Thursday, May 27, 2010

MEC BIKEFEST!



MEC BIKEFEST: SUNDAY MAY 30TH!



A celebration of of bikes and biking culture in Victoria. Bike Swap, instruction, demos, and much more. Check out the excitement!

Bike lovers rejoice! This Sunday, MEC is hosting their annual bike festival in cities across Canada. The Victoria festival will be downtown in Centenial Square (behind City Hall) and runs all day from 10-3pm.

MEC has invited me to speak at the festival and I will be sharing my tales of Adventure Racing - the good the bad and the muddy! I will be on stage around 10:30am - stop by for a laugh, come check out my new book FIT & FREE and you could win some great prizes!!


Hope to see you there!!

Sarah

PS: I love my bike:)



Sunday, May 23, 2010

MOMAR Squamish (what not to do part 2)

WOOT WOOT!

I just arrived home from another fantastic MOMAR race experience in the windy town of Squamish. At this moment I am taking a break from icing and elevating my right calf (more to come on that) to post a quick race report ... for those of you who weren't there to experience the drama for yourselves!



Long and Dirty:

Race morning revealed some serious competitors - both Lina Augaitis & Lucy Eykamp were onsite and in my solo female category. I knew it was going to be a tough day trying to keep these uberfit ladies in my sights!



Race started at Quest University with a 1km sprint around the school and back to our bikes to spread out the racers. Click clack click clack the dangerous sound of bike cleats filled the air!



Onto the bikes after a few minutes of hard running and straight into a serious climb on the bike chasing both Lina and Lucy who were fast out of the blocks!



Jen Segger nearly killed me with that race start! Adrenaline combined with steeeeep logging road and technical uphill single track led to unrelenting hike-a-bike near-hyperventilation and 200 beats per minute on the old heartrate monitor. Course designer Jen, did say the start would 'warm us up' quickly!



Soon we were into some steady riding and I was side by side with Lucy at the first CP...but lost my race quickly after that. We came to a fork in the road...blue and pink flagging that we had been following was on the left and went uphill...pink only flagging on the right and downhill...



I didn't skip a beat and followed the blue and pink...but Lucy went right on the pink and I thought she was going off course... Silly wabbit...pink was for the long course...blue was for the short course. I took off up the hill hard thinking I would make some time before she realized her mistake and caught me...

I gave er up that hill. Going the wrong way of course! And the faster you giver the faster you go off course, of course.



My first lesson of the day was that KHARMA works very quickly. And she got me right away for that one:).



Oblivious and climbing hard, I was lucky that solo racer John Markez came up behind me (in first place and probably wondering what the hell I was doing in front of him lol) and filled me in on my tragic mistake. A big THANK YOU to John for saving my hide from digging myself any deeper into that one.



Sheeeeiiiiittt! Back DOWN the hill and back ONTO the correct course...repeating pink pink pink in my head so I wouldn't redo that mistake. Disheartened to find out I had lost about 10 minutes to the girls ahead I had a little pity party on the road. But it didn't last long! After climbing the blue & pink hill for a SECOND time (and, yes, it was harder the 2nd time lol) I arrived at the CP and the start of THE BEST TRAIL EVER.



Yes, the newest addition to the Squamish bike network, HALF NELSON, is unlike any trail I have ridden before. 2.5kms of liquid gold- it is a smooth packed, park-like trail with overhead birms that rip up your speed and send you hammering up and over table top after table top. Seriously folks, I had to slow down to avoid getting too much air:) I had that 'tickle hill' feeling in my belly and was giggling like a wee schoolgirl the entire time:)

I have no doubt that there are riders who are doing backflips and all sorts of insane aerials on this trail. I am sure we will see a video featuring this trail in no time- although I am quite certain I will not be invited to perform lol:) At one point we actually went UNDER another trail and a quick peak upwards revealed a bridge about 10 feet overhead! Just go ride it and see it for yourself. Crazyness.



Huge thank you to Jen for including that one in the course this year:) That was the highlight of my race for sure!



