Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Run for Regis 50k, Marathon, and 1/2 Marathon Race Report& i2P ATACAMA begins!

So, coach Ray Z is off on another adventure! Follow along on the website: http://impossible2possible.com/atacama/home

Ray will begin his adventure to run the length of the Atacama desert beginning on January 22nd. Best wishes Ray!

Ages 17-21? LISTEN UP! I2P will be choosing 4 of you to go on an expedition, expenses paid - to Jordan! Get more details (as well as the application) at: http://impossible2possible.com/docs_pub/Jordan_Youth_Expedition_Application%20Instructions_v5.pdf

Youth Ambassadors will run an average of a marathon per day for up to 10 days, a total of 200+ miles!

First of let me start out by saying Run For Regis was an incredible event. Tanya Cady, Race Director did an amazing job - and the volunteers were nothing short of spectacular! To stand there, helping us snot faced runners in freezing temps...KUDOS to all involved and this is one run I will most DEFINITELY return to.

This past Tuesday I spoke with Ray who gave me my running schedule for the next couple week's worth of Beast of Burden training. That included a 30 miler for this past weekend. Conveniently I got a message from fellow NERC board member Tanya Cady that evening offering me a spot in the sold out Run for Regis trail event. 50k? PERFECT timing! I jumped at the chance to run with my trail buds!

"Race" day

Before I left home I made the decision to not wear my Garmin for the run. This was just a training run for me, and I didn't want to be bummed with my pace running in all the snow, so I left it. This decision was both good and bad. Good - for the reason I just mentioned, bad because I wanted to work on fueling every xx mins. Also bad because while the final results show me running for 36 miles, I don't really know with 100% certainty how far I went (ha, more on that later!)

I arrived at the race location early to get my bib number and talk with my buds, problem is everyone was so bundled up I barely recognized anyone! I got my stuff and was freezing my butt off standing around so I went back to my car until it was time to start.

The race started after Tanya gave a moving speech on the reason behind the race. Many crazy runners ran off into the woods, hoping to warm up fast! It didn't take long, so I was pretty happy about that. For a quick second I was in first (a very quick second!) and then our local speedy runner Terri Lemke took the lead and that's how it stayed. Terri's a crazy fast, strong runner! Congrats to Terri on her 1st place for the 50k distance!

Mid race
I merrily went about my way, and from what I could tell was keeping a steady pace. I was pleased with that as keeping a constant, steady pace was my main objective for the day. For hydration I had brought my handheld for the race because I knew it would be way too cold for my hydration pack - that the water in the tube would just freeze rendering it useless. Well - my handheld didn't do any better. At first the nozzle froze, so that left me fumbling around, unscrewing the cap when I needed a drink. Then, that froze. I couldn't unscrew it anymore - so no liquids. Not to mention carrying that thing with huge mittens on was a royal pain in the ass. I wound up ditching my water bottle at an aid station. "No problem" I thought, the aid stations really aren't that far about, it will be fine. SURE fine if you don't get off track! Which, I did. IMAGINE! ME?! NOOOO! I was on Salt Fork loop and still in second, but very thirsty. Happily trotting along the trail I saw someone coming onto the path (the entrance to the trail, right after you run past the lake). Things didn't click, I wasn't paying attention, and just thought "what the heck was that guy doing? Going pee?!) For a nano second I thought maybe I should check and see if that's where I should leave the trail and head to the aid station, but it didn't look familiar (wouldn't as I was running with my head down the whole time!)I told myself that was not the exit point. It was in fact the entrance/exit point. NICE ONE. **NOTE TO SELF** Go with my instincts from now on. After running for a bit the ground started to look familiar, logs started to look familiar, and I knew what I did. I was SO thirsty at that point, as I was thirsty the first go around that loop but of course, due to my blunder, missed the aid station. Now I was REALLY dying. This is the only point in the race where I feel like I slowed down. I almost ALMOST grabbed some snow and enjoyed. Saw my friend Mark Anson, and hardly said two words to him. Felt bad, but I just wanted to get to that aid station that I was supposed to be at a LONG time ago and chug water! I pushed on, making damn sure to look where I was going now, so I didn't miss the "Home" sign again. One point I need to make - the trails were well marked, I just plain and simple wasn't paying attention. I don't think there's more anyone could have done to mark the trails any better than they had been. It was all me baby! UGH! Something I most definitely need to work on. I have one goal race, one big one that this kind of stuff WILL NOT go well for. So anyhoo....some portion of Salt Fork loop x2 - don't really know what's considered the whole loop as I'm still not too familiar with the CVNP. Since, as I said before my I left my Garmin at home I do not know the exact mileage, and I have not looked at any maps, but someone from Run for Regis decided it was 36 miles according to the race results. Whatever the exact was distance it was a great training run for me and I'm pumped I got more miles in. If I would've gone into this one racing I would've been bummed and mad at myself, but right now I'm glad I got to run more!

