Year of Running 2017

Sometimes it’s hard to look back on the year and see all the things you’ve done (or missed out on). Running for me has always been something fun to do, a stress reliever, time to myself, an opportunity to be a better mom/wife and also to take care of my physical and mental health. This year sure gave me a challenge with my running.

For the last few year’s I’ve been doing the “Year of Running” wrap up hosted by Courtney at “Eat Pray Run DC”.  Therefore, I’m doing it again!

Best (and worst) of 2017

Best Race Experience: Pacing the 10k at Valley Harvest Marathon  with White Rabbit Pacing was my best race experience. I ran with two Garmin’s this time pacing just to make sure I was on pace.  It’s such a fun local run and  so rewarding when you bring runners to the finish line on time!

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Best run: Running Cape Split with my husband in September. We don’t get to run together often but when we do it’s awesome. I love that he loves to run (and cycle etc.) but when you can go for 1-2 hour run with your husband it just makes it that much better. Best run hands down of the year.

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Best new piece of running gear: My new Garmin Forerunner 230! This was a mother’s day present from my girls and husband. Love it! Well, and my Tiux compression socks – man they were a life saver for me!!

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Best running advice you’ve received this year: There were many nights when I wanted to run but was just exhausted from the busy day at work and with our girls. On those nights my husband would always say “you’ll feel better if you just go”, “put on your gear and just start”. Without those nudges, I would have just missed the run.

Best Advice I Can Give: Listen to your body. When it’s saying enough is enough – listen.

Most inspirational runner:  I’d have to say Shalane Flanagan.

Favorite picture from a run or race this year: It’s not a race photo, though I do love the photo above from pacing the Valley Harvest Marathon. However, my favourite photo is this one bloew – running with my husband and daughters on January 1st. We now have a tradition of running our first km on January 1st together….even in the rain or snow!

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Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Pacing the 10k – 1:10 finish at Valley Harvest. I love this pace and finishing time. Hands down, I’d pace this race again. I’d also repeat running the Berwick 5 miler Road Race – that was a fun distance and I really enjoyed the course.

Worst Running Moment: Hands down, finding out two days before my half marathon that I was having some heart problems. It was strongly suggested that I didn’t run my half that I worked so hard for in September. I was devastated. Luckily two weeks later, I passed my stress test and told to get back to running. But, oh the disappointment was HIGH!

Favourite Medal: These are my daughter’s medals after they both ran 800m and 1200m respectively. They both had a blast and finished with a smile on their faces. I love that they both love to run and enjoy it as much as I do.

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If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?  Physically hard (car accident/heart problems), rewarding (pacing the 10k) and challenging.

Eat Pray Run DC
That’s how I’d sum up my running in 2017. With a car accident in late March I struggled to get back to running but managed a half in June. Only to train hard over the summer months to be told I had to stop running and then to finish off with pacing a local race made up for some of the devastation of missing my goal half marathon.
What was your best race or run of 2017?
Race you’d repeat in a heartbeat? 
Worst running moment?
My 2016 year in running can be found here. 

 

Valley Harvest 10k Pace Bunny Recap ’17

Where to start? I had an absolute blast running this race. I was pacing the 1:10 pace (7:00 minute/km) and enjoyed every minute of it!

I started the day pretty early at 5:15am and snuck the dog out of the house for a quick pee without waking up the whole family. THIS was a big mother runner win! I needed a little time to wake up, change into my running gear but managed to get out the door about 6:08. With no traffic in sight, I made my way to Acadia University and parked on a side street to later avoid crossing runners on their route.

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I met up with with a few runner friends from the city and then got my 1:10 pace sign and bib. It was such a beautiful and WARM day….17c and it wasn’t even 7am at that point! It was a little muggy but still overcast which would later clear and just get hotter. I was able to see Ben Brown take off (Para Track Athlete) for his 10k, the full and half marathon runners start and then it was time for the 10ker’s to line up. We started at 8am.

My running buddy Krystol managed to find me (even with my sign not visible at the time) before we started. I had a few people say that I was their pace bunny or that they wanted to stay between me and Sherry (1:15 bunny). Perfect! As the gun went off we all shuffled forwards only to be halted abruptly as you are at the start of any race. A few laughs later and we were on our way again. Garmin’s chirping all around.

Traditional Pre Race Selfie with Krystol.

