Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Last Weeks Adventures

Last week was a great week...but aren't they all? Here is what I got up to...

  • Mon: holiday rest

  • Tues: Trail RUN 45mins and quick MT BIKE 60mins ride super fun...saw bear tracks on Buggered Pig Trail.

  • Weds: Weights and XC BIKE ride again super fun...saw the young feller on Buggered Pig and we scared the bejesis out of each other=)

  • Thurs: Adventure Trail RUN with serious trek training up the downhill course to the upper lookout in Cumberland...up up up then down down down 75mins

  • Friday: Ripple Rock trail HIKE 2 hours

  • Saturday: Kussam Training RUN up Peckerhead, Dirty Jane **new trail Cabin Fever (so cool...just wait adventure runners you will go there this summer:)** 2 Sheiks to Forbidden plateau ski hill...then all the way back down 2 Sheiks etc...2.5hours of pure fun:)

  • Sunday: 10K Trail RUN with ELM 1/2 Clinic at Trent River and 2 hour MT BIKE ride with the Rats...up Forbidden Plateau Road then down all the trails we explored on our run yesterday! Super duper fun- Cabin Fever is fo sho my new fav trail...flowing, moderate downhill that is all rideable but still challenging...fun.

Can't believe it is Tuesday already...have a great week!

PS there have been multiple cougar sightings out in Cumberland-most recently near the Perseverance creek bridge...be smart out there!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tick Season

View above Ripple Rock

It was a beautiful afternoon yesterday, so Brad, Yuki and I took off to Campbell River to check out a trail that has been on our list, well, forever really. Finally we made it to Ripple Rock! Although the trail was amazing and the scenery was supernatural I had a crazy creepy experience...meeting my first tick! After an hour of steady hiking we made our way up to the sunny rock outcropping above (what used to be) Ripple Rock. We spent some time enjoying the view and watching in awe a large fishing troller trying to hold its ground in the Seymour narrows amongst massive whirlpools that dwarfed the boat in size. Very cool spot.

Yuki post mud puddle romp

After enjoying the view and scouting around the rocky bluffs we started to make our way back to the trail. That's when I felt a pinch on my right arm...1 inch down from my armpit on the soft underarm skin...I looked and saw a bug so I tried to flick it off my arm. It didn't move. That's when I realized it was a tick...embedded into my skin. SICK. Although I wanted to scream and throw my arms in the air my better judgement grabbed hold of the creepy thing as close to the skin as possible and gave it a great yank. It pulled free and I hurled that bug over the cliffe with serious vigor. What remained was a crater shaped hole and a painful, burning welt on my arm. Today the whole area is sore-right into the muscle below. In all my years working and playing in the bush that was my first tick - and hopefully my last! But, alas it is tick season so for all of you playing outdoors here is some info for ya:http://northislandexplorer.com/society/blackleggedtick.htm

Granddaddy Doug Fir

The hike itself is a must-do if you are in the area. It is 4kms to the look out with a few ocean viewpoints along the way. 8km return took us 2hours exactly and Brad was wearing crocks. This would be a great run/hike as 75% of the trail is runnable with a few short scrambles-Yuki had no problem and he is a big (and getting old) dog. There are several bridges including a sweet suspension bridge right at the start of the trail. Brad did his best to rock me off of course...
Brad rockin the suspension bridge

The trees in there are fantastic- huge old Doug Firs, endless sea of Sword Ferns and plenty of birds and deer in the area. We even spotted an Elk track on the trail. Here is some info on the trail:http://www.britishcolumbia.com/trails/?id=26

I am just getting ready for a big Kusam training session today out at Comox Lake...up up up then down down down. Will blog the gory details!

