Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bills Bad Ass 50k, Beast of Burden 100 Mile Training, Giving the Vegetarian life a try


My husband is an official ultra marathon runner! One year after he started running he ran his first 50k. Last year at this time he had only be running for one week! What more can I say other than WHOA!! Not only did he complete his first 50k but he had a great time as well! He finished BBA in 5 hours and 42 minutes.

During the race I teeter tottered between taking pictures of all the awesome runners and helping out all my friends, old and new. My son jumped in and volunteered as well!

At first I thought he was just doing it for the cookies, but he really enjoyed it!

Bills' Bad Ass is an amazing F/A run. It was a free race, but you still got some swag. You got a t-shirt courtesy of Bill Wagner and the Wild Bill T-shirt Company.(the shirt I received last year remains my favorite running shirt) There was an aid station as well, which had tons of food. A few runners contributed to the aid station, so we brought gallons of water, Fig Newton’s, and chocolate chip cookies - along with Scaps and Ecaps. Almost all of my ultra runner friends were at the run - Bill Bailey of Playing With Knives and Fire and Bill Wagner know how to make a great event! This was like one big running party. At first I was bummed I was not running (due to a reduction in my mileage for the week) but I wound up really enjoying taking care of my husband and friends and snapping pics as well. And I thoroughly enjoyed introducing my son to the big nasty hill! HA! We kept busy and time went by fast. Soon the winners were coming through. And who were they? None other than running friends Dave Wank, 1st male and Crystal Basich, first female! They were both so strong looking!

Crystal was amazing the whole race - I have never in my lifetime seen anyone more focused than she was at BBA.
It was incredible and inspiring! Even before the race started she was looking extremely focused so I knew then that she was coming out on top. Great job Dave and Crystal! Another running friend, Jeannette, had an accomplishment of her own during Bills'. This was her first 50k. She gave her all, got a great pep talk from Chris Basich
and finished that sucker! (To put it this way - Jeannette had not done a marathon distance yet! She just jumped straight to an ultra!) Great job Jeanette!

Right before the top runners were about to finish I walked up the big nasty hill to the basket of Smarties candies that were sitting there, waiting for the runners. The runner's trophy, of sorts.

I snapped pictures of the runners snatching up their Smarties, bending over and wincing in pain - glad to almost be finished. Soon I saw my husband and son running down the trail! He was almost done! I could tell from the look on his face that he gave all he had and then some. There was a bit of flucuation in his voice as he repeated over and over again "That hill was messing with me, I think I lost my mind! I lost my mind!" He grabbed his Smarties and we all ran down the hill together.
I told him "Now you know what it's really truly like to push yourself, to keep going when you have nothing left to give." The mind is an amazing thing - this is what it's all about. It was written all over his face, in his voice, in his running form. For his marathon that didn't really happen. He flew through it with no real pain, not too many issues - but at Bills' Bad Ass 50k it did. I could not have been more proud of him at that moment, or for my son for being such a big help to all the runners! Congrats to all who tackled BBA - hopefully next year there will be tons of mud!

**All pictures can be purchased at-cost at - if you see a picture of yourself just purchase the print for whatever Walmart charges. Enjoy!**


Training is in full swing for the Beast of Burden! The mileage is picking up again and I'm stoked! Saturday called for a long run which I spent on the road - running into the wind for much of the run. I've had a bit of a hatred for the wind ever since an extremely windy NC24 training run I did, so I was not happy. This was probably good training for the Beast though - as the weather will most likely not be all that pretty there.

Since the weather has gotten cooler my asthma/lungs have been trying to adjust. The week prior I suffered the worst asthma attack I have had since the fourth grade - and it was during a trail run. It was towards the end of the run and luckily my husband, Crystal, and Kattya were there with me. (And the stayed with me!!! This is why I love trail runners!) I muttered "What the hell was I thinking, signing up for a Winter 100? How the hell am I going to finish this one?" Anyway - the pouting is over and I've sucked it up, I think now my lungs are adjusting nicely and are getting used to the temperature change. All I can say now is bring on the cold, snow, ice, and wind. Mother Nature: Give me all you got!

This week begins the start at our attempt at a vegetarian lifestyle. I have to say so far so good! Every dinner this week has been a grand slam, and if all the new recipes I will be trying are like these ones then we will not have any problems! So far this week we ate: Eggplant Parmesan, Indian Samosa Casserole, and Black Bean Chili. The recipes for all three can be found at

I'm really hoping this lasts and am looking forward to trying many new recipes!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Autumn Leaves 5 miler: From a volunteers perspective

This past weekend was the Northeast Running Club's Autumn Leaves 5 mile run. One of the best runs of the Grand Prix series, it's usually held the first Sunday of November. My husband and I attended this year not as runners but as volunteers, my son however did do the run. (Last year at Autumn Leaves was he was conquering his longest distance yet!)

The day before the run my son and I went to the Farmpark to help set things up. We wound up helping set things up inside - and the manly men went off to mark the trail. ;-)
Two awesome ladies were there to help out also, Edie and Carole.

Edie got to run, too!

I swear Carole's vounteered at every NERC race I've ever been to!

We got done in a fairly decent amount of time and just chatted away the rest of the time. Take that manly men! HA! Acutally, the men did have to be pretty manly out there marking the trail. The Northeast Ohio snow machine switch got flipped to "on" and it stayed like that the whole time they were out on the course.
They were met with mud, snow, cowpies - all of it. From time to time some of the guys would come in looking completely frazzled. They would warm up for a minute, then go right back outside. Thanks men!

Race day came and over 215 people had already registered. What happened next was quite unexpected. There were TONS of people who came in to register same day. The total number of people who finished on race day came out to be 281. WOW!
Our fearless race director Mark Anson took it pretty well! My husband and I helped inside for a bit and chatted with a few friends. Right before the race was set to begin we went outside for our outdoor volunteer duties.

Lining up at the start:

I hung out at the mile #2 calling out times as people ran by, and my husband was a flagger. It was neat being able to see my son in the middle of the race, and all of my friends as well! In between calling out the times I took pics of the runners. Then, when the last of the runners came through my spot I headed towards the finish line to take more pics. Soon I saw my son speed through - he ended with a strong finish. He improved so much from last year's time, I'm proud of him! Last year he ran Autumn Leaves with a time of 54 minutes and 53 seconds. This year his final time was 42 minutes and 45 seconds. WOW! I shouldn't be surprised because his improvement is equivalent to this year's improved cross country times - but it's always amazing to see such big gaps in time like that.
(Yes he's overdressed, and yes I knew better (from a runner's perspective) but hey - I'm a mom! He's lucky I didn't have him go out looking like that kid off the Christmas Story!)

The awards ceremony came off without a hitch, I helped Mark pass out a few awards towards the end, and what awesome awards they were!

I want one!
I'm a big fan of useful awards at races - because you can only have so many medals, and what are they good for really? They just hang there, collecting dust.