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KM: One to Six

We weren’t very far into the first kilometre and I was worried I was running too fast. That first km is always the hardest to run the slowest but when you are a pace bunny you’ve got to be really careful. I slowed my pace down a little and kept moving forward. It was rather quiet during the first few kilometres but a lady in red (sorry, I can’t remember your name) started chatting with me. She had paced races before and asked how my pacing was. I said pretty accurate and she said “oh good”.

After climbing Hennigar’s Hill (on the way out) my pace slowed down a bit but I got it back on track and we were about 15-20 seconds ahead of the 7 minute/km pace. I thought I had missed the bucket to drop my sign in and was trying to decide what to do with it. Do I just drop it and pick it up on my way back, do I run with it the whole time – no???? Eventually, there was a volunteer collecting them and I gladly gave mine over and shook out my upper body.  You know, it’s not easy running with a sign!

Down the hill we went to the first water station where I gladly took some water – it was getting HOT! It was extremely flat at this point and runners (50 minute pace bunny) were coming on the opposite side of the road. I always love seeing super fast runners. I enjoyed a few conversations with some runners and made the turn around at the 5k mark. I started to lose a few runners who wanted to finish between 1:05 and 1:10. The sun was blasting on our faces at this point and occasional gusts of wind would stir up and push against us. Luckily another pace bunny (Greg) reminded me of this at the start and I was prepared.

After the wind, we hit the water station again (yes please). We then climbed the hill by the Irvin gas station which I think is the hardest one on runners. The location and the incline and really can get you and as a continuous pace bunny, there was no stopping. I just kept going but slowed down my pace slightly, cheered on those running or walking and made my way up the hill to recover at the top with a slow pace before picking it up again.

KM: Six – Ten.

As I mentioned, I lost a few runners at this point – they either picked up their pace or dropped behind me but I always had small groups of people near by. We had half marathon’s zoom by us which was amazing!

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Back towards Hennigar’s hill – the last major hill to climb – I again, just kept moving forward and encouraged other runners. From there it was smooth sailing at a nice and steady pace. Towards the last kilometre there is a long incline that most people forget about or don’t realise they still need to run UP before entering the track. As we got to the top I was a little worried I was too fast for my time but managed to smooth it out a bit.

The track is like heaven on your body at the end of this race. The pounding on the pavement vs pounding on the nice soft track is like night and day. I managed to find my running buddy and kept going to the finish line.

One ear up!

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I crossed in 1:09:37 out of my 1:10 pace time! I’m pretty happy with my time though there is a little part of me that wished I was closer to the 1:10 like I did two years ago (1:09:59). I had a blast!  I had a few runners come up and thank me for pacing them which was awesome. To know that you did the job that was expected of you during the race is pretty darn sweet.

I guzzled a bottle of water, stretched and grabbed a cookie and banana before heading back out again. WHAT? Yes, that’s right. Most of the pace bunnies when back out on the course to help other runners in. This was a whole other experience.

Post race….happy runners!

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Pacing others.

Though my race pace duties were done, I went back on the course and cheered on the runners. You know sometimes that little boost is all a runner needs. I saw some runner friends and lots of people I didn’t know. I came across this lady (which I never got her name) but she wasn’t feeling great and just done. So we walked together for a bit and then ran and walked some more. She had run a half marathon the week before (amazing, eh!!!!) but just wasn’t feeling great during this half.

We talked a bit more and made our way into the stadium on that sweet soft track where we walked again. I took her water belt as it didn’t seem to be comfortable for her, so I figured I could carry it and she’d feel a little better. She made her way to the finish line and I stayed with her for a bit. This was probably the best part of pacing – helping a complete stranger finish her half marathon when I believe, all she wanted to do was stop. I wish I would have gotten her name as I’d love to connect with her to see how she made out.

I went back out a few more times and some runners where really having a hard time with the heat. I reminded them to slow their breathing down along with their pace and ran them through to the finish area. There is nothing better then the finish line at a race. To see the faces of all the runners (the fastest to the slowest) is amazing. The blood, sweat and tears that have gone into all that training and their final run – a great accomplishment achieved!

I’ve had a few people say “how do you pace a race?”. Well, you run your run. You trust yourself (practice your pace). You use a Garmin or two like me. You do the math in your head constantly and focus on the other runners not yourself. In the end, you cross the finish line when you cross the finish line and more then likely if you’ve done your job right, you crossed as close to your finish time as possible.

Eventually, I had to leave to get back to my family and make the trip to the city for Thanksgiving dinner with my larger family. That meal was THE BEST MEAL EVER! I ate so much and then crashed hard at 9pm. My body was done!

