Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best of 2013!

2013.  Wow.  What a wonderful and wild year that was with ELM!  

I had WAY too much fun with you all this year to actually call it 'work':)  I got to spend the year cheer leading, adventuring, running, biking, laughing, hi 5ing, sweating, fist pumping and woohooing with you all!   Thank you all for joining ELM on our crazy adventures this past year.  I am grateful for the opportunity to know you all and for all of the awesome memories we have shared over the past year!  You say we inspire you...but the truth is...YOU inspire us:)  Thank you.

Here are some of the highlights from ELM in 2013! Be sure to check out the Best of 2013 album on our facebook page and tag away if you see yourself or your friends in action!

 Team ELM takes on the YETI in January!  Woohooo!

ELM Members celebrate a beautiful day for our annual Snowshoe & Feast at Coastal Trek Lodge!

Our Two ELM Teams rocked the Snow to Surf- coming one and two on the podium woot woot!

 ELM Members celebrate the Summer Solstice with an Orienteering adventure at Comox Lake!  Rain and all!

 Our Sunrise Run and Stretch at the Beach: Lole Meet Up didn't disappoint!  What a summer we had!

Ahhhhh Tyax Retreat...so unbelievable that we might just have to return in 2014...

 ELM went to HAWAII for the XTERRA Off Road Half Marathon World Championships!  What a dream event it was...and yes...we ARE planning to go back in 2014!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Climb a little higher.

It turned out to be a beautiful Friday afternoon:)  10 degrees in the sunshine on December 27th...my kind of winter weather (sorry skiiers!).  I managed to escape from hours of troubleshooting on the computer (crawled out of my pjs) and headed out to the lake with a running buddy.  We pointed our sneakers up to the sunny bluffs above.  

You can do it!


Here are some inspiring words from our awesome ELM friends who have reached their personal goals!  I hope that you find part of yourself somewhere in them...along with inspiration motivation and energy to help you reach for your own dreams and goals;)  Cheers to a healthy and happy 2014!  You can do it!


I just wanted to say thank you for the encouragement and the great training. In my wildest dreams I never thought that at 56 years I would run a 10 K in 57.33…running across that finish line was as rewarding as walking across the stage to accept my MA diploma. Next year…yes there will be a
next year…I plan to beat my time.
Thanks, D

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Reach a New Running PB this year!

Do you have a Need for Speed??

ELM will be offering our second and final 6-week Need for Speed RunningClinic of the season beginning January 2nd, 2014.  This specialized running clinic, led by coach and Kinesiologist Sarah Seads, is for any runner who has a desire to improve their running fitness, skill or speed. This clinic includes weekly coached training sessions designed to improve technique, speed and strength as well as education and support in creating a personalized training plan for the coming year.

Runners who think that more mileage and longer hours are the only ways to improve often end up frustrated or sidelined with injuries. Making small but specific changes in strength, flexibility, technique, and program design will help you reach a new level of performance and without nearly as much effort.” Sarah Seads

Runners will also learn the benefits of mid-foot running technique and how to incorporate barefoot running into their training programs along with the key training principles for program design, heart rate training, injury prevention and fuel for optimal performance.

Immediately following Need for Speed, ELM is also offering their popular Yoga for Athletes class instructed by Birgit Nilson. This class is specifically designed to address muscular imbalances and release tired, overworked muscles and tissues. This yoga class is the perfect compliment to an active fitness program.

These programs take place on Thursday evenings with Need for Speed from 5:30-7:00pm and Yoga for Runners from 7:05-8:00pm following the run. Participants may register for one or both as space allows. For more information or to register before the December 31st deadline, go to www.elmhealth.com.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Christmas Wish For You

Merry Christmas Friends!

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday with your family and friends during this magical time of year:)  I have had the pleasure of joining so many wonderful people on their health journey's this year... Words cannot explain the joy I feel watching my ELM friends reach their personal dreams and goals.  I feel ever grateful to be a part of their journey towards living a healthier, more joyful life.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Anything you set your mind to, you can do!

It’s 5:30 am.  I can’t sleep.  My mind and heart is full of the events of yesterday and I just need to share.
It’s incredible when you set you mind to do something… you can do anything!!

