Thursday, October 29, 2009

I feel a Need for Speeeeeed!

That's's baaaaaaaa aaaaaaack...

Our annual Need for Speed, specialized running clinic kicks off in one weeks time on Thursday, November 5th! Registration is ongoing until next Monday so be sure to check out all the details on the ELM website and get your registration asap to reserve your spot!
This is one of my favorite clinics to teach as we get down to the nitty gritty of improving your running speed through training SMART not just HARD.
The clinic runs Thursday evenings, from 5:30-7:00pm, for 12 weeks with a break over Christmas.
NOTE: The first night we will be starting at 5:00pm for those who can arrive early to complete their video analysis before dark. Don't worry if you can't make it by 5 on that first night, you will still have a chance to get your running gait taped later that night.
Running Gait Analysis
Running Fitness Assessment
Weekly Speed & Power Training
Annual Program Design & More...
Go to or check out the ELM Facebook page for more info!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

National Chocolate Day

I thought that might get your attention!

That's right, today is National Chocolate Day (Thanks Diane:)!
And there ain't nothin' wrong with that I say! Those who know me know that I am all about balance, moderation and finding happiness in ones life...and for many that means enjoying the taste of good chocolate now and then.
The Bonus? They have found nutritional benefits within the delicious folds of dark chocolate...even better! Antioxidants...rock.
That brings me to my To Do list for today...
At the start of each week I tidy up my office desk and tidy up my mind with a giant To Do list for the week. All week I tick things off and add just as many things it seems. I often create mini-side-lists when the urge hits - in the car, in bed or during lunch in the kitchen. By the end of the week there are lists half crossed off all over the place. When Monday rolls around again I merge them all into one new fresh, tidy list for the coming week.
This week my To Do list looks like this:
  1. Perseverance: Thank you's, Photos, Race Report, Press Release, Clean Up, T-Shirts to Extreme Runners (on sale for $15 while quantities last!), AGM report, Pick up Rec Cntre Deposit etc...
  2. Mail Client Race Jersey to Clearwater
  3. Need for Speed Clinic Prep: Book facility, find video camera, poster design, blog, press release etc...
  4. Books: Finalize ELM Training Manual, Running Manual and ELM Cookbook files for Sure Copies...all of which will be available as Books and EBooks for purchase in November.
  5. THATS RIGHT! THE ELM COOKBOOK is on it's way!! Stay tuned for the release this November... Hence the chocolate segway...there will be a few chocolately recipes in there you can be sure!
  6. Meet with Nathaniel at to review new ELM Website: Another exciting deal for November as we get set to launch the new ELM is looking amazing and will host our new ELM online store!
  7. Work on book...Fit & Free coming soon!
  8. Work on other (secret) online store products...
  9. Set date for ELM annual Christmas Partay with Extreme Runners
  10. Finalize ELM Equipment pricing list...soon to be part of our online store.
  11. Data Entry
  12. Back up files
  13. Confirm NCCP course dates in November (continuing ed)
  14. PERU! Confirm info night details for next Friday.
  15. Client monthly programs
Phew...and that is just how my list started this week!
Better go do some of these things!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Perseverance Post Race Report

The rain didn't scare 169 racers and 50 volunteers away from the 5th annual Perseverance Trail Run in Cumberland on Sunday.

