Wednesday, December 31, 2014


This is it.  The final hours of 2014.  How do you feel about it?  Just another day?  Or a symbolic moment in time?  Or perhaps both, depending on the time of day😉

We humans love rituals and a chance for celebration.  And New Years is no exception.  In our world the New Year marks an end and a beginning... An old life fading and a new one emerging.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I Challenge YOU.

Why wait until January to improve your health?   Let's do something crazy...

This December I Challenge you to improve your health BEFORE  the New Year!  Join the ELM MY December Challenge and share your health vision with the world!  This is a free online, community challenge designed to motivate and support you to become MORE fit and healthier on January 1st than you are on December 1st!

You pick the challenge and set the goals each week and we all support each other along the way.   Let’s do this together!

Are you in? What is YOUR December Challenge going to be?  I am working on mine right now...come on over and play!


Friday, November 28, 2014

Winter's Gift

Winter's Gift

The short, damp days of fall and winter drive most Islanders into their slippers and under the covers until next years spring shoots appear. Although I have learned to love playing outdoors, during all of the seasons, I can most definitely relate to the pull of 'hibernation mode' that takes hold this time of year. I used to feel an actual sense of dread when the days began to shrink and the crickets came out to sing. Instead of enjoying the beauty, I would let dark thoughts of another cold, grey winter gather in my heart and my head. What a waste of two beautiful seasons! I have come to realize that seasons are neither good nor bad, but simply 'are'. And when you live in the most beautiful place on earth, it really doesn't matter what mother nature throws at you on any given day. You can find beauty in all of it. Rain on your face. The wind in your hair. Puddles under your boots. A golden maple leaf. A snowflake on your nose. A dark storm rolling in. When we open our hearts and eyes, we see that each season brings it's own unique gifts.

This morning, I was handed (free of charge) one of natures most precious gifts. A magical, Comox Valley sunrise. Morning people will agree, the sunrise is far superior to the sunset. The sunrise is fresh, new, full of promise and endless potential. The sunrise launches a brand new day where anything and everything is possible! I have seen thousands of spectacular sunrises and yet, I know, I will never tire of another. When a ribbon of tangerine sky catches your eye, time stands still and I, for one, will always stop to watch the show.

There is only one way to top a sunrise. Any guesses? The topper is reached by going on a 'sunrise adventure'. Wait, non-morning people, please stay with me here. If you cannot imagine getting to a window in time to catch a sunrise, then it may be hard to envision yourself getting up early enough to actually adventure out into one.

But this is where the story comes together. The shorter days of fall and winter mean that you can still sleep in under those warm covers AND get out to enjoy the sunrise. A sunrise run, ride, hike or paddle in the Valley cannot be beat. There are very few logistics to sort out beforehand. Get a buddy and get a good light. There are, however, endless opportunities to watch the show in our beautiful backyard. Kayak into the Courtenay estuary. Bike to Point Holmes. Climb the stairs at Goose Spit. Stand up paddle to the middle of Comox Lake. Snowshoe up the face of the old Forbidden Ski hill. Or my favourite, ride, run or hike up to the bluffs in the hills high above Cumberland.

This morning, we ran for our sunrise. The Valley was in a cloak of thick, damp fog. We met up in the darkness of Cumberland, whispered our hello's, switched on our lights and made our way into the woods. We didn't know where we were headed, but we knew we wanted a sunrise. And so we ran up. Up the steep and rooty single track. Up the rocky drops. Up to the mossy bluffs, high above. Up, up up we ran until we broke through the fog that had settled on the Valley floor. And there it was, just waiting for us. Up on the bluffs, the grey fog ceiling became a magical pillow floor. The sunrise arrived, pierced through the darkness and painted a dramatic watercolour show across the sky. It grew slowly but steadily and I swear that time really did stand still.

Words cannot explain the feelings of gratitude, peace and wonder that come with a well earned sunrise. Nothing else matters in that moment. Nothing but the trail under your feet, the fire in the sky and the friend at your side. There is something special about earning that show. The only way to explain it, is for you to experience if for yourself.

Get up, get out and go do it. A supernatural sunrise in the Comox Valley is one experience you won't regret setting your alarm a little earlier for. I promise.

Happy Trails,

Friday, November 21, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest!

Howwwwdy!  It's Friday Folks can I get a yeehaw?!

