2010 was my most enjoyable year ever in running, with my focus on trails and trail races. I can probably break the year into a few distinct seasons:
· Jan and Feb- My first 100 mile race, with a bunch of cross training before and after due to injury.
· Mar to Jun- slow build up to get into racing shape, with a few races thrown in (Buffalo Run 25k, Pocatello 50)
· Jun to Aug- peak training with lots of long trail runs, my highest weekly mileage ever (116), and some great races (Logan Peak, Grand Mesa 50, El Vaquero Loco 50k, Iron Mtn 30)
· Sept- The culmination of two years of training at the Bear 100
· Oct to Dec- offseason with few miles and a few enjoyable long runs (Grand Canyon and Shut In Ridge Run), but a general lack of training due to no goals or races planned for 2011
I mostly met my goals set at the start of the year:
· Run 3000 miles- finished with 3104, lower than 2009 but still enough. Easily could have been higher had I put in more effort after the Bear, but I even said at the end of 2009 that I didn’t expect to top my mileage from that year due to decreasing returns.
· Stay injury free- no major injuries once I recovered from my Rocky Raccoon hip issues, but I did have a fair number of minor issues at times that definitely added up and slightly affected performance.
· Top 5 at Pocatello 50 and Bear- I DNF’ed from Pocatello and it was later cancelled due to snow. Kind of a wash. Very happy with my 4th place at the Bear 100.
· Win at least one race- got this one with wins at Grand Mesa 50+ and Iron Mountain 30.
I’ll finish off with a summary of some of my best and worst memories from the year:
· 4th place at the Bear 100. I had been focusing on this race for 2 years, training on the course and building up my long runs. The race went as well as I had hoped, thanks to an awesome crew of David, Cody, and Joe. I can’t help but smile every time I think of Joe running back for my sunscreen and adding up vertical feet remaining, Cody feeding me his shot blocks, taking blurry pictures with his cell phone, and getting way too much enjoyment from our 35 miles, and Dave trying to keep me awake and moving towards the finish before our moonlit finish.
· Focus on trails- every single race and every single long run was on trails.
· My “between jobs” month as a full-time runner. I’m not sure this month can ever be beat. 22 runs, every single one on trails, and 8 of them over 2.5 hrs in length. I carried a camera everywhere and took dozens of pictures to help me remember the experiences. I ran the entire Great Western Trail in Cache Valley, too, by the time I left Utah.
· Dozens of spectacular trail runs with Cody, Joe, and Paul. We crossed lots of new runs off my bucket list (Stump Hollow, Mt. Elmer, Richards Hollow, High Creek Lake, Wellsvilles). Way too much time running with Cody. 10 runs of marathon distance or longer. I could spend hours just remembering the little runs, like when I passed some cross country skiers 4 times as I ran up and down the snow packed Green Canyon during a peaceful snowstorm.
· A good racing season, once I got in shape- all trail races, my first 100 mile race at Rocky Raccoon, a few wins and CR’s, and a perfect culmination at the Bear. The scenery and camaraderie at trail races is awesome- I’m not sure I’ll ever see a more picturesque scene than 4 miles into El Vaquero Loco. Logan Peak, Grand Mesa, El Vaquero Loco, Iron Mountain- all great races. Even my not-in-shape races (Buffalo run, Shut In Ridge) were enjoyable. And Pocatello 50 was just an adventure to laugh at- hypothermic, DNF, locking keys in Cody’s car… I won’t forget that day.
· Finally setting a good record on Jardine Juniper trail.
· Grand Canyon R2R2R with Rob and Cody was a spectacular end to the season.
· Too many minor injuries- always seemed to have a few niggles
· Moving to South Carolina put a real damper on my trail running
I have nothing but good memories from this year. I spent countless hours with my running partners, met so many great people at races, saw some amazing scenery, climbed many mountains, and moved to a new location- thanks to all of you who shared it with me. Special thanks goes to my wife and daughters for their patience and support- my daughters are very used to seeing their “daddy running in the mountains”. Now I just have to figure out what 2011 will bring… but that’s for tomorrow. For now, I’ll just remember what a great year it was.
[Editor's note- I forgot to thank Marci for spending some time doodling on Microsoft Paint, making the new header on my blog page]