Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Vacation Ends...And So It Starts!

We seem to have a real problem in our family letting our vacations end.  We've been known to tack on a few extra days in Florida with some hospitable family who always seems to have room for us (I'm lookin' at you Bells).  This time, after a whirlwind trip to New York City, Maine, St. John, and Halifax, we decided we couldn't just drive right by Ottawa and not stop, so we extended by just one night...And now we head home.
9/11 Memorial

Staten Island Ferry

Central Park

Cooper like Donut Plant!


Mount Desert Island Maine

After Cooper saw Uncle Jeremy do this...

...He convinced Daddy to do this!


Tide Pools


Mountain climbing

Whale watching in St Andrew's NB

Visiting some of our favourite people!

Hopewell Rocks

Visiting more of our favourite people!

The Citadel

The Mint


As you can see, we've fit in a whole lot of fun and adventure in the past 2 1/2 weeks!!  Seems that early this morning my brain had already moved onto the next big thing...That thing being the 100km we are running in less than three weeks.  Woke up to run in our beautiful Nation's Capital with the remembrance of a horrifying race nightmare.  Turns out we had to bike portions of the run, but my bike went missing while I was doing a run portion.  Don't fear, some kind soul had just locked it up in a nearby shed to keep it safe.  Then much to my chagrin, I kept realizing that I was missing essential running items.  I was running in dress socks and Chucks, among other non-running appropriate and horribly unfashionable attire, and continuously sent people home to get what was missing, you know because in my dreams you send someone home for one shoe and one sock at a time (thanks Brooke, you made a number of trips home for me).  This my friends is a problem...We have not even started tapering yet, and I am clearly suffering from a mental breakdown.

Don't forget to RSVP for our Boston Pizza Fundraiser.  It's sneaking up fast on us here, and we will need to let them know our final numbers soon.  If you've forgotten...

Here are the details:

When: September 2nd, 2015-7pm-10pm
Where:  Guelph Boston Pizza, 35 Woodlawn Rd. W., N1H 1G8 
What:  Salad, Pasta, Pizza, Soft Drinks, Coffee, and Tea served BUFFET STYLE!!
How much:  $20/person

Monday, 3 August 2015

Really Special Idiots

Saturday morning we set out to run the longest single run of our 100k training.  A 50k training run felt daunting, and we spent a lot of time thinking about it all week, then woke up with nervous "race bellies" the morning of.  After all...
And it must take a REALLY special idiot to run an ultramarathon training run!

It turns out that all our worrying was for nothing.  The run went surprisingly well.  We started conservatively, and fueled and hydrated well, including a stop at Tim Horton's to share a bagel with cheddar cheese.  Part of our long run training is to help us figure out how best to eat on race day, so we have been practicing eating real food during training runs.  This was by far the best bagel we have ever eaten!
As we ran up the street to our house Lesley and our niece were standing on the porch after having made an emergency stop to use the facilities.  She commented that we were both still smiling, we felt 'that' good.  For the rest of the day it felt like we were in a bit of a bizzaro world.  We knew we had run an ultra marathon that morning, but we definitely did not feel like we did after our first 50k, or even our second.  It was a huge confidence builder, really helping us to realize that our fitness and endurance have improved dramatically with our training, and that we will be ready to tackle 100k on September 12th.

100k race day is fast approaching.  We have been truly humbled as we have seen our fundraising total rise over the past few weeks.  You guys are the people who make this all happen!  Thank you so very much.  

Big thanks to...
***Mary Anne***
***Aunt Yvonne and Uncle Dave***
***Ryan and Lindsay***
***Avery and Mike***

We also want to announce two more incredible corporate sponsors.
Running Ronald fits here
Many of you know that Leigh and I met as High School students working at our local McDonald's restaurant.  We have always looked back fondly to McDonald's as not only the place that we met, but as our first job experience that taught us so many things that have been vital in our subsequent education and employment experiences.  Part of what made those experiences so positive and meaningful was the leadership and pride the owner/operators of that restaurant demonstrated.  Dave and Lucy Beatty were always a pleasure to work for.  They have stepped up and been incredibly generous in their contribution to Cooper's Troopers.  We are humbled and grateful.  You can show them some McLove by stopping by one of their restaurants (Sandalwood, Kingspoint, Bovaird Walmart, Bovaird, Brinkley) when you are in the Brampton area.  