I'm back with a few fantastic videos that will most definitely inspire you on your quest for health, adventure and pure vida!  The final video is a a 30 minute film that is more than worth your time and I promise you it will leave you inspired (if not ready to sign up for a 100 miles lol;). 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Recipe: Dodge Balls

Have you tried the Hornby Island Energy Balls yet?  Sure you have;) AKA Hornby Hippy Balls. They are now found in a bar shape and lovely package fit to compete with the biggest bars on the market.  Huray for Hornby!  I love grabbing these for road trips and having them in my backpack for breakfasts on overnight camping trips.  They are loaded with energy and made with all natural ingredients...right in our backyard!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest! Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
I hope you are having fun and getting your ghouls and goblins on tonight!  Here are some Halloween inspired videos for you on this spooooooooky Friday night!  Have fun out there!

Liam Murphy: After Dark c/o MTB4her  Biking Tricks after dark...

 This is Downhill by Martin Gruja.   Unicycle vs Truck?  Terrifying to say the least! How the heck does he do that??  Thanks to the Adventure Blog for sharing!

The Ginger Runner: Running Trails at Night. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Perseverance 2014 Race Report

The 10th annual Perseverance Trail Run was a huge success with 350 racers, 70 volunteers, countless sponsors and supporters coming together this past weekend to raise funds once again for the Cumberland Community Forest Society. For this special 10th anniversary run, an anonymous donor will be matching 100% of the proceeds raised for the CCFS. The race was followed with a special After Party for the Forest including a massive silent auction and raffle. The total raised from this exciting 10 year celebration will be announced very soon. The CCFS is a local society working to purchase and protect forest lands in the Cumberland area.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest!

Happy Weekend!  
I hope you got out to play in the puddles today like I did:).  The trails are beautiful right now...tacky singletrack and the biggest range of colours we get to see all year.  Get out and enjoy it!  You're not made of sugar...sorry...hate to be the one to break it to you, sugarcube;)

Onward with the weekend!

en Morgen pa Stranda   from Ryan Harris.  I stumbled upon this film today and it is lovely.  A short film that portrays the great beauty of a simple mountain run on a regular morning in Norway.  Enjoy!
en Morgen på Stranda from Ryan Harris on Vimeo.

Huayhuash from Joey Schusler.  The bike adventure of a lifetime.  Awesome.  Thanks to National Geographic for sharing this one.
Huayhuash from Joey Schusler on Vimeo.

And one for the bikers...and dog lovers!  Watch Casey Brown and Poppy the Dog rip it up! Thanks to the Adventure Blog!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest!

Happy Friday Friends!
I hope you are looking forward to a weekend celebrating thanks with your family and friends!  Here are a few great video's to remind us all how lucky we really are to be a part of this great world and this great life.

This weeks video's have a Euro flare...we are dreaming of a BIG adventure in the Alps and have the mountains on our minds...

Some questions for ya:
Do you dream of running in the Alps? ELM is working on our next big travel adventure and would love your thoughts!
If so:
Would you join a 7-8 day trail running camp/retreat in the Alps? 15-25km/day on mountain trails in one of the most scenic places on earth.
If Yes, would you consider this retreat for July of 2015?
Would you prefer to run the famous UTMB route or travel to more 'off the beaten path' trails?
Would you like to experience a Euro trail or sky race as part of this type of adventure?

If you know someone that may be interested in this running adventure please pass this on!
Thanks for your feedback! Email with your thoughts!


Running the UTMB with Anton Krupicka via Victor Rins
"A few weeks back, hundreds of runners lined up to take on the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a grueling run around Mont Blanc that crosses through France, Italy, and Switzerland. It is widely considered to be amongst the toughest foot races in the world, and a true test for ultra-runners"-The Adventure Blog

The Ridge is the brand new film from Danny Macaskill... Just in case you haven't seen this one on facebook yet!  For the first time in one of his films Danny climbs aboard a mountain bike and returns to his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to take on a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline.

An Alps Travelogue To Mont Blanc
" Shot in the Alps near Chamonix, France this past July, this video follows a trio of climbers as they head to Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Western Europe. It is a wonderful three-and-a-half minute film of the journey to the summit, complete with mountain lodges, glacial traverses, and spectacular views."-The Adventure Blog

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Perseverance Party for the Forest!

There are only 50 spots left in this years 10th anniversary trail run for the Cumberland Forest!  Be sure to head over to the Perseverance website to register for the race and purchase your After Party Tickets asap!

Are you ready for a community fundraising celebration of epic proportions??  This years Perseverance Trail Run is a BIG deal and we hope that you will be a part of it!  Here is how you can help contribute to our exciting 'double your donation' fundraising campaign for the Cumberland Forest:

1.  Enter the Perseverance Trail Run!  Only 50 spots left and NO race day registrations!  Choose from the 3k Cross Country Romp or the classic 10k mountain run and put your climbing to the test.  Fun community event supporting a great cause, awesome draw prizes, yummy post race snacks and a costume contest are just a few reasons to come out and play!


