Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Tessa... what did you put down the toilet?

   We're renovating our upstairs bathroom, and we have been relying on our tiny powder room on the main floor as our only toilet in the house.

   Last week, the toilet in the powder room started to flush differently.  It was all at the same time as Greg and his uncles were changing where some of the piping that was going to our upstairs washroom was, so I thought that it was because of that.  Then I started to hear rumbling from my older kids that Tessa had put something down the powder room toilet.

   So I asked my two-year-old Tessa if she flushed anything down the "big girl toilet".  She nodded and looked really guilty.  I continued to get information from her, asking what was flushed.  She then said, "I flushed my coelophysis down the big girl toilet.  It's gone Mommy!"  Hmmmm I was amazed by the fact that she named the specific, not-so-well-known dinosaur species that was caught in the plumbing.  It made me laugh and will soften the blow a little when I'm paying the plumber to go on a coelophysis search and rescue mission.

A coelophysis - we have one loose in our plumbing at the moment

Saturday, 19 December 2015

My letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I have been on the nice list for most of the year – with a few slips into naughty territory including, but not limited to the times where I frosted 2 cakes which would be considered inappropriate for children,  kidnapped a goldfish at a stag and doe – who was about to be sacrificed in a party game, surface stitched a naughty word into a blanket that I included as a gift in a grown-up gift exchange, completely forgotten about my toothfairy duties on multiple occasions, and eaten what would be considered a gluttonous amount of peanut m &m’s.  

My latest request comes after an evening run this past week.  I have been using a very ineffective headlamp during my evening runs, and I have always thought that I was using old batteries, and that’s why my headlamp would lose its light during the run.  On this particular run, I opened a fresh pack of name-brand batteries, and loaded up the headlamp (ready for a bright run on the trails).  It started off that way.  I turned on the lamp, started the run, and within 3 minutes the headlamp was just a pathetic glowing dot that would be less powerful than a glowstick.  I had to rely on Steve’s super-bright “portable sun” headlamp to lead the way.  That’s all well and good, except if Steve took his focus off the trail in front of him, I would have no light in front of me (which for someone who is used to being able to see where my feet are going on a trail, having the trail suddenly disappear in front of you is terrifying).   So after that run, it was obvious to me that I needed a headlamp with the ability to last longer than 3 minutes, and ideally a rechargeable, high powered device that’s on the small-side.  Steve’s is the Black Diamond Sprinter model – Andrew thought it was the best company ever (making both cheese and headlamps).  Something like that or better would be great.  Then I wouldn’t have headlamp envy anymore.

And while we’re on the topic of Steve, please get him a device that gives him a small electric shock every time he uses a bad pun.  Make it subtle – maybe a reflective ankle strap with anti-pun technology.  That would be very appreciated.

My last Christmas wish is for this lingering knee issue to resolve itself soon.  I need you to use some of your Christmas magic, and make it disappear.  It has been around and making my runs awkward for a long time, like that friend that doesn’t get the hint to go home from a party, and we end up just staring at each other as I try and send messages that the party has ended.  So listen-up knee....the party has ended – time to go home.  Maybe Santa can take you back to the North Pole to live out the rest of your days in the chilly arctic.  I heard it’s beautiful up there.

      Thanks for considering my Christmas wishes, and I hope your deliveries go smoothly on the 24th



Sunday, 29 November 2015

Running News - I have a few more sponsors!

It has been an exciting few weeks.  I learned that I am an Athlete Ambassador for CLIF bar for 2016! I love their CLIF bars, CLIF bloks, CLIF shots, and  CLIF builders protein bars.  I'm happy to be supported by them for my training and racing fuel.  More info about that to come.

And I'm also sponsored by Dion Snowshoes!  I will be wearing a pair of Dion #121 Racing Frame Running Snowshoes while I compete in the Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series this winter.  It's all very exciting.  More info about this to come too.

Thank you CLIF bar and Dion Snowshoes!

Oliver Update!

It's been a while since I have posted.  I have been writing report cards and taking part in some Christmas fun.  But now reports are done and submitted, and I can pass along a few updates and in the next post - some running news.

Update for Oliver:  Oliver is recovering from his heart surgery well.  He's home from the hospital and recovering on schedule.  It's a relief that his surgery is over and he's doing well.  It's going to be an exciting Christmas -but nothing beats last year -   Last year, Jenn was in labour at the family's Christmas eve celebration, and Oliver was born at 3:14am Christmas morning.  That was exciting!  Looking forward to Oliver's first birthday on Christmas day.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Prayers for Oli please

My 10 month-old nephew Oliver is going in for heart surgery at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto on Monday to repair a congenital defect in his heart.  This is a routine surgery, but still scary whenever you're dealing with open-heart surgery.  We love you Oli and we're praying for a quick recovery, and that you can come home soon.  If you're the praying-type, send some his way.  Here's some super-cute recent pictures of the little guy.


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sharon's 100k of inspiration

My amazing friend Sharon wrote me an encouraging and inspiring thing and emailed it to me the day I left for the 100k World Championships this year.  I printed it off, and read it on the plane - laughing really hard at times - I think the guy sitting beside me thought I was crazy (and he kept trying to peak over at the paper to see what was so funny).  She wrote 100k of inspiration - which turned out to be one little funny fact for each kilometer that I was going to run in my race.  I LOVED it.  I read the list over and over, and I had some memorized and thought of them as I passed the KM markers in the race.  I remembered the 30k around the bay comment when I began my 4th lap and many more floated into my head throughout the race and made me smile.

It really helped to remember this encouraging piece of writing when I was at a low point during the race.  It reminded me that there are many people back home hoping that I had a good race, and cheering me on.  It reminded me how lucky I am in many ways.

Here's more kilometers of inspiration. I edited out the slightly inappropriate ones, and the inside jokes that would be complete nonsense to anyone but me.  Thanks Sharon, you're the best!

100km of inspiration (…was my goal but less than 10km in I realized it was just going to be random thoughts. Have fun with that.)
Kilometer 1
Who needs inspiration?! Look at you go. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Kilometer 2
Only 98km to go. That’s what you ran at dirty girls, and this time you won’t have to walk home at the end.
Kilometer 3
3 is apparently a magic number. Also, 3km is what midget girls ran in high school cross country. So, if you were a midget girl, you’d already be home. I’d still be running though, because I always just hoped I’d run the whole thing and that not too many walk/sprinters would beat me.
Kilometer 4
Now you’re done the junior girls distance. Look at you go!
Kilometer 5
If you were doing a couch to 5km, you’d be done by now. But, if you were just doing a couch, you would have been done 5km ago. I’m going to google couch to 100km right now and see if it’s a thing…there is not. Unless you’re planning to cycle it, then there is. I also found a guy that ran 100km 4 months into running. Let’s not tell Andrew.
Kilometer 6
Okay, now you’re better than all those people who decide they’re going to run a 5km and then realize that they did hate running all along (oh how I envy those people on some rainy long runs).
Kilometer 7
7 km is the driving distance between our houses. I’d tell you to come in for a coffee break, but we are sleeping as you run. Our sleep should inspire you, because later when we finally wake up, we’re going online to see how you’re doing and the more you get done before we’re even awake, the greater the wow factor (you should have been less awesome…our expectations would be lower and wows would come more easily).
Kilometer 8
Did you ever play that game as a kid where you say “I one a sandbox” and the next person says “I two a sandbox” and so on and so forth until you get to “I eight a sandbox”? Yeah. I’m wondering if it’s supposed to be sandwich actually, except, eating sandboxes seemed much more entertaining as a child. Funny story, I was totally that kid that ate (eight?) all the sand in our sandbox. New sand day was fabulous, that was the real gourmet sand. Also, I once ate a cookie I found on the playground. This is why you should give children oreos once in a while. Oh yeah, keep running, eight is a fun number.

Kilometer 10
Woot! 10% done. Maybe have a drink to celebrate. Let’s turn this into a beer 100km (one every 10km sounds totally doable, right?)
Kilometer 11
Woot again! You’ve officially run an ultra-10km and a quarter marathon (not to mention the 2 eighth marathons you already have under your belt). If you ask, I can make you medals for all of these distances out of things I find lying around the house. I’m just trying to figure out how one could fashion a medal out of old coffee grounds and banana peels.
Kilometer 12
I’m starting to realize exactly how big a number 100 is. My fingers are tired. This is stupid. I’m starting to cry like Nikki Kimball in that Long Trail documentary. The carpal tunnel is setting in. I need a pacer. Can I just have a 5 minute nap, just 5 minutes? I want to die.
…I mean. You totally got this. Or something.
Kilometer 13
Bakers dozen baby!

