Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And the winner is...


Thank you to all of you who entered the ELM 8 Year Birthday Contest! And the winner of the ELM 'Home Gym' draw is:


Diana's ELM Home Gym Prize Package includes:
ELM Daily Fitness Log
ELM Running Cap
Exercise Ball
Stalstix Tubing
Aeroskip Jump Rope
Valued at well over $110!

Diana's testimonial was from an ELM Team Member perspective:

I'm into the bush for a last nervous pee when I hear, "DIANA!!!!!!!!" Oh, oh, I
think, despite sharing a name with both a princess and a goddess, I know that
can only be me. The runner for the first leg has arrived and I have my pants
down around my ankles!

Yes, despite a shakey start, I am still a part of
the ELM Snow to Surf team. Every spring I am so relieved that I have not been
voted off as the weakest link, I leap at the chance to participate once more.
Memories of sore glutes are a distant memory. I only remember the fun getting to
know other team members, eating a scrumptious prerace potluck and doing my best
on race day to pass more runnes than those that pass me!

Gee, I hope I
get invitied again next year - I have my ELM shirt, Sarah!

Diana Olsen
Grade 5 Valley View

I will post the other entries on the blog over the next while and you will be able to read more ELM tales on the new ELM website which will be ready any day now!!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Bright Lights, Big City, Biking and Bruises

Happy Tuesday!
I just got home from ELM Sunrise Bootcamp and although we didn't actually see the sunrise, we were warm and dry on this mild November morning:) Perfect day for 'descending sets' out on the Comox Marina boardwalk and the crew pushed hard through a tough training session. GREAT JOB!

Brad and I left the rock this past weekend for a little mainland adventure. And the city is always a true adventure for us! We were both there for courses but we got to enjoy the city scene after class and got our sushi fix for the next while!

FRIDAY I had the opportunity to go to the Peak Centre Lab on Hastings. I was reunited with Exercise Physiologists, Paul and Mike whom I had the pleasure of meeting when they came to the Valley last fall with their mobile testing lab. Last year I completed my tests for the run...this year it was for the bike.

I started with an Aerobic Threshold test on the run so that I could compare my Zone 1 numbers to last year. Then I moved over to the bike and did the full meal deal for my bike zones.

FYI: Lactate testing is the gold standard for determining heart rate zones. All of the field tests and age prediction equations that we use to figure out our heart rate zones are useful and convenient tools but they will never be as acurate as the blood lactate test.

Here is how it works: You warm up thoroughly then your friendly lab tech (see Liz, below, torturess) pricks your finger to take a blood sample. The speed or resistance (bike) is increased every 3 minutes and a new sample is given. Once your blood lactate acumulates to certain values, your heart rate is noted and your 5 training zones are created based on the concentration of lactate in your blood sample.

Not only do you create an acurate heart rate training zones using lactate testing, but you also identify your limiting factors in the process. This will help guide your training focus so that you are being as efficient as possible with your training time. I can't wait to get my results and get the next phase of my own training plan underway for the coming season:)

You can tell I get all excited about this:) I am an exercise physiology nut. The lab was my favorite place ... well other than the field hockey pitch ... to spend time in University. Exercise phys is one of my true passions and I miss spending time in the lab! It was a highlight of my weekend for sure:)

I know I shouldn't be smiling in these photos but like I said, I love this stuff! Luckily there wasn't a camera around when I was grunting and groaning and crying on my final maximal stage on the bike!
Liz sucking my blood...evil exchange student:)))

Post test I am all smiles! That was after they cleaned up the hurl and picked me up off the floor...

I was in a 2 day course with the National Coaching Certification Program NCCP: Part A - the first of 5 parts of the Canadian Level 2 Cycling Coach Certification. The entire weekend was theory and I must admit my butt was way more sore after sitting for 2 days than it would be after the equivalent time in the saddle!
But WOW what a great instructor and fantastic start to the certification process! We were given the opportunity to learn from one of the top cycling coaches in Canada: Dan Proulx, the Canadian National Mt Biking Coach! I felt honoured to be in the same room with such an elite level coach - just having access to a resource of that calibre was well worth a sore butt!
We are the first class of coaches in the new cycling BC/NCCP certification program and it is all very exciting:) Small class with a wide range of backgrounds - everything from top level coaches in other sports to up and coming, young, local racers with Olympic dreams. V. inspiring and I am pumped to coach more cycling in 2010!
All in all it was a great weekend in the big smoke:) I am back at er full speed today however as I am working on finishing up some very BIG ELM projects and there don't seem to be quite enough hours in the day so I better gooooooo!
Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"SNo" Way!

