Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holiday Fit Gift Guide!

Need some ideas for under the tree this year?  We've got you covered!  Give the gift of health and an experience that will change the lives of your loved ones in a positive way(or yourself!).  Cheers to less stuff and more experiences!  Here are some ideas to get your inner Clause inspired:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

MOMAR Cumberland 2016 Race Report

Image: Dave Silver  - or is that a Bryan Tasaka selfie?

Can I do a short race report?  Let's find out!

Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race 2016
50kms of paddling, trail running, mountain biking and orienteering in the best place on earth- my backyard, Cumberland.  Read on for a little background, my race report and my top reasons why I love MOMAR (and why I think you should do one if you haven't already)...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Story: Magic in the Mountains

Magic in the Mountains

Originally printed in Comox Valley Collective, Spring 2016 issue 

An endless coastline, mild climate, and constant ocean breeze are all part of life on Vancouver Island. Most visitors come to Canada’s lush West Coast isle to stroll the beaches, play in the surf, and get a taste of Island time.

But Vancouver Island hides a wild secret far away from its sandy shores.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Gear Review: 66 Audio BTS Wireless Headphones

How do these things even stay on?  Cool design!

This summer, 66 Audio asked it I would like to test drive their BTS wireless head phones.  Of course I would!  I love testing new gear and was excited to see how these wireless headphones would perform on my various adventures.  I have always been an ear bud person, so I will admit I was a bit skeptical about how I would enjoy the external style headphones.  Here is how my test drive went down...

Summitting The Golden Hinde in a Single Day

I had been there before...but had never reached the summit.  My last trip to the Golden Hinde was a 3 day, solo walk-about at a pace designed to clear my mind.  This time, the pace was set to try and get to the summit and back in a single day.  Of course, it had been done before by many adventurous (and impatient) fastpackers.  But, I hadn't ever heard of a woman's single day time...

"Hey!  Wanna go for the Hinde on August 27th?"  

...And so...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Two Weeks in Iceland

This pretty much sums it up.  If you like the nature, you should just go.
Look how at peace Ms Nicole is here at Skogafoss.

Iceland is a raw land that is full of history, bold contrasts and mind blowing supernatural sights.  I recently had the chance to explore Iceland on a two week adventure and we saw a surprising amount of the country in this short time.  This post highlights our itinerary and my favourite images from our trip to the land of the Vikings.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Beat the Heat



The temperatures have climbed sky high and we are getting a real blast of summer heat – and a quick lesson in acclimating!   Some people thrive in the heat (me) and others wilt.  There are many factors that determine our ability to tolerate heat and cold including the temperature that we grew up in, how much time we spend in the heat/cold on a daily basis, body composition, stress, health conditions, genetics and more.   The great news is, our bodies do adapt through exposure and there are also many ways to prevent overheating.  Here are some tips to help you beat the heat!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Perseverance Trail Run: 2 Months to Go!

Image Dave Prothero

Registration is filling up for the 12th annual Perseverance Trail Run, taking place on Sunday, October 23rd in the Village of Cumberland! This years race will once again feature two classic trail run courses: A 3k Cross Country Romp and an 11k Mountain Run. The 3k XC Romp showcases the protected Cumberland Community Forest trails including a few ups and downs, twists and turns and maybe even a little water. This course is perfect for those looking to sample cross country running, including walkers and the little ones. The 11k Mountain Run is for those looking for a running challenge complete with steep climbs, flowing descents, technical single-track and breathtaking vistas. If you are ready to challenge your trail running stamina, this course will surely take you to new 'heights'.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Team ELM Canada rocks the 55km Iceland Laugavegur Ultra Marathon!


Eight local trail runners have just returned to the Comox Valley after completing the 55km Laugavegur Ultra Marathon in the wild Highlands of Iceland. ‘Team ELM Iceland’ trained for 5 months to prepare for the event and traveled to Iceland along with their Coach, Sarah Seads (owner of Equilibrium Lifestyle Management) for a week long adventure leading up to and including the race. Their results were impressive, considering all but two were attempting their first ultra marathon. Many of the runners, began their training at 8kms and with just 3-4 days of running per week, their race specific training plan helped them prepare effectively for the challenging 55km ultra.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Run BC Project 2016 Day 5: Nakusp Hot Springs Trail

Day 1: Keystone Standard Basin Trail: Revelstoke
Nakusp Hot Springs trail is 50 shades of green.

