Monday, April 30, 2012

Snow to Surf Race Report

Team ELM and Team ELM Too rocked the Snow to Surf this past weekend!! 

Woohooo!  What an awesome weekend in the Valley:) 

The Royal Lepage Snow to Surf Relay celebrated it's 30th anniversary in the Valley this Sunday and over 200 teams of 9 came out to share in the celebration!  Team ELM was out in full force once again with Team ELM Women...times two!  This year ELM entered two womens teams so we had twice as much fun and twice as many laughs and there was twice as much screaming and cheering...if you can imagine that!  By the end of the day I could barely talk- I was so hoarse from cheering:)  Check out all the fun photos on the ELM Facebook page here.

Race day starts in the night before with our annual team potluck and this year with 18 of us we had a crazy awesome buffet spread to fuel us for the race.  We spent the evening meeting new friends, catching up with old friends and planning the logistics of getting 18 women from Mount Washington to the Comox Marina and beer gardens.  It's harder than you think!

Race morning and the threat of rain subsided which, I am sure, made every racer out there happy:)  It was a cool morning but by the time the race started at 9:15am it was the perfect temperature for a race. 

I didn't have anyone to shuttle this year, so I enjoyed a leisurely morning, arrived at bike check for 9:45...went for a 45minute ride on the course to warm up...then got lined up in the chute by about 10:45.  My runner, Diana, was in the chute by 11am which is faster than normal so we were off to a good start!  My leg went well- no mechanicals, no issues, all good.  I left it all on the course including half of a lung I think.  From the start it was push the hardest rings possible as fast as possible until the single track.  About 10 minutes on the logging road then another 30 in a mix of single and double track all the way out to Comox Lake made for a hard 40 minute effort.  Much more fun with some extra trails thrown in this year and less double track...more mountain biking is always welcome in a mountain bike race!  Red line all the way and sprint into the lake transition, super skid (oops) and jello leg sprint to reach my kayaker, Janine...woohoo!  I was so fired up I ran right by her before realizing I didn't know where her boat was:)  I nearly let her tip, she got a hip soaker and almost went in the drink before I got it together to steady her...gave her a little push... then she was off!  After some hi 5's and pics I jumped back on my bike and rode to Cumberland to watch my road biker, Audrey whiz by after transitioning with the kayak. 

My favourite part about the snow to surf is spending the day with the girls and running from transition to transition to scream and cheer!  The anticipation is intense and it builds throughout the day...this year it was especially high because we were within minutes of another womens team throughout the entire race!  Knowing they were only a few minutes ahead of us was huge motivation to push even harder on our legs and in the end Audrey caught and passed them to take us into the lead during the road bike leg...our canoer's Rani & Lyse held the gap...crossing the line first and winning by just 2 minutes!

Team ELM crossed the line 26th overall, 1st place womens team overall in a personal best team time of 4hours 8 minutes!  Masters women to boot!  I am the baby on our team and hold us back from the Grand Masters category because I am still in my 30's.  We have at least 100 years on the next Masters team and I am so inspired by the kick butt women who are 20 and even close to 30 years my senior on our rock! 

Team ELM two also set a personal best at their very first Snow to Surf together!  They came 4th in the Masters women category and worked hard for every second.  So awesome to see so many ELM women on the course with huge smiles, endless hugs and photo op's at every transition:)  I am looking forward to cheering for two teams again next year- double the fun!

Thank you for such a great day ladies!  Can't wait until next year!! 

Team ELM Women :: Team ELM Women Too
Uphill Run/Downhill Ski:  Deb Rolston :: Kim Senechal
X Country Ski: Lo Lanning :: Lynn Swift
Downhill Run 1: Kathy Campbell :: Deb Adams
Downhill Run 2: Diana Olsen :: Crystal Mather (and junior LOL:)
Mt Bike: Me :: Barb Cook
Kayak: Janine Martin :: Patty Johnson
Road Bike: Audrey Erlandson:: Pascale Houde
Canoe: Lyse Fortin & Rani Johns :: Arran Kerrigan & Deb Berg


HUGE thank you to the race organizers and the hundreds of volunteers who were out on the course making this event happen once again.  It was awesome to see so many smiling volunteers on the course and I can't thank you enough.  Without you there would be no Snow to Surf race and this town wouldn't be nearly as fun:)  Thanks so much for making it happen!

Cheers to 2013!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Happy Saturday! 
Spring is popping up everywhere and you can see changes everyday in the trails... Little green sprouts peeking up one day...broad leaves basking in the sun and wiggling in the wind the next!  Love watching the beauty and energy of mother nature this time of year...