Yesterday, I ran a half marathon in Hawaii.  In some of the most breathtakingly beautiful surroundings I have ever seen.   It was amazing.  It was hard.  It was emotional. The terrain was rugged.  It was hot.  It was fun.  And it was something I had never even dreamed I could do prior to this year.

In January, I signed up to do Bootcamp two times a week with Sarah Seads from Equilibrium Lifestyle Management. A google search for ‘fitness challenges Comox Valley’ lead me to her and I am forever greatful!   I had committed to twice a week, and a full on fitness challenge where I recorded what I ate, how much I slept, how much water I drank and how often I did cardio, resistance training and stretching.  That first 5am alarm rang, and I was ready to go.  Excited for my first class.  Excited to see the changes that I could make in 10 weeks.  That 10 weeks would end just before I turned 40 and that in itself was a motivator for me.  Turning 40 had me a little bit afraid, I am not going to lie.  But, I knew that committing to this challenge would lead me to that ‘day’ and I would be too busy thinking about taking care of me, to worry about the approaching “40”.

The challenge was amazing.  I loved it.  I loved bootcamp and I started to love early mornings.  5am alarms.  And, if you know me AT ALL, you know simply how crazy that in itself is.  I’m a night owl.  Typically working till 2 or 3am.  But this all switched for me.  I saw great results during that 10 weeks, both physically, cardiovasularly (that’s probably not even a word!) and emotionally.  I had accomplished something great and I was proud.  Turns out there were 4 other amazing people who were incredibly proud of their Mommy, and they got me something GREAT for my birthday to show me that!

I remember exactly where I was standing when Sarah mentioned it in early February.  “Team ELM will be travelling to Oahu to take part in the XTERRA World Championship Trail Race this fall.”  My ears perked up.  There was a 5k, a 10k and the championship 21k course.  My first thought was, I could go as the official team photographer. :)  I told Andy about it when I got home.  Since doing the Great Walk the first time, I had always wanted to do a ‘destination’ event.  I mean who wouldn’t love to go to a wonderful place to complete an event.  Then you just enjoy your time there afterwards.  As time passed, I thought, I could totally do the 5k! (I was also taking the ‘learn to run clinic’ at the same time and 5k seemed totally doable to me at that point.)  Time passed, I got stronger and more fit, and couldn’t stop talking about this event.  But, I was afraid.  Afraid that I couldn’t do it.  Afraid that I would let my ‘team’ down, because I was so slow.  Afraid to even think I was strong enough to do it.  So I talked about it as a ‘wouldn’t that be fun if only I wasn’t a slowpoke who can’t run’ event’.  And even the day before my birthday when I sat on the deck with my beautiful aunt having tea, I mentioned it, but never actually thought that anything would come of it.  I mean, I couldn’t run.  I could maybe run 5k, but that’s a long way to travel to run 5k.

But, in the meantime, my sweet husband was making a call to Sarah.  Telling her that I kept talking about this event. Asking her if she thought I could do it.  And signing me up.  BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!!  40 didn’t seem so scary now!  I had a renewed love for fitness, a 5k training plan that had just finished and a super exciting race to look forward to in Hawaii!!  :)  And at that point, quite honestly, I was going to do the 5k.
As time passed I thought ‘maybe I could do the 10k.’  That was stretching it for me.  The day in May I paid Sarah for the balance of the training program for Oahu, I said “I’m thinking I’m gonna do the 10!  And Sarah replied, “I’m totally signing you up for the 21… you can do it!”  That day, on the way home, I had tears in my eyes.  But those were greatful tears.  Thankful tears.  And tears of disbelief.  I had Andy and Sarah and so many others around me who believed in me.  Much more than I believed in myself.   That’s a pretty powerful thing.  Pretty amazing thing, and something I am so greatful for.

