Friday, December 19, 2008

Just don't call me athlete

its been a couple of months since i quit my job to pursue running and fundraising and i have been really busy. I have finalized my schedule for next year. I will running 7 ultras in 7 continents, right now I am concentrating on Brazil and Minnesota, I will start running with a sleigh next week once I find a suitable one and thanks to phd kit I will be warm enough in Arrowhead

Next year looks a bit like this

Race name Place Date Distance
Brazil 135 Ultramarathon Brazil Jan 23-25 217K
Arrowhead 135 Ultra USA Feb 2-4 217K
Mind Alpine Ultra Australia March 28- 30 160K
Namibia Race Africa May17-25 250K
Gobi Desert Race China June 14-20 250K
Coastal Challenge UK Sep 18-20 160K
Antarctica Argentina Dec 100K

It has been incredibly rewarding working on the schedule and a lot of fun working with the race directors to find the best possible race on each continent. There are other races that are not part of the schedule that i am looking forward, I still would love to run Badwater and I am running Toronto Half marathon with the Run of Vision team either as a pacer for a blind runner or blindfolded.

Ray who is still in Antarctica is writing my training, I have to say that i was really upset when I first saw the training schedule, I have track workouts and tempo runs, I have never attempted to run both long and fast, in my mind it's to hard on the body, of course I am doing great if ever so tired. I have graduated to a triple Latte in the last month.

So while I have quit working to run it's really difficult to answer the question " What do you do" is not like I am an athlete, I am a runner,the reason why I am able to quit my job and run for a living is why I am doing it, or what I am doing, not who is doing it.

Don't worry I am hardly complaining, N.Murray Edwards asked me Monday at a party the question all ultraruners get asked " Why?" "I understand your son, but besides that why do it?" Murray and his wife Heather are big patrons on cnib. I of course listed all the great things about participating on endurance sports, but I just couldn't convince him. Much later at home, i kept asking myself the same question, if my son where to all of a sudden be cured,would I stop running and the answer was NO. Somewhere, somehow , it became my passion, Murray and successful people like him( just in case you don't know, Murray Edwards is one of Canada's wealthiest individuals)understands passion and hard work his passion however makes him very wealthy, while mine makes me really fit. The amazing thing was that there looking at each other we wouldn't have traded places for anything in the world, but each in our own way had found what drives us to the point where most people think is impossible, and that is what dreams are made off.

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” Douglas H. Everett

Saturday, December 6, 2008

South Pole Quest 2008

My friend and coach Ray Zahab, legendary arctic explorer Richard Weber, and elite adventurer Kevin Vallely are treking 680 miles (1094 kilometers), self-supported, to the South Pole in a goal of under 40 days. Dragging sleds weighing over 160 pounds(73kilograms) each, the team hopes to achieve what most are saying is impossible!

Click here to read how these amazing guys are doing on their blog.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu

Wow. what intense 10 days. Thanks to my brother Carlos in Mexico who did and amazing job of keeping up with my blog.
I arrived yesterday and the memories of pain and discomfort are already distant, instead memories of the amazing people I met, the fantastic race course, the feeling of pride after finishing the race remain. Just like Simon and Yukako said back at our tent when I called them "idiots" because we where all in pain and trying to settle for the night after the 100k run, they both had run similar race in the past. " unfortunately Norma you too will forget the pain tonight and remember only the fun stuff"

I ended up finishing 46th overall, 6th female and 1st in my age group, i really didn't said much when they gave me my trophy. I really wasn't expecting to win anything, I was more in a survival mode.

So, how tough it really was? It was tough for may reasons, one being the distance itself was daunting, the heat made it very tough as well but to me the hardest part was the isolation. I talked to my kids only once on the phone, the time change and the fact that the areas are so remote and we had no access to phone lines or Internet made it impossible to keep in touch with loved ones. Except for the daily email I sent, I had no way of communicating at all. Food was a major issue as well, dehydrated food isn't exactly a delicacy, everyday we will lay in our tents and talk about food cravings " food porn" as one of the guys used to describe it.
the course itself was hard as well, running on sand was incredibly tiring and everyday we weren't sure what to expect, the race is always different so even the runners who had done it before had no idea of what to expect day to day and even after the morning briefing we found out that an easy leg wasn't easy or a hard one wasn't hard so it was emotionally hard because it made you feel isolated, I remember thinking if this is suppose to be easy and I am struggling, I might no have what it takes?

But at the end all that matters is the amazing way it changed my life. I got to be in one of the most remote and beautiful areas in the world, everyday waking up to a different majestic landscape. I got to spend one week with a select group of individuals that are inspiring and motivating. When I arrived I couldn't wait to meet Dean Karnazes, and it was amazing for sure, he is every bit what I imagine him to be, classy, graceful, positive, amazing but when looked around so where the other 155 runners.I had to honour to talk to some amazing individuals. Ryan and Nina the overall winners where amazing and inspiring to watch, such amazing athletes, others had amazing stories, mothers lost to cancer,husbands that where living with brain injuries, people that wanted to help complete strangers because they felt a duty to make a difference in the world. Looking around I couldn't help to feel blessed to have known this individuals and to have the honour to share a week of my life with them.

the el Faohur oasis

Nina from Germany and I

All I remember now are the laughs in our tent, hugging each other after a tough day, waking up to a beautiful sunset, the first time a saw a majestic sand dune, the village kids that came to our cheer us and ultimately sell pop and chips on our last night in our camp, watching Onoh the blind runner cross the finish line, finishing by the pyramids, my fist bite of pizza after the race, the sensation of water on my firs shower after 7 days in the desert, my first latte' at the airport in Cairo... the list will go on and on.

Tent 7!

Dean and I

Simon and I at the tent

Ono the blind runner and his pacer

John, Lynn and I

the bathrooms

the finish line!

the Canadian team

Ryan from South Africa-the overall winner

Dean and I

I will start training for Brazil Monday, Ray is sending me the training plan for the next couple of weeks. he told me not to excerzise this week and to eat as much as I want to which is good because I am tired and don't feel like going for a run yet and I am starving so it works for me.

