Monday, 31 August 2015

Done and Done!

Our 100k training started on December 29th, 2014.  That's 8 months.  I have grown complete human beings (ergh...well complete less a vital cardiac septum I guess) in just a little more time than that...Twice.  Eight months is a long time to train for anything.  We used the training plans from a book called Relentless Forward Progress:  A Guide to Running Ultramarathons .  First the 50k plan, and then converting to the 100k plan after we finished The Sulphur Springs Trail 50k.  We ran the lower mileage plan for our weekday runs to accommodate our children, jobs, lives, and sanity, and then ran the higher mileage plan for the back to back long runs on the weekends.  We have run many miles, sweated a lot, drank a lot of gatorade (Leigh), and Gu Brew (me), and eaten many many MAAAANNNY Nature's Bakery Fig Bars while on the move (ummm...Just noticed many delicious flavours that appear to be absent from the Costco boxes of fig bars.  Seriously, where can I get me some lemon, mango, or pumpkin spice bars!?!)

And now after 8 months, we have arrived at the taper.  The hard work is done, and now it's time to marinate.  Last week we ran our final pair of long runs (40k Thursday, followed by 20k Friday) of this training cycle.  We spent a few days staying in Blue Mountain with the Hannas, and had the unique opportunity to run parts of the actual course a couple of times.

Cooper on the Gondola.  Leigh and I hiked a sweaty hike up the mountain while Cooper and Auntie Kara rode up,  and then took the free ride down together.
Lucas after riding the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster with Auntie Devyn.
This view coming up to the village gave me butterflies in my stomach both at the end of our runs, and just walking around the village during the rest of our stay.  The finish line at The Sears Great Canadian Run is like nothing I have ever experienced.  It is just electric, and I get emotional just thinking about having the opportunity to cross it at the end of 100km.
We found some other reminders of this awesome event during our stay.  We spotted a lone Sears Great Canadian Run arrow sign zip tied to a stop sign on our 20k run, and 'this' on the upcoming events board!
 We are super excited for race day to arrive.  The excitement mounted this morning when my weather stalking uncovered this forecast this morning!  Hoping this sticks around!

Don't forget that you are ALL welcome to join us on race day.  The course information is available here.  Please join us to cheer, encourage, say hi, or run a few miles.  Can't commit to a whole day, come on out to the finish line, and for the post race dinner and celebration.  The finish line is incredible, and is followed by a banquet with a great free meal for all runners and supporters.  We'd love to have you there to celebrate with us.  Without you none of this would be possible! 

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!