Monday, December 16, 2013

New Sponsor!! GU Energy Labs!!

A lot of thought and planning goes into nutrition during training and, of course, during races.  I had a really rough year nutrition wise, so I had to really take a long, hard look at what I was doing  and in the end I decided it was time to change up the products I was using.  Just a few months ago I received a TON of samples of GU products (thanks Paulette and Tony of Uber Performance Products), and I decided to give them a whirl! Well, the results were amazing and I was SOLD!  No more upset tummy, and I can actually stomach gels (in fact, I LOVE the GU gels, especially the Roctane ones, YUMMY)... I might just eat a gel for lunch today... I joke, I joke... maybe... hmmmm, maybe I'm actually eating one right now (you wouldn't know, muhahaha).

I just got an amazing shipment of product that includes GU gels (both regular and Roctane), GU Brew, GU Electrolyte tablets (the strawberry lemonade ROCKS MY SOCKS OFF), and some 'delicious for any meal ' Chomps (it will be a challenge to NOT eat these as candy)...


New passion!!

So Ottawa just had a snow-dump of about 10000000cm (ok, I'm exaggerating a tiny bit), so trail running has become a bit of a challenge.  To best counter this new challenge that mother nature has thrown at me I have decided to incorporate more snowshoe running into my training regime.  I knew that it was going to be harder than regular running, but I really had no idea just how hard it is!!  GEESH, what a workout!! I love it!!  Corey also took up snowshoe running, so now I have a training partner... YAAAAY!!

For those of you who live in the Orleans, Ontario area we actually have a group of snowshoers (not a word... but I just made it a word) who meet at Mer Bleue for snowshoeing every Wednesday! :)

If you're thinking about buying snowshoes, check out my buddy Derrick Spafford's site: Spafford Health and Adventure.  He sells the Dion snowshoes there.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Haliburton 100 - 1st place

So, I really don't know where to even start to describe this race...  I guess I will do a chronological race report, then share some of my thoughts.

km 0-15

I woke up bright-eyed and ready to go at 3:50am!!  ( I didn't even wait for my alarm)  I was stoked, and just wanted to get to the start line.  Corey and my dad got my breakfast and hydration ready and before I knew it we were off to the start.

I toed the line with 2 of my fav guys (John McAlister and Dale Draaistra), I was totally ready to get this race underway.

WE WERE OFF!!  The lead men in the 50 mile and the 100 mile took off ahead, I considered going with them, but decided to run with Lisa Van Wolde (amazingly talented runner, who was in the 50k race) and my buddy Alan Murphy (Houdini - my new name for him cause he disappears and reappears at the most random places during races).

The first 6k was on the dirt road, it was easy and fast, really got my legs spinning and warmed up for the technical section coming up.  We entered into the Normac Trail, and immediately started flying through rocks and roots, with lots of little climbs.  Everything was running smoothly for me at this point!  UNTIL BOOM, I tripped and fell onto a huge section of pointy, sharp rocks!!  I landed on top of my handheld bottle and it exploded EVERYWHERE!! UGH!  "No worries, Laura, shake it off".  I didn't let it phase me, I got right back up and settled back into pace.  I was running well, but MAN did my knee hurt!!  (I had no idea how bad it actually was).

After Normac we headed out onto Poacher's Trail, which is an amazingly technical trail with TONS of climbing, it's awesome... well, it was awesome till I fell AGAIN!!  OUCH!  Keep moving Laura, keep moving.  I kept the pace strong and stayed light on my feet the entire way.  I was pretty much by myself at this point, but that didn't bother me.  I knew I was in the lead (of both the 50 mile and 100 mile women, and I just wanted to keep it that way).

At 15k I entered AS#4 and saw my dad, Corey and Pat.  They gave me a new handheld, some mountain dew and sent me on my way.

Km 15-30

I can't remember exactly where it was on Krista Trail that I encountered the bear, but it was within the first few minutes of being on the trail.  This bear was relentless and would NOT back down!!  I tried everything to get it to move (HECK, I WAS IN A RACE AND NEEDED TO GET GOING), but it stood it's ground. For the first time ever, I was actually terrified during a bear encounter.  I didn't know what to do, so I laid down on the side of the trail and waited for the bear to leave me alone.  It took about 3 minutes of sniffing, but eventually the bear lost interest in me...

* nothing else eventful happened in this section.  I was running SCARED after the bear encounter and SURELY picked up my pace substantially!

I was relieved to come into AS#6 and hug Corey!!  That bear encounter SUCKED!!