Run BC Project Day 5: Nakusp Hot springs Trail

Distance: Entire trail from parking to Nakusp Hot springs is 8.5kms one way.  We ran out and back for time, but you could run one way, out to the Hot springs ($ required to enter this facility fyi) and set up a shuttle scenario, or run out have a soak and then run back.  Would be an awesome bike ride as well.
Elevation: Map says 100m gain (hahah!) we ran 5.2kms each way and racked up 300m on our out and back. 
Terrain: Undulating forest path.  No major climbs or technical terrain.  Shaded forest all the way.
Map: Nakusp Trails
Bring: Bear spray (grizzly country!), camera, bathing suit and $ for the hot springs and emergency communication device such as the Delorme inReach (no cell service).

Run BC Project 2016 Day 4: Abbott Ridge

Day 1: Keystone Standard Basin Trail: Revelstoke
Yup.  Money.

Run BC Project Day 4: Abbott Ridge Trail, Glacier National Park

The best day of all?  Oooooooh it is so hard to pick a favourite!  But Abbott Ridge really did knock my socks was spec-freakin-tacular!

Distance: 13.6kms round trip
Elevation: 820m gain (it's a good steady up)
Terrain: Moderately steep dirt switchbacks to start with a good solid climb to the subalpine, then a rocky, uneven path up top. 
Map: Parks Canada
Trailhead: Illecillewaet Campground
Bring: Sunscreen, bear spray (grizzly country!), camera (and spare cards!) and emergency communication device such as the Delorme inReach (no cell service).

Run BC Project 2016 Day 3: Iceline Trail

 Day 1: Keystone Standard Basin Trail: Revelstoke

Woah Nelly!  Now this is a trail to write home about;).  Billed as the 'most beautiful trail in the Rockies' by many who have visited the area, we had to go and see for ourselves...

Taking in the awesome view of Takakkaw falls.

Run BC Project Day 3:  Iceline Trail, Yoho National Park

Day 3 of the Run BC Project saw us driving to Yoho National Park from our accomodation at  Kicking Horse mountain in Golden. There are some beautiful homes to rent on the mountain as well as an awesome restaurant to enjoy in town - 1122 (how is this fantastic gem in this wee town?).  You MUST go for post a post adventure stub and grub if you are in the area.

Distance: 20kms - loop (many options for out and backs, view points or shorter loops as well)
Elevation: 900m approximately
Terrain: Steep forested switchbacks (if you go clockwise) at the start, rocky traverse in the middle (exposed/no shade), sweet flowy singletrack along a river at the end of the loop (back in the shade).
Water: Many rivers flow across the trail from the Emerald glacier on the traverse.
Bring: Sunscreen (exposed up top!), bear spray (grizzly country!), camera (and spare cards!) and emergency communication device such as the Delorme inReach (no cell service).
Trailhead: Whiskey Jack Hostel, park at the Takakkaw Falls parking lot and walk back down the main road about .5kms to the Hostel to find the trailhead.  No parking allowed at the hostel fyi.

Run BC Project 2016 Day 2: Asulkan Valley Trail

The valley feels enchanted. There is magic in the atmosphere."
- Cartographer and explorer, Arthur O. Wheeler, 1905.
Run BC Crew running the rocky spines of Glacier National Park

Run BC Project Day 2: Asulkan Valley Trail, Glacier National Park

Distance 14kms round trip, 7kms one way to the Asulkan Cabin lookout
Elevation: start at 1245m-top out at 2114m, with about 900m of climbing/descending
Terrain: Non technical, with a section of ridge spine travel that will knock your socks off.  Light to moderate incline for the first 4kms with a good 'stiff' climb and the majority of elevation crammed into the final 3kms to the cabin.
Pack: Bear spray (Grizzly central and the park rangers had an up to date sighting/trail closure map at the entrance the week we were there), camera, sunscreen (exposed), communication device (Delorme inReach) trekking poles if you need them for a short section on steep, loose terrain.
Map: Parks Canada

Run BC Project 2016 Day 1: Keystone Standard Basin Trail

Livin the dream at Run BC2 with this rad crew of ladies!