It is Royal Lepage Snow to Surf and Times Colonist 10K weekend and that confirms that spring is officially here!  Once again Team ELM will be working hard and having fun at these annual events.  Our 10K clinic graduates are down in Victoria rocking the TC10K course and this year ELM has two Womens Teams in the Snow to Surf Relay in the Valley!  Watch out for 18 ELM race jerseys as we ski, run, bike and paddle our way across the Comox Valley tomorrow!


Below are a couple of photos from my scouting ride on the course yesterday...followed by a yummy recipe for Team ELM Power Bars!  Enjoy!

Little green friends line the trail...leaves bobbing and shaking in the breeze...welcoming the warmth of spring!

And where oh where was this photo taken?  LOVE this graffiti art...someone has serious talent with spraypaint!

Team ELM Power Bars!  Just made these tasty treats this morning to fuel Team ELM in tomorrow's race.    The recipe is from 'Grazing' by Julie Van Rosendaal.  Makes 18 bars with about 160 calories each.  Enjoy!

Team ELM Power Bars!
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut or almond butter
1/4 cup milk or substitute
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tbs oil- I used coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whole grain flour- I used spelt
3/4 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sliced almonds (I used pecans)
1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tbs ground flax seed
*Note I found these a bit too sweet for my taste- so I would cut the sugar down by 1/3 next time...

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and oil 9*13 inch pan
2.  Mix sugar, nut butter, milk, honey, oil and vanilla
3.  Add the oat mixture to the nut butter mixture along with the nuts and seeds
4. Spread and press batter into the pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool in pan and cut into bars!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Don't Be That Awkward Runner: RUN TECH!!

Run Tech Workshop: This Saturday, April 21st!

Have you seen this video yet? Or, more importantly...have you seen yourself on video yet? Don't be that awkward runner lol!

Join me this Saturday for a 2-hour workshop that will give you the tools to improve your technique, run smarter, faster and with a lower risk for injury. Registration deadline is Wednesday so sign up asap if you want to secure your spot!

Here are the deets!

" Overall it was a super workshop. The video analysis definitely helped me the most, and I am finding it very easy to integrate the drills into my runs." -Kim

The secret to running faster and further is training smarter not just harder. Making simple changes to technique, strength, flexibility, and program design will help you reach a new level of performance.

This specialized workshop is designed for runners who want to improve their running efficiency and take their performance to a new level. All runners from beginners to elite athletes as well as coaches and trainers will benefit from this workshop.

2-Hour Workshop Includes:

Biomechanical Video Analysis of your Running Technique
Introduction to Biomechanics of Running & Mid-Foot Running Technique
Introduction to Barefoot Running-Why? & How?
Specific drills to strengthen and train efficient running technique
Personalized Exercise Prescription to address muscular imbalances and improve running efficiency, strength and speed
ELM Running Clinic Manual, Individual Analysis Results & Video link

Next Session: Spring 2012
Date: April 21st, Saturday
Time: 9:30am-12noon
Deadline: April 18th
Prerequisite: Interest in improving running technique. This workshop will be technique focused with 50% lecture and 50% drill work. No distance running or minimal running ability required- all levels welcome!
Instructor: Sarah Seads, BA Kinesiology, BCAK, BCRPA, CSEP, NCCP

Members: $70
Non Members: $85

Friday, April 13, 2012

5 Reasons Why You Should Join ELM for a Spring Fitness Adventure


The birds are singing, the sky is turning amazing shades of blue, pink and orange, and a beautiful Friday awaits us! I LOVE spring:) I think I must have been a bulb in another life...

ELM's Spring Fitness Adventures kick off on MONDAY of next week and today is the final day to register for the April Session of classes. Still sitting on the fence about how to spend your fitness resources? Time, money, energy, spandex? Well here is a pro-list to help you make up your mind!

5 Reasons Why You Should Join ELM for a Spring Fitness Adventure!

1. The POWER of a group is undeniable. Group energy can buoy you and push you forward when you think you are already finished. Hearing your name cheered or receiving a Hi-5 just when you need it most can push you onward and upward towards new levels of strength that you didn't think you were capable of. The ELM family is full of hi-energy, positive, kind and amazing people. I am blown away every day by the power of the ELM family.

2. Accountability. Hands down one of the BIGGEST motivators out there. Accountability is one of the top 3 secrets to long term success for the majority of people. Knowing that someone is waiting for you to show up for your workout/run/class is often all the motivation you will need to get there. And getting there each day is the hardest step you will take on your fitness journey. Your ELM family and your ELM instructor will be looking forward to seeing you every class and wonder where you are if you don't make it! That is motivation!

3. Fresh Ideas! Bored with your workout? ELM classes are never boring! Joining a group fitness program takes the pressure off of you to come up with inspiring workout ideas. You just show up and work out! Life is full of decisions and sometimes it seems daunting to make one more about what you are going to do for your workout. An ELM Fitness Adventure will take care of that and give you a toolbox of ideas you can use in the future.