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sahara Race update 6

Well, Norma has made It, at this hour of the morning (I am writing this from Mexico) The Sahara Race is officially over and She did amazingly and in one piece. So She will be at home and posting next week in the meantime I will copypaste what She sent me:

I made it at 2:30am!. It was the longest 18hrs of my life, child labour included, contractions don't come and stay. the course was 100k and sandy, I could have run more than I did but I just simply couldn't do it, I have had enough of gels and powerbars and I didn't really eat much and that made me loose my energy.

I am amazed of the level of dificulty, the race itself is hard with the heat and the sand, on top of that having to run with all your supplies on your back is just simply a test of endurance. I did really well the 3rd day but then on I had a harder time going.

The course was 9 stages with a distance increasing from 7k t 14k. We started at 8am and top 25 racers started two hours later, I felt fantastic the first stage and I got increasingly weaker and weaker. I have run 100k races before so I knew not to get emotional and to run my own race so that it's what I did and I am glad, at the end i had absolutelly nothing left. but I finished and that was my first and most important goal.

I rest today since there are people still on the course, there was the option to sleep around halfway or go all the way, of course I decided to do it on one go. I am not sure why I didn't do better, I think 12:30am would have been possible but I just couldn't run anymore so I walked for most of the course and if you think that is easier, It is not, I was out there in the elements, heat and later the cold with hardly any food and walking on soft sand, what Simon my tent mate described is equal to trying to run on ice. I way Ryan and Dean round check point 3, it was amazing ot see how fast they where running, Nina the top female finisher also passed me around check point 4, she was looking strong as well.

We have only 6K to go tomorrow so this is it, they will load up in a bus at 2am tomorrow to the start line which is by the Giza Pyramids to have friends and family watch the finish of the race.

I received tons of emails from the CNIB. what a wonderful organization, they told me they where proud of me. during the course of the race I never lost sight of why I am here, it has never been about me but about the wonderful organization I came to represent. I am proud that I gave it 100% and sometimes specially last night when walking on soft sand, tired, hungry, cold and with 10 more hours to go it felt like 150%.

I met wonderful people here this week, some are athletes that came to win, some are like me that come to represent a charity and some are just plain nuts, but we all have one thing in common, we came here to give it our best and that is excatly what we did, some won, some finished and some didn't but at the end that didn't matter, we acomplished what we set out to do this week. To me pushing more and more each time I think I can't possible can't give me an insight of what it is to face a challenge like a disability, I would never pretent to understand how tought it really is, it just make me have more respect for kids like my son Karl or any other human facing a disability.

I am also learning about not taking things for granted, I miss having a shower, a nice meal, clean clothes, seeing my loved ones, having a coup of coffee. we have build our life with excesses and conveniences that we forget that all we really need a human beings is the simple things in life.

Salaam Akelam

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sahara Race update 5

Did you think She was on vacation?. Think twice because She is running 100K in the scorching sand of the Sahara. I think they already have a pill to cure that and make her a good stay at home wife, you know the ones that make buns in the oven and the only time they think of the Sahara is when they watch Brendan Fraser in "The Mummy". While We buy those pills for Norma I am posting what She emailed me yesterday:

Wow, I guess they call it Sahara desert for a reason, after a wonderful day like yesterday I assumed I was climatizing but I guess not. Today it was suppose to be an easy 38K but the temperature raised to 41 celsius, I had trouble coordinating my legs and I felt drunk most of the time. As usual there where 3 stages but this time I had a hard time running from the get go. I know you are suppose to take it one day at a time but all I could think was that tomorrow is 2 and a half longer that any previous day. I am not worried about the distance but on this conditions: hot and on soft sand is definatelly hard to run.

There is a blind competitor and He is my tent mate, he is from Korea, He is running with his pace and He is doing amazing. Everytime I am out there I can't help but to feel inspired, I can't imagine running on this conditions and not being able to see the amazing landscape. Watching the amazing surrondings is what really makes it bearable. He comes not too far behind me and it's always smiling.

Pam Swan form the CNIB in Calgary is also keeping in touch, she said the CNIB is watching my progress, those are the small things that are gold when I feel like I can't go any longer. If you are reading this please call Pam Swan at the Calgary CNIB and donate generously. The work they do is 100 times harder and more important that any race I will ever do.

Other person that is also sending good vibes is Mario Lacerda from Brazil, there are two of his friends running Sahara and we are keeping each other company while talking about Brazil 135 which we are all doing in January.

I will not blog tomorrow, i have my 100k which will test the human limits, send your good vibes from wherever you are after all I know I will not be here if it's not because all of you

ps. Dean Karnazes is sitting behing me blogging, he is such a great guy and very humble, I try and leave him alone, I don't want him to think I am his stalker althoug I am clearly star struck :o)

Salaam Aleykum

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sahara Race update 4

Well, I think Norma is suffering from delusion because She is thinking on taking a bath when returning home from her last stint: The Sahara Race. I proudly announce you she is very much alive, but no kicking, she's just to tired to do that and looking forward to two more days at the races (sorry the lame pun, used to be a Queen fan), so anyway here is what She emailed me yesterday:

" day 3 and I am still smiling, I loved it. We started an hour earlier to beat the heat and it made such a difference. I run solid for the first two stages then took it easy on the last since it was getting hotter. For scenery, it was flat and boring for the first 4 hrs then we made it to the sand dunes and it was quad burning climb for the last stage but it is so beautiful to see.

I don'tknow how I did for placing today but I was faster that the last two days, the reason being because my pack is getting lighter as we eat out food, I am also learning how much water I need for each stage, too much water is heavy not enough is deadly.

The spirits around camp are high, the last two days have been so hard we all felt demmoralized we still have two hard days coming but as long as we are still here we have a chance to finish.

Salaam Alekem!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sahara Race update 3

Norma is well into the third day of the run but she made the time yesterday to send us an e-mail. In case you are wondering She's alive and kicking and the spirits are running high. Here's what she wrote:

Today was 38K and Hot, we woke up to "Walking on Sunshine" at least the race directors have a sense of humor.