A big hats off to all the pace bunnies with White Rabbit Pacing last weekend. They all did amazing! I’m looking forward to pacing again next year.

How was your weekend/Thanksgiving?

Anyone race? 

Love hot races in the fall or hate them?

 

 

Pacing It Up at Valley Harvest Marathon

Only a few days away until the Valley Harvest Marathon oh, AND Thanksgiving Weekend! You know there is nothing better then a good run (race) and then eating all the Thanksgiving food you can!

Sunday, I’ll be lacing up my runners and pacing the 1:10 – 10k (and eating later that day). Two years ago I was lucky enough to pace my first ever race with White Rabbit Pacing at Valley Harvest Marathon. I ran the 10k  – 1:10 finish and finished in 1:09:59. You can read about how it went here.

I may have had a lot of fun!
Finish photo at Valley Harvest marathon Pace Bunny

Valley Harvest Marathon is a great local event and it’s celebrating it’s 25th year!!!! I’m excited to be apart of White Rabbit Pacing again and hoping I manage to finish in one hour and ten minutes.

Pacing for me is a way to help other runners accomplish their goals. It’s a way of meeting new runners. A way of contributing to the running community – and local community at that.  I plan to wear my tutu and bunny ears again, fingers crossed the weather holds out!

1:10 – 10k Plan

My plan is to run a continuous pace of 6:55 – 7:00 per kilometre (not 10/1’s) to ensure that we finish in 1:10. Below is roughly the pace I’ll be aiming for – give or take a few seconds on the few hills and to recover.

  • 1km – 6:55
  • 2km – 13:50
  • 3km – 20:45
  • 4km – 27:40
  • 5km – 34:35
  • 6km – 41L30
  • 7km – 48: 25
  • 8km – 55:20
  • 9km – 1:02:15
  • 10km 1:09:10

So if you are running the Valley Harvest 10k this weekend and wanting to finish under 1:10 or around it – come find me. Introduce yourself and let me know what time you are wanting to finish in (well before me or with me). I’m really looking forward to having people to run with but also having people reach their goals and finish before 1:10 as well.

You can pick me out in the crowd!

And maybe one of my ears 😉

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Good luck to all those running Valley Harvest this weekend! And good luck to all those eating Thanksgiving dinners – don’t forget your stretchy pants!!! Check back on Tuesday for an update on my run as Monday I’ll be recovering from eating all the food 🙂 Or you can follow me over on Instagram for some updates.

Have you ever paced a race before?

Have you ever used a pace bunny (pacer) to finish in a certain time?

Have you ever avoided a pacer to finish in a certain time? (I have!)

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving this weekend! 

Sometimes You Just Need to Run

Sometimes you just need to run – that statement has been true for me the last few weeks. If you missed why I wasn’t running or had a DNS for my MRW half marathon – check out the post here.

Almost every day for two weeks, I just wanted to run but I couldn’t until I was “cleared”. So once I was allowed to run, I did. Taking two weeks off running kinda sucks. My lungs hurt after that first run. My body ached for two days after that first run. I just needed that run even if my lungs hurt or my body was going to ache.

Saturday I went for a “long run” to test out pacing for my upcoming race. I’m pacing the Valley Harvest Marathon 10k – 1:10 finish on Sunday (Canadian Thanksgiving). Oh I can’t wait to eat all the food as well. This will be my second time pacing this race, this distance and this pace with White Rabbit Pacing – I’m kinda excited!

Before last Saturday’s run, I just wanted to get out their and test out my legs, my lungs and my pace. I had no plans of where I was going to run until I stepped outside. I had no clue how far I wanted to run until I hit the 5k mark and decided I should turn around and head home. I had no plan other then to practice pacing and then had a little fun on the last two km’s.

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I practiced my pace of 7:00 minute per kilometre. I really want to run 6:55/km this Sunday in order to finish under 1:10 but I’ll talk more about that in my next post. So I ran, up a steep hill that I thought I was going to die on and figured that if I can do this now, next week will be easier. I ran on rolling hills, an old unpaved country road with cows and horses on each side of the road. I got chased by a dog for a minute until the owner called it back – that wasn’t really fun. But, I ran.

I just needed that long run. A confidence booster after my bubble was burst out of my hands a few weeks ago. I’m moving on from that thankfully but sometimes you just want to run! I needed that run Saturday.

How was your weekend?

When was the last time you needed a run? (or ride, yoga etc).

Anyone take in any fall-like activities?