Fast forward to August 17th.  The first offical Team Oahu meeting and start of our training plan.  Oh goodness I was nervous.  And excited.  We had a 14 week training plan to follow.  As I read down the page and saw the long runs getting progressively longer my heart started to race.  ‘What on earth am I doing here?’  22k?  That’s a long way to run!  And the disbelief started to creep in.  But as Andy reminded me on many, many occasions over the coming months… ‘Sarah is a great trainer, and she is going to train you and prepare you to do this… don’t be afraid, just do the training and you will be ready!’  And, I was!
Race morning came.  Team jerseys were on.  Tummy butterflies were flying around like crazy.  And I was excited/ nervous/ scared/ happy/ overwhelmed/ and every other emotion you could feel.  We got our numbers pinned on, took our team photo, and got ready for our warm up.  As we stood on the road, ready to head out for our pre-race run, music started to play.  It was the Biggest Loser theme song, (which gets me everytime I hear it) and when I heard the phrase “What have you done today to make you feel proud?” my eyes welled up with tears, I got choked up and I felt it.  Felt the most amazing chest swelling sense of pride ever.  I was so proud of myself.  I had done all the training, the preparations, and here I was standing, on Kualoa Ranch getting ready to run a half marathon with a team of amazing women.  I was PROUD.  Just to be there.  It was incredible!  And when I turned around Sarah said, “Why are you crying? Are you okay?  Are you having fun?”  To which I replied, “Yes.  I’m okay, and this is amazing.”  I was totally okay, not scared for one second, I just stood there and took it all in, the sights, the sounds the smells, the feeling of being a part of an amazing team, and the enormity of it all.  THIS was huge!  It was a pretty great feeling!  And, yes… I cried all over again as I wrote that!  It’s pretty cool.  Cause now, I’ve actually finished the race, and there’s a whole gamut of emotions that I feel following that!  That will be another post!  :)

I could go on forever about this process.  The event and all of it.  And I just may.  In another post.  But, what I was feeling as I woke at 5:30 was nothing short of amazing.  My heart is full, and I am excited to share.  Excited to tell you that anything you set your mind to, you can do!  Believe in yourself, and if you aren’t quite there yet, know that you have an amazing network and support crew of people around you that will, and already do, believe in you.  You really do!

Make a goal, and say it out loud.  It may be a whisper at first.  For me it was… I didn’t want to tell anyone that I had signed up for a half marathon, because I didn’t believe I could do it.  And I definitely couldn’t handle if someone said, or even thought, “What??? That’s crazy!  You’re not a runner!”

So I whispered it to one person, and then another, and another, and before I knew it I had this amazing group of people cheering me on.  Not one of them said “You’re crazy”  every single one of them said “Good for you, go for it!!”  And then I started saying it out loud, “Yep, I’m a new runner, and I am travelling to Oahu to run a half marathon!”  and the cheering got louder.  And stronger.  And I believed more and more.  So, know that if there is ANYTHING you want to do.  However crazy it may seem.  Just do it.  And know that you are braver, and stronger and more amazing than you believe you are.  You are incredible and I am cheering for you.  So if you need someone to whisper to… I’m here!

Love to all… thanks for sharing this with me!  Once I get home, I will post photos for sure!  For now, I’m off to enjoy the beach with the 4 greatest supporters of all!
Niki  xoxo

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas!

Hello friends of ELM!

Need some help with your holiday shopping?   Give the gift of health and you will be supporting your loved ones on their own health journey!  We have some great gift ideas for everyone on your list...


For the NEW MOM:  Baby Bootcamp!  Choose from one or two days per week and give her the gift of getting her pre-baby fitness back!  This 10-week program has our moms raving and returning with each new addition;)

For the NEW EXERCISER: Fresh Air Fitness!  This low-impact outdoor fitness program is designed to be supportive, fun and inclusive for all levels- including those just getting started!  Choose from 4 classes per week and get fit in the fresh air while meeting a great group of new friends:)

For the RUNNER: Need for Speed & Yoga!  This specialized running clinic is the perfect gift for the runner in your life who wants to run faster or further without getting injured!  The 6-week clinic includes  weekly coached runs,  education sessions and the option of weekly yoga for runners.  This session takes place in January only so don''t miss out on this great ''performance enhancing'' program!

