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Showing posts from 2013

Good Year or Good Riddance

That’s it!  I’m done.  I’ve run all I’m going to run in 2013.  2,746 miles.  Reflecting back, there was a lot to run through—much good, my fair share of challenges, and some things that took my breath away.  
The good is easy to recall.My children grew and prospered.  I learned to love my job again. I completed three 100-mile races.I traveled.I laughed HARD and often.I opened doors that I thought were shut.I learned from mistakes.I deepened friendships to levels that I never thought possible.I felt love and gave it in return.I grew.
The challenges, while not as many, were deep.I lost loved ones, both suddenly and slowly.My son needed surgery.My daughter got a diagnosis.I went through a July, which I would just like to simply erase from my life calendar. I missed a finish line that I whole-heartedly wanted to cross.And, I have been battling two (most likely) related health issues that have had negative repercussions on several parts of me, including my mood.
Lately, I’ve let my struggles,…

An Aptly Named Race

So Roger sent me a text.  He’s registered for a race, but has a family obligation.  Do I want to take his spot?  
Oh yeah, I do.I’ve been itching to get to a starting line.It’s been a rough month for me, and I really wanted to run through it.
I laughed when I found out the name.Oh well, it cant be that bad.
I got up around 6 am to head out to Rochester.When I let the dogs out, I realized that it snowed pretty hard last night, and the roads were not cleared yet.I decide to get going sooner rather than later.
The roads were brutal.It took me an extra stressful hour to get to the race site.THEN, I couldn’t find the start.Seriously, I was in the park and could not find the start.Uh oh, I giggled as I thought of the name of the race.
The website clearly stated that you had to check in by 9:45 in order to start the 10 am race.I peeled into the parking lot at 9:43 (insert name of race here).I booked it from the car, wearing nothing but what I normally wear under my race clothes.I was shivering wh…

Marshall Mangler 50k

This was not an easy race.  Which is good, I didn’t want it to be.  I truly felt blessed to be ABLE to run this race.  To know that even though it would be hard, I would get to the finish line.  I knew that there was a good chance I’d come home bruised, dirty, or cold, and I did—all three.
I count my blessings, because today, I ran for my mother-in-law, Thelma (Thel). Heaven only knows if she has weeks, days, or just hours left, but Thel’s ticket to heaven has been purchased…we are just awaiting the departure date.
This beautiful woman was once a power walker.It was not uncommon to see her around her neighborhood or along the path at Niawanda Park.She was active until she couldn’t be.
Advanced dementia is a horrible disease.Thel’s conversation skills during the past few years are akin to one of those amusement park rides.You know, the kind where you sit in a cart on a track.The cart passes a switch that activates something in the ride.When Thel would see me, she would ALWAYS ask me the f…

You Can Take the Girl out of the Trail….

I spent most of 2013 on the roads, prepping for the Double Buckle.  I assumed the training would do double duty and prep me for Oil Creek 100.  In some ways, it did.  I was mentally able to take on the challenge.  I knew what I would face.  I knew how to prepare and to execute.  What I didn’t know was how to beat that damned clock.
I just didn’t train the trails enough.It bit me HARD at Oil Creek.I needed it to.
Enter, Mendon Pond 50k.It was my first race back on the trail since OC, and I was determined to nail it.As is custom, I somehow annoyed Mother Nature and she decided to play with her weather machine.We had a windstorm the day before with 60 mph gusts.It was cold, and it was predicted to rain—hard.AWESOME!!!!If I was going to prove myself, I wanted something to work with.Thanks Mom!
This is a small race.Not long after I got my registration materials, my phone rang.My buddy Jim was looking for me!After a bear hug, he introduced me to his friend, who was attempting her first ultra.…

Having fun?