Woweeee!  I just got home from an amazing week running and playing in some of BC's most spectacular single track with the 2016 edition of the Run BC Project and my heart (and SD cards) are full to the brim.  I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend a week in the wilderness with such a fantastic group of ladies, enjoying the beauty that our province has to offer and celebrating the gifts of health and life.  After 2 weeks of epic scenery in Iceland, Run BC was a gorgeous reminder that our province has just as much relentless beauty and out of this world terrain as the 'land of ice'.  Thanks to Jen Segger of Challenge by Choice Coaching in Squamish for organizing such a great trip and to Icebreaker for sponsoring the adventure with an amazing kit of beautiful clothing for all of the ladies.  Yes, I know how lucky I am!

I will post trip reports for each of the trails that we explored on this year's adventure along with my favourite images of each day.  Be sure to check out my trip report from last years Run BC Project as well!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Top Tips for Travelling in Iceland

So you're getting ready to fly to the fairytale land of Iceland? Whether your tickets are booked or you are still in the dreaming phase, this post is full of tips to help you prepare for the most beautiful adventure of your life.  Seriously.

Laugavegur Ultra Marathon

Wow.  I know that I say that a lot but I'll say it again, wow!  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Iceland for the 55km Laugavegur Ultra Marathon with such a rad group of ELM peeps.  I am a very proud coach after watching Team ELM progress through their training, persevere in the face of obstacles and reach the start line of this spectacular race.  I am so stoked to have had the chance to support them on their ultra journey and beyond grateful that they stepped up to join me for this once in a lifetime adventure.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Gear Review: Demon United Soft Elbow and Knee Pads

As a blogger and adventure athlete I am asked to test drive gear from a range of companies and this year I was contacted by Demon Unites to join their growing team and try out their gear.  I was excited to do so - thank you to Demon United for inviting me to the team!
*Disclosure: I was provided with a significant discount on these items as a Team member.  This is my personal review of these products and my reviews are never influenced by sponsorship- I give the straight up goods.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Team ELM is headed to Iceland for the Laugavegur Ultra Marathon!

Image c/o Laugavegur Ultra Marathon


Local Kinesiologist and running coach, Sarah Seads of Equilibrium Lifestyle Management, is headed to Iceland this July with a Team of 8 local runners to complete the rugged Laugavegur 55km Ultra Marathon.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Mind Shift: The Power of Perspective

Deep thoughts by Sarah Seads.  Great photo by Karen McKinnon.

I dropped an egg on my kitchen floor this morning.  A raw egg.  Ooops.  You know that feeling.  Shi*.

This year has been full of... surprises for me.  You just never know what is around the next bend.    For me, it was a new sport, a black diamond XC ski run and a headfirst crash into the boards.  6 months of persistent whiplash symptoms and a scratched race card, things aren't quite turning out how I had expected them to.  Shi* happens.  I can be pissed off or I can be neutral or I can pick up my rose coloured glasses and let the light in...ahhh...that's better!  Of course, I have gone through all of the stages of emotions, it is only natural.  But as a 'half full' gal, I chose to fast forward through the negative ones and get to the good stuff.  Gratitude- for the health I do have, for the many other ways I can move my body, for the beautiful place I live in and the beautiful people I live with.  Racing is fun, but, it is just one small part of this wonderful life.  Recently, a new perspective was handed to me...from a card reader.  With fear in her eyes, she told me that I should be grateful I had crashed when I did.  She told me that if I hadn't jumped out of the tracks and launched headfirst into the snowbank when I did, that I would not have survived the crash at the bottom of the hill.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But until that moment I hadn't actually seen that perspective at all.  Woah.  Game changer.  She got me thinking that I should not just be positive, but that I should actually be grateful for the experience.  Yup.  Mind shift.  Perspective is powerful stuff.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Music to Move You

A friend just gave me a mixed CD for my birthweek:)  How fun is that?  Remember the days where you made your friends mixed tapes for roadtrips, birthdays and just because (and didn't worry about being thrown into jail for sharing music with your peeps lol?).