My friends are crazy.

Well, I guess I am too by the looks of that photo above. That is me throwing a snwoball at Liz this morning around 7:30am at the top of Bear Buns in Cumberland.

Yesterday afternoon Greg and I went for a fantastic ride in Cumby. It was cold and there were a few flakes falling around us at the high spots but the trail was clear at that point.

We climbed the road and it was work once again - now that I am back on my heavy Reign and have my winter tires on the old tank. Squish squish...this will make me fitter come spring was all I kept thinking.

On the way down I was SO happy to be on the heavier bike however! It is so forgiving and pulled me out of a few close calls as the trail turned to squishy slippery mud in a few spots. F. U. N.

Sykes bridge is clear now but apparently 2/3rs of it was washed over by the river earlier this week. It held up well thanks to some stellar building skills from Terry & Al of the River Rats.

One of the bridges got wiped out on Short and Curly however, and we found it high and dry a few meters down stream. Although the water levels have calmed down slightly it is still an awesome sight so I recommend you go for a hike, run or bike this week to check it out!

Liz, capris?? Seriously!

This morning I joined Liz on her daily hill run and we started out in the dark just before 7am in Cumby. Soon we were in snow and the trail brightened up before our eyes! We climbed up the old Ginger Minge and then linked in with the top section and climbed up to the top of Bear Buns via Dodge Balls. Since our ride yesterday, there were at least 8 inches of fresh snow easily in some spots!

I told Liz she should make a snow angel.

Liz is a bit of a nut it turns out and she took me up on it...

One day I will remember that I can't record video in the 'portrait' angle...anyways here is your snow angel!
Happy Trails!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Hello Again!
I have had a wet and wild morning so far - starting with a swim at Vanier Track! I met up with my Monday morning semi-private training crew and we were greeted with a lake view! It has rained close to 100 mms over the past 24 hours and they are expecting just as much over the next 24hours!

Town is a total zooooo! Old highway is shut down by Lewis Park and the road is completely flooded so that only leaves 1 road into town...which means...bumper to bumper big city traffic:) It took Brad an hour to get from our house across the 17th st bridge this morning...that is like maybe 3 kms.

Bridges and roads are washed out all over the Valley so you might as well stay at home if you can and avoid the insanity.

I decided to get out for a run during a break in the rain but the skies opened up the second I hit the road of course! No matter- the trails are rivers and you are going for a swim regardless! Had a GREAT run working the old Zone 5 and nearly dieing in the process. 5 sets of 2mins max speed with 4 mins recovery. Got the heartrate up to 192...needs to get higher...must go faster...

I am sad to say I will miss ELM Need for Speed class this week as I have to head over to Vancouver on Thursday afternoon. They will get the joy of the max speed repeat experience as well...

Brad & I both have courses on the mainland so we are going to make a weekend of it. If you know us you know our favorite saying about Vancouver: "Best view of Vancouver is in the rear view mirror!" . I know we are total island hicks. Haven't been to Van in like 8 years or more. I am driving. Should be an adventure in itself.

I am taking a fun course with NCCP: Intro to competition for Mt. Biking. It will all be theory so I will miss my bike unfortunately! Will have to make up for it this week and next...

I got my winter tires on my old Giant Reign and she is all ready for winter riding! Grippy, heavy and so much fun:) I think I will put the Anthem filly on my trainer ... and get some good intervals out of her indoors on icy days...

Happy Trails!


Happy Monsoon Monday!

Another week has flown by...and I have been too busy to blog! Lot's of fun training, playing in the snow (and the rain), writing, working on ELM projects and a nasty little trip to the veinman amongst it all.

Last weekend we went to Vic to visit my family and I had a follow up treatment with Mr. Veinman. This time was nearly painless, however, as he just had to inject (7 needles)saline into my vein to get it to seal up and die off once and for all. He was oddly excited about his mission - but to each their own. I have one more treatment in December so hopefully we will get our 'closure' on this vein.

Drs orders: 3 days with ZERO movement meant I was ready to giver hard once my time was up. Great runs and rides followed along with some delayed onset muscle soreness DOMS for going out of the gates a bit too quick. Oooops. Note from coach Sarah: Warm up thoroughly before performing plyometrics.