2.  Attend the Perseverance After Party for the Forest Following the race from 1-5pm at the CRI beside race central in Cumberland.  You will not want to miss this 5 act, 5 hour fundraising celebration complete with a gourmet chili cook off, craft beer, circus performances and a massive silent auction with all proceeds donated (and doubled!!) to the Cumberland Forest Society. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online via race registration or in person at the Wandering Moose Cafe, Riders Pizza and Extreme Runners.

3. Raise funds, collect pledges or make a donation via our Canadahelps fundraising page for the Forest!  Once again, all donations collected will be magically doubled this year by our generous forest fairy!  Please take a moment to make or collect donations as every dollar = two!  Every dollar counts!

4.  Buy a raffle ticket (or two!) for our Perseverance Raffle for the Forest!  You could win an awesome prize from one of our awesome sponsors: 2 return tickets anywhere West Jet flies, 3 hour guided Hornby Island mountain bike tour with Island Mountain Rides, limited edition, framed Tracy Kobus print!  Tickets are $20 and they are going fast... available at Wandering Moose Cafe, Riders Pizza, Extreme Runners and ELMs classes!

With so many great ways to support this years special 'double your donation' drive, we hope that you will be able to join the celebration!  Thank you for helping us spread the word to your friends and family! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest!

Here...we...go!!!!!!!!!!!  It's Friday!! 

Happy Friday folks.  I hope you are already relaxing, laughing and enjoying the moment...and planning your adventures for the weekend:).  Well...I am, anyways! 

Here are my favourite videos from the week...there is a theme here...can you spot it?  Not very hard, I know.  But these 3 video's jumped out the most at me this week so I wanted to share them with you.  Regardless if you are a runner or not, these videos are sure to inspire you to your next adventure too!

No introductions...just sit back, relax and watch them...

The Ginger Runner: 'Squamish 50/50'

The North Face: UTBM: 'Curiosity'

Rob Krar: 'Depressions'

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Do you have a Need For Speed?!

ELM's Annual Need For Speed Clinic starts October 30th!

 Do not miss this opportunity to take your running to the next level this year! 

 If you are serious about your running, you want to run faster and further without injury.  ELM's Need for Speed Clinic will teach you the smart way to reach your running goals.

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.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Videos: Friday Film Fest!

It's baaaaaack!  I know you missed my Film Fest Videos!  I have been busy living my own real life adventures, so I hope you can't blame me for slacking off a bit on the blog.  Have no fear, I have an awesome list of videos to share with you over the coming weeks and months...ideas, adventures and inspiration to get you dreaming, planning and doing:). 

I, for one, am always dreaming and scheming of my next adventure.  The dreaming is just as fun as the doing IMO!  And so, I have created a FB support group for all of us who live to dream, plan and do... Check it out and share your bucket list dreams so we can all dream, plan and do together!

 Beautiful Scotland by John Duncan.
Sit back, relax and let this video take you on a tour of beautiful Scotland.  You may just be adding this magical country to your bucket list...

Beautiful Scotland from John Duncan on Vimeo.

Above Sea Level: Climbing Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya by Miguel Compos Unique video idea that takes you on a climbing journey with friends who appear to be having quite a fun adventure in Africa!  Is Kili on YOUR bucket list?  It's definitely on mine... Thanks again to the Adventure Blog for sharing such great videos!

The North Face: The Explorer
This is an awesome video.  Thank you North Face for creating The Explorer and reminding me of one of my main purposes in this life... Thanks to the Adventure Blog for sharing it!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hinde Sight

I climbed the Golden Hinde.  

The weather was perfect, I had a wide open schedule and the mountains were calling.  I needed to clear my head and figured a nice, long, solo 'walk about' in the mountains would be the best place to do it.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Perseverance Trail Run: Less than two months to go!

Registration is filling up for the 10th anniversary of the Perseverance Trail Run on Sunday, October 26th!  

Image: Sharon Crowe

This years race will once again feature two classic Cumberland courses: a 3k Cross Country Romp and a 10k Mountain Run. Only 350 spots are available and they will go fast so don’t wait to sign up if you plan on joining the fun!  But, there is also very special news this year...

