Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

As I finish off the year of races, it is time to reflect on the previous few months.

The year didn't start off well for me. I was injured till mid/late March with severe tendonitis in the ankle. I was a DNS at the HURT 100. It was to be a week of celebrating (10 year wedding anniversary) and a day of racing. However we decided to forgo the trip to Hawaii and I spent my time and energy in a major remodel on the house.

As my ankle did my fitness, albeit at, what it seemed like the speed of a glacier. I didn't have any expectations on my running was to be like for the summer. My main goal was to remain healthy and enjoy time on the trails.

At the last minute, I signed up for the Beacon Rock 50K (luckily it hadn't filled) in June. I ran well there, placing 3rd.

As my confidence soared from this race, I began to put more miles & time on the trails. My twin brother who resides in Vietnam and had been running consistently, we both decided to run the PCT 50. Soon after his arrival in the U.S., the entire family (parents, both of my brother's families and my family) spent 8 days in Central Oregon. Here Thad and I explored some new trails for the first time as well as some old......Newberry National Monument, Smith Rocks, multiple runs along with the Deschutes River well as a few mountain bike rides. It was this week that I put in some serious miles getting ready for the PCT 50 miler.

The PCT 50 miler came and went. Another great race for me, 4th overall, and just missing the 7 hour barrier by 2 minutes! Thad did extremely well there for his first ultra in a time of 9.5 hrs.

Instead of racing, I tend to enjoy the solitude of running in the mountains by myself or with friends, at steady pace, thinking a lot while being out for 6-10+ hours. So for the next number of weeks, that is what I did:

Mt Hood Circumnavigation - Joe K, Joe G, Nick, Yassine, Willie, Ian (August)
Climbed Mt Adams - with Nelson (August)
3 Sisters Circumnavigation - solo (August)
Mt St Helens Circumnavigation - solo (August)
Climbed Prusik Peak - with Phil (first alpine climb in probably 5+ years) (Sept)
Mt Adams Circumnavigation - with Nelson (Sept)
Forest Park Marathon - Oct.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get around Mt Rainier.

So what is in store for next year? Well, I've got some ideas.....

Zane Grey
Cascade Crest
Continous runs of all the volcanoes
3 Sisters/Broken Top/Bachelor link-up
Some alpine climbing in the Cascades - Forbidden Peak, Mt. Stuart N. Ridge, Liberty Ridge on Rainier

If next year is anything like this past year (albeit the injury), I'll be satisfied.

Gotta say a big thanks to my family for making this past summer so special. They've supported me the entire time.

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