Monday, 27 April 2015

So this is happening...

What exactly is 'this' you ask?  This would be the inside of my right knee.  Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about my terrible run?  I mentioned in that post that my knee was bothering me in a way it only bothers me when I need a new pair of shoes.  So I retrieved a new pair of shoes from my stockpile (I found the Brooks Pure Cadence 2 for $37.50 a pair...I bought 8 pairs).  The discomfort eased up for awhile, but has increased again over the last week.  So as any runner nearing the end of a training cycle would do, I have pulled out all the stops on self treatment.  I have stepped up the stretches I was given by physio 3 years ago.  When being treated for ITBS and some foot/ankle issues at that time I had some medial knee pain as my body realigned itself.  A week of those hip flexor stretches made all the difference that time.

I've been bag-o-corn icing.

Rolling with "The Stick."

And spending some quality time with the foam roller.

Even with all this after Saturday's 14 miler my knee was complaining as much as Jonas Valanciunus complains to the refs.
So I decided dropping $20 on some magic KT Tape would be worth my while.  I taped it up Saturday evening and on my Sunday morning 5 miler the discomfort was less of a constant whine, and more of an intermittent mutter (like a 6 year old asked to tidy his room), with no pain at all the rest of the day.  This morning's 7 miler was pain free.   

I was VERY skeptical the first time I tried KT Tape.  I mean really, I'm plunking this piece of tape on my sore joint/bone/muscle/tendon, and you're telling me it's actually going to do something?  But I must say every time I have used it I have found it shockingly effective.  I used it for anterior shin splints when we were training for the Ottawa Marathon, and for a short time for an ITBS flare up when we were training for the Bluenose Marathon.  

From the KT Tape website:

KT TAPE is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, external support that helps you remain active while recovering from injuries. KT Tape creates neuromuscular feedback (called proprioception) that inhibits (relaxes) or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction commonly associated with wraps and heavy bracing. KT Tape gives you confidence to perform your best.

I must say, they've made a believer out of me.  A single taping usually lasts about 3 days even with daily workouts (sweating) and showering.  There are a number of different colours available, but I have found that green and yellow sticks better than purple and blue (strange??).  The KT Tape website has videos showing ways to tape various injuries.  Don't take this as personal medical advice...I am just a nurse after all, but I can tell you I have had incredible success pairing KT Tape with other diligent injury self care like icing, stretching, and rolling.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The one where I didn't have an idea what to blog about.

It's a year of Big Goals around here. Run 100km, raise $10 000+ for The Hospital for Sick Children, blog twice a week and a personal goal for me (Leigh); grow an epic beard. All of these goals are things we haven't done before and each will present it's own set of unique challenges. So far today I have engaged in the process of epic beard growing, and ran a long run, so to make it a trifecta of goal achievement I'm going to throw down something resembling a blog for ya'll.

So without further adieu, I present:

5 Things That Leigh Wants To Tell You About

1. I have been rocking new shoes for ultra training.

Since early November (the weekend of Lexie's BQ attempt in the Hammer) I have been wearing Hoka's. For those of you not interested in clicking that link, Hoka's are a 'Maximal' shoe that have a large degree of padding in the forefoot and heel to cushion your stride and protect your joints. they look like this:

Despite their space boot appearance, they are some of the lightest shoes I have ever owned. Unfortunately,  I have gotten used to their cushy feel so they just feel like normal shoes to me now, but so far they have served me well. I have had the usual aches and pains that come with high volume training, but so far have been injury free (everyone do whatever lucky thing they do RIGHT NOW to avoid the jinx). I am currently trying to convince Lex to give them a whirl, but she doesn't like changing things up as much as I do. If you know anyone at Hoka, tell them about my love for their shoes. I would gladly shill for them. 

2. We have been asked to be Ambassadors for The Great Canadian Run

This week, Lexie and I received an email from one of the race organizers for the relay asking us if we would be interested in being ambassadors again this year. We obviously accepted because we are all about The Great Canadian Run and want to do whatever we can do spread the word and get more cash into the hands of the people at Sick Kids. 