For the 10th anniversary, race organizers are taking their fundraising efforts for the Cumberland Community Forest Society to an entirely new level. This year, an anonymous donor will be matching 100% of all donations raised through the Perseverance Trail Run! For every dollar the race raises, two dollars will be donated to the CCFS. Race organizers have launched a special fundraising drive for the 2014 event and it is not limited to racers. Anyone can donate to the cause simply by visiting the Perseverance website at so be sure to spread the word about this exciting opportunity to purchase more lands for protection in the Cumberland Forest.

 Image: Dave Prothero Photography

In addition, a special 10th Anniversary Perseverance post race after party is in the works complete with gourmet eats, craft beer and a raffle of epic proportions. Watch the Perseverance website for details on tickets and prizes which will be released shortly.
Racers can go to the Perseverance Trail Run website for free online training plans, maps of the course and to check out the list of community sponsors, photos and results from previous years. Be sure to sign up online for the Perseverance e-newsletter and 'like' Perseverance Trail Run on Facebook for all of the most up to date information.

Racers looking to improve their trail racing skills can join the ELM Perseverance Adventure Running Clinic and learn the course inside and out. The 8 week program, coached by Sarah Seads and her team of ELM 'Fearless Leaders' kicks off on Thursday, September 4th. Go to for more information and to register for this training clinic.

 Image: Dave Prothero Photography

This race has sold out three years in a row so be sure to register early to avoid disappointment. There is no race day registration and when all 350 spots are gone...they are gone! Sign up for the Perseverance Trail Run online or head down to Extreme Runners, 436 5th st and get your registration in before September 26th to get the deal on Early Bird Race fees. 
Race Organizers
Sarah Seads & Lene Curts

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Perseverance Adventure Running!

Equilibrium Lifestyle Management’s (ELM) next session of ‘Adventure TrailRunning

kicks off Thursday, September 4th with 8 weeks of fantastic fall trail running. This is the 3rd and final session of the 2014 ELM ‘Adventure Running’ series and the clinic will feature a specific training plan to prepare racers for the 'Perseverance 10k' Trail Run on October 26th in Cumberland.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Race Report: Squamish 50 Miler

Thinking about running a 50 miler?  READ THIS FIRST.

"I'm retiring!  That is IT.  I am DONE.  It is OVER.  Never EVER again.  I'm serious."

And I was.  I really, really was.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest! RUN!

This one is dedicated to the Team ELM who are heading over to Squamish this weekend for the Squamish 50mile, 50km or 23km race!  Woot Woot!  Run hard and race smart!


Trails in Motion Film Festival Teaser.  There is a Trail Running Film Fest this weekend as part of the SQ50 festivities.  Here is the festival teaser...I might just have to stay up late enough to go to the show...looks awesome.

For the love. A love letter to trail running.  This is an awesome little film about the single most important reason that we run...

for the love from luis peña on Vimeo.

Lavaredo Ultratrail 2014.  To help you visualize your first Euro day...

Lavaredo Ultratrail 2014 from storyteller-labs on Vimeo.

Zion Traverse.  Ready to run 53 miles across Zion National Park?  Go!
 Thanks to the Adventure Blog for sharing this one!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

It's that time of year again...what the heck are you going to do with all that zucchini??

The neighbours are only going to take so much of your limb length squash!  Grill it on the BBQ, bake it up zucchini stick style, fry it up like fritters with corn and smoked salmon, throw it in every sauce you make, top your pizzas and load up your quiche but first...

Make a triple batch of these beauties...

Warning: do not make these unless you like chocolate 

Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
1 cup almond butter
1.5 cups grated zucchini
1/3-1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 egg or vegan replacement (ie flax eggs)
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Handful of dark chocolate or chips

Combine all ingredients in parchment lined 8 by 8 pan...sprinkle with chocolate chips...  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  These get better as the day goes on...
Serve with my Natural Vanilla Ice Cream!  Yummmm...


What do you make with your zucchini harvest?  

Coaching Tips: Race Tapering

  The Team ELM 'River Runners', ready to ROCK their 1/2 marathon and 10k events this past weekend!  They are sooooo excited to run after their taper!  Woot Woot!  Congrats ladies!  You really did ROCK the course!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest! Adventure!

Happy Happy Friday!
Looking for a little adventure?  Here you go!

Enduro Adventure from Mavic.  Ready to get off the beaten path?  Let this little film inspire you to start planning your next back country single track epic!  Kudos to The Adventure Blog for sharing this inspiring vid!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sweet and Sticky: Maple Syrup Trail

If you are a mountain biker on Vancouver Island you have most likely heard whispers about 'that Maple Syrup trail'.  By now, you may have even gone to taste the Syrup for yourself.  So sweet hey?