After whoop whooping and chasing my new racing friend and fellow crashing cramper, Marshal, around the birms for what seemed like forever, it was back on the road and up to the start of the O-Course after about 1:50hrs.



Did I say this would be a short race report? Just changed my mind:)



I had been fighting off some twinges in my medial calves during the last minutes of the bike and was ready to chug fluids and stuff some salty margarita clif blocks in my belly at the Transition to the O-course. BUT the moment my right foot touched the ground I experienced a calf cramp like no other that sent me rocketing off my bike.



I tried to keep calm but the grimacing and stiffled yelps must have given me away cause I had some concerned looks from the kind volunteers at Transition:) Cramping that badly 2 hours into a 5.5hour race was not a good thing. And turns out that cramp did some serious damage to my right calf that has me looking for cruches today:(



My medial gastroc just balled right up and I had to kinda tear it so I could stand up and waddle onto the course. No bueno.



Anyways, sob story short, the worst was behind me and my legs loosened up so I could walk-jog on the o-course which was thankfully quite flat (compared to the Chief!). The O-course was pretty easy without any tricks or sneaky placements and plenty of trails to connect the dots. I decided to take some risks trying to make up a few minutes with a couple of bushwacks which didn't actually make up any time but were fun anyways:). Bushwack through an overgrown boulder field anyone? Tee hee:)



Popped out of the o-course happy and ready to get back on the bike and see where I was in the big scheme of things. I had managed to lose both my glasses and one of my water bottles and was beginning to think that lady luck had given up on me entirely when someone had turned in my glasses at the O-course! That made me happy and off I went down the Powerhouse Plunge on my bike.



CRAMPY crampy crampy...chug chug chug...munch munch munch...ahhhhh relief came at the bottom of the Puntledge Plunge with a water station. Along the way I met fellow wounded soldiers along the trail. Fellow cramper, Marshal caught up and passed me on the bottom of the Plunge. But then I came upon him in a yardsale in the middle of the trail and he pretty much summed it up: "Every time I crash I cramp!". So true!

Down to the water station/CP and a mandatory gear check was announced: "Whistle and space blanket please.".



"Whistle? Seriously? You must be kidding?" I think I actually said those words to the sweet volly as an insane smile came across my face.



Those who know me, including my well-trained students of the wild, know that I never go anywhere off road without a whistle. Rapattack nearly drilled that fox 40 whistle right into my skull back in my forest fire fighting days. We had to have one around our neck at all times (not to mention it had to touch the pavement when you were doing your punishment push ups in Bootcamp). So, now I never leave home without one.



I didn't have a whistle. Gasp.

I could have sworn it wasn't on the list...I was losing it! Only minutes before the race start I had spoken with my 'FRIEND' Andy to confirm this inconsistency. Our conversation had been something like this:



Me-"Andy, whistle wasn't on the gear list this year right?"

Andy-"Nope. No whistle this year.

Me- "Kay- just wanted to double check".

Then I took my whistle off my pack.



Sob story short...I lost 5 minutes (gained them really) for not having a whistle. Serves me right. Silly wabbit!



Getting over it and back onto my bike I took off for the Chief! Hammering down the logging road to make up as much time as possible...



The Chief was intense but well worth the climb of course! Up Up Up...the 'death march' went on...head down, hands pushing on thighs, arms grabbing trees and rocks and chains and long-weekend tourists and anything else to take the burden off the legs. Eventually the top appeared and the wind was fierce on the summit! Those poor girls volunteering up there all day... THANK YOU for doing that for us!



I don't think I actually stopped to look around. 5000 feet off the deck with scenery to die for and I just started running back down to the rappel site cause I saw Lina was only 4 minutes ahead of me! Turns out she had lost a few minutes on the O-Course and by taking a wrong turn on the way up to the top of the Chief and now 2nd place was insight.



The rappel ROCKED. Full vertical, great 60m from a nice overhang left me dangling and whoop whooping all the way to the bottom. Almost reminded me of rapelling out of the old 212...



Back on solid ground it was a scramble to get down the Chief as fast as possible and back to the bike...