For the FOODIE: NRG Foods that will move you!  This great little cookbook is jam packed full of natural, whole food recipes that will keep you energized all day long.  Healthy breakfasts, mobile energy and sports fuel recipes are included in this unique cookbook crafted by coach and endurance athlete, Sarah Seads.  Great gift for teens or university students as well- get them away from processed products and in love with real food!
energy balls 2

For the SELF HELP BOOKWORM: Fit & Free, 7 steps to achieving fitness for life!  This is an awesome resource for anyone who would like to live a healthier and more active life now and into the future.  It includes a step by step program designed to help anyone and everyone identify and overcome obstacles to successfully living a healthy life.  This book will provide you with a giant toolbox full of useful and practical tips, tricks and tools to help you reach your fitness dreams and goals!

For the BUSY BEE: Online Training Plans & Home Equipment!  Download ELM''s home training video series or sport training plans and they will be delivered right to your computer instantly!  Or,  purchase a few simple pieces of equipment  to create an instant home gym!   Training doesn''t need to be complicated, expensive or time consuming to have an impact.  ELM has skipping ropes, exercise bands, balls ready and waiting for you!

For the GOAL SETTER: Monthly Coaching!  Know someone that has a race or performance goal for 2014?  Give the gift of personalized monthly coaching with Coach Sara!  Monthly coaching is the most effective way to reach a new performance goal or race PR because it is based on scientific training principles and is personalized to match your needs as an individual!

Team ELM

And if all else fails...AN ELM GIFT CERTIFICATE will be sure to put a smile on the face of any health nut on your list! 

PS: Be sure to get your holiday orders in before Friday, December 20th to ensure Santa get's them on time!


Friday, December 13, 2013

My life has changed dramatically

It's time for another awesome success story from one of our ELM Challengers!  If you have a story you would like to share about your success and adventures with ELM please send it my way!  You never know who you are inspiring...

Joe, you made record changes to your health and fitness during your first 10 week Full On Fitness & Nutrition Challenge.  You lost 27 pounds, 9 inches and dropped 8% body fat...moving from the 'Obese' body composition category to the 'Fitness' category in the process!

Monday, December 9, 2013

XTERRA Off Road Half Marathon Race Report

Team ELM from left to right: Donna, Me, Emily, Niki, Kim, Trina

I am back from sunny Hawaii and in total shock going from bikini to boots in 6 hours.  OMG I didn't think it could get this cold on the Island!

My first trip to Hawaii was amazing and I fell head over heels in love with Kauai:)  Read on for my first annual XTERRA Oahu race report! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

I feel proud that I completed the Challenge!

It's Friday and that means another inspiring story from one of our ELM friends:)  Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration to help us launch upwards!  Enjoy!

During the ELM 10-Week Full on Fitness& Nutrition Challenge you lost 8 pounds, 3.25 inches and 3% body fat...moving from the edge of the 'Overfat' category to the 'Fitness' category for your body composition in the process!  WOW!

How were you feeling before you started the ELM Challenge?

I felt stuck in my routine. I enjoyed getting involved in fitness but couldn’t do more than “dabble” in it. I wanted to make real changes in my health/fitness routines and make it a consistent part of my life.

How do you feel now that you have successfully completed the ELM Challenge?

I feel stronger each week, mentally and physically. I feel proud that I completed the challenge and gave it my best effort despite a few setbacks.

How did the ELM Challenge help you achieve these changes?

Participating in the boot camp classes was a big step for me. It has helped me to feel a part of something that is positive and encouraging and also effective!
The weekly nutrition challenges were good for me to stay accountable to myself for the amount and quality of food I was consuming.

What specific changes did you make to your nutrition during the 10 weeks?

I paid attention to keeping my food “real” and watching portion sizes. I also never really thought much about the whole Carb/Fats/Protein ratio in my day before the challenge.

How difficult were these changes?

I didn’t find these changes too difficult. I always feel better knowing I’m putting healthy food into my body. Logging my food each day was a good way to keep on track and see where I might be lacking that day.

What specific changes did you make to your fitness during the 10 weeks?

I worked out 6 days a week. 2 boot camp days and 4 workouts at home. I would have loved to do more running but it wasn’t to be. Getting up early (5 AM) to do workouts has been a big change for me as well. I like the feeling of knowing it’s done for the day!

How difficult was it to make these?

It was only difficult for me when other area’s in my life got busy and I was struggling for time to do the workout. Again another good reason to complete the workout early.

