Kristina Folcik

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I have lived many lives.  The first one was about 19 years of sitting on the couch and eating donuts, I hated myself

and felt like I had no purpose.  I soon became bored and was introduced to mountain biking.  I started racing and found myself finally having fun and making friends!  I took my cycling from cross country racing to becoming aprofessional downhill mountain bike racer.  Several injuries later (including a broken back and multiple concussions) I took up mountain climbing to satisfy that need for adventure while not landing on my head so much.  Mountain climbing was exhilarating and fun but SLOW!  Lugging around 60-120lbs of crap really got the wheels turning as I began to wonder about travelling light and fast.

During my mountain climbing life a friend dared me to try long distance trail running.  I ran a 16 mile trail race without training, partially because the doctor told me I would never run after my injury and the other because I thought it was completely absurd to run in the woods.  I caught wind of a 50 mile race in VT that September (2005?) and thought it would be hilarious to do something so stupid.  I hurt myself trying a trail marathon about a month after the 16 miler and came back the next year to finish that trail marathon and finish the VT 50 without training.  I chased cutoffs and had the time of my life!  Running an annual 50 miler without training became my stupid human feat each year.

After climbing several high mountains including Denali I started to become tired of carrying heavy packs and seeing people die.  Honestly, I don’t know how I am still alive with all of the really stupid stuff I did in the mountains.  Ignorance is bliss, right?  I met my husband at my annual “run a 50 miler without training because it is funny” and I soon signed up for a 100 miler.  I went from zero miles a week to a lot of miles and tried to train.  In 2011 I broke my pubic bone and tore my adductor muscle in two places due to overtraining and was on

bed rest.  I didn’t listen to the doctor and kept trying to run.  2011 was the worst year of my life.  In October when I re-injured myself I took 4 months off and Jan 1, 2012 found an incredible physical therapist (Amber Ferriera-pro triathlete) and an amazing running coach (Jack Pilla) to help me run again.  What happened next blew my mind, I fell in love with running.

My motivation comes from so many places.  I am inspired by the people I surround myself with in my life.  My original running inspiration came from Deb Livingston after I threw up trying to hang with her on a hill in a 14 mile trail race.  She was 7.5 months pregnant.  She seemed so happy and her love of running ma

de me want to be able to run like her.

I find that so far my favorite distance is 50 miles.  The 50 mile races are fun because they a bit slower than a 50k and faster than a 100 mile.  I am terrified of the dark so anything longer than 100k is a bit of a production for me because I won’t run alone in the dark and I hate to inconvenience people to come run with me during a race.  When it gets dark in a race I am certainly motivated to run faster, even with company I am scared out of my mind!  If I ever run a 100 and see something scary like a mountain lion in the dark I can promise you I will set a record on that course that will never be broken!!! ;)

I run to keep me calm and focused, I run to fix lifes problems, I run because it inspires others to chase their dreams, I run because it keeps me healthy, I run because it brings me to beautiful places with beautiful people, I run because each step takes me further away from the demons of my past but also takes me closer to a beautiful future, I run because it is fun and most of all I run because it makes me happy.

Some of my personal goals are selfish.  I want to be the best runner I can be.  I want to be able to run with the fastest women in the world.  I want to change peoples outlook on their lives and show them that you can come from the back of the pack and work your way up to the front if you are willing to work hard and make sacrifices.  I want to make the world a happier place, one runner at a time. 

I hope to transition my career from dental hygiene to coaching beginner runners and helping sedentary people live a healthy life, find a lifelong hobby and inspire their friends and family to do the same.  We need an outlet from our daily stresses that is not drinking alcohol, smoking a cigarette, sitting in front of a television or being angry.  My first group of beginners that I am coaching are proof that I cannot change the entire world, but I can slowly change lives one person at a time and becoming a sponsored runner has given me an opportunity to reach out and give people the gift of happiness through running.

 

Along with my coaching I hope to continue putting on races that are fun for all ages and abilities.  Currently I put on an 8 week summer series (fundraiser-not for profit) that has races for toddlers, beginners and competitive athletes.  This first year was a success and I hope to give families a chance to enjoy a fun summer event together for many years to come.

My dreams are always changing and that is the beauty of dreams!  My biggest dream is to become one of the

worlds best trail runners.  I do not need to be the fastest but I want to be able to compete with the best.  When I raced at Cranmore this summer I got to meet some of the most amazing athletes I had ever seen!  It was such an inspiration to do everything I could to become one of those girls!  The best part was that they were really nice and even took the time to chat with me!   I dream of inspiring people through my running and always being approachable, kind and genuine. 

Someday I would love to combine my mountain climbing skills with my running and be able to move quickly and comfortably on some very cool mountains!  Killian Jornet is a huge inspiration behind that goal and Uli was certainly the first one to blow my mind when I saw him on the North Face of the Eiger (which I would love to climb someday)  Being able to race in another country would be incredible too!

Ultimately my final dream is to leave behind a legacy.  I want to change lives, inspire those who need hope, help people find their inner happiness and to live a peaceful life.  We live in such a fast paced world and people are angry with their jobs, their health, and their lives and feel trapped!  Coming from my old life where I was angry and miserable I am living proof that finding a healthy outlet and healthy friendships can change the way you see the world.  We need to remove ourselves sometimes from the stress and  negativity and go outside and just be free. Everyone deserves health and happiness.

Photo Credit: Top three pictures: Philbrick Photography.  My friend's baby Avery: Miriam Wilcox.  Cayuga Finish: IrunFar   Ryan and I at our wedding: Gianina Lindsey.  

Comments:

Abrahan, Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lovely senic course and well suptorped race. Food was lovely and greatly appreciated by the runners. Credit is due to committees who put on road races and to the runners who travel all over cork county and further afield to support these races. On this note the delay in calling out the results was not good enough bearing in mind that people had to travel up to 2hrs and more to get home on sunday evening having made the journey to the race earlier in the day.Looking foward to next years race.

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