Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Perseverance Trail Run 2012 Race Report!

Nearly 300 racers took part in this past weekends sold out Perseverance Trail Run on October 28th. The rain stopped just in time and the Cumberland trails held freshly filled puddles making the perfect conditions for a fall trail race! The race was a huge success judged on the ear to ear grins and a sold out event. The goal of the Perseverance Trail Run is to raise funds for the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS). Last year $5000 was raised for the CCFS and race organizers are looking forward to making another significant donation this year. The CCFS is a local society working toward purchasing and protecting additional forest lands in the Cumberland area for recreation now and into the future.

Photo courtesy of JoAnne McElroy

The competition on the 10k course was fierce with nearly 190 racers and many competitive runners toeing the start line. Racers came from all over Vancouver Island for this years event and there were some great battles on the challenging 10k mountain run.

Top overall results in the 10k mountain run:

51:12 Andrew Pape-Salmon
51:25Miguel Larouche
52.18 Brad Crowe

1:00:42 Cheryl Davies
1:02:52 Shauna Connaughton
1:03:33 Kathy Rung

Nearly 100 racers, young and old, tackled the 3k cross-country run through the Cumberland Community Forest trails.

Top overall results for the 3k cross-country run were as follows:
13:49 Nathan Erlandson
15:39 Hugo Henchel
16:02 Ben Prager

15:32 Alison Leroux
15:34 Angelique Kennedy
16:57 Eva Johnson

Lene Curts (Extreme Runners) and Sarah Seads (Equilibrium Lifestyle Management /ELM) co-organize this annual fundraising event along with massive support from Comox Valley volunteers and sponsors. A huge thank you goes out to nearly 50 enthusiastic volunteers who donated their time and energy before, during and after this years race. A special thank you goes to the Comox Valley Search and Rescue and St. John Ambulance teams who spent the day watching over each and every racer on the course.

Photo courtesy of Aimee Asselin

This years race, once again held on Halloween weekend, brought out great costumes and Cumberland Mayor, Leslie Baird came out to judge the Costume Contest. Dozens of fantastic draw prizes were awarded including fresh donuts from the Cumberland Village Bakery for the best costumes. With close to 40 draw prizes donated from generous local business' many racers left with big smiles at the end of the day. A very big thank you to this years prize sponsors: Valhalla Pure, Riding Fool Hostel, Seeds Market, Darkside Chocolates, Rawthentic Eatery, Mosaic Vision, Fruv, Comox Valley Acupuncture, Ascent Physiotherapy, Active Comox Valley, Island Pilates and Fitness, My Tech Guys, Jim Smiley of Remax, Dodge City Cycles, Heart & Stroke, Functional Massage Therapy, Riders Pizza, Edge Energy Bars, Extreme Runners and ELM.
Photo courtesy of Shea Wilson

The following community sponsors generously supported the race and helped to make this years event a great success: Thrifty Foods, Tim Hortons, Fiesta Quest, ABC Printing, Hi Tech, nrichmedia, Odlum Brown, Mosaic Vision, Comox Valley Record. Landowners including the Village of Cumberland & Recreation, CCFS, Timberwest and Hancock.

Photo courtesy of Aimee Asselin

A complete list of results as well as hundreds of race day photos are posted at . Overall the race was a huge success so mark your calendars for next year October 27th 2013!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Food Log Feedback