What obstacles did you face during the ELM Challenge and how did you over come them?

The biggest obstacle for me during the challenge was dealing with the flare up of shin splints over and over again. I had to adjust my workouts at home to be low impact and try other cardio exercises to keep up cardio levels.  I also was modifying the boot camp workouts to compensate for the injury. I did feel very frustrated at times but Sarah was able to always remind me that there was still many things I could do! I will keep working on getting this injury fixed!

How did you stay motivated during the ELM Challenge?

My motivation came mostly from my positive state of mind I was experiencing most days after completing a workout. I could feel changes in my body quite soon after starting. I love feeling the muscle in my arms and seeing the definition get better all the time.

I also wanted to feel the pride in being able to tell other people that I stuck to it. I feel like I can inspire others in my life to try and be a little more active and possibly start to feel the positive in it as well.

What advice do you have for others who are looking to make changes to their fitness?  Any tips or tricks that helped you?

Planning your day around an early workout is an effective way to get the workout done without giving too much opportunity for something else to come up and take away your time. 
Nutrition wise, I think everyone should get on the Green Smoothie Train, LOL. Such a great way to incorporate some of the essential greens / fruits / vitamins etc. etc. into your diet. And so fun to experiment with!

Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience?

Thank you Sarah for the encouraging words during some of my frustration days. I do believe that I will beat these shin splints.  I feel confident that I can stick to my fitness plan and keep making improvements.
Glad I signed up!


Friday, November 29, 2013

I can't believe I actually ran 10k!


It's time for another ELM story to inspire you to reach for your health and fitness goals!

"Well  I completed the 10k in 1:03. Great day—sunny and warm with a bit of a breeze at the end (which felt great). Awesome feeling---I couldn’t believe I actually was able to accomplish 10k! I kept hearing your voice in my head especially at the beginning as the adrenaline kicked in and runners kept going past me---start easy and slow!  It worked---I ignored everyone else and just ran for me at my pace.

I do want to thank your leaders for your positive energy and inspiration each week---it was fun! You are all awesome! "


Friday, November 22, 2013

Personal training works for me!


Over the coming weeks, I would like to share some REAL stories about REAL people who are on their own personal health journey with the support of ELM.  Sometimes all we need to make the change we desire is to SEE ourselves in someone else who has gone before us and I hope that you find inspiration from these great stories!  If you have a story to share about your health journey with ELM then please send it my way so that you can help someone just like you reach their own dreams and goals:)

Say 'Hello' to Shelley Gartside!

"Exercise and fitness doesn’t come naturally to me. At heart I’m more of a creative person that likes to sit and do craft type things. However, eventually I got to the age where everything was starting to hurt. I knew from previous experience with exercise I actually felt better if I exercised more, so I called a personal trainer. I was lucky enough to meet Sarah Seads and ELM when I made this decision, and that call has improved my life so much I wanted to tell people about it.

Most people go to a mechanic to get their car fixed, a dentist to have their teeth done, and a doctor for health problems. Making a commitment to fitness can be hard thing to do on your own. The initial enthusiasm generally wanes within a couple weeks, and then you slowly slip back into your old habits. I know this happened to me…a number of times! However, when you have a personal trainer, it’s not just you that commits to your health. A Personal Trainer commits to your health too!

At first when I started working out with Sarah, I moaned and groaned on the days I met with her because I really didn’t want to be working out. And even though I had paid for the sessions, I would happily have cancelled them, but Sarah always turned up, happy and upbeat, and full of encouragement. Her attitude changed my attitude, and I would leave each session feeling a little better than the last session.

This past summer, in the only week it rained, down poured actually, we spent four days together biking as part of my Personal Fitness Camp. The first day was a LOT of fun. The weather was nice, and we went to Seal Bay Park and I learned some mountain biking skills. I was a little nervous about that, but with Sarah’s encouragement and expertise I was able to maneuver the trails safely. The next day we set to meet up a Comox Lake Dam. That day it was raining so HARD, it was coming down in sheets. I would happily have gone home, but when Sarah commits to something, you don’t give up. So we spent the day traveling thru water on the trails and got soaked! It was fun though, and afterward I felt quite a sense of accomplishment for having completed that ride in that kind of weather. For the next two days of the “Bike Camp”, it continued to rain. Not as hard as the day we were at the Dam, but when you are on a bike in the rain, it feels like it’s raining REALLY hard! Fortunately it was fairly warm, so it wasn’t too bad.