The course was suppose to be 3 stages with the first one hard and the other two moderate, it turn out to be the other way around. I am taking it one day at a time. Most people found it harder today, I felt better than since for the first time had a full night sleep. I am still not sure how I am going to do 4 more days. the next 3 are suppose to be 100% harder that the first two.

Spirits around me are fading, when we started we where told that if we got bitten by anything we where going to be pulled out immediately, we all slept afraight of scorpions and snakes the first night. Now we are all walking around barefooted and kicking rocks so we can go home with our ego intact.

At the end of the day I most look forward to the emails, so thank you all for writing

akelam salam

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sahara Race update 2

Hi, this is Carlos again and this is what Norma told me to post:

day one

what a day it was, I was excited today when I realized that it was going to be only 36K, I forgot about the heat!.

There where 3 stages and 1 and 2 I found hot but manageable since I was able to run and the running gave a nice breeze. Leg 3 was a nightmare, the sand was to deep to run so I walked almost the last 14K, walking is harder since you still break up a sweat but there is no breeze to cool of.
I still managed to come in 5 hrs and 18 min. for placing I was told it was around to 50, so not bad at all
I hope I manage to sleep tonight, I didn't sleep at all last night, the ground is hard and there are 9 other smelly people on a crowded tent, I hope I am tired enough to fall asleep first.

As right now, I am taking it day by day, results mean nothing since there are a lot of other factors that come to play. Ryan Sandes won stage one at a blistering 3hrs and 5 min, Dean is here as well, I talked to him only once, but he mostly keeps to himself on the tent. One of my tent mates was his roommate back at the hotel and he said he is fantastic but obviously really busy.

Time for me to run to my tent and see is I can fall asleep before everybody

Akelem Salam

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sahara Race update 1

Hi everybody, I am Carlos the older brother of Norma and fan of her since she was born (she was good at cheating on cards when she was 4, Sorry Norma, enough embarrassment for a day). Anyway, I am commisioned with the task of posting what she is sending me via e-mail because she is currently running the Sahara Race and she is not allowed to blog, only one e-mail a day, so in the next days I will be updating you and copy-pasting her e-mails. My blog, in case you are wondering my credentials as a blogger, is powerpymes. Here is her first post:

Now is the evening before the race and I am ready to go, I have met amazing people and made so many friendships that I am sure will last forever.

How ever I am tired of traveling, I feel like on the movie "planes, trains and automobiles". Egypt is a lot rockier that I ever imagine, in my mind the sandunes where a lot smoother but in reality there is a variety of landscape. Because of recent events of the kidnapings, we endured so many check points just to make the 258K to the middle of nowhere to then run around and run back where we started.

The race is actually longer than 250K between 258 and 268 I am told, but i guess after your feet are hamburger it doens really matter.

I miss being home, is not what I expected, I have been at home working and looking after my kids for so long I assume I was just going to jump into this new life adn love it, but this as amazing and exotic is not home.

My tent mates are fantastic, there are two canadians, Jhons is a phisiotheraoist and Lynn is an artist from Canmore, there is also Kumiko from Japan and I had a great chance to talk to her. Most important, the Korean blind runner and the Korean tv crew is also in my tent, is hard for me to watch him struggle, I guess deep down I am still not OK with what's happening to Karl, I am sure that as the race progresses I will be able to look at him and talk, right now is still hard.

Well, I better go back to my tent and sleep, tomorrow's stage isn't long only 38K, I am looking forward to move again after sitting on trucks and busses for the last 4 days.
Good night

Salam alekum


Saturday, October 11, 2008

“Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.”Daniel J. Boorstin

I have less than 2 weeks before Sahara and so much has changed. I quit my job last week to focus on running and bringing awareness to the blind and visually impaired. This idea came two weeks ago when I met Ray Zahab, I had email him to see if he could coach me. I had my doubts I could afford him, but I would never know if I didn't try. He was in Calgary giving a talk so he agreed to meet on a Friday evening, after I told him my story and how I had the dream of running 7 of the toughest ultras in the world he just looked at me and said " how come I have never heard of you!" and offered to train me and the position of athletic ambassador for impossible2possible. I immediately feel dizzy, Ray is my ultrarunning hero, my kids laughed when I try and play it cool when he called me to confirmed our meeting, I screamed after hanging up and my kids high-fived me.

Now here I was sitting across Ray and he was asking me to join him, to be part of the team. A team so elite Matt Damon was making personal calls to them when they where on their record setting journey of crossing the Sahara in 111 days to raise awareness of the water situation on Africa. The Running the Sahara expedition is chronicled in a documentary film, narrated and executive produced by Matt Damon and directed by Oscar™-winner James Moll.

The choice was never so easy. I have been preparing for Sahara but it was to late for any training from Ray. My real training will start when I came back.

At this point I just need to make sure my gear is ready and to keep the level of my fitness. Training for warm weather has been a challenge, is very cold in Calgary so I try to run indoors with lots of layers as much as I can. I have also received almost every shot there is. I assumed that because I was born in Mexico I was immune to anything but no such luck.
After a few rounds of shots, I can pretty much wrestle rabid dogs, step on sharp objects and be OK. The doctor also gave me a bunch of pills in case I get " travelers diarrhea" " I want you to take this pills and withdraw from your race if you have any of the following symptoms" she said " Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,cramping, chills, or you feel your gut is rotten" I couldn't help but smile when I told her "That's how I feel on every race, how will I know if its E-coli or just and other day at the office?" She looked paled for a second, she stuttered and asked " how about fever? do you get that as well" I just nodded. " well, she said, if they all come at once and you don't feel better after a while, then you'll know" I couldn't help thinking when I left the office that I hadn't sold her on ultrarunning.

I decided to run for Operation Eyesight Universal next year, the choice of charity is very difficult decition,there are may amazing organizations such as Foundation Fighting Blindness that has funded dozens of research discoveries to identify the causes of genetic forms of blindness. Operation Eyesight Universal focus on preventable blindness due to the lack of clean water in developing countries. My son has a genetic condition, I do wish a cure with all my heart but as a mother I can't ignore that there are kids and people all over the world going blind when they don't have to.