Here is an email I just sent out to a client this for thought...hopefully it will inspire you to make wise nutrition choices today!
  Hello! I just had a look at your food log online for the past couple of weeks. Some good some bad and some ugly;) I have listed some suggestions below for you. We chatted this week about eating 'as close to nature' as possible as a simple way to improve nutrition and health. I would like you to read this book if you can get your hands on it. It is a great book that will help you in your nutrition evolution. The moral of the book is printed right on the cover and makes perfect sense:
Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much.
This is basically all there is to it. The first point, Eat Food, is critical. Food means 'in it's natural state' or as few steps away from that as possible. It also means that all of the 'food products' that are processed and packaged are to be avoided as often as possible. You know I believe in the 90/10% rule and that there is room for some 'unfood' in there. BUT I would like you to look at your food log for the past 2 weeks as I did this morning. I would like you to identify what is 'food' and what isn't based on this idea. Then, starting TODAY swap that ratio to 90% or better - food.  Not tomorrow. You only have one body- put goodness into it every day and it will take care of you and give you what you need! Think...'as close to nature as possible' starting today... (chickens are meant to run free:)
OK enough of my rant lol! Here are my suggestions based on items listed in your food log:
The good:
Walnuts/nuts, steel cut oats, fish, vegetables, eggs/chicken/meat (that runs free and doesn't eat processed food either!), olive oil/butter (yup).  (Psst: Where's the beans?)
The bad:
White pasta, crackers, alcohol
The ugly:
COSTCO food court anything, fast 'food', packaged food/sauces, margarine (highly processed oils), processed meats
 To Do List:
  • Increase the good (think pick it, catch it, grow it, spear it;).
  • Decrease the bad.
  • Absolutely eliminate the ugly.
Go to it!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Perseverance Trail Run!

Just over 1 week to go until the 2012 Perseverance Trail Run kicks off on Sunday, October 28th! This years event, co-directed by Extreme Runners and Equilibrium Lifestyle Management will once again feature a 3k cross-country romp and 10.5k mountain run in the beautiful forest trails of Cumberland. This race is run entirely by volunteers and supported by generous community partners with all proceeds going directly to the Cumberland Community Forest Society. Last year, racers, volunteers and supporters of the race were able to raise $5000 for the CCFS!

The race starts at 11:00am at No 6 Mine Park in Cumberland, with racer check in open from 9:00-10:30am. Please note there will be NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION THIS YEAR!  Pre-race registration is required for this years event, which also has a cap of 300 racers. Participants can sign up at the regular price of $20 for adults and $15 for kids up until October 26th before late fees kick in.

Racers can look forward to a fun and challenging trail run, delicious post race food provided by Thrifty Foods and massage by donation with Functional Massage Therapy. All racers will be entered into a post race draw for fabulous prizes provided by Brooks, Valhalla, Riding Fool Hostel, Ascent Physiotherapy, Island Pilates & Fitness, Dodge City Cycles and many more local sponsors. Go to to view the current list of race sponsors!

The Cumberland Community Forest Society is a group of residents of the Village of Cumberland dedicated to purchase local forests for recreational and aesthetic purposes. Their work has ensured the protection of over 150 acres of beautiful forest surrounding the Village of Cumberland. The annual Perseverance Trail Run is a great way to support this local cause and ensure that more forests are protected for the future. 
This is a great opportunity to test out your Halloween costume and there will be a prize for the best costume on race day!  Costume contest will be just before Pre-Race Announcements this year, around we can check you out before you drag your costume through the mud for 10k!

Pick up registration forms at Extreme Runners, 436 5th st, or go to to check out all the details and register online!

PS we are in need of a few more course marshal's so please email if you cannot race but would like to be a part of this years event!

Sarah & Lene

Friday, October 19, 2012

Trail Running Tips: Trail Speed

I have just posted 3 new Trail Running articles on the ELM Resource Page for your reading pleasure:) Didn't know ELM had a Resource Page? Well now you do! There are close to 30 training articles just waiting for you so head on over!

Sarah Seads, BA Kinesiology

Speed work comes in many forms.  From V02max intervals to race pace repeats and anaerobic threshold runs, there are plenty of ways to increase your running fitness through speed work.  But there is a style of speed work that is unique to trail running and one that can only be improved upon by running in the trails...Trail Speed. 


Trail Speed is the ability to move quickly over varied terrain.  This means keeping the pace no matter what obstacles come your way.  Trail speed will improve simply with experience- just as it will on a mountain bike.  With experience comes confidence.  With confidence comes a shift in perspective.  Obstacles appear smaller.  The same terrain feels less technical.  Your feet move faster and you push harder over roots, rocks, logs, ups and downs. 