The skies were grey and low but the energy was bright and high as racers for the 10K and 3K courses made their way to the start line. Once the horn blew the racers seemed to forget about the rain as they were forced to focused on navigating the classic rooty, muddy, twisty and very scenic trails of the Cumberland Forest.
The race was a huge success with all money raised going directly to the Cumberland Community Forest Society to assist them in working towards their goal of purchasing additional forest lands for recreational and aesthetic use now and into the future.
Along with ELM and Extreme Runners the following community sponsor's generous support once again made this years event a great success: Thrifty Foods, ABC Printing, Hi Tech, nrichmedia, Odlum Brown and the Comox Valley Record.
Other local supporters who kept the racers safe and happy on race day include: Comox Valley Search & Rescue, St. Johns Ambulance as well as Fiesta Quest, Sound Systems, Mudsharks Coffee, Tim Hortons, Seeds Market and Cumberland Massage Therapy!
In addition community landholders including the Village of Cumberland, CCFS, Hancock Timber, Timberwest and Cumberland Recreation provided racers with the opportunity to participate in this fundraiser by opening their property and facilities to the racers.
Racers were treated to a huge pile of draw prizes from generous race sponsors. With close to 40 prizes and many free giveaways from Brooks, many racers left with a prize. A very big thank you to the following prize sponsors: Valhalla Pure, Riding Fool Hostel, Darkside Chocolates, Zen Zero, Fitness Excellence, Brooks, Ascent Physiotherapy, Crows Soap Factory, HiTech, Breathing Room, Jim Smiley of Remax, Cumberland Massage Therapy, and Trail Runner Magazine.
This event could not exist without the support of our amazing volunteer team. If you haven't had the pleasure of organizing or simply volunteering for a race or similar scale event then you might not realize all of the countless hours that are spent preparing for and executing such an event. If you get the opportunity to volunteer I suggest you take it so you can see what goes on behind the scenes! It is a wonderful way to give back to the events and sports that you enjoy so much!
Here is an idea of what it takes to put on the Perseverance Trail Run...HUGE THANK YOU to all of our VOLUNTEERS::
Perseverance Committee
Lene Curts & Me - Head Organizers
Arran Kerrigan- Registration
John Wall - 3K Course
Terry Lewis - 10K Course
Stan & Margarite Masson
Ian Clarke
Pascale & Yasmin Houde
Race Day Registration
Kathy Campbell
Genevieve Burdette
Shannon Lebeauf
Leslie Dargie
Prizes & T-Shirts
Jean Lewis
MC Liz Tribe
Cathy Livsey
Alma Ballington
Craig Balliington
Heather Skuja
Equipment Set Up
Alma & Craig
Lo Lanning
Heather Mills
Anne G
Brad F
Timing & Results
David Kassekoff
Jim Smiley
Bob Lavoi
Neil Holm
Lynn, Neil, Naomi, Alexander and Maya Swift
10K Marshalling
Greg Young
Mark Power
John Simard
Graham Sibley
Pascale & Yasmin Houde
3K Marshalling
Marilyn Olsen
Kim Wall
Jessie & Matt
Simon Toole
Kim Senechal
Audrey Erlandson
Kath Campbell
Marc Power
First Aid : St Johns Ambulance
Norm Potvin, Tyler and Richard
CV Search and Rescue
Paul & Darlene Berry
Anne Nygren
Carol Anne Browning
Sue Bates
AND everyone else who I missed that jumped in to help when we needed it.
Full race results and race photos are now available on the Perseverance website at .
Race T-Shirts will be on sale at Extreme Runners this week for $15 so be sure to head down and pick one up if you would still like to support the Cumberland Community Forest!
Cheers and see you next year!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Perseverance Photos Part 1


I just got home from the Perseverance Trail Run, unloaded my car full of soggy race stuff, had a hot bath and am now going through some of the photos from todays race!

There will be many more photos from the course coming in the next week but here is a taster from Kathy Campbell (supervolunteer:) at race central to tide you over... Picasa Web album

Full race recap to come on Monday right here on the blog and be sure check the perseverance website tomorrow or Tuesday for full race results

All in all it was a FANTASTIC day and we had a great turnout for our fundraiser...THANK YOU to all the racers, volunteers and sponsors!



Saturday, October 24, 2009



We are getting super stoked about tomorrow's race and looking forward to seeing you all in Cumberland on Sunday morning!

The forecast is looking like we will get a classic, wet, fall trail run on Sunday so leave your white socks at home! Our list of registered racers is growing and we are anticipating another big turnout for this years event. Thank you for your support of the community fundraising event- see you soon!

PRE RACE NUMBER PICK UP: New this year, we are offering an opportunity for you to pick up your race number TODAY between 1 and 5pm at Extreme Runners 436 5th st. Our friendly volunteers will greet you at the store, confirm your registration and give you your race number and t-shirt if you pre-ordered one. This means you get to avoid the long line up on Sunday!

RACE DAY DETAILS: Race starts at 11:00am with pre-race registration taking place from 9:00-10:30am and pre-race announcements at 10:45am. No. 6 Mine Park behind the Cumberland Rec Centre on Dunsmuir. Park in the gravel parking lot beside the rec centre and walk to the park for race central.

FUNDRAISER: All proceeds go directly to the Cumberland Community Forest Society! Thank you for supporting this great local cause and for giving back to the forest lands so that we can continue to enjoy them in the future!

Maps & T-Shirt sales on race day will also go towards the CCFS and you can meet members of the Forest Society to learn more about this great cause.

Once again we have had overwhelming support from our local businesses in the community and there are some amazing draw prizes to be won! Draw prizes include everything from Darkside Chocolates to a night at the Riding Fool Hostel - go to the perseverance website for a complete list of sponsors: .