“The joy of giving sight to the blind is one of the most beautiful gifts a human being can give to another. So keep up the joy of giving — for gifts of love are gifts of peace.” Mother Teresa

I feel an enormous gratitude to have the opportunity to devote myself to a cause so important to me. I hope my kids will learn that kindness will transcend languages and boundaries. The tough part now is that as I go along to bring awareness I must become the face of the cause. The Calgary Herald ran an article that made me feel like a rock star. for 30 seconds I forgot the last 2 years, the long sleepless nights. Now I have to set the alarm to wake up because my days are full. I feel some duty to reach out. To all those parents or kids that feel no hope. I look around me and can't help but to feel fortunate, my kids are doing great, there are some great advances in gene therapy and the cure for blindness really seems close, I am dating the most amazing man,my family and my best friend Nadia are there for me and my kids when I need them. Quite a difference from a few years ago, I will never forget when my kid's school call me to offer me a food hamper, I had slipped so fast that it was obvious I was having trouble making ends meet.

People always asked me why I decided to run ultras, my response always confuses them, I dislike statistics the odds of kids of a single parent being successfully in life are very small, now the odds of a kid of a single parent with disability being successful are a lot smaller, luckily for me I was never good at statistics. Ultrarunning was a way for me to make changes to my life. To teach my kids that the moutains ahead of us weren't obstacles but a wonderful oportunities to get closer to the sky.
“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope”Unknown

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dragon's Den

Nothing to do with running and everything to do with me. Brett's show Dragon's Den Season 3 is starting tomorrow Sep 29 on CBC at 8.

There is a funny video of George Stroumboulopoulos pitching his Meth Lab to the dragons. Click on his name to view

I have seen the first 10 minutes and I loved the quality of the deals that are being pitched. I am not much of an entrepreneur but I sure love to see somebody with a passion.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lost Souls Ultra Cancelled

I am back from the Lost Souls; the race was cancelled about 10:30pm Friday the 12th due to bad weather. I was about 45 miles into the course when I crawled into the aid station drenched, shaking badly from being out in the rain for hours and full of mud. Even before I heard the news of the race being cancelled I knew I was done, there is no way I could have continued,I had on almost every piece of running gear I brought with me and had nothing dry to change into, I did however try to see if I could make a running suit out of garbage bags.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the race being cancelled, I was not feeling well so it should have been great news for me when they called it off, yet, I was disappointed but deep down maybe it was a blessing in disguise. Both Brett and Nadia felt relief when they heard the news, they thought it was a crazy idea for me to try and run the race that sick, they knew how much I wanted so they never told me until later. I did learn a lot in such a short time, even though I didn't get to run my first 100 mile race, I am glad I went.

I woke up on race day and felt terrible, having to take anti nausea medication and Pepto- Bismol to deal with GI issues even before the race start is not exactly the best way to warm up for a 100 miler. At 8am the race started. Everybody notice I was sick and they offered words on encouragement, Wayne Gaudet from Edmonton even mention to a fellow runner that I had never meet " she is tough as nails, she will finish no doubt, my money is on her"
great I though, no pressure here, why don't we also call everybody that picked on me in high school and tell them how they made a mistake and I was not a quitter . disappointing myself, my family, my boyfriend, my sponsor and friends, isn't enough pressure, lets throw people that I barely know into the equation to make it more fun.

The course started right from the parking lot in the Lethbridge Lodge and into the coulees. Eric from Bolt Supply House was there to see me off. He and his wife Lisa where going to be at me beck and call. The race was well stocked with everything I needed so I told them I would call if needed and most likely will be tomorrow morning, maybe a nice venti Starbucks latte?. I was feeling better already but could not pick up the pace and fell way back, at the beginning I was OK with it but as the race progressed I started to doubt my ability to finish, negative thoughts race through my head. What if I time out? What if I just reach the point where I can't go anymore and will want to quit? I will usually talk myself out of these situations with positive self talk, this time however, I was armed with a cell phone and called Brett and Nadia every time I needed to reach out


I think I reached the darkest moment when I arrived to what I tough was the end of loop one, only to find out it was the aid station 11k before HQ. I had run 42K, a marathon in 7hrs! Nadia and I talked for a few minutes. " snap out of it" she said sounding a lot like me when I talk to my teen son."It doesn't mean anything, I was on the lead at Powderface and ended up in an ambulance before reaching the finish line, being in the lead means nothing unless you finish, is not over until the fat lady sings" and just like that I found my mantra. Is not over until the fat lady sings

When I reached HQ, the end of loop one, I could see how far people where ahead of me. There was a 6k loop that went south and you came back to HQ before heading north. When I got there most people where finishing the 6k loop and where heading north, some of the runners where surprise to find me there; they thought I was ahead of them. I am not that fast, I remember thinking.When they checked my weight I had hardly lost any, I was 50.8 Kilos in the start and my weight was 50.2Kilos, I was delighted and feeling better and better. Some of the late group runners that where with me decided that they had enough and surrender their numbers; I have never met anybody in the lead that tells me “I had enough" in the back, is all everybody was talking about. I quickly left the station heading south as it started to rain.

When I got back to HQ again, it was hailing and then the rain turned into a downpour. A lot of people where coming back to surrender their numbers. “It’s too slippery out there" some said "Is way too windy" where the typical responses. Now, that's a healthy self-steem, I thought, nothing to prove.When it was time to quit they did without punishing themselves. Just like that I changed into some dry clothes, put every layer I had with me on, grabbed Ziploc bags to cover my hands and took off into the night.It was at this moment when I realized...OMG they are right, there IS something wrong with me.

