Events

Yoga. Run. PARTY. at SeaWheeze 2017

What do you get when you combine west coast hippy vibes, summer sunshine, downward dogs, essential oils, $130 yoga pants and 10,000 runners over two days in August?

You get SeaWheeze, a half marathon hosted by athleisure pioneer lululemon in Vancouver, BC. And as a runner and sometimes-yogi from the west coast who lives in stretchy pants and sports bras, SeaWheeze was mecca.

For those weren’t initially into the whole “new-age-affluent-hippy” atmosphere lululemon created at SeaWheeze, you could avoid the whole Showcase Store line-up/shopping frenzy, yoga classes, smoothie bar and music festival, and simply just run the race on the Saturday — though I bet you were curious, checked everything out, and by the end of the weekend you were strutting around downtown Vancouver decked out in Luon (lululemon’s patented yoga pant fabric) with a rolled-up yoga mat slung across your back, Birkenstocks on your feet and a green smoothie in your hand, with the faint scent of lavender and patchouli trailing behind you… (more…)

Race review: Vancouver Island Trail Running Series race #2: Mt. Tzouhalem

I don’t think I’ve ever been so unprepared for a race as I was for Mt. Tzouhalem, the second race in Vancouver Island Trail Running Series.

Not in a physical, that-took-a-huge-toll-on-my-body-and-mind-and-I-almost-died kind of way, but in a I-don’t-even-know-what-race-I’m-running kind of way.

Usually when I have a race or event I get everything packed the night before: I decide what I’m going to wear, lay out my running clothes, pack gels or a banana and water, pack a spare change of clothes, and charge my Garmin.

On Saturday, I looked up where I was supposed to be about 2 hours before the race started (I knew it was in Duncan but I didn’t know where), got changed out of my pajamas and into running gear about 30 minutes before I had to leave, threw some stuff in a bag (but not my Garmin because it was almost dead), decided to grab my handheld water bottle last minute even though I thought I was only running 7 km, and headed out the door.

I arrived at Providence Farm in Duncan—which is a beautiful spot, by the way—about an hour before the race was scheduled to start. When I checked in, I discovered I was still registered for the long course distance of 13 km instead of the short course distance of 7 km. I thought I had switched, but I forgot to confirm. Oops!  (more…)

If Girls Ran the World: Join me in running and fundraising this October for female-focused charities

This October, the #sweatpink community is taking on a big, inspiring, community-powered goal that we want you to join us for: we’re collectively running around the world (that’s 24,901 miles — or 39,842 kilometres — which is equal so the circumference of the Earth) to empower girls and women. We can’t imagine a better way to combine what we believe in most — fitness and #girlpower — than the If Girls Ran the World event.

JOIN%20US!

Studies show that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits. So please join me in running miles and raising funds for female-focused charities.

My charity of choice is Every Mother Counts for the fantastic work they do to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. Now that I’m at that age where all my close friends already have or are ready to have babies, the thought of going through pregnancy and delivery without a team of top-notch healthcare providers by your side is frightening. So much can go wrong, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to be pregnant without proper healthcare and support. I’m thankful to live in a country where this isn’t as much of an issue, and love what Every Mother Counts does to ensure all women all over the world have access to a similar level of support.

Aside from committing to running 100 miles (about 160 km) in October, I’ve also committed to raising $250 to Every Mother Counts as part of the campaign. You can help me raise funds for this charity by visiting my donation page and giving whatever you can using the ‘Give Now‘ button.

Want a chance to win a FREE registration for the If Girls Ran the World event? (A $25 value). Simply fill out the giveaway form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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When you register, you’ll receive:

  • Access to the If Girls Ran the World month long global challenge
  • Your own personal fundraising page for the cause that means the most to you
  • The opportunity to set your own individual fitness and fundraising goals
  • Inspiring emails filled with fundraising coaching, fitness tips, and custom (healthy) global recipes crafted by nutrition experts delivered as we reach various geographical milestones
  • Exclusive access to join in four online RunSocial community runs to virtually explore Death Valley, Banff, Tibet and Bali
  • Exclusive access to local If Girls Ran the World in person run groups/meet-ups
  • Opportunity to take part in weekly fitness and fundraising challenges with prizes such as an Oiselle prize pack, a Fitbit Blaze, a year supply of Kind Snacks, Hoka One One shoes, a $500 donation to your cause of choice, and more
  • Hero Kit including tech tee and globe pendant necklace for the first 500 people to raise $250

Pretty sweet, right? Collectively and virtually run around the world to benefit charities that empower girls globally AND have a chance to win awesome prizes? Sounds like a worthwhile cause to me.

The event starts on October 1, 2016, so donate, register or enter to win now (the contest closes on October 1 at midnight) to be a part of the movement!

How many miles do you plan to run in October? Comment below to enter to win a free registration to If Girls Ran the World event in October!

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I’m linking up with these sexy RRCA Certified Running Coaches: Susie of Suzlyfe, Rachel of Running on Happy, Debbie of Coach Debbie Runs, and Lora of Crazy Running Girl

The neurology of behaviour change: How personal trainers can use brain science to help clients achieve their health and fitness goals

The neurology of behaviour changeWhen someone tells you to do something you don’t particularly want to do, what’s your immediate response?

Do you think about it for a moment before making up an excuse not to do it or just immediately say no? Do you act defiant until you realize it’s not a criticism and perhaps a good idea after all? Or are you open to the possibility of the action and agree after briefly thinking it through?