Thrifty Foods is once again generously providing all of the post race munchies for our racers! You can look forward to a great spread including hot soup as well as fresh coffee from Darla and Bruce at Mudsharks coffee!

TOP 3 finishers in each category will be awarded ribbons for their efforts and there will be a special prize for the BEST COSTUME!!

Enjoy a post-race massage by donation from new sponsors Cumberland Massage Therapy!

WOAH! It is going to be a great day in Cumberland! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Looking back and looking ahead...

It has been a ... different... race season for me this year.

MOMAR was my last race of the season and I have been enjoying a couple of weeks of unorganized play...which helps my mind more than my body I think.

Being as competitive as I am, I couldn't pass up a little cross-training competition last weekend, however. So, I dug deep and entered new territory in my first 'Pie Making Contest' at the Cumberland Harvest Fair.

Although I had only made 1 pie before considering this competition I had 2 weeks and an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on my side.

Seems my off season is leading me to even bigger purse prizes than my racing season did this year... Cause I managed to snake 2nd place at the Pie of the Year contest!!! Woot woot!

Hideous but memorable...

Mmmmmm just like moms apple pie with a cinnamon sugar top:)
But SERIOUSLY I have been thinking about 2009 and starting to plan for 2010...cause what would I do if I didn't have a goal to reach for? Probably sit on the couch and eat pie...HA!
2009 started with high hopes for new PR's and all that jazz.
I began the season focussed on improving my running speed and hill climbing strength. Weeks and months of interval training showed me that I was getting faster. Yippee!
Then I signed up for the Full Moon in June 36hour adventure race and the volume of our training sessions ramped up to full weekends of back to back 8 hour days.
I raced MOMAR in Squamish and snagged first place after an epic climb up the Chief. This was a great training weekend for FMIJ and I was feeling super fit and fresh after the MOMAR.
FMIJ did not go as planned but we had a great time DNFing:)
Then I got careless.
I ran too fast and too hard after FMIJ and didn't get the recovery time I should have.
I flared up my compartment syndrome and it lasted a full 3 weeks. Really, it has been under the surface since then...late June.
I ran out of healing time and sadly had to pull out of KUSAM- my A race for 2009.
After accepting my fate I kinda rebelled and then I decided to just have fun and do the things I wanted to do!
I raced the 12 hours of Cumberland bike race...
I ran/trekked the JDF trail...
I rode my bike megga...
I went for hikes...
Ended up PRing in the Log Train Trail Race in August somehow... but reflared up my legs and strained both my calves in the process...
So I kinda stopped training for the run...cause my legs were always sore or needing rest.
After holidays on the beach it was MOMAR and time for a rude awakening on the legs were not keen or trained to run UP or DOWN steep mountains. But I made them anyways. And they were not happy.
So, I was less fit at the end of my race season then I was at the start it seems.
My mom always said you can't cry over spilt milk and now I say 'it is what it is' which is pretty much the same thing.
There are always lessons to be learned...and as you very well know the farther you fall the more you learn:)
2010...what awaits? More bike races and running races...probably not any multi-day adventure races but more individuals events... More races to keep me fit and fast and to keep things fun.
Let's start with the Yeti in January shall we?
Stay tuned!

Friday, October 16, 2009

What IS up with ELM?

WHAT'S UP WITH ELM you ask??

PLENTY in the next couple of weeks!!

This Saturday (tomorrow) October 17th we are leading a pre-run of the Perseverance 10K Course in Cumberland.

This is a great way for racers to check out the route and prepare for the race course. It will be a scenic tour of the route not a hard run and all paces are welcome! You must pre-register, however, so email me today if you plan on joining us...

Super cool banner c/o ABC for the Perseverance Trail Run! Next Sunday, October 25th 11am start!!!

We still need a few volunteers for next weekends race so please let us know if you can help out! It is a great cause - to raise funds for the Cumberland Community Forest - and a great way to give back to the forest:)

We need pre-race registration volunteers for SATURDAY, October 24th for an hour or more between 1 and 5pm.

AND we still need a few course marshalls for race day.

Hope you can join us!

This is a good old fashioned fall fair with all sorts of activities and events taking place in the Village of Cumberland between 10-4pm. Go to The Cumberland site for all of the details or check it out on the ELM Facebook page.

We will have a table set up promoting the Perseverance Trail Run (inside the OAP hall/Museum) and looking to recruit a few more racers for next weekends run.