“Mock not the fallen, for slippery is the road ahead of you.” Russian Proverb

The coolies where slippery, going uphill was almost impossible unless you climbed like a snake on your belly. Going downhill was the most fun, even with poles there was no traction so I just sat down and tobogganed down using my poles to slow me down. About an hour and a half into it, I came across a group of 5 guys and was delighted to be in a group. “Having fun in the mud yet?" somebody asked, without replying I just turned around and asked them if they though the tights I was wearing made my butt look big...They all became quiet and unsure of what to reply they all looked at each other, then I told them I had been sliding on the mud for the last hour and my pants where now full of mud, I felt like I was running with a diaper on. They all laughed off and for the next few hours we all did the Spiderman and walked sideways hanging on the fence to avoid falling down the hills. They asked me if I wanted to go ahead because I had run so slow the first loop, my legs where fresh and I was lighter on my feet than they where, but I knew it was wise for me to stay with the group.

When we reached Penaquin aid station around 10:45pm, the aid station resembled a homeless drop in center full of people draped in garbage bags, emergency blankets hoovering a space heater. The rain had penetrated all of my layers so I was sure I was done, I had told the guys unless I found dry clothes, I couldn't continue, I couldn't risk hypothermia. In the tent I was however looking around to see if somebody was going home and I could them borrow their dry clothes if any. Then they informed us the race had been cancelled 15 minutes earlier. There where a lot of emotions rushing in the tent, we where almost halfway into the race, in my mind even if we waited until morning we still had time to finish in time.Plus I didn't see any fat lady singing yet. But there where already people in the hospital suffering from hypothermia and sprain ankles, that and the coolies are protected area and we were damaging them by trashing around. " See", one of the guys told me, "you didn't quit, you are being forced to quit".Then I realize, I might DNF because of injuries but the odds of quitting because I had enough was not likely to happen anytime soon.

Eric and Lisa where there waiting for me, I had called earlier to tell them that in spite the rain I was heading out, they spent 2 1/2 hrs watching movies out of their iPod waiting for me to come through to see if I needed anything. I was glad to see them and even happier when I saw they had Bolt Supply sweats and t-shirts for me to change into, the dry layers felt heavenly against my skin.

The next day at the lobby, everybody gather around talking about the race, some had stories of injuries they saw; everybody wanted to know how far you made it. I had mixed feeling, I wanted it badly but I was very sick and have other races coming up. I felt bad for all the runners who trained specifically for this race, Alan Lam volunteered to crew for almost all the races in the Ultra Series to gain insight for his first 100 miler, all the preparation that goes into one event and it's gone just like that.

The awards ceremony was still held Sunday morning, I didn't attend because I just wanted to come home to my kids and Brett, he was suppose to come Saturday but with the race being cancelled he stayed in Calgary to attend meetings he had previously cancelled.I am sorry I missed the awards, I placed top female and second overall behind Neil Runnions, a privilege since Neil is a twice finisher of Badwater Ultra and a legend in Calgary, to see the full results click here

I am looking around the net trying to find a 100 mile race that I can add to my schedule. Hopefuly I can find one that I can run before the end of 2008.
Its in the darkest moments when we find out what we are truly made of, and sometimes the best way to find out how much something means to us to take it away.

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” Sven Goran Eriksson

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Murphy's Law

44 hours until Lost Souls 100 Mile Ultra and all I have to say is that it can get worse..on a good note, at least I am not pregnant. My first 100 mile run will be most interesting.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"Leadership has been defined as the ability to hide your panic from others" Unknow

Panic- Pan-ik
a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior.

6 days and 18hrs until Lost Souls 100 mile ultra. I haven't felt well for the last week or so and I am sure my body is in a panic mode. Bolt Supply House is sponsoring my race so I should be in less of a panic, I was going to be running alone with no support crew but then John McCann president of Bolt Supply House offered his help, I was thrilled when John emailed me, I started working part time last month and I was a bit stressed about the expense of going to Lethbridge> is only few hours away but I have to book a room at the local hotel for 3 days plus meals and gas, and you get the picture, I told my kids I was clairvoyant, I could see tuna sandwiches for supper for the next few weeks. In few short emails he put me in contact with Brent West.

Brent had a lot of questions, "what exactly is the crew suppose to do?" Well,I am sure he is still scratching his head after he read my email. The crew's main responsability is to make sure I am safe and I don't end up being disqualified for loosing more than 7% of my body weight at any time. I will be weighted few times during the race before being allowed to continued. If I end up sick again, I can end up with dehydration, dehydration means loosing weight and that could lead to being pulled out of the race. I also told Brent that if it looks like I am dying but my eyes aren't rolling backwards, I am OK, I just need more electrolytes.

I will proudly be wearing Bolt Supply House logo, I am sure if John had asked me I would have run the whole race as Top Nut, their mascot, I almost canceled the race because I didn't think was smart to spend that much on a race specially after paying for school supplies for my kids and their after school activities this month, thanks to John I don't have to.

Lost Souls ultra race course is a lop of 53.7k, I am hopping a sub-29hr finish but 30hrs is not hard to see as a final result. my feeling is that I will do great for the first 18hrs then go downhill fast, my brother Carlos who lives in Mexico mention this when we talked after the Canadian Death Race, I usually get in trouble around the exact same time, at the 18hr mark.

I think for time I am predicting I will do 7hrs on the first loop, 10hrs on the second loop and 13 on the last loop for a 30hrs finish, since it starts Friday at 8am, I should be crossing the finish line on Saturday around 1pm. I couldn't find a pacer for my last loop so I will be running it alone.

“Unless you move, the place where you are is the place where you will always be” Ashleigh Brilliant

Send you good vibes next weekend, I am nervous and its only because it means so much to me, I love that I still get butterflies before a race even though I have been running a race a month for the last 7 months, the best part of all, after Lost Souls I get to get ready for Sahara 250k Race, all of a sudden,my friends an acquaintances are all thinking, being a single struggling parent ain't so bad after all.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Decide to be happy- Author unknow

I believe-that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe-that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe-that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I believe-that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe-that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe-that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe-that you can keep going, long after you can't.

I believe-that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe-that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe-that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe-that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe-that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe-that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down,will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe-that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe-that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe-that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others.Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe-that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe-that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe-that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe-that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe-that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe-that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you you will find the strength to help.

