1. Most memorable moment on the trails. Boy, that's a tough one. I've had some incredible highs (like crossing the finish at my first hundred at the Tahoe Rim Trail 100) and some devastating lows (the emotional blow up at the Diablo 50k), and each memory is permanently etched into my soul. I guess if I would have to pick a single moment, it would be when I fell at mile 96 at the Tahoe Rim Trail 100. I felt every emotion I knew all at one time, my body was in pain, and I thought for sure I was going to DNF. But the calm serenity of the night sky above Lake Tahoe brought me back to reality, and the headlights of other runners reminded me we were all suffering in some way. I ended up taking it one step at a time, and with the help of my Dad, found the finish line. In that moment on the hill, I was convinced that we all have an endless supply of will and courage, you just have to dig deep enough to find it.
2. Best new trail discovered in 2007. That would have to be the stretch of the Tahoe Rim Trail where the Lake of the Sky 33m is held. All this time it was a short drive from my usual Tahoe running spots, but I didn't know it was so beautiful! A wonderful and challenging stretch packed with views that I have been back to twice already.
3. My best performance of 2007. I think that would be the Silver State 50m. It was not only a fast time for me, but I've never felt so good at the end of a 50-miler. I was also really pleased with the pictures which is good blogging karma. ;-)
4. I don't know how I previously survived without...gaiters! I have never really used them before this season, and it didn't take long to see why everybody uses them. Duh.
5. The person I would most like to meet on the trails in 2008. Well, I hope to see a lot of you guys in 2008! But if I could chose just one, it would be Debra Weil, who is making a wonderful recovery from her bike-vs-car accident this Spring (read it here, particularly the comments). I hope to someday see her walking/running the trails and finding a new passion to fill in for cycling.
6. The race I am most excited about for 2008. No surprise, I'm super excited about running the Western States 100 in 2008. It's going to have some big challenge for me - distance, heat, etc. - and I think sub-24 is a reasonable goal. It's actually forced me to schedule a year of "training" instead of racing everything in sight. It should be great!
This is a wonderful time of year for reflection, and for planning the next race season. One of my favorite parts of blogging is being able to go back and relive each adventure, as well as peruse my favorites on other blogs. Here's my Cliff Notes version, should you need some reading:
- Pacifica 50k, 1/20 - Face planting on rocks can be a form of motivation.
- Napa Marathon, 3/4 - Marathon PR from trying (emphasis on the word "try") to keep up with Devon Crosby-Helms.
- Pony Express 100k, 3/31 - 57 laps to salvation/insanity.
- Boston Marathon, 4/16 - Storm be damned, I'm going to drink my beer at mile 20.
- Big Sur Marathon, 4/29 - Birthday run on Hwy 1.
- Quicksilver 50k, 5/12 - Good friends make for an effortless race.
- Silver State 50m, 5/20 - Breakthrough performance in the mountains of Nevada.
- Bay To Breakers, 5/21 - Video and naked people... 'nuff said.
- Mt. Diablo 50k, 6/2 - 8 hours of therapy and a whole new respect for the ultra community.
- State Street Mile, 6/10 - Rocky the pug runs a sub-7 mile!
- Pacific Crest 1/2 Iron, 6/23 - The whole family races for fun, and my Mom celebrates the joys of being last.
- The Death Ride, 7/14 - Learning to group ride through 129 miles in the Sierras.
- Tahoe Rim Trail 100m, 7/21 - My first 100, and the reason I'm hooked on more.
- Sierra Nevada Dbl Mrthn, 9/22 - Guess what happens when you miss the turnaround on an out and back course? Doh!
- Running of the Bulls 5k, 10/7 - We should all run in costume at least once a year.
- Lake of the Sky 33m, 10/13 - A perfect Fall day in Tahoe.
- Helen Klein 50m, 11/3 - Go out hard, blow up hard.
- Santa Barbara 9 Trails, 11/24 - My quads burn through 10k vertical feet.
Hope you are all having a great holiday!
Oops, almost forgot to tag three bloggers! The following can consider themselves "tagged" and can answer the six quick questions on your blog: