Troy's Run: Back On The Trail

We've started the month of December on a good running note. 

December 2, 2014 after a 6 month hiatus, we returned to the Fanshawe Park Conservation Area and I was able to reconnect with the areas top looped trail. Why the 6 month hiatus? It's a 3 hour round-trip, and I can't sit in the car for too long without driving my wife crazy. The flats of SW Ontario roads have been my mileage takers. 

It's neat to look back on the past 6 months and realize in that timeframe, I've run an average of 100+km's a week. With those numbers, is there any questions as to why I lose my mind over the boredom of running along this areas roads (we need trails!).

I brought along my GoPro for today's run in London. It's a 20km loop and is the home for the bulk of my trail training come winter and spring in preparation of my Ultra Marathoning season (Spring/Summer/Fall).

I'm still working on locking down a new shoe sponsor - today I ran in a bulkier shoe that I'm not used to running in, BUT it was ok - I made out fine. I'm searching for a minimal drop shoe (minamilist approach) with a bit of cushioning for the rocks/stumps I seem to find along the way.

 

With that, here's the photo journey from the run. For more - head over to my personal Facebook page (and 'Like' the Troy's Run page here) as well as Troy's Twitter feed (and Troy's Run Twitter feed)

Support #GivingTuesday and consider making a donation to Troy's Run Foundation - every dollar you donate goes to supporting Brain Injury Awareness through HOPE, Prevention & Education. We're one of very few charities in Canada who are completely volunteer based. Help us, by helping you! Donate today :)

Peace + Plants + Run

TA

Troy's Run: Eat Better To Run Better

It's not often I return from a long run and rush upstairs to type the messages running through my mind. 

In reality, that concept was what started this blog in the first place. 4 years ago when I was just starting to run (a few km's a week), I quickly realized my mind was beginning to escape what had become 'the norm' of a dark place I let consume me. 

The more I ran, the more my mind would release. 

If by now you don't know my story, here's an "in a nutshell" version.

At 16 I was involved in a car crash that resulted in sustaining an acquired brain injury. For the next 8 to 9 years, I had no idea what had happened to me, the changes that were occuring and the person I had become. I was quickly consumed by addictions; food, tobacco, recreational drugs, alcohol, really anything I experimented with and enjoyed. I had lost almost all my friends from my the pre-car accident days, and my weight had skyrocketed - to a peak of 230lbs (yes, really).

I started the blog to coincide and help promote the Not-For-Profit I had started, Troy's Run Foundation (now a Registered Charity). When I ran across Canada in 2012, each day I wrapped up my run I would quickly jump in RV, fire up the laptop and write a daily blog (log of the days events). Two months into the run, I ended up having to add a video blog to help give me some time to stretch/re-fuel post-run.

Following the successful completion of my run across Canada in support of Troy's Run Foundation (please DONATE here) - I blogged semi-regularly, and soon it became weekly, then monthly and so the story goes on. My life started to take shape, for that - I'm grateful. Things really started to come together for me. 

In 2012 I was able to get my weight under 200lbs, finishing my cross-Canada trek at 190lbs. I was still a believer that the Western diet could be tinkered with to make healthy, a few dairy products here and there, cut out the meat - how hard could it be. Although I believed I had it all figured out, deep down I knew something wasn't right. How on earth could I run across Canada and not drop more than 10 pounds. I still had a gut, still felt pretty crappy after large meals... what was it?

In 2013, I knew it was time to alter my vegetarian diet (started in 2009) and clean it up a bit. The old saying of 'Junk-Food-atarian' was my life from 2009-2012. On January 1st, 2013, myself, along with my now Wife (married Nov 9, 2013) began our lives as 'Plant-Based, Whole Food lifestyle' followers. 

I had traded in my nasty addictions for much better uses. Reading and studying nutrition and health, running and fitness - you name it, I was reading it. I spend 2013 learning how to become a better runner, while also trying to conquer my food demons. Sure there were some slips, but for the most part - an overall success.

Today - I continue to read. It's true what they say, 'Knowledge is power'. Something they leave out though... knowledge also creates a stir. You see - some 'educated' persons who learn from the old school techniques often don't want to 'hear it'. It's never good to be a no-it-all... never. BUT when you study up to date literatures and read both sides of the debates and form an educated opinion... trust yourself that your knowledge may be as good on a topic as that someone who studied the same topic, but their information may have been created many moons ago. If you are highly educated, believe in yourself too - just remain a scholar and don't ever stop studying up to date literatures.

So 2013 comes and goes and boy was it a rush...

In 2014, more energy, more running and more learning. I've taken my knowledge and education of nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle to a whole new level and it's left me reaping some incredible results. I've been able to cut out the man-made gluten gut killers (no I'm not 'gluten free', but yes I sort of am)... I still will eat glutens, that are NOT man made. Think oatmeals and such...  as for my body weight, I've been able to cut my body fat to below 10 percent and sustain this. That's something I couldn't do before while being able to keep up with the high food demands I required. Reminder: I eat every 2 hours or so... I've finally been able to understand the importance of eating nutrient rich foods and I laughed away the old protein myths. I'm still strong in my upper body (able to perform pull ups daily), and yet all my proteins come from plant sources ... 

My diet consists of plants and fruits and a bare minimum of 'man-made' foots. If it comes in a box, it probably isn't good for you. 

My speed has increased dramatically to a point where I'm averaging less then 4:50 per kilometer (that's 2 minutes off my per-km pace in 2012, 1:30 from my pace in 2013). My body recovers at an extremely quick rate. I'm now able to train much harder, and recover quicker. I wake up in the morning, run a quick clip (speed work) with a minimum 6km distance (max around 12km), go to work, and run again the afternoon anywhere from 10 - 25kms. I repeat this schedule 3 to 4 times a week, and run daily 6 days a week. 

I credit my eating habits for 90 percent of these results. An adjustment to a more minimal shoe gets a lot of the credit (started helping my body recognize the natural feel of running). I know I still have a long ways to go. I Know I'm capable of running with the best Ultra runners in the world, I just may not be able to keep up with their insane speeds. Hopefully one day though!

I don't care to run fast, in fact - it's usually the least of my worries... I just want to be able to run forever. 

The more I run, the less I hurt, the better I feel mentally, and the more aware I am emotionally.

Running is beautiful.

Runner's Review note:

I'll soon be teaming up with a great team, Earth Runners, who're based out of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California to review a pair of their running sandals. I hope you take some time to check out their great work. Here's the link to their website for anyone interested. Earth Runners

Shout out to my man Rich Roll who hit 4 MILLION downloads this past week for his incredible podcast - check it out here (Rich Roll Website)

Peace + Plants + Run

TA

Troy's Run: Running In A Winter Wonderland

Waking up in the early hours of the day is nothing uncommon in this household. Early morning runs, preparations for the day ahead, and just not being able to sleep - you choose, either myself or my wife will fill the answer void.

This morning, was one of those morning you don't mind waking up early for. Snow, snow, snow, snow... the first accumulation of snowfall that's sticking around more than a few moments. In fact, the car has enough snow on it to make a few snowballs.

Leading up to this morning, running has been getting much more difficult on the mental side of things. The boring flat roads that are Southwestern Ontario are enough to get any passionate runner to drive hours just to find a rolling hill on trails - and when you mix in the bitter blustery winds... it's easy to understand how frustrating it can become.

For the past 5 weeks, I've been stretching out my mileage into 'double runs'. One run in the morning, and another in the afternoon. The overall weekly mileage continues to grow, my speed is increasing quite dramatically and my body is responding really well. I've also cleaned up my eating habits and really tried to focus in on my Plant Based Whole Food lifestyle. I cut out the man-made crap from my diet and eat mostly fresh veggies and fruit, lots of shakes of course (thank goodness we invested in a Vitamix last year). Since re-booting the food habits, I feel so much better, lighter, and my runs have become so much more fluent. My recovery time has shot through the roof (pardon the lame cliche) but I can run 15km in the morning, and pound out another 10/15km in the afternoon. Now, seeing that from a far, you may thing, "but you can run a marathon every day for nearly a year straight"... it isn't the same as 'double-runs'. Your body recognizes the shorter fast runs of a 10/15km run and before it's fully healed up, you're pounding out another difficult speed run, finishing the week with an LSD (Long Slow Distance). 

Do I still have ya on board?

NOTE: being told the pictures are upside down, but it's there showing me the correct way... I'm stumped. Happy Monday :)

So with this new layer on snow on the ground... I bundle up this morning, smiling ear to ear, and head out for my usual Monday morning 10-15km run. 

Right away, I knew I had made a small mistake to start the run, I had decided to stick with routine and wear my Road Shoes (New Balance Minamilists), instead of going with a more traction based shoe. I slowed the pace, made a slight stride alteration and pushed on. 

At what was is my usual half way point for a 12km jaunt, my feet were soaking wet but I was feeling great. I can't ever get over the beauty that a snow fall brings to any area. Turning the basic farmers field into a beautiful landscape worthy of being framed. Every stride providing a new portrait, you can imagine why I love getting lost in running.

Turn right and head back into town, or turn left and add a few kilometers to my run. Everytime I looked back at the town, I knew I had made the right choice to push on. My legs felt totally renewed and full of energy. The cold and wet toes weren't a bother and the winds weren't too much to handle. This is when I knew I was in 'the zone'. 

 

At any point you think I'm crazy for spending so much time running along the sides of roads, just take a peak at what I get to see first hand, day after day. The beauty of nature... the only thing better would be if I had access to some trails, but until that day - I'll make the most of what we have.

Running back into town, I took a moment to reflect on the morning 20km run route I had chosen. No watch on my wrist to let me know my pace, just the feeling from within telling me I had sustained a quick pace, without using up too much energy. 

 

Running is such a beautiful sport it's no wonder it can become so addicting. 

One last point, as a family - one of our favourite things about the winter seasons is Chestnuts are abundant in the stores. You want a tasty treat the whole family can AND WILL enjoy? I promise you'll love these. 

Prep: 1) Preheat oven to 400 F

         2) Cut an X into the flat side of the chestnut

         3) With flat side up, place on baking sheet

         4) Bake in over for 20 minutes

         5) break open and enjoy!!

Chat Soon!!

Peace + Plants + Run

Troy's Run: Another Blog Eats The Dust

So I sit down and write this kick-butt blog, pictures, videos and much more!!

...I click 'OK', to load the blog and POOOF, it's gone. 

Needless to say, this isn't the first time, and certainly won't be the last. It's the worst feeling though, especially after sitting in front of the screen typing and trying to keep it relevant for the past 2 hours (I'm not kidding).

I'll try to post a few highlights that I can recall from memory (remember I have memory issues due to abi).

Thanks to Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton who spoke highly of my work with Troy's Run Foundation in the Ontario Legislature Building (Oct 20/2014). A key point I focused on: He unknowingly highlighted one of my downfalls - my mouth gets ahead of my mind/planning. I do plan on one day running in the Canadian Arctic, but at the moment, there are no plans to do so. I don't want to jump the gun and announce all my future running plans, so I'll leave it at that. 

This past year, I've focused on my Ultra Marathon running. I've recently started running double-run days. I run early in the morning and again in the afternoon/evening. I've increased my speed considerably, while also gaining more mileage. I'll say this - I have many plans... and I meet with my team following our Annual General Meeting (Oct 28/2014).

I want to thank the Niagara Paramedic Association who made a generous donation to Troy's Run via their Annual Charity Hockey Tournament.

It's been a great year of learning and growing in partnerships for Troy's Run Foundation and we'll continue this moving forward. Remember that every dollar raised goes to supporting our great causes. Our 'Helmets For All' campaign has helped more than 160 people get new properly fitted cycling helmets on their heads free of charge. We continue to see growth in our Enhanced Baseline Testing & Concussion Protocol. We currently have two minor hockey organizations on board in Ontario, and hope to see that number grow within weeks. 

Our Annual General Meeting is Oct 28/2014 inside the meeting room at the old Forest Arena. It's open to the public and we ask that you email troy@troysrun.com to ensure your spot at the table.

Be great and DONATE today, every dollar counts.

TA

Troy's Run: Receiving National Award From BIAC

I want to thank everyone for the support and congratulations the past few days. It's such an honor to receive this award from the Brain Injury Association of Canada - and being recognized for my work in furthering Prevention & Education in Brain Injury certainly is a nice feather to add to my cap. 

With your continued support, we are becoming one of Canada's most recognizable charity organizations in Brain Injury Awareness, through HOPE, Prevention and Education. Your support is needed now, more than ever, so we can continue to fund our great initiatives like the 'Helmet for All' campaign (Spring/Summer) and the 'Enhanced Baseline Testing & Concussion Symposium' which is currently underway (Fall/Winter). 

Please consider a donation today, to help keep HOPE alive, in the lives of those living with acquired brain injury. Every dollar goes to support these great initiatives. To donate, simply click the link and follow the instruction, OR mail us. 

DONATE ONLINE (click here)

Troy's Run Foundation

8249 Egremont Rd

Watford, ON

N0M 2S0

Here's video of Lambton-Middlesex MP Bev Shipley's opening remarks at the 2014 Brain Injury Association of Canada's Award Luncheon, held in Gatineau, QC, Sept 25, 2014.

It was a great honor to not only receive this award, but to also be presented with Document of Recognition from the Government of Canada. Thank you!

Here's some photo's from the event.

L to R - Amy Adams (+1), Troy Adams, MP Bev Shipley

L to R - BIAC Executive Director Harry Zarins, Troy Adams

Here's a shot of my great friend, co-worker, and mentor Mrs Arden McGregor (Brainworks Rehab) who received TWO awards from the BIAC. Earlier in the day, she presented her presentation of 'HOPEtherapy' to a roomful of Therapist. Learn more by clicking the link (Brainworks Rehab)

Standing alongside my beautiful wife Amy Adams (+1)

My brother Tyler Adams alongside his sister in law, Amy Adams (+1) 

Holding a straight face around us is a tough job... We had a lot of fun together. Tyler lives in Ottawa, and we were so happy he could join us to celebrate the day.

We finished the day with a trip to the CBC building in the Nation's Capital. No trip to Ottawa is complete without a visit to one of my closest friends, Ryan Garland. Pretty cool fact: He's decent at his job, and works as a Promo Producer for both Ottawa & Montreal CBC Bureaus. Shoutout to the Garland Service Centres, looking to repeat as Champions at the Annual Powassan FHT.

Troy's Run: Troy Adams Receiving National Award

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

TROY’S RUN FOUNDER TROY ADAMS RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS PREVENTION AND AWARENESS AWARD FROM BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

LONDON, ON, Wednesday, September 24, 2014

On Thursday, September 25, Troy Adams will be receiving the Prevention and Awareness award from the Brain Injury Association of Canada. This honour is awarded annually to an individual, groups and/or organizations that recognize the significance of supporting education and prevention programs to advance the cause of acquired brain injury in Canada. Being honoured at the Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 25th in Ottawa, Troy Adams will be named as an individual who is making a significant difference in the lives of those living with acquired brain injury.

 “I'm thankful for the opportunity to receive this prestigious award, and will use it to keep pushing for positive change in brain injury through education, prevention and creating hope for tomorrow through
our actions today.”  said Troy Adams, President and Founder of Troy’s Run Foundation.

“It is my focus to continue to strive for excellence, and ensure brain injury awareness remains a key point in our daily lives."

Troy's Run Foundation benefiting brain injury awareness is a volunteer based organization focused on creating a better lifestyle for brain injury survivors and their loved ones. Troy’s Runs mission is to enhance the lives of those living with the effects of acquired brain injury (ABI) through hope, prevention and education. 

Some of Troy’s Run current campaigns include 'Helmets for All', a program that has distributed more than 160 cycling helmets to those who applied, as well as an enhanced Baseline Testing & Concussion Summit for minor sports across Ontario. For more information on programs and how you can get involved visit http://www.troysrun.com/

   -30-

For media inquires, contact:

Lisa Dew                            Troy Adams

Secretary | Treasurer           President | Founder

Troy’s Run Foundation           Troy’s Run Foundation

519.899.8042                        226.377.4565    

lisa@troysrun.com                troy@troysrun.com

Troy's Run: School Touring Begins

With June being Brain Injury Awareness month, I ask you this - have you considered making a donation to our great organization? If not, please click the link, and donate today!

Help change a life, forever. We'll even send you a fancy tax receipt. Thanks in advance :)

This past weekend, I (Troy) was lucky enough to attend the Kiwanis Bike Rodeo, in partnership with the OPP based out of Lambton Shores. As the Officer's checked for hand signals, I would ensure the helmets were fitting properly on the heads of those in attendance. 

It never shocks me to see kids wearing a helmet, it does however still get to me, when I see children wearing a helmet that doesn't come anywhere close to fitting properly. It's alarming really, as these youth are our future. I'm here to help, not hinder you - let me help you ensure the helmet on your childs head fits correctly, and if you're in need of a new helmet, please attend one of our upcoming 'Helmet's for All' events and we'll gladly get you fitted for a new one. 

Remember: Don't wait until it's too late!

BIG NEWS: Have you picked up your latest edition of the Forest Standard? Troy's Run has a full page story!!!! Read it, and let us know what you think! We'd love the feedback.

On Wednesday we made a visit to East Lambton Elementary School in Watford. Summer Safety tips was the topic of discussion. Thanks to all in attendance and to the two gentlemen who did a great job of assisting with my presentation. With the partnership of Brainworks Rehab in London, ON - we donated two books to the school, 'Casey's Journey of Hope'. The story of a caterpillar who undergoes unexpected changes, first into a cocoon, then transforming into a beautiful butterfly (similar transition of an ABI survivor). 

On Thursday, we were at Bosanquet Central School. Similar to our discussion with students in Watford, we focussed on Summer Safety Tips, and also showed students our video of my Cross Canada Run (2012). We donated two books to Bosanquet, and they'll be added to their already excellent Library for students and staff. 

This Saturday, I'll be helping out at the Relay for Life in Forest, ON. I've been asked to help with warm up and stretches - and that's just what I'll do. 

I'll touch base next week with you - and hopefully have more updates about our school tour.

Remember: June is Brain Injury Awareness month!! We need your support to continue with our very popular 'Helmet's for All' campaign, where we put a helmet on everyone in need, all we ask - is for a donation in it's place.

For pictures of this past week's events, click here.

Remember to 'LIKE' us on Facebook & Follow us on Twitter.

Troy's Run: Celebrate Brain Injury Awareness Month

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month.

We want to thank all of you for the support you've given us, and we hope you join us in moving forward, and helping keep our great organization at the forefront of ABI Awareness.

We have a very busy month ahead, so please be sure to check out our schedule of events listed here Troy's Run Events

A big thanks to all those who helped make Troy's Run presents Head Games the Film @ the Kineto Theatre in Forest, ON June 4, 2014 a success. Although we didn't have a full house, those who attended were treated to an incredibly educational experience. Each person has shared with me how much the movie has 'opened their eyes' to abi awareness. We want this trend to continue so if you would like to host Troy's Run, and a viewing of the award winning Documentary 'Head Games', please contact us

Here's a message we received from Kara, who watched the film, along with her young son. 

"Thank you for sharing Head Games last night. Every coach, trainer and parent needs to watch this. Many people around me do not understand the consequences of a concussion to our young children. I too was unaware and found it very difficult to get the help I was looking for when my son suffered a head injury this past winter. I took him to emerg twice and they were not helpful. They seem to have little knowledge on concussions. Troy gave me more info then any professional. Our hockey organization discussed getting a concussion protocol this year. I believe this would be extremly beneficial to the coaches and parents. Concussions need to be taken more seriously. We need to start talking and educating people more on this serious issue. I commend Troys Run Foundation on the work they are doing to educate the public and to help keep our kids safe. Knowledge is power. Keep up the great work!!!"
- Thanks Kara! 

With June being such a busy month, I have to go and prepare for a great weekend at the Kiwanis Bike Rodeo happening in Forest, ON at the Lambton Shores Recreational Centre. This event is listed in our Events section.

I hope you have a great week!!

Troy's Run: Getting Some Love in Ottawa

What a great week we've had for Troy's Run Foundation.

Following the Road Race I ran with my nephew, I met later in the week with MP Bev Shipley. We dressed Mr Shipley in a Troy's Run cycling Helmet, from our 'Helmets For All' campaign, and chatted about all things Troy's Run (see video attached).

This past weekend, Me and my Wife travelled to Dundas Valley Conservation Area (Ancaster, ON) to take part in the 22nd Annual Sulpher Springs 50 Mile Ultra Race.

My second 'official' Ultra race, my Wife's first, and it was everything you could imagine. What a great experience to see my Wife complete such a huge task. 50 miles... that's 80km's, in 12hrs or less. Unbelievable. 

We connected with many of our friends in the Ultra running community, and were equally happy to see our great friend Laura Perry take first place in the women's division AND first place OVERALL!!

Troy's Run Foundation was well represented at the race.

A big thank-you to Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Bev Shipley who spoke of Troy Adams, of Troy's Run Foundation, in the House of Commons on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

A link to the video is attached to this post.

Remember JUNE IS BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTH. Donate today and keep HOPE alive for brain injury survivor's and their loved ones. 

We're hosting a movie night, Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 at the Kineto Theatre in Forest. Troy's Run presents: Head Games the Film. Check out our calendar on the website to see where and what we'll be doing all month long.


Let's keep the good times rolling! Remember to DONATE so we can keep our campaign's going strong.

Troy's Run: Inspired For More

When I ran across Canada in 2012, my focus wasn't just of brain injury awareness. What started as a goal to raise awareness for this subject, quickly grew to something more. With each passing day, week, month, and eventually season – I was quick to realize those most affected by my actions, were the youth.

Every province I ran through, the functions I attended, families I met, and schools I spoke at – I was left with the feeling of wanting to do more. 2 years later, I can say with confidence that I am doing just that. I know it’s a tough struggle at times, one that consumes most of my spare time – but at the end of each day, I go to sleep knowing I've done all I can in that given day.

This past weekend, I had the great honor of running alongside my 7 year old nephew, Alex. He decided back in late March 2014, that he wanted to run ‘The Watford-Alvinston Road Race’. In its’ 56th year, this run offers an 8km/5mi run on County Roads, or the coveted 16km/10mi run from Alvinston, to Watford, ON.

As a child, I remember so well how much I’d wanted to run the race. My grandfather had posters of the event, from its beginnings and to this day, original road signs for the event hang in his drive-shed. In 2011, one year before Troy’s Run: Marathon for Brain Injury Awareness, I decided I was ready to tackle the challenge. I was successful in completing the 16km/10mi race, and did so in a respectable time. I’ve yet to return to the race however, as the following year, I was a part of a ‘bigger’ task, and last year, I started running Ultra’s. Our first race of the season falls on the weekend after the Watford race, so, it’s out of question.

The plan was to skip this years’ event as well, with the Sulpher Springs race one week apart. When my nephew asked if I’d run the road race with him this year, I couldn't say no, and I committed to do it with him.

At 7 years old, many wonder just how much he needs to prepare for such a race (8km). Truth is, in my opinion, very little. The human body is capable of amazing things, and the reason so many of us ‘can’t’ complete such a task, is because we treat our bodies like crap and our body fat shoots for the sky. This makes our legs and lungs weak, and … well you get the picture. Take a child and tell them to go ‘run around’, and most of them will do so with a smile on their face. I encourage all my clients to follow this model, and realize just how fun ‘running’ really is. If you don’t find it fun, are you really giving yourself a chance?

All that said, he kissed his Mom, said his goodbyes, and we loaded onto the bus – next stop, the starting line. I told him I’d be there along the side of the road running behind if he needed, and that he had no reason to be nervous, he had already made me so proud. Before the sound of the starting horn, I told him the same thing I tell myself before any run of great distance… ‘There’s two ways to get to the finish; walk or run, you’ll get bored of walking, so ya might as well enjoy the run’, and with that – he cracked a smile, perked his ears – the horn sounded and he was gone.

To my surprise, the first half of the race followed this trend. He would stay at least a few strides ahead of me, running alongside his friend from school that was a few years older. At the 2km mark, I shouted ahead that he was flying, and reminded him it’s a far run and it’d be ok to slow down a bit. At 3km, we passed a road sign, he darted to the ditch, jumped as high as he could and slapped that sign – it brought the biggest smile to my face.

As I ran across Canada, I did the same thing, click here to see...

Around the 4km mark, we turned from the County back-road, to the main road and headed into Watford.  His Mom, sister, grandparents and my wife were on the side of the road at that point, yelling words of encouragement as I chased down my inspiration. As we reached the water/aid station at 6km we had just one hill to climb to get into town, a main street stretch, and then a run to the school, and a straightaway to the finish. He stopped for a long drink, I knew he was pooped, and my watch told me he was cruising – How in the world was he able to run this fast, this far, and not give up? – Again, I wasn't too surprised, as I believe in the limitless power of our youth, but this pace he was maintaining was something to behold. I grabbed two water cups, and told him I’d chase him the rest of the way, ‘Don’t let your old Uncle Troy catch you now’.

I emptied my two cups on his head and shoulders and let him know we weren’t far from the screaming crowds. They of course would help us reach our finish line. No matter how far back I trailed Alex, I could sense his smile was growing. His cheeks were rosy red, his neon shirt was covered in sweat and water, and I knew that we now had just over a kilometer to go. A top the last hill was a firetruck, lights on – and I raced Alex up that hill too.He beat me by a few steps before I repeated, ‘for every uphill, there’s a downhill, let your legs fly buddy’, and with that – the rest at the top reshaped into a gain of downward momentum.

We were in the town now, a few people lined the streets to shout encouragement, and it was clear they were inspired by my man A-Town. The final water station announced ‘Just one more kilometer’, as I dumped 1 glass of water on his head, allowing him to speed up and get the lead once again on Uncle Troy. I had another glass of water ready in case he wanted to stop. A few hundred meters up the road I knew his Nana and Papa were waiting, and it also happened to be the second last turn. As Alex slowed to catch his breath, I reminded him that Nana and Papa would be snapping a picture of him as he showed them how strong he was.

As we neared the second last corner, I ran alongside Alex – the crowd growing in numbers, and said ‘Remember when I ran across Canada, and you and Addison (sister) ran with me to the school”, “ya” he responded, “I remember that”, I finished, ‘that was a really special day for me Alex, and this one will be just as cool’, We wizzed past Nana and Papa, as Grandpa Bob laid on the horn. We were now just a ‘race to the school, and then a sprint to the finish’ away from completing this race.

I let Alex know that I could beat him to the school, a 400 meter distance, and with that, he was again charging ahead. I knew not to push him too hard, as I wanted to ensure he had just enough to finish. I stayed close, running side by side until we finally saw the stop sign, signaling the final corner. The crowd was big, bigger, and biggest at this point – and for Alex, he was soaking it in, in silence. His feet were doing the speaking now – and I could sense his emotion as he stared down the ‘FINISH’ banner.

“Now for the best part Alex, you know where to go, I’m going to catch ya”

Now less than 200 meters, it was as if it were just me and him, running for the pure joy and excitement of the sport. ‘Here I come’, I shouted as we were now just a few seconds from the finish.

He was smiling so big, he let out a giggle, all this – after 7.9km of pavement pounding.

“Number 3-6-9, ALEX NEMCEK from Watford, ON”, an address on the loud-speakers I won’t soon forget.

As he crossed the finish line, I saw his Mom, Sister and Dad looking with pure excitement at their newly crowned champion. His Aunt, grandparents and I soaked it in too.

Crossing the finish line a few seconds over the 52 minute mark was not enough for an ‘official’ victory, but he did however place 10th in the “10 and Under” division.

A day after watching such a great feat, I’m left with an even bigger smile for my man A-Town.  Not only did he show such inspiring commitment, he stayed with his task, and completed it with pride. It’s amazing to see a 7-year old show this force, equally amazing to think of all the other amazing youth who completed this same task during the race. Alex wasn’t alone in running, and ran a lot of the race with ‘friends from school’. I don’t think many were 7, most don’t attempt the race until their 8… but it’s still such an amazing accomplishment.

Can you imagine what we could accomplish, if we started to allow these youth the powers to change our future, starting at a younger age?

I want to thank my nephew for allowing me to run alongside him in this race. Thanks to the event organizers, and to the many volunteers.

It’s events like these, that keep me motivated to do the things I do. Whether it’s brain injury related or not, the goal remains the same.

Educate. Inspire. Empower.

See Troy & Alex after the finish - click here

Troy's Run: Work, Play, Run

The two week taper has begun for both myself and my wife Amy. Sulpher Springs 50-mile race takes place May 24 in Ancaster - and we'll both run in support of Troy's Run Foundation. You can donate to either one of us, by clicking that yellow 'DONATE' button located at the top of this page. The two week taper, means that we're done filling our weeks with mileage (until race time), and focus on some smaller runs to keep the legs and lungs active during there recovery period. The goal is to go into the race, with 'live legs', fresh from a few days rest. 

This coming long-weekend, we'll be supporting some runners who are taking part in the annual Watford-Alvinston Annual Road Race. I have a few clients taking in the race, each of who support our great organization. Good luck to all runners running either the 16km or 8km races! Maybe next year I'll structure my racing schedule to include this awesome race. This year, it's again not an option - as it's only one week away from my seasons first Ultra.