So what does this mean for us? It means we promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the run to everyone and anyone we know via facebook, twitter, email, verbal communication, and snapchat (just kidding, I don't know what that is). We will have access to some great material that can help us in our fundraising efforts, and we get a cool t-shirt that I promise I will show you when they arrive. Which will be a blog post of it's own. If you want to follow us on twitter we are @runningfor555 tell your friends, we will need all the help we can get to make it to $10 000.

3. Today this song came on at the end of our run, and it was awesome!

A funny thing happens when Lexie and I run long very long. So far we have done 2-20 milers, a 24 miler, and 26.2 miler. By about mile 18 of each of these runs we are usually too tired to talk to each other anymore. So today I had the genius idea to bring Lexie's phone in my hydration pack, so artists could sing to us instead, and we were lucky enough to hear this HUGE TUNE! 

4. We have been eating all the food and going to bed at 8pm

Running 50 miles a week has its negatives. For example, I spend most of my day thinking about going to bed at 8pm. Which we have accomplished 5 times already this week. Which may seem like a positive, except most of my conversations at work go like this: 

Student/Colleague: "Leigh/Sir, did you see/do that amazing thing that everyone else saw on TV/did last night that was totally amazing and you will never get to see/do again?"

Me: "No, when was it on/did it happen?"

Student/Colleague: "8:04pm"

Me: "Nope, I was sleeping"

On a more positive note, I have been eating so much food and not caring at all about the consequences. Which is awesome, unless I don't have food, then I get hangry, which is a real thing FYI

What food are we eating you ask? Well the answer is simple: Yes.

5. I can't count

See you guys next week for my next blog post!

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Run

Recently our weekend running schedule had an 18 miler followed by a 12 miler for the next day.  Now, 18 miles is no baby food...But after countless 20 mile (plus) training runs, 3 marathons, and a 50K, this run should not have been an issue.  Given the fact that I am here, telling you about it, you must know that it was.

From the first step it went something like this...
Just like Russel, I really really didn't want to keep going.  My knee actually did hurt, which only ever happens when my shoes are dead.  My legs felt like tree trunks, heavy dead tree trunks.  I was tight and fatigued and expected my legs to wake up.  The miles passed, and my legs never woke up.  I stopped to stretch 4 times, which I never do.  I considered calling Leigh to come and pick me up.  And as my crowning achievement, I stopped at Tim Horton's to use the bathroom, just so that I could sit down for a few minutes...IT WAS BAD!  
Don't google "Tim Horton's Bathroom."  Trust me.  source
By some miracle I slogged the whole way through and finished the 18 miles.  I hobbled downstairs to see how Leigh was faring on the treadmill.  He of course asked how my run went, and with dramatic flare I told him it was surprisingly, and shockingly, and horrifyingly terrible.  His response?  "I know, right?!"  Seems that I was not alone in the sufferfest.  I later learned that Leigh one upped me, not using a potty break as an excuse to sit down, but actually getting off the treadmill to lay down on the basement floor.

Needless to say I was not looking forward to running 12 miles the next day.  Without a rest day, I presumed the sufferfest would continue, and that I would have to find me another Tim Horton's with a clean bathroom.  Much to my surprise...It was fine.  Not stellar, not amazing...But fine.

When it was fine, I got to thinking, isn't that just the same as life.  Don't we all have days as spouses, or parents, or employees where we just need to stop at the proverbial Tim Horton's bathroom and sit down for a minute, or get off the treadmill and lay on the basement floor?  And then what happens?  We do what we have to do, we slog through the challenge, and eventually it's fine.  It's not always stellar, or amazing, but it's fine.  And sometimes, compared to surprisingly, shockingly, and horrifyingly terrible, fine is pretty darn good.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

We're Back!

It's been far too long since we have taken the time to update our blog.  Tonight we have some exciting news to share, so we are dusting this thing off to make a (very daunting) announcement.

