Friday, February 25, 2011

Leaving tomorrow for the Copper Canyons of Mexico!!

WOW! It took absolutely forever, but it's finally here. Tomorrow Crystal and I leave for the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon. I sit here and look at pictures and cannot even wrap my head around what I am about to see. The beauty of the canyons, the people, the event - all of it! I am not a seasoned traveler. I have been to few places. Always willing, but never can - money is the main culprit. A quick run down of all the places I have been to: Ohio/Pennsylvania - due to living here/there, Myrtle Beach, Lockport-NY, Chicago, and Toronto. You could probably say Chicago, Toronto, and Myrtle Beach do not even count, since I was a youg'un when I went - and basically was just told where to go and when, what to do and how long to do it for. So this, for me, will be an amazing adventure. All the cities listed above, they are all fairly similar. (Except for Myrtle Beach which has palm trees unaturally placed in the area.) The difference of the Copper Canyons - the landscape, the people, will be so vast from anything I've ever seen before. My whole life, I've always wanted to have an adventure like this and now it's finally here! I'm beyond lucky, speechless - and hope I can properly share it with you when I return. I cannot even imagine the beauty I'm about to see. We will arrive back home on March 9th. And FYI there will be no blogging, no facebook, no email responses until my return.

The trip will start tomorrow at 7:30 a.m., with a flight to El Paso. From there we will be staying at a motel with other runners. In the morning Sunday we will take a shuttle van, 2 days to the canyons and staying at a hotel down there for another 2 days. Then, we stay where we play! Until we leave we will be near the race's start! The race will take place March 6, and we will start to make our way home on March 7. Another 2 day drive, stay again at the Motel overnight in El Paso on March 8 - and leave to head back home on March 9, early in the morning. HERE WE GO!

Adios and Happy Running,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Meet the Northeast Running Club's 24 Hour Team!

The Northeast Running Club has put together a team for the North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run that will be held on September 17 (and 18) down at Edgewater Park. If you would like to be a part of this team as either a runner or volunteer please contact me at There will be regular training runs leading up to the event, and NERC members will have support crew at the event itself. Please join us and see how far you can go! Enjoy the following bios of the runners and volunteers:



#1. What is your running history/your running achievements (please note that running achievements doesn't necessarily have to be super speed, or a win - but anything you are proud of! )

The running achievement I'm probably the most proud of was the Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic 50K that I ran in the fall of 2010. After falling at about mile #10, I was dealing with a lot of pain from my knee but made up my mind that I was NOT going to bow out of the race. My finishing time may not have been what I was looking for that day but I did not quit, a part of my personality that I'm proud to have inherited from my my father.

#2. Why are you running the 24 hr?

This may sound a little strange but a lot of it's curiosity. After running for over ten years now, I'd really like to know how far I can run in 24 hours. Add in the fact that I'm a night owl anyway (so staying up all night is no big deal - especially in the name of running!), this is really the perfect event for me.

#3. What is your goal for the 24 hr? (ex last the whole 24 hrs, certain # of miles, certain #miles reached by certain time)
My goal is 80 miles but I'd like to press to as close to 100 as I can.


#1. What is your running history/your running achievements (please note that running achievements doesn't necessarily have to be super speed, or a win - but anything you are proud of! )
Running for about 10 years, NERC for three. Without really counting, about 20 marathons and 20 ultras. I'm not fast! Best marathon time: 4:04. Best trail 50K: about 6:20. Proudest of: Burning River 100 in 2010, time of 29:17.

#2. Why are you running the 24 hr?
I saw the last couple hours of the first NC24 (2009). That visit piqued my interest. Went to the 2010 NC24 after finishing the YUTC 50K that same day. Volunteered most of the night (aid station, road crossing assist, whatever, etc.), slept some in my car, got up and helped out some more. Was fascinated and intrigued by everything I saw.... it captured my imagination! Now mind you, by rights I should HATE the idea of doing this event: tiny, repetitive course on asphalt, surrounded by cityscape, and is subject to what can be nasty weather coming in off the lake. I'm passionate about point-to-point trail ultras in a natural setting. This is the complete opposite! There's a famous artist, M. C. Esher, famous for bizzare sketches that depict impossible scenes. One of them exemplifies the NC24. Copy is attached....