AND...I will be entering a 'theme' pie into the 'Best Pie of the Year' contest!!

What started as a whim has turned into something of a personal challenge for I had only baked 1 pie in my life until 2 weeks ago! I have been researching on the google...reviewing old classic cookbooks...picking pie bakers brains...and baking up a storm in the process... They haven't all been pretty but I am hoping things come together for the big day...tomorrow!

Please come down and vote for your favorite (aka MY) pie between 12 and 2pm Cumberland Cultural Centre, 1st floor, OAP hall in Cumberland.

Dave the auctioneer will be auctioning off all the pies following the judging...with proceeds going to the Cumberland Community Schools Program.

What better way to spend a stormy fall day?

Cheers and Happy Fall Trails!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Royal Victoria Marathon & Half!

Congratulations Racers!!

The Comox Valley was extremely well represented this weekend at the Royal Victoria Marathon and Half Marathon. I was kept busy as a cheerleader for close to 20 familiar faces from the Valley out on the race course. From the Half Marathon speedsters to the first timers I was filled with inspiration around every bend on Sunday morning!

I watched both the half and full marathoners as they passed the 5km mark in front of my sisters house (the best place to cheer!!) and everyone looked great, relaxed and there were even a few smiles!

Lynn, Simone and Korky heading off to the next km marker...

Lisa and Karen just getting warmed up...

Holly looking great at the 5k mark on the Half Marathon!

Here is a video of the pack coming by...very quiet except for the footstrikes...5k into it and everyone is in O2 debt because they started crazy fast under the mask of adrenaline...HA!

The 23k turnaround point for the marathoners was another great spot to see the crew as they came through a water station and looped back to begin their trek home. AGAIN everyone was looking great! All smiles...I mean look at Heather in that pic above! She had WAY too much energy!! Hi 5s, patsontheback and away they went to Dallas Road...

Then it was off to km 37 at the bottom of Clover Point Hill on Dallas Road. I ran over from my sisters place then began a series of hill repeats as I ran with all my buddies towards and up the hill trying to motivate them to find that last 5k somewhere from within...

They were tired. They were sore. They were sweating. They were cramping. They wanted to pull over and just stop. But they didn't.

They pushed up that hill with the strength and determination and the fight of champions. They all ran that hill with great form and great pace and before they knew it they were heading for the finish line...they best part of a marathon! I had such a wonderful time running the final 5k with Korky, Lynn and Simone- watching the view from their the volunteers and supporters rallied for them and pushed then onwards...the support from complete strangers was absolutely heart warming...humans at our best.

CONGRATULATIONS on your amazing accomplishment! Now it is time to take it easy and get some much deserved rest and relaxation. Enjoy this downtime and then you will look forward to setting new and exciting goals for the future!

Full Results can be found online::

Have a great week!


Saturday, October 10, 2009


I love the harvest season with it's rich colours, bounty of fresh fruit and veggies and plenty of cozy visits with friends and family.

I have a confession to make. I have entered a pie making contest! The Cumberland Harvest Fair is next Saturday 10-4pm and the highlight is the 2nd annual pie making competition.

The bad news is I just started making pies last week (3 already!).

The good news is the first round of judging is ' Peoples Choice'. That means that YOU are invited to PLEASE come down to the fair and vote on my pie! 12pm-2pm vote once only please:) Go to our facebook page for all the details...

Perseverance is 2 weeks away! Be sure to sign up for our course pre-run next Saturday...right before the pie 9am in Cumberland!

Chop Chop. Off with your hair! And on a random aside I had to get half my hair cut off yesterday and in the process I learned something important from my fantabulous hairdresser at Level 10, Karen, while going for my annual chop yesterday.

NEWS FLASH: You have to get your hair cut more than once per year if you don't want it to die, break and fall out. Really? Every 8-10 weeks actually, she said. WOAH! I am going to try 2-3 times per year and see how that goes. After spending 2 weeks on the beach WITHOUT A HAIRBRUSH last month I had done some serious damage.

Our first annual marathon clinic is coming to a close with a final celebration run this weekend... The Royal Victoria Marathon!

Best of luck to all ELM and Comox Valley racers in the Full and Half Marathon this weekend! Look for me just around the corner from km 5!!

Deep breath, stick to your plan, enjoy the experience to the fullest and you will have an amazing day!!