We just did this...
While it may seem that our fundraising goal of $10 000 is the daunting part, it is not.  We have decided that to raise $10 000 we better do something pretty big.  Bang for your buck if you will.

So on September 12, 2015 Leigh and I will be running the whole 100km distance  side by side!!

We have had this in the works since last year's Run.  We have taken it into consideration as we set our 2015 running goals.  Since December 29th we have been running all the miles, eating all the food, and sleeping all the time.  In fact, everyone in our family was in bed in the 6 o'clock hour last night...I am not exaggerating.  We are training for The Sulphur Springs 50K.  It is our stepping stone towards 100K training which will start after the race on May 23rd.

Now we need you!

First, we are looking for teammates.  You need not be crazy enough to run 100km.  If there is enough interest, we would like to form a Cooper's Troopers relay team to run the course as our relay teams did last year.  Distances are variable, and you do not need to have running experience.  You do need to have the desire to run, a passion for helping sick kids, the willingness to train, and a HUGE commitment to fundraising.  Please contact us ASAP if you would like to join us for this amazing event.

Second...Here is our fundraising link .  We would be so very grateful if you would be willing to donate to this very deserving cause.

Monday, 1 December 2014

It's That Time Again!

On December 13th 2012 we sat agonizing in the surgical waiting room as Cooper underwent open heart surgery.  Over the following days we sat at his bedside (and in his bed!) in CCU, Step Down, and on 4D.  We were surrounded by children and families who were fighting a similar battle.  My heart aches for Gideon and his family.  Withstanding four open heart surgeries seems unimaginable.
There are so many opportunities to give to Sick Kids at this time of year.  

After undergoing scary or uncomfortable procedures Cooper was allowed to choose a toy from the Treasure Box.  Every child deserves to be rewarded for their bravery when they are forced to endure more then they should.  Since Cooper's surgery we have created a new Christmas tradition in our family.  The boys use a small amount of their saved money to purchase small toys, we also purchase a number of small toys and gifts to donate to the Treasure Box on 4D (the Cardiac Unit at Sick Kids).

We will be delivering our donations this year on Saturday December 13th.  If you would like to contribute, we would be happy to deliver your donations as well.  

***This is the list of suggested Treasure Box Donations
***We will need to receive items from you no later then the morning of SATURDAY DECEMBER 13th, 2014
***We can arrange drop off in Guelph, Brampton, Georgetown and surrounding areas
***Contact us via blog comments, facebook, text, e-mail, phone, telegram, candygram, singing messenger, carrier pigeon...

If you would like to contribute in a different way you can find information HERE.  

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Race Recap-Avery

***Seem to have an odd issue with the text background colour here...And I can't figure out how to fix it***

Next up in our recap series (if you can call it that when I am too tired to post for a month) is Avery.  Avery is my youngest sister and I could not be prouder of her for all she accomplished training for and participating in The Run.  Avery was an early adopter, committing to Cooper's Troopers soon after registration opened.  She was not a runner before then, and started with the Couch to 10K program.  She was diligent with her training, often coming by after a long day at work to run on our treadmill.   As she approached the completion of C210K she started having significant pain and swelling in her ankle.  Like a true (stupid) runner she tried for awhile to run through it, very unsuccessfully.  She soon found out she had a stress fracture in her ankle.  She adhered to her Doctors instructions to rest, and gave her body a chance to heal.  At long last she restarted her training.  She had lost a lot of ground and had to start out slow to test her ankle, but she persevered and prepared herself over the weeks and months to complete 15.6km.  Her resiliency and commitment is inspiring!  I was so proud as I watched her bounce back and succeed.  Enough from me...Here's what Avery had to say about The Sears Great Canadian Run!!!