Ripped through the river & into town with a local, Brandon AKA King of Valley Cliffe (lady luck was back:) and down to the main drag and finish line. BUT you aren't finished YET!



Amongst the cheers and jeers of chronic heckler, MC Dave Norona, we were told we still had to do a little 'urban navigating' through town. 2 CPS...sorry Bryan & Jen ... if there is one thing I dislike more than hike-a-biking...it is the urban nav! I am sure there are some people that love it...like my new race buddy Brandon who had friends and family honking and cheering him on the entire time!



Back to the finish and woohooooo! We did it! 5:37 was a good long race...seemed just as hard as last year even though we were out there for an hour less!



Post race gabfest with the other girls revealed the final twists and turns: Lucy was in the lead after the O-course...and had about 10 minutes on Lina after the Chief...but she got turned around on her bike on the way to town so Lina moved up to first and I finished only a few minutes behind both of them - I luckily managed to hold onto 3rd place even with my costly 5 minute whistle penalty!
Full Race results are online now!



Moral of the story:: ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. So never ever give up:). You never know...


Thank you to Jen, Bryan and the amazing team of volunteers that made this great event happen. Best race ever! Never stop doing what you do better than anyone Bryan! MOMAR ROCKS!

Thanks for reading...now go outside and play:) Hopefully I will be able to (snif snif) join you soon:) Visualizing,

SS

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MOMAR: What not to do...

MOMAR Squamish this weekend...how stoked am I?

This will be my only Adventure Race of 2010 (sniff sniff) as I am tackling other adventures this summer and fall...and heading to Peru with my crew of 12 women this September. My buddy Andy is looking forward to beating me in the Cumberland race this year lol=)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

FUEL RULES



My big sister (left, toothless in 70s rainbow stripes) is getting ready to race her first half marathon! YEAH BIG SEEESTA YOU CAN DO IT!

This past weekend she ran her longest run ever with her partners in crime on the Galloping Goose in Victoria...18kms! Although they lived to tell the tale and felt great for most of the distance, I think they all suffered a bit at the end of the big run. Heavy legs, stiches and dieing of thirst they finished up a 2 hour run with little more than a few sips of water and a few Clif gel blocks between all 3 of them.

Going for a 30 minute run is one thing...training for endurance is an entirely different beast that requires some attention to nutrition. So, here are my 'Fuel Rules' for keeping your machine moving (and smiling) during those looooong runs and workouts.

Fueling Systems: #3 During Exercise

For high intensity events over 60 minutes and moderate intensity events lasting greater than 90 minutes.


A carbohydrate and electrolyte source is needed to maintain energy to the working muscles and to the nervous system. There are many different choices when it comes to pre-packaged fuel-replacement systems and natural foods. All have their own preferences. One thing is for certain-you need to practice eating during training so that you can find out what works best for you. NEVER try a new system on race day!


FUEL RULES


(read article online)

Aim for 30-60g of easy to digest carbohydrate/hour (150-300calories)

Sports Drinks. Most combine a blend of sugars; glucose, sucrose, fructose and some contain electrolytes as well (vitamins and minerals). Look for drinks that contain 13-19g of carbohydrates per 8oz (4-8%). A higher concentration is slow to digest and can cause cramping, bloating, diarrhea and nausea during your workout. You would need to consume approximately 2-3 8oz bottles per hour of sports drink at this concentration to obtain the recommended carbohydrate and water intake.

Gels & Jelly like treats. Same as sports drinks but without the water, gels are easy to pack in small pockets. Most contain 25g carbohydrate. Aim for 1-3 of these per hour depending on your size and effort level-PLUS be sure to consume 1-3 cups of water with your gels or your mouth will be glued shut with gu!

Bars. Contain carbohydrates as well as a small amount of protein and fats. Bars are easy to pack, durable and add variety and substance to longer workout nutrition plans. Look for those made up of mostly carbohydrates (sugars and grains) with less protein to avoid stomach upset. Look for 25g carbohydrate and less than 15g protein per bar as protein is not a significant source of energy during your workouts. Also be sure to have water on hand to help digest bars.