Guy Gadomski provided the hot cocoa for the mugs. Thanks Guy!

One last thing, the pictures I took are available free of charge (almost)at You just have to pay for whatever Wal Mart charges to print the pictures out. Go to the following link to view and purchase:
Prints start out at 10 cents each.

Thanks to all the runners who came out, and to all of the volunteers as well. It was a great time, hopefully everyone got EXTREMELY muddy, and we'll see you again next year!

Jean Toth - The only 70 & over female runner!

Lone runner headed into the corn field.

Future Autumn Leaves runner perhaps?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Amish Country Fun Run, Johnson 5-0 Trail Run, Halloween Fun Run, Beast of Burden 100 miler

I know I know, lots to report on - and still busy. I'll try to make all this short and sweet, but I have to give huge kudos to my friends Jeannette, Zach, And Eric who have accomplished their furthest running distances ever! I'm proud of all of them! (Eric did the Run With Scissors double marathon, Jeannette the Amish Country Fun Run, and Zach did the Johnson 5-0 Trail Run)

Amish Country Fun Run: 10/23/10
some photos taken by Eric Ford - thanks Eric!

I wasn't sure how this one would turn out, how many people would show up - but we had a nice group!
I offered sleeping space in my house the night before, and friends Frederick Davis III and Charlie Bolek took me up on the offer. (Cue the nerves - as Fred is vegan! I have never cooked for someone who is vegan before!) I wound up not cooking, so I still have never cooked for anyone who is vegan ;-) I ordered pasta and picked up bread from the Great Harvest Bread Co. Simple! Having Fred was good, as my husband starting to think about a vegetarin lifestyle. (Crystal and Chris Basich then made him think even more about that the following Sunday - but we'll save that for another blog!) Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and we sat around talking until our eyes were puffy and we couldn't stand to be up anymore. It was neat watching Frederick get ready the night before - being able to see how an experienced vet prepares for a long run. The next day, arriving well before dawn were friends Jeannette, Crystal and Eric. Eric took some awesome photos of our run! Thanks Eric! (And big congrats on your first Ultra!) Away we went!

The reason for the run: I just HAD to run to this sign when I saw it!

I spent my time running back and forth between people and wound up with about 25 miles. I have to say, my energy level was zero. I was exhausted as I have not caught up with my sleep in the last couple weeks. That didn't stop the hills though! They were there whether we liked it or not. Jeannette was trucking along - giving it her all and Crystal was absolutely killing it up the hills. Charlie was being Charlie, running with a smile on his face as usual. Frederick had an incredibly steady pace throughout the run which was just amazing. Me, I'm all over the place in terms of pacing, but Frederick was running strong with his steady pace. It was very impressive!

We had an aid station along the route courtesy of most awesome NERC Mary! Thanks Mary! Closer to the Middlefield area we were met by Guy Gadomski, Emily Terlop, and Janet Edwards. Guy and Emily both were doing shorter runs due to the marathons they did this past weekend. (which they killed by the way!) Our run ended at Mary Yoder's Amish Restraunt, and we all chowed down on some good food. I was proud of Jeannette as she had just accomplished her farthest distance ever!
And it wasn't an easy run with all those hills, she did great! I definitely see a repeat of this run in the future. Congrats everyone and thanks for coming!

Johnson 5-0 Trail Run: 10/24/10
some photos taken by Zach Johsnon - thanks Zach!

The day after the Amish Run me, my husband, Kevin, "Buttercup", Crystal and Chris Basich met Zach Johnson for his first 50 mile run. (after we left some others joined in the fun)

The story goes like this: Every ultra running parent's dilema - find a race that fits with your families schedule. It can be quite difficult, and this was Zach's current dilema. He was itching to run 50 miles - but no ultras worked out for him date-wise. So what did he do? Made his own run up! I commend him for putting his family first and was so glad that we could run with him for part of his run!

Crystal, my husband, and I joined Zach for 19 miles - Chris stayed on for 5 hours of the run. Zach took us on "new to us" trails and they were amazing! Thanks Zach and congrats on your first 50 miler!

Halloween Fun Run: 10/31/10

some photos taken by Kattya Romero Mora - thanks Kattya!

So we all typically have to do long runs on Sunday, right? Well - with Sunday being Halloween I thought why not dress up? I wasn't sure if people would go for it, but a few did so it was on! Seriously, I haven't worn a Halloween costume since High School!

After searching for awhile (and almost having a heart attack over the price of costumes) I found one - a skirt and some wings. My husband was dressed as a nerd, Jeannette as a cat, Charlie as a martian, and running friend Kattya was in orange & black. Chris, Dave, and Kevin dressed up as runners.
HA! We had a great time on the trails Zach had introduced us to. There were a few people on the trails hiking, taking pictures, etc., etc. I can't even begin to imagine what they were thinking! One older man lectured me (jokingly) and said I should have been leading the pack since I had wings. It was tons of fun that may have to become an annual tradition!

Beast of Burden 100 Miler

So I've done it. This morning registration opened for the Beast of Burden 100 miler that will be held in Lockport, N.Y. on February 12 of 2011. February? New York? Snow Belt? LAKE EFFECT!!! I'm excited! The first thing I did when I woke up is registered myself for the race. Training has begun and I'm hoping the snow will start to fly soon. I have my winter gear ready and it's just sitting and waiting for snow! BRING IT!!!!

Have a great week everyone, and Happy Running!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Towpath Marathon Race Report/Oil Creek Race Report

Ok yes, I'm backed up a bit on the blogging. Funny how a little thing like life can get in the way! Things have been busier than expected this month and will get even busier since I'll now be doing the WRTR newsletter - so I'm writing this fast to get it done and will try and remember all the details!

TOWPATH MARATHON: My husband's first marathon!

Can I just say how extremely proud of my husband I am? He has battled through some very personal issues and has completed his first marathon. Yep that's right. 26.2 miles. With a bum knee. He refused to let things stand in his way, he refused to give up, he did not back down from a good fight. What's more - he completed his first marathon in 3 hours and 37 minutes. What can I even say about that? INCREDIBLE! He's my biggest inspiration! I do feel for him though. He did this incredible thing and not one family member on his side asked how it went. This is his life. He says he is used to it. Bullshit. Not one phone call. Not one congratulations. It's a shame really, but I truly thank my dad for calling to see how everything went. It's little things like that - just one phone call that can let someone know that you really care.

Wake up!
Race day came and my husband was looking a little nervous. He had me wake him up super early so he could spend even MORE time being nervous! Our friend Stan was up here from Vancouver, Canada - he woke up, we all got ready and off we went to pick up the INCREDIBLE Jean Toth. 74 years old, running marathon #51 - what more can I say?