I also got 'closure' on my first book! I spent hours and hours over this past weekend madly writing the final chapters of my book: Fit & Free 7 Steps to Achieving Fitness for does that sound? The title isn't quite finalized but you get the idea. If you have (or anyone you know has) ever struggled to stay on the fitness train over the long haul then this book is for you. Now it needs to be edited, formatted and sent to the publisher! Look out!

I had a rediculously wet run this morning...and will post the pics following this blogpost...for now here are some pics from the rest of my week!

John, Liz and I on our way UP the hills above the Dam. This shot is from Tomato Creek Hill and you can see the Comox Glacier is just loaded with snow from our big dump last week.
On the way down Dirty Jane! Crazy winter wonderland up there! I was not mentally prepared for that but it sure was amazing:) Crunchy grippy, bright fresh snow! Perfect for running...and tracking the deer...tonnes of tracks...where there are deer...

My shoes are dirty.

Have a great soggy day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time to Celebrate 8 Years!


ELM is turning 8 years old this month and we want you to celebrate with us!
Yes, it's true, ELM has been training you in the trails, on the beach, at the playground and in the gym since November of 2001! ELM continues to evolve its programs and services based on YOUR voice and what YOU want.
This month, as a way to celebrate this exciting anniversary, we are creating a special contest for YOU:
ELM Home Gym Prize Package Includes:
  • ELM Daily Fitness Log
  • ELM Running Cap
  • Exercise Ball
  • Stalastix Tubing
  • Aeroskip Jump Rope
  • Valued at more than $110!
Go to the ELM Facebook page for details on how to enter!!
Happy Birthday to Me....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

Running is an open door. And once a woman steps through it,
she starts thinking, "If I can run, maybe there are other things I can
do.' And that's the start of a profound awakening.

Felicite Rwemalika
AKWOS, Rawanda

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week in Pics

It has been a WONDERFUL week and I am LOVING the start of November! Sunshine? Warm temps (like, above 10 I mean)? Isolated showers? I'll take it and then some please!

The week after Perseverance is just about as busy as the week before - well not quite but close! I have enjoyed hearing race tales from those who Persevered last weekend as there are plenty of mini-adventures that seem to occur during both the 3k and the 10k course.

The results and links to photos are up on the Perseverance website so go check it out!

I had some fun training last week in the mud and sun and rain and amongst fallen yellow and orange leaves...every turn on the trail is picture postcard beautiful!

Monday was a rebellious 'I am playing hookie' run with lovely leaders Lynn and Kathy at Seal Bay Park...

Tuesday was all out trail speed intervals on my solo run...yick.

Wednesday was a ride with Pascale and Greg in Cumby (and Jack the french dog of course)...forgot my bike shoes and had a very interesting experience sliding off my pedal clip things with my sneakers...not recommended for skill development...and if you want to have children in the future...ouch...

Thursday was a good hard Bootcamp stair workout! No pics but MAN did they giver at the Filberg stairs!!

Friday was a rest day...Craniosacral therapy with Heather Hodge at Integral Balance...and a gourmet dinner for two at Locals...can't begin to tell you how good that was...

Saturday was my own tragic attempt at racing the Perseverance Trail run course...MAN THAT IS A BRUTAL COURSE!! Who would design something like that anyways?? You racers are SUPER hard core and I love you for doing it!!

Sunday was the BEST ride ever. I nearly had a heart attack combined with an athsma attack trying to climb Branch 21 above the lake without stopping. Seriously I almost wooofed my cookies. Can't WAIT to do that again!

Monday ran my trail speed intervals...and went down to check out the Torch Relay!!

STRENGTH was a daily ritual as well, of course. As I am playing with my TRX System in the basement every day and having fun with some new moves...

ELM Athlete and CFB SARTech, Rob Dumonceau, was one of the proud Comox Valley torch bearers!! SO sorry I couldn't see the action in person Rob but this is a GREAT photo! You look like the spirit really caught a wide eyed kid with Olympic fever! CONGRATS!

Down at torch relay central they had some super cute 'canada' winter gear on sale...good thing they only take VISA or I would have blown the budget!!

Tuesday TODAY! I am going for a bike ride in Cumby after I head down to Mountain City to pick up my old faithful Giant Reign!! Not sure I will remember how to ride the old tank but I am planning to do so over the winter and save my little Anthem filly for race season. Yippppee for riding on a lovely BLUE SKY NOVEMBER DAY!

On SUNDAY we rode up B21 from the lake for the first time in a very long time...the busy beavers are stripping as many trees from the forest as they can before winter...working 24 hours a day. This is what it looked like on Sunday...sniffle sniffle...we do need toilet paper...

Have a great week!