Our most recent Corporate Sponsor is award winning Internet Security Firm eSentire.  Based out of Cambridge Ontario, with offices in New York, Boston, London, and Ireland, eSentire delivers advanced cybersecurity capabilities to mid-sized enterprises.  They have pioneered industry leading frameworks for protecting businesses against cybercrime, monitoring client networks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  They have been so generous in their contribution to the run.  We thank them for their commitment in affecting positive change  for children in our community!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Pizza Party!!!

If you have read this blog for any length of time you are well aware of the importance of pizza to our training.  

We happen to think it's the perfect food for runners.  Great for carb loading and oh so satisfying after a long run.  We busted out a mid-week 24 miler yesterday, and sighed a heavy "pizza is SOOOOO good" as we ran by every pizza place in Guelph.  

I happen to think that this piece, by Runner's World's Mark Remy happens to be one of the finest pieces of writing in history.  This is what Mark says about his relationship with pizza...

"When I'm in a race and feeling like I just can't go on, I imagine that I'm chasing a whole pizza. The pizza is rolling, like a wheel, about 10 yards ahead of me. Every now and then it will hit a bump or a crack, sending a slice of pepperoni flying off. I let the pepperoni go, keeping my "eye on the prize." I almost catch the pizza on the climbs, but on the downhills it zooms away. I finally catch it at the finish line. But I don't eat it, because it's filthy from all that rolling on a road. Instead, I play it cool and follow it from a safe distance to the family meeting area, under the "P" banner, where its pizza parents are waiting. I eat them both, while filthy Race Pizza watches in horror."

I have to confess, I spend the end of many a long run thinking about how and when I can procure some pizza parents of my own.

So imagine how excited we were when we discovered that Boston Pizza hosts fundraiser meals!  What could be more perfect than to use pizza to raise money for Cooper's Troopers and our 100km journey??!  

Here are the details:

When: September 2nd, 2015-7pm-10pm
Where:  Guelph Boston Pizza, 35 Woodlawn Rd. W., N1H 1G8 
What:  Salad, Pasta, Pizza, Soft Drinks, Coffee, and Tea served BUFFET STYLE!!
How much:  $20/person

Trust me...You DO NOT want to miss this event!  Boston Pizza has also kindly offered us a certificate for "Pizza for a Year" to be raffled at our event.  That's FREE. PIZZA. FOR. A. YEAR!!!

Spread the word to your family, and friends, and your friend's families!  Contact us ASAP for tickets!!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Happy Canada Day and Our First Corporate Sponsor

Happy Canada Day everyone!  Leigh and I each started the day with 7 mile runs.  I love running on holiday mornings.  The world is nice and quiet early on a holiday morning.  Felt like I had the whole city to myself.  We hit up Eggcetra for a rare (we are usually running all morning on Saturdays) breakfast out and then to Rockwood to canoe and explore.

We want to take an opportunity to announce our first, very generous corporate sponsor.  Paul and Kelly at Plexpack Corp.  in Toronto said they only donate to causes involving kids, or cancer.  As you all know The Sears Great Canadian Run benefits both!  Plexpack designs and manufactures flexible packaging machinery and solutions.  They are as passionate about ensuring customer satisfaction as they are about the community.  We are so grateful for their commitment to the community, to kids, and to cancer fundraising.  It is companies and people like this that can come together and truly make a difference in the fight to #endkidscancer.

Check out our fundraising link here to make a difference just like the folks at Plexpack.  Every dollar counts!

Monday, 8 June 2015

We Changed Our Minds...And...We're Famous!

Our pancake breakfast at Applebee's last year was a huge success.  Unfortunately, many Applebee's locations, including the Mississauga and Brampton locations closed in the past year.  This meant we had to find a new venue offering a similar fundraising partnership in order to host another fun event.

So I've spent the last few weeks really hustling on our fundraising efforts.  Today we had a few breakthroughs and it looks like we are going to host some events that we weren't sure we were going to be able to pull off.

So given that Avery, Mike, and Baby Winlow are the only ones who donated since we announced our raffle prizes we have decided to cancel our blog raffle in favour of running a raffle at our event.  This will give us a chance to add to the prize pool, and make our event a lot more fun!

Also...We are famous!  A couple of week ago the people at The Run asked us if they could feature us in a series in the Calgary Herald they are doing to promote the Calgary Run.  Of course we said yes!  Our feature went up today, you can find it here.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

50k Down, and So It Begins.

Soooo, remember my last post? I guess I didn't quite hold up my end of the bargain on that one. Well.....except for the beard part.

