As the last few sunsets of 2016 take their final soaring plunge into the Pacific, I am humbled and grateful to look back on another crazy year. Epic running and career adventures, a happy and healthy family, stumbles in both running and my personal life, and more surprises than a schizophrenic magician. It has prompted a lot more reflection and personal growth than most years, rooted even more frequently in quiet moments in the forests and mountains. It was a good year to slow down, and slow down is exactly what I did.
|(Working at the 420 Games, ha, ha)
|(Lance Armstrong and me at the MUC - he did really well, 4:19)
|(Phew! Finally got one!)
|(My 50-lb shoulder pack, aka 5-year-old Quinn, and Christi join me for a hike in Switzerland)
|(Don't run, just sit!)
I was most pleased to be present as my kids went off to school (5-year-old Quinn now in kindergarten, 10-year-old Sophie in 5th grade) and I could internalize how incredible those little bursts of maturity are when they start the school year. Christi has been simply amazing with them, and they read and socialize like total pros. No little runners yet, but the weekly 2-mile hike to the Mountain House restaurant has become a mainstay.
I got back into racing for the fun of it by Fall, and when I stopped looking at my watch, everything seemed to click. I had my fastest time yet at the Headlands 50k, then won the Half Moon Bay Marathon overall, and later won the Red Rocks Trail Marathon. I also had a blast watching others play in the rain at the Whistle Punk Half and Lake Padden Half. In all cases, the real joy was sharing the outdoors with family, friends, and fellow runners. I had come full circle. The year ended with over 400,000' of vertical on Strava, a solid 15% more than any year I can recall.
|(Posing with "big check" and big wave pioneer Jeff Clarke at the HMB Marathon)
I hope to see you out on the trails. Happy new year!