Fruit. Dried fruit is natural, contains vitamins and minerals and packs in carbohydrates. Aim for 1-2 ‘servings’ per hour- that’s ¼ cup of dried fruit such as raisins, dates or cranberries. Watch out for dried fruits that contain preservatives as these may upset a sensitive stomach! Be sure to consume water along with dried fruit.

Ensure that your nutrition system includes adequate levels of electrolytes-minerals such as sodium, calcium and potassium that are critical to muscle contraction and help to maintain a safe fluid balance. Failure to replace sodium losses is more likely to result in 'hyponatremia' during endurance events lasting longer than 2-4 hours than shorter events as higher volumes of water are consumed. Choosing a sports drink in place of water will decrease this risk by replacing sodium lost through sweat.

Longer Distance Events.
Endurance events lasting longer than 4 hours poses additional nutrient demands on an athlete. Protein, fat and sodium are required to keep the body in balance and provide adequate nutrition for the long haul. The largest nutrition challenge facing an ultradistance athlete is consuming adequate calories to sustain the competitive intensity.

Athletes can easily burn 600-800 calories per hour in these demanding events and it is not possible to replace this deficit due to absorption limitations, loss of appetite, logistics and GI distress. Some common whole foods include banana-peanut butter wraps, boiled/salted potato's, bagel sandwiches, pretzels, fig newtons, and graham crackers. Experimenting with a variety of foods during those long training sessions is the best way to learn what works for you and your body needs.


Go to the ELM site for a whole list of articles on fueling!

Happy Trails!
SS

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sunrise Bootcamp this Week


Hello and Happy Friday!

I hope you have had a chance to get outside and play in this amazing spring sunshine:) I know our Sunrise Bootcamp recruits have been taking full advantage! Check out my little Picasa collage from this weeks classes...good times at Sunrise!


Not finding time for your workouts? Slotting your fitness in first thing in the am is a perfect way around this obstacle. Set the alarm clock a bit earlier, get moving and get er' done early. You will still manage to get everything on your list done for the day AND you will have WAY more energy to do it. Survey says.... Early Morning Workouts ROCK!


OK Fit & Free is heeeeeeeeerrrrrrre! Last night at 5pm I picked up my first (mini) shipment of my new book and ripped it open. The books look awesome and I am pretty pumped to get them into your hands! I Once the full shipment arrives I will be sure to let you know where you can get your own copy:) Read what people are saying about Fit & Free...

Time to taper down for MOMAR Squamish next weekend:) And looking forward to some downtime, actually. It has been a crazy week...

Today I will ride easy for a couple of hours as I set up my Orienteering course for tomorrow's 101 & 201 clinic at Nymph Falls Park. Don't have good spidey senses? There is still room in the O course if you want to join us on Saturday!

Happy Trails!

Sarah.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WANTED: ELM IS HIRING...



ELM is hiring a new Membership Co-Ordinator
Organize Members events, communicate with Members, update database and track new and renewing memberships...work at home...play with ELM...get paid to do it! Around 10 hours a month and complimentary access to all of ELM's programs! Email elmhealth@shaw.ca fmi...


ELM is also looking for a special person to head up the 2010 ELM Relay for Life Team
5-10 hours of work starting ASAP! We need a Team Captain or we will have to take a bow for this years event as I am going to be away and just don't have the time to tackle it this time. Email me @ elmhealth@shaw.ca if you are interested! Less than 1 month to go!


And I may just be looking for someone to help me with my marketing plan for my new book Fit & Free...got experience? Email me!


Ciao!
SS

Monday, May 10, 2010

Orienteering with ELM this Saturday!

We are offering our popular recreational Orienteering course in the Comox Valley this weekend.
The first session of 2010 takes place this Saturday, May 15th with an introductory course from 10-12 noon and an intermediate course from 12:30-2:30pm.