We arrived at Boston Mills Ski Resort an hour ahead of time, took the obligatory pics and went about our merry way. My plan was to run with my hubby for the full marathon, carry all his gel, endurolytes, etc. and then turn around and run back for Jean Toth after my guy finished. To make a long story short, and to not talk about me so much - that did not go as planned. I tried to register for the marathon the day before. However - as I was filling out the registration form - the two ladies working that table looked at me and walked away without a word. I turned around and saw one of my runner friends who told me the full marathon was sold out. Hmpf. Well, it's a public trail - so I shouldn't have a problem - that was my manner of thinking. I started with my guy without a problem. Mile 13 - a race official pulled me out. I did not see any "trail closed" signs, but I guess others did. I really wasn't looking for them, honestly. I was just trying to keep up with my super fast husband. The race official then took me to a police officer who checked me out. I tried to explain I was carrying my own fuel, pacing my husband and then a 74 year old woman. Didn't matter. When my info checked out and she saw I was not giving her problems she said she was not going to arrest me. YAY. If I got on back on the trail though - different story. Oh - and getting back to the finish line: I was on my own. How to get back to the finish line: I was on my own. Awesome. I actually did see 3 guys after me get into a squad car. I then considered myself lucky, but really thought people at the Towpath Marathon went too far overboard. I called my son and had him look up all the NERC members names and phone #'s so I could try to call the people who I knew were down at the race. He had looked up a couple people but no cells! I waited for a couple hours for Jean Toth to come by to let her know I was not able to meet her. I then wandered around in tears, wanting to get to the finish to see my husband finish his first marathon. Finally I saw a friend who was on his bike, Stephe - who explained how to get back. Seriously it was only 2/3 miles at most! I ran as fast as I could, but missed my husband's finish by maybe five minutes - something I'll never forgive myself for.

My husband's race

After my incident my husband was left with no fuel. I was carrying all his stuff, so now he had to rely on the aid stations. Hammer gel - something that does not agree with him. He stopped one time to vomit in a port-a-potty. (Just the thought makes me want to vomit!) He saw some friends, one the most awesome Charlie Bolek, whose plan was to run the last 6 miles with him. (Charlie was denied with a big fat D!) My husband saw good friend Mark Anson - and was wondering where the hell I was. In the end he told me he was confused and totally ticked off - he didn't understand what was going on, was having issues and told Mark if he saw me that he really needed me. (Truly he didn't. He was doing awesome all on his own) Mile 24 is when he hit the wall - but he still kept running! My man is unbelievable! Minutes after he crossed the finish line I saw him - and like huge babies we both hugged each other and completely broke out in tears. Not the wimpy tears, but mega tears. People were looking, but neither one of us cared. What an incredible experience for him (and of course now he has the running bug more than ever, with talk of "When's the next....!")

Jean Toth

Jean Toth was running a great race! She had 6 hours to finish Towpath, and completed her 51st marathon in a time of 6 hours and 49 seconds. She just made it!! It's truly inspiring to see her cross that finish line. My husband, Stan, and myself were standing near the finish line just staring off into the path - waiting. I was nervous beyond belief, and was really hoping she would finish in time. Eventually - we saw the little pink fireball called Jean come through the woods and into the light! AMAZING! WOOOO! We all screamed, me as much as I could through tears. (yes again) After she crossed we realized that the Towpath people ran out of medals. My husband gave his medal, his very first marathon medal to Jean! He should be getting his in the mail, although he has not received it yet. I made sure she got her first place age group award, since the people she came with last year were in a rush to leave and she never received her award. (I also made sure the Towpath people were going to send her that award from last year too, she deserves it!)

In closing the Towpath Marathon was a pretty good little marathon. Lots of friends gave my husband a tremendous amount of support and it is much appreciated! Thanks to Crystal, Mark, Charlie, Daniel and many others! Thanks all!

Oil Creek 100 Mile - From a Pacer's Point of View

My friend Rachel ran her first 100 miler this weekend (and killed the course by the way!) I paced her for the last 25 miles of her run. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to participate in her incredible run. She was phenomenal every step of the way!

The Drive:

So of course driving out there my directionally challenged self got a little lost. Once I got on the right track and came close to the Oil Creek area I forgot about getting lost and started having mini heart attacks. HILLS! Look at the hills! I was a little nervous about my pacing duties then. (I was already nervous that I would not be able to keep up just because I had run 20 miles on Friday - but now seeing the hills really made me scared!)

I eventually arrived and saw Kathleen Dickson (Mark Anson's pacer)and chatted for a bit. I hung out watching other runners, saw Sandi - Rachel's sister and eventually Chris Wagner came running through the aid station (AS 4 - the middle school). Soon after Rachel appeared and was looking good! I had lots of time to kill before my pacing duties, so I hung out at the 50k finish line hoping to see my friend Daniel Bellinger cross. I sat, and sat, and sat forever!!! And missed him. I don't know how! The only thing I figure is I missed him when I ran to go tell a 50k finsiher she was going the wrong way. He HAD to have slipped by then! I realized he had come through already when I walked into the Middle School to use the bathroom, and there sits Daniel! SHUCKS! My friend produced an excellent time however, and I'm so glad for him! (Still wish I could've seen him cross that line though!)

Again with more time to kill I hung out, talking with Frederick Davis, III who unfortunately had to drop from the race. We chatted for the longest time with an amazing adventure racer - Andrea (didn't catch her last name) who gave me some great tips on cold weather racing. Then - it was go time for Sandi! (Sandi paced Rachel for around 14 miles before me) Rachel came through still looking great and then they were off! I talked with Frederick a few more minutes and then left - I headed straight to Aid Station #2 where I was to meet Rachel for my pacing duties. My plan was to just sit tight until she came through.

Aid Station 2

I soon realized that you get pretty cold when you're not running! I picked up a spot by the fire after a little while and that's where I stayed until Chris Wagner ran through. I started to help him out, gave him batteries - started to get fuel and then heard "Runners PLEASE get out of the pavilion!" I could feel my face getting red - all I could think was this man just ran 75 miles! He needs fuel!! I was about to say something when I looked up and realized we were the only two people in the pavilion. I then heard two words. Fire and petroleum tank. NUFF SAID.

We hurried out of the pavilion - and then BAM!!! A grill sized petroleum tank exploded right by where I had been sitting. I still don't know what happened really - but it was interesting to say the least. Chris then finished getting himself organized and was off to finish his race. I ho-hummed around for a minute, figuring that it would take Rachel a bit longer to get to the Aid Station - but there she was! 5 minutes behind Chris! She ran up and all I said was "WHOA!!!" I grabbed my gear, Rachel got situated and Sandi helped her get all the fuel she needed and we were off. It was a pretty smooth transition. I told her how incredibly close she was to Chris - and that we may be able to catch up with him. We eventually did, I'm not sure what aid station it was but we got him! For a minute :D

Aid Station # ??