If you haven't had a chance to sample the Syrup, here is a little taster for you...

I have been spending much more time in my sneakers than my bike shoes this year, and have to say that I came a little late to the party.  By the time I caught wind of the whispers this summer, the fabled Maple Syrup trail on Maple Mountain, had been well worn by thousands of wide grinning riders.  This 'new' trail was, in fact, officially opened last October by the CTSS- Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society.  Friends of friends had riden it.  Profile pics of wide spanning, 'rainbow' bridges appeared on social media.  Rumours of 'an epic ride' with a 5k climb and '10km of sweet continuous singletrack' got me salivating instantly.   It isn't very often that a south Island trail creates enough chatter to drag Valley riders out of our wonderful Cumberland cocoon.  It was time to check this trail out.

A few weeks ago a group of us managed to merge our schedules and book it down Island on a Friday.  The drive is about 2 hours from the Comox Valley and the trailhead is on Maple Mountain, a couple of kms south of Crofton.  'A 2 hour drive to ride a trail' you say?  I can now say that it is well worth the drive!

There are no other trails like it on Vancouver Island.  If you have ridden one, please correct me.  You can either ride about 5kms up the logging road, which is a good grunt with a few steeper pitches on it, but entirely rideable.  Or, you can ride up the new 'climbers trail' which has been crafted at the perfect slope for an enjoyable and very smooth single track ride.  The climbers trail was about 2/3 complete and it only left a short climb to the radio tower at the top.  I was impressed already!  A climbing trail!  The lovely, wide, 'green' trail wove it's way through shadey Arbutus forest, open grass fields and over rocky bluffs.  100 times more enjoyable than riding the road, having a trail to climb makes any ride that much better IMO. 

The view from the top gave us all some perspective on just how much elevation we had gained on our ride up.  The Village of Maple Bay, complete with tiny boats, appeared in miniature, far below. After a snack and a drink it was time to hit the 10k descent.  10k!

Maple Syrup is really like 3 trails in one.  The trail covers so much real estate that it actually travels through a very wide range of terrain from top to bottom.  It offers a combination of Hornby flow, Nimby 50 gnarl and Jughead/Blue Collar woohoo.   As it winds it's way back and forth across Maple Mountain, the trail morphs from steep, technical, rock at the start to mellow, flowy birms at the bottom.  All levels of rider will find something they love on the trail. 

The very top of the trail includes the most technical terrain, with plenty of rocky drops and steep roll overs.  The sun bakes Maple Mountain and by mid summer the dirt turns to powder, making steep pitches loose and challenging.  Quickly, the natural rocky drops disappear and the trail flows into big turns, fun descents and sweet rolling bridges (I call them rainbow bridges), reminiscent of the few park trails that I have ridden.  It is definitely a thinking trail.  After every long descent there is a punchy little climb.  Around every corner is a gnarly rock to navigate over or around.  The trail definitely keeps you on your toes.   By the time Maple Syrup merged into 'Solar Coaster' my body and brain were working overtime.   I loved it!

The trail transitions to more flow and less work over the final kms.  By then, it is a welcome break and an enjoyable way to finish the ride.  Beginners can jump in off the road to experience the lower 'Loggers lane' section of the trail, Intermediate riders can start half way up on the flow of Solar Coaster and those looking for more of a Challenge can tackle the entire trail from the steeps at the top.  Brilliant.  Helmets off to the trail builders who had the vision and even more impressive ability to execute the idea.  They have created a world class trail that will have riders returning for seconds...and thirds...and...

But don't take my word for it.  Go ride it for yourself! 

Still not convinced?  Watch this video of other people having fun riding it...and see if you can resist a road trip...

Happy Trails,

Friday, August 1, 2014

Videos: Friday Film Fest- Inspiration

Happy Friday...again!
Here are a few video's that I hope will inspire you to dig a little deeper and climb a littler higher this weekend...ready..set...go!

Women of the Mountains.  Help 'Kickstart' this documentary about women who live, train and compete in the mountains by overcoming obstacles.  Looks like it will be very inspiring and take viewers to some beautiful spots on the globe.   Thanks to the Adventure Blog for sharing this.

Vancouver Island in timelapse by Gavin Hardcastle.  Islanders will swell with pride and gratitude after watching this spectacular series of timelapse scenes on VI.  We really do live in the most beautiful place on earth.  But don't share this with too many of your friends who live out east...remember... "it always rains out here"...;)  Thank you to the Adventure Blog for sharing our little paradise!