And on the race results....So the results are posted already! So fast! You can check them out here at: http://www.wrtr.org/docs/2011RunForRegisResults.pdf

Much to my amusement instead of placing me with the 50k peeps Tanya and crew made me my own category, 36 miles! I had to laugh when I saw that - pretty much made my day yesterday! Another thing I noticed about the results: EVERYONE was accounted for, whether they ran the distance they wanted to that day or not. It doesn't matter if you ran 3 miles or 30, your name was there. If you had the cojones to drag your butt out of bed early in the morning Sunday and toe the line your name was there. That speaks volumes about Tanya, and the Run for Regis. Congrats to all the runners, volunteers, and most importantly - Tanya!

CONGRATS Terri Lemke!! Woman's 50k winner!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's been awhile! Best of Burden 100, Copper Canyon Ultramarathon, I2P updates and more!

WOW! I Haven't been here in awhile! For a couple months I was doing the WRTR newsletter, but had to give it up. I enjoyed it to a point, but just had too much on my plate to handle. So, hopefully with giving that up and the holidays over I can update here with a little more regularity. Today, I have TONS to say! Great stuff is on the way for 2011! Of course there is the Beast of Burden 100 miler on February 12 (and 13, lol!). Shortly after that I will have a truly amazing cultural experience, running with the Tarahumara (Raramuri) in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. I could not be more thrilled to go on this adventure, and with my good friend Cyrstal Basich! I did have to give up running the Vermont 100 to run Copper Canyon, but I feel it will definitely be worth it. I have neither the vacation days or money to do both, but as long as I get to do Copper Canyon that's SO fine by me! I will be setting up a fundraiser soon for the organization Norawas de Raramuri via Active.com. From the Norawas website: Norawas de Raramuri is a nonprofit organization working on behalf of the indigenous Running-People of Mexico’s Copper Canyon region. Based in the USA, Norawas de RarĂ¡muri works to support and reinvigorate an ancient and unique running culture that has endured, and under increasing stress, from long before the arrival of Europeans in Central America. Norawas works to provide maize, seed corn, and cash awards for participating RarĂ¡muri runners, men and women alike. In this way we offer both nutrition during economic and environmental stress and support for a tradition of small farms necessary to both physical and cultural survival.
Now I know tons of you have read Born to Run...and LOVE it! And I would love it if you donated when the time was right! Thanks so much! xoxo

Atacama is approaching fast! Here's an excerpt from my amazing coach, Ray Zahab's site: In January of 2011, myself and adventure journalist and i2P team member Kevin Vallely will attempt to run the length of Chile's "rainless" Atacama Desert! Following the paths and trails of the legendary ultra-running messengers of the ancient Incan empire, we will explore the world of a mysterious lost civilization as we navigate one of the driest landscapes on the planet... Kevin and I will run close to 80km a day in an attempt to cross the full length of the vast Atacama Desert in a 15-16 day push. Relying on minimal re-supply, this expedition is as risky as it is exciting. Follow along on the journey at: http://rayzahab.com/rz and don't forgot to donate to I2P when you do! These guys are training hard to make good things happen - and the I2P youth expeditions and educational modules are world class - take a minute to check it out! http://impossible2possible.com/home

I'm so proud of my friends Rachel and Sandi Nypaver. They worked so hard for the "I Believe" run across Ohio. They both had extraordinary running accomplishments in 2010 and I'm sure it will continue into 2011. These women raised over $1500 for the United Way and that figure completely blows my mind! I'm so extremely proud of my friends, and was able to meet some incredible people when we tagged along on Saturday. Of course there was Shaun and Steve, who we already knew were amazing! But then there were Mr. and Mrs. Pope. Unbelievably nice people! And there were the people of the Medina area - who frequently stopped to ask if we needed help (upon seeing our flashers on sitting at the side of the road). The first guy to do it made me nervous, because I JUST wasn't use to people being nice like that! Someone pulled up, and I just put my head down - didn't look at them, hoping they would go away and not yell at me for being on the road. They sat there. And sat there. Finally I rolled my window down and the man said "Hey you all right? Need help?" I heard myself gasp and could barely say "No thanks!" Someone was really asking that? WOW!! INCREDIBLE!!! After that it was continual - and at one point someone drove by, asked again if we needed help and I shouted - Naw! She's just running across the State of Ohio! MUHAHAHA! (This time I got the dumbfounded look!) I heard my son laughing as the man just stared at me and said uhhh...uhhhh..ummmm.... o.k. HA! That was my favorite part of the day! Congrats to both Sandi and Rachel for pushing so hard and raising a ton of bucks for the United Way! Keep on inspiring, and believing anything is possible.

Training is in full swing now - with last weekend being a bigger weekend. We have had tons of snow recently, so that's great - although it melted all this weekend. BOOO! Hopefully it will come back soon. My son was literally outside on New Year's Eve with no coat on, skating on his new half pipe. My husband ran in shorts on Saturday (I was not brave enough to wear shorts)! I ran with my friend Crystal for 25 miles, got home and literally had puddles in my GORE TEX shoes!! WHAT! I had to laugh when I took my shoes off. That hasn't even happened when I've dpne water crossings - that's how hard it was raining ;-) I have to say I was glad for Crystal's company. I don't think I've been a good running partner the last few runs, always complaining - so I'm going to have to work on thinking positive for the rest of my training. I surely don't want to bring anyone down on their run, and don't want to bring myself down either! I'm thinking a bunch about why that's been - and it seems that every run it's happened on has been a road run. Hmmm....interesting! Trails I'm all smiles, but road - hmpf! I still need it though!

I literally cannot believe I'm sitting here typing this right now. I will be running in the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon! This is an incredible dream to me, and I'm so thankful for every minute of it. Micah True (aka Caballo Blanco) ran Mohican this past summer (where I ran my first 50 miler) My family and I went to see bim speak at the local library, and I became hooked at the thought of running with the Tarahumara. This is a race where there's more to it than WINNING. It's so much deeper than that. Soon after the race, Caballo promised to hold a spot for me if I could afford to come down. I would find out in December I had told him, and the waiting was enough to make me sick! December rolled around, and I looked at flights into Mexico (not El Paso, like I should have) and they were much too expensive. I continued to receive all the "Mas Loco" emails and got broken hearted every new one, thinking I could not, would not be able to go. I had just about written it off, when Caballo sent me a message, Korima for you! Talk to Maria and she'll tell you about it! Maria is Caballo's girlfriend, an amazing poet, writer, and person. Let me tell you-she's incredible and I can't wait to meet her in person. (Side note, check out this month's issue of Ultrarunning magazine on the Javelina "Jundred". Congrats Maria!) Maria then told me of the offer of free entry to CCUM. (Entry is suggested donation, but would be waived) Amazed, I started REALLY thinking about it again. Trying to figure out, learn everything I could, work things out. That's when Maria told me to fly into El Paso using Southwest Airlines. WOW! It was so much cheaper than any other airline that I was in. I had to work out a few details with work so it took a bit, but everything is falling into place. I also paid my race donation anyway, as I could not accept it with good conscience. I sent Caballo a message, stating thank you so much, but I would not feel right accepting the entry while sipping on a Starbuck's coffee and "swishing" down a ski slope with my son. I'm so fortunate to have received the offer though, "Korima" and will never forget it. My friend Crystal Basich is going with me to CCUM. I'm so excited to have a great person like Crystal to experience CCUM with! Our plane tickets are purchased, our shuttle from El Paso is booked - just a few little details to work out and all we have to do is wait for March to roll around. I wish my family could come, but my husband's vacation days would not work out. He is doing the Mohican 50 miler (his first 50) and the North Coast 24 Hour so he needs to save some vacation time for what else...sleep! I will miss them so much, but am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity and most assuredly will be bringing them back some huraches ;-) My only issue now is how will I feel at Copper Canyon just a few short weeks after running Beast of Burden? Only time will tell, but again - it's not about winning, but the intense cultural experience and the wonderful Raramuri people. Mexcio can't come soon enough!

Ok so it may be a bit much, but I'm also signed up for the Glacier Ridge Ultramarathon in April (April 9). I signed up for this before CCUM, and have decided to stick with it. It's close to my mom and dad's, not too far from our house - so why not? After this I'll get a bit of a chance to rest. (I'm pretty sure I'll mean that this time) Since I had to drop Vermont I REALLY wanted to do the Viaduct Trail 200 miler, but I waited too long and there's now a waiting list. I would love to do it, but won't train for a 200 miler if I'm on a waiting list. It has to be a sure thing! So, after Glacier Ridge I will rest for a bit. I think by then I won't be complaining too much. Rest and then start training for the North Coast 24 hour in September, and hope to improve on my craptastic performance there in 2010.


As I said before, my son told me he wanted to run this year's Cleveland Marathon. Earlier in the year he told me he was contemplating it, so I had time to think about whether or not I'd let him do it. I wasn't too sure, didn't really know what to do. I think what sealed the deal for me was watching young Luke Landis complete his first 50k at Bills' Bad Ass. It really got me thinking - hey this is O.K. I mean, we sit and say nothing as our children sit for hours on end watching t.v. and playing video games - so why is it not alright for them to run a marathon? During Sandi and Rachel's I Believe Run my son finally said it. (I think he made sure to tell me when both Rachel and Steve were standing there) My son just simply said "Oh yeah - I forgot to tell you, I decided I wanted to run the full marathon!" WHOA! Who is this child of mine? So I made sure again and again, then changed his registration from the 1/2 marathon to the full. Shortly after that, he said his next goal was to run Bills' Bad Ass 50k. (No he did not say ASS thank you!) I just simply threw up my hands and said..."Let's concentrate on getting the marathon done first!" This will be an amazing and intersting journey, one which all three of us will embark on together. It will be pretty amazing to cross the finish line together as a family. (and of course I will be the overprotective mum again this year, carrying a pack of supplies for my son as I did for his first 1/2 last year. Did I say mum? Oh no...I mean mule!)

Happy Running!