Wow! Another year has gone buy and I can’t say that I have any regrets that I missed out on anything or could of, should of, would have done anything differently.

By the numbers:

  • 4,100 Miles – 400 more than 2010 …like adding a 13th full month of training.
  • 700,404 Vertical Feet – 164,638ft more than in 2010 …which is more than I ran in my first year of running in 2007.
  • 494 runs in 365 consecutive days. Today will be my 414th day of my current streak.

Behind the numbers, these last 4,100 miles have been a grand total of 862 hours, 59 minutes, and 51 seconds of fun and adventure, quality time with my best friends, and personal time with myself and my dogs.

Sheba turned 11 this year and has really slowed down but still managed to run 467.25 miles with me. I finally had to start splitting Baxter and Sheba up on runs and ran an extra 113.25 miles with Baxter. Most days we start together and I’ll turn back to drop off Sheba after 1 to 3 miles before heading back out on the trail for a longer run with Baxter. It’s been a bit sad to see Sheba slow down and start showing her age and I’m sure Baxter isn’t too far behind. These two are the reason I started to run.

Since Baxter and Sheba don’t run with me every day any more, I started volunteering for Animal House to take their shelter dogs out for exercise, training, and socialization a couple times per week. In the past year, I ran 305.25 miles with Alphie, Angel, Benji, Benny, Buzz, Byron, Chief, Draco, Empress, Frieda, Happy, Harley, Jill, Kendall, Leon, Max, Mia, Mickey, Misty, Nitro, Paul, Raquel, Rocket, Rocky, Trish, Xara, and Zorro. Fortunately most of these dogs have gone to permanent homes already. Alphie, Chief, Nitro, and Harley are still available. For 2012 I hope to do more to help Animal House. Kim, Ali, and I are already brain storming about possible challenges and fundraising events.

I did pretty well racing in 2011. The Hardrock 100 was by far the experience of a lifetime. I had a rough time at the race but ended up finishing well. But what was most memorable was spending the most amazing week in Silverton with my mom and my best friends.

I ran new PR’s at Ghost Town and the Moab Red Hot 55k and I won my first race at the Antelope Island 100k. I dropped my Towers PR down to 32:24, ran my first sub 5min mile ever, took over a minute off my Thanksgiving 4 Mile time in 23:22. And I even dropped my 5k PR under 18 minutes to run 17:56 in my last run of the year at the Resolution 5k.

But I think I enjoyed pacing and crewing at events just as much as I’ve enjoyed running my own races. I’ve had a lot of help from a lot of great friends over the years and am glad that I finally had a chance to try to return the favor. I’ve also learned that pacing is incredibly hard ….and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best pacer ever. I can’t sing like Celeste. I don’t think I’d have the same effect wearing a tutu like Tressa. And I don’t have Eric’s unique ability to cheerfully maintain a one-sided monolog for over 12 hours, overnight, after running around crewing and volunteering all day. But I hope that I managed to play a role helping David finish his first double ironman triathlon and getting Eric to the finish line of the Bear 100. Unfortunately Victoria and Mike didn’t make it to the finish line at Bighorn and Leadville this year but both made very wise decisions to stop before seriously hurting themselves. I’m sure both will be back even stronger next year.

Outside of race events, I finally got a chance to do some more exploring.

I had the opportunity to knock out a few more fourteeners while helping to crew Eric’s epic journey over 9 fourteeners on the Nolans’s 14 route. Only a handful of people have finished the entire Nolans 14 route and I don’t think anyone has completed 9 or more since 2003. If Eric has the time in his schedule to attempt the full route next year, I’m sure he can do it and I will definitely be there to help – it’s be quite an accomplishment that I won’t want to miss out on.

And I finally crossed the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim run off my list. This was such a fun trip with great friends and I can’t wait to go on new adventures to explore more amazing places. Hopefully Zion, Bryce, Escalante, and a few other parks will fit into my travel plans in 2012.

The Blue Sky Marathon was another huge success this year and Nick and I started a new race business to launch the Quad Rock 50, Fort Collins’ first 50 mile trail race. We still have a LOT of work to do to pull this event off but it’s been very exciting to see our plans start to come together. It’s only the start of January and we already have 102 registrations!

I also started coaching this last year and had a lot of fun helping my friends meet their racing goals. I’m really looking forward to continuing to help my friends in 2012 with strong finishes at Western States, the new Steamboat 100, and the Vermont 100 with some new PR’s along the way.

Next up for 2012…… I haven’t set many plans in place yet but the Bighorn 100 will be my major goal race. I really love this event and after taking a pretty good beating in my 2009 finish, I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do out there with 2 more years of experience under my belt. On the way to Bighorn, I hope to run new PR’s at the Moab Red Hot 55k and Colorado Marathon. And pending lottery results, I’d like to finally go back to the Northwest to run the Cascade Crest 100. I spent 8 years living in Seattle – mostly as an out-of-shape work-a-holic and never really got to fully enjoy the incredible outdoor environments. Hopefully this year I’ll have an opportunity to go and take a proper tour of the Cascades.

And speaking of running in 2012, I need to get after it. It’s warm and sunny in Fort Collins today and I’d better get out on the trails before the next snow storm comes through this evening.

  • Jeremy

    January 16th, 2012

    Bighorn and Cascade Crest for me too. Two humble, old school classics. I hear the races are OK too:) Good luck and hope to see you out there.
    Jeremy in Idaho

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