Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Year In Review

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(Mt. Sneffels Highline trail in Telluride, CO)

With only eight days left in 2013, I find myself 60 miles shy of completing 3,200 miles for the year. This would top the 3,100 miles I completed in 2010 as the most I have ever done in one year. Based on how 2013 began, I would have never guessed it would have gone in the direction it did. Instead of dwelling on the many subpar performances that seemingly overshadowed the first half of the year, I decided look back with fondness at the many positives that occurred on the last loop around our sun.

Completing 3,200 miles is like running across the widest part of the United States, and represents a 61.6 mile per week average (68.6 mpw from March on). I don't think I would ever have succeeded in reaching such a total if I had made it a goal at the beginning of the year. Putting in that kind of mileage requires good health, a good schedule, and a lot of mental and physical consistency that we sometimes can't really wrap our heads around. With so many uncertainties in the beginning of the year, I really chose to tackle each week individually and made running a day to day concept. I think, however, in the future my focus will remain where it has been the past four months, and that is on more quality and less quantity for the sake of hitting numeric totals.

Aside from the numerous miles traveled, I also had a wonderful adventure in Colorado. It was a fantastic experience and I met many great new friends while at the same time exploring some of the most beautiful places in the country. The highlights included running in Telluride, seeing the San Juan mountains, a handful of trips to Leadville, Aspen, Maroon Bells, hiking Longs Peak, and nine other 14'ers. I also enjoyed volunteering and giving back to community after catastrophic flooding hit the front range in mid September. Like my trips to Hawaii in 2007, I know I will look back at the summer and fall in Colorado as being one of the best ever.

2013 will also go down as the year I paced several friends to very inspiring finishes. This is a trend I would like to continue as a way to give back to the people and friends who have helped me make it to many a finish line. I will look back at pacing Kyle Fricke for a short stretch between miles 80-90 his 100 personal best time of 19:08 at the Graveyard 100. Then, there was pacing Ryan Nebel during a hot and humid Old Dominion 100, where he broke 23 hours just a couple weeks after completing the grueling Massanutten 100. Finally, the year ended with pacing my friend Helen MacDermott to her second Hellgate 100k finish in some of the worst weather conditions the race has ever had. In a sport where we can sometimes focus too much on ourselves, it really is rewarding to help others dig deep and find their potential.

Here's to the next 365 days!