This past week, myself and Lisa (Secretary/Treasurer) took part in the Brain Basics program, offered in London, ON. The program was hosted by OBIA and BIA of London & Area. It was a great course to continue our growing education within brain injury awareness - while soaking in the stories shared by our great instructor and the many fellow survivor's who attended. I wanted to make special mention to Lisa, who scored the highest in the whole class on her pre-test score. This was a test given to all attendee's, and we were told, "you're meant to fail this test". No surprise to me, Lisa scored a passing grade! She's so passionate and smart in this subject, it's no wonder she's such a pleasure to work alongside at our volunteer organization. 

REMINDER: Troy's Run Foundation presents: Head Games. This award winning documentary will be shown Wednesday, June 4th at the Kineto Theatre in Forest, ON, at 7pm. 

Troy's Run Presents: Head Games

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

7pm

Kineto Theatre, Forest, ON

Entry by donation

I'm pleased to announce a new partnership has been made between Troy's Run Foundation, Dr Michael Hurley and his great TEAM at Middlesex Spine and Sports Clinic.

This great organization based in Mt Brydges, ON, gives us a one-to-one working relationship with Doctor's who work with Concussion Management. 

I wanted to share some big news, on a personal level, to wrap up this blog post. Two things actually; Lisa has graduated from her PTA/OTA program and has accepted a position to work in the field of Long-term Care. Lisa will continue to be a leader with Troy's Run Foundation while expanding her career with this great opportunity.

I've accepted a position with Brainworks Rehab - as a Rehab Assistant, working towards Rehab Therapist. This is a position I've worked very hard to attain, and couldn't be happier to be given this opportunity. Brainworks Rehab is a dynamic team who's a leader in the field of brain injury rehabilitation. Again, this opportunity will allow me to grow my knowledge in the field - while offering even better insight to our great organization at Troy's Run Foundation. 

Troy's Run Is Back Online

H-O-B-Y (to the tune of YMCA), over and over again.

This jingle stayed with me all weekend, as my family travelled from the beautiful farming community of Ridgetown to London, London to Toronto, Toronto to Guelph, and then back home. It certainly was a busy few days, and can provide you with a mirror image of how busy our life can and has become. No complaints here though, I love this stuff. As for the ‘HOBY’ intro, I was honored to speak to a group of youth leaders while in Ridgetown, ON, as part of the annual HOBY Conference for this region – and I left feeling inspired.

For the past year, I gave myself a forced break from the constant needs of blogging and staying connected, and allowed myself to focus on my running, my career, Troy’s Run Foundation building blocks, and most of all, my newly formed family. My wife, Amy, deserves a world of credit for all she puts up with, day-in and day-out, she’s there to support me, and our great organization in Troy’s Run Foundation.

In the last year, I’ve averaged at least one speaking engagement per week. From schools to service clubs, social clubs to church gatherings, brain injury conferences and even a few private functions, all at the low cost of $0. You see, I made a promise to myself and TEAM when we started this organization that I would make myself readily available to anyone who wanted to learn more about my story, our story, and Brain Injury as a whole. All we ask for is a donation in kind, to Troy’s Run Foundation Benefiting Brain Injury Awareness. So, with each passing week, our voice become stronger and better known, our schedule fills quicker, and our lives then become busier. This is the commitment I made to our organization and cause, and it’s one I will keep.

Troy’s Run Foundation Benefiting Brain Injury Awareness is a volunteer run organization, whose purpose is to enhance the lives of the families, friends and those living with an acquired brain injury. It’s no small task, but it’s a challenge we love to take on. With our busy schedule, we ensure Troy’s Run Foundation stays on the front page of the news and allows people to see that we are here for you.

On more than a few occasions in the past year, I’ve had friends and followers approach me to share their new story of how brain injury now affects them or someone they love. A child falling off a GT snow racer, a fall on the backyard rink, the public skating incident where two youth collided and both bonked there unprotected heads. The stories continue to flow in to us, and most all are preventable incidents.Unless you’re willing to change and start protecting your brain, the youth, our future generations, will continue to suffer these preventable incidents. They’re not going to want to wear a helmet if you don’t, whether it be on ice, or on the bicycle, rollerblading through town, or going ‘for a rip’ on the ATV. Accidents don’t happen, mistakes do. Prevent one from happening, by being a leader, and protect your head – you never know whose watching.

With warmer temperatures surely to come soon, I’m in the final weeks of race preparations for Ultra Running Season. This year, I’m lucky enough to be running the first race of the season alongside my wife. It will be her first Ultra marathon 50 mile distance. We’ll both be running in support of Troy’s Run Foundation. I’d like to run in the Canadian North, and am trying hard to muster up a plan that works both financially and responsibly. With a dense population, the pre-planning becomes much more detailed then our first major run (2012) in which I ran across Canada, east to west.

