What a challenging year! Trying to juggle raising a family, maintaining a demanding career, and two very time intensive hobbies (running and photography) was a handful. I also finished an online degree program, spent 50 hours driving with my daughter to qualify her for a license, spent many days searching for and test driving cars for my son, graduated my other daughter from high school and sent her off to college, and set a new PR for miles run in a calendar year.
Training wise, I made a serious effort to prioritize consistent running. This had been taking a back seat over the last couple of years to some other activities (mostly photography). A year ago, I made a conscious decision to get the miles in any way possible. Early, late, sometimes even three runs in a day. I made it happen.
I was pleasantly surprised when I started checking my stats in late November and realized that 3,000 miles was in reach. I hadn’t really considered it, because an Achilles injury in the May/June timeframe had really set me back. Thankfully, that plus some lingering hip issues have mostly been resolved and I am feeling pretty good heading into the 2016.
I shot 11 races this year, but will cut that significantly in 2016. It was a hard decision, but I terminated my contract with the Highlands Ranch Race Series. I have nothing but fond memories of working those races for the past two years, and will miss it a great deal. Ultimately, it was a time-based decision. I need some of that weekend time back in order to pursue other goals.
I have training dialed, but now I am hungry to race well. I only had one decent race this year, and I want to focus on preparing for and executing on race day. My world doesn’t revolved around racing, but it gives me a goal to work towards and adds clarity and purpose to my weekly training routine. Most of all, it offers a great way to explore my potential, which is really what I’m after. I feel like I seldom ever get near my potential, and whatever it is, I want to get closer to it on a more regular basis.
Thanks everyone for your support, inspiration, and motivation – and Happy New Year!
I was itching to get out for a good long run while the weather was still nice. The cold and rain are moving in, but the weekend still looked great! I had originally wanted to run one of the races taking place in the mountains near my home, but ruled that out earlier in the week due to time constraints and feeling not quite ready to bite off another ultra after a dismal finish at the Bear Chase 50 miler 3 weeks ago.
I decided to head up on towards the race course and see some friends and cheer on the runners. Making up my route as I went, I figured I would be out for at least 20 miles.
I ended up feeling great and put in a nice 32 mile run and had a fantastic day on the trails.
And a nice 4,200′ of climbing.
I linked up with the race course at their 8 mile mark just as some of the last runners in the 50 mile race went through.
I got to say hi to a few friends and started up the big climb with a long gap before the 50k runners would come along (they started two hours after the 50 milers).
James W. was leading the way and would go on to win the 50k by running wire to wire in the front.
I hung out a an aid station for a bit and enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to grab something and rush off like usual. It was nice to just enjoy the vibe.
The fall colors were a little past their peak, but still awesome. I love the scenery at this time of year, and the weather was incredibly nice!
I ran with my new birthday present (Nathan Vapor Air pack), and it worked great. I was totally self-supported for the full 32 miles and very comfortable.
It was great to finish early enough to enjoy lunch out with the family, as well as a little Halloween costume shopping…
This run was much needed confidence booster, and I was so grateful for the chance to spend some time in such a beautiful place.
A strong spring rainstorm rolled through before the race started and I was scrambling for plastic bags to cover my camera gear. Thankfully, the storm cleared shortly after the race started and I was able to ditch the bags. That made me happy, they were tough to shoot with! The mirror inside one of my DSLR camera bodies actually fogged up. Good thing I always have two with me.
It was a challenging, but fun day!