Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve Run

I am wet. I am cold. But I am smiling.

Flashback about an hour and a half ago and it was a different scene entirely. I was dry. I was warm. And I had a scrunched up grimace on my face. Standing and looking out into the fading grey light of the last afternoon of 2009 I was faced with a very uninviting sight. Rain. Loads of rain. Rain coming down sideways and in sheets at the same time.

Of course I was procrastinating my run. Who wants to go outside in that? I had put off my run all day in order to wrap up work projects and tidy up loose ends before the year expired. But it was 3pm and it was now or never with fading daylight. So, there I stood in front of the living room window with that little grimace.

But I had to go. There was no option. It was New Years Eve for crying out loud! Days like this were made for celebrating with a run and my mind was made up already. Ear buds jammed in, collar snugged up, hat pulled down I walked out into the storm.

I won't lie, the first 10 minutes was no bueno. I was cold and could feel the rain running down my neck. But after that things changed minute by minute.

I warmed up, loosened up and got into the rhythm of my easy run pace. Checking the heart rate monitor to keep my speed down, scrolling through they iPod to get the right groove on, and dancing with the puddles to keep my feet dry... I ran.

Then something amazing happened. The light changed... and it moved me. The sky didn't open up or throw a rainbow at me- no it was much more subtle than that. You know that WOW lighting when the sky almost seems back-lit, the air around you appears to glow, and the landscape seems to be highlighted somehow? If you have experienced this WOW lighting then you know exactly what I mean. If you haven't, then I suggest you go outside on rainy grey-sky days more often.

My world changed for that one moment and a heaviness that I didn't know I was carrying was lifted off my shoulders and thrown up into the sky. Funny thing is, I wouldn't have felt that way if I hadn't started out in the rain. From grey to was a wonderful feeling.

About half way through my run I decided to pull out my earbuds and shut off the tunes. I wanted to hear my thoughts. New Years Eve brings many thoughts to my already buzzing brain and I wanted to let them flow un-interupted.

It was only then that I heard the rain and wind dancing in the shrubs and trees and leaves around me. It was a beautiful sound and my ears opened up to grab more of the same. I became lost in my senses - smell, sound, sight, and touch as I jogged along the winding forest trails of my neighbourhood. I was completely in that moment and again I was filled with wonder, happiness and peace, really.

This is my tale of change. In life we are constantly thrown curve balls when we least expect or seemingly deserve them. There will always be low times. BUT take solace in the thought that life is ALWAYS changing and before you know it your sky will light up and you will see the world in a new light. Even on those dark days, your world can change in an instant.

Keep on keepin' on (as my Grandma Lily always said:)

Cheers to 2010!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Live, Laugh, Love

It really is that simple:)

Hola Amigos!

I am back from holidays and now I am in desperate need of some rest! The 7 day Christmas cruise with Grandpa and all the grandaughters was crazy-ridiculous-fun and I was totally exhausted by the end.

I managed to stick with my running program on the ship as it had a full gym and outdoor running track on the upper deck. Awesome views during my runs up there! I was missing my bike and the beautiful west coast forest like CRAZY by the end of my holiday, however:)

I will post a video of the track at the end of this blog fyi:)

After the cruise I was home for a day then we flew off to Kelowna for the Christmas holidays. It was SO relaxing and fantastic to come down to earth from the insanity of the cruise. I had some great runs in the hills of Knox Mountain park and finally got to put my 'subzero' sugoi running gear to the test! Minus 10 and FREEZING! I had my speedskater hood AND a toque on and could not feel my chin:) Crazy cold there...don't think this Island girl would survive an entire winter out there!
Now it is back to my wonderful reality.

Having a moment to pause during holidays gives me some breathing room and allows me to take stock of what I have and where I am in this crazy life. I like that.
I am getting stoked for 2010 and you can bet I will have some New Years thoughts to blog about over the next few days...
Back to work this week...but a short week will allow us all to ease back into things:))
A HUGE thank you to all of you who voted for me in the 2009 Get Out There Magazine People's Choice Awards! I am still flying high on your praise:) Thank you thank you for your amazing support!

Running at sunrise on the Royal Caribbean 'Mariner of the Seas'...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Voted #1 Personal Trainer in Western Canada!!

I have just received some very good news:)

Get Out There Magazine has just released their 2009 People's Choice Awards and I have been voted the Top Personal Trainer in Western Canada!!

I am thrilled! When I got the call from GOT magazine
I was completely shocked because I had no idea they were even running the
competition. To be voted number one by the 'people' is such an
honor. I have been walking on cloud nine ever since I found out!

I love what I do and feel very lucky to work in a field
that is also my life passion. My clients inspire ME every day and I am so
grateful for the opportunity to work with such amazing individuals.