Those four days would have been a lot tougher if I didn’t have Sarah’s sense of purpose to keep me going. That’s the thing about working with Sarah….You can just let her expertise, encouragement, and positive disposition lead you while you (as she says) “Get outside” and have fun!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I don't want to make dinner.

Sound familiar??  I'll bet it does!

Even those who truely feel the 'joy of cooking' will experience a lack of desire to make dinner each and every night.  Who really wants to come up with creative/healthy/delicious meal ideas 365 days a year?  Who dreams of standing in the kitchen for 60+ minutes cooking dinner after a long, busy day?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sports Day Canada: Take the Comox Valley 30 Minute Challenge!

It only takes 30 minutes a day to feel like a million….

This challenge is one of many Sports Day in Canada events taking place across the country. What does that mean to our community?
  • Last week a team from CBC came to see just how active our community was. They filmed kayaking, paddleboarding, mountain biking, aquasize, yoga and other activities around the community. This will be aired on Sat. Nov. 9 between 1:30-2 p.m. There is a possibility CBC might return to film more activities around our Sports Day in Canada event.
  • Our community was chosen as 1 of 4 communities across the country to be featured on CBC national TV, which includes a $2500 grant from Participaction.
  • We will be receiving a Sports Day in Canada tool kit to promote our Nov.27 Active Comox Valley 30 min. Challenge event. This will include hanging banners, posters, buttons and 2 adult shirts.
  • The 4 winning communities are:
    • Comox Valley’s 30 Minute Challenge,
    • Yellowknife’s Tour De Yellowknife X country ski club,
    • Bridgewater Nova Scotia Pickle Ball tournament
    • Montreal’s Ligue de ballon-chasseur- Dodge Ball Tournament .
  • Participating in Sports Day in Canada makes us eligible to enter our community in a Participaction BC Sportiest Community in BC Contest: the winning community will receive $1000 in Sports equipment. Active Comox Valley will apply for this after the challenge showing photo and/or video coverage of our community in action, demonstrating that we are the sportiest community.

What does the community need to do to participate in the Active Comox Valley 30 Minute Challenge:
  • Commit to taking part in 30 minutes of activity on Wed. Nov. 27th and log your commitment at www.activecomoxvalley.ca/challenge to include your minutes in our community wide challenge to reach a collective one million minutes of activity in a single day.
  • We’d love to hear about your group activities because your idea might motivate others in the community to increase their groups activity. Email info@activecomoxvalley.ca to have your group activity included in a list of community wide activities taking place on Wed. Nov.27th that will be posted on the Active Comox Valley Challenge website, and could be included in print advertising. Providing us with your groups information will allow us to possibly partner with your activity to provide a prize or incentive to keep your group active.
  • Take photos of your group activity and submit them to info@activecomoxvalley.ca and have a chance to win a portion of the sports equipment that our community will receive if we are chosen as the sportiest community in BC.

Why is Active Comox Valley initiating this challenge?
  • Active Comox Valley came up with this 30 minute challenge as a way of motivating the community to stay active during the winter months.
  • The Active Comox Valley Steering Committee is made up of health and recreation professionals who are passionate about community engagement. When you look around and see what amazing facilities we have in our community for year round recreation it is obvious that there is a collective vision towards a fit, active community. We want to highlight the resources available as well as encouraging the community to make being active a daily priority.

What is Sports Day in Canada?
  • Sports Day in Canada takes place across the country on Nov. 30th. Communities across the country that host events in the week prior to and including Nov. 30 were able to apply to be a part of the Sports Day in Canada promotion. More info on CBC Broadcasting of Sports Day in Canada: http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/broadcast/
  • This national celebration of sport, from grassroots to high-performance, is an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the power of sport, build community and national spirit and facilitate healthy, active living.
  • RBC Sports Day in Canada is presented by ParticipACTION, CBC and True Sport, and will be held this year on Saturday, November 30 in communities from coast to coast to coast who will be hosting events in the week leading up to, and including, November 30. More info at: http://sportsday.cbc.ca/about

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Cox
Active Comox Valley Coordinator
Tel: (250) 941-1470

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Perseverance Trail Run 2013 Race Report!