Kilometer 30
Woot. You just finished the Bay. Hope you’re enjoying a stale pita in the Copp’s Colosseum basement to celebrate. Oh wait. I forgot that this is the 100km. Good news! Instead of a stale pita, you get to run 70km more! Huzzah!
Kilometer 31
Nelson was going to try to write some, but he couldn’t. He said 100 is too many. I tried to explain that that’s the point, because 100 is too many (except right now for you, when it is just enough).
Kilometer 32
This is the point when Nelson gracefully stepped out of Dirty Girls to allow me to be the number 1 Harrier in the 6 hour race. It’s also the point where they all believed I was delusional and yet let me run into the forest alone. I like to imagine how that day would have progressed had I legitimately been hallucinating. I feel like it would have been a good day for me overall, full of fairies and pixie dust. Okay, next time I do 24 hours and aim for hallucination.
Kilometer 33
Nelson just came downstairs and got upset that I already wrote 32. But his frown was turned upside down when he realized he was going to write something similar anyways. Maybe with less pixies and more talk about how he’s such an awesome ultramarathoner.
Kilometer 34
Over 1/3rd! Fractions are the most delicious math subject because of all the pies. Your pie looks like it’s already making you sick. 1/3 of a pie is too much pie.
Kilometer 35
35 is how old you are! You’ve travelled around the sun 35.2219178 times (give or take), which is way further than 100km (google tells me 940 million km…so, multiplied by 35.2219178 it gives me 33.1 billion km…and that’s without all your ultra-runs). To be honest, after all that, you deserve a break (which you can take in just a short 65km).
Kilometer 36
I have one sentence fragment for you: “Forward relentless motion - quickly.”

Kilometer 41
So, you’re 1km into your 4th lap and perhaps the first doubts are creeping into your mind. The first thing you should note is that your watch is falling apart, so you can’t trust it for anything…unless you are way ahead of your planned time, then your watch is perfect and can never fail, so trust it absolutely. The second is that I haven’t actually thought of a second thing, but thought I should put one in since I said “the first thing”.
Kilometer 42
Obviously, marathon. Soon, ultramarathon.

Kilometer 45
Are you thirsty? I’m thirsty. Bet you wish you had a camel back right now. All that sweet refreshing back water. Satisfying.

Kilometer 47
Hungry? I have salt stuffed gummy bears.

Kilometer 49
Just writing this has made me realize that 50km is too long. Let’s just do 49km, then walk and eat ice cream for the last 1km.

Kilometer 51
Time to do exactly what you did in the first half, except this time with more tears and less toenails.
Kilometer 52
Imagine that for each kilometer you are dropping a playing card. You have none left. Except the jokers and any miscellaneous advertisement cards that may be in this particular deck. Keep these cards, they will be important for my next trick (I have no real trick, so I ask that you ask no follow up questions about this kilometer).

Kilometer 55
Maybe you’re feeling down again and need some inspiration. Once, I ate an entire restaurant order of nachos, just to prove that I could. I think that running may be your nachos, that even as you begin to think that there may be such a thing as too much running, you know that if you don’t do it now, you’ll regret all those missed miles later (the same way I’ll miss the cheesy goodness that is the last crispy nacho).
Kilometer 56
Picture Myriam with her fuel belt on for her 1km run. Now picture her stopping to walk and refuel 200m from the finish line.
Kilometer 57
When I feel discouraged, I like to think of the Chipmunk run at the Mill Race and how fun it is to torture children by making them run down a hill and back up for our amusement.
If you’re thinking of quitting, you could always run to Groningen or Emmen or Emden, or better yet, you could take a train if you have a Ticket to Ride™ .
Kilometer 59
Nelson says that he hopes you’re wearing orange, it is the Netherlands after all. (To be fair, if we’re going with that theme, you should also be riding a bike wearing wooden shoes).

Kilometer 62
38km left! You could do that running backwards and juggling…is a thing that I will say in a decade when you finally decide to follow your calling and become the first backwards joggling ultra-runner.
Kilometer 63
37km left! In 20 years there will also be fire and/or knives involved in your act if I have my way.
Kilometer 64
64 is 8 squared and 4 cubed. It’s a wonderful number. If you add 8 squared to 6 squared, you get 10 squared. 10 squared is 100. 100 is time for beer. Therefore, x = run for beer. Mathemagics!
Kilometer 65
35km left! Could we also add in tap shoes?
Kilometer 66
Let’s run Route 66, it’s less than 4000km and I think it has a lot of diners, so we can probably restock our bacon pockets pretty regularly.
Kilometer 67
2/3rds of the way! I don’t know what goes through the mind of a successful runner at this point, but for me I’d probably start thinking about how much I hate running, and yet still keep running for some reason that I can’t quite explain. Then I’d get teary eyed thinking about how delicious water is or how dogs don’t judge my soul (except for Dale’s, apparently).
Kilometer 68
Remember that time that Andrew raced for wine. If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.
Kilometer 69
Good songs for running really far: Born to Run Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seeger Against the Wind, Matthew Wilder Break my Stride, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas Nowhere to Run, Tragically Hip Long Time Running, Neil Young Long May You Run, Collective Soul Run
Kilometer 70
Have you noticed that most Disney movies have a song where the female protagonist sings about how she’s more awesome than other people think she is and how she’s going to find her own way in the world? Examples: Little Town from Beauty and the Beast, Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid, Reflection from Mulan. Those songs are also awesome to listen to for motivation as long as you ignore the fact that by the end of the movie, their existential crisis is always solved by the addition of a man.
Kilometer 71
Speaking of feminism, what’s the deal with girl versions of races? Since when can women not do iron mans or tough mudder and need a shorter version? Also, I think pink is awesome, as you can tell by my taste in wine, but I’m not sure why I need pink everything when if all turns out well I’m just going to end up covered in mud, blood, sweat and tears?
Kilometer 72
I suspect at 72km you’re going to have your 4th or 5th second wind. Enjoy it.
Kilometer 73
The latest 2nd wind has passed? Don’t worry, another one is on its way, I swear.
Kilometer 74
Let’s talk about chafing. I really don’t think we’ve fully explored solutions to this problem until I see you running in a flesh toned skin tight body suit. If you’re wondering, the skin tight is for the chafing, the flesh toned is for the blog traffic.
Kilometer 75
Only a single ultra-half-marathon to go! Don’t worry, the “ultra” is just there for people who want to be like you but without all the hard work.
Kilometer 76
This kilometer was brought to you by Sharon Rutledge, ND, exclusive carrier of the Anti-chafe Skin Suit™.
Kilometer 77
23km left! My favorite number again!
Kilometer 78
Dear god, I’m 11 pages in (pre-editing, not sure where this will actually end up). How long is this race anyways?
Kilometer 79
Maybe I should have just made you a mix tape.
Kilometer 80
2 laps left! Do you need motivation? Close your eyes. Wait, open them, you just ran into a marshal (why so many turns?). Now imagine your eyes are closed. Are you there yet? Good. Now imagine you’re a toad. Then imagine Clara has found you. Now you have two choices for motivation: you could imagine the insane amount of pure love for that toad coming out of Clara, or you could imagine the very real fear for your life that you have. Choose whichever keeps you running.
Kilometer 81
“You’re almost there!”…is something I would shout at you right now if I wanted you to “accidentally” smack me in the head as you pass. In case you need to know which spectators have never run long distance, I put it into google translate, which says that “you’re almost there” in Dutch is “Je er bijna bent”. You might want to double check with Greg.
Kilometer 82
Somehow I hadn’t read about your vegetable oil car on your blog before. I’m feeling inspired. I also want Chinese for some reason.
Kilometer 83
Random coincidence: some days I also run on oil from a Chinese restaurant. True story.
Kilometer 84
Hey, 84 is the year that your baby sister Holly was born. Tacosaurus! I should have videotaped her finishing the Pelee half. It was inspiring, and totally would have fueled you through the last 16km.
Kilometer 85
Just a Langdon loop left! (Plus the extra special bonus km.)
Kilometer 86
At this moment Nelson is frantically refreshing his computer to see how you’re doing. I’m still thinking about tacosaurus. Mmm…tacosaurus.
Kilometer 87
Okay, you’re probably getting to that sweet spot now where you are so miserable with running that misery begins to bleed into happiness and it’s hard to tell the two apart. Enjoy it! Not many people can push themselves to the point where this happens. If you’re not there, then maybe stub a toe or something, because what’s the point of running 100km if misery doesn’t blend with happiness?
Kilometer 88
88 is the distance that the top male ran in 12 hours at dirty girls. Your awesomeness amazes me constantly.
Kilometer 89
Oh, by the way, Nelson wants to know if you booked the cottage for Pelee island. Don’t stress about it or anything, just get on it in 11km.
Just kidding! Hopefully that only gave you the helpful kind of stress aneurysm.
Kilometer 90
10km left to go! I recommend you appreciate it, because once you stop moving, it’s going to be at least a few days before you’ll even consider running 10km again. Soak it in baby!