After months of training for the run, I could not believe it was here! I was excited but SO nervous! My legs of the race were in the afternoon so I spent the morning cheering on the other members of our team. Suddenly it was my turn and the nerves got bad...really bad. After a pep talk from my team members and Mike (my husband and our race day driver), I was off. I tried to pace myself, I knew I had 15.6 km to do with the first leg being full of hills...judging by how stiff my calves were, the excitement of race day was making me run faster then I meant to but I kept with it. I was determined to not take a walking break. As I ran I'd tell myself, 2 songs and I can have a jelly bean (my fuel of choice), yes I am like a 2 year old, bribe me with candy and sure I'll keep running! Then I saw what looked like a mountain coming up! Ok it wasn't a mountain, but it was the biggest hill I had ever run ...this required 2 jelly beans. Half way up the hill just when I was thinking of succumbing to walking, there was Tj, Lesley, Eliza and Grace cheering me on and boy did that give the extra push I needed to get to the top without stopping. The down hill was much nicer and led me right into the checkpoint where I stopped for a minute for team support a kiss from Mike and carried on. 

The second leg was half the length of the first. The half way sign for the leg came up fast, the 1 more km sign...not so much (I didn't know until I hit the checkpoint that there was no 1 more km sign on that leg). Running through the forest I could have sworn I was lost, which is easy for me. The only reason I didn't stop was the glimpses I got of another runner. At least if I was lost I wasn't the only one. I came up to the end of the trail and there was a police officer directing traffic who reassured me my final checkpoint was right around the corner. So around the corner I went and there were my teammates, Mike and my parents cheering me on...I was tired but I only had 30 more feet to go and I pushed it. I was done! After all the training I was done and I was proud of myself. Not only was I grateful for the support from friends and family but the serenades, conversations, high fives and fist bumps from total strangers. I was amazed by strangers coming together to support each other and raise money for such a worthy cause! I cannot wait for round 2 next year!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Race Recap-Amanda

So now that the dust has settled, and our post-race depression has resolved it's time to tell you all about race day.  I asked each of our teammates to share some of their thoughts about the day.  Some are short and some are long, so I'll be sharing them with your in several parts.

First up is my cousin Amanda.  We were so thrilled that Amanda decided to travel all the way from New Brunswick to run with Cooper's Troopers.  It meant so much to us, that it meant so much to her.  I wrote about Amanda in this post.  As you can tell, I'm sort of a big fan of hers!  I spend a lot of time missing her, so getting to spend the weekend together made it even more amazing.
A little battle to warm up

Ready to go!
The Sears Great Canadian relay was on my running radar since Lexie and Leigh’s 2013 race. It didn’t take much consideration (or begging convincing my husband) to pick the relay as my 2014 destination race. I had yet to race outside of Atlantic Canada since I started running seriously 2 years ago.  For 2014, I would have 2 half marathons and a hand full of other races prior to the relay but this one was the one I was most looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint. 

Despite vowing to go to bed early the night before, we spent a few hours packing cars, running bags, coolers, and went over the course map and meet up points with family – not an advisable task at 11pm!  The energy was already high and we hadn’t even embarked on the race. Race morning was a jumble of showers, breakfast, hugs to kiddos who were up too early to see us off, pictures and then we packed into the cars. 

Some parts of the day are a blur but much of it is still fresh in my mind. The support (and cow bells) from our fellow team members as we drove from check point to check point was something I have never experienced in a race. Watching our team members complete race distances they never thought possible was inspiring. I thought waiting all day to run that last quarter of the race would be difficult but it really just made me grateful for the experience.  

Did I run, yes I ran and I enjoyed every minute of it (I admit I was lucky to have the relatively flat trail section of the course). It was a beautiful fall day and I was well trained to make the final trek to Blue Mountain. But it wasn’t my running leg that was the most memorable, it was supporting our other runners as they ran, it was checking in at each check point with my team getting what I needed or didn’t need for the next leg, it was crossing the finish line as an entire team of Cooper’s Troopers kids and all. Thank you to Lexie and Leigh for including me in your experience, your cause and your love for Cooper!
Coming into the last exchange