Km 30-50

After what seemed like forever on a mixture of grassy trail and annoying dirt road we entered into the King James trail.  I remembered HATING this trail last year... not because it is technically hard, but because it is one LONG SUSTAINED climb after the other!!  I don't know how, but I think the number of hills actually multiplies each time you pass through.

I trudged through, and forced myself to KEEP RUNNING!!

I reached the turnaround point, and looked at my watch, I wanted to see how big of a lead I had on the other women.  I was extremely surprised when I passed the woman in 1st place in the 50 mile race, I had roughly a 30min lead on her!!  CRAZY... maybe I was going too fast?!? Should I be ahead of the lead 50 mile woman when I'm in the 100 mile race?!?! UGH!  When I passed the 2nd place woman in the 100 mile race I knew that I had at least a 45min lead, which gave me great comfort.  I was still running strong and feeling very comfortable (well, except my knee, it was killing).

km 50-80

I'm bunching all of these kms together, as they are all a blur to me!  Nothing eventful happened, except I finally took a look at my knee.  It was bloody and disgusting.  The volunteers at the aid stations asked me if I wanted to clean it up, I said no, and just decided to ignore it.

                                                      (what it looked like after the race)

I came into the 50 mile split and actually was the 1st woman in (in both the 50 mile and 100 mile race!), this was insane to me!!  How on earth did I beat the 50 mile runners, had I taken it out too fast?? No, I felt great!

Km 80-110

I wish I could give some details about this stage of the race, but I honestly don't remember much.  I know that I was still running strong.  power-hiking some of the uphills, but still flying on the flats and the downhills.  I felt great... well, as good as I could possibly feel 110km into the race!!  My legs were tired of climbing and mentally I was getting a little tired, but overall I was positive.

km 110-130

FINALLY, my pacer was allowed to jump in!!  Yaaaay!!  Corey's energy and positive attitude was such a pick-me-up, I instantly felt re-energized. (I love him!  I have the best fiance)...  Corey understood that I needed to walk the steep uphills on King James trail, but I promised him that I would run everything else!  It was so great to have him out there with me.  On the way back to aid station #6 I saw the 2nd place woman again, and I knew that my lead had increased.

km 130-145
My awesome friend Pat Chartrand jumped into pace me at this point.  He kept me smiling, kept me moving and made me laugh!  It was great!! owe him HUGE for this one. :)

km 145-150
Corey jumped back in at this point and I was starting to get very emotional!  My feet were killing, my knee felt like someone had taken a cheese grater to it and I was JUST DONE with this race!  Luckily, I only had 15km to go... That sounded like 1000000000 miles at that point though.  The uphills were torture and the downhills had me afraid of tumbling with every step.  Thank goodness I didn't fall at all in the later stages of the race!

km 150-160
My motto became: Run when you can, and use it! I tried to push wherever I could, I gave it 120% at this point.  I was emotional, but kept telling myself "you have worked so hard for this, don't let anyone take it away".  Corey and Pat were amazing, they kept me moving, kept me positive and helped me to believe in myself.  

When I entered the home stretch a new-found energy came over me!  Corey said to me "go babe, run, you've got this" and it just gave me that little extra push to get me to the finish line!  

I was thrilled when I crossed the line in 22:23!  1st place female for the 2nd year in a row!!!!

A HUGE shout out to Dale for killing the men's race in a time of 18:36.  He was totally in a league of his own!!  (Dale also won at Sulphur, he's on fire this year)

A huge thanks to my Dad, Corey and Pat!!  This victory isn't just mine, it's all of ours!

Also thanks to my coach Ray Zahab for always believing in me :) 

Lastly, thanks to my sponsors: Inov-8, CW-X, Drymax, Tho'z Bars, and Hammer Nutrition.

Monday, August 19, 2013


HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!  I recently found out that I have been named to the Drymax Team of runners!!  I'm so thrilled about this, as I SWEAR by Drymax socks.

My personal favs are:

The Trail Running Sock:

AND the Maximum Protection Sock:
I have worn Drymax for years, so to be one of their runners is a HUGE honour!!  These socks keep my feet dry and blister free through even the toughest 100 milers.  They don't bunch up and don't slip... :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

New Sponsors!!

I'm over-the-moon excited to announce my newest sponsors!!

To start, I was out for a run 2 weeks ago and decided to try a nutrition bar that had been given to me at a race.  it was called "Tho'z Barz"... NEVER heard of them, but thought I'd give it a whirl!

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!  It tasted like cookie dough!!  I actually stopped dead in my tracks to tell everyone I was with to try it.

SUPER HEALTHY (wheat and nut free).  check them out

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sulphur Springs 100 - Race Report

So here it is, my race report.  Please keep in mind that I'm still trying to process everything that happened this past weekend, and I'm still in shock from it all.


Saturday, May 24th : RACE DAY

Everyone around me seemed thrilled that the race day was calling for "cooler" conditions, the temp was 3 degrees in the morning with a high of 15 expected.  I, on the other hand, was NOT thrilled!  I hate the cold and I thrive on HOT/HUMID days.  Oh well, what can you do?!

Loop #1: 0-20k

Corey and I approached the start line and assumed our position near the front of the pack.  The race started and we TOOK OFF!  I decided I wanted to take it out extremely fast, as I did not want to end up stuck in the pack on the trails.

The first 20k went by so quickly I can't even remember them!  All I know is that they felt easy and effortless.  

After the first loop Corey and I stopped at the aid station for about 2 mins to refuel.  My Mom and Dad were there with our Perpetuem and Mountain Dew ready to go, we had a quick sip of each and were QUICKLY back out on course!  I REFUSE to waste time at aid stations. 

Loop #2, #3, #4 : 20-80k

I can't even begin to describe how amazing this part of the race was for me.  Everything felt so easy to me!  My legs were light and fast, my stride was effortless, I even had a few runners comment on how light on my feet I was :)  The miles just seemed to roll by.  I enjoyed every minute of the race.  The aid stations were filled with amazingly supportive volunteers who were always there to cheer me on.  Every time I went through the Gatehouse Aid Station the volunteers would ask me to give up one detail about my wedding, it was really cute.  They started to refer to Corey and I as "the adorable running couple".  (on a side note: if you can run 100 miles with your significant other, YOU CAN GET THROUGH ANYTHING TOGETHER).

I was amazed when I can into the 50 mile (80k) split at 8:16!!!!  One of the volunteers actually told me I had achieved the 2nd place in the 50mile race and was shocked when I told him that I was in the 100 miler!! LOL!!

Loop #5, #6 and #7- 100-140k

I wish I had some cool stories to share about these loops, something about a wild bear encounter or a brutal obstacle that I overcame... But I don't.  The miles just kept passing like they were still early on in the game.  Yes, my legs were sore.  Yes, mentally I was getting tired.  But for some reason I was just inspired and wanted to push harder!  I kept seeing all my running buddies out on the course (John M, Dale D, Alan M, Alex L, Sylvie K, Stephen B, Bill L, Catherine H... sorry, too many more to list) and it just made me want to push harder.  I was so inspired by everyone's effort, especially Sylvie, and I wanted to be sure I was returning to favour to them.

Corey told me repeatedly that he had NEVER seen me run this well.  He even got emotional because of it.  I`m normally very hard on myself, and I think this was the first time he had ever seen me truly believe in my abilities.

Loop #8 -140-160k

What can I say??  This loop SUCKED for me.  My legs hurt, my stomach was in knots and I was ready to be DONE with this race.  Although I felt like I was falling apart on the inside, I didn't let it stop me from moving forward.  Corey kept pushing me and reminding me how amazing I had done throughout the entire race.  He wasn't about to let me fall into a slump.  I pushed through, and forced myself to run even when I didn't want to.  Luckily for me, the downhills did not hurt AT ALL at this point, so I pushed myself whenever we got to one.

As we approached the final climb, Corey took my hand.  He kept me moving up the last brutal climb.  I started to get VERY emotional.  As we reached the top, someone yelled out "you're going to break the course record by an hour!"  This made me break out into tears and pushed me into a sprint to the finish.

My final time was: 18:57:59 - 1st place woman!!

Previous course record was: 19:53:52

Not quite an hour, but I`ll take it! :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stoked Oats

I just wanted to do a quick post about my FAV pre-run fuel!!  I am completely addicted to Stoked Oats!!

These little gems are gluten free!!  Stoked Oats are easily digestible, packed with energy, and did I mention tasty?!?!  I absolutely love them!!

Check them out

The countdown is on!!

Looking at the calendar today I realized that I have 45 days until the Sulphur Springs 100 miler!!  Eeeeeek!!  That might sound like a long time, but in the running/training world it isn't. 

Here's the details on Sulphur:

20k loop done 8 times

The course is tough, but runable (which I love)!  It's a fast course  :)   

I'm stoked, cause yet again I get to have my amazing parents there crewing for me!!  I will of course be running the race with my fiancé, which will be awesome.

So now the serious training starts!! Corey and I will be starting into some super long back to back runs.  I will be following the direction of my coach Ray Zahab and keep the week day runs fast, concentrating on good turnover and getting stronger.



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Little bit of snow??

Corey and I decided to head out for a nice little trail run last weekend.  We decided that we would hit a trail that had been closed all season due to downed trees and debris from a bad storm.  So we arrived at the trail and saw this sign:

NO PROBLEM WE THOUGHT!!  How bad could it be??

Things started off ok, with just a little bit of snow, packed down by others... But as we got deeper into the trail it all changed!  The snow got very deep and the trail seemed to disappear.  OH WELL, we're already out here, we may as well make the best of it! LOL!!

Now for those of you who don't know me I weigh 95lbs, so most people can not judge whether they can step in the same places as me without falling through.  Corey encountered this problem a few times during the run!!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Running Clinic

Back by popular demand I will be hosting a running clinic at CrossFit Fortis!

Coaching is one of my fav things in life and I'm thrilled to be hosting this clinic.

Are you looking to improve your running technique? Wanting to run without pain or feeling completely awkward?!? Come to my clinic on April 20th to learn the POSE method of running and to learn some valuable insight on endurance training.

To register for the clinic follow the link!

Training update!!

So I just wanted to give everyone an update on my training.  I know, I have been terrible about updated my blog lately!!  SORRY!!  But I recently got engaged to the love of my life Corey, and I have been very busy doing wedding planning :) we are getting married June 7th, 2014 and the ENTIRE wedding is already planned.  (I'm somewhat obsessively organized).

Corey proposed to me on the trails that we fell in love training together on... it was perfect.


I recently started to scale back my CrossFitting and increased my mileage, as I'm getting into my race season.  I'm starting the year off with the Sulphur Springs 100 miler and I have really BIG goals for this race.  I'm keeping things simple right now with my training, developing a good speed/strength base and gradually working in extra mileage.  I'm feeling strong and confident.

This weekend Corey and I will be running a nice easy 35k on Saturday and a 40k on Sunday (with some speed pickups).  It should be fun!! :)  The snow is finally starting to melt and we're excited to get back to our usual weekends on the trails.

I promise to update more often... Life just got away from me recently.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New Shoes a-coming!!!

Ok, so I'm totally stoked about Inov-8s new line of trail shoes!!  They are absolutely amazing!!  I recently received the specs for all of the new Trailrocs that are coming out, and they are MADE FOR ME.

I fell in love with the Trailroc 245 during the Haliburton 100 race, it quickly became my go-to shoe... well, until my dad set them on fire while trying to dry them out at an aid station!!! LOL!  You don't believe me?? Look at the pic!!

Regardless of the shoe tragedy at Haliburton, I fell in love with these shoes.  They are fast, light and felxible, AND they grip on wet/slick rock/roots, AWESOME!

This month Inov-8 is releasing a new line of Trailrocs and I'm stoked~!  They're going to be awesome.

There are many options, with weights ranging from 4oz - 9oz.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE these shoes.  And the colours are awesome too!  With options ranging from the near minimal 150 to the rugged 255, there is a shoe for everyone.

What I love about the shoe:
COLOUR!!! ;)

These shoes truly feel natural to me, they provide protection from rocks and roots, but without compromising my need to "feel the ground".  THESE ARE HANDS DOWN THE BEST SHOES I HAVE EVER WORN.

If anyone wants more info on these puppies, just inbox me and I'll give you the specs.  As my sponsor Inov-8 has supplied me with a lot of product knowledge, so hopefully I can help everyone to pick a great shoe.  :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

REST is important too... training update

If there's one thing I often forget, it is that REST is equally as important as training.  Most people who know me, know that I HATE (H-A-T-E) rest days... I'm convinced that they were created by the devil to test my willpower.  Even on my rest days I always find an excuse to go for a short run, or to just do an easy WOD at CrossFit.  Recently I have forced myself to embrace my "off" days, and I have truly noticed a change in my energy and my progression.  (Ugh, don't you hate it when your coach is right ALL THE TIME)... Thanks Ray!

My training right now is pretty simple.  I'm working on my strength and speed, so CrossFit and FAST runs (tempo, speed, interval, over/unders) are my staples.  My weekend runs are staying around 20-25k for now, no need to push too soon.

