Starting to get excited as we are one week away from a fresh start with the PACE clinic series for 2014.
We do more than run in this clinic. Wednesday's speed sessions are followed by injury prevention exercise as we target mobility, stability and strength. We follow the session with some yoga and foam rolling for a complete workout. Sundays target endurance as we start to build our base up for the upcoming season and goals.
Pre-requisites are outlined on our website o...r you can email me if you have any questions.
Start off the year with group motivation, work with a professional running coach and make training fun as you push through the last bit of winter.
Spring will be here before you know it. Starting the spring season well balanced will lead to a stronger season and also reduce injuries.
This weekend my family and I spent the weekend in Revelstoke. We stayed at the beautiful Sutton Place Hotel & Resort. Set amongst the spectaular Selkirk Mountains of the Columbia Mountain Range, Sutton Place Hotel is a ski-in/ski-out all-suite hotel located at the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
We were greeted with exceptional services and really enjoyed all the additional amenities this world-class resort had to offer. We booked a luxurious 1 bedroom condo, with a pull out couch, which was super cozy. The kitchen was well stocked with all our cooking needs. We felt like we were far, far, far away on vacation, unlike the reality that Revy is only a 2.5hr drive from Kelowna.
We hit the outdoor hot tub and pool often, sometimes twice in one day. The setting was so relaxing and majestic. I am really pleased we partnered up with the Sutton for our Revy Mountain Running Camp next August. The mountain running and camp atmosphere is going to be awesome and staying at the Sutton is only going to make it more enhanced. We can play hard and rest easy with the Sutton as our home base. This is a going to be an amazing place to build fitness, make memories and explore next summer.
Save the date for Revelstoke! We have called it the 'Owl' because it is the shortest of all three of our camps. 2 nights and 2.5 days of running. August 22nd to August 24th. More details on the camp HERE.
Whether you're someone who uses the New Year for traditional "New Year Resolutions" or simply likes the concept of a "fresh start" to create new habits, often the greatest challenge is how to ensure you stay on track. Let's face it, old habits die hard.
So how do you make new habits stick? I think it should start by understanding how a new habit is created. When the mind does something for the first time, it creates a strong attachment and memory to that experience because it has to work hard to get it the first time.
Then it comes down to finding a way to implement a new routine. For example, you could try picking a buzz word like "run" and then remind yourself of the reward you will get when you finish. Pick something that is important to you like a race goal you're working at, or health related goal like "TransRockies Run" or "stronger, leaner" or "healthier, happier".
Then repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
Bottom line: it comes down to repetition and consistency to form a new habit. Action leads to success.
Lastly - you have to really believe in your goal and believe in the new habits you want to create. Surrounding yourself with positive people and those who have similar beliefs will help keep you on track and reinforce the new habits you're trying to create. And this applies to everything in life. Fitness, running, alcoholism, relationships, money and more.
Personally, this year I worked hard to create new habits in regards to racing. I wanted to run more ultra's before my main race in September (Gore-Tex Transalpine Run) because I really wanted to work on my racing confidence. I have struggled at times with trusting in a race effort and often stay comfortable in races. This year, I just wanted to try different tactics, be prepared to fail or suffer miserably and know deep down that I would grow from my races this year if I wasn't afraid to try different things.
I knew it would require follow through. Not letting my busy life, parenting, coaching, fears, blah, blah, blah... get in the way of toeing up to some races.
I ended up having a positive and happy race season this year. Finishing top 10 female in all of them. Aside from that though, I learned. I learned a lot about myself. I had fun. I felt successful for following through. It was a positive start for sure. I would say new habits were definitely made and most importantly, I made new memories and new experiences that I will look back on my life with gratitude. Don't be afraid of change. Go for it! And don't hold back.
When we parked at the start/finish on a beautiful, pre-sunrise, Pacific beach in Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island, Washington, we knew this would be another great Rainshadow Running event. And, at a balmy 8 degrees, the decision was easy -- this was going to be a shorts and T-shirt race in the middle of December! As several hundred soles gathered for James Varner's typically low-key pre-race briefing, there was just enough time to wish friends good luck. A thirty second warning later, we were off.
I had no expectations or game plan going into this race and hadn't done any real preparation, targeted training, or tapering. This weekend was all about finishing the year with a fun road trip to explore a new location and grass roots running event and enjoy the scenery. Keeping in mind that I typically start out too fast, and recalling Coach R's words of wisdom, at "go" I began conservatively. As the speedsters accelerated away on the introductory pavement, I chatted with a TRR veteran about the Transalpine and Transrockies Runs.