Training specifically for trail speed will improve this skill exponentially, however.  Including weekly intervals of 'trail speed training' will go a long way to improve your confidence, quickly.  This can be accomplished during a run similar to what we did this week or a 'fartlek'(speed play) run. 

Start by running faster over sections of trail that you are very confident on.  This will turn into a fun interval session of various lengths during your run.  Aim to stay light on your feet as if dancing amongst the roots and rocks- never committing to landing with your full weight.  By staying light, you will move quickly and be able to react fast to the changing terrain. Keep your head up and look ahead so that you can anticipate upcoming obstacles and pick your 'line' in advance. The faster you go, the further ahead you need to look.

Next, work on trail speed intervals for a set period of time, say 1-3 minutes, where you aim to keep your speed up regardless of what comes your way.  Within reason of course;)  Safety is always the first priority so it is important to stay within your abilities on the trail.  There is no point in trail speed training if you end up on the couch with a sprained ankle!  Over time, you will notice that your perspective has shifted and you are able to move much more quickly through more difficult terrain.

Happy Trails!



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.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Opinion

I am occasionally asked by students to answer their questions about Kinesiology, fitness and health for their own interest or for school projects.  This week I received some great questions from a grade 10 student in the Valley and fired off some quick answers to help her with her school assignment.  Some of her questions were unique and thought provoking...and made me think;)  Have a read through and consider how you would have answered these questions...  

Disclaimer: My answers below are not the gospel...merely my opinion.


Q: Why did you choose your career?

A: I had a lifelong passion for sports and fitness but originally went to university to become a writer. I injured my back working as a tree planter and ended up in Physiotherapy as a patient. That is when I learned about Kinesiology and entered the program at UVic.

Q: Why is physical activity so important to you?
A: For so many reasons- some of which are hard to put into words. Personal health and longevity of course. And of course the health of our community and the future of our children. But there are so many more benefits that can be gained through movement...that inactive people may not have realized. Self confidence is a huge one. This builds and builds with every step taken and every challenge tackled. Joy is a huge one as well. Humans are meant to move and there is a joy that comes from participating in physical activity- once you find the activity that meets your needs. I could go on and on but let's go with that for starters;)

Q: Do you agree with society/media’s view of the “perfect body”?
A: Hmmmm...different industries have different definititions of the perfect body to start with- look at the modelling industry vs the 'health' industry. And no, there is definitely no 'perfect body' in my opinion.

Q: What is your opinion on the obesity rates, especially those of children and youth?
A: Unacceptable in an educated first world society. Understandable due to compounding variables such as affluence, the 'food' industry, lifestyle and society changes over the past few decades. Terrifying to envision the future condition of our population, health care system and effect on our society.

Q: Do you believe that an addiction to working out is healthy?
A: Hmmmm...the word addiction turns any good thing into a bad thing. When the addiction is driving the choice rather than the individual making the decisions this may turn activity into an unhealthy thing (over exercising to the point of it becoming unhealthy and doing more harm than good to the body). Addiction is a very complicated topic and one that should perhaps be addressed by a qualified psychotherapist.

Q: In your opinion what is the minimal amount of daily exercise a person should do?
A: 30-60 minutes per day of movement at the VERY minimum. That includes walking and light to moderate activities. We are meant to move! Not long ago we all moved for 6-10+hours per day before our society became sedentary. I think people forget this.

Q: Do you believe that all the weight-loss pills and medications are scams?
A: Hard to say 100% but I believe the majority of 'pills' are (useless at best and potentially dangerous at worst). Prescription medication aside.

Q: Do you think that skinnier people are treated better by society than the overweight?
A: In the adult world I do not see open discrimination towards overweight people in my own day to day life. But I know that this is different amongst school aged children. Children often treat other children poorer if they are different in any way- be it overweight, awkward, taller, shorter, etc.

Q: Do you think that fitness is the most important aspect to a healthy lifestyle?
A: No- fitness is only one of many pillars of health and must be balanced with the others. Fitness, body composition, nutrition, mental health, emotional health, social health are a few of the other areas that make up a healthy lifestyle.