Image courtesy of Lorenz Jiminez

This years Perseverance Trail Run on October 27th was a huge success with 350 racers, 70 volunteers, sponsors and supporters coming together to raise funds for the Cumberland Community Forest Society. In it's 9th year, the Perseverance Trail Run raised a record donation of $9000 for the CCFS! The CCFS is a local society working toward purchasing and protecting additional forest lands in the Cumberland area for recreation now and into the future.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Balls

Happy Monday!  

Who wants a 'treat' to start their week?  I am more than happy to give you the recipe for these amazing chocolately power balls because I know that you will absolutely LOVE them.  

BUT...there is one 'trick'...you need to do something in return for me...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Do you feel a Need for Speeeeeeeed?


The seasons are changing and that means ELM is moving from the trails to the city lights for our annual Need for Speed and Yoga for Runners program!  We only offer this 12 week program once per year and it is packed with specialized training, tips and coaching to help you reach your running goals next season.

Want to run faster and further without getting tired? Who doesn't??  Our Need for Speed program has evolved over the years into the perfect combination of group conditioning, individual coaching and training knowledge that our participants have used to set and reach their running Personal Best's.

All of our weekly runs will once again start and finish at Comox Rec Centre this year, with post run Yoga led by super yogi, Birgit Nilson afterwards.  I highly recommend participating in the post run Yoga as it is the perfect way to recover from your weekly speedwork sessions - not too mention it feels amazing and it is a very convenient way to get your flexibility training in.  

Check out the details below along with some words from past participants and let me know if you have any questions!  Registration deadline is this Thursday and we kick off the program on Saturday with our running video analysis session- which is a very powerful tool on your journey to becoming a faster and more efficient runner.  Hope to see you there!


We pushed ourselves but the program was very well structured with goal setting and progress measurement.  I learned how to pace and push myself past the comfortable place I normally run.  My spring running was greatly improved by this clinic. I did The Kusam Klimb for the 1st time in 7 years and Need for Speed was the thing that really made it possible.

It is a program where you will feel proud of completing each session and there's also the option of yoga afterwards as a reward!  -T

If you are serious about your running, you want to run faster and further without injury.
Runners who think that more mileage and longer hours are the only ways to improve end up frustrated or sidelined with injuries. The secret to running faster and further is training smarter not longer! Making simple changes in strength, flexibility, technique, and program design will help you reach a new level of performance.

In ELM's Need for Speed clinic, Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer, Sarah Seads, demonstrates the key training principles and techniques designed to improve your running form, decrease your risk of injury and personalize your running program. Learn how the science of Kinesiology and biomechanics can help you reach your running goals in this specialized clinic.


  • Weekly coached group running sessions with Sarah Seads.  Sessions will focus on specific running workouts designed to improve lactate threshold and VO2max using speed and hill work.  Workouts will also focos on improving running economy, turn over, mid-foot technique and sense of pace.
  • Weekly coaching topics and 'homework' to develop your own personalized running plan.
  • Video analysis and technique correction (part 1 only)- link to your video.
  • Field tests for lactate threshold and VO2max and heart rate zone creation.
  • Exercise prescription to improve running technique and correct imbalances (part 1 only).
  • ELM Running Clinic Manual

This unique running clinic is divided into two 6-week training sessions. 

Part 1: After a long training or racing season it is time to take a step back and develop a plan of attack for the coming year.  This is the time of year to focus on technique, muscular imbalances and program design. 

Weekly Education Topics include: Fitness Testing, Video Analysis and Biomechanics of Running & Mid-Foot Running Technique, Barefoot Running, Strength Training For Runners, Muscular Imbalances: Identification and Correction, Periodization: Annual Program Design and Cross Training for Runners.

Part 2: In the second part of this clinic we will continue to focus on techniques for building speed and power.  Learn additional training techniques that will allow you to make a breakthrough in your running ability.