Have a fantastic weekend!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Push Up Challenge

My two superstar military mom clients Laurel and Jen have been given a challenge for the next 3 weeks and I...have decided to up the anti by joining them! Complete a minimum of 1 set of push ups (as many as possible) EVERY DAY for the next 3 weeks. Miss a day? Pay Up and complete 100 push ups on the spot next time we meet-for every day missed:)

These ladies are working their tails off to get fit for their upcoming PT test after taking maternity leave. They are on track, working hard and bumping up the intensity over the coming weeks. Try their Thursday morning workout sometime:

Warm up general 5-10 minutes
Warm up dynamic range of motion 5 minutes
Interval Circuit:
1 minute all out 20 meter shuttle run with 1 minute recovery...repeat 3 times.
Maximum push ups
Maximum crunches
Repeat circuit 3 times (for a total of 9 shuttle run intervals:)
Cooldown and Stretch...and savor the post workout glory!

Wanna take the challenge? Let me know if you are in and I will add you to the list...Or make your own challenge! JUST DO IT!

Happy Friday:)

Good Morning! Happy Friday! Hello Long Weekend!

I am sipping tea and eating my usual breakfast of champions -slow cooked oats with blueberries, walnuts, ground flax and soymilk. It has been a great week and now it is getting even better as the sunshine has decided to join us for the long weekend! Yesterday when the sun came out and the temperature soared so did my spirits 'cause I am soooo ready to dry out and feel that sun on my face:)
I am listening to the BEST concernt online right now and have to share it with you so you can feel my toe tappin' joy too: Jack Johnson and friends (Tim Reynolds, Matt Dacosta-so good, Dave Mathews) live in concert last month in Hawaii at the annual Kokua festival (note I will be away in Hawaii during April next year:) http://entimg.msn.com/i/ExperienceData/p1-9/us/x.htm?sh=mmic&ep=jackjohnsonpost&ch=4&f=&fg=email Go there now and start grooving...
ELM was movin and a shakin this week with fun classes at inspiring outdoor locations:
Monday Womens Trail Running- Cumberland XC trails
Monday night Bootcamp- Kye Bay Beach
Tuesday/Weds Bootcamp- Goose Spit (picture sand running, rock lifting and bluff hill sprints with the best view in Canada)
Tuesday Learn To Run-Ascent Physio-Comox
Thursday/Friday Bootcamp- Courtenay Airpark surrounded by water with a panoramic mountain view!
Thursday Adventure Run- Foothills of Forbidden Plateau- from the Comox Lake Dam...up up up!
Today I am heading up to our newest sponsor:: Coastal Trek Lodge to complete intake assessments for their retreat guests. Set goals, take baseline measurements and make action plans. Check them out online: http://www.coastaltrekresort.com/
Sunday is the ELM Off Road Half Marathon clinic...at Seal Bay Park 8:00am! Need a run? Join us for an easy 9k loop in the park to kick off your Sunday:)
This weekend I also plan to squeeze in a couple of bike rides, a trip to tree island, a hike to ripple rock and some serious gardening time too!
Have a good one!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The final results for this weekends MOMAR Squamish have been posted and you can check them out along with photos online: http://mindovermountain.com/momar/past_races/past_races.htm . Kudos to Jen Segger Gig for designing a wickedly challenging course and sharing fantastic trails with us all.
My race brokedown something like this:
Trek #1 Bike #1 & Orienteering: 1:52
Bike #2: 2:02
Trek #2 (including rappel): 1:15
Bike #3: :32
Finish Time: 5:42:39
What I ate: 4 litres H20 with 2 of those containing E-Load...1 pack Cliffe Shot Blocks (2 servings)...1 Luna Bar...1 pack Sharkies...handfuls of pretzels.

