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 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: 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!

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!

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