Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Year in Review: 2015

I 100% stole this idea from Andrea at Born and Raced in Chicago. She has such a great blog, you should go check it out! Usually I do year-end posts where I recap every month. This year I am too lazy for that nonsense. I actually seem to be too lazy for just about everything as we skid in to the end of 2015 . . . .

But I digress. This list pretty much encapsulates any runner's high points throughout a year. What were yours?

Best Race Experience: For this one I am going to have to go with the Sun Mountain 50k. It was my first 50k, which means it will always hold a special place in my heart, but it was more than that: the setting was perfect. My family was there to support me. Several friends were on the course and at the start/finish. When I got hurt other runners immediately swooped in to help. And Rainshadow Running races have the best finish line of any race I've ever done!

Official race photo from Glenn Tachiyama.

Best Run: I went back and forth a bit, but my first run at Mt Rainier won just barely over my second run at Mt Rainier. Our little group started at the Fryingpan Creek TH and finished at Box Canyon. I had never been that close to Rainier, and it was a beautiful sunny day so the mountain was "out" in her full glory. The run was incredibly challenging, but every step was amazing.

Just a bit of a view. Photo by my friend Callista.

Best New Piece of Running Gear: This will have to be my Ultra Jacket from Ultimate Direction. I went around and around and around on whether or not to drop the serious $$$ on this jacket. I tried out several other jackets first to try and save money. In the end, this one fit the best and it has accompanied me on several runs, including one marathon and one 50k. I struggled a bit with it in the marathon (hell, I struggled with everything in that marathon), but during the 50k I adjusted some things and it was perfect. 

Wearing my Ultra Jacket at the Deception Pass 50k. 
Photo from Glenn Tachiyama.

Best Piece of Advice: Not going to lie, I gave this advice to myself. It was "Do. Epic. Shit." I gave myself this advice after the first run at Mt. Rainier I mentioned above. 

Most Inspirational Runner: This is impossible to pic just one. I am incredibly lucky to get to run with a local running group called High Heels Running Group. It is a group of badass women who trail run and meet weekly for runs around the Seattle area. Every one of those women inspires me. Simply hearing them talk about their race accomplishments made me realize that ultra running was something I could attempt- and fall in love with! 

Favorite Picture From a Run or Race: There were several for me, I have posted them all above. My favorite picture for someone else was this one I took of Ellen on our run at Mt. Rainier:

Doesn't even look real, does it?

Race Experience You Would Repeat: I am not sure if this point was for an entire race experience, but I want to pick one experience in an otherwise kind of tough race. It was at the Deception Pass 50k when I made a friend and we ran together for the last 10-ish miles of the race. We were the last runners for the last part of the race and we really helped motivate each other to the finish. It turned a run that had become dreadful and grueling in to something that was really wonderful. I really loved watching her finish her first 50k, too! This might be my new favorite thing: helping other runners finish their first 50k. Will be doing it again with my friend Tara in a few months!

Finishing up a tough race.

Sum Up Your Year in a Couple of Words: Epic. Shit. I feel like this year I have time and time again stretched the limits of what I thought I could do and it's only made my desire to figure out what else? that much stronger. 

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