#3. What is your goal for the 24 hr? (ex last the whole 24 hrs, certain # of miles, certain #miles reached by certain time)
First goal is to be moving at the end. Mile goal is around 80. Ultimate goal is to get what I can out of this experience, something I'll not likely try again!


#1. What is your running history/your running achievements (please note that running achievements doesn't necessarily have to be super speed, or a win - but anything you are proud of! )
I started running April 2009. While working out at the West End Y, I noticed a banner for the West End 5k. On a whim, I decided to register, which required me to begin training for the race. Never having really run consistently (I would walk-run-walk-run). I gradually built up the distance that I would run without walking. Race day, I came in 4th for my age group. I thought to myself, “Hu, not too bad, I just may have to continue this running thing”.
My greatest running achievement, to date, is completing Bill’s Bad Ass 50k. I have yet to run a marathon, but have completed an Ultra?!?! (and have already registered for my second, Fools 50k in March)
#2. Why are you running the 24 hr? –
Mark Anson and Laurie Colon’s husband talked me into it!!! Hahaha….
That little voice in your head that keeps telling you “what the hell, what do you got to lose…go and give it your best” Once that little bugger starts talking, I can’t get rid of it…I think it’s a blessing and a curse sometimes!! 
Seriously though – I am running this to see what I am capable of putting out, how far can I push myself, how much can I take
#3. What is your goal for the 24 hr (ex last the whole 24 hrs, certain # of miles, certain # of miles reached by a certain time)
I don’t want to be unrealistic, and never having trained for anything remotely close to this, I’m not 100% sure. Right now, I’m thinking somewhere around 80 miles


#1. What is your running history/your running achievements (please note that running achievements doesn't necessarily have to be super speed, or a win - but anything you are proud of! )
I went from not running at all to running ultras within one year’s time. My first race was last year – the Run With Your Heart Trail Challenege. Since then I’ve completed a marathon, a 50k, and am training for my first 50 miler and 100 miler. Due to a permanent knee related injury from childhood it’s quite an accomplishment for me. I don’t have to be the fastest, don’t have to win – but I do know each time I go out there I am giving it my all.
#2. Why are you running the 24 hr?
I saw my wife run in last year, helped crew for her and became very interested and wanted to see how far I could go.
#3. What is your goal for the 24 hr (ex last the whole 24 hrs, certain # of miles, certain # of miles reached by a certain time)
With a 50 miler and 100 miler all in the same summer, I’m going to go out there and have fun, no real mileage goals – the only goal I will have is to have a great time!


#1. What is your running history/your running achievements (please note that running achievements doesn't necessarily have to be super speed, or a win - but anything you are proud of!)

I’ve run at some level for about 30 years, but have enjoyed my sweetest, most fulfilling running experiences just since 2006. Some of my favorite moments include:
• The 2007 NYC Marathon, which resulted in my inclusion in Liz Robbin’s book, “A Race Like No Other.”
• The 2008 NYC Marathon , where I was invited, due to the book’s publication, and had the privilege of speaking at the Expo.
• The 2010 NYC Marathon ;), where I was invited by the New York Road Runners.
• I ran Boston in 09 in 3:48, then again in ’10 in 3:28. Very “proud” of that improvement in time on that course, because I ran so well while training and racing with NO watch, (have since 2006) and really enjoying the race and high-fiving every kid I saw.
• Ran my all-time PR, 3:25, at the Rocket City Marathon, 12/09, at 48 years old! Again, proud of that time, but the best part was my husband and I joined 12 of our local runnin’ buds there and it was a blast!
• Have run 19 marathons and countless other running events, but my most recent favorite is Disney. I completed the Disney World Half and Full Marathons this past weekend, officially successfully “doing the Goofy!”
*I have recently run my first ultra, a 24 hour F/A event in which I logged 68.9miles on 1/29 & 30
• I have to add that while the awards and achievements are wonderful, my biggest running gift has been the people I have met and/or become good friends with along the journey!

#2. Why are you running the 24 hr?

Because I am nuts and I got crazy excited when I ended up in a facebook “conversation” about Jeannette running it! Plus, it’s wild, it’s in my hometown and I simply love experiencing new running challenges! Oh, AND, because I want to be on the NERC Team!