What I learned:
One of my favorite things about racing is getting schooled-really I mean the learning experience is huge. I love that I learn something new from my own mistakes and from the skills of other racers in every race I enter. This race was no exception and I got to take home some lessons...
1. Don't mess with your equipment at the last minute. I know I know I tell YOU this all the time!! But I still made a couple of small changes to my plan in the days leading up to the race-which came back to haunt me in on the course:: Ran in my newer Montrail hardrock sneakers and got the nastiest blisters I have ever experienced on my heels. OUCH. I had done a big 2.5hour run in these already and didn't think I would have a problem but the conditions just weren't the same. These shoes are super responsive, grippy but have absolutely zero forgiveness (no cushioning) and I think it caught up with me. Lesson learned....The day before the race I also cut off the extra webbing on my pack straps trying to streamline my gear and prevent them from catching on things in the bush. Well, apparently I should have measured twice and cut once because my straps ripped right out of my pack when I tried to stuff in my shoes in the heat of the moment. Should have measured out the straps with my pack completely loaded (water, shoes, gear, rappel kit etc). Lesson learned...
2. Learn from your previous mistakes-and make corrections to your plan accordingly. The second part is the key with this one. Last year I ran out of water in the Squamish MOMAR cause I skipped the one water station trying to make up time (after a 30 minute detour off course on the bike). Thinking I had more than enough water with me I soon ran out and cramped like I have never cramped before. Lucky to make it to the finish line in that one. This year I was a good girl and stopped at the water station-but once again I was feeling rushed to keep my lead and didn't fill it all the way-screwing myself in the end. The extra 10 seconds it would have taken to completely fill my water would have gone a long way when I was shuffling along the final trek with nasty cramps. Lesson learned...
3. Go Faster. Sounds obvious I know! But it is easy to lose intensity during a race where you don't see any other racers for huge chunks of time. I often found myself completely alone and had to continuously remind myself that this was a race and I needed to run like I was being chased. Also, pacing is so key-but pacing too slowly bites you in the but at the end of a race too. Remembering that each leg will be over in an hour or two and knowing when the body will have recovery time means you can work harder than you sometimes think. That one is super individual and pacing is a skill that takes a lifetime (and then you die) to master. Lesson learned...
4. Commit to your decisions and follow through with intensity. Standing around humming and hawing over which route to take is a complete waste of time. Make your decision and commit to it 100%.
There are many more lessons but I don't want to bore you with the dirt and the details. Best that we both get off the computer and get back to what we love best...


Sunday, May 11, 2008

MOMAR Squamish Race Report

Wow. What a race! I just returned home from a weekend in Squamish and my first Adventure Race of the season-MOMAR #1. This one may go down as the most challenging MOMAR to date-with epic elevation gain (over and over) and tonnes of self navigation-on and off the bike. There were highs such as keeping pace with teams of men (with huge quads and light XC bikes) on the grueling bike climb...and lows including debilitating inner thigh cramps while attempting to scramble up a verticle rock chute to the rappel site (more on that later)...and every emotion in between during the 5hour 45min-ish(final results tba) adventure race. Let me start at the beginning...

6:30am Saturday morning awoke to find my snotmonster buddy had decided to stick around for the race-ok, no problem, go with it.

7:15am Made my way with my super-volunteer-friend-Alli to Quest University and the start/finish for the race. Light rain, cool temp, no wind.

7:30 Set up bike at transition area ready to go with all my biking essentials (including newly adopted clipin shoe system).

8:00am Race maps released. Grab my map and sit in my warm car planning out my race strategy and checking out the route. There are basically 6 different legs to the race which covers at least 45kms of singletrack and some logging road. 19 checkpoints, 1 - 15km orienteering run/trek section, 1 100foot rappel and tonnes of self navigated biking. Discover that we are starting with a short run around the University grounds-LaMans style start to spread out the crowd on the way to the bikes. Looks like a couple of kms so I decide to run in my bike shoes and cut out a shoe transition right off the bat...head up to the bike transition for a warm up run and to switch around my shoes.