We arrived at the next aid station and while Rachel was getting everything she needed I went to the bathroom. Before I went I told her to start without me, that I would catch up if I wasn't out before she was done. She left and I came out - it wasn't that long at all - and I went to the aid station to make sure Rachel really did leave. She did, and I ran as fast as I could to catch her. She got so far in such a tiny amount of time that I thought I lost her!! Eventually I started calling her name and saw her going up a pretty nasty hill. I caught her, but was so out of breath. I'm still amazed she went so far so stinking fast! Chris wound up catching us as well. What was at that aid station anyway?!

Pacing duties
Before the race I researched as much as I could about pacing. (Really there's not much out there, you just run - you know!) Anyway I did find some tips - carrying extra batteries for you runner (headlamp), ask if they would like you to run in front of or behind them, etc., etc. So I did all of the above. I also stuffed some energy bars and gels in my pack for the both of us. I seriously felt like an overprotective mother as my pack was stuffed! (Think Christmas Story!) Throughout the run I just tried to be 100% positive. I've heard of pacers being tough with their runners, trying to lay the smack down on them so they'd finish - but I don't really agree with that method. I mean, personally - if I had just ran 75 miles I really wouldn't want someone talking down to me, telling me to suck it up. So - positivity was the name of the game for the rest of the run. I almost blew it when I saw what appeared to be a large pool of blood on the trail, however I caught myself before I opened my mouth thank goodness! I really wasn't sure how seeing something like that would go so I just put my head down and kept quiet.

An amazing runner
I think I really had an easy pacing job. I mean, Rachel was amazing! She didn't complain - I could tell things were hurting (well obviously!) because when she would run she made the same noises I was making at North Coast (lol!) But she never said a word. I kept wondering - when she was going to say how much she was in pain, how horrible it was - but she never did. It was so impressive - I can't even say enough. The only thing that we really talked negatively about was the sound of that STUPID well. Earlier on Rachel had mentioned it was pretty annoying, and she wasn't lying. By the end of the race I wanted to take a bulldozer to that well.

Rachel's Finish
We were on the home stretch and Rachel was still in first place. We got turned around unfortunately. There was someone stationed there but we didn't get stopped and told we were going the wrong way. We wound up doing an extra loop around the well and within that time frame a runner (female) wound up going the correct direction and came across the finish line first. Rachel crossed the finish line and we celebrated with her sister and Chris. We then walked into the school and my heart sank. There was this incredible woman sitting there, celebrating her finish. She had chased Rachel all day. In the end - she turned out to be even more incredible than anyone could have ever imagined. She heard what happened, and gave the win to Rachel. Neither one of them wanted to accept first - but this is how it went. Both women are fantastic runners who fought hard all day and night. (Rachel fought so hard it even earned her a trip to the ER, which wound up being an overnight stay at the hospital!) In my opinion both ladies should have been allowed to tie for first, but the RD said NO DICE. I'm not sure why really, but that's how it went. He did admit that he'll have to work on marking the course for next year. The end of the course was not the only problem spot on the course, but hopefully next year will be better. (If only they could use Mohican's excellent course markings for an example!)

Other notable Oil Creek happenings:

Chris Wagner passed out after his race - and I almost dropped him on his head!!

Shaun Pope dropped a little ways into his race - he had been sick the last couple weeks and not feeling well. After a bit he decided to give it another go, picked up where he left off earlier. HOW INCREDIBLE! Unfortunately the sickness was too much - but this was definitely an inspiring act!

Mark Anson finished his 100k in 15 hours and 49 minutes

Daniel Bellinger finished the 50k in 5 hours and 59 minutes

Lloyd Thomas finished the 50k in 5 hours and 3 minutes

Lee Conner, third overall female finished the 50k in 5 hours and 43 minutes

Gale Conner finished the 50k in 10 hours and 27 minutes

Kimberly Boner finished 1st female for the 100k, 13 hours and 02 minutes

Terri Lemke finished the 100 miler in 29 hours and 16 minutes

Brian Musick finished the 100 miler in 31 hours and 35 minutes

Bob Baldwin finished the 100k in 15 hours and 48 minutes

Roy Heger finished the 100k in 15 hours and 20 minutes

Congratulations to Rachel and all Oil Creek runners who ran an excellent race - the weather was good and Oil Creek is a beautiful area. Rest up, heal well - and get ready to run it again next year!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

XC invitational- Jeannette's first 30k - Boston marathon Cancels deferment policy-Sandi places 1st/female at Grindstone!

This week ended my easy running! I had to do a few 5k tempos during the week and now it's back on! Back to back long runs were the story for this weekend and this coming week speed work starts back up. My tempo runs were good, and one was on trail (LOVE) with the RHS teacher's runnning group. I was a bit bummed as they were doing 8 miles and I only had the 5k on my schedule! Super fast running friend Crystal Basich was there as well - and I pretty much just spent my whole time trying to stick with her! Such a fast smart runner, Crystal knows her stuff! By the end of my run I was in near vomit mode. Probably a combo of running with Crystal and eating that Falafel right before the run! (Smooth move!) Not too bright. I'm now ready to get back to my pre race food plan. I'm pretty much just sick of food. YES I SAID IT!! Ask me again in 2 weeks if I feel that same way though - I'm sure I'll feel differently by then!

Saturday's 30k - Jeannette's longest distance!
Saturday's run was spent on trails (LOVE) with Jeannette Spada and Charlie Bolek. Jeannette was coming out for her longest run to date, and she rocked it! Girdled Road Reservation is not an easy place to run at for a lot of people - and to see Jeannette tackle a new distance there was amazing! We started running at 6 a.m. and it was pitch black outside. Raining. Cold. BRING IT! Not too long into our run I was shining my light into the woods and there they were. Two sets of glowing eyes staring straight back at us! It wound up to be some deer, but it was the most interesting thing seeing these beady little eyes staring at you! Later we saw another deer hanging out in the creek. Beautiful! I introduced my friends to the hill I do my hill work on. (I have named it, but will not divulge that info. Just think....bleep! bleep! bleep!) Charlie left after 12-ish miles and Jeannette and I continued on, with her kicking butt every step! We both were wearing new shoes so of course we had to christen them - we went down the single track and met some mud. BOOYAH! Congrats to Jeannette on her amazing run! And thanks Charlie & Jeannette for running with my chatterbox self!

Great Lakes Brewery
Charlie and I thought up a plan a while back during a trail run. We both had an ultra the same day, me with NC and Charlie with YUTC. So we thought - we'll celebrate! It was really supposed to be last week, but my husband's work plans changed (as our entire summer has gone). Once again my husband's work plans changed as his company shipped him off to Chicago for a few days and tacked on an extra day (Saturday). He made it just in time for Great Lakes, and my sis followed right behind him. Jeannette came as well, with us spending time at the West Side Market before heading to Great Lakes. While waiting for a table we headed outside. Our kids ran over to a small park right across the street while we watched. The kids were treated to something really incredible. There were some homeless people being helped out by a few people. Whoever these people they are incredible! They had tons of food for the homeless, set up shop in the bus shelter and feed everyone. A couple of people even asked the kids if they wanted something to eat as well. I'm hoping my son realized what happened. I tried to get him to think about it for a minute, so hopefully it sunk in. On one side you have these people with absolutely nothing, no home, no food, no clothes. On the other side there's us - waiting to get into an expensive restraunt, able to get out of the cold, out of the rain. Yet these people still offered whatever they had to the kids. It was SO incredible. How can you put something like that into words? I wish I knew where the people who were helping were from - a company? A nonprofit? I'm kicking myself now for not asking, and I'm sitting here wishing I would've done something, too. The helpers loaded up their unmarked white van after everyone had their fill and drove away. AMAZING is the best word I can come up with, and it's really not good enough.