So, the night before Oil Creek, I leaned over to Roger and I said, “if one more person tells me to ‘have fun’, I’m going to lose it.”  He looked at me, like I had lost my mind. It didn’t take him long to realize that I HAD lost my mind. 
Oil Creek gets in my head like no other race.  I train hard for it, and it is in my mind during every race I do.  Heck, I even dream about it.  Have fun?  Not a chance. 
I was obsessing about pace, and gear, and weather, and bears.  I was going to attempt the 100-mile distance, and KNEW I could get the job done in 34 hours.  The problem was that I was only given 32.  (Roger—you know you were out of your mind telling me 30, right?)
The race started at 5 am.  Rog had been telling me to stay on his shoulder from the start until sunrise or AS1.  I stood right next to him, and lost him immediately.  Dammit.  I was worried (imagine that) about the condition of the trail, as it had rained much of the week prior.   Things were slick, and I saw lots of turned an…

Cry Baby Double Beast

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Beast of Burden Summer 100 I LOVE the Beast.  It is as much a reunion of friends, as it is a running event.  It is a four loop (25 miles each) course along the Erie canal.  It is pancake flat and there is NO protection from the environment.  As pretty as it looks, it is tough and unforgiving.  It scares the hell out of me. 
The first loop was fun.  I was battling some stomach issues, but I was able to stick to the race plan.  I started with my traditional cry.  I really don’t plan to do this, but I get myself so worked up during taper, that I’ve got a lot to let out once I can finally do what I do.  Jim and Marco know that once I say, “give me a minute”, that I’m going to take off and let loose.  I do my best mile splits during those times…
During the second loop, the wheels fell off.  First I didn’t make the bridge.  Uggh—up and over I go, which is REALLY painful after running 26 miles.  Things were good until about mile 35.  The nausea was back and I was worried about hyponatremia.  I …

(20 in 24) Philadelphia Fat Ass

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What a long strange race this was.  
I had been stalking the weather report for weeks.  The temps were hovering in the mid 90’s with an index well over 100.  The final report said that the race would have a heat index of 110 and severe thunderstorms in the evening.  

People kept asking me if the race would be cancelled.   I would give that that look, usually reserved for my son, when he tries to comprehend something non-literal.   ‘Ultra races don’t get cancelled, runners just have to adapt’ was my reply.  See where this is going….
So, on the road I go to Philly.  About four hours into my ride, I get a series of messages from a friend that the race is changed from a 24-hour race starting on Saturday to a 12-hour race starting on Sunday.   I’m annoyed that I hear this message from a friend and not the race itself, as by this point packet pickup is already underway.
Okay—I’m mildly bugged, but I can adapt.  I make camping plans, change my race strategy, and drive on.
Next set of messages, fr…

The Kaloshis Family Runners-Mill Pond 5k

I come from a big, close family.  Well, close in feelings, but geographically we are about 500 miles apart.  Thanks to Facebook, we keep in touch on the little tidbits of life. 

It was through Facebook that I started to see several members of my family have started to run/walk to get in shape.  It got my wheels turning, and it gave me what my husband calls my "make shit happen" face. I was going to recruit as many Kaloshi as possible to run their first 5k. 

It started with the normal family stuff:  I will if she will, I don't want to be last, you'll just laugh at me, I really don't run that fast, etc., When all of that settled, I got my SIL Beth, niece Heather, her husband Joe, their baby Logan, my nephew Mike, and my son Noah to toe the line.  My (now 30 pounds lighter) sister Danielle wanted to run, but hurt herself lifting a patient and had to bow out.  At least she wore a Chara shirt to the race as motivation.  Love you Danielle!!!

My brother Rick also conside…

It's "Only" a Marathon

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I went to the Dr. office on Monday.  He said the words that I’ve wanted to hear, “yes Eva, you can run”.  He said lots of other words too, but I must admit that I wasn’t nearly as focused on them as I was on my clearance.   Yes, there are more things to do with my “treatment plan” and yes, I’m not fully healed…cartiledge tears take time…but I can resume training.  YES!
Next, I had to decide how much I wanted to push it on Saturday.  It killed me to miss Segahunda after my injury, and I searched the internet  to find another trail marathon.  It was between a race in Philly or Mohican.  I NEEDED to race.   I was willing to travel, and I wanted hills, mud, roots, single track---the whole nine yards.  Rog and I both had a couple DNS's that were bothering us.  We both ultimately decided to run Mohican.  He was doing the 50 miler and me the marathon.
The problem was, he was working his subtle powers of persuasion to get me to join him on the 50M.  I said,”no”, but I was thinking about it…

Some Things Are More Important Than Running….