#3. What is your goal for the 24 hr? (ex last the whole 24 hrs, certain # of miles, certain #miles reached by certain time)

My goal is to last the entire time with minimal downtime and cover a minimum of 75 miles.


#1. What is your running history/your running achievements (please note that running achievements doesn't necessarily have to be super speed, or a win - but anything you are proud of! )

8 Half Marathons, 4 Marathons and one Ultramarathon

#2. Why are you running the 24 hr?
Because Radames Colon is running and I said I'd do it if he did it. Plus I think it will be a great challenge.

#3. What is your goal for the 24 hr (ex last the whole 24 hrs, certain # of miles, certain # of miles reached by a certain time)
To finish. Hopefully complete between 80 and 100 miles.


#1. What is your running history/your running achievements (please note that running achievements doesn't necessarily have to be super speed, or a win - but anything you are proud of! )
I have run 8 ultras and 8 marathons since 2006. Including finishing BR100 and running in the Loch Ness Marathon in Scotland.

#2. Why are you running the 24 hr?

To try a new running ultra event that I haven't conquered yet.. I helped out at the event last year and was so captivated by what a neat event this is. Being right on the lake, by the skyline, and with such crowd and crew support, I couldn't pass it up:)

#3. What is your goal for the 24 hr? (ex last the whole 24 hrs, certain # of miles, certain #miles reached by certain time)

at least 80mi
go the whole 24hrs beat MARK ANSON.


#1. What is your running history/your running achievements:
I have been running since high school. Although I was a cheerleader and couldn't compete during the Track season, I learned how to train for track by indoor and parking lot training with the Track team. I would get in great shape and hang out with an amazing track coach who helped our school set many state records (Riverside High). I have been running ever since! Not fast, but many, many miles over the years, with my longest race being marathons, thank you God.

#2. Why are you running the 24 hr? Because I want to represent NERC in a unique race.

#3.... What is your goal for the 24 hr? Since a marathon is my longest number of miles run at once, maybe I'll shoot for 36 miles?


#1. What is your running history/your running achievements
I Joined NERC on the suggestion of my Brother-In-Law, Charlie Bolek for the primary purpose of being able to utilize the NERC for support during the NC24. Ive been running for about 5 years, having completed 10 marathons (slowlyThe 24 hour loop format seems an ideal entry into ultra running.
#2. Why are you running the 24 hr? ).
After some time off Im getting back into running and want to see how far I can push myself.



What is your running history/your running achievements please note that running achievements doesn't necessarily have to be super speed, or a win - but anything you are proud of!

I have been running for about 13 years but recently made the move to ultra distances. The race I’m most proud of is my last race, the Beast of Burden 100 miler in Lockport, NY. Valmir Nunes current Badwater record holder ran the race with me and mentioned it was harder than Badwater! That made me feel pretty good about finishing! And something else I'm proud of actually took me awhile to be proud about. I ran the NC 24 hr with high expectations last year, however due to medical issues had a pretty tough time. I was still able to plug out what I considered my "bare minimum" distance, went 102 miles and was able to push through and last the whole race.

Have you volunteered at any races before, if so which ones? I have volunteered at the Lake Health Distance Classic, the Flag Day 5k, the Autumn Leaves Run, Green Jewel 50k, BT50k, and also the Nypaver “I Believe” run. I also try to promote my coach's amazing non profit organization, Impossible2Possible as much as I can.

I’m excited to help my friends out this year at the 24 hour. So many of them came to cheer me on at last year’s 24 hour and I’m completely pumped to return the favor. I will be whopping butts during training runs though. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! On my to buy list is the loudest whistle I can possibly find….


What is your running history/your running achievements please note that running achievements doesn't necessarily have to be super speed, or a win - but anything you are proud of!

I ran the Cleveland Rite Aid Half Marathon last year – it was my longest distance at that time. Currently I am training for the Full Marathon which I will run this May. I want to convince my mom to let me run my first 50k in November.

Have you volunteered at any races before, if so which ones? I have volunteered at the Lake Health Distance Classic, the Flag Day 5k, the Autumn Leaves Run, and also the Nypaver “I Believe” run where I also logged 16 run/walk miles. Outside of running I volunteer with the Salvation Army and the Lake Metroparks, and traveled to Australia as a student ambassador with the organization People to People.