9:00am Race starts! Easy run around the campus then uphill (start of a couple hours up) to our bikes for a quick transition-running in the bike shoes was fine and idea works great. Bike uphill and into a short hike-a-bike section where we are stuck in a huge lineup of racers pushing bikes.
Orienteering: After a few minutes we are at the orienteering section and told to drop our bikes, get our punch (check point) and grab an orienteering map. Switch into sneakers and my equipment goes a bit nutz on me for a second: Bike glasses hit the deck and lenses blow out then my pack strap rips right out of the buckle as I take of my pack to grab my sneakers. ooops and ooops. Pick up the pieces and tighten up my 'kit' then grab my map and plan out my route. I struggled with my decisions on route selection for this course! Kept having second thoughts and spent WAY too much time standing still and thinking about my next move. **Must work on committing to my decisions cause precious minutes were lost to rediculous inner dialogue! This is one of the challenges of solo racing-there is no second voice to confirm your decisions. It is amazing what a little confirmation can do for confidence. Anyways-found the CPs easily as the locations were not tricky-just had a hard time deciding on the fastest route to get there. Felt like I had made all the wrong decisions and expected to see most people finished when I got back to my bike. The terrain had some serious ups and downs that could not be avoided - and it was perfect Kusam Klimb training! After finding my last check point I cut through the bush to my exit road and hauled downhill back to my bike....only to find that I was the first female to complete the course! Bonus! Let the bike climb begin...
BIG Bike Section: Sooooo fantastic! We climbed up a logging road on a series of switchbacks for what seemed like forever. Head down, easy gears, push push push on and on. Yes it was epic but it was no Branch 21 climb!! Training up that climb makes everything seem easier:) Managed to ride the entire climb AND stay ahead of teams of huge-quad-men (pat on back). All the while smiling and saying I love my bike!! Hit the top, got the check point, activated my suspension on my front fork and began bombing downhill in some of the sweetest, longest flowing singletrack I have ever ridden. It went on for ever!! The climb was sooooo worth it as it gave us miles of trails to link up for an awesome downhill section. My Giant ate it all up and I think we both loved every minute:) By the end I was getting into some steep gnarly terrain with super tight switchbacks that I had a hard time navigating**must work on those tight downhill corners.
But the ride wasn't over yet! Short section of road then right back into the trails for some non-technical XC singletrack which got the heartrate pounding and the lungs and legs searing once again. Lots of fun little bridges and short up and down power climbs. Actually super fun biking once again! Finally hit the CP after what seemed to be hours of riding (no idea how long) and switched back to sneakers for our final run/trek and rappel section.
Trek: Had to keep our helmets, gloves, harness and all our other mandatory gear with us for the trek as we would be completing the rappel somewhere in this section. This was a marked section and it was fantastic to put the brain on the backburner and just run dumb for a while. More fuel-munched on sharkies while trekking up the powerlines to the singletrack. Amazing view from the top. Into the single track for another summit up to the radio antenna (I swear we hit every radio antenna view point in Squamish) then down to the bottom before climbing UP to the rappel site (do you see a pattern here? Up down up down repeat). I had no idea how long this section was-I had folded my map in such a way that I could not see the entire trek route-as it was marked I didn't think I needed it. Turned out to be WAY longer than I thought and it just kept going on and on for quite a while (sorry don't know exactly-maybe 6 or 7km?). Came to the climbing area and saw the rock face we would be rappelling down-but had to climb up a 50 foot vertical chute to get there first. Took one step up and got those nasty 'you're not going anywhere' cramps in my inner thighs. My knees wouldn't straighten and weird primal noises came lurching out of my mouth. In the end I had to keep going or risk falling down the chute so I picked up my legs and placed them on ledges then hauled my self up with my arms basically. At the top I curled up and chugged the last of my water then chomped on some pretzels (mental note-don't try to eat pretzels without water after exercising for 5 hours). Thankfully the cramps faded away on the flatter terrain and I made my way to and through the rappell without problems. The rappel was good and then I was out of my harness and back on my feet for the final leg of running all the way back to our bikes.
Final Bike Leg: Back into the bike shoes, more pretzels and a gravel road ride with a few turns to navigate all the way back UPHILL to the university...could it be...the finish line! Park our bikes at the base of the hill (university is perched at the very highest point of course) and make a final run UPHILL to the finish line...killer! Would not like to see that on video as I am sure a walker could have past me at that point. Across the finish 5hours 45ish minutes...first female across and first in my category!!! Woooohoooo! Photo, stuff face, shower, sleep, stuff face, awards, sleep. Phew. Still awaiting the results-but there are cool photos online: http://mindovermountain.com/momar/blog/
Thanks for listening to my race tales!
And a HUGE THANK YOU to all the race volunteers for your support out there:) You were all superstars:)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

So...THIS is recovery week?