I have to try really hard not to act defiant when someone tells me to do something I only mildly despise, so I can’t imagine how some of my personal training clients feel when I give them an exercise plan. “On Monday, do this strength workout for 45 minutes”. Ugggh, they must think, especially if they’ve been told they need to lose weight by their doctor and exercising is something they have to do. They may want to have a strong and fit body, but aren’t looking forward to the work it’s going to take to make that happen. It also doesn’t help that the human brain values immediate rewards more highly than future rewards, so an hour spent on the couch watching Netflix will easily trump an hour spent squatting and sweating any day of the week.

If that wasn’t enough to contend with, there’s also something else going on in the brain that works against your best interests when someone tries to help you with their well-meaning fitness and health advice. (more…)

Race Review: Finlayson Arm 25K trail race

We weren't last!

We weren’t last!

Okay, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Despite the typical burning quads, achy knees, extreme fatigue, unquenchable thirst and mild headache I usually experience during trail races, I had a really great race on Saturday at the Finlayson Arm 25K (actually 28K) trail race.

The thing I love about trail races as opposed to any road race is that you get to make friends out on the trail. You’re going slow enough and you’re out there for long enough that you can actually chat with other runners for a few hours, which makes the time go by quicker and makes the race far more enjoyable. That, and I find trail runners are far more friendly in general on the course than road runners are. Even the lead racer who passed me somewhere around the 13 km point said “great job” as he flew by. And words of encouragement were exchanged by every single runner after that.

Since Debbie and I ran the course two weeks ago, I generally knew what to expect. I’ve run these routes and hiked Mt. Finlayson many times, so I was well prepared to tackle the elevation  challenges on the course. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be after Holmes Peak to Jocelyn Hill, but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. (more…)

Sunday Runday: Finlayson Arm 25K course preview

IMG_6912Even though I haven’t run more than 23 km on the trails in over a month (or anything more than a 10 km road run a few times a week, for that matter), Debbie and I decided to tackle part of the Finlayson Arm 25K race course (which is actually 28 km… why not just call it the Finlayson Arm 28K???) this Sunday just so we knew what to expect for the race coming up in two weeks. Even though we got some awesome written directions from race director Myke LaBelle, we still managed to get lost at least 10 times, including for about 10 minutes at the start trying to figure out if we were supposed to cross a river (if we had stopped to read Myke’s directions that said to cross east to west we could have saved ourselves running the route with soggy socks and shoes yesterday — turns out you just follow along one side of the river under the first tunnel, not cross to the other side… whoops). (more…)

Race Review: MEC Victoria Race #4 – 15K distance

The start/finish line.

The start/finish line.

With the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon about a month away, I decided to throw a speedy, long-ish distance race into my training plan at the last minute. The MEC Race #4 event, which happened on Sunday, September 7, offered three race distances (a 5K, 10K and 15K) along a route I’m very familiar with, as it’s just steps from my front door. I signed up for the 15K race, and decided to run it at my tempo run pace (about 4:30) for as long as I could as a pre-marathon tune-up.

The MEC races are fairly small in terms of the number of participants, which is great if you’re looking to run fast. I found myself trying to keep up with the speedy women in the front, whereas at a larger race I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard. The price is also incredibility reasonable: For only $15, you get a timed race, post-race snacks, a free 15-minute massage, David’s Tea, coffee and medals for the top three men and women overall. (more…)

Guest Post: MEC Big Wild Challenge 21 km trail race review

Debbie getting ready to "run" the MEC Big Wild Challenge.

Debbie getting ready to “run” the MEC Big Wild Challenge.

By Debbie Preston

Some of my favourite races to run are the MEC series here on Vancouver Island. Although they might not have all the bells and whistles that other races have – some races aren’t timed, there are no medals and there aren’t always aid stations along the route – these races have the essentials: they are always affordable ($15-$20), you’re guaranteed to be challenged by a talented group of fellow racers and the entire MEC team and amazing volunteers will cheer you along the course. (more…)

My Annual Non-New Year’s Resolution Post: 2014 Goals

Me at the top of Haleakalā in Maui in March 2013

Me at the top of Haleakalā in Maui in March 2013

Has it seriously been 365 days since my last non-New Year’s resolution post? It felt like 2013 flew by in a blur of awesomeness. A lot of wonderful, fun and challenging things happened for me in 2013, including getting a full-time, permanent job with the government (medical and dental FTW); going on vacation with my boyfriend to Maui;  celebrating my grandma’s 90th birthday in Oyama with my whole family (before she passed away less than month later); watching my best friend get married; completing my first 50 km trail race in one piece; and running a super fast marathon time without training. (more…)

Squamish 50: How I trained for my first ultra

1069845_10151532225501592_916413937_nIn less than two days, I’ll be running through this.

Then I’ll be spending about eight hours runking (running the flat trails and downhills, hiking the uphills… it’s my word of the day, just made it up) up and down this and in this.

Hopefully this will be me at the end. But I’ll most probably end up finishing like this, if I finish at all, that is, considering how many times I’ve eaten dirt (or come close to) on my long trail runs lately; I tend to stop picking up my feet after 5+ hours of running single-track forest trails and stumble over every rock and root in my path.

Naw, I’m pretty excited to race Squamish 50 this weekend, and feel confident I can at least finish. Since this is my first ultra, I don’t have a time goal in mind and have no idea what to expect. My goal is just to finish, relatively unscathed. (more…)

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