Friday, January 18, 2013

2012 Recap - Memories and The Races

I recapped about a week ago lessons I had learned in 2012, but I also wanted to recap the list of 2012 races, and before that, the top memories of the year that stick with me still.


I have a million memories of all the great friends I had a chance to run with, talk with, learn from, and be around through 2012. This section though is about specific run or race memories.
Mud, mud. more mud.
  • The trail briefing before Gorge Waterfalls 50K. My big memory here is a sound of nervous laughter. It had been snowing and the course had changed to keep us out of hip deep snow. The race director James said seriously, "Everyone needs to be careful because there's some sections where it's 18 inches wide, and there's ice and snowmelt, and a 30 foot drop off the cliff... and if you slip, you'll die." 220 runners giggled nervously. James: "No, I'm serious. You'll die." A little more light laughter. We're already here, and we're in this anyway. And by the way, those couple sections did make me nervous.
One of those narrow, icy, snowmelt creek jumps with a 30 ft cliff to the left dropping down

100% happy
  • New Jersey Marathon in May where I was running my 3rd marathon in 3 weekends for the first time. I was supposed to just be hanging out, but I realized I was feeling great at around mile 19. After taking a bunch of pictures and stopping for a boardwalk shot, I realized I had a chance to PR my marathon. But this was intended to be another training run. I called my coach who did not pick up so I went for it. He said if he had picked up he would have told me to hang up the phone and run. The giddy conflict in those late miles of go-for-it or don't stuck with me.
Having a fun time AND earning a PR

  • Baby yellow grasshoppers before the big ascent at mile 11 at Jemez Mountain Trail Run 50K. This actually never made the race report because the focus in that report was my DNF from iron deficiency issues, but I can't shake that one-mile section. Yes, other parts of the course were far more beautiful. But this rocky slope section was littered with little bushes, and everywhere little baby bright yellow grasshoppers jumped back and forth as I startled them. I actually really hate jumping bugs... really hate them. So I had a giggle at this point and a fair amount of anxiety plowing through as I thought, "Great, I'm 8000 ft up, climbing a 1000 ft slope in the next mile, and my undoing will be grasshoppers." Little did I know, my oxygen levels would drop dangerously in the next 10 miles.
This section had the baby grasshoppers

  • DNFing Jemez Mountain Trail Runs 50K at mile 20 after I had already climbed up and down a ski slope topping out at 10,200 feet altitude. Having to be hooked up to oxygen as the medical guy checked my numbers. And when I DNFed, it felt reasonable. And then having to sit with oxygen in the shade for a while, then I got upset and cried a little. Then, it hit.
A couple miles before the DNF.

  • Shortly after my DNF at Jemez, when I was feeling super low and especially about a couple comments from other runners, I had an awesome run with Josh, Reece, and Jeremy. Pepped me up and reconfirmed that trailrunners and ultrarunners are such a supportive group!
Helping ground and support me while they were running 50 miles that day

Start of Day 1

The beautiful spot I DNFed at on Day 2

  • Seeing Timothy Olson completely rock and win Western States 100. Getting a high five at the finish as he came down the track to the finish line!
Still brings me a huge smile. A big moment, and such a fast finish on a hard course!

  • Standing in the American River through the night in a wetsuit helping runners at mile 80 of the race that is Mecca in the ultrarunning world: the Western States Endurance Run 100. Hanging out with fellow San Francisco Marathon Ambassadors. Seeing Dallas area runners and friends at that spot on the course. Big hugs for Jeremy and Josh right in the middle of the river. The inspiration of this trip to volunteer stuck with me and within a week of being home, I was ready to commit to running a 50 miler.

  • Finishing Woodstock 50 Miler, my first 50, with Lesley at my side as my pacer. She hugged me hard, and I SOBBED. Total ugly cry sob. I was so happy with what I had accomplished.
After my cry, I sat down with a giant chocolate muffin they handed me, holding my finisher medal and my age group trophy (a VW bus naturally!).

So so cold. The highland trails of Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

  • Run Like The Wind in December going around a 1 kilometer loop 53 times. About 6 hours in, my gosh I was tired of that loop. And then it got dark, and I pulled out the headlamp. And this miraculous thing happened. The course was brand-new again! The change in lighting, the way the lamp hit the path, the dark shadows. And I had my fastest miles from miles 26-27, as I gleefully ran like I had found a new course.

2012 Races

I'm looking forward to tons more memories in 2013 and some amazing runs and races to go with that!


  1. That's sure a lot of races! You look so happy in that 50 mile finisher pic! :)

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this! M&D

  3. You had such a busy year!