Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 - My Best Year of Racing (Yet)

As I sit here in the 6am dark, cuddling my coffee and waiting for the sun to peak out over the hills and light up the trails, I am warmed by a deep gratitude for what an amazing year of adventure this has been.  Life, work, family, friends, racing - it all got turned up to 11 in 2010. Who would have guessed that my New Year's Eve drunk-dialing equivalent of Internet race registration would have paved the way to an epic year? Invite adventure into your life, and you will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams.

("My amp goes to eleven" - Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap)

I had some PR's, which is always refreshing. A 5:09 in the mile, 1:16:40 in the half marathon3:20:48 in the 50k, and 18:12:17 in the 100-mile. Some of those still have much room for improvement too (I didn't have a crew for the 100-mile, for example). Plain and simple, I'm getting faster, even at age 41. Years of base training (and sandbagging) are paying off. ;-)

I won some stuff, which is fun. I pulled in over $1100 in prize money, the USATF Masters Ultrarunner of the Year award,  and plenty of trophies/goodies. We don't race for the prizes, and the titles seem only impress those outside of the sport, but it makes for good stories to tell. I'm happy to say I blew all the money on beer and pizza within hours of cashing each check (much to the delight of Sophie and Christi); I'm just hoping the IRS sees it as a legitimate expense to offset that income.

I raced faster at repeat races, only to have my ass handed to me by faster runners. It's a good lesson for me to return to races, run them faster then even before, and still get crushed. This happened at XTERRA Nationals and Worlds, TRT, and the Lithia Loop Marathon. Racing is good for taking the ego down a notch, often right after it gave it an artificial boost.

I filled my soul with laughs and memories to last a lifetime. What I appreciate more each year about endurance sports is the simplicity of how they provide the perfect excuse to meet a bunch of great people, go have a crazy adventure in Mother Nature's playground, and laugh, smile, cry, and cheer through all of it. We dare each other to stretch our boundaries, then bare witness come rain or shine. We are all stronger for it - runners, friends and family, volunteers - and it creates an unmistakable positive energy. I saw it at an indoor track in Harlem, in the smiling faces of the great Ohioans at Burning River, the naked joy of Bay to Breakers, watching my Dad picked up two national and one world championship, the gaping smiles of first-time marathoners along the Big Sur landscape, my posse at The Death Ride, and at the cheers of thousands at the finish line at Ironman Hawaii. Any one of these memories can instantly put a smile on my face, and are a hell of a lot cheaper than Prozac.

Adventure gives my crazy life perspective. Have you ever had a day at work knowing you had an 80% chance of being fired, but are far more concerned about the Ironman coming up the following month? How about finding our your wife is pregnant again (surprise!), but being so aglow from the last 100-miler that all you can say is "I can't wait to meet her!". A life of comfort and unchallenged boundaries does little to help you see a world full of possibilities and wonder. Fortune favors the bold.

I got some great pictures. It's hard to explain, but if I have some great pictures and stories to tell at the end of the race, it's all worth it. When the camera is in my hand, I look for the views that capture the day and seem to find them more often. I want to *know* the people I'm running with, rather than just meet them. I want to push the pace, try something new, laugh in the face of adversity, and have an experience worth sharing. I want to live life to have good stories to tell.

So many great life lessons learned, and so many lie ahead.

The sun is peaking through the trees now, illuminating my path through the forest in golden light. I wonder where it will take me today? I don't know, but I bet it's going to be amazing.

Happy New Year, everyone! I look forward to seeing you in 2011. Thank you all for your help in making 2010 so memorable.

- SD


  1. Congratulations on your best year of racing (yet)!

  2. What a great year! Hope to be my 2011 a great year too. And training hard to race my first 100K at USA in 2012 :)

    Congrats, man!

  3. Alexander Sebastian12/30/2010 11:06:00 AM

    Thanks, Scott. Your willingness to try new things this year inspired me to only sign-up for races I hadn't done. I had a blast at the Bay to Breakers, Oakland Marathon, Pacifica 21K, etc., etc., etc. I appreciate your balanced perspective on racing, running and adventure. Keep on keepin' on!

  4. Congratulations on a great year. I am glad you get good pictures, because I love your race reports. Thanks for sharing you experience.

  5. very cool blog post. it made me pause and reflect on the positive of my previous year, right after my laugh-out-loud moment to your "drunk-dialing equivalent of internet race registration." good fortune in 2011.

  6. I have been reading your blog for about four years now. This was possibly your best post.

  7. Keep Rockin' Dude, as I always say "Turn it up eleven, and break the dial off"
    Cheers and Happy New Year.

  8. So, I am guessing you guys are expecting? Did I get it correct? :)

  9. Wonderful post! My favorite section might be the one on "adventure gives my crazy life perspective." You might add to this list: "I kept publishing and growing a blog that inspires trail runners everywhere."
    Cheers for 2011 --
    (p.s. I have a new running blog that's travel oriented... or you might say a travel blog that's running oriented :-)

  10. Thanks for the notes, guys!

    Olga - Yes, we are expecting another girl. You'll see it on my race calendar as "24 hours of labor (crew), 3/19". We are super excited! Especially Sophie who at 4.5 yrs old is looking forward to being the older sister.

  11. What a great post. I am hoping I can have a similar experience in 2011. I seem to have a "drunk dialing" like attitude toward race registration. I love to sign up for them and then hate to train. This year, I have a goal for 2011 - 2011 km. That should focus my training.

  12. Good range, Scott.

    Maybe at the end of 2011 I can write your year in review :-)

  13. Congrats on a great year! I look forward to reading about your 2011 adventures.


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