2 days until the Squamish MOMAR http://www.mindovermountain.com/ and I am trying to enjoy my 'recovery aka taper' week. Normally, I would be wriggling with energy and needing to hold myself back from training too hard in the week leading up to a race. However, on Monday, my friend the sore throat, greensnot monster decided to resurface from the deeep (I thought I had him burried for ever) and now I am dragging my sorry self around and just trying to make it through the work day. Although not near as bad as the last experience the timing could be better and so desperate times call for desperate measures: bring on the greasy Oil of Oregano under the tongue, 5 cups of vitamin C packed super salads each day and the new super weapon ColdFX. Crossing fingers and sleeping tonnes from here on in with positive thoughts to kick this and pull off 100% by Saturday.

It has been a great week other than the snotmonster however! Fun, playful bike rides on the weekend and having a nice break from longer training days is a nice treat.

Saturday was the annual crazy plant sale on Dyke Rd-and I mean crazy. Sure garden people seem all civilized and calm at first...but get them into a plant sale and it turns into a shark feeding frenzy! Grabbed a Mexican Orange and bolted for the door-must-get-air. Yikes! I swear a put 4 weeks worth of gardening and yardwork into 2 mornings this weekend-I went nutz on those weeds!

On Tuesday both my bike (my Giant) and myself got our pre-race tune ups:: My bike went for some attention to Mountain City Cycle and I had my usual pre-race acupuncture treatment with Michelle Hughes of Comox Valley Acupuncture-which always smoothes things out and makes my body feel so much more balanced. V. good.

Wednesday I spoiled myself at Beyond the Kitchen door with one of their specialty cooking classes. Those who know me know I am a 'foody' and enjoy cooking and eating and learning new recipes. These cooking classes are the perfect fit for a foody like me! I highly recommend them and thoroughly enjoyed myself last night. New Caribbean Cuisine with Nathan Hyam did not disappoint. I was taken straight back to Nicaragua with the flavors of coconut milk, lime, pinepple, cilantro as they bathed juicy prawns and snapper. So good. So much for watching my caloric intake during taper week. It was so worth it!
So, I head to Squamish tomorrow and must pack up all my race gear and goodies into bags and bins so that I am ready to rock on race day. Seat adjustment, tire change, pack strap modification, nutrition plan, harness and rappel gear::check check check!

Stay tuned for a race report on Sunday or Monday!

Happy healing thoughts,


Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Go long...or Go home! Today is your last chance to register for the 2008 ELM Off Road Half Marathon Clinic! The clinic begins this Sunday at 8am and we are hoping for more registrations before the deadline today to ensure this fantastic summer clinic gets off the ground and into the trails. This clinic offers programs for experienced and first time half marathon racers and leads up to the annual Log Train Trail race in Port Alberni in August. A great way to improve your fitness and stay motivated during the summer months, this co-ed trail clinic is the place to be for fun summer fitness. Go to the ELM website for all the details and hopefully we will see you Sunday... http://www.elmhealth.com/running_clinics.html#ENDURANCE

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Cindy Steuart and Kim Griffiths completed the Vancouver Marathon this past Sunday AND...both qualified for Boston 2009! Congratulations to these ELM ladies for all of their hard work, dedication and committment training for and racing in the marathon! Here are some of Cindy's words after completing the marathon... Looking forward to your Boston report!