See you there!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week in Pics


I am back into the swing of things after the whirwind week post-holiday-back at work and post MOMAR. Here, in random order are a few pics from my week:
Sunday (8am bright and early post MOMAR) Marathon Clinic leader:)

  • Wednesday Rat Ride in Cumby:))))
  • Thursday Adventure Running - ran the Perserverance 10k route!
  • Saturday Run to Cruikshank canyon from Raven Lodge with Liz! 18-20k? Followed by the ELM Plant Swap!
  • Sunday- today- Rat Ride in Cumby! They boys are working on a new trail ... we got to check it out and it is going to be a great long ride!! Stay tuned...

Today's Rat Ride crew...random is hard to take pics while riding so I end up with all of these stopped and very boring shots:) I can't believe how warm it is out there! I gotta get back out there right after this...

Thursday night Adventure Run: this is a section of Waterboys and Michelle is looking great! She has pink flagging around her waist cause she loves pink. HA just kiddin' she was helping to pull flags from the MOMAR!

This was last week actually...but I forgot to post it for the gals in my they are...Cougar Bait! This is part of the 9 person crew that got to meet their first cougar up close and personal last month:)

Adventure Running in beautiful fall weather!

Last Sunday morning marathon crew...23k...nothin!

Saturdays run with Liz to Cruikshank! The signs are cool and date back into the 70s...

This is the new trail marker system- the trails closest to Raven Lodge are soooo well marked and maintained now! They are very runable and we even saw a couple of strollers on the Paradise Meadows loop! Look at that frost! It was beautiful up there but MAN was it CHILLY mountain air! All the boardwalks were super slick with frost...


It looks like a beautiful week of weather ahead of us so get out there!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Coming Out of the Fog

Here I am, Nixon style, with a big old shoulder shrug (tried my best) and a second place peace sign after finishing the MOMAR last Saturday in about 5hours and 36minutes. Photo courtesy of Aimee Asselin:)

MOMAR is done, the end of my race season has arrived and I am pulling out of the post-race fog, finally.

For about 36 hours following MOMAR I am typically in a mild dehydration, glucose depletion, post-race serotonin deprivation fog. This is not the first time this has happened and I know that I am not alone. By Tuesday morning the fog had lifted and I was sharp and fired up to my usual self once again. But I have experienced what I would call 'post-race depression or blues' following other races in the past.

I am not alone.

Many racers experience a low feeling once they cross the finish line and the adrenaline wears off. Face it, any activity that involves a 'high' always involves a 'low' - be it healthy or unhealthy extracurricular activity.

What goes up must come down and there are many hypothesized reasons for the post race blues.

I believe there is both a chemical & emotional response to the cessation of intense race pace training and exercise. Serotonin levels seem to drop below pre-race levels and nothing but chocolate can make you happy.

Many people feel a sense of 'emptiness' in their lives when their activity level, social training network and weekly schedule suddenly and dramatically changes following a big event or competition.

This is normal and makes complete sense.

So how can we prepare for this and decrease the intensity of the post race blues? Common sense:
1. Set yourself up with a reward following your big event to soften the low. Some people book trips following big races - this is a great time as your training schedule will allow it and you can focus on healing and recovery.

2. Catch up on all the things you couldn't do while you were so busy training! Remember all those Sundays when you wanted to sleep in or go for brunch with your friends but you couldn't because of your training commitment? Remind yourself of all those things and get out and do them!

3. Play. Move your body in a non-structured, fun way. Do whatever you want and try all the things you have wanted to do but didn't have time or energy. No schedule, no plan, no worries!

Finally, here are 2 great quotes from an e-article written by Amy Lemen on the website::

Above all, keep things in perspective. It's helpful to take a
step back, appraise how the race went, and move on, especially since many
athletes' identities are often closely tied to their life in training.

You need to find other forms of self-validation. Remember WHY you
started doing the sport to begin with, and have fun with it.

Sometimes we think it's all about a goal, and we forget that there's joy in
getting there.

This is me at the 'back of the pack' (thanks for the constant reminders on the megaphone Bryan Tasaka) wondering whatthehell I am doing in a Solstice touring boat when I was supposed to be in a low volume Extreme cutting through the water... It almost looks like I am crying...I could have when I realized what a beast of a boat I was in and my lats started cramping on me like vibrating wings on my back...will have to talk to CVK about that one...grrrrrrr... Photo by Tony Austin...

This is the steeeeep spot on Off Broadway where I was stoked to stay on my bike cause Tony was there with his big camera! Races do make us do things we are afraid of... Photo courtesy of Tony Austin:)