4. Beautiful Scenery! Get out of the gym and let mother nature distract you for a few hours a week! ELM's spring Fitness Adventures take place in the most inspiring outdoor locations around the Comox Valley and you will never be disappointed with the scenery. Breathe fresh clean Valley air, let the sun warm you, listen to the sounds of nature rather than the guy on the elliptical next to you for a change. Running in the trails or trekking stairs at Goose Spit seem that much easier than doing time on the stair climber or treadmill:)

5. New YOU by June. Burn body fat, strengthen muscles, master technique, build power, strength and stamina and reveal a new body this summer. ELM's Fitness Adventures will push your body and your mind to challenge what you thought you were capable of. You will discover a new YOU that is healthier, more vital and mentally stronger by the start of summer. And THAT is worth every penny.

Need another reason to join ELM for a Fitness Adventure this spring?


That's right, at ELM FUN COMES FIRST because we know that laughter makes everything easier, including hill repeats:)

Check out the ELM 2011 Fitness Adventure Video for some more inspiration! Not sure which ELM program is for you? Wondering if you are ready for ELM Fitness Bootcamp? Please send me an email or drop me a line today as I would love to answer your questions!

Hope to see you soon!



Send me an email!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Challenging Workout for You & FULL ON Challenge

Happy Tuesday!

Hope you had a hoppy easter but you didn't create too big of a calorie surplus with all that chocolate that was hiding here there and everywhere...

In a minute I am going to post a workout that you can do anywhere, anytime without much equipment. It is a hard one that will challenge both your strength, endurance and cardio. Just ask my Sunrise Bootcamp recruits from this mornings class if you see them around town. But first...

Spring is here and it is time to take a serious look at your fitness & weight goals...are you where you want to be? Or are you struggling to stay on track and press on to the next level?

Do you want to make some specific changes to your fitness?
Increase your upper body strength? Target your core? Build leg power?

Do you want to clean up your eating?
Create a nutrition plan? Clean out the cupboards of crap and fill your body with the amazing nutrition it craves and needs?

Do you want to lose body fat? Lose inches and excess pounds? Expose toned muscles and free your body from excess storage?

If you are ready to make changes, stick to a plan and get the results you need (I sound like an infomercial but I am serious!!) then you will want to check out our Spring Full On Fitness & Nutrition Challenge.

Starting next week, you can join the 10-week Challenge and begin remodeling your body, your health and your nutrition. Check out the Challenge details and email me if you have any questions...or if you are ready to get started! I hope you will join me for this amazing journey this spring!!

A Challenging Workout for YOU!
This is a great workout for building strength, endurance, cardio AND burning calories. Enjoy!
Warm up 10 minutes easy jogging, range of motion exercises.

Circuit #1
Complete the first exercise, then run 150 meters. Complete 3 sets of each exercise and sprint before moving onto the next. (Total of 9 sprints by the end)
Burpee Push Ups *5
Split Squat Jumps- back knee to the floor * 10 each leg
Box Jumps (to bench seat or onto step easier) * 10

Circuit #2
Complete the following 3 exercises back to back- followed by 100 skips including a minimum of 10 double skips (1 attempt every 10). No skipping rope? Back to the sprints or run the stairs for 75 seconds. Complete 3 rounds with 30 seconds between sets.
1 Arm Push Ups (incline easier) *10 each arm
Full range Pull Ups (assisted with a step or jump up easier) * 10
Power Dips (or regular dips easier)* 10

Core Set
Finish with 2 core exercises back to back 2 sets with 30 seconds between sets:
7 ups- *15
In Out Abs (upper and lower ab cruches) * 15

Stretch out your tired body!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Hey look what I got in the mail the other day! Death Race Finishers Coin! 8 months post 125km Death Race and how fitting...I receive my finishers coin and my freak injury finally appears to be on the mend:).

My closest buddies know all of the crazy details (thank you for putting up with me:) of my bizarre ankle injury but I thought I would bring the rest of you up to speed so you know why I have been doggin' it over the past 3/4 of a year.

If you had told me I would be just starting back to hills and speed 8 months after that dam know I would never have done it! Even though it was a blast and an amazing experience...

I felt amazing during the support team, Jen, and I were celebrating because I did not suffer any injuries during the 20 hour adventure. I felt great after the race! Well, OK, it was hard to climb in and out of the VW van the next day but I think that is to be expected after your first ultramarathon:) BUT...turns out there was a bizarre injury that didn't turn up for 7-10 days post race.

I got... wait for it...


Now now now! Not THAT kind of OCD! Osteochondritis Dissecans. Or an Osteochondral fracture...specifically... to the medial dome of my talus (inside, top of my ankle bone).