Q: What would you say to all the young teens that hate their bodies because of society’s opinions?
A: Hmmmm...that hurts me just to think about anyone 'hating' their body. Your body is part of you and is the only one you have. It will take care of you if you love it, nurture it and use it the way it was made to move. Our bodies are a gift- not a given. We do not know what tomorrow will bring and must enjoy every moment that we have to move and reach towards our dreams. Life is short and that body is precious. Enjoy it! Many people do not have that gift.

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's KIN Week in Canada!

Did you know... it's KIN WEEK in Canada! 

What the heck is a Kinesiologist anyways?

Kinesiologists are human movement specialists offering a wide variety of assessments and services to the public to assist with both injury/illness prevention and injury management. Their practice is based on the core sciences of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and psychomotor behaviour. Kinesiologists work in the fitness industry, clinically, and in industrial environments.
Kinesiologists provide services through the application of the science of human movement and deliver quality solutions through prevention, objective assessment, and evidence based intervention.
What do Kinesiologists do, exactly? 
The field of Kinesiology encompasses a wide range of services and 'Kin's' may specialize in some or all of the following:

Injury Rehabilitation/ Exercise Therapy

•Perform job demands analysis and functional evaluation testing•Design, develop and monitor exercise, rehabilitation and conditioning programs•Rehabilitation program assessment, review and management

Ergonomics/Human Factors

•Physical demands analysis •Reduce/eliminate workplace MSI's •Designing, analyzing or adapting workplace conditions to reduce risk of injury •Identification and assessment of risk factors •Pre-employment/Post Offer Screening •Worker safety education and injury prevention training •Design workplace specific warm-up and stretch programs •Tool design or modification

Active Health and Fitness

•Design and conduct individual health and wellness programs •Teach and organize courses/workshops in health promotion including fitness, nutrition and wellness issues

Biomedical Applications

•Gait analysis consultation •Assist in the design/manufacturing and fitting of orthotics, braces and prosthetic devices

Rehabilitation Equipment and Technology

•Prescription and assessment for rehabilitation equipment including mobility devices with ergonomic applications


•Plan and execute laboratory experiments and research projects

Disability/Case Management

•Planning and arranging services to facilitate a return to work/return to activities of normal living •Job Coaching services •Functional Abilities Evaluations/Functional Capacity Evaluations •Attendance/Absence management •Claims management

Facility Management/Owner

How do you become a Kinesiologist?   Kinesiologists in Canada are required to complete a minimum of 4 years University and obtain a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology,  Exercise Science or equivalent.  Registered Kinesiologists meet and uphold the standards of their Provincial and Federal Associations.     How can you find a Kinesiologist? Look no are following one:)  LOL, besides myself there are hundreds of Registered Kins in BC- just go to the BCAK website to find one in your area.   Questions?  Check the BCAK website or give me a shout anytime!   Cheers, Sarah.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Favourite Fall Gear

Hello ... Fall? 

First grey day in over 3 months it seems...time to light the wood stove, dig out the gloves and (gasp) try to find those darn tights.  If you are still in denial that fall is here and winter is on the way then look away my friends...I feel your pain.  Bookmark this blog and come on back once you have moved into the acceptance phase;)...

I often get asked what my favourite _____ is for _____.  Gear is super personal but I am always happy to share what works for me.  The following are items that I pretty much use on a daily basis.  They have been tested, tried and are true to me!

My Favourite Fall Gear

You know those things that you just can't believe you lived without before they existed in your world?  They are the things that we use daily, reach for constantly, provide us with what it is we need- be it comfort or joy or both.  My favourite thing of them all right now is this jacket.  It is worth every penny and I wish I had one years ago.  Why?  Super light-weight, cuts the wind and manages to thermo-regulate in a wide range of temps, keeps the drizzle off, squishes up into a tiny pouch you can carry in one hand has a hood:)  Love it!
Get one at Valhalla Pure (pssst ELM have an after hours shopping night coming up in November...)

