by firebirdrunning | 1:00 am

I have had a year to remember. I could not have asked for a better one. From the start, I wanted to challenge myself. This year I wanted to really experience the ultra distances. I have long decided since my tough time at the Siskiyou Outback 50 miler that I would try for the distance again at the Silver State 50 miler in May. So, after the local race series in the winter was over, I decided to go all in for that race.

In early March, I decided I wanted to get the most out of this year and my training. So I joined Trails and Tarmac coaching and we began some serious training together. In the middle of the build-up to Silver State, I decided to run that Whiskeytown Waterfall 30k and surprisingly, I won it.

At this point, I didn’t know what the rest of my year would look like after the Silver State 50. So, depending on how I did on that race, I would decide the rest of my year from that. Going into that 50, the race was colder than expected but I had packed enough gear to keep warm. Not knowing what I could do at that distance, I just ran with what felt natural at the moment. Right in the middle of the race, I had a rough patch but I was able to come back strong and secured a sixth-place finish. That was amazing. In fact, I finished the race with a feeling that I had more to give that day. So, based on that, I decided to take an ambitious step and skip the 100K distance and go right for the big goal. I was headed for the Pine to Palm 100 miler in September.

But before I would run it, I would revisit the Siskiyou Outback course doing the 50K. There was quite a group of friends and family and we all pushed hard in what made for a fast race. It was amazing despite my rough finish. That race left me with a confidence and a good idea of what I could do leading up to the Pine to Palm.

In the weeks leading up to it, I never had a doubt that I would finish. And I finished much better than I ever dreamed I would, despite all the course threw at me. The heat and the hills were tough but the views and the community were amazing. I ran what I thought was a smart race and finished in 22 hours and 49 minutes ending up 9th Place. This was truly one of the highlights of the year. I had such an amazing experience there.

And now that the year is almost over, I find myself training for a marathon in January. I hope to finally break a 3-hour marathon. I would have before but I have always had tough marathons. And other than that, I haven’t made any plans for next year other than the Gorge Waterfalls 100K. I’ll probably do another hundred in the summer or fall. But for now, I am focusing on one race at a time.

I am very thankful for all this year has brought me. For the support of my family and friends. And very thankful that I got to work with Trails and Tarmac; they helped me become the runner I am today. I am looking forward to all that comes this next year. And I wish everyone the very best this year.

Run strong, Come back stronger.

Happy New Year!

There are mountains to climb in 2017.


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