The Lion and the Gazelle.  Arc'teryx promo video featuring ultrarunner, Joe Grant.  A wee bit cheesy but the scenery and fluid running are inspiring!  Lately I have been feeling like the Gazelle - with long solo runs in the mountains and close encounters with mama bears and even a cougar this year... How about you?  Lion or Gazelle?

Elk River Trail

Holy moly.  I found another piece of heaven in Strathcona Provincial Park this past weekend...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Flower Ridge

Every year I dream of spending my summer exploring new trails and peaks in Strathcona Provincial Park...and every year I seem to fill up all of my weekends with work, races and other adventures before summer even begins.  And list continues to grows\ longer and longer...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Videos: FRIDAY! Film Fest!

Happy Happy Mid Summer Friday people!

I hope that you have a weekend of fun adventures planned like I do;).  Here are some fun video's to help you get in the mood for FUN!
Happy Trails,

Cyanide & Happiness : The Rope.  OK let's start with a little naughty humor shall we?  You may have seen this a while back, but it is always good for another laugh;0.  Warning: contains some, um, colourful language...but it IS funny!!!  Thanks to The Adventure Blog for sharing this one.

BC Bike Race 2014 Crew Video: Happy!  Awesome wrap up video to get your toe tapping and your hands clapping:)

Pet's interupting Yoga.  I've saved the best for last...From Huffington Post Funny.  I am not one who sits through animal videos...but this one is actually awesome.  Watch it and just try NOT to smile! 

In Good Hands acupuncture Friday afternoon... Nothing mellows my body and mind like 50 long, thin needles tapped into my body.  Hee Hee.  You won't get it until you try it;).

 On the north peak of Flower Ridge!  1200m straight up!

Over the past month, I have spent more time in my sneakers than anywhere else, it seems.  I have been building my tolerance for endurance on my feet once again.  Adding time, kilometres and elevation with each run and every week.  Hoping my body would agree to a summer ultramarathon, I put the Squamish 50 (miles that is) on my calendar in pencil and let my preconceptions go...and it is looking like it might actually happen. 

 Flower Ridge on fire with meadows of wild heather.

My body is, however, completely in charge of the plan.  I fired my mind a long time ago.  Many years ago I learned that injury and illness can initiate lasting shifts in perspective.  When you are told you will never run again, you cry with joy when you can walk.   I see the world through my own set of glasses...running, health, adventure and the human body are all gifts...and none of them garaunteed for life.  And so, I run, ride, repeat, but the path and speed limit are not, ultimately, determined by me.

 South Peak of Flower Ridge

That being said...
Athletes must contiually walk the thin line between overload and overtraining to try and create the most effective stimulus and response cycle possible.  Pushing edges is not just part of the is the only way the human body knows how to progress.

And so...
Let's just say that I have had some cranky calves;0.  They have been talking at me since June, with knots and hot spots popping up here there and everywhere.  Nothing sinister or rated high enough (over 4/10) to stop the train.  But I knew I had to support my body if I wanted to keep building, pushing and progressing.  And then I fell through a wooden bridge and nearly broke both of my ankles.  Bad timing!  Did I mention I used to have bilateraly compartment syndrome in my lower legs?  The pressure was building, the tissues were swollen and they had nowhere to go...time to call in my team!

 1000m down!  Don't stand up!

I am in good hands.  Many good hands.  In the past few weeks I have been to see nearly all of my favourite people:
  • Marita Sanchez at Harbourview Massage - to release the pressure
  • Debbie Wright at Bayview Chiropractic- to put my spine back in place after the impact of such a hard fall.
  • Marian Patterson - Reflexology magic that erased my symptoms and made me feel like I didn't actually run 80k last weekend.  Wow.  
  • Michelle Hughes- DCTM and Acupuncture to support my body so it can do the healing it needs to do.  To calm my mind and make me remember that 'it is all good, man'.;)
  • Kim & Kendra at Ascent Physio...luckily I haven't had to see them in a while but I know they are always ready and willing to take me on!

We have a team to help us in our 'regular lives' change the oil, fix the brakes, cut our bangs, crunch our numbers...yadda yadda yadda... I'd say having a team that supports the old body is just as important- if not WAY more.  

Are you supporting your body?  Who is on your team?  Would love to hear what works for you!
Cheers and happy trails,

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: i/Omagic Charger

Wowza.  4:44.  That was a long run.