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So, I ended up in the emergency room last week.  One minute I was walking, the next…not so much.  The doctors haven’t shown all of their cards yet, but have issued me a shiny new pair of crutches as my first step in treatment.   Oh yeah, the second step is that term that is like hell on Earth for me….rest.  
I’ve been a good doobie, and have heeded medical advice.  I missed a race I was hoping to tear it up on (and that has a really cute hoodie).  But, that was okay…I was “saving” myself for this weekend when I could run the Finn McCool obstacle course race with my son Noah, and the Girls on the Run 5k with my daughter Natalie.  If I had to hobble, I was going to do it for my kids. 
Last night, I decided Finn was just going to be out of reach for me.  I could probably handle the running, (I’m already finding a way to work that back in) but I was worried about the obstacles and the mud making worse that which is starting to feel better.  The connection I had hoped to make with Noah was…

3 Days At The Fair 100

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I’m finding it very hard to put the 3 Days at the Fair race into words.  There is just too much to cover.  Essentially,  it was both a grueling physical endeavor and a great escape with friends,
The 100-mile distance has scared the hell out of me for years.  It took me a long time to work up the training and courage to even sign up for this monster.  I finally did, and have finished it twice.  Both times took all I had to give, and annoyed me more than elated me.  I felt as if I survived them versus conquered them. 
That changed with this race.  I finished strong…strong enough to take a victory lap.  I knew how to manage my nutrition, clothing, supplies and moods.  I’ve learned survival skills, how to adapt and persevere, and that no matter how bad it gets, it will pass.    I’ve learned that I’m tougher than I think.
Now for the camaraderie.  Jim and Marco---ah, what to say about these two.  We met on race courses when the 100 seemed out of reach to any of us.  Marco was the first t…

Scared Doesn’t Mean Stop-Gettysburg Marathon

“Mom, qualify for Boston, you NEED to run next year”.  This was not a request; it was a demand made by my sixteen-year-old son.
“Noah, I’ve got a pretty full race schedule already this year, so I don’t think I can work it in. But, I’ve already planned on volunteering.”
“Mom, there is no way you are volunteering without me.  Sign me up; lie about my age if you have to.  I’m going to Boston next year”.
“Noah, why so adamant?”
“You always taught me that scared doesn’t mean stop.  I need to be in Boston next year.  THEY don’t win.”
In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, I have certainly had my comfort zone rocked.  The night of the bombings, I kissed my daughter good night, grabbed my shoes and went running…. hard.  I cooled down, and ran hard again.  I ran because I could, for those who couldn’t, and because the world was different that evening than it had been that morning.  It’s true that running is cheaper than therapy, and for me, much more effective. 
In the days that followed, I w…

Running In My Sleep...

This family handles stress in drastically different ways.  Mark micromanages and cleans.  Natalie snarks and cries.  Noah gets mean.  My stress hits me in my sleep.
I know as soon as my head hits the pillow, if it is going to be a restless night.
There is a point in an ultra-marathon, where you totally lose it.  It is usually in the middle of the night, but can and does happen in broad daylight (i.e. the last four miles of the Beast).    You are sleep-deprived, physically exhausted, cold, hungry, and incoherent.  You are more than likely hallucinating.  Roger tells me this is when you should just let go---cry, swear, yell, sing, punch a snow bank--do what ever it takes to get through it.  It will pass, even if you can’t see how.   It is a very dark and lonely place, where for me, my thoughts turn inward, and I give myself a good emotional beating for all of my shortcomings.  I do NOT like to be running with anyone when it hits me, but I have both been with and watched others go through …