Sunday's run
Sunday's run was a bit shorter than Saturday's and my husband ran it with me. He's in taper mode, and he's fighting the urge to run long. He'll have his chance soon enough! Again, the run was on trails. Again - it was cold! It rained a little, but we still saw tons of people out on the trails. We ran into an ultra runner who was hiking at the time - a very nice guy who I'm sure we'll see again. He actually wound up running with us for a bit so we could chat for some more. Great guy! We discovered some new to us trails at North Chagrin (and that meant new to us hills as well!) Now it's time for my husband to spend the week going crazy due to tapering! I'm completely pumped and ready to see him cross that finish line next week!

Boston Marathon cancels deferement policy
Running friend Kattya looked into deferring her registration for the 2011 until 2012which is what I had planned. This is the bad news she came up with!

Email from the BAA:
The BAA does not defer times for runners who qualified, but cannot participate during the year which they are qualified.
Also, our policy regarding deferments for runners entered in our marathon has changed. The BAA will not offer deferments of qualifying times to participants of the 2011 Boston Marathon or future races.

In past years, runners who knew that they would not be able to participate in the upcoming race registered to "save a spot" through our deferment policy, thus preventing fully qualified runners from registering. With the high demand for participation and early closings of registration, the BAA decided to eliminate deferments for the Boston Marathon.

If a runner registers for the 2011 Boston Marathon and then becomes unable to participate, they will need to re-qualify to enter the 2012 Boston Marathon. The qualifying window for the 2012 Boston Marathon will begin on September 25, 2010.

Please keep in mind that entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to future races.

Good luck with your running endeavors and thank you for your interest in the Boston Marathon.


Boston Athletic Association
The Starting Line
One Ash Street
Hopkinton, MA 01748

Sandi Nypaver - 1st female overall at Grindstone!!
The course was 101.85 miles. Eleveation gain and loss of 23,200 feet. The time limit? 38 hours. Sandi finished her race in 23 hours and 05 minutes to place first overall/females! (Not only that, but she finished in the top ten OVERALL!) I don't think the people down at Grindstone knew what was coming: A tornado! Big congrats to Sandi on her awesome finish at Grindstone - she is truly an elite athlete! HUGS SANDI!!!!!!

XC invitational at Mentor
This past week my son went to a cross country invitational at Garfield Park in Mentor. The temps were good, the air was good - perfect running weather! Considering the circumstances I knew my mini would do well and most likely PR. He did just that! Yes the weather was good and he made good food choices that day, but the thing that REALLY fueled his fire was a couple of coaches from Mentor-Memorial Junior High School (unfortunately, my old school.) During his run he was running alongside a couple of Memorial boys. The coaches started yelling - (in regards to my son) "This kid's NOTHING! He's WEAK! He's NOBODY!" Well a younger Radames would've been really hurt by this. But, that has changed. He said he passed those kids up and felt amazing when he saw the look on both coaches faces! He refused to let those ADULTS talk down to him - refused to let them hurt him. BRAVO mini! I'm not really feelin' the love for my old alma mater right now. I'm pretty disgusted actually. They fail to realize what running really is about. They have NO CLUE. I hope it doesn't rub off on the kids, hope that the kids will realize for themselves what running is all about.

What exactly is running about?

RUNNING is about not giving up.
RUNNING is about thinking "No way can I POSSIBLY do that." Then DOING it.
RUNNING is about conquering those demons inside - the ones that tell you "STOP. You're not good enough. You'll never be able to do it."
RUNNING is about friendship.
RUNNING is about solitude.
RUNNING is about pushing yourself to your limits and then pushing some more.
RUNNING is about not backing down from a good fight.
RUNNING is about your own personal goals. Not coming in first, second, or third place - but it's simply about beating yourself. Getting that P.R., finally being able to run up that hill instead of walking, and going further than you've ever gone before.
RUNNING is realizing that despite the fact that you may not be as fast as before, you are STILL out there doing it.
RUNNING is about not meeting your goal, but still being proud of yourself. Knowing that you did everything in your power, used every bit of energy to try and get to where you wanted, but sometimes, just sometimes - shit happens.
RUNNING is about getting a DNF, then waking your ass up the next morning looking for a new race.
RUNNING is about getting first place and hanging out at the finish line to congratulations those that came after you.
RUNNING is about not winning a medal, but still hanging out at the awards ceremony to cheer on those who did.
RUNNING is about determination.
RUNNING is about realizing there are no limits, no boundaries, no borders.

Happy running everyone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reverse taper, my husband's first marathon, and the Amish Country Fun Run

Last week was spent in reverse taper mode. I wasn't sure how I would feel after the North Coast 24 hour race, but I'm glad to say I was pleasantly surprised! I started running again on Wednesday. I ran with the RHS teachers running group (one awesome group!) We ran from Headlands Beach to the Zimmerman trail and back again, a little over 4 miles. It was a good pace and I was completely pumped to be back on trails again! The rest of the week I ran 10k's - good recovery runs. Saturday's run called for a shorter NERC run for me (again 10k). Again I was pumped because it was kept under an 8 minute pace.

Gain some weight L!

I spoke with Ray and he told me to pack on a few lbs. Not tons mind you, but still - OH GOD! (I do this quite well, so I always cringe a little when I hear him say this!) That being said I followed orders! We headed out to the West Side Market in search for some good eats (translation-the gyro stand). We had over a 30 minute wait at the gyro place - but it's always SO worth it! Afterwards we hit up the Ingenuity Fest for some music and art. It was something different to do - and was a pretty interesting event.

This week holds just a few 5k's for me, and then it's back to business starting Saturday! Back to back trail runs for the weekend, some hard speed work on the schedule for next week as well as a fast trail run Saturday and running with my husband at Towpath Sunday! I can't wait to see him accomplish this amazing task - and I couldn't be more proud of him! He has struggles that only a small few know about, and to see him cross that finish line will be nothing short of phenomenal! LOVE! Good luck to all those running their hearts out at Towpath!