Kept thinking about the wall at 20 miles, used lots of mental talking, I can do this, I am trained, blah blah blah in between lots of oh my god this hurts I should stop and walk. Kept watching the watch and knew I was doing well. Then it was just run to the next mile maker and you can walk, but I kept on going, the last 10 km felt like it took forever but it was 55 mins. That last climb up Burrard Street bridge sure made the quads scream, but from that point it was only 2 km left to go. Then there was the sign "1 Mile To Go" All I thought about was this is 4 times around the track, you can do it, push push push. The crowds were large, the people were cheering, and I was smiling. 3 Hours 42 Mins and 31 Secs. 8 minutes quicker than I needed for Boston. What a feeling. Kim finished her race, with those tears in her eyes as we were amazed at the watching reading 4 Hrs 5 Mins 00 secs. exactly what was need for Boston, We hugged our families,
enjoyed the glory, got our medals, our finishers shirts and went for a Beer! "it's gotta a be noon somewhere". A special thank you to Sarah, if it wasn't for her advertisement in the paper for bootcamp several years ago and encouraging me, I would never be posting this note, feeling this high and Going to BOSTON.

Monday, May 5, 2008

ELM Gut-Busters!

Thanks to Lisa Perry (right in blue ELM race jersey:) for this great post-race pic and race recap! Cathy Clark (left) and ELM Off Road Half Marathon Clinic Instructor Sarah Burrel are also seen here striking a pose as they celebrate surviving this past weekends Gutbuster Trail Run in Maple Bay-Tzouhalem. This is one of the steepest race courses in the series and these tuff cookies blew through it-way to go!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Team ELM Jerseys!

I am excited to announce...the official 2008 ELM Race Jersey's! We will definately NOT be missed in the trails or on the race course this year! Here are some of our first test runners trying out their new gear at Thursdays Adventure Run. Watch for Cindy (top second from right) at the finish line of the Vancouver Marathon today- around 3hours 50minutes.
The jerseys (seen her in womens style run tee) will be available for order on the ELM website asap. Give me a shout if you want your name on the list!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Miles of Marathon Luck...

A big shout out to Cindy Steuart & Kim Griffiths, our very own ELM marathoners! The Vancouver marathon kicks off tomorrow morning and you can follow the action on the website: http://www.bmovanmarathon.ca/hm/ .

Look for these gals to finish under 4hours (cut off for Boston)-you will spot them in their blue and orange ELM race jerseys! GOOD LUCK! And more importantly, race smart and enjoy the journey:)

Friday, May 2, 2008

My NEW Blog

I have decided to start a blog for my second passion to all things fitness...photography! Put it in your favorites if you are a photo geek like me:) Enjoy!

Chocolate Recovery Pudding

Happy Friday!
It has been a fantastic week of training, teaching and playing and I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend-as I officially begin my training taper for next weekends MOMAR in Squamish today!

I have had a request for a yummy post-workout recipe and this is one of my fav's that really does the job and tastes good too. This recipe is from 'Thrive' a book written by Brendan Brazier, a professional ultra running athlete who thrives on a completely vegan diet. Enjoy:
Chocolate Recovery Pudding:
1/4 pound medium firm tofu
1 banana
1/2 pear
1/2 tbs hemp oil (or flax oil)
1/2 tbs cocoa powder
sprinkle sea salt
Blend and devour!

This weeks training was a combination of brick workouts, big climbs and fast cadence on the flats/downhills.
Saturday-2.5hour mountain trail run followed by 1 hour climbing ride
Monday-1hour hilly trail run, 30 minute easy bike high cadence, superset weights
Tuesday-1.5hour XC bike ride
Weds-superset weights, 1.25hour steep run followed by 2hour XC bike
Thurs-Spin 45, 1hour trail run with big hill repeats
Friday-Rest...or maybe go for an easy technical practice ride:)

Taper Time! Whooohooo!
Have a great Friday! Pics of the new race jerseys to come next...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Wait is Over...

The 2007 ELM Custom Race Jerseys have arrived!!! AND...they look hot! I will have them at Adventure Running tonight and at my classes in the coming week. If you are not currently in an ELM class please give me a shout and I will arrange to drop yours off for you. There are a few extras available if you didn't get in on this order-so give me a shout if you want to wear the newest ELM colours! I am currently taking names for the next order of short sleeve tee-s and warm up jackets...I think you will ove them!