I'm already missing my spring/summertime trails, it's simply not the same in the winter.  Don't get me wrong, the snow is beautiful right now, BUT I AM NOT MADE FOR THE COLD.  I can't wait to spend 4, 5, 6... or 10 hours on the trails with my man!!  But till the snow melts we'll do what we can.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fight Gone... AWESOME!!

Yesterday's WOD at CrossFit Fortis was one called "Fight Gone Bad", in this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. After the completion of all stations a 1 minute break is taken.  This is repeated 3 times.

The stations are:
Wall-ball: 14 pound ball, 10 ft target. (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull: 55 pounds (Reps)
Box Jump: 20" box (Reps)
Push-press: 55 pounds (Reps)
Row: calories (Calories)

The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of "rotate," the athlete/s must move to next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

I had horrible memories of this workout!!  The last time I did it, I DIED!  I remember only knocking out 5 or so reps of Push Press on the last round.  Mind you that was well over a year ago and I'm much fitter than I was then.

 I went in with a solid game plan and set my goals high!  I wanted to get a score over 350 (last time I got 315), so I believed this was entirely attainable.

3-2-1.. GO!

First the wallballs!  They went up like balloons, awesome.  I was able to get 34 up in the first round!
Then onto SDHP - they were easier than I ever remembered.
Boxjumps SUCKED and were painful, but again, I was able to get 30 without any issues!
Push Press -  These were by far the easiest part of the workout, loved them
Row- I used the row as an active rest, never pushing too hard, as I wanted to be rested before the next round.

Now, I normally push myself extremely hard, but I must say that during this workout I was pushed beyond my normal limits by one thing (or should I say ONE PERSON).  Throughout the workout I had Corey (my amazing boyfriend) in my sights!  Through the workout we were going rep for rep on the push press and the SDHP and I must say that the sight of him giving it all he had pushed me to give that little bit extra.  Maybe it was how hard he was pushing himself, or maybe it was my competitive nature, but I just wanted to keep pace with him.  He always motivates me!!  As the ladies know, Corey is pretty easy on the eyes, and the fact that he had forgotten his shirt at home, may have contributed to my fixation on him ;)  Shirt or no shirt, Corey helped me push harder than ever before!




Friday, January 11, 2013

I am my own worst enemy

For those of you who know me well, you you how ridiculously hard I am on myself.  I am a perfectionist, in life and in training/competing.  This can be a good thing and a VERY BAD thing. 

Allow me to explain a little more in-depth.

I have had many races, races where I have been in 1st place, where I simply "lose faith" in myself and start to question why I am where I am.  I often feel that I don't deserve it, or that I haven't given it my all.  I have actually said out loud in the middle of a race "I'm not an ultra runner, I don't have any talent".  These demons have almost destroyed several of my races and have made me want to stop running/CrossFitting several times.  I don't know why I constantly doubt myself and why I question my abilities... I just always feel that I could've done something more.

Corey was the first person to really call me out on this self doubt, and it was truly a wake up call for me.  I have decided to make an effort to believe in myself this year, and to ignore everyone who seeks to put me down! 

Now this plan hit a bit of a snag lately when I let some things that others said about me get to me.  I again started to doubt my abilities, which is INSANE, given how hard I'm working and how much progress I have made.  It's funny, because I know that what they said was out of jealousy and the fact that I achieved something great, but it still affected me.  I don't understand why people can't just be supportive and happy when others do well!! UGH!!  Especially women... we are truly cruel to each other...  (note to self: be kind to all women/girls, we need it)

I know this is a bit of a rant, and not the "norm" for my blog.  But I think we all have inner-demons and we all doubt ourselves from time to time.  I just want people to know that I feel the same way, and I often doubt myself.  I know I need to get stronger mentally for this year, and the first step is writing this. 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Training milestone! MUSCLE UPS!

This past month has been a month of BIG CrossFit milestones for me!  I got BOTH my bar and ring muscle ups!! YAAAAY!! 

For those who don't know what a muscle up is:

** DISCLAIMER: Mine were much uglier!! LOL!  But I did manage to get 4 of them in yesterday before my WOD.

The muscle up is a VERY frustrating movement, as there are so many elements.  The grip on the rings, the kip, the hip drive, the pull to the sternum, then a violent situp, and finally the BIGGEST tricep dip OF LIFE!

The muscle up was much easier on the pullup bar, because I didn't have to rely on my stabilizer muscles.

A HUGE thank you to my coach Dan Baribeau at CrossFit Fortis and to my amazing boyfriend (Corey) for helping me achieve these milestones.  Both of them spent TONS of time working with me on technique and didn't laugh at me when I struggled. :)