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

Thursday, 18 September 2014


This conversation that Leigh and I had recently gives you a nice little glimpse into how my training is going for the PleasePleasePlease let me qualify for The Boston Marathon Hamilton Marathon. 
I am using the Own It Marathon Plan from Train Like a Mother.  I'll tell you what, that plan is no joke.  And like I told Leigh , it intimidates the crap out of me.  The marathon plan that I used in the past had me doing five runs a week.  Usually one "workout" (hills, speed work on the track, tempo, race pace), one long run, and then three runs at easy pace.  This plan has me busting a gut with some weeks having 3/5 "workout" type runs, sometimes including race pace miles within my long run (think the 17 miles with the mid-12 at race pace I have on deck for this weekend).  This has served to both motivate and terrify me.  As my wise coach told me, the challenge is good, and it will effect change.  But darn it if I don't feel anxious leading up to some of these workouts.  It is work.  It usually hurts.  Most times my brain wants to quit.  Sometimes my body wants to quit.  

As luck would have it my training for Hamilton also happens to be my training for The Sears Great Canadian Run.
Also, as luck would have it being ambassadors for The Sears Great Canadian Run scored us this awesome swag from Deep Relief.  I have put it to the test after some tough workouts, and when the fatigue of a tough week of workouts catches up with me.

The "Ice Cold Spray" feels fantastic on fatigued legs.  I love that it is a spray rather then a gel because it does not feel very fantastic on your hands.  I can remember when I was playing High School sports and Rep Basketball and had terrible shin splints.  I tried using a similar product in gel form before my basketball games.  I then had to play basketball with tingly fingers. I recruited my mom to apply it to my sore shins from then on.  Having a spray means my mom doesn't have to move in with us ;)
 I did not like the "Heat Spray" on my legs AT ALL.  It feels distinctly different then the Ice Cold Spray, and made my legs feel more fatigued and uncomfortable.  I have however LOVED using it on my lower back.  Ever since Cooper made me gain 65 (pregnancy) pounds I have struggled with SI joint tightness and sciatica.  Post long run is prime time for a tight lower back.  The heat spray is very soothing, and again, the spray application is ideal.
 The last product that I tried was the "Neck, Shoulder, and Back Pain Relief."  At the end of July I worked a night shift and woke up with an awful crick in my neck.  That same day we went camping for 3 nights.  You would have thought that 3 nights sleeping on the ground would have healed that neck crick right up...It didn't.  In fact I woke up every morning with a sore neck until the end of August.  Then this little beauty arrived.  It is a cream, but has a no touch applicator.  I used it for 2 nights and FINALLY woke up with no neck pain.  So I owe the folks at Deep Relief and The Sears Great Canadian Run a HUGE thank-you for taking care of at least one of the pains in my neck.

I won't get a chance to post tomorrow, so I wanted to give one last update on THE BIG RUN on Saturday.  Our current fundraising total is $6819.26!!!!  Thank you so much to each and every one of you who has contributed!  You are the ones who have made this all possible.  You can still donate by clicking here.  

Leigh went to the captain's meeting last night, and came home all hyped up and ready to run.  He brought home all the gear for our team, and the desire to run 100km on his ow.
And last but not least!  We will be seen sporting these babies out on the course on Saturday!!!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Countdown Is On!

It is officially race week, and we couldn't be more excited!
Last Friday our Louise Arbour S.S. staff team members hosted a BBQ at school with the extra donations from our BBQ the previous Saturday.  It was a last minute fundraising event that ended up being a huge success.  They brought in $208.25, selling everything we had leftover, and even had to turn kids away when they ran out of food!

In other donation news, Lucas has been counting the money in his piggy bank on a daily basis since the flyer for the Book Fair came home this week.  He's just a little excited to blow his cash on a cheap Lego book because it has a minifigure attached to it.
After his daily count today he came downstairs with a loonie in his hand.  He handed it to me and said "I want to donate this dollar to Sick Kids."  I just love that sweet, generous, and thoughtful boy!  He was so pleased as we filled in the online form, and when he saw his name show up on the donation page.
Be like Lucas and the kids at LASS! There are only 5 days left to donate!!!  Your generosity will make a huge difference in the lives of kids and families in our communities.

Due to race day logistics the Cooper's Troopers fundraising page has been split in two.  So you can now click here or here to make a donation.

Monday, 8 September 2014


One of the things that I love most about running is how it gives me the chance to set and achieve measurable goals.  Unlike the laundry, it is something that I know I can complete 100 percent.  There is something so satisfying about starting out with a new training plan, then slowly chipping away at it.  Day by day, run by run, a small goal met with the finish of each workout, a small goal that leads to gradual improvement, that leads to a race that is (ideally) the accomplishment of the big kahuna goal.

On Saturday morning I did this:

My goal?  Twenty miles, strong, 9:15ish overall pace, negative split.  I pulled it off.  Twenty miles done in 3:04:58, 9:15 pace, huge negative split.

Our second goal for Saturday was to bring in $500 towards our team's fundraising for The Sears Great Canadian Run.  We were truly humbled by the generosity of the people who came out to the first Cooper's Troopers Charity BBQ.  Our first sale was to a gentleman who paid $5 for a hot dog that we told him was $2.  He didn't want the hot dog, he brought it over to his truck and fed it to his dog.  The day continued in a similar fashion.  Kind, generous, and selfless people, handing us far more money then they owed for their meal, and then telling us to keep the change.  One family said they were not planning on stopping, until they heard that we were raising money for Sick Kids.  A young man who bought lunch because his niece is receiving treatment at Sick Kids.  We have learned so much, we have heard so many stories of lives changed, and saved because of the care provided at Sick Kids.

In 3 hours, and through the contributions of so many generous people we raised $501.10.  We met our goal for the day, and we surpassed our overall fundraising goal!

Race day is in less then 2 weeks!  Want to help us blow our fundraising goal out of the water?  Click here to donate to our team today!  Time is running out.