Tag Archives: Bluenose Marathon

Bluenose Marathon Weekend 2013

We have emerged from Bluenose Marathon Weekend, smiling and happy! It began on Saturday morning with the Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run, a 4.2 K kids’ race. Mark planned to run it with Gabrielle…
Gabi & Mark

So they met up with the other Sacred Heart School of Halifax runners for a rally…

Sacred Heart Runners

Got their noses painted blue…

Gabi w Blue Nose

…and no finish line pictures because Gabrielle took off and her father spent 45 minutes searching for her. She ran with a friend, completed the race in just over 20 minutes, and managed to get herself to the pre-determined meeting place inside the Metro Center, but scared the pants off Mark in the process. Needless to say, a safety lecture followed!

And then it was Sunday. It was 2 degrees Celsius when we got up, but it warmed up and turned into a beautiful day for a run. Mark, Kurt and David started out first, running the Half Marathon. They were followed by Lisa, Barb, Madison, Margaret and Madeline in the 10K. We’re proud of the girls – they were three of the 40 Under-15 Females to take on the 10K. We all crossed the finish line within our goal. Hooray!!!

Post 10K

We’re super-proud of all the runners who took part in the Bluenose. And we love running family style!!


Madi and Lisa

Yours in running,

Lisa & Mark

Get Your Kids Running Part IV

Last night Lisa took Gabrielle, and Mark took Madison, for their final training runs before the Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon Weekend (http://bluenosemarathon.com/). As usual, Gabi (aptly named) chatted the whole 4.5K. Lisa got all caught up on what she’s learning in school, and all the third grade politics and shenanigans. Madison and Mark ran 7K, incorporating some hill strategies that she’s going to need on Sunday! We picked up our race kits today, and we’re getting ready to “Just Giv’er”.

So while we’re anxiously awaiting the Bluenose, here’s the last of the Top 10 List of strategies to get your family on the road to running. (The list has been spread out over a few posts.)

7.     Keep distances reasonable for the age of the child. There is a lot of controversy about how much distance children should be running, and at what ages. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, overuse, overtraining and burnout are increasing issues among children as their participation in sports increases*. There is no single guideline regarding the distances that are appropriate at specific ages. That means that as parents, we are responsible to work with our children to determine how much is too much.

Start off slowly, with short distances, then increase speed and distance as you go, but not by more than 10% per week*. Listen to your child. If he or she is experiencing any pain, it could signal injury to muscle, bone or tendon. We follow training plans that allow at least one “rest” day between runs, so that muscles have a chance to recover. Our 8-year-old daughter can run 5K without too much strain, but we wouldn’t let her do much more at her age. Our 11-year-old daughter – we’ll call her the gazelle – has no problem running 10K. With the right training plan and lots of monitoring, we would allow her to start training for a half marathon.

8.      Set goals and help your child build a plan to achieve them. When you decide to start running, be sure to set a goal. It might be a specific race (a Family 5K Fun Run is an excellent place to start) or a distance or duration that you would like to work up to over time. Make sure your goal is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Set a plan to achieve your goal. Follow the plan. Make a chart that your child can update – it’s a visual reminder of his or her achievement. Build your plan to increase your distance and speed over a period of time, with milestones along the way. Training without a plan is like trying to put together a Lego set without the instructions.

9.      Run while on vacation – it’s a great way to see the sights. When you plan your next vacation, have your kids plan a couple of runs. Discover the local parks and gardens, or incorporate some of the major sites. Last year, Mark ran the Grand Prix circuit in Monaco (amongst other ports on a Mediterranean cruise). Remember: safety first, of course. Stick to the beaten path, be aware and alert, and be sure to learn about the area before you hit the road.

10.   Make it fun. Children love to run. If they start looking at running as something they have to do versus something they love to do, you’re sunk. (They love the idea of helping with housework, too, until you add it to their chore list.) Vary the route, set goals, make it family time, get them talking, sign up for running events, involve them in planning, and incorporate running into your routine. Don’t underestimate the power of a race goal to motivate your little runner. Ours are pretty fired up about the Bluenose.

No more excuses. Just get out there and run – Family Style! You’ll be glad you did.