Weekly Education Topics include: Exercise Physiology, Key Training Principles, Dynamic Strength Training for Runners, Speed Training Techniques, Injury Prevention and Nutrition for Optimum Performance.  

NEXT SESSION: Winter 2013/2014

Times: Thursdays 5:30-7:00pm

Part 1:: November 7th-December 12th & Video Analysis Saturday November 2nd 9:30am-10:00am location TB,

Part 2:: January 2nd-February 6th, 6-weeks

Deadline: October 31

Prerequisite: Ability to run 10K distance or a minimum of 60 minutes...no speed requirement!

Yoga for Runners Time: 7:05-8:00pm *See details below*


Complete your fall & winter training runs with a relaxing yoga session designed specifically for athletes with tight muscles!  Lengthen and tone muscles, improve core and postural strength, focus on deep breathing techniques, and enjoy a serene moment in your busy life.  This class is the perfect compliment to any fitness enthusiasts training program.  Runners, bikers, hikers and other adventurers will not want to miss this rejuvenating weekly yoga practice. 

*Option to come for only the Yoga as well.

Next Session: November 2013

Part 1:: November 7th-December 12th 6-weeks

Part 2:: January 9th-February 13th, 6-weeks

Deadline: October 31st

Time 7:05-8:00pm

Prerequisite: None!

Instructor: Birgit Nilson

 ELM Need for Speed Clinic bolstered my running and racing confidence. Because Sarah has taught me to listen to my breathing while racing and monitor my heart rate while training, i am running smarter and ultimately faster. As the clinic progressed, i noticed my reluctance to push myself into higher (more painful!)  thresholds of exertion diminished. Sarah's clinic also gave me techniques to help improve the mechanics of my running which provides a focus for my warm ups and my longer runs/ races, helps reduce my risk of injury and makes me a more efficient, faster runner. Ultimately however the best part of this clinic was running, learning and stretching my limits with great people.  -D

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dark chocolate fig bars...oh my...

Do you like figs?  No?  Get outta here!

To tell you the truth, I didn't actually enjoy my first fresh fig tasting experience.  The fresh fig texture was remarkably similar to a raw sea urchin I (should never have) tried on the beach in Baja Mexico...long story.  

After falling in love with dried figs, however, I may try the fresh ones again one day...

Dried figs are moist, chewy, rich, little gifts of goodness.  They are high in fibre, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and go for about 37 calories per fig.  You can check out some crazy fig facts online or you can just eat them...

Honestly I didn't even know I liked them until last month when I tried an Oskri Fig Dark Chocolate Bar.  I am always looking for bars that stand up to my 'is it real food?' test.  Oskri passed the test;)

Yum!  Figs AND chocolate are meant for each other it seems!
And so I was thrilled to stumble across this bag of organic dried figs at COSTCO the other day.   I have a feeling my membership will be paid in figs and coconut oil this year...

There are only 2 ingredients in the Oskri bars so I figured they wouldn't be too hard to recreate in my kitchen...Figs...and Dark Chocolate;)

I didn't have any 'good' chocolate in the house so I modified the ingredients and came up with my own version.  These bars take about 5 minutes to make and less time to eat the whole pan if you aren't carefll:)  Don't say I didn't warn you!  Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Fig Bars
2 cups dried organic figs
2 - 3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil 
*Optional: 1-2 tablespoons of chopped dark chocolate (for texture, of course:)

Chop figs and remove stems.
Mix in food processor until smooth.
Melt coconut oil and add to figs along with cocoa powder. 
Mix until combined then press into lined 8*8 pan.  
Refrigerate or freeze until set.  
Cut into 8 or 16 bars and enjoy:)
*16 mini bars at 75 calories, 1.8g fat, 13.6g carbohydrate, .8g protein each

I might double the recipe and make them twice as fat next time.  
I will also try using a nice 'good' dark chocolate instead of the powder/coconut oil...

Were they like the Oskri bars?  Yes...but with more texture & flavor...so...I think they were even better:)

Do you like figs? 
What are your favourite fig recipes?
Try this recipe and let me know what you think!
For more healthy mobile recipes check out my cookbook NRG: foods that will move you