Sunday, August 30, 2009

Transrockies Run- What a party!

I am back from the Transrockies Run. It was my first time on the race and I can tell you it will not be the last time. This race was like Spring Break for runners.
Nadia and I arrived in Buena Vista, a cool small town and the start of the race. I developed low grade fever on the previous days and found myself being incredible tired. I decided to run anyway since looking at the rooster, the race had big names such as Nikki Kimball, Hal Kroener, Dean Karnazes, Anita Ortiz, there was no chance we could place at all, also Nadia promise she just wanted to have fun. Dean remembered me from Sahara and had a blast catching up. His father is recuperating from a heart attack. he is thankfully doing well now.

From the beginning I struggle, I had trouble breathing, day 1 was 20 miles with 2721 feet of climbing. It was Nadia's first ultra event but it didn't show, she run strong and climbed fast, waiting for me at check points because it was mandatory for us to cross them as a team. I forgot my sleeping bag so I went from bad to worse since the nights can be very cold.

By day two things had changed, Nadia went from thinking "I wonder if I can finish this race to" I can win it!", event though the field had big names, as usual after a few days is anybody's game, as teams bickered and broke and injuries made runners quit ( Dean went home on day 4 with a broken rib) in few short days the top teams where unknown people.

Nadia kept asking me if I wanted to quit after watching me deteriorate but I didn't want to quit, everybody thought she was so sweet since she was concerned, how ever we knew the real reason was that she wanted to trade me for a healthy team member instead, I told her that since she didn't accept that I didn't come to the race a few months ago when i told her after all my races I was going to be both slow and tired, I was taking her down with me as punishment, having both of our names attached to my slow running time. I couldn't run fast at all but it would be incredibly rude for me to stop just because of that, after a few days everybody was suffering from something and some where suffering of more than just a bruise ego from not being able to run fast, specially when we arrived in Leadville, the town is 10,000 feet above sea level. A lot of us suffered from altitude sickness.

I didn't run on day 5 and choose to hike instead, I told Nadia just to run Stage 5 on her own and wait for me at the finish line, we where penalized for that but i knew Nadia was dying to see how fast she could run it. Her ego had suffered enough as she waited for me at every checkpoint.
I had a great time with the teams in the back, after all it was Colorado, the view was spectacular. I have always admire runners on the back as much as the top people, I love joining ultra events and surround myself of amazing talent, but I have found myself on the back more than once and I love the spirit of anybody who decides to take life to the fullest level. That day I hiked with the Japanese female team, one of the team members was Sumie Inagaki 48 hrs Ultramarathon record holder, her friend was slow but she came to spend time with her regardless, also on the back was the Old Goats Team, two 70 + year old guys who had a fantastic time.

It was only the last day of the race that I felt great and I decided to run hard, I knew Nadia wanted to place top 3 for at least a stage so we went for it, we came short and crossed 4th but had a blast chasing the other teams.

Even though i was very sick, the race was so much fun, I mostly stayed at my tent but it was great watching my best friend have the time of her life, she became the race's it girl. Every night she would come back to the tent after hanging out with everybody at the campfire and we would chat until late laughing and giggling like little girls at a summer camp. We developed code names for almost everybody, specially the guys at the camp, Plan B was a guy who run shirtless almost everyday and casually hinted to me he was single, Sleeping Bag was a guy who offered his sleeping bag to me when he overheard I was missing mine, one catch, he offered his with him on it, before long i figure he was married so he became married sleeping bag, Fastimes at Ridgemont was a guy who kept asking me to stop by to check his trailer everyday forgetting he had asked me the same thing the day before.

