2015 was an amazing running year! Be forewarned - there are way too many exclamation points ahead.
I ran a PR in every ultra I ran (because finishing your first 100 counts as setting a PR, right?)! I ran two adventure races (ie, not in my own backyard)! I finished my first 100 mile! I was able to go on what was essentially a week long running and relaxing vacation out west with my husband!
100K - Miwok in April in California. An almost an hour and a half PR! An amazing fun travel race with friends and my first solo 100K (no pacer, no crew)! This race is super runnable and not at all technical with a finish cut-off that required an hour PR if I wanted to make it. My wheels came off HARD heading down a sixish mile downhill to the 49 mile aid station. Up next was turning around and heading right back up that six miles to an aid station with a cutoff. I'd have to move faster uphill than I did downhill in order to make it. There was no way I was coming even close to making that cutoff but after less than ten minutes of sitting/laying down and getting my legs and head back (and NOT eating soup despite the promise that that aid station would have some), I grabbed a long sleeve and extra gel for the slog up and headed out anyway, figuring it made for good time on feet for Superior. I made the cutoff by two minutes and found some amazing strength of mind and body that was definitely needed with Superior coming in the fall. I then made it to the finish with 23 minutes to spare and an hour and a half PR. This picture is from mile 59/60/somewhere in there when I was flying and feeling amazing again!! It's taken by Glenn Tachiyama and I found it very necessary to pay for this photo so I could have it!
50 Mile - Voyageur in July. An exactly 40 minute PR in nasty hot temperatures! I ran smart, took some risks, and didn't let the heat get to me. This awesome finish came complete with a gorgeous top ten mug (9th woman!)! I really need to get a better picture of it.
50K - Rampage the Roots in August in Montana. A few second PR! But, this was following an awesome, high mileage, mountain miles, training week. At some altitude and in some gross smoke at the beginning. And after about 20 minutes of sleep since I spent the night making a great spontaneous decision to help crew a friend doing the 100 mile, which resulted in laying on the side of the road with my eyes closed lots but with little actual sleep. As well as making an effort to NOT be racing hard until the last few miles. Here I am immediately post finish.
100 Mile - Superior 100 in September. This will get its own post, I promise. Because it's too awesome to not relate - you'll be amazed at my lack of remembering of details, though. I guess when you're going for 36 hours, it's okay to not remember exactly when something happened, including if it happened to be light or dark out at the time of said thing happening :) Anyway, the only real goal was the finish. If pushed to name something, I had a fast sounding A goal based on my Voyageur and Wild Duluth times, a B goal based on simply beating the sun on day two, and a C goal of running any time under cutoff that didn't start with 37:something. So C goal accomplished (36:34) after tearing my left meniscus somewhere in the mile 75-80 range. Details to follow. In the meantime, enjoy what's probably my favorite picture from the race. Taken by Kelly Doyle at mile 90ish, while we're coming down from Carlton Peak.
So an amazing running year for me! I'm excited that I finally seem to be figuring out this ultra thing and have the years of base mileage to start running them faster. This year I already have a brutal sounding adventure 100K planned in July - just north of Rocky Mountain National Park. Apparently it's mostly not on any actual trail, with a bunch of creek crossings, and a 24 hour cutoff. Bonus that it's a qualifier for Western States, if I decide to keep putting in for that lottery. Happy trails to you! You'll be seeing more blogging from me this year.