Check out the latest issue of GOT magazine at:

Wootwoot toot toot!!
Cheers and Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Heading South


I am packed and on my way to L.A. where I will set sail with my family for a cruise to Mexico:) Fish tacos and warm water swims here I come!
The office will be closed until December 23rd when I return for a day before heading off again to Kelowna for Christmas.
Winter registration is ON while I am away, however! Go to to find all of the info you need to sign up for your favorite Fitness Adventure with ELM this January!
Want to pick up a copy of the new cookbook: NRG foods that will move you before Christmas? Contact Liz at and she will make sure you get one!
Happy Holidays!
Hasta Luego Amigos!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

NRG: Foods that will move you!

Exciting times at ELM this week!

New Website, Cookbook and ELM Customer Appreciation Night all came together for Friday evening making it one busy week! We pulled it off and here are the details!

NRG: Foods that will move you!
You asked for it and now you can have it! All of my secret recipes are OUT and you can create your own mobile NRG for work or play!

The cookbooks will be available:

  • Next Friday, 3-5pm, Dec 11th Comox Mall by the Liquor Store. Come down and see us and you can try some sample recipes from the book!
  • In the Comox Valley: before Next Friday, Dec 11th by Emailing ELM at I will arrange to drop one off to you this week before I head out of town for the holidays.
  • Online via the ELM store later this week! You will be able to order your own copy to be shipped OR as an e-book to be downloaded on your computer as soon as the ELM online store opens for business. Stay tuned!

ELM WEBSITE! New site online NOW!

CUSTOMER Appreciation Night!

We had a great time mixing and mingling with ELM and Extreme Runners family on Friday night. And at the end of the night we drew 2 names for our big winners:

PAGAN MACKAY 10 week running or hiking clinic with ELM

CARLENE STEEVES pair of running shoes from Extreme Runners!!

Contact us to pick up your prize!


December XMAS Light Runs!

  • Tuesday: 5:30pm, Extreme Runners... 6km flat run to Farqueson road lights!!
  • Thursday: 5:30pm, Crown Isle Resort Parking lot... 8-10k HILL run to check out the best lights in the Valley!!
  • $15 drop in with $5 going to our Hamper Families:) Please bring a donation for the hamper also if you can!
  • Please RSVP if you can make it! Everyone welcome!!!



Saturday, December 5, 2009

NEW ELM Website Online Now

Hello and Happy Saturday!

I am in my office, waiting to Skype in to my NCCP Cycling course:) So I thought I would post a quick blog to invite you to visit the ELM Website ... new and improved!

After 8 years with my original ELM site, it was time to revamp the site - and Nathaniel from Nrichmedia has been working overtime to get it up and running this week. HUGE thanks to Nathaniel!

Please stop by and check it out. The navigation is way better, there are amazing photos in the top banner (refresh to see them all:) and the ELM Store will be open for business this week!

I would love to hear your feedback and please let me know if there are any ooooops that I need to take care of!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ELM December Challenge

I think you need a challenge.

But I don't want to tell you what you need to do so I am leaving that part up to you. You pick your challenge.

For the month of December I am challenging you to set and REACH a goal that is meaningful to you. A challenge should be just that - challenging. But it should also be realistic, specific, and meaningful to you.

WHY join the ELM December Challenge? Not only will you put your goals at the top of your personal priority list but you will also find MOTIVATION through accountability to others. Say your goal OUTLOUD and you are more likely to reach it.

Your December Challenge can be ANYTHING meaningful to you! Nutrition, fitness, lifestyle...anything goes. December is a great time to get serious about your goals and set yourself up for sucess during the holidays. Don't wait until january to make a change - start now!!

Here is how it works:
1. Go to the ELM Facebook page and RSVP to the event: ELM December Challenge
2. Pick your challenge
3. Post your challenge on the event WALL
4. Check in to let us know how you are doing!

There are no fancy prizes or awards for reaching your goal (but you can set your own rewad up:)just the satisfaction of putting your health first!

So...what's YOUR challenge?

Can't wait to see you at the ELM December Challenge!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And the winner is...


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


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

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

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

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

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

Diana Olsen
Grade 5 Valley View

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


Monday, November 23, 2009

Bright Lights, Big City, Biking and Bruises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"SNo" Way!

My friends are crazy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liz, capris?? Seriously!

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

I told Liz she should make a snow angel.

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

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

Monday, November 16, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Trails!


Happy Monsoon Monday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

My shoes are dirty.

Have a great soggy day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time to Celebrate 8 Years!


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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

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

Felicite Rwemalika
AKWOS, Rawanda

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week in Pics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

I feel a Need for Speeeeeed!

That's's baaaaaaaa aaaaaaack...

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

National Chocolate Day

I thought that might get your attention!

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

Monday, October 26, 2009

Perseverance Post Race Report

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

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

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Perseverance Photos Part 1


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

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

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

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



Saturday, October 24, 2009



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Looking back and looking ahead...

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

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

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

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

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

Hideous but memorable...

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

What IS up with ELM?

WHAT'S UP WITH ELM you ask??

PLENTY in the next couple of weeks!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you can join us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

What better way to spend a stormy fall day?

Cheers and Happy Fall Trails!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Royal Victoria Marathon & Half!

Congratulations Racers!!

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

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

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

Lisa and Karen just getting warmed up...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Results can be found online::

Have a great week!