As I sit here on a cold Colorado night and yet another snowstorm rolls into the Front Range, I finally am afforded the opportunity to sit back and reflect on the amazing events of the year. Rather than bore my friends and readers with too much dialogue, I've decided that the pictures I've amassed over the past 12 months will speak much louder than words, and truly do justice to the moments that made my life a fun and interesting adventure!
Hopefully there will be something in here that is entertaining for anyone who reads it as I haven't limited this to just athletic accomplishments.
So sit back, relax, and have a good laugh...
PART 1 - Running: The Highs
(The 'lows' that follow are way funnier!)
An unexpected early season 50 mile PR of 8 hour and 49 minutes! I had previously only completed one 50 mile ultra marathon and it had taken over 11 hours. This race really boosted my confidence and got me contemplating whether or not I should enter the Leadville 100.
(Photo 1) Desert R.A.T.S. 50 miler in Fruita, CO:
(Photo 2) Here I am with my then roommate, the great Tony Krupicka, after finishing the 2009 Desert R.A.T.S. 50 in
(Photo 3) The salt loss in my sweat after finishing... I guess I do have just a touch of Cystic Fibrosis after all:
(Photo 4) Just a few weeks after my 50 mile PR, I qualified for the Boston Marathon by running a 3:05.54 at the Colorado Colfax marathon in Denver. I was fighting a cold on race morning, but from the look on my face you can tell that I didn't care as I crossed the finish line!
(Photo 5) No pictures while running, but a 10th place finish at the Bighorn 52 miler in Sheridan, Wyoming... here, the usual pre-race nerves:
(Photos 6&7) Skipping ahead a ways, I had a 5k PR at the Run for Hope in July: 19:10
(Photos 8&9) After a scary experience in Minnesota at the Voyageur 50 miler (pics below), I bounced back with another PR on my 4th running of the Pikes Peak Ascent. 3:24.xx:
(Photo 10) Along with my great friend Sean after he finished:
(Photos 11&12) Even my dad had a record setting and age-class winning day:
(Photos 13-17) The following weekend was my crown jewel... finishing the Leadville 100 in 23 hours, 21 minutes, and 27 seconds:
(Photos 18-20) 4 weeks after Leadville I had another 50 mile PR at the North Face Endurance Challenge, in D.C.:
After this race I finished 4th at the Xterra Trail Marathon in Colorado Springs in early October. Then began the much earned taper and rest that I have been in until a couple of weeks ago.
PART 2 - Running: The Lows. AKA: Running is a contact sport!!!
The following pictures all depict the damage that I inflicted on myself either during races this year or in training while en route to the 'highs'.
(Photos 1&2) January '09: The Carlsbad Marathon.
Yes, this was the result of me eating it in on a relatively flat, paved, road course. I am very coordinated:
(Photos 3-5) Do you like how I ommitted the details about me ending up in the medical tent during the Bighorn 50? Forgive the hair, but here are pics from the morning after being released and sleeping in my car. The bandage covers where the IV was inserted and I had mud still caked on me:
That just prepared me for the carnage of the Minnesota Voyageur 50 miler. For a full report, click the link found elsewhere in my blog, but in a nutshell, I had several losses of consciousness due to hyponatremia, was found in a river at the bottom of a ravine, and spent the night in the ER in Cloquet, MN.
(Photo 6) So optimistic. If only I knew what was to follow:
(Photos 7-14) 49.5 miles and a night in the ER later. Abrasions from head to toe (literally):
(Photo 15) Got enough publicity for them to write an entire article about me:
(Photo 16) Let's not forgot Leadville:
(Photo 17) ... and last weekend:
(Photos 18&19) Various toes:
PART 3: Life outside of running!
(Photo 1&2) The Leadville after party:
(Photo 3) Me and the money I could be saving with Geico!
(Photo 4-6) DC and NYC:
(Photo 7) In front of the port authority in NYC. Enjoying a cold PBR with dinner!
(Photo 8) Times Square:
(Photo 9-14) Spent a lot of time around Leadville, camping and hiking 14'ers:
(Photo 15) I even drank a little:
(Photo 16) Is that you, Michael Phelps??
(Photo 17) It only cost me a drink to get JT to lick a urinal cake!
(Photos 18&19) At the Dear and the Headlights concert (great band):
(Photos 20-22) Fun in the snow:
(Photo 23) There can only be one 'Most Interesting Man Alive'... let's take this to the parking lot!
(Photo 24) Pre-wet-willy:
(Photo 25) Practically a local celeb after my TV appearance (I'm kind of a big deal!):
PART 4: Looking back and ahead
2009 Race Results:
2009 Total Miles Run (through 12/23/09): 1543
2010 Race Calendar (tentative):
February-Rocky Raccoon 100
March-No Runs Planned (South x Southwest in Austin, tentatively)
April-Desert R.A.T.S. 50
May-Collegiate Peaks 50
July-Leadville Silver Rush 50
Even in March or April of this year, I would have never imagined finishing the races, or having the experiences I did... but by just taking one day at a time, being blessed with my health, and having great friends, family, and doctors/nurses in my life, I had the greatest year of my life and one I will never forget!
I have a lot of living left to do, so bring on 2010!