More and more people are heading to the hills and looking for an escape off the beaten path. Recreating in the bush and exploring new trails requires a solid but basic base of orienteering and map reading skills. ELM's orienteering clinics will offer important skills for both novice and intermediate navigators.

Orienteering 101: is an introductory course designed for individuals who want to learn the basics of orienteering and discover how to use a map and compass correctly. No previous experience is required for this great course that mixes theory with fun orienteering exercises.

Orienteering 201: is the next level in this series and is designed for individuals involved in sport orienteering or adventure racing. Participants learn advanced orienteering techniques such as pacing and fast paced navigation then head to the hills for a 5-10km trekking event to practice their skills.

Space is limited & the registration deadline is May 12th. FMI or to register go to
www.elmhealth.com.
Hope you can come out and play!
SS

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Training...FUN!

Queen of the clearcut!

It has been a busy couple weeks of training and playing and all things dirt:) I am LOVING the warmer days and drier trails that have just arrived over the past week or two. I am so ready for the mud to dry up for the season!

Here are some pics from my 'training' days over the past week and a bit...I am so lucky to have such great buddy's who are up for the challenge of spending hours on foot and bike with me:) It sure makes the journey that much more FUN!

Nikki looking like 'she-ra princess of power' on the way up B21 above Comox Lake. A week ago Friday we did our first mega-ride together...from my house to the top of Forbidden with a million fun trails in between...4.5hours and my bum was sore:)

This past Friday Nikki and I did another 4.5hour mega-ride this time in the other direction but we had to hit the same favorite trails. This pic is of the entrance to my favorite new trail above the dam: SLITHER! SO FUN on foot or by bike! It is the most flowy gradually descending trail ever:). You access it half-way down Cabin Fever...check out the newly updated local Comox Valley Trail Maps!


Then on Sunday I started early and squeezed in a solo ride from the Dam and through the Nymph Falls trails and back before meeting up with my Rat buddy's. Then we rode up B21 (again) and rode down my new favorite route (again)...before dropping the bikes for our sneakers and doing it all over again. 5.5hours later we had a great MOMAR prep session under our belts! 3:15 ride followed by a crazy steep 2:5hour run/trek up Red Rotor and back down my favorite route (again) made for a good long brick. Was I every hungry after that one!


Rats on the B21 Road climb:)



Rats fixing the first of 3 chain breaks...





Cute little critter on Tomato Creek trail at the start of our run!



River at the bottom of Red Rotor...let the pain begin...





Andy, the farmer, hydrating at the falls above Red Rotor. He has never had Bever Fever yet...


Andy and I at the start of our running descent on Two Sheiks...great view!



The dogwoods are AMAZING this year! Go to the trails at the Dam...make your way into one of the old clearcut areas and you will see them lighting up the hillside!



Puntledge (glacial) River soaking in May? That is a first! CRAMPING cold but the BEST way to recover from a long day of training:)



Thanks for a great day Andy and my Rat Buddy's!
Cheers,
SS

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

WANTED: RUNNERS WHO LIKE DIRT

Local Valley Runners::

The first of 3 Adventure Running clinics is set to kick off this Thursday night...but we need a few more runners who like dirt to bump up the numbers.

Thinking about joining us but not sure if Adventure Running is for you? Have no fear! We know you will love it! Each week you will have a chance to work on your trail running fitness and skills...hill climbing, descents, trail speed, passing, navigation and more!


Our leaders have been busy scouting out new routes, fun adventures and the latest trails for this years series of Adventure Runs. You can look forward to old favorites and amazing new scenery in each session. And you can bet there will always be hills to build strength, vistas to write home about AND mystery events to make you giggle:)


Each run includes to options for distance: one an hour or less and one that is up to 90minutes. Run short or run long but have fun while you are doing it!


We have new maps for this years clinic as the local bike trail maps have just been updated this past week. Each week our participants receive a file version of the trail map - by the end of the clinic you will have an entire collection of routes to revisit or share with friends!

This is my favorite program of all ELM time...I hope you will join us and make this session another great success! Email ELM today if you have questions or would like to secure your spot in this fun training clinic!

Cheers,

Sarah.