Friday, May 27, 2016

Grand Canyon Ultra: You Gotta Know When to Hold Em'...

Deep thoughts from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

I'd love to share a long winded and inspiring race tale from the Grand Canyon Ultra with you but...this will be my shortest ever race report.  You will have to read Kim's Flying Phalanges blog for that-as she had the best race of her life! Yay Kim you rocked that 50mile course! You so earned that.

Here goes mine:

12 miles.  That's how far I made it.
2 hours 40 minutes.  That's how long I limped along on the course to reach aid.
30 minutes.  That's how long I ran before I knew my race was over.
The end.

Friday, May 13, 2016

#explorethevispine Port Alberni Inlet to Log Train Trail 37kms

Sun drenched bluffs and views that go on and on and on...

Thank you for joining me on the #explorethevispine challenge!  This year I will be running ultra sections of the Vancouver Island Spine Trail as a way to raise awareness, support and resources for VISTA, the amazing team behind this truly visionary, 700km trail.  Be sure to check out the #explorethevispine page on this blog to find out more and to learn how you can join me in supporting this great cause.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Go Team ELM Go! Exciting news from ELM!

Team ELM has been rockin race courses all over the globe this spring!  From the Comox Valley Snow to Surf Relay to a Half Marathon in Sweden, Team ELM has crossed all sorts of exciting race finish lines already this year!  Read on to find out what Team ELM has been up to and what is coming next...

Comox Valley Royal Lepage Snow to Surf Relay: Team ELM rocked their way to another gold medal in the Masters Women category this year!  That is 7...or 8? times on the top of the podium for these amazing ladies!  SO awesome to spend the day cheering and being cheered on the course.  The S2S never disappoints- it is always a great day!  Check out photos of the fun online here!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Year of Fears: Part 2, 3 and 4

I am not quite sure how it can be the middle of April already but that is what the calendar says!  Time to catch up on my 'Year of Fears' posts.  At the start of the year, I posted about a desire I had this year to start to get cozy with the icky, awkward and sometimes even scary things that I normally tend to avoid.  It all kicked off with a ridiculous ziplining adventure 200 feet above the jungles of Panama- you can watch my gopro video of this exciting adventure here.  What else have I been getting cozy with this year?  Here is an update...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My TEDx Presentation: Human Potential and the Power of the Mind

Back in the fall of 2011 I was invited to speak at the inaugural  Comox Valley TEDx event.

"TED what?" I asked?

And so, my love affair with all things Technology Education and Design began to blossom, alongside millions of other humans around the world.  For those of you who have yet to dive into the TED universe, you don't know what you are missing!  TED talks are very short presentations on every single topic that you could possibly dream up.  Experts, personalities and generally interesting people share their thoughts on anything they believe is meaningful, in under 18 minutes.  From motivation to space exploration and everything in between, there is something captivating for everyone over at TED.

Monday, April 4, 2016

#explorethevispine Shawnigan Lake to Lake Cowichan 49kms

Sandra on the Kinsol Trestle

Thank you for joining me on the #explorethevispine challenge!  This year I will be running ultra sections of the Vancouver Island Spine Trail as a way to raise awareness, support and resources for VISTA, the amazing team behind this truly visionary, 700km trail.  Be sure to check out the #explorethevispine page on this blog to find out more and to learn how you can join me in supporting this great cause!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

#explorethevispine With Me!

Have you heard the news?  In case you missed my big announcement (which is going viral on Facebook woohoo!), here are the details about my upcoming Adventure Run...for a great cause!  Follow along via the new page on this blog called: #explorethevispine

I have a BIG adventure planned for 2016...and I am inviting YOU to join I explore the Vancouver Island Spine Trail! 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Mind Games: 10 Tips for your Motivation Toolbox

It's sideways raining...again.  I'll go later...  I'll go tomorrow...  I don't want to go!

Been there?  Me too!  Yet people are often surprised to hear me even whisper about periods of low motivation let alone announce them to the world.  They expect me to shout rah rah rah from the rafters day in and day out.  And quite honestly, mostly I do;).  But I think it is important to share that I also feel the weight of inertia slowing down my mojo or even threatening to paralyze my body from time to time.  It has happened before.  It will happen again.  And it happens to everyone including me and you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Workout Wednesday!