I Started running 10-11 years ago.

I Have run 5 marathons and feel good about them all.

I am in awe of all Ultra runners and am excited to volunteer at this event


I started running in the early 1980s. I just ran on my own for many years.Some of the roads I ran as a beginner are now some of the Better in Mentor 5 mile race course. First race I ran was the Cleveland Revco 10K in the early 1990s. After that I would run many 5K & 5 Mile races.10 K races were getting fewer.Many older runners were asking where did the 10Ks go.First 1/2 marathon was sometime in the mid 1990s in Huron, Ohio in the late winter or early spring.The weather was very cold and windy as the race took place by the lake.I wasn't really planing on running a full marathon until I was running with fellow N.E.R.C. runners who were training for the 2ed annul Cincinnati (Charlie Bolek) Flying Pig marathon. Then I thought since I was running the same miles they were I should do the race to so I registered to run it.That was the start of around a 15 marathon stretch.My Mom & Dad (just Mom now) live in Myrtle Beach S. Carolina and the M.B. marathon was getting popular so I had a 6 year run going there.Some of the big marathons were Honolulu,Chicago,Marine Corp,Paris and the historic Boston.

As for volunteering marathons most of it was expo help. Cleveland expo in some early years. Honolulu expo 2 times.Most other volunteer duties were N.E.R.C. races through the years. And then 10 years or so ago I became co coordinator of the Ohio Teamsters/Medical Mutual flag day race with Carl.That led to getting the phone call around November 2010 from Carl indicating the he was ready to step back on his participation from the race and now I'M in charge.Much of that is since the Teamsters are main sponsors of the race I am a active Teamster member. Also I have been helping Guy out at the annual Fall Running series at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in October.


My bio of running is I've been running for 15 years. I started running to lose weight and have run countless races including 3 marathons. I will be volunteering at the North Coast 24 this year


Kattya has volunteered at NERC events and will be lending a hand to all her new and old NERC friends during the 24 hour event.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Beast of Burden 100 miler race report

Beast of Burden 100 miler
Feb 12 (and 13!)
Final results - 23 hrs, 44 minutes
1st female
5th overall

Friday evening after my son got out of school my husband, son, and I all hopped into our little car and headed out to Lockport, New York for the Beast of Burden 100 mile run. Before heading to our hotel we headed to Taboo bar and grill to pick up my race bib/packet and meet the race director, Sam Pasceri. I was pleasantly surprised as usually I get goodie bags filled with things I have no use for. In our goodie bags were full sized treats - not the typical wimpy little samples of things you usually find in goodie bags. Iron Man Muscle Rub gel, Hot hands (lots!), Hammer Gel, Rohto eye drops, an LED light, Forze bar, a box of Deep Heating Well Patch (which came in good use during the race), Trail Runner magazine, and of course, the all important shirt. After picking everything up we headed back to the hotel for some dinner and hopefully a dip in the pool (the reason why we stayed at this particular hotel). The hotel was nice, but the food was miserable and when we went to use the indoor pool we walked into the pool area and walked right back out. No heat! Or at least, that's how it seemed. We were bummed, but would be freezing our butts of the rest of the weekend and didn't feel like going down that road the night before! We went back to our room and watched the news - which made me pretty nervous. They were calling for 30 mph winds on Saturday :( YIKES!

Race Day
We woke up at 6:30, I pulled back the curtains and there was the snow.

This was the view outside our hotel room window:

"I guess this is what I signed up for!" is all I could think. The snow I don't mind, but the wind kills me. What can you do though? Just suck it up, quit whining and deal with it! We all got ready, I got dressed in all the gear I bought from Vertical Runner (the most awesome running store EVER!) A few months before the race I walked in, told them what I was doing and they told me exactly what to get. GREAT store. I'm kind of glad I'm an hour away from that store - because if I were any closer, I'd go broke.