OK it is crazy big BUT it is also crazy bright and the best value you will ever find for 900 lumins of light.  I wore this in the Canadian Death Race last year and like a moth to a flame, racers huddled behind it once they fell into it's spell.  Little headlamps seem awesome...until I turn on my Magicshine and their beams disappear into the glow.  Meant for biking but amazing for running as well - best worn over a headband/toque or hat because of the size/weight.  Be sure to purchase the headband and extension cord accessories to go along with the light.  Deal of the year.  Looks like this model is sold out right now but you can find similar ones here... Deal Extreme...

3. Sugoi R&R Knee High Compression Socks. 

Although I used to have to use these for compression and recovery for my varicose veins and for my compartment syndrome...I still use them on a weekly basis for rides and runs just cause they rock.  They fold down into short socks if need be...and when you need high socks you got em!  Awesome for cooler temps when you aren't ready for tights but want some extra warmth.  Perfect for mountain biking and a little extra protection from the terrain/elements (and mud!).  And the cat's arse for bushwhacking- cause you just never know!  I like these ones because they aren't too tight and they are nice and warm and breathable at the same time. 
Looks like they aren't listed on the Sugoi website anymore...but you can probably still pick them up at ELM Super sponsor, Extreme Runners...while supplies last...

4. Garmin GPS. 

So small, so acurate, so awesome to be able to track your route, speed, elevation, time and heart rate all at once!  If you don't have a Garmin by now you must really not know what you are missing.  Of course you CAN live without one...but if your biggest hobbies are all in the great outdoors and you like numbers (must like numbers) then why would you want to? 

I have the 405...which is now the 410 and love it.
Pick one up in Courtenay at Extreme Runners...

5. Spooky Mini Gloves.

You may laugh but I love these little gloves!  Thicker (and bigger) than those little $1 mini gloves AND covered in glow in the dark ghosts and goblins, these gloves are just perfect for fall and spring.  They keep my hands just the right temperature during my runs and while teaching outdoors.  Not too mention how cute they are;)
I just picked up a pair at Canadian Tire in Courtenay for $2.  Have also seen them at Capitol Iron on Victoria.

6. Larabar. Chocolate Peanut Butter to be exact

I love to make my own energy balls and bars but sometimes the cupboards are bare and I need to grab something to go.  I turn my nose up at most packaged energy bars but the Larabars are an exception- they taste great and are good for you.  No chemicals or preservatives or additives.  Just dates, nuts and the rest.  Like peanut butter...and chocolate...Need I say more?

You can check out all the flavours online here... and you can get boxes of them at Superstore...yum.

Those are my favourite fall things right now!  I would love to hear what gear is keeping you happy and comfortable out there right now!  What's your favourite fall gear?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Victoria Marathon Weekend: Updated!

BIG Hi 5s go out to all the ELM Members and Friends who participated in this weekends Goodlife Victoria Race!  We had peeps racing in the 8k, half and full marathon and it was a blast watching them all cruise by on the course.  The weather could not have been better and it was smiles all round at the finish line.  Well done- enjoy your post race bliss!

 to all Valley racers with a special shout out to the following ELMers (let me know if I missed you out there!)

8k- Deb A, Rae W woot woot!

Half Marathon- Paula G, Karen T, Karen L, Jason W, Marieka H, Megan H, Charity M, Sasha D, Allison D, Kim S, Sarah S - yeeehaw!

Marathon- Murray G, Kiyoko & Marion - awesome!

Race results online here...

 And check out this crazy guy-Adam Campbell!  Raced the marathon in a 2:35!  Broke the 'world record' by an hour for fastest marathon in a full suit!  Barfed at the finish line before recovering quickly and giving this interview - looking sharp here! 

Crazy cheerleaders!  My family was out in full costume force on the sidelines to cheer on the racers at various spots on the course.  You may have seen my dad and this hair out there!  And may not have recognized me in my costume alongside!

And my half marathon...a 21k run to Cruikshank Canyon in Strathcona Park on Thanksgiving day with my friend favourite kind of Half!  Get up into the alpine this week if you can...before the rains is absolutely breathtaking.  Mother nature is really showing off:)