This is kind of a rare type of fracture, more common in children, and not one that you would pick if you had to choose one. It usually happens during a bad ankle sprain, when the foot goes over and the talus and the tibia (leg bone) smash into each other...where they shouldn't. The damage can cause loss of circulation to the bone...which results in slow death to the bone tissue...eventually causing lesions, fractures or worse- chunks of bone falling off. There are varying degree's of severity.

How did this happen to me? They don't know. I don't know. But 'they' (surgeons) came up with a theory that it happened during the race when I rolled over on my ankle. I took a roll about 45k into the race...I remember it clearly now. It wasn't bad at all. I walked it off and carried on for another 80k without any issue. They figure the continuous running may have compromised the circulation after the bones made contact during that sprain. It took a while, but after 1-2 weeks the bone tissue died. That is why I had no symptoms for a week or more. Then the shit hit the fan, the ankle locked and I was off my feet, in tears of pain, unable to walk or work fully for weeks.

Why me? Who knows. It is a freak fracture and one that could happen ANY time you roll your ankle. It is a bad kind because it is in the joint- not just the long part of your bone. Joints are full of fluid. Bones don't set in fluid. Not very fast anyways.

Long story medium. Took 6 weeks until I got some answers. X-ray...nothing. CT Scan...nothing. Chiro, physio, sports med doc...? Last September, while camping in the middle of nowhere north Island, I happened to meet a retired pediatric surgeon who worked in one of the busiest childrens hospitals in California... He diagnosed me on the spot. Amazing.

Brilliant man who has more experience than you can imagine with OCD. He was hopeful that I would recover on my own after 6-12 months. He thought the MRI would show the severity and determine if surgery was required.

Got the MRI which confirmed his diagnosis and ruled out surgery as an option for treatment. The local surgeon was not too optimistic and wouldn't guarantee me a complete recovery...thought I might have to get used to living with early arthritis symptoms ...kind of glass half empty if you ask me...

I was just starting to walk without a limp and a locked ankle at that time. It has been a long slow and very painful road to where I am today.

I started running for 1 minute in November.

This past weekend I went for my first successful mountain run...chasing my billy goat friend, Liz up up up the downhill biking trails. My legs were lungs were on was the most amazing feeling and I loved every minute of the suffering:))

I'm listening to my body and giving my ankle at least a full year before I try anything crazy on my two feet, if you see me doggin it out know my story!

Your legs are a gift, not a given...but you know that, don't you?


Monday, April 2, 2012

Trail Running Tips & Tricks


The days are getting longer, the snow level is rising, and your trail runners are itching to hit the dirt! Grab a buddy, a map and your sneakers and get out exploring the trails in your area this month!

Trail Safety Tips:
Whether you are a first time trail runner or an experienced ultra marathoner, trail
running safety should be a top priority before you hit the trails.

· Buddy Up. Run with a buddy in new or remote trails and make sure to
leave word of your route. This way, a search party will waste no time
heading out to find you if you don’t return on schedule.

· Take the right gear with you. This includes a whistle for
communication, map of the area, water, a quick energy snack, basic first
aid kit including any medication that you may need, and a cell phone
(some remote trails do not have cellular service so check first!).

· Be aware of your surroundings! Learn some basic map reading and
navigation skills before you venture off the beaten path. Having the
ability to identify landmarks and navigate using terrain features can help
you avoid wrong turns and decrease anxiety if you do go astray. Map
reading skills will allow you to explore a new area with confidence that
you will return to your car!

Trail Training Tips:
Trail running requires additional balance, agility and co-ordination than your
usual road run. This means you need to be alert and ready to react to the ever changing
path in front of you. Here are some tips and tricks to remember:

· Form: Don’t forget about your running posture in the trails. Run
tall, chest high, shoulders down and back, hips forward. Good
postural alignment will help you run more efficiently. Relax those
arms, keep the hands loose and enjoy the scenery!

· Trail Technique: Shorten your stride and increase turnover (how
frequently your feet touch the ground) to improve your reaction
time. On technical sections such as sand, loose dirt/gravel, water
and rooty areas, shorten your stride even more to react quickly
and avoid slipping.

· Hills: Think in thirds. 1st third shorten your stride length and
increase turnover slightly, 2nd third maintain your pace, final third
give a little push OVER the top and down the other side. Stand
tall, drive back arms, keep your head up and look over top.

· Down hills: On an easy grade lean forward slightly, lengthen
your stride, and let gravity do the work. If it is too steep/technical
or if you feel out of control shorten your stride slightly and increase
the turnover.

Sarah Seads is a passionate trail runner and the owner of Equilibrium Lifestyle
Management (ELM)a group fitness and personal training company in the Comox
Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Contact ELM for trail maps and
information about trail running adventures on Vancouver Island.