Race start
We arrived at Wide Waters Marina and I finally met some friends I've only communicated with on facebook. Great people! Valmir Nunes was introduced to us - an amazing ultrarunner who came in for the race. I actually don't really know what he looks like in person, as he was covered 100% from head to toe for the race! This was the first time he had ever seen snow, let alone run in it! Nunes was a pretty cool guy - despite not knowing any english he did cheer me on, each time we came across each other during the race (His method of cheering me on was clapping and fist pumps!)

Finally, it was go time. We all started, and once we ran across the bridge and made the turn onto the towpath we quickly found that conditions on the path weren't all that spectacular. I was kind of glad about that, as this was the kind of stuff I trained on all winter. Cleveland winters are similar to Lockport winters - so I was thinking I might have a bit of an advantage. There's just nothing like Lake Effect snow!

The first loop turn around is when I started thinking I might have another advantage. We were running into the wind and while I HATE running into the wind I've done it quit a bit in training. All I was thinking was despite the wind, if I just kept running, kept a steady pace I could probably gain a good lead on the other females in the race. The first three loops (There were four total) this is what I kept telling myself each time I reached the turn around. I got a bit of motivation on the first loop when I saw a guy in front of me running, getting frustrated and he kept on stopping. I knew that feeling, I've been there, but thanks to some training runs learned to deal with it. I just put my head down and kept on going. Thank goodness for crappy weather training days! The first loop also gave me a bit of motivation when running alongside a male 24 hour runner. He asked me what I was doing, the 24 hour or the 100 mile. I told him the 100 mile, and he said "Well I'm doing the 24 hr and I'll be cheering you on at the finish!" I just thought..."Huh". There's always one dude at EVERY race!!! I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it, just making small talk and what not, but ya know! Grateful though that his comment gave me a bit of motivation to push harder to finish in less than 24 hours.

Pacer time!

Pacers and crew are the unsung heroes of any ultra. They put up with crap, there is no glory in it for them, they are just there because they are completely amazing people. My crew consisted of My husband, my son, Daniel Bellinger, and Agnes Jung. Thanks so much for helping me during my cold, snowy race!

My husband and Daniel Bellinger paced me, each taking 25 miles. It's pretty fantastic that people like Daniel would drive 3 plus hours to help me out, and that my husband would deal with running in nasty weather just to satisfy my curiousity about a race. Another great person - Agnes Jung made her way from Canada to help me out as well. This is pretty extraordinary to me, and just amazes me and makes me realize there are really great people out there! Last but not least my son - who came along with us and helped out when he could, too.

The third loop I was feeling strong my husband paced me. I was tired - but still able to go at a good pace and was glad he was with me. The start of the fourth loop Daniel started pacing me and I was still feeling strong, but wound up not bringing any water (unintentionally!) from the marina (start) aid station to the middle aid station (about 7 miles distance). That killed me, and it all started to go downhill from there for me at that point. I felt bad because I was too confused/exhausted to talk to poor Daniel who made the long drive out to help me. I slowed considerably (hopefully he was not cold from slow me!) and everything and anything started cramping. I'm sure it was partially the fact that I had just ran 75 miles by then, but no water/liquids just made it much worse. I thought frequently about stopping and grabbing a handful of snow, but #1 probably wouldn't be able to get back up (ha!), and #2 drinking regular water from a bottle was killing my lungs, let alone eating cold snow - so I waited until I got to the aid station. I got to the middle aid station feeling very dizzy, disoriented, and with absolutely zero energy in me. I reached into my pockets and realized that I didn't have my electrolytes and my Hammer anti-fatigue caps or perpetum tabs! I could have sworn I grabbed them at the marina aid station, so I wasn't really understanding what the heck I did! Another fail! At that point I just felt like breaking down and crying. I was having a hard time dealing with little things like taking my mittens off to get some water, but super Fred Davis came to my rescue! I was so out of it that I didn't even see my good friend sitting there in his chair. But he jumped up when he saw I was having problems and started to help me out. I was so happy to see his friendly face! He helped me with my mittens, my clothes - pretty much everything.

