 99% of the time. Hilary is a different story. She likes to sing and play for a while which means I can’t go to run on the treadmill until she falls asleep. Some nights it’s after 8:15 when I jump on the treadmill.

Last night I really wanted to run. Mainly because I have an Osteopath appointment Thursday and know I have to take a few days rest afterwards. I figured if I could get a few runs in during the beginning of the week, that would be good.

Hilary decided last night would be a singing party in her bed. My husband said to me “when are you going to run, you should go now”. I had a little hesitation because Hilary wasn’t asleep yet then realized that I didn’t need to hang around because my husband was home! It felt so weird and great at the same time.


3k Treadmill Run 

I jumped on the treadmill at 7:30, the earliest I’ve started my runs in forever. After running 3k, I jumped off and layered up as it’s still pretty frigging cold in Nova Scotia. I waited for my Green Garmin to catch the satellite and off I went.


Yes, that is SNOW – FRESH SNOW!


First km: 5:36 Second km: 5:53 Third km: 5:44   {You know it’s hard putting a Garmin over a long-sleeved sweater AND jacket…I barely together}

I managed 3k outside just before the sun was gone. My lungs need to get used to the weather…or maybe it’s just the tail end of this cold. When I got back from my run, Saï asked how my run went and I replied with “awesome”.

So far my hamstring feels good. Not awesome but not terrible either. I’m hoping to run tonight and then see what the Osteopath can do for my injury tomorrow!

Oh – and the girls have slept 2 nights in a row…they are feeling a lot better! All we need now is some WARMER spring like temperatures to melt ALL the snow.

Ever run some of your mileage inside then finish the rest outside?

Are you having a hard time adjusting to the weather outside this spring?

For those with kids: Do your kids go to bed right away?


Running Favourites

I’ve been tagged by the lovely Irish Runner Chic to share some of my “Running Favourites”. So…here ya go…a little more about Piper!

1) Location: Trail, Road, or Indoors?

My first choice would be outside on the road. I love me some fresh air and new freckles on my face 🙂 Sadly, due to crazy winter conditions and my stupid hamstring injury, I am running indoors on my BEAST of a treadmill that I do love.




2) Time of Day: Morning, Noon, or Evening?

I run at night after our girls go to bed but if I had a choice I would probably run outside in the morning. Nothing like getting it done first thing in the morning and feeling great for the rest of the day! I also RUNCH = run at lunch time when my work schedule permits.

3) Weather: Sunshine, Mild or Hot?

I’m going to say mild. Running in the heat zaps the life out of me. I do love the sunshine but enjoy the mild heat when I run.

This was a hot run last summer mid afternoon – not recommended (but the run was awesome!).

Last 14k for August (long run)

HOT SUMMER RUN 2014:  14k  

4) Fuel: Before, After, and sometimes during?

I would say I’m more of an “after” run fuel-er. Is fuel-er even a word? I’m a fan of Vega hydrator or straight up chocolate milk. I don’t usually fuel before a run, unless it’s water to keep hydrated.

I’ll take a GU when I’m on my longer runs – anything over 10k. It’s been months since I’ve had a GU (like last October during my half!). Hoping to change that this spring!


5) Accessories: Music, Watch & More?

No music for me when I run outside. If I’m on the treadmill, I always watch a show. I love wearing my Garmin on runs. I like seeing my stats (pace, longest run, PB’s etc.).

green garmin

6) Rewards: Food, Wine, or …?

Hell yah! I’m not much of a drinker anymore but I do love my food! When I run more, I am rungry more! Umm…I love chocolate…so I may or may not eat that a fair amount.

7) Type of run: Long, tempo, intervals, hill repeats, progression, or recovery/easy?

I sure enjoy my long runs (and miss them lately). I’m not very good at tempo runs. I enjoy intervals or Fartleks. Hill Repeats are something I dread but will enjoy once completed. I’m okay with progression runs but they are not my strength. I enjoy recovery/easy runs but sometimes find them hard to do because I just want to run fast.


I’m hoping the 7 other bloggers I tag will join in the fun! If you haven’t heard of their blog before…check ’em out!

PS – They are Canadian…actually, they are all from Atlantic Canada. You know the part still covered in snow 😉

I tag:

Tracey – For The Love of Family

Molly – A Fresh Start for Molly 

Paul – Bagtown Blogtrotter

Heather – Girl Goes Running

Charlotte – Charflew23

Nicola – No Time Like The Present

Courtney – Runner Girl Fitness 

Do you reward yourself with food or wine post run?

Do you listen to music during your run?

What’s your favourite time of day to run?