I like to track my adventures with the Motion X gps ap (which is rad FYI so watch for a review coming soon!) but my iPhone battery would be dead or close to it after a run this long.  So I was tickled pink to see the battery still at 100% after 4.5hours plus today!  How?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Scream You Scream We All Scream for Ice Cream!!

It is something HOT in the Valley.  Mmmmmmm...I love it:).  Time to whip up a few cool treats!  Read on for my faves...

Too often 'cool treat' synchs with crazy sweet frozen treats loaded with additives, preservatives, colouring and multiple words we can't even pronounce.  There IS a better way to cool off!!   Break the cycle.  Get creative.  Think outside the icebox;).  Create your own healthy cool treat menu and say goodbye to the crazy non-food 'treats' more often...

Here are some of my faves to get your wheels turning!

Best Ice Cream Ever .  (No joke)

Sunday Afternoon Goodies (Including frozen banana pops and coconut lime ice cream - oh my!)

What natural cool treats do you and you family enjoy when the temperature climbs?  Comment below!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest

Happy Happy Happy Happy Friday!
It's going to be an amazing sunshiney weekend on the Island!  Time to ride/run/hike to your favourite swimming hole;)  Or, why not do all three together like the boys in 'The Picnic' film, below?  Get ready, this weeks film fest might just be my favourite threesome of videos to inspire adventure...have a great weekend!


100 Miles High - Darcy Piceu Africa and the 2013 Hardrock Ultra Marathon.  If you want a taste of the 'rock' without the pain of the altitude, sit back and enjoy it from that comfy chair of yours...and just imagine...


Seven: The BC Bike Race Movie.   It has come and gone once again...the best week on a mountain bike...the BC Bike Race!  If you missed out or are dreaming of doing it 'one day'... this video should help convince you to sign up next year...stop 'one day'ing it and go for it!  This video was filmed in 2013, the year that I was lucky enough to experience the race and I managed to get about 1.5 seconds of fame...see if you can spot the blue ELM jersey...good luck;)

Seven: The BC Bike Race Movie from BC Bike Race on Vimeo.


The Picnic: a Teton Triathlon.  OMG I LOVE this little video.  A group of buddies create an epic Triathlon that combines cycling, swimming and summiting Grand Teton.  Real dudes on a real adventure...Inspiring me to create my own Valley 'Picnic'...I have some

The Picnic: a Teton Triathlon from KGB Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Review: SOLO Bars

 "Energy that sustains"  
"Low Glycemic & Gluten Free"
"Energy & Nutrition Bars"

Have you heard of  SOLO bars yet?  If not, watch for it, they are about to make a big move onto a grocery store shelf near you, very soon.  A few weeks ago I received a sample kit from SOLO, who asked me to review their 5 different flavours of energy bars.   Here goes:

"Another energy bar?" you say!  

Well, the folks at SOLO have come up with something very unique and it definitely sets them apart from the rest. They have created a bar that is 'clinically validated' to have a Low GI.

GI.  Glycemic Index.  You've heard the term before.  But what does it really mean?

The glycemic index is a scientific system of classifying foods according to how quickly they are digested and absorbed into the body. It was invented by scientists at the Canadian University of Toronto many years ago.  The GI rates foods based on how quickly their carbohydrates are converted to glucose (sugar) and released into the body.   Foods with a higher GI value are released faster and have a greater impact on blood glucose levels. Pure glucose receives a GI value of 100 and pretzels come in at 83, for example.   Foods with a lower GI value are released slower and have a more gradual impact on blood glucose levels. Foods like peanut butter and yogurt receive lower GI values of 14 and 33 respectively.  Foods that are higher in protein, fat and fibre tend to have lower GI values and therefor release glucose into the bloodstream at a slower rate.

"So what?" you say!

Low GI foods provide a slower release of sugar into the system which is believed to provide more sustained energy and increased satiety (feeling of fullness).  You know when you eat those pretzels you're going to be hungry again in 30 minutes right?  How about when you are running, biking or paddling hard?  You know when you eat that gel you are going to need another one in 30 minutes right?  Super energy spike and then crash.

In addition to the 'slow release' energy benefits for athletes and the general public, SOLO bars fit within the recommendations for a very specific population... people living with diabetes.  The SOLO bars are being marketed directly to this group. According to SOLO, their GI Bars address the 'Key Recommendations' of the Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guildelines Expert Committee:
  • "Replacing high-glycemic index carbohydrates with low-glycemic index carbohydrates in mixed meals has a clinically significant effect on glycemic control in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes."
That is the BIG angle that SOLO bars are taking to stand apart from the rest of the energy bars on the market.  They have been clinically validated to have a GI of 23-30 (low).  And they weren't just tested anywhere.  SOLO bars have been validated by the actual inventors of the Glycemic Index at the University of Toronto and used in multiple clinical studies. 