I believe-that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe-that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I found this passage at The Bolt Supply House newsletter, I remember reading about it long time ago, is good to revisit once in a while. Now for my contribution ( feel free to add yours too) I will add that... I believe-that while I can't change THE world, I can change MY world.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Everything I need to know I learned watching the Olympics

1. Winning has more meaning to some

Korea's baseball medal meant a lot more than gold and pride to their country to the Korean mens baseball team, it also meant they where exempt of two years in the military. Sometimes you can see that an individual is obviously better but there are times where the skills are so close it takes mental edge to win, aligning yourself with strong reasons of why you want to be the best will mean the extra kick you need to win.

2. When is meant to be, is meant to be

This was apparent watching Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, their medals where no accidents, better put the time training; you can't fake greatness

3. When is not meant to be is not meant to be

It was painful to see Deena Kastor, Marie Helene Premont,DNF and Mike Brown fail to get a medal by finishing 4th by a 100th of a second. You can give it your best and still come short, there is no shame, is just part of the allure of competing, you can train, give it all and still come short.

4. Everybody deserves a second chance

From cocaine addict to Olympic gold medalist. Eric Lamaze made his Olympic debut at age 40 after failing to make it to the 2000 and 2004 Olympic after testing positive for cocaine, Eric who grew up with no father and with a mother in jail for drug trafficking he proves that sometimes we need to give ourselves a break.

5. Loosing is part of life so get over it

Adam Van Koeverden was the favourite to win the K1 1000, instead we all watched him finish 8th or second last. Adam was crushed, devastated and confused, Adam was not use to loosing. The next day Adam came back to race the K1 500 and won silver for Canada. Canada's men's eight also won gold after a dissapointing finish in Athens, it proves that to win some, you have to be prepare to loose some. Loosing is part of life, learn from it, then get over it.

6. It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe.

This is a quote by Muhammed Ali, I don't think he was referring about being told that at age 40 he was to old to compete, but that is exactly what happen to David Ford the Canadian Kayaker who was dropped by his sponsors for being too old, he had to fund his way to Beijing, he finished and impressive 6th, not bad for an old guy. Sometimes crossing the finish line isn't the biggest challenge we will face, it's the obstacles we have to clear to get there that are the most difficult.

7. Be ready even if the odds are stacked against you

Imagine you are Matthew Mitcham and you are competing in the diving 10 meter plataform. The hosting country has colected gold medals in 7 out of the 8 events that they have competed against. I can only imagine the trememdous mental focus he went through to tell himself he had a chance at gold, it was the most amazing feeling watching him being awarded Gold.

8. Sometimes greatness doesn't finish at the podium

Natalie Du Toit from South Africa didn't finish first, second or even tenth, she finished 16th, yet still the world around watched in awe as she swimed the women's marathon 10K. Natalie lost her leg at a scooter accident, she finished more than a minute behind gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko of Russia yet in our eyes she won more than a gold medal, she won our admiration and respect.

9. Never lose sight of your goal

Watching the last 10 minutes of the triathlon it was hard not to feel sorry for Simon Whitfield when he fell back from the lead group to 4th. He eventually fought his way to a silver medal for Canada, Simon himself was quoted saying that he had to fight the thoughts of in his head that keep telling him, that 4th place wasn't bad, it took focus and determination to fight his way back to the lead group and eventually meant a medal for him.

10. Sports transcend nationality or religion

Watching performances by such amazing athletes like Michael Phelps, Samuel Kamau Wansiru,Usain Bolt,Guo Jingjing,Carol Huynh, I couldn't help but to cheer no matter their skin color. Of course I wanted Canada to do well but watching at an athlete perform to his or her potential, had my respect no matter their nationality.

Monday, August 11, 2008

“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”Helen Keller

I am back training for my first 100 miler, I am feeling a bit tired but my legs are not hurting any more. Also because of the Sahara Race, I am also doing weights especially upper body since I will be running 250K with a 22lb backpack.

Two amazing ultrarunners are breaking speed records this week. Karl Meltzer is trying to run the entire length of the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail in less than 47 days.

Here is his latest post.

"When your back is stiff and your legs feel like lead; when and your knees ache and amputation seems like the only way to separate yourself from the throbbing pain in your toe; when you’ve been hiking as fast as you can possibly hike for 45+ miles on some of the most difficult trail you’ve ever traveled (and you’ve traveled some difficult trail); when you’ve been going for more than 15 hours and you’ve climbed nearly 14,000 feet of vertical; when lightning is slicing the rain around you and thunder is yelling at you to get out of its way; when you’ve been outside in the pouring rain and the swallowing mud for days on end and you can only bet on days more of the same ahead; when its dark and you can’t see the trail in front of you or your friend beside you; when you’re hungry, so hungry, and tired, so tired; when your dad is at the trailhead worried and waiting for you anxiously because you’re 2.5 hours behind schedule; when you really just want to be done for the day but to be done you have to keep moving – then you just might be Karl Meltzer."

For the full story click here

Peter Lubbers in four days will be attempting to break Tahoe Rim Trail" current speed record 48 hrs 58 min. If you want to check his progress click here

“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves.”
André Gide:

In other news I am currently the female leader at the Alberta Ultra Series and second over all behind Neil Runnions, the awards ceremony will be held after the Lost Souls 100 mile race, I am 230 points ahead the closest female, even if I don't finish Lost Souls I still have the lead. This has been the most amazing 6 months, I am running because I love the positive influence it has in my life, winning top female of the series will be just the icing on the cake.

The only drawback... ultrarunning is addictive, I am already working on my 2010 schedule!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Canadian Death Race 2008

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. ~Ivy Baker Priest

I am back from the Canadian Death Race 2008, I joined 223 soloist and 182 teams for what it turn out to be the hardest race I have done. To downplay the race to seem modest is a disrespect to the 81 soloist that finished me included and also to all the racers who tried but had to drop out of the race because of injuries or missing cutout times.

Of the 223 soloist only 81 finished, and out of the 81 only 8 where female. Jack Cook from Edmonton smoked the course again, he is the course record holder and he finished first overall at 13:56:13, the fastest female was Diane Van Deren from Sedalia USA, her finish time was 17:16:22. To my surprise I finished 30th overall, 4th female and first on my age group at 20:44:14 even though it was posted I was third on my age group, I was awarded 1st at the awards ceremony to my delight.

