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!


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

It's Race Week, and, We Have a Job For You!

So after 24 weeks of training race week has finally arrived!  On Saturday we will be running The Sulphur Springs 50K Trail Race.  We are super excited, and with the holiday weekend it sort of feels like Saturday is sneaking up on us really quick!  Let's talk a little about what is happening in the Hanna residence for race week...

1)  I am already not sleeping.  We took an impromptu camping trip to Pinery Provincial Park on the weekend, and despite the post camping exhaustion I had last night I was still too keyed up to sleep.  Guess it's a good thing I'm working nights tonight...May as well work if I'm not sleeping anyway...Right...Right??

2)  Physiotherapy.  You may remember this post from a couple of weeks ago.  The KT tape was helping, and I was relatively pain free, and able to run my training runs.  Trouble is I could tell that I was not getting to the root of the problem.  I was able to get in for a massage and physio appointment last week and got some insight into what is going on.  The muscles that internally rotate my hip are tight, and the muscles on the outside of my ankle are tight.  Both of these things were causing me to be up on the outside edge of my foot, not allowing for proper shock absorption through the joint, and showing up as knee pain.  Our beloved Ben has left Speed River physio, but I saw a new(to me) PT who was AMAZING.  She released my ankle/foot and hip and gave me some exercises to do.  I've done them diligently and my leg is feeling great.  I see her again on Friday to get me all tuned up to race on Saturday.

3) Tapering.  After 24 weeks of training we are ready to taper.  Our runs this week are 4, 3, and 2 miles long.  We are going crazy.

4) Cleaning the house.  Tapering is something like nesting at the end of a pregnancy.  After having NO energy for months, all of a sudden there is something left in the tank.  I think, like pregnancy, it might be the subconscious knowledge that house cleaning is not going to be at the top of the priority list during 50K recovery.

5) Worrying about getting hurt or sick.  Lucas crafted a rainbow loom skipping rope at school today.  It is really something to behold.  He asked me to skip with it...NOT A CHANCE!!!  With my right leg hanging precariously in healthy territory right now, rainbow loom skipping is not in my repertoire.  I can see myself landing in emerg with a broken ankle after a freak skipping accident.

6) Carb loading!!!  We start to eat ALL OF THE CARBS tomorrow.  Which is actually sort of perfect since I am on nights tonight, and post night shift I ALWAYS want to eat all the carbs.  For our first 2 marathons we subscribed to the "eat all the candy" school of carb loading thought.  For the Hamilton Marathon last fall I leaned more towards carb heavy real foods, and my stomach thanked me.  Bring on the pretzel bagels and pancakes!

7) Stalking the weather.  We've seen forecasts for Saturday at low as 16 degrees and as high as 23 degrees.  I would pay Harold Hussein for a good 7 degree day.  Probably not likely.  Also hoping for dry weather through the end of the week to avoid a repeat of the slippy, muddy adventure from last years North Face Endurance Challenge in Blue Mountain.

And what is this job we have for you.  Participate in our 50K fundraising telethon!!!

This 50K is a stepping stone in our training for our 100K.  On Saturday morning, while we are out running we will be thinking about how we can best prepare for our 100K, we will be thinking of Cooper and how his experiences at Sick Kids lead us here, we will be thinking of all the kids and families who deserve to have hope for their children.  We would love it if you could think of us, and think of our cause,  and when you do log onto our fundraising page and make a donation to END KIDS CANCER.  We would love to come in after hours on the trail to donations rolling in for this very deserving cause!

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!