That beard makes me stronger, it provides extra storage space for carbs

Much like Gob Bluth, I very much enjoy a good Segway. That beard picture was taken about 30 minutes after Lexie and I finished the Sulphur Springs 50K last Saturday. This race was, in a word: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Our goal going into the race was to come in somewhere under 6 hours. Spoiler Alert: We did.

Here is a mini-recap of the race:

-Our main man, Oma, came over on Friday night to watch the boys for us so we could get a bright and early start on Saturday. The race started at 7:30am at the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, which is about an hour away. We also had to do packet pick-up/potty/stretch beforehand. So we were up and out of the house at 5:45am. The drive and packet pick up were uneventful. We got our shirts and bibs, found a sweet place to stretch and got read, ready, to run. We took a bib selfie and then a fellow 50k'er with some sweet dance moves took a picture of us, see below;

-We dropped our bag off behind a rock (ultra runners are trustworthy) and the race started promptly at 7:30. We knew from our training run in early May that the course started on a sharp downhill into the Conservation area. It was a fun way to start, but coming back up the hill at the end of each loop? Not so much fun. We had to run hike back up that 800m hill a total of 3 times over the 50K

-The 50k consisted of a modified 10km loop followed by 2-20km loops that the 50 mile and 100 mile runners would complete. 

Course Map
-Our first 10k were very strong. We did it in around 58 minutes. The 50k started at the same time as the 25k so it was a bit congested to start, which stressed Lexie out, but after the 25k racers turned around, it opened up and stayed that way for the remainder of the race. We were familiar with most of this loop as we had run it earlier. It was still fun though. The energy on the course was great, and time was flying.

-The next loop was fun as we were able to see some parts of the course we hadn't had the chance to see on our training run. It was beautiful, and hilly, we did a lot more uphill power walking on the 20k loop, but it was worth it. We spent most of this loop talking about much fun we were having, and how fast time was flying. We felt strong throughout, and before we knew it, we had finished our next 20k in 2:06, including a washroom break and some stops for some highly refreshing watermelon.

-After going back through the start line and hitting the 30k mark, we headed back down the hill into the course for the last time. It was at this point we decided that we would try to hit our secret A+++ goal, to get in under 5hrs30mins. This goal was so secret, that neither of us even knew we had it until we talked about it at this point. I'll expecting a job offer from CSIS shortly.

-The last 20k were difficult. We had to stop for a few more drinks, but despite the fatigue we continued to run strong. We were inspired by the many 50 mile and 100 mile runners we saw. Everyone on the course was super friendly and encouraging. Trail running really does have it's own unique culture, and it made the whole experience that much more exciting. 

-Before we knew it, we were turning back up the final hill. We turned the corner to the finish line, and there it was 5:26:xx on the clock. A+++ goal achieved. 

The race was great. Aid stations were well stocked (watermelon, Coke, and Cantaloupe came clutch). Volunteers were great (shoutout to the dancing direction volunteer). Lots of support from other runners, and a cool medal to boot. We will be back, the only question is, how long will we run?

Post Race Grass Nap

Recovery Week!

So after that good time, the past week has been our recovery week. We got it started off right on Monday with a really cool piece of mail. As I mentioned in my last post, we have been asked by the race organizers if we would be willing to be Ambassadors for the Sears Great Canadian Run. This week, they sent us our Ambassadors Package, which contains some fantastic swag from some awesome sponsors. We will have posts on each of these products in the coming weeks. Here is a sneak peak at the Ambassador Swag:

This week has been a quick recovery week. We both took Sunday, Monday, Tuesday completely off running. We started back with some easy miles on Wednesday and Thursday, then we both did a nice strong 10k yesterday. We are feeling fairly good, which is important because as of tomorrow (Monday) we officially kick off 100k training.

Which brings me to my last point.

As we kick off our official 100k training this week, we are hoping to celebrate the start of this journey by getting one sponsor a day for the next 7 days. Thanks to our generous sponsors so far (Mama and Papa G, Katherine, Dave, Katie, and Sensei Sandy) we are off to get a great start. But we have big goals, and in order to achieve them, we need YOU! You can help us achieve this goal! Please feel free to share our blog and/or fundraising page with any of your friends or family, either on social media or elsewhere. Spread the word that we hope to get one donation a day for the next 7 days and help us help a great cause!

We are also currently working on drumming up some support from corporate sponsors, we have sent letters out to our favourite local businesses, but if you have any other ideas, or know of a business that may be interested in lending some support, please let us know!

Here is the fundraising link! 

Thanks for reading!