Amish Country Fun Run

Ok so I've planned it. The Amish Country Fun Run will be around 23 miles. It will start at my house and end at Mary Yoder's Amish Restraunt in Middlefield. There will be hills. There will not be trails :-( HOWEVER - there will be plenty of road apples to enjoy. The manager at Mary Yoder's is allowing us to park our cars there overnight Friday. Car pooling is suggested. All you need to do is figure out how to get your car to the restraunt Friday night. We will open our house (and yard if you want to camp out) to anyone who wants to spend the night Friday before the run. The run is completely self supported - I will post info on gas stations that will be available from point a to point b. This is not a competitive event by any means, just a super fun run. Hope to see everyone there! Sign up at:!/event.php?eid=157293300957165&ref=mf

Monday, September 20, 2010

North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run Race Report

How much is there really to say about a race that goes around in a .9 mile loop for 24 hours? Well as it turns out - LOTS. It was a day filled with so much raw emotion. The race was well organized, and while I didn't stop at the aid station too many times it was well stocked. (I crammed our car full of everything I could possibly imagine!) The volunteers were the greatest, and many of them my good friends which was a bonus! Even though I didn't make it to the aid station all that often they did call out to me as I was running by, just making sure I was ok. They knew what was up (more on that later). Chaney Events, well they were amazing as always (official results are already posted on My family and friends were absolutely incredible - I mean, who in the world would want to come watch someone run in circles? Turns out lots of people showed up. Some I knew were coming and some friends shocked me by coming out; I had no idea they were coming and it really lifted my spirits!

First things first

Thanks to all those who donated to Impossible2Possible! I met my fundraising goal of $500. The Amazon expedition is coming up fast and I'm sure they can use that money! It takes alot to run an organization such as I2P! The education resources that are provided to schools that follow along are all free to schools/teachers and tons of kids will be benefiting from this. THANK YOU!

Setting up/the race start
We had good luck as we happened to set our tent up near Shelley and James Viggiano! This time it was Shelley's turn to run, and James turn to crew. I'm glad to run with Shelley and she did great! James was a busy guy as well, and very helpful. He made it clear that he'd help in any way he could. They are really an amazing couple and both very inspiring! Soon after we got everything set up there was a quick meeting. I have to say I really didn't pay attention to the meeting - I was just kind of numb, thinking about what was about to take place. This was really about to begin. All this training I've done, all the work, waking up at 2 a.m., starting long runs at 3 a.m. - it was all for this. 24 hours and it will all be over. I was trying to absorb it all and it was too much!

Finally - the start! I don't think there were too many people in a hurry, except the top dawgs maybe - and I don't know if that was the case even then! We had plenty of time to run and meet our goal! The first person I chatted with at the beginning was Frederick Davis - a running legend and simply put: One great guy. His top goal was the same as mine. Neither of us had the outcome we desired, but in the end we were both happy with what we achieved. More on Fred later!

Right from the get go I was feeling nauseated. Still running, but feeling nauseated. That was horrible, I was just ticked.

Mistake #1 - I used an energy drink that I had not used during training for NC. Yes I've used it for other training/races but I haven't used it for NC training. Needless to say I'll never use it again. It's been a few months since I've used it last. I didn't really need it, I know this - I KNEW this. So why did I take it? I figured it wouldn't hurt. Well it did. All I could think of was Ray saying -"Don't ruin your race because of food L!" Dang. I have to say it didn't really slow me down much, I can deal with being nauseated. But I really wanted to puke. Seriously, I thought it would be the best thing ever. But nada. Relief came later, then a much bigger problem.

Mistake #2 - Or I should say, a much more uncomfortable problem. My old friend UTI. (Or so I was thinking.) It happened the same as before. Feeling the need to pee every second, and nothing. It bothered me more when I ran, so I walked as fast as I could. Every time I thought maybe I should just suck it up I started running. Every time I did the problem just seemed to get worse however. I cannot describe how uncomfortable it is. I can deal with pain. No problemo. But this is so different. I wasn't worried like I was when this happened before. Wasn't scared either. Just pissed. Of all days. SERIOUSLY! At one point I went to the bathroom - and yeppers. Blood in my urine. FANTASTIC. I came out of the bathroom and my husband was waiting for me. I was frustrated and burst into tears. Joe Jurzyck was there too, and all I could do was just cry like a big sissy. I started back up again and that was that. I wasn't about to stop - no way. I hoped for big mileage but that was pretty much out of the question now. I was stopping every loop to try and go to the bathroom. At night I avoided the port a potties because quite a few of them had been, um - "blown up" if you know what I mean. Just stuck with the public bathroom. I wasted a huge amount of time using the bathroom and now it was just about lasting the whole 24 hours and getting at least 100 miles. That was my bare minimum goal for this race. (Max goal was far greater)

Eventually my husband informed the medical staff what was going on. At first they had me downing cranberry juice. Then they had me take cranberry pills, which I had already been taking since my first UTI episode. None of that worked. I thought there was a doctor in the medical area, but apparently he was running the race - so a man on the medical staff tried to help me out (I'm not sure what all the qualifications are.) I spent a good deal of time on the table as he said sometimes nerves are pinched around that area. He tried as best he could but nothing worked. Finally he said there's nothing he could do for me, and I went on my unmerry way. Swell. I ran the rest of the 24 hours feeling this way. One day later I may have found a simple solution thanks to Shelley V though. While I was reading her blog she had the exact same issue. She actually talked to the doctor who was running the race and headed the medical team. Chronic cystitis is what he told her, and per Shelley's blog: "basically, i was dehydrated, my bladder was empty and the empty bladder walls were rubbing against one another, causing irritation and bleeding". WOW!!!!! So this would not be UTI? Even though I had this UTI just a couple weeks ago this is something I'm going to have to look into - this has GOT to be it. I mean, what are the chances that this happened to both of us? Here's this knowledgeable ultra runner doctor - he HAS to know his stuff. I'm so relieved for Shelley's blog and FINALLY a solution to my problems. A simple solution. I THOUGHT I was drinking enough but I guess that just wasn't the case. I wish I was smart and did what she did, ask the doc but I did not. I'm just thankful that I know now. Lessons learned. There are always lessons learned. I'm such a newbie!

Making new friends, loving the old friends, and my wonderful family:

Ray Zahab
I continue to get a great deal of knowledge from Ray, and am constantly grateful! Such a busy guy (seriously, I can't possibly complain about being busy after knowing how busy he is) he's always there to help and is so encouraging. A wee bit bummed about my mileage he had very encouraging words for me - I'm lucky to have his help. He's GREAT friend and coach!

Jaameelah Mujaahid
I ran with an amazing woman for a good portion of the run. Jaameelah came all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the NC24. This was her first. What's amazing about her is not only the fact that she was out there doing the run, but she was doing so and has SIX kids. AND she has a job. HOW THE HECK! She's amazing! Turns out she starts her runs early in the a.m. like I do, because hey - that's just what needs to happen if we want to do these things. Running is her me time. What a fantastic, inspiring mother. I'm sure her kids are incredibly proud of her!