So...I asked a friend with type 1 diabetes, who is also a runner, to help me with my research;).   He woke up, ate one bar and went for a 6 km run.  When he returned, he tested his blood sugar and reported a reading of 7.  This was the magic number that he said he would have hoped for after exercise.  He noted that his post run blood sugar reading would normally be higher, up to 8 or 9, after having a banana beforehand.  His testimonial was very positive: "SOLD." he said.  "Where can I get them?" 

"What's IN them?"  you ask!

Good question!  The other side angle SOLO bars have going for them is their ingredients list.  Many energy bars AND diabetic snacks contain a nasty long list of wild and crazy chemically altered, indigestible ingredients that you cannot likely pronounce.  Now, nearly anything living in a shiney package on a store shelf has been added to or subtracted from in some way.  But on the scale of nasty-packaged-non-foods, the SOLO bar is at the VERY good end of the spectrum compared to the majority of energy bars on the market today.  Sure, it isn't just nuts and fruit like my number 1 choice, Lara Bars.  But it has many of the other bars beat for what IS and ISN'T on the ingredients list.  Specifically:
  •  190-200 calories per bar
  • 24-27 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7-8 grams of fat
  • 10-13 g protein- that's higher than most 'energy bars' but mid range for 'protein bars' IMO. They use a whey protein source.  Highly usable by the body- but yes, processed, protein source. 
  • 3-4 g fibre- small but significant enough to effect GI
  • No artificial sweeteners- I like that!
  • No high fructose corn syrup-I like that too!
  • No sugar alcohols- good!
  • No Trans Fats - phew!
  • No artificial preservatives- yes! 
  • In addition the SOLO bars are GLUTEN FREE- key for many living with celiac disease.

"OK OK! But how do they taste?!" you want to know!

Depending on who you are, what your taste buds are into and what other energy bars you are used to eating you will likely rate them as ... Pretty YUM.  

Chocolate Charger was the big winner.  I'd say YUM actually.  It was chocolate on the inside and chocolate on the outside and all that chocolate hid any non-food flavours I might have otherwise detected.  The Dark Chocolate Mandarin was a close second...there is a trend here.  The texture was lovely- light and chewy.  Different texture and flavour coating on the outside and a firm but soft centre.  Not too heavy- lighter for the caloric count,  of approximately 190 calories, than I anticipated.

The Peanut Butter and fruity flavors of Lemon Lift and Pineapple Coconut were tasty...but we got off to a bad start.  I ate these on a hot day.  Their 'coatings' had melted into a liquid pool within the wrapper.  It wasn't a good first date for us.  Never order messy food on a first date.  The solid, chewy centre of the bar was not nearly as appealing once it's 'coating' had melted away and I can't say I enjoyed eating these bars because they were messy and not as tasty.  Reminded me of the old protein bars...and I was hoping to move on from that old relationship.  I will have to try these flavours again, on a cold day;)

The moral of the SOLO bar review is this:
  • Good choice.  I will definitely pick this bar if I need something in a shiney package and there aren't any Lara Bars around;). 
  • Note: I do not know the GI of a Lara Bar...but guess they would be close with the mix of nuts (fats/protein/fibre) and dates that are the main ingredients.  That in itself might be enough of a reason for persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to actually choose the SOLO bar over another bar, including Lara Bars, even though they may have a more natural ingredients list.
  • Awesome choice for diabetics and those who NEED to know the GI of the foods they are eating so they can regulate the effect on their blood sugar.
  • Bad choice for hot days in the car or workouts in the sun! They melt.  Be warned.

Have you tried the SOLO bars?  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kusam Race Report: What goes up...

Happy Sunday!
I awoke this morning to tight calves and a series of frantic klimbing memories flashing through my mind.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ride alone...ride with friends.

This week I remembered something I didn't even know I had forgotten.  I found something that I didn't really know was lost.  Kind of like finding twenty bucks in your jeans pocket.  Sweet. 

I get up with the mailman and I most likely go to bed before your kids.  In between I'm what you'd call pretty busy.  I have learned to run and ride whenever it works best for me.  Last year, while training for the BC Bike Race my rides got longer and longer and my riding buddies got fewer and fewer.  Out of necessity, just as I slipped into solo trail running, I soon discovered the beautiful selfish solitude of riding alone.  Since those first few forced rides I have learned to love riding alone in the woods.