The race was fun but the top teams pulled fantastic times, this is after all a serious race. Ultradistance runners have a reputation of being top athletes and party animals at the same time. Nadia plans on coming back next year and try for top team, she asked me to run it but I asked my sister Muneca to joined me next year instead, she is not much of a runner but she is fit, I get enough satisfaction running my own races, there are still lots on my to do list, most of them are races that are either on nobodies radar or way to insane for anybody to want to do. TransRockies Run is a race where I get to watch somebody who has never though could do it accomplish something incredible, I got more pleasure watching Nadia smile wide like a kid everyday than any medal I received. This is something I learned from leaving in Japan, Buddha's teaching said “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Transrockies Run

My best friend Nadia and I are off to Colorado for the TransRockies Run. It's going to be so much fun.
I am feeling guilty since I leave my kids again. This time however it's for my best friend, Nadia and I try to do a race together, just the two of us. last year we run Boston to celebrate my 40th b-day and it was a blast. This time is Nadia's turn to celebrate her 40th.

There are other reasons to get away as well, Nadia is going trough her separation and we have a lot of catching up to do. I haven't been there for her, she couldn't have time it any worse, just before my first race in Brazil. Thankfully, her and Magnus are great to each other and are best friends.

You should see my house now, it has become the head quarters of single mothers, between Nadia, Lisa Kuffmann and myself we have 7 boys between the ages of 14 and 11, my house resembles more the Tijuana strip. It's nice to know our boys are out of trouble, hopefully for a while. Lisa, Calgary's original supermodel, moved back from Brazil with her two sons, Christiano and Caetano, we only met a few months ago but it's like we been friends forever.

TransRockies Run is 113 miles, starts Aug 23rd to 28th from Buena vista to Beaver Creek, Co. its a team event, Nadia choose the name for the team, Crash and Burn, my choice was Cinderella's Ugly Stepsister's since prince charming isn't exactly riding in the wind towards Calgary.

There are some friends coming to the race as well, Leslie who also supported me in Australia is coming with her husband Keith. Also Katrina, Rob and Lenny from Toronto who were my tent mates at Gobi March this year, coincidentally they are also the three people that have summited all 7 highest peaks on 7 continents and are the ones that got me thinking when we where hanging out in the tent in Gobi that this is something I could do. It's funny how things seem impossible until you meet somebody who has done it, then it becomes a possibility, sort of when nobody could break 8 minutes per mile, as soon as it was broken, then everybody did it.

This is sure the best way to celebrate the end of the summer. I am looking forward to the race, I have been overwhelmed with the preparations for the climb. I go for training the last two weeks in September and if everything goes well, i start climbing late November.

I met with Jamie Clarke, Calgary's elite climber who is heading to Everest in the spring, I am asking him to be my adviser, since I don't have a lot of experience climbing, I need somebody who is not bias to judge if I am ready for Everest in the spring if everything else goes well. He is a bit hesitant to make it his call, " what if I say to go ahead and you die?" " I will hate that" of course I told him that I can't see myself dying, why survive all the things I have survive so far, the kidnapping when I was 17 for example just to die?, Mexico is notorious for young girls disappearing and never seeing again, taken in broad daylight, I am one of the lucky ones that escaped. Of course there is always a risk, event though I don't intent on dying, I am 41 years old and have had a full life, Karl is only 14, he deserves a lot more than life is offering. I feel calm and compose and can picture myself accomplishing it, sort of Richard Dreyfuss on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where people though he was crazy but things seemed so real to him.

I haven't forgotten that after all, i am dedicating my life to make sure my sons are OK, how can I relax when I can see pain in Karl, he shakes it shortly because he is wonderful but his pain lingers in me, we make the best team, he gets over thing quickly, i don't. Things are a bit more difficult for him since his friends are taking their learners permit and are starting to ask girls out. Karl pretends he is to busy to care.
No matter how many times I hear that this is great, that I can relax and let things be, but I can't, as long as I can physically do more, I will always feel like,as a mother I have to do as much as I can. I am not afraid of climbing Everest, I am very afraid of watching my beautiful son Karl go blind.

Amazingly, my inspiration lately is coming from Miley Cyrus with her new song " The Climb"

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith