Veterans Day 50k. Ramblings From A New Age Group

I’ve come to learn a few things along the way, and recently celebrating a birthday milestone, has given me time to pause, reflect and synthesize some of the things I’ve picked up about myself.  Enjoy

*Some days I can not give 100%, but I will give 100% of what I’ve got, Every.  Single.  Day.

*I am a feeler.  I feel deeply.  I make no apologies.  I may boldly go in the wrong direction, but I’m going there full-force.

*I people watch.  If you are in my inner circle, I will learn you.  I will do what makes you happy.

*I am immensely proud of the amount of life I have put into my life.   I will not stop.

*It all gets done.  Sometimes I don't know how.  Often, I lose sleep, but it all gets done.  

*I have spent 20 years helping students with challenges, accept and find a way through.  I expect no less from myself, with all of life’s hurdles.

*”I’ll handle it”, "I'm on it.", “I got you”, or “I’m here” are my warrior phrases.  If you hear one, step back, I’m going to do what nee…

I Get Back Up-Oil Creek 2017

DNF Did Not Finish

For years, I fought the initials..saw them as a sign of weakness...of unpreparedness...of a sign that I didn’t handle something correctly.

I’m over that.

Sometimes, It feels like I collect DNF’s.  There is a normal progression when I earn one, not unlike the stages of grief.   I rationalize.  I rip my race apart.  I wish I could get back on the course for one more chance.  I move on to the next race.  

I’ve come to accept that I am damn proud of my DNF’s.   Each and every one that I have earned has pushed me to my absolute limit.  I don’t quit easily, and it is empowering to know that I can push myself until I have absolutely nothing more to give, regardless of if I hold a buckle at the end or not.

One draw of Ultra-running, is that it doesn’t have a *&(% to give about what you’ve done before.  Experience is nice, but each starting line resets the clock.  Mother Nature, wild life, course conditions, these things are all out of my control, but will uniquely challenge m…

The Trail Doesn't Care---Pine Creek 100 Mile Challenge

You can come to the trail prepared or doesn’t care. You can come to the trail with something weighing heavy on your doesn’t care. You can come to the trail overwhelmed, overscheduled, and just plain doesn’t care. You can come to the trail happy and still doesn’t care.
The trail is what it is.  You come to it, and it will give you what it’s got.   If you’re quiet, it will teach you things.  If you are preoccupied with thoughts, it will force it’s will, and make it’s obstacles that much more challenging.  The sweet spot is in taking both the physical and emotional challenges in stride.   Let thoughts come and go.   Let emotions enter at will.  Look around.  Find the balance.  Feel what you feel.
I’ve heard that this sport is “90% mental, and the rest is in your head”, and I believe it to be true.   I can train my body to move, but I can’t figure out how to get my brain to stop.   
At the Pine Creek Challenge, the trail is a oxymoron.  It is flat...oh,…

Top 10 Things I Have Learned From the Beast

10.    If you talk about quitting.  You will find a way to quit.  Banish those negative thoughts immediately.  They are toxic.  If you let them fester, they will get bigger than they need to be.

9.  Things can and do change.  Mother Nature will assure that is true.   She likes to mix things up and get creative.  You can handle it.

8.  Its good  to slow down and talk to a friend.  It can lift your mood, help you laugh, get out of your head, and generally feel loved.  I highly recommend it.

7.  The Erie Canal is beautiful.   I've seen it under blizzard conditions, in rain, wind, hail, oppressive heat.  It is still gorgeous.  No matter what is happening to your outside, it's good to look will help you focus your inside.

6.  The Beast has the worst two-miles of ultra running:   you can see your friends...they are having fun, and you get to trudge through a wind tunnel, past three bridges (one of which seems to never get any closer) and roll the dice that you won't…

It's All In My Head---Montour

It started at this race last year.  I got hyponatremia, but worse I labeled myself as someone who “can’t run in the heat”.   I pushed and foolishly switched from the 50 to the 100 in the next Beast.  I finished 50.  Well, that’s because “I can't run in the heat”.   One of my favorite 100’s is C+O Canal.  This year,it was freakishly hot, over 90 degrees in April.  I only hit 75 miles.  Well, what do you expect from someone who can't run in the heat.   Next came Canal Corridor 100.  Again it was hot, I made it to mile 83, because…”SHUT UP, EVA!  You haven’t run well in the heat in a few races.  You’ve done great in others.  Do some research, figure out if there are things you can do differently.  Don’t be afraid to make changes, and throw the friggin label out the window.  You can't run well in the heat...YET!

I had to ditch the label.  I had to open myself up to accepting I wasn’t doing something right.   No matter how many races I’ve done, I could start at ground zero, and …

Zion: The Second Stone in Our Triple Crown

I remember the first time I felt him kick.  I put my hand to my tummy and had the following conversation:
Me:  Hi baby.   I’m your mommy, and I am so excited to meet you.   But, you know this doesn’t always work out.  So, in order to make this thing work, you and I are going to have to work as a team.   If you promise to grow and enter the world alive and healthy, I promise to give you a life full of wonderful adventures and memories.   Do we have a deal?
Noah:  kick.
He tried hard to live up to our deal.  He was born early, and so small that my mother was too afraid to hold him.   He didn’t do so well on that healthy thing, for the first few years, but we continued to work as a team, and now that little flutter I felt is 20 years old.
This past weekend, that little kicker and I completed the second rim-to-rim-to rim in our Triple Crown.   We hiked ZIon National Park in Utah.
During our first hike, in the Grand Canyon, I did a lot of teaching.   I had to show him everything from equipment …

Three Days at the Fair---Making Memories

I texted my sister today.   She lost a friend.  She was with him one day, having fun at a concert, and then,  he was gone.   She is crushed.  It is hard for her to make sense of it.  She is simultaneously angry, happy for the time she had with him, shocked, lost, and in some ways, finding the joy.  “At least he had a few months without a car payment”, she said.  

Life is about making memories.

Danielle has a wealth of memories with her friend.  He will not be forgotten.  He will never be replaced, but he will be cherished.

Danielle lives her life making the best memories.   She takes risks.  She is impulsive.   She laughs...hard.   She feels...deeply.  I am inspired by her, and try to live my life in the same way.

This past weekend, was my (last?) annual trip to Augusta, NJ with my buds Ken and JIm.  Every year, we travel and run Three Days at The Fair.   This race is a highlight for me.   Over years, we have set PR’s, crashed and burned, laughed, ate great food, made great friends, and m…