Kilometer 96
Nelson asked if I remembered to use bacon pockets. I did, but I figured I could use it again. Like, I could write something like, “you only have 4km left, might as well empty your bacon pocket and give it all you’ve got”. Or, “Run like you’re being chased by a bear and shedding your bacon greased soaked shorts in pure terror.”
Kilometer 97
Usually 3km left is the worst part of a race for me, because I think “3km really isn’t so far”, except that in experience, it’s still far enough. But, maybe for you, 3km really isn’t so far.
Kilometer 98
2km left. You may feel like you’re falling apart, but if you can keep it together for just 2000m more, you’ll be done. Then you can fall apart in any way that your little overworked heart desires (or should I say your most likely freakishly large runners heart desires).

Kilometer 100

Huzzah! You made it! You’re amazing! Our internet is acting up, but as soon as it’s not acting up, we’re right here celebrating with you! Now let’s all drink heavily while sitting in a bathtub full of ice.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

No no no - I will not be making these

No no no no no no noooooo!  Who is making these?  What cats are willingly wearing these creations.  I crochet hats for pretty much every kid of a friend or family member, but I draw the line at crocheting for cats.  I enjoyed flipping through the cat pics wearing the hats though at this link  but I will not be making these.

DIY Fidget Toy photo tutorial

I made a fidget toy for my daughter after some struggles at school with calming down when she was upset.  My daughter could hold the soft toy, and work the marble around the inside of the toy with her fingers as she re-focuses.  I explained what I was making to her, she chose the fabric - "snow tiger" or zebra polar fleece, and she watched as I made her fidget toy.  She was so excited to try this at school the day after I sewed it, and she proudly showed her teacher, who asked me for the pattern.  I thought I would post the easy-to-follow photo tutorial for teachers/parents who would like to make a fidget toy for their children.

2 - 6 1/2  inch squares of polar-fleece material (size doesn't have to be exact, but both pieces do need to be the same size)
1 -marble
1 -4 inch piece of coordinating ribbon
1) cut 2 - 6 1/2 inch squares of polar fleece material

2) place good sides facing in
3) fold ribbon in half, pin ribbon to the inside of the fabric (with edges sticking out)
4) Place a few pins to steady the fabric

 5) sew the outer edge of the fabric leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance - leave a 2 inch hole (to turn fabric)
6) snip excess fabric at corners
7) turn fabric
8) throw marble into fidget toy

 9) pin open edge closed, sew around fidget toy - moving marble if you need to

 10) sew the marble path by leaving an even  1 1/2 inch space for the marble to travel through.  I just zig-zag around the inner space of the toy.

 11) cut thread ends
12) give to your fidgety child :)

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Sydenham 8k Trail run race report

Last weekend was another fun cottage weekend with my running buddies.  Greg and I traveled on Friday evening to the town (or village) or Sydenham, Ontario (near Kingston).  We rented a cottage on Sydenham Lake that had 2 themes - loons and the 70's.  The cottage owners especially embraced the 70's theme with the shag carpeting, retro furniture, 8 track player, a closet full of retro games, and even a magic 8 ball.  We would consult the 8 ball throughout the weekend, and found it to be quite accurate - Nelson asked if he was going to set the course record? "My reply is no".  His next question was also shot down: Will he win the race? "Outlook not so good".  Ray asked if he would win -"Don't count on it". I asked questions about my nagging knee soreness.  Is my knee going to be whiny tomorrow? "yes". Then I asked if I should try snowshoe running in the winter- "Signs point to yes".  Hmmm magic 8 ball wisdom to ponder. I gotta talk to coach Derrick about getting this snowshoe running set up.  The magic 8 ball told me so :)

On Saturday after a Sharon and Nelson-style fresh waffle breakfast, we headed into town and checked out a little restaurant called the Mill St. Cafe.  We were pleased with our meals.  I had the shitake mushroom soup with fresh bread, and roasted beet and goatcheese salad.  It was very fresh-tasting and delicious.  Our whole group enjoyed what they ordered, and we would go back when we're in Sydenham again.  Thanks Mill St. Cafe.

