Last year at this time I was in what I thought was a really good place as an athlete. A return to Silverton, Colorado (site of a 2011 marathon win) and an easy win at the Alpine Loop 50k gave me confidence coming off a huge block of training. I was fit & running big miles in the San Francisco Peaks above Flagstaff doing what I loved with a great partner in Amy supporting my dreams. But things don’t always go as scripted. Overall 2015 was a huge disappointment as a runner for me with races not going as planned at the Ultra Trail World Tour’s Vibram Hong Kong 100k, at Salzburg’s Mozart 100k in Austria, at Aravaipa Running’s Golden Ticket Black Canyon 100k, at US Skyrunning Series’ Ultra Adventures’ Tushars 93k & (most devastating personally ) 50 miles into the $10,000 Run Rabbit Run 100 miler. I shook it off as best I could, and after a great week running with Old Glory for Team RWB from Utah to Colorado & another fun time at trail running camp in the hill country of Texas fatigue hit hard. I crashed and burned bad. I tried to just hide it.
I was still in good enough shape to easily win another low key 50k in Arizona last fall near course record pace after volunteering with course marking and race set up for an old friend, but that was the end of chasing fast times and course records. A combination of sciatic pain, over training, & stress led me to retire last December from competitive running and accept a role as Event Manager for a company that allowed me to stay connected to our sport with a little bit of income that is not dependent on placing on top of podiums at races. Initially I thrived as my five year commitment seemed like a dream come true. I was painting the podium for others to run for, but with less time to run and lack of motivation to train I burned out, started eating unhealthy, not sleeping good, drinking more, and have put weight back on and now find myself out of sorts without any athletic or new life goals.
Initially I told myself I would gut out the busy winter and spring and refresh my outlook in the mountains over the summer. There have been incredible moments, with friends atop summits and watching others achieve their race goals due in part to my hard work, where I have felt a little like the old athlete I once was, but I haven’t been able to string together enough good days to out number the bad ones and get out of my current rut. I long for that fire and zest I once had. Six months is a long time to feel like this for me so last week as I watched Olympic athletes chase goals for themselves and country & endurance runners complete super human mileages at the Silverton 1000 Multiday Run I decided I was going to try to take my life back. I made a schedule around my work hours to earn my first 100 mile buckle in a long time and I am heading back home to my east coast roots to reconnect with family and friends for a little bit now. Stay tuned because although my fastest times might be behind me I plan to continue to enjoy life while continuing to help and inspire others. We all have ups and downs in life, and I think it’s important to be honest and not hide when the going gets tough. I look forward to whatever the future has in store! Keep running strong folks!