Athlete Profiles – Kristina Folcik
Kristina Folcik broke her back downhill mountain bike racing and the doctor told her she would never run so two years later she took up trail running and has been enjoying it ever since! Kristina is an ultra runner today amassing some impressive finishes in and around the northeast. She describes ultra running as a very low key sport which has some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Ultrarunning is simple. Really, all you need are some shoes, some food and a way to carry water.
How did you get involved in your sport?
A friend dared me to run a 16 mile trail race a couple of weeks after I started running. I ran it, finished it and was hooked.
Were you always an athlete?
No, I started mountain biking when I was 19 because I was tired of going to the mall and wanted a hobby.
What are some of your athletic achievements?
Pemi Loop women’s record, Wapack 50 womens record, summitted Denali 20,320 feet.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
Sawtooth 100 is my biggest goal of the year and becoming a better runner on flat ground. Hills and rocks are my specialty!
Who is/are your inspiration?
What is your most proud moment in sport?
Winning Wapack this year
What is your most proud moment in life?
Climbing Gannet Peak and Granite Peak unguided and standing on top of Denali after two years of hard training.
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
I don’t have bad races. Even if they are challenging I find ways to make them fun and if I still cant do that I just deal with it and tell myself it will be over soon. Bad training days are tough, sometimes I cry.
What is your training routine like?
Crazy. It is like a full time job. I get bored easy so I crosstrain a lot. I love swimming, biking, climbing, running, and lifting weights.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
Be patient and don’t rush it like I did. Recover from your injuries even if it means missing out on a race. I spent over a year in pain, 8 weeks on crutches and two weeks on bedrest for ignoring a small injury that turned into a huge one.
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
Rasberry scones, whoopee pies, Skinny Café Latte at starbucks or Einstein and hotdogs. I do have a very strict and healthy diet regime when I am not doing high mileage stuff!
When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?
Gardening, fishing, reading and baking.
What is your favorite quote to motivate you?
No matter what the future holds in store, I can say now – out loud, without hesitation – something that, sadly, all too few men and women can ever say: I am living my dream.
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
Just go out there and have fun. Race your own race.
You would be surprised at how strong your mind is. When your body tells you no and you believe it you will not be able to finish. Find some good fun people to train with and ALWAYS leave the competition for race day. Jealousy will ruin your race and ruin friendships. There is always someone faster than you and everyone has a bad day, good day, and awesome day! Embrace your strengths, cherish your friends and be kind to your competition. Don’t be a bad sport if you don’t do well. Learn from what you did or didn’t do. Most importantly, have fun-life is way to short to not enjoy it.
What us your favorite moment on a long run?
My favorite moment in a long run (usually after mile 26) is when all the pain of the past, stress of the present and worries of the future disappear and it is just me and the trail. At that moment I begin to understand what inner peace truly is. I hold onto that moment because before long it is over and I am thrown back into that wild ride called life. It is that moment where you find that peace that you will begin to truly understand who you are and what you want in life.
Check out Kristina’s Blog… Danger Girl and follow all her races and adventures.