I drank as much as I could and took some chicken broth with me to have until I got to the next aid station where my bottles and my husband would be waiting. I never fully recovered from that, feeling completely disoriented the rest of the race, feeling completely confused, not able to understand much when people talked to me, too tired to even talk, but was still able to keep a good fast walking pace at least and maintain the lead over the females and a good chunk of the men When I finally saw the finish line, 2 miles out I was so relieved! Then I saw Agnes, my son, my husband all cheering me on - and heard the RD Sam over the bull horn saying I would get a sub 24 if I finished those 2 miles in under 45 minutes. It was slow going, but I made it! 23 hours and 44/45 minutes. Final race results should be posted by Wednesday. Running through the finish line I was so relieved. I just ran into my husbands arms. I got my belt buckle from Sam, took a few pictures and went inside. My husband helped change me, because I had nothing left. During that time, I got sick. (True love at its finest!) He held me as I ummmm, well - vomitted. Him and my son put up with me vomitting for the whole 3 + hour drive home. Ahhh family! The fact that I felt so miserable after the race really bothered me (and still does), as if I'm able to time-wise I like to stay until the very end of races to cheer everyone on - and we were planning on doing that for this race. The fact that I couldn't do that this weekend is pretty upsetting to me.


#1. I have an amazing support group, so many great friends. Throughout the week I got tons of well wishes from people, and spent an hour on Friday morning before leaving answering emails, fbook posts, and text messages of people wishing me good luck. Also to have people drive down for the race, people like Agnes Jung who came from Canada and Daniel Bellinger, fellow runner from Ohio just amazes me. Not too mention my husband and son, who are always there for me every step of the way.

Also while all the way in Chile - my coach kept me going. Just knowing that he (Ray Zahab) was at the end of his journey - running 20 days 712 miles across the Atacama desert in Chile kept me motivated - thinking if he could do that, I can run a 100 miler! He even called me while in the airport on the way home when he found out what happened to congratulate me. Congratulate me! He needs congratulated for just doing what he did!!

Thanks so much to everyone as it completely motivated me throughout the whole race. I really never knew how lucky I was until now. I'm completely floored and so grateful.

#2. I'm pretty certain I ate far too much food during the race. While I ate too little at the North Coast 24 hour, I ate tons at this one. Yes I came in first female, but felt pretty uncomfortable each time I left the aid station. Who the hell can actually GAIN 5 pounds running 100 miles? AFTER spending over 3 hours puking? This gal. Sheesh. The only thing that saved me from not upchucking during the race was a box of ginger candies that my friend Crystal Basich gave me during the North Coast race. Luckily I grabbed those and put them in my suitcase at the last minute before we left. It really did wonders for me, and quickly, too.

#3. Training in like conditions made all the difference. I couldn't have done as well running on the treadmill every day. No way.

#4. I would definitely do this race again. Absolutely!

#5. I think I got frostbite on my toes!

I really didn't think anything of it - I thought it was just gnarly looking feet from running 100 miles, but fellow I2P person commented on the picture of my feet and mentioned frostbite. I thought....nah - just blisters. Now blisters, for me - how can I say this - I'm strange. They don't bother me one bit, and I've had some pretty nasty ones. It's kind of like shinsplints, I like the pain of shinsplints (I'm strange, yes I know). Not to say I like blisters, but they just don't bother me when I get them. But after reading Jaime's comment and waking up in the middle of the night to excruciating pain in my toes I thought maybe he's right! I Jumped on the net, looked up pics of frostbite and I was a bit nervous to see pics that looked exactly like my toesies. The pain is not constant, but a brief pain that feels like someone is taking a knife and just jabbing me in my toes with it. I had the sweats and a fever all night. I'm going to try and make a dr. appt tomorrow. Not sure what they will do about this, as I've never experienced this before, just mild frostnip - so we'll see.

#6. The cold can do strange things to your lungs. While my body wasn't cold, I could feel it in my lungs. I was SO extremely grateful for Sam Pasceri's constant reminders of facemask, facemask, facemask. Even though I had my facemask it was almost as if I could feel my lungs filling up with fluid, and it felt like they were literally freezing! It was the strangest thing. I can't even imagine if I didn't have it. I have asthma, but never have I experienced a sensation like that before. It made it difficult to drink cold water and I took a liking to warm chicken broth whenever I cold take it. So strange!

#7. Overall this was a great experience, a great race - and one that I would do again. The race director is an awesome, fun guy and he put on a great race. The volunteers were amazing as well and while I sometimes could not say anything (ahem, towards the end of the race) I truly appreciated everything they did. THANKS ALL for a great time!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beast of Burden 100 miler weekend is here!