I was nervous coming into the race, after all this is the race that started it all, exactly one year ago I came home from Grand Cache sore, beaten, but in love with ultrarunning and trail running. Last year I didn't finished, but I went a lot farther I had ever gone before.

When I signed for the race last year, I didn't know about ultrarunning. It had been a year after Karl was diagnosed with cone rod dystrophy and I was devastated,it's a hereditary condition so it has to run in families, when the doctor asked about my family history all I could think was that my grandfather had been blind, different condition but who knows that was Mexico 40 years ago. The following week I started running, I remember wanting to run until my skin came off. In less than a year I had a son who was diagnosed with an incurable condition, I had lost my job, and I was single and heartbroken. There at home unable to sleep I tried to find a race for the summer, I started running with my best friend Nadia to qualify for Boston, something I did accomplished but Boston was longways away, I needed something to do for the summer. I found the Death Race, doing some research about ultras, I came upon an article about ultrarunner Mimi Anderson of the UK, she was part of a small group of female ultrarunners that the media calls "Brave Girls" feeling vulnerable at that moment,is exactly what I wanted to be,brave to face the challenges that lay ahead.

After just one more year I am please to tell you that things have changed significantly, while there is still no cure for cone dystrophy, I just saw an article about medication being use for macular degeneration, is in the same family of disease so I am very hopeful. I have a great job where everybody is very supportive, my family and best friend are there for me and of course I met the most amazing man in the world, Brett Wilson, before you go an google him let me do a shameless promotion of his TV show, he is the new Dragon on CBC's Dragons Den

I have know of Brett for quite sometime, and in Calgary who doesn't, I was apprehensive about going out with him after sparks flew when we finally met in person at his Garden Party, after all he is the Canadian version of Richard Branson, I have always admire his charisma and how brilliant he is in business and at marketing but I am more private about my life ( except now I guess is rubbing off)but the Brett I fell for was the one who took me to the children's hospital to visit Eugene, a friend of his son Russell. Eugene is battling cancer, Brett himself being a prostate cancer survivor wanted to stop by and see him and his mom, there in the hospital, talking about soccer with this bald teenage and making him smile, I watched his mom's face relax for a second, I could see the exhaustion on her face, but she was at that moment delighted to see her son smile and talked about something he loved, sports. when we left the hospital my doubts where gone, sure I might see him on the paper jumping off an hot air balloon wearing a wedding gown in protest of domestic violence but that is part of who he is and I love it.

Brett also emailed John Bobenic CEO of Maxim Power, he contacted the local power plant in Grand Cache Milner Power and before long I had a support crew

Alta Ball of Milner Power turned out to be amazing, she was through and meticulous. I drove with my nieces Karla and Brenda who are visiting from Mexico and by the time I arrived in Grand Cache 7 hrs later she had everything organized for me. We met after picking up my race package to go over the details, basically told her to treat me like a spoil child who won't eat her veggies, to prevent hypothermia I needed her to make sure she fed me well during transitions. As it turned out we had a lot in common, she had been a runner but because of arthritis she had to quit running, her ex husband also happen to be legally blind with the same condition as my son, well, I know my sister Muneca is going to have a field day with this one, even I can't just write it off as a mere coincidence. WE had a heart to heart talk, she worries about her kids who don't have any symptoms but since is a disorder that is pass down on the genes they are all aware of the risks. I was glad to tell her that even if her kids would be OK, with the support of friends, family, the community and associations such as the CNIB kids like Karl have the same opportunities as fully sighted kids. Harder? sure but not impossible.

Race day I stood there at the start line, chatting with Neil Runnions, Logan Beaulieu, Jack Cook, John Postoluk, I was part of the group, the tough guys knew me and accepted me. Then out of nowhere strangers started approaching me to wish me good luck, they all referred to me as the Mexican running wild, they told me they where fans of my blog. It was a bit overwhelming and humbling.

At 8am the gun went off, the first leg was an easy 19k with amazing and breath taking scenery, it was a relatively cool day so running felt great.

Leg 2 was a lot trickier, 27K of very technical and very slippery.I spent more time on my butt trying not to break my legs than I did running, by now it started to rain so it got more and more complicated as it when along.

Leg 3 is the easiest, since is the flattest of all the legs, this is where I tried to make most of my time, I am terrible at climbing but decent at running downhill.

Leg 4 is what nightmares are made off, the net elevation is well over 6,500 feet. This is where Neil Runinion caught up to me, we have a friendly competition since he is better than I am at climbing so it depends on the design and elevation of the course he might or might not finished ahead of my, last Saturday was his lucky day, he managed to finished at 19:08;28.I loved it when the next morning over breakfast he told me he had run scared the last leg, he was worry I was going to eventually catch up to him. At leg 4 my spirits where still high but I was feeling exhausted, I came into the last transition area before the finish line at 12 midnight, Alta, her kids and my nieces where there to cheer me on, Brett tried calling from Nashville but coverage was sporadic. Last year I was pulled out of the race because of hypothermia just before transition 5, I was very tired but I only had 25K to go, piece of cake, right?

I never expected leg 5 to be as hard as it was, I thought after leg 4 we where going to be treated to an easy jog into town to roll in with some dignity, instead I stared over and over again to yet an other climb "How many mountains and hills Grand Cache has anyways?'

I took me over 4 and half hours to finished leg 5, quitting never crossed my mind but I wanted to be done badly, I kept straining my eyes to find a light, any light something that might resembled town lights, instead except for a few team racers that passed me it was complete darkness.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tough at it was, I loved the race,the whole town of Grand Cache came to cheer us, most of the ultras I go to, might be a couple hundred of racers and their families only, here people came to cheer on complete strangers. I greatly recomend this race, specially if you are a female. I heard that the tough girls club was looking for more members...

I came home with a silver Death Race coin and a small plaque engraved with my name, time and place, this is the only thing I displayed openly in my house, on top of the mantel piece there are numerous awards my kids have received but mine are tucked away in my bedroom.

