Holy cow, another year has gone by. 2020 is upon us and I have to admit, I’m ready to close the door on a tough year.
It hasn’t been all bad. I bought a house. I switched coaches and had my first six month stretch of pain-free running in years. Through the good and the bad, I have been lucky enough to read, learn and write about running and fitness every week. Here are my favorite stories from 2019.
In January 2019, after weeks of planning my season, I was diagnosed with a tear of my Plantar Fascia. It had come at a time when training seemed to be going well, and for the first time since getting into the 2017 Western States, I was inspired by my upcoming race schedule. Of course, it all came crashing down with my diagnosis and the crutches that came with it, however, I wanted to find out exactly how long I could hold onto my fitness throughout this injury. So I asked, how long does fitness last when you’re injured?
Ever superglue a knee in a bathtub? Yeah, I hadn’t either. But then I had to. When a bomb cyclone dropped four feet of snow on Boulder County, a playful couples’ wrestling match in the fresh snow ended when my boyfriend gouged his leg so deep I could see gleaming white bone through his snowsuit. Unfortunately, the snow meant there was no way we were going to get to an emergency room. Thank goodness for wilderness first aid training and super glue.
A highlight of my 2019 season was the Salomon Global Athlete Training Camp. For seven intense days in the Azores mountains, I covered over 150 miles and 40,000 feet in elevation gain. I had only been back running from my plantar tear in January for two weeks, and the ass whooping I was served daily reminded me how much I lacked fitness. But every day was an opportunity to learn and a chance to see if could keep up with the best mountain athletes in the world. A few hours of daily suffering was a small price to pay for the experience.
After a year of injury and two years of inconsistent training, I toed the line at the Leadville 100. Without the fitness to back up my goals and with more than one thing going wrong, I got served. I ate humble pie, put my head down and crossed the finish line with a little lesson in how to hurt.
I’m too young to be scolding teenagers. But when they park their parent’s SUV in an alpine meadow, squashing the fleeting foliage, I can’t help but give them hell. That’s a true story—and it inspired 600 words of trail etiquette.