Happy Friday all! Just a quick note before we head out for the Beast of Burden 100 miler in Lockport, New York this weekend:

I am overwhelmed. In a good way. My email in box is loaded, my facebook is loaded. I received so many well wishes for my upcoming 100 that it's just floored me. I am truly thankful to know such amazing people, and grateful for all your well wishes. You all have no idea how much this means to me, and it's so hard to put into words. But know that you have given me such a high motivation for this race that I've never felt before. You've lifted me up incredibly, and I cannot thank you enough! I'll be going to Beast with a happy heart, and thinking of all of you. Whatever the outcome is, is fine - for whatever happens I will be the one wearing the biggest smile :D

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Atacama Extreme, Beast of Burden 100 mile Taper, and the I Believe Run

I can't seem to find the right words to say about my amazing friend and coach Ray Zahab, who is currently running across the Atacama desert in Chile! Things started out mentally tough in the beginning. His friend and partner for the expedition had to back out after his father became ill. Ray decided to continue with the expedition as schools were signed on to follow the adventure. So on he pushes, alone for a good deal of time - but not completely alone thank goodness. He's got a great team down there helping him out which includes Impossible2Possible's Bob Cox (who is also running with Ray at various points). The team is posting really incredible videos of the journey at - check them out! One of Ray's wishes during this expedition is to bring awareness to the NEXT expedition, Expedition Jordan. 4 youth ambassadors will be selected to go along on the journey at no charge, all the while communicating with schools all around the globe via video conferencing and an interactive website. All schools who participate do so at no cost, so if you're reading this and are an educator I would encourage you to sign up now! Such a fun way to learn, and I continue to wish I had something like this available to me when I was in school! (long long ago in a city far far away).

To apply for the youth ambassador position go to the following:

Schools/teachers if you'd like to follow along at no charge (includes video conferencing, interactive website, blogs, education modules, class exercises, and videos) go to:

I can't believe it's almost here. So many times throughout training I wondered if I should quit, back out - be done. I'm glad I didn't back out. I had so much support along the way, my amazing runner partner Crystal Basich - so experienced, supportive, and patient with my slow self! My husband, for waking up to come on early runs with me and sometimes running longer than he really wanted to himself. Excellent friend Charlie Bolek, who braved some long runs with me - always with a smile on his face and never a complaint. My son - for waking up each weekend to his "list" (haha) of studying and chores to do until I got back. Tanya Cady and Daniel Bellinger - tons of experience between them and always ready and willing to give tons of advice. Sandi Nypaver, Rachel Nypaver, Steve Hawthorne - for their kind words, support and one last good running weekend! And certainly a big thanks goes out to my coach Ray, who despite a tough couple of months of his own - dealing with the death of a close friend and dealing with his own crazy schedule - has supported me through training. (Especially on my completely awesome "I QUIT" breakdown day. OH YEAH - CLASSIC!) I couldn't do this stuff without all of my awesome friends and family! THANK YOU!

List of registered B.O.B runners can be found here:

I don't know how Beast will turn out, but I know one thing. I'll be trying my best and giving 100%. Trying my best at running, and trying my best to have tons of fun. Thanks so much to everyone who's sent me well wishes already, your support means alot to me and I'll be thinking about all of you as I run! xoxo! (I think by the time Beast is over I'll finally be over the snow and ready for the warm Canyons of Mexico!)

A great group came out for the Nypaver's I BELIEVE run this past weekend. Driving to the starting location I was getting a little nervous because it was cold and rainy, but luckily the rain stopped. Even though I was wearing my smartwool socks it took a few miles for my feet to warm up, but eventually they felt cozy and all was good. Our group laughed and ran the whole way, and I'm grateful to have been able to participate in the last few miles of their run. Sandi and Rachel raised an incredible amount of moeny for the United Way. The twins are amazing role models for not only our youth, but really society as a whole. Excellent job you two! The grand finale was at Edgewater Park, where champagne and homemade cookies were waiting for everyone. After that we took a trip to Johnny Mangoes, where the twin's mother paid for every one's meal. Congrats Rachel and Sandi on an excellent run, and for raising so much money for a great cause!