Thursday, January 1, 2015

Turn Down for What?

I ran 2014 miles last year... no wait... I drank 2014 beers last year. Honestly... I probably did both but there's no real way of knowing. Last year was craaaaaaaaaazy. By far the most adventurous and travel-filled year that I've had so far. I'll spare you the long, drawn out recap of my entire year's adventures... ain't nobody got time for that. But if you are interested in that... then there's a tab on the right side of this page with links to 2014's adventures that you can check out :)

The Wild Azalea 50 in January left me with a bad case of planter fasciitis. As far as I was concerned... 2014 was over. Done. Finished. 2014 will be the worst year ever. Was it? Nope. Little did I know... it would turn out to be the best year ever.

A few weeks after Lucifer (in the form of PF) entered my body... God blessed me. I got selected to be an ambassador for the FARM. Dr. Beau Beard and Dr. Sloan Beard were God sends.

Beau exorcised the evil PF demon from my body and had me back doing what I loved in a matter of weeks. This was by far the healthiest and most injury free year I have had and I contribute a majority of that to these two amazing Docs. They not only aided me when I was injured (tweaked ankle and dislodged rib) but they showed me strength exercises that I could routinely do that kept me strong throughout the entire year. This year could not have been as epic as it was without them in my corner. I truly cannot thank them enough for the support they have shown me. I love you guys!

So what made this year so epic? For starters I completed my first 100 miler (BRYCE 100)

I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I met Hal Koerner and Timothy Olson along the course and came face to face with a mountain lion at mile 71. Bryce 100 will forever be etched in my memory... and my skin for that matter.

But it wasn't necessarily the race that meant the most to me. It was the entire adventure surrounding the event. I think when it's all said and done... what I'll remember most is Vanessa conquering her fear of heights...

And Sloan doing hand stands in high winds at Angel's Landing...

Or maybe just the ziplock eggs...

I learned so much over the course of the year. I learned that there is so much more to running than just racing. Towards the end of 2013, running started to take on a new meaning for me. I started taking little trailcations where I would simply pick a destination and live out of my car for a weekend or more and just run. No plan, no distance goals... I would just park, sleep, wake up and run. I started to find that spending large amounts of time in the mountains was what I longed for... and it DIDN'T have to be in the form of a race. This came full circle this past September when I took a trailcation up to the Smoky Mts (Trailcation Reconnection ). Everything just clicked. Running wise... I had never been happier than I was when I was sleeping in the back of my car, running up to the top of mountain, and recovering in a cold river with a beer. I discovered myself on that trip. I found freedom.

Not to say that I don't like racing... because I do... and I did a lot of it in 2014. One of my favorite races... and one that I will never forget... was H9.

Was it because I got an awesome piece of metal at the end? Nope. I'll never forget it because I witnessed a close friend achieve a monumental goal. I spent countless hours training with my friend Sunny and stayed by her side through the 16hrs it took us to complete one of the South's hardest trail races. There's no better feeling than getting to be a part of something as epic as that...

And of course GRINDSTONE. Everything about this adventure was amazing. Ok maybe not everything (damn you Wendy's). But again... it wasn't just completing one of the hardest races east of the Rockies...

It was the adventure in it's entirety and who I shared it with. It was bagging one of the most beautiful peaks the night before the race...

Watching the sun set over the mountains with one of my best friends...

 These moments will always mean more to me than any piece of hardware I could ever get from any race.

So where does that leave me? Feeling blessed for the opportunities I've been given this past year. I was contacted for an ambassadorship with NuLiv Science  at the beginning of the year. They fed me  an ongoing supply of all natural supplements that played a key role in my performance this year. They also made me the poster child at their Las Vegas expo :)
I got linked up with Roots Rated and received the opportunity to be an ambassador for their New Balance program. I'm extremely excited about being a part of some of their plans and ideas for the upcoming year!

I also got a chance to partner with  Gumption Reviews to help promote some awesome new companies.

Oh and last but not least... got the opportunity to be a North Face Locals ambassador!

I find myself now with a pen, a pad and a glass of whiskey on January 1st... planning next year's adventures! What's on the agenda? A lot of fun races and a few epic self supported adventures await!

I do plan on writing more... and not just strictly stories of my adventures. I plan on writing reviews about gear and other things that I've grown to love... like Territory Run Company (flipping in love with this company).

I'm also super excited about being an ambassador for Dirtbagrunners! This group is the epitome of what my trail running mindset has become! Check them out!

And needless to say... I'm overly stoked about being back on board with the FARM for another year!

I also have a self supported fun run planned at the Walls of Jericho for April. I plan on making it a big group event with lots of adventure, camping and beer! Details will come shortly I promise!

Aside from all the crazy adventures... I'm still married to this fox and happier than ever!

And now... Wobbles has only 3 legs...

So please... raise your glasses and let us have one last toast to 2014!

2015... you better be packing some serious heat... because this trailgangsta is expecting big thangs from you playa!

Till tomorrow...