Frederick Davis, III
I latched onto Fred and I would not let him go! I'm not sure when it was exactly, but at some point we started running together for great lengths of time. We had both ditched our top goals but were still hell bent on making our bare minimum. His being 90, mine 100. We talked SO much, I'm sure the other runners had to be irritated late at night when they were hurting. I'm sorry y'all, but it was great. We were talking, laughing, telling each other our history - family, jobs, etc. Talking about running - all of that! Sometimes though, we ran in silence. We ran just trying to put one foot in front of the other, not needing to say anything. Just knowing. In the end, we crossed the finish line together. Once we crossed Fred said, "Lets make it to the next marking before times up!" We gave the last little bit of energy we had trying to make it to that line, and made it! It wasn't pretty looking, I'm sure - but we were laughing, running (or maybe limping) and feeling so glad it was all over! Jameelah was right behind us, and it was the best ending I could've imagined, the three of us finishing like that. VICTORY!

Debra Horn
Debra is amazing! She has encouraged me and supported me through my training, giving me advice here and there. And what an incredible runner. A SMART runner. She knows her stuff. She was also very encouraging throughout the race, and her crew was no different. Thanks Debra for all your help! Not only a great runner, but a great person!

Leo Lightner
Leo is 82 years old, and was incredibly inspiring. He broke the record for his age group in terms of 12 hour runs. I'm not positive of the exact stats right now, but even without the stats it's completely awe inspiring that he was out there. Leo seemed to be loving every single minute of his run, and you couldn't help but smile when you came across him. WAY TO GO LEO!

Crystal Basich
What can I say about Crystal? I've only known one other person like her my whole life. Doris Johnson. Now I know none of you have no clue who I'm even talking about - but this is Crystal. A great friend. After her morning run she came down to the race and helped my husband crew. The WHOLE time. She stayed all night, all the way through to the end of her race. She's an experienced ultra runner who knows her stuff. I'm really lucky she came, because it's pretty easy to cop an attitude with my husband and not listen to him. My run would've been more disastrous than it was had she not been there. She gave me ginger when my stomach was upset (yeppers, it helped!), made me drink water, eat - everything. Good friends are hard to come by, and she's a great one.


My sis came to the run for a few hours Saturday, and my mom and dad came to witness the last few hours of my run on Sunday. I don't think they knew quite what they were getting into as they've never seen the ending of anything over a 50k before. I'm pretty sure it freaked them out just a little! My dad asked me if I got that out of my system. Ha no - I'm just getting started!

My husband and son were there crewing the entire time. My husband cared me, held me and put up with my b.s. and stubborn ways. He went to the race coming straight off third shift without a complaint, and only slept for a little while during the race. He went on less sleep than I did. How many husbands or wives would do that for their spouse? I'm incredibly lucky. And what's more, is my husband said that being involved completely changed him. He can't describe it, but it did. Somehow, some way, it changed him. He's even considering running the NC24 hr himself next year! I'm excited to repay the "favor" at his first marathon in October and his first Ultra in November. My husband was so exhausted he slept all day when we got home, woke up at 8:00 to eat some dinner and went back to bed and stayed there at 8:30! He deserved that rest!

My son was a trooper and was very encouraging. His constant "Great job mom" and his hugs when I was feeling down were the best thing to me. At one point he hugged me, I did not want to let him go! I did still make him study during the race. Tee hee!!!

I'm incredibly grateful to have wonderful support as far as my family goes and I'll never forget this. Ever.

Northeast Running Club & many other friendsSo I knew a long list of people were coming out to cheer me on for a bit, but some came that I did not expect as well! I'm so grateful for everyone that came out, and wish I could've run better for them. All the support I got from my NERC friends and all my other friends that came out is the greatest thing ever. I saw Andy, Mark, Daniel, Mark G. Ron, Joe, Bill & Bill, Jim Chaney, Glenn (Mark/Daniel/Joe/Mark G/Ron R. volunteered - Jim C. and the two Bills' were working)Eric, Sarah, Rachel, Sandi, Shaun, Tanya, Charlie, Nick, Edie, Mike, Kevin, Beth, Guy and his wife, Jeanette and her boys, Emily (she gave me an awesome gift!). There was also a guy in a blue shirt who was yelling my name from afar, I'm not sure who it was because I couldn't see his face, but thanks!

My god - if I forgot anyone I'm so so sorry. There was just so much happening, and so many people - but please know I appreciate each and every one of you coming out and supporting me. Your friendship means a great deal to me, and you really touched me by showing up at NC! I mean, who the heck wants to see someone run in circles? How boring is that to see! But you were there, and I appreciate every minute of it. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

The run. Minus the issues:
For some reason, at one point during the run I loved them. I couldn't get enough of them, and I do not eat oranges EVER! Maybe it was the fact that I WAS dehydrated? But they tasted SO good. The first time I ran by, I grabbed only one. The next two times I ran by, HANDFULS! Then everything changed, and I got sick of them. Who knows!

Well Edgewater appears to be the kite flying destination! There were many people flying kites during the race. At one point it could've been nasty, but a thoughtful runner turned around to let me know someone crashed their kite, and the string laid stretched out over the sidewalk we were running on. The kite flyer was not concerned about the fact that a runner could trip with potentially nasty results.

At one point I thought that one of the kites was a skydiver. I suppose I wasn't quite with it! I did have skydiving on my mind though, as it was the one year anniversary of one of my skydiving instructors death. Danger Dan will not be forgotten. We miss you Dan...

Running with cell phones?
I saw quite a few runners running and talking on their cell phones! I was floored by this! After awhile I noticed that some of them were using them to relay messages to their crew. At times I admit I wished I would've had mine on me too, but if I do this again I still won't use one.

I didn't use my music all that much, and when I did it really didn't help. At one point my husband gave me my mp3 to lighten my mood. I was thankful for his help, but as I was running, my music was so loud I felt bad as I passed other runners. What if they were talking to me and I couldn't hear them? I hope I didn't pass anyone who tried to talk to me and I gave them no response, if so I'm really sorry. After a few laps, I took one of my headphones out, left one in so I could hear. Problem solved!

I was glad when nightfall came. I've gotten used to running early in the morning, in the dark and it's quite peaceful. Even though I was having issues I loved running in the dark. The midges were not a problem and the temperature was comfortable. The moon was beautiful, the city lights were beautiful, as well as the lights from the boats on the lake.

The aftermath:
Of course I'm sore and my feet are swollen. That being said it's not as bad as I thought it would be. My son lovingly told me he thought my feet looked like they were going to explode, but really they aren't that bad. I feel like I felt after Mohican, and I was fine 2 days later. I'm going to take a couple days of and then start some easy running. ON TRAIL!!! Running and training for NC really made me realize how much I LOVE trail running. I'm pumped to get back on the trails, I was actually quite jumpy today wanting to just get back out there! I miss them! Other than resting the day was spent with my husband, celebrating at PF Chang's in Beachwood.