For maybe a kilometre (err, 0.6 mile...). At the first short, steep, hill at the end of the pavement, I settled into my traditional too-fast opening pace and passed a number of runners before diving into the single-track on the way back down. Rather unintentionally, I was in race mode now in a line of runners that flew down the trail back to the beach and a quick jaunt on the sand.
On the way to the famous Deception Pass bridge, the single track had some rocky, rooty goodness, though nothing extreme. Just enough to get the legs warmed up and the mind into the west coast spirit. Yellow caution tape was thoughtfully placed to keep the runners from straying too close to cliff edges. Then came the climb up to the bridge.
The bridge that crosses the narrow channel, called Deception Pass, between Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island is high. And the railing that separates the pedestrian walkway from the open air is roughly at my waist. But, with the osprey gliding on the salty air, the columns of seaweed waving gently in the current below, and the line of snow-capped mountains in the distance across the Salish Sea, I hardly noticed.
The Deception Pass 50k course is a connected series of 7 loops, or out-and-back lollipops. This adds an extra challenge in places as there is two-way traffic on some of that technical singletrack. There were a lot of polite greetings, "excuse me's", and apologies -- half of the field must have been Canadian! This also makes it a social run as you repeatedly get to say "Hi!" to your friends going the other way. And maybe check out how far ahead of you they are... Not that I'm in any way competitive!
One of the lollipops crossed a narrow and sandy isthmus. As we approached, a runner behind me exclaimed "What's that smell!?!?" just as my nose was adjusting to the aroma of rotting vegetation. It was gone in a few seconds and worth enduring to experience the coastal trail on the other side.
By now the blood was pumping, the sweat was flowing, and it was time to shed the gloves and arm warmers as I approached the first aid station. Jack Pot!!! Rainshadow Running aid stations are typically well stocked. This one had PB&J sandwiches. Oh, this was going to be a very good day! A quick 1.8 mile out-and-back later and I was back in PB&J heaven... Too soon? No way!
Leaving that aid station the second time, I was suddenly running largely on my own and away from the group-think that had been helping to keep my pace fast. A short period of misty west coast rain kept things cool and completed the day's weather forecast. My right knee, which had been a bit creaky the last couple of weeks, was starting to produce occasional minor pain. Frequent glances at my watch showed that my heart rate was in a zone that, given recent history, risked future GI trouble. The coach sitting on my shoulder was warning me of the inevitable, but I was on a PB&J high!
Crossing back over the bridge to Whidbey Island, this time on my own, I was 17 km in and was running at a 20-25 km race pace. I decided to hold it to the next aid station and re-assess at that point. With no performance goals beyond finishing, if things didn't work out, I could always slow down as much as needed and never admit the fast start!
After some slippery steps descending from the bridge, it was back to some fun switch-backy singletrack rounding Goose Rock. A break in the forest revealed a picture-perfect marina across Cornet Bay before the switchbacks on the trail up to the summit got serious. For a brief couple of minutes, the course was not runnable!
After a fast-running descent from the summit, it was on to a mile of pavement following the shore on the other side of the bay. The discomfort was relieved as I took in the weathered buildings and grove of white masts in the previously observed marina, and then landed right in the next aid station and more glorious PB&J!
At this point, I was just under halfway through the race and on a pace to finish in under 5 hours! Next up were two laps of the same 7 mile loop, returning to this aid station two more times, guaranteeing that magic food at every aid stop between now and the finish!
Shortly after leaving the aid station on the first lap, the trail turned and climbed into the woods at a grade that my legs could, at this point, still handle. Before long I was running in solitude through an old cedar forest of brilliant green on a trail that varied between runnable climbs and speedy descents, sometimes technical and often smooth, on a bed of damp leaves or through short sections of shoe-sucking mud, along wide double track or narrow singletrack between ferns and patches of swamp grass.
During all this fun, my right calf developed a bit of a pain that felt like a minor pulled muscle. I altered my stride to protect it, removing what spring was left in my step to avoid pushing off and aggravating it. On the bright side, my knee pain had disappeared and I was moving reasonably well.
After climbing for most of the first half of the loop, the second half had some fast running back down toward the aid station. As it drew near, I passed the posse of Okanagan friends just heading out for their second loop. At 34 km in, I had just completed 7 miles of hilly trail in 1 hour and was only 5-8 minutes behind these very fast athletes! I was indeed having a very good run!
After a solitary first loop, the second was full of other runners on their first. But, it turned out to be a bit of a struggle as I continued to avoid making the calf pain worse and, as I started to lose some strength and energy on the climbs, discovered that one cannot run on PB&J alone. It was (past?) time to break out the Vega gels! Guaranteed to pull one out of an energy low!
I spent a lot of time on the second loop doing mental math, converting between miles and kilometres to figure out how far to the finish and how much longer I'd have to last. Toward the end, my adductors started threatening to cramp, but I made it back to the aid station without incident. This time, extra electrolyte drink and a mouthful of salty potato chips joined the PB&J.
I had 30 minutes left before 5 hours. It was 5km to the finish, I had a belly full of PB&J, some Heed and Nuun in my reservoir, it was cool... and I was wearing a fast yellow shirt. Time to hit it!!
The return on the paved road started well as once again I ran past the marina with textbook technique.
Bam!! Every muscle in both legs spasmed at the same time as I narrowly avoided a total seizure and collapse to the pavement. I steadied myself and, through sheer willpower, kept my quads from cramping as I stood there contemplating my options. I drained every last drop of electrolyte-infused water from my pack and started walking carefully. When that seemed to work, I tried a very careful jog and promptly danced a bit of jig as everything spasmed again. This was going to be a long 5km. Where were my trekking poles?!
I started to hobble my way along again as a few runners started to pass me. A couple out for a walk struck up a conversation.
"How far are you running today?"
"Wow! Well, you've only got 2 miles left. Good luck!"
"Thank you!" (It was 2.5 miles, but who's counting...)
A few minutes later an outdoorsy-looking lady was driving by and, noticing my predicament, pulled over.
"Hey, would you like a ride to the finish?"
"Thank you for the offer, but I think I'll make it." Aside from the legs, I was feeling pretty good and was not going to contemplate a DNF!
"I think she was hitting on you..." came from the next runner to pass me a few seconds later.
She'd already driven away. Well, too late now! I soldiered on.
After some time, I was able to resume a careful jog without seizing up. Soon I was on the home stretch to the finish, stumbling along the fun singletrack I had floated over just 5 hours ago on the way out.
"Sorry man, I feel like a dick passing you at mile 30!" the next runner apologized as he powered by. No worries!
Finally, the finish came into sight. I collected myself and assumed a reasonably normal, if slow, gait for the benefit of the audience as I approached and crossed the line. Seven runners had passed me in the last 5km and I finished in 5 hours and 10 minutes.
Waiting at the finish on the beach was a warm shelter, a live band, a feast that included giant grapes, delicious gourmet pizza, hot chocolate, hot cider, cold beer, and a great group of friends! A perfect end to an amazing event!
For any runners not yet ready to face a snowy winter, the Deception Pass 50k is a great race on a scenic and fun-running course. With a 25k option, this event makes a nice December getaway in a beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps I'll escape again next year to greet some friends on the course and try to save another 10 minutes!
What would it be like to go hungry over the holidays? Heck what would it be like to go hungry on a daily basis? Did you know that the Food Bank within the Central Okanagan services nearly 30,000 people per year and a third of them are children?
Well, that's why PACE hosts a few runs for the food bank every year. We believe that giving back is just as rewarding, if not more rewarding, than crossing a finish line, running on a sweet ridge-line or that fun feeling of blazing down a fast descent.
Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy holiday season to give back to those in need. Together, we collected a significant amount of food, had some fun, gave back to our own health and brought everyone together before the holidays.
There were 4 different groups that headed out. 3 running groups and 1 hiking group. It was also Nathan's big debut as he lead his first 'official' run as a PACE leader. He did an awesome job and we are stoked to have him join the team in 2014.
The winner of the costume contest was no big surprise. Nicole, (some of you remember her as the sumo wrestler from Halloween) went above and beyond once again to show us her holiday spirit and win another beautiful tea pack from our sponsors Touch Organic.
We finished the run with a nice social in the parking lot with hot chocolate and treats. Thanks again to those of you who brought treats, helped host on their tailgate, brought your children and dogs down and made this a good ol' fashioned holiday hamper soiree.
Happy holidays from the PACE team.
Guess what made the top 10 slope-side cabin escapes list? White wolf Cabins at RED Mountain which is where we are hosting our mountain running camp this summer!!
ROSSLAND MOUNTAIN RUNNING CAMP
PACE is proud to partner up with the Sutton Place Hotel on Revelstoke Mountain in 2014. This luxury condominium style hotel offers premium amenities and is only minutes from downtown Revelstoke.
We are excited to call the Sutton Place Hotel home for our Mountain Running Camp taking place in Revelstoke on August 22 to 24th. Enjoy 2.5 day of epic mountain running, learn more about trail running, training, nutrition and more from a professional running coach and have an outstanding experience with likeminded trail running folk.
To learn more about the Sutton Place Hotel, please visit their website. Don't forget that the Big "R" is also home to some of BC's best skiing where you can enjoy the most vertical in North America at Revelstoke's only ski in/out property. Special stay and ski packages available.
Every athlete wants a strong, mobile and injury free body for adventures ahead. That's why the January clinic will work on fundamental movements and skills. Athletes will learn valuable exercises that focus on mobility and stability, to help eliminate weak links in the body and prepare a strong body and base heading into spring.
Join us in January for 8 weeks of running and injury-prevention exercises. This clinic also includes a section on foam rolling and basic yoga/stretching for runners.
Feeling unmotivated to run during the winter?? Don't worry - the PACE culture has energy. Sign up and see... we'll keep you moving and having fun. Register today!
PACE gift certificates are now available for the holiday season. Does someone you know love to trail run? Why not give them a customized gift certificates for a PACE trail running clinics or Mountain Running Camp.
Simply email Rene!
Hot off the press for those of you still sitting on the fence about TransRockies Run 2014, after a few too many beers in-front of the fireplace, My buddy Kevin has just sweetened the pot...
PACE has new codes ...that will give $200 off any RUN 6 entry and $150 off any RUN 3 entry. Just email me for the code and register before January 1st. email@example.com
Still need convincing... Well, with less than 70 spots left and a whole slew of PACERs seriously considering... read this cool article to sum up the event and let's all meet in Colorado for a running holiday next August. http://travlete.com/2013/08/28/the-transrockies-run/
Last nights TRR and PACE info night was a blast! Thank you to our sponsor and generous host, True Outdoors for housing the event and for all the amazing prizes! Please visit these guys for your last minute holiday shopping and show your support. They have some great sales on for the mountain lover in your household.
Thanks goes out, as well, to everyone who came out to support the event and learn more about the TransRockies Run and the Mountain Running Camps coming up in 2014. PACE gave away a free entry to to the upcoming January Trail Run Clinic so training for TRR can officially get started . I also want to thank my Dad for his help with the set up. He is always there to help me with the grunt work of my projects.
Shout out to race director Kevin McDonald for his high energy presentation, all the awesome swag, beer and pizza and let's not forget... Not one but two free entry giveaways for RUN 3. HOLY COW!
PACE peeps... Who's in for a fun year of making memories in the mountains next year!? I think we have approx 10 people ready to sign up for TRR and there is a solid buzz around the camps. It's gonna be fantastic! Can't wait!
With only approx. 70 spots left in the race, don't forget to email me if you want the PACE discount code to receive $100 off your entry!
Last night was the last Wednesday PACE session of 2013 and I have to say it was AWESOME! There was a festive vibe because the house down the street had TONS of Christmas lights and was playing music as people ran by. There was a calm, yet super strong energy out and I was really proud of everyone as they did their repeats because this was a "no slackers" workout. There were two hills athletes had to climb, with our focus tonight being on strength endurance, technique and leg turn over. It was a continuous run with some downhill and flats as recovery. A bit of road and a bit of trail mixed together. I was really impressed with the determination and effort put forward. Not to mention everyone ran happy and was smiling. I just felt grateful. Grounded and well, just plain happy!
What a way to end the Wednesdays with street music and amazing people all around. Standing out there coaching in my down jacket was the best part of my day yesterday :)
Don't forget we have one last run of the clinic. 8am from Cara Glen Way, off Clifton Road. If people want to go for breakfast together afterwards, I will scout out a place nearby. Groups will finish at different times but we can all eventually meet up for a bite to eat and cheer before the holidays for those who want to.
I had no idea, that 9 years ago, when decided to become a running coach that it would bring my life such an abundance of JOY. And further that it would be connect me with such amazing athletes and friends.
PACE has evolved over the years and become this incredible, generous, fit and friendly community of trail runners who like to run (duh!) but more importantly, has created a place where people have come to know that they are celebrated, cared for and ultimately supported on the PACE scene no matter what your goals are or your speed is. It is a special bond among everyone.
That's because we do more than run. We make memories. We build friendships. We explore and we inspire one another to live a life that is fulfilling and ultimately becomes rewarding.
Just like each of you love a challenge, I love to be challenged as a coach too. Every year athletes at PACE get faster, fitter, smarter and have the desire to go further, take on new challenges and step up their commitment levels. So I too have taken the steps required so that I can support you and ensure that 2014 is nothing more than a home run in terms of providing more education. More video analysis and technique work. We will focus on more mobility and stability exercises to help prevent injuries and allow everyone to have a happy, strong season.