This award doesn't just mean I finished a 125K, that itself is amazing, but what it really means is that the human spirit is amazing about coping with adversity if you overcome your fears and keep placing one foot in front of the other until you will eventually reach the finish line. Quit to soon and you might never know how far you are truly capable of going.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sinister 7 Ultra

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. Ambrose Redmoon

I am back from the Sinister 7 135K ultra, held in beautiful Crowsnest Pass. The race went better than I expected given that it was promoted as the thoughest ultra in the Alberta Ultra Series. The race did live it up to it's reputation, of the 52 soloist only 21 finished.

Rachel and Craig dropped me off at Blairmore for the start while they took my car to go mountain biking. At 9 am sharp we all started the first leg and easy 15k with only 740" of elevation. This is where I usually catch up with other runners, I stayed behind admiring the beautiful surroundings, it was hard for me to speed up because of the spectacular scenery.

Leg two was a grueling climb, the scenery at the top of Hastings Ridge was worth the effort,with a 457m of elevation gain and 607m of elevation loss, it made for a very fast run to the transition area. I am good at running downhill, I am more coordinated than most runners, I think is my dancing background. By the time I got to transition I was considerably ahead. I checked my watched and wondered how Nadia was doing, she was running Powderface half a very difficult and technical trail run, she was second female last year and she had trained very hard this year and was hopping for top female, what I would found out later is that she DNF because of an injury.

Leg three has the most elevation gain, at 838m I keep thinking I suck at climbing even though hardly anybody passed me, the leg crosses though the remains of the 2003 Lost Creek fire, by now my body was warm and I was making really good time though each leg I started to get faster and faster. Rachel and Craig met me at the end of leg 3, they wanted to say goodnight, they where tired from mountain biking and decided to go back to the hotel but would be back in the morning on time to greet me at the finish line. It was here too that they told me I was second female

Leg four is the longest leg at 31.5k, I ditched my poles in transition 3 ( a decision I would later regret) to be faster and put as much distance between Anne the female lead and I, we left transition at the same time and she was quickly falling behind. By the time I finish this leg I was in the lead, I came into transition and was greeted by a complete stranger holding a cup with mash potatoes " I heard you are here alone, I thought you might need this" the first thing that came out of my mouth was " marry me" he blushed and giggle a bit like a teenage girl. As I was leaving transition 4 I realize that leaving my hiking polls behind was not the best decision, at the rate I was going I was tracking for 22 hrs, which meant I would be running in the dark for the next 5 hours.

Well I know sometimes it's hard to see the light, Shinin' at the tunnel's end
And though the road just goes on and on for miles, Faith lives just around the bend. Keith Urban

leg 5 was the thoughest for sure, it was hard to run through creeks and mud without poles, I slipped and fell on a couple of creeks around 2am. For the next 3 hours my pace dropped significantly and I started to feel really cold, this leg has a hard climb and I had a hard time coordinating my legs. 3 runners passed me including Annie who would go on to finish top female and 4th over all at 22:23:21.Darren Froese was top male at 17:13:53. the fast Trax Team won top team at 12:26:38.
when I got to the top, the wind was howling,and I had a strong urged to lay down and sleep. Just 20 Minutes, that is what I though myself, I remember I had chocolate covered coffee beans and warming packs in my backpack. The warmers worked but not the coffee beans, I immediately started to throw up, and continued to do so for the next hour and a half . Walking in the dark was aerie but, I felt peaceful and focused. I could hear whistles everywhere from racers that needed help. Calling for help never crossed my mind. I realized I am both my best asset and worst enemy. I take some bad decisions, like leaving my poles behind knowing I would need them later, just to gain ground during the day, but there in the evening, I was remained calm, I knew all I needed to do at that moment was to reach transition safely, I was not going to be first, and I was OK with it, finishing was my next focus and that was still a very strong possibility. Just like with every race I get stronger physically, I also get stronger emotionally, I am also in the best place of my life currently and that helps me be less emotional and more rational. The sound of whistles where all around me but I didn't see anybody else for hours, later I heard somebody stole marking sings and a lot of people got lost, I did have to wait for other races to figure out where to turn several times because they would be no markings, at night it just got really though to figure out where to go.

I thought I was close to transitions after I started hallucinating, I was so sure I even heard laughter and the campfire and tents, walking for 10 minutes just to find it was just a glow stick. when I finally got to transition 5 I was in bad shape, shivering and a bit delirious, the meds did a good job of bringing me back to life, because I had stopped drinking their main priority after warming me up was fluids.

The race allowed a drop bag per leg, specially for soloist without help, the trick was to know where to send what. To my delight, I did have a change of shoes there for me,somebody gave me a dry t shirt and within 30 minutes, I was back in the game.

As soon as I started running I started to get sick again, and it was coming from everywhere, I remembered I had ginger chews and medication on my backpack, that helped and by the time I finished leg 6 the vomiting had stopped. I probably run an extra 2k en leg six running into the bushes. I was wearing my running skit but it wasn't exactly lady like.

Leg 7 was a brutal climb and equally challenging descent before turning into a beautiful and fast stretch to the finish line.

I reached the finish line at 24:43:09, 2nd female and 8th overall. As I crossed the line, Brian the race director put a medal around my neck then informed me Brett was calling to follow my progress, he got frustaded because the reeults of each leg where too late, I both blushed and cried at the same time when Brian told me. Knowing that there was somebody in Calgary awake thinking of me while I stubbornly pushed trough the night is really what gave me the will to not call for help and to suck it up.

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. Mahatma Gandhi

In ultrarunning, running is 50%, determination, endurance, thoughness, or just plain stubborness account for the rest. Kids have a natural tendency to follow though, just watch a child learning to walk, I have yet to meet grown up that crawls because it took him or her to long to learn to walk and just decided to quit. The Japanese have a proverb Nana korobi ya oki Fall Down Seven times Get up Eight.
I get asked often how can running such distance is possible, physically is easy with the right training, now, wanting to do it, that is the hard part. The wanting was the easy part for me, I just hope that my body can handle my dreams