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.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Pancake Breakfast Photos

It's been a few weeks since the inaugural Cooper's Troopers Pancake Breakfast.  Unfortunately it has taken me a very long time to post the photos of the event and update you on how it went.  You see, we have been very busy for the last 19 days with things like this...

So at long last, between ticket sales and our raffle we raised a whopping $1170!!  Here are the photos of the event.

We want to sincerely thank all of those who came out and made this event such a success.  Your money is going to such an amazing cause, and we could not do this without you!

If you didn't make it out but would still like to donate click here for our fundraising page.  Race day is just around the corner!!!