*Brenner, Joel S. (2007). Overuse Injuries, Overtraining and Burnout in Child and Adolescent Athletes. Pediatrics, Vol. 119, No. 6, June 1, 2007 (pp. 1242 – 1245)

Get Your Kids Running Part III

If you’re following along, we at Running Family Style have dedicated a couple of posts to strategies for getting your kids, and yourselves, dear Parents, on the road to running. This is the third instalment, so if you’re just joining, you might want to hop back a few posts and check out the Top 10 List…

4.      Change up the route so it doesn’t become boring. The best thing about running is that you can do it anywhere. (Use common sense regarding safety, of course. Running on busy streets without sidewalks is not the best option.) Take your little runner to a park, on a wooded trail, through the city, or even reverse the direction of the route to keep it from getting stale. Even if you have a favorite running route, it is worthwhile making some changes to keep it interesting. My favorite tool for mapping running routes, around Halifax or wherever we happen to be traveling, is GMap Pedometer (http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/). This tool allows you to map routes; calculate distance, pace, and calorie burn; and track your runs on a workout log. Madison loves to use the application to plan runs and check distances for the Running Club at school.

5.      Encourage your child to join a running club at school or in the community. If your school doesn’t have a running club, get a group of parents and school administrators involved in starting one. Begin with the Phys. Ed. teacher. He or she will usually be your biggest ally in getting kids fit and active. Some communities also have running groups for kids outside of school, with regular sponsored events. At our daughters’ school, the Running Club has become quite popular. Some of the kids are more focused and competitive than others, but they’re all running. They meet once a week after school and run around the perimeter of a historic Halifax cemetery. They run at their own pace, and the Principal and Phys. Ed. teacher track the total laps (conveniently 1 km). The goal this school year was to collectively run enough laps to “climb Mount Everest”.

6.      Participate in running activities and events as a family. Many larger races also have kids’ events. These are usually shorter distance “fun runs” – from a couple hundred meters to 5K. Set training goals with your child to ensure that he or she is well prepared. Encourage participation versus competition. Some kids are competitive by nature, but others are not. Encourage children to pursue personal bests, not to beat their friends. At this early stage of their running careers, children need to know that participation and fitness are the most important things, and that it feels great to have completed a race, especially if there is a medal at the end! If you’re new to running, there’s nothing like a Family 5K to get the family on track. Most even welcome strollers.

If you happen to be a “destination runner”, look for races with kids’ events when planning your next “runcation”. When we started running, our first race was the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Madison and Gabrielle asked to run the Mickey Mile kids’ race. They loved all the hype, the medal, the T-Shirt and the experience. When we run, they always want to participate. Madison will run her first 10K on Sunday at the Bluenose Marathon with Lisa. Gabrielle will run the Doctors Nova Scotia Kids’ Race with her school.

Stay tuned for the 4th and final instalment of Get Your Kids Running and all the Bluenose Highlights!

Mark & Lisa

Mark’s Weekly Update (May 5th – 11th)

It’s only a week until the Bluenose and it was a tough week of training. I started off the week by getting up early Sunday morning and heading out with a few friends to do a dry run of the half marathon route. It wasn’t planned, but we showed up at one guy’s house to start our run and we were all dressed in blue. We looked like a senior’s version of the Blue Man Group. The weather was perfect and we just ran at a pace 30 seconds a kilometer off our race day pace. There was not a lot of traffic and when we reached the park I was surprised that so few people were out on this beautiful Sunday morning. We finished up the run refreshed and confident we would have a good run in two weeks.

The run sounds great, so you are probably wondering why I said this was a tough week. Well, as great a day as Sunday was, Monday was just the opposite. I woke up Monday morning with a pain in my lower back. I am not a person that has back issues, so I was quite surprised and quite upset. It is never nice to have an injury, but less than two weeks to a run can be devastating. I took some ibuprofen and contacted my running partner. He is a pharmacist and recommended a back pain medication. For the next few days I was in pain sitting, standing, or sleeping. Finally Friday morning I got up and the pain was less intense. I figured this was D-day. With just over a week until the run I needed to try and run.

Venturing out, I chose a shorter 7.0km run. I started out slow, but as I got going the lower back felt pretty good, so I increased my speed to normal. I finished the run without incident and without much pain. I still couldn’t sit or stand for too long without discomfort, but I was able to run. The next two days I got up still in a little pain, but I was able to run short training runs without aggravating my injury.

I am not fully healed yet, but I am confident that next Sunday I will be out on the road, running through the city, on my way to finishing the Bluenose Half Marathon.

Keep Running!