Neither of us had been there, but were completely excited to go. Maria Walton, girlfriend of Caballo Blanco (Micah True) had sent us many coupons for free meals and appetizers at Chang's awhile back for our anniversary. We couldn't use them at the time since I was on a special diet, but made it a point to get there the day after the race was over! Not only did she give us the coupons, but knowing that we were going there today she did something even more amazing. She called ahead to the Chang's Beachwood owner letting the know we were on our way. After our meal the owner came up to us, and the ENTIRE meal was on the house - drinks included. I am constantly floored by Maria's generosity. The meal was wonderful, and we'll definitely be back! Gracias, La Mariposa!

Monday, September 13, 2010

North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run - counting down the days!

North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run for Impossible 2 Possible
My goal is almost met! I have only $52 left to raise! I'm nervous I won't meet my goal in time though. If anyone can help, please do! Impossible 2 Possible is an amazing organization. The team is busy preparing for their adventure to the Amazon now, only one month away! Thanks to all the new donors that have stepped up - I love you guys! I know some of the donors on this list have fallen into hard times, and I really appreciate everything. You all amaze me every day!

I2P Donors to date:
Agnes Jung
Charlie Bolek
Cyrus Taylor
Daniel DeRosha
Gregory Murray
Jeannette Spada
Kelly Matter
Meggie Feran
Nick Zeman
Ronald Kageyama
Stan Hembrough
Tamara Musick
Todd Shannon
Pamela Rickard
Tom Turturice

Donations can be made at:

Reflections on 24 Hour Training and My First Year of Ultras

I can't believe there's only a few more days until my first 24 Hour run. With Ray Zahab's help training has been phenonmenal. I've pushed myself harder than I ever have and learned a lot about myself. There were easy training days, and HARD training days. When I look back now I can't believe I ran my first 50k nearly one year ago - Exactly one year from the start date of the upcoming NC 24 hour. Fast forward to present day and now it's been at times well over 50k's, back to back - week after week for training and it's just craziness! Craziness and I love it! I've learned so much during this time, it's completely different from my 50 mile training. Incredible is all I can think of. That being said, I am ready to relax a little bit after this. I'll still be running, but taking it down a notch for a bit and just having loads of fun. Long runs will be 2 hours here, 4 hours there, as I feel and as time permits while continuing my weekly routine of hill work and speed work. My next big race won't be until July, the Vermont 100 miler, so I have some time to chill and have fun! (Won't be slacking TOO much though!)

Upcoming fun events are:

#1. Towpath Marathon with my hubby (pacer for his first!), Stan Hembrough from Canada, and the great Jean Toth.

#2. Bills' Bad Ass will be in November, and I'll most likely be running alongside/pacing my husband for his first 50k! If he runs this it will be a great milestone for him. November of last year he started running, so to complete a 50k in just a year - amazing!

#3. Possible pacer for Oil Creek :D !!!!!!!!

#4. Fun Run to Mary Yoder's (info below)

During my rest time I'm excited that I'll have a little more time to do some other things I like. I'll be starting a new photo project, going to the West Side Market a TON (one of my son's favorite places - and mine as well!), cooking up some new recipes, and hiking and kayaking more with the family (especially now that the leaves are going to start to change). Since 24 hr training I've slacked off on the meditating, so I'll be starting that up again, too. I think I fell off the band wagon as far as that's concerned because I just figured, well - when you're doing 6 hour and 8 hour training runs you kind of go into a meditative state after awhile!

Fun Run
For some unknown reason I really want to do is a group fun run from my home to Mary Yoder's Amish Kitchen in Middlefield. It's 22 miles if you take 608, a little more if you take the bike path. At first I wanted to make it an out and back but I'm not really sure how many people would be up for that distance (and I want to eat at Mary Yoder's anyway - don't know how pancakes would work out mid-run!) The only drawback to making it a point to point is the fact that people would have to figure out how to get their car to Mary Yoder's so they can get home. My husband and I will drive out there the night before and drop a car off in the parking lot so we can get home. If anyone would want to stay at our home the night before they may. We have one extra room in the house. I'd like to make the run sometime in October after my husband's first marathon. Two weeks after may be a safe bet - we'll keep everyone posted!_

Final training weeks in review

Labor Day weekend was a wild one. One of my hardest weekends of running - and all because of the stinkin' wind! The weekend started out kind of hairy, as I wasn't sure what to do as Saturday would be the only day that could potentially interfere with my son's XC invitational. Miss that? NO WAY! As luck would have it, my husband was on second shift. So that meant he could drive my son to XC, and I could simply run there. I started out early in the morning Saturday, and it was pouring. The rain wasn't so bad actually, it was the WIND. It was horrible. And I was running into it for 90% of my run. There was nothing I could do about that, that was the direction my family was headed later in the morning! A couple times the wind actually pushed me backwards. I was clenching my body and cursing the wind with every step. I had just purchased an mp3 player since we will be allowed to use it during the 24 hr. I wanted to get used to running with headphones again, but it was pouring so I didn't take it out right away. An hour passed and I couldn't stand the sound of the wind anymore. It was still raining, but I took out my mp3 anyway. Only one hour in and I didn't really give damn if the thing broke. I just didn't want to hear that wind anymore! (the mp3 is safe, no damage!) 30 mph winds, Gale warnings on Lake Erie - what a crazy run! My son's XC team gave me a lift though - and it was the most simple, amazing thing. They actually passed me on the bus as I was running to their meet and started waving and smiling to me. That gave me a little surge of energy the last hour of my run. They're the greatest! I thought I would embarrass my son coming to the meet with my reflecto gear on, my spi belt (aka fanny pack, as he calls it), hydration pack, and headlamp - but I guess I didn't do too much damage! I was so relieved when I got to the meet and reached my time goal. I stopped, then had to do it all over again the next day. The winds were reduced by half, but I was feeling the effect of all that muscle clenching the day before. It was slower, and I still hated the wind. My husband joined me for 20 miles of the run and we ran to Fairport Beach.

This past weekend:

I had no more back to backs, just a long run that I took relatively easy. I wanted to enjoy my last training run, and for the first time througout the whole training did not set a mileage goal within my main goal of time. I ran, took pictures, stopped to look at flowers - all that girly stuff.

With all the stopping I was surprised at where my half-way point was-in Geneva! I saw really interesting things. I ran through Unionville (always heard of it, never saw it).

I ran past a strange house that I've named the Conspiracy Theory house. I couldn't really make out what point these people are trying to get across exactly - there are so many complaints thrown up there -all with a peace sign on the front door! I don't get it. Throw in a couple wineries and nurseries, and it was a pretty amazing run. An ice bath marked the end of my North Coast 24 Hour Training. One amazing, worthwhile, fun ride. I'll never forget all the support I received from so many people. You all have been so amazing, and I'll be thinking of everyone during my run. THANK YOU! I'm so excited and nervous, but am ready to give it my all!