If you’d like to help out with the next adventure or volunteer at any upcoming events, please emailtroy@troysrun.com

Special shout out to all my running clients, who will be representing Troy’s Run in the upcoming races their taking part in as well.

I plan on blogging a lot more this year, with a goal of weekly postings. For daily updates, be sure to follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

DONATE to Troy's Run today and help save a life today!

***Upcoming Troy's Run fundraiser : Troy's Run presents Head Games (Award winning documentary) at the Kineto Theatre in Forest, ON - June 4, 2014. STUDENTS GET IN FREE

Peace & Plants *run

Troy

Helmet Handout Happiness

Helmet for you, helmet for you, helmet for you, and even you.

Despite the bitter cold temperatures, the Troy's Run: Helmets for All 'Helmet Handout party' was a large success. Of the 128 helmets ordered, we sent over half of them home on the proper fitted heads.

The other half are still in boxes, as not everyone could attend.

So where was everyone else? 

If you weren't able to attend the event held at TA Elite Fitness Centre on March 7, 2014, don't fret, we're having another party. The date isn't picked out quite yet, as we're trying to find a time all of our wonderful volunteers can again get together to host such a detailed event. We'll let you know when a decision is made, it won't be a long wait.

I'd (Troy) love to be able to hand out these helmets to the many folks who pop in to my fitness centre each day, but I just can't. If you signed up for a helmet in 2013, You must attend a Troy's Run Helmet Handout Party to get it. We have to follow these rules for many reasons, and it helps keep all paperwork in order. 

Thank you for all the great support the past few weeks, and remember to DONATE TODAY. We want to continue this program for a long while, but must increase our donations to support this great cause. We're a Volunteer based group, and we're changing the landscape of Brain Injury Awareness, one step at a time. Help save a life, today.

Hope.Prevention.Education

Thoughts From The Inside

Since being involved with the foundation and helping others I had a realization of what it is I want to do with my own life...and that is help those affected by impairments, more specifically stroke and brain injury. I have since returned to school for the combined physical therapists and occupational therapists assistant diploma program in London, Ontario. However this isn't about me but about what I have learned and witnessed since then, the good the bad and the ugly. I'll go ahead and start with the bad, the lack of knowledge and understanding surrounding the repercussions of a brain injury or multiple concussions, the ignorance in thinking it’s all a part of the game when it comes to sports related concussions. Don't get me wrong before my involvement I was ignorant myself, once the information was in front of me I did further investigation into the effects of living with a brain injury and the importance of proper diagnoses to allow for recovery.
 
The fact that some people have someone such as former Harvard football player and WWE professional wrestler Chris Nowinski, who was forced to retire due to a series of concussions, explain the dangers associated with multiple concussions and of ignoring return to play protocols blatantly argue the facts blows my mind. Some people don't want to believe they could be putting their kids or teams in harm’s way when it comes to sports, completely understandable. But knowing the facts, following preventable measures and following return to play protocols (knowing when to sit out a concussed child or adult) and when to seek medical attention is all anyone is really asking at this point. Make yourself aware whether it’s for yourself, your child or your team; choose to be in the know.
 
This to me isn't necessarily the worst part that being that even if you get proper treatment for the multiple concussions and brain injury in the beginning, it seems all too often people are being forgotten, at some point in the rehab process people are slipping through the cracks. Maybe due to the fact that the Speech-Language Pathologist only works 2-3 days a week at the hospital you've been admitted to for that stroke and the well-known rehab facility won't accept you until you can understand commands, or communicate needs. Don't forget about the other patients she needs to see in those 3 days. Or the community support if you’re lucky enough to have in your area, which is only allotted for so many days a week for too short of a time. If you money is not a problem and you have a great supportive family you are certainly very fortunate and are likely to have a better recovery. What about those who may not have much support or funds. They are likely to become depressed (20-50% will within the first year after injury) and if unable to properly care for themselves they will end up in nursing homes which unfortunately often does not have enough of the proper services for someone with a brain injury.
 
Enough of that, now for the brighter side, I have been fortunate enough to talk to and meet numerous great people in the brain injury community including nationwide and specifically more local Brain Injury Associations and professionals of Rehabilitation Companies that work hard to fix these issues and advocate for the survivors. I can only hope to be half the advocate of these people including Troy himself, I look forward to 2014, graduating and beginning a career in rehabilitation to hopefully better assist the persons I advocate for.
 
I could go on forever, though I believe I may be jumping all over now so I will bow out of this blog here...for now.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Lisa

Mid-October Running

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend - this time last year, I was in Jasper.

At Troy's Run Foundation, we're on the verge of some BIG news. We're working hard to secure a new partnership with a large organization for our helmet campaign...but I can't reveal much more info.

Your support through spreading word and raising money for our organization is at it's upmost importance. Please help us keep brain injury awareness in the headlines for positive reasons. Each day, another child suffers a form of brain injury - each day another adult suffers a form of brain injury. We can limit the severity of injury through HOPE, Prevention and Education.

Keep up the great work, and be great!!

Enjoy the latest video