The race approached quickly, and we found ourselves on the starting line on Sunday morning.  We would run a short 500m road section until the access to the Cataraqui trail.   The course was along Sydenham lake, turning around at Boyce island and back along the trail.  I was a wide, gravel rail trail so I was excited that I could run fast!  When the race started, I tried to stay with Greg, but he has been super-speedy lately and pulled ahead early.  I wasn't paying close attention to my km splits or my ongoing time. I needed a pressure-free run to just enjoy myself.  I was running as fast as I could go, and even though I was in the spray radius of the guy ahead of me when he spit (and even worse - farmer's blew!),  I enjoyed the race quite a bit.  I haven't felt that tired - leg feeling from running a shorter distance race in quite a while.  I was happy with my effort, that was as fast as I could go on that day.  Greg finished in 32:48 for 12th overall, 2nd in the men's 30-39 age group.  I crossed the line in 34:08 for 20th overall and 3rd female. Ray was 39th in 38:21.  Nelson-44th overall, clocked 39:08. Sharon finished 59th overall in 42:57.

We enjoyed the best post-race coffee as we were waiting for the awards to be handed out.  That was a nice surprise - it was from the Hillside coffee company, which had donated many bags of fresh-roasted fair-trade coffee to the race.  I was lucky enough to win 2 bags!  When I was called up for my 3rd overall female award, I not only received a bronze-coloured rock award, but a gift card for the Running Room, fresh-roasted coffee (as mentioned above), and the cozy-ist home-made polar-fleece socks.  I was very greatful for the prizes - very thoughtful.  Race director (and my coach) Derrick Spafford had done a fantastic job of sourcing dozens of awesome prizes, including big ones for draw prizes like LaSportiva shoes (4 pairs), and a pair of Dion Running snowshoes.  It was impressive.  A big thanks to Derrick for putting on such a well-organized and runner-friendly race.  Thanks to the many volunteers who helped make it possible.  We enjoyed ourselves and would love to return for next year's Sydenham Trail run.

Further information about the run and results can be found at this link:

Buddy Walk for WRDSS

Today was the annual Buddy Walk in support of the Waterloo Region Down Syndrome Society.  A group of my family members participated to support my nephew Oli.  The organizers put on a fun event which featured the 3km walk around the Stanley park area of Kitchener, face painting, balloon creations, and children's entertainers.  It was nice to see so many people supporting their friends and family who are living with down syndrome.  After the walk Oli was recognized as one of the top 10 fundraisers, claiming 7th with a total of $1405 (special recognition goes to Oli's mom and dad - Jenn and Blake for their fundraising efforts).  Below are some pics from the event.  The kids face painting was phenomenal.  Clara requested to be a dinosaur, and Ella an owl.  Clara was so funny, running around roaring like a dinosaur.  It was perfect.  We'll be back next year!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Sharon's officially an Ultrarunner! 50k from Brantford to Port Dover

Sharon ran her first 50k today.  She started at sunrise this morning on the rail trail in Brantford (which ends 52k later in Port Dover - Sharon ran an extra 2k).  Sharon completed the distance and is now an official ultra runner.  I had fun being her support crew along with her partner Nelson.  Aside from the squirrel vs. car incident -Nelson is still traumatized :) we had a great morning crewing for Sharon.  We drove ahead and  got out to cheer her on at different parts of the trail.  At 29k to 39k Nelson ran with Sharon.  Sharon reported later that she had a tough time with this part, and had some fueling and nausea issues, but she bounced back.  When I joined her from 39-52k, she was in better spirits and looking forward to running to the lake.  I joined her from the town of Simcoe to the finish at the lighthouse pier in Port Dover, and it was such a pretty trail.  Heavily-forested with streams running along-side the trail - just beautiful.  Thanks Sharon for sharing your special run with me.  That was a lot of fun.  Congratulations!

And lastly, no major running event is complete without some swag - I put this together for Sharon to celebrate the big day.

Nelson, this is for you: he's in shock, reading the obituaries about his woodland creature friend that you ran over with your squirrel death machine.

Triple Jack Skellingtons!

This year, Ella decided that she wanted to dress up as Jack Skellington from the Nightmare before Christmas, and Clara and Tessa wanted to be him too.  I crocheted the hats over the last few weeks.  Here they are posing for a pic before leaving for school yesterday. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

A little award from City Hall tonight

Tonight I got to do something special.  I was given an award for representing the city of Cambridge as a member of Canada's National Ultrarunning team that competed in the World 100k championships in Winschoten, The Netherlands this past September.   Thanks for the recognition, and I appreciate the award.  Also, thanks to Sharon for coming with me to the ceremony.  No matter how many of these ceremonies I go to, I still get nervous going up there.  Below are some pics of tonight's awards.  Here I am accepting the plaque from members of Cambridge city council...and more pics of Sharon and myself and Paula having a little fun after.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Oli is our family celebrity!

My sweet nephew Oli is appearing in a calendar celebrating people living with Down Syndrome.  Isn't he the cutest!!!  More info about buying the calendar will be available soon.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

PB=favourite beer!

Greg got a big PB today!  He ran the Vulture Bait 25k trail race in London, and had the goal of finishing in under 2 hours.  Well, he surpassed his goal and finished in a quick 1:54!  Yay Greg.  Congrats on your PB - and 7th overall finish. That was fun to see.  Steve Mota from the Harriers also ran and did fabulous - finished in 1:57 in 12th overall and 2nd in the 50+ age group.  We made it a family event, and the kids and I were popping out a different places on the course and hanging out at Fanshawe lake CA.  We went to a nearby Tims too, and had a lot of fun cheering Daddy and Steve on.    In our house PB = favourite beer celebration - so on the way home we made a quick stop, and I ran in and picked a few that I knew he would like.  He'll enjoy those as we watch our teams play tonight - first up Montreal vs. Detroit, then Edmonton vs. Calgary.  Congrats again Greg!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Confessions of a ultra running momma

I put body glide on my 4-month old baby's head.

When Tessa was 4 months-old, she would rub her head back and forth in her crib when she was putting herself to sleep.  I noticed that she had rubbed herself a bald-spot, and it was becoming so chafed that it was raw and bleeding a bit.  I immediately thought of how I would solve a chafing problem while running, and I thought of using Bodyglide on Tessa's head.  I applied the Bodyglide to Tessa's bald spot and put on a little cotton hat and layed her down to sleep.  She fell asleep quickly, and the bald spot soon disappeared.  Bodyglide for baby chafing!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Best 30 seconds of my day

Tessa's favourite song came on the radio and here she is taking a break from colouring to dance.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Yoga tour of Odense, Denmark with Sonja

   For the last two days of my quick Europe trip (where I ran the World 100k Championships), I traveled to Odense, Denmark with one of my best friends Sonja.  While I was there, Sonja and her husband Vincent gave me a tour of the town of Odense.  Odense is the birthplace of the most well-known Danish author - Hans Christian Andersen, and there was a lot of statues scattered around the downtown area in his honour.  Sonja and I decided that we do a different yoga pose in front of each statue that we came across.  I was still very sore from my recent race, so getting into those poses was a challenge, but we had a lot of fun.  Sonja and Vincent also took me to their favourite pub and we enjoyed some local brews and a bit of an interesting walk home :)
Sonja and myself showing our frustration at the constant delays we experienced while travelling from Winschoten, The Netherlands to Odense, Denmark (we are finally seated on our plane after a 2+ hour delay)

Our plane is about to take off - yay!
This is a digital bike traffic counter.  At 11am it recorded 2149 bikes have passed that morning.  Whoa!

2 story public bike parking

Bikes, Bikes everywhere!

Hans tree

Downward-facing Hans

Not sure what this pose is called

Runner's lunge for our pal Hans

That Hans-guy had big feet

Upward Hans

Our local brews - Sonja a light beer, Vincent a stout, me a raspberry beer

      Thank you Sonja and Vincent for giving me a warm and cozy place to stay for the last 2 nights of my trip.  It was great being in someone's home - rather than the bunker-style accommodations at athlete's village.  I hope to visit again soon.