Western Financial, Kelowna Cycle, True Outdoors and Salomon are title sponsors and they do a lot behind the scenes and on the pace scene to be supportive. They all showed tremendous support this year and enhanced our clinics, charity runs and events greatly. I am grateful to have these businesses in my corner. As well as Jen from Flora Health/Udos Oil, Dan from Concept H2O, Crystal from Flaman Fitness, Scott from Sturgeon Hall, Patrick from Touch Organic Tea and Matt & Molly from Claremont Ranch.
My team. Ian, Jamie, Stephanie, Cindy, Karen B, Karen C, Jody, Trent, Chris and Nathan – you have all been loyal to me over the years. First as athletes and then later as a teammate. You believe in the vision PACE has to help bring out the best in our community of trail runners, to have fun and be safe while creating life long memories. Your hard work, support, positive attitudes and friendship means not only the world to me – but those in our clinics. You show PACE athletes a good time on the Sunday runs while getting their miles in. I am extremely grateful for all of you and without you PACE wouldn’t “run” as a one-man show. Thank you.
Dr. David Urness for sharing his expertise, experience and valuable information with us on injury prevention during the year. The volunteers for the Autumn Rush trail race. You all made a long-lasting impact on the success of our event. Thank you for giving back your time and energy. The participants and those who donated and supported our charity run from Salmon Arm to Sicamous. Warren & Ron Ellis for leading and sweeping the pack. The trail maintenance volunteers that got dirty, braved a cold and wet day to spruce up Earring Trail which PACE adopted this year.
To all my athletes, thank you so much for choosing to invest in PACE and for trusting your running and fitness goals with me. I look forward to moving mountains next year together and building off the memories of 2013. I am really, really, grateful for the life I live and PACE is a huge part of that.
Nathan was the creativity behind the name and logo designs for the first race in our series that took place last year in September called Autumn Rush. Nathan volunteered his time and talent to once again give back to the newest race in our series: Spring Rush which takes place in Rose Valley Regional Park on April 27th, 2014.
Nathan is a creative designer and also a brilliant and expressive artist in his spare time. His paintings are fun, energetic and fresh, although he offers a diversity of services through his personal business.
I have said it once and I will say it again! Nathan... you're a gem of a guy! Thank you for giving back to your trail running community and support an event that ultimately gives back to trail runners but also charity.
Nathan is not only an artist but a fellow ultra runner. You can check out his blog and website to stay motivated and follow his creativity!
Here's a glimpse of the rad logos you'll see out and about in the community, promoting our race series for 2014.
1. Pace yourself. Give your body time to warm up and adapt to cold weather running;
2. Wear appropriate footwear. You want to avoid getting your feet wet as this often results in cold feet. Having said that, merino wool running socks are insulated and will help keep your feet warm even when wet. Make sure the grip, cushioning and support isn't worn out on your current shoes. I am excited to try my new spikecross 3's from Salomon this winter!
3. Stay motivated :) Running with a group or having a running buddy will help keep you accountable. It's harder to stay in bed when you know you have a bunch of friends who will be heading out. Stay positive and remember your winter miles are for a reason... they will pay off big time when the spring weather and race season rolls around;
4. Layer, layer, layer! The trick is to dress like it is approx. 20 degrees warmer than it actually is which will help you avoid overheating and sweating... which translates to wet clothing. The last thing you want in cold weather conditions. Always start with gloves and a hat.
Your “base layer” should fit snugly and wick sweat. (I like to use a light merino layer because merino is insulated, if it does get wet from sweat, it will still keep me warmer than other materials)
A “mid layer” should insulate and keep body heat from escaping.
The “outer layer” should be wind-resistant and/or waterproof in case of rain or snow. The goal here is to have your clothing adapt as you warm up and cool down and to changes in the weather being prepared to layer down and adapt as needed.
5. Remember to fuel and hydrate. Often people think because they don't sweat as much in cold weather that they aren't working as hard and often underestimate their fuel and hydration needs. Not only is this important to maximize the potential within your workout but it aids in recovery. Aim for 8 ounces every 20-30min and a snack or gel every 30-45min as a basic guideline.
6. Post-Run Bliss. You did it! You got out there and braved the cold and you feel fabulous after your run. Now's it time to get out of your wet, cold clothes and celebrate inside with fresh dry, warm layers, a good stretch and don't forget to focus on recovery fuel and hydration as close to the finish of your run as you can.
It's easy to run in spring, summer and fall when it's nice outside and there is ample daylight and sunlight. The winter months will fly by faster if you kick your butt out the door and keep moving. Hope these basic tips will help you tackle mother nature and enjoy your winter training sessions!