Hello Friends!
No gym?  No motivation? No problem?  Put your sneakers on, crank the tunes, clear a spot on your living room floor or head to the park.  Want to get stronger?  Leaner?  More toned?  Become a ninja? Do this workout this week!  Getterdone!

Warm up with 5-10 minutes of gradually increasing movement- walk, jog, stairs, dance in your house! Sub exercises for what you have- can't get outside for a run/walk?  Skip!  Dance!  Go up and down your stairs!  Don't have a pull up bar?  Get under your kitchen table and pull yourself up from the edges!  Or, do a back bridge on the floor, from your hands.  You've got options.  Not excuses.  Do the circuit 1- 3 times...1 for first timers, 2 for challengers and 3 for those looking to ramp it up to the next level!  That's it!  Done!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Year of Fears: Part 1 Zip Lining in Panama

"The fears we don't face, become our limits." ~Robin Sharma

Have you ever thought about it that way?  Until recently, I certainly hadn't.

I don't consider myself a very 'fearful' person. I usually look at obstacles as challenges to try and overcome.  Big old mountain to climb?  Let's go!  Ocean to cross?  There must be a way...  Scary rock to descend?  Let's find a way down.  Up, over, under, around or through- there always seems to be a way.   Life is an adventure and I want to experience as much as I can on my trip around the sun.

However, I, like most humans, have a few fears hiding under the bed and lurking in the dark corners of the woods.  Confessions: Sky diving terrifies me, being charged by barking dogs paralyzes me and all my closest peeps know that I am a 'barfaphobic' (apparently the Google says it's even got a name lol, 'Emetophobia', so I know I'm not the only one!).

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Training Principles: Recovery


By Sarah Seads, BA Kinesiology

Training doesn't make us stronger. We need recovery for that.

The body is an amazing, adaptive machine. Overload it with a new stimulus and it will respond with adaptive mechanisms and rebuild itself to handle the new load. Wowza.

Want to get stronger? Lift more.

Want to run faster? Run faster.

Want to run further? Run longer.

Want to improve range of motion? Reach further.


Yes and no.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies

Happy Saturday!
It is time to make some power packed cookies to fuel your adventures for the weekend!  Thank you to ELM Super Coach Kathy Penner for sharing the original Hollyhock recipe, which I have reworked to create my own, based on what I found in my kitchen this morning-hee hee. 

These cookies are full of natural ingredients, allow for 101 variations and they literally took me 5 minutes to mix up while I was waiting for the coffee (Brad) and tea (me) to brew this morning.  I am posting this recipe while they are cooking in the oven!  You can find all of my favourite whole food recipes in my cookbook NRG: Foods that will move you!  Download your own e-cookbook today!

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies
Makes 2 (small) dozen
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Mix dry in a small bowl.  Mix wet in a large bowl.  Mix together and fold in additions.
Drop in small spoonfuls onto baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes until golden brown.

1 cup ground almonds (you could use spelt or any other whole grain flour here as well)
1 cup ground oats
1/4 cup ground flax
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup melted coconut butter
1 cup natural almond butter (or any nut/seed butter you like)
1/2 cup maple syrup (yum!)
1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup whole oats
1/3 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup raisins (or any other dried fruit like sour cherries!)
1/3 cup dark chocolate

Enjoy your weekend...and your cookies!


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mental Strength: Harnessing the Power of Intention

The end of one year and the transition into the next is the perfect time to reflect, reset and reboot.  You know I love the energy of a new year!  And you likely know that I am a strong believer in the power of intention.  We coaching geeks love goals.  Dream goals, long term goals, short term goals, weekly and daily goals.  We love them all.  Why?  Because we know how powerful these simple tools for motivation and action really are.  No trendy gimmicks.  No expensive contracts.  No state of the art or latest greatest craze.  And definitely no guru's charging your credit card on a monthly basis.  Just you and your vision.  Nothing fancy.

Intention is a powerful thing.  The thoughts that we cultivate day in and day out feed our minds just as the air we breath and the food we eat feeds our bodies.  We are not only what we eat.  We are, in fact, what we think.