Hello Goodbye Hello Goobye!

Thursday Morning Runs, Sunrise and Friends 
Photo by Brett Rivers

I am constantly inspired by my training partners (past and present!). Whether it is trying to keep up with them running up Miwok at 6 am on a Thursday morning or hoping to be only 45 minutes behind them in a race, they challenge me and push me to be better. One of the things I am most thankful for finding in 2009 was a great group of friends that are also amazing training partners in my new city. And one of the things I am most looking forward to in 2010 is training, racing and going on all sorts of adventures with them.

Though one of my training partners, Brett Rivers (Trail Run Times) was joking on this mornings Thursday Morning Headlands Rim Run (our weekly 5:30am run) that his goal for the new year was to "get new training partners who don't make fun of him all the time" (as we have a tendency to tease each other), I wouldn't trade them all for anything (neither would he). On any given thursday we have 4-10 people out in the wee hours of the morning and most weekends a few of us are meeting up for long runs. It is great. I look forward in 2010 to a lot of training with them. Even if getting up at 4:20am on a cold winter morning is hard, it is a part of my routine that I adore.

It's January, sunny and 65.
And I am at the beach after a nice run on Skyline to Sea Trail.

And right now, I am very geeked out about being in one place. 2009 was the year of being a wandering vagabond. I had no home (just a storage unit), I spent probably a month at a time in one place before heading somewhere else, I had no consistency, no routine, no roots. It was an interesting year, but a very difficult one too. In 2010, I am looking forward to not only having a home (which I do in the City), but having a routine, roots and a home base from which to leap. I wasn't going to do it, but Brett's post about his 2009 running and racing year (his debut season as an ultrarunner), made me think of all of the madness I packed in to my year and what an awesome journey it has been. My life was so fast paced and fluid, I needed to send round a document called "the whereabouts" just so my family and closest pals could know what city/state or country I was in at any given time. The year didn't fly by, it felt like 10 years passed. I cannot believe it was just a year ago that I was running messy muddy Bridal Trails with Alison. It feels like longer. I packed in a lot and enjoyed every twist and turn. I hope 2010 is another type of adventure.

2009, a "brief" look.
1/10/2009 Bridal Trails 50k (Seattle)

It was cold, it was dark, it was wet, it was "muddy", it was Bridal Trails at its best. In 2008 Alison and I ran it as a team (each member running 25k) and we decided it would be more run to run together in 2009, so we ran together and dropped out together. Scott M prides himself on having a very low finish rate for the 50k and I wanted to help him keep that tradition alive.

1/22/2009 Seattle Public Library Run.(Seattle)
Jonathan, Sam and I get together to run to every library in the Seattle Public Library system during open hours to promote their new Passport Program (recap here). We make it all but 2 and run nearly 70 miles on pavement. The awesome Linda crews for us and takes care of frog frog the crazy dog.

1/25/2009 Injured reserve.(Seattle)
After only taking one day off after the Library run, I ran 18 miles with Owen my ankle/foot starts hurting. By Monday I can't even walk. I spend two weeks intensively rehabing and doing ART and am back in action.

2/7/2009 Orcas Island 50k Crewing (Orcas Island, WA)
Though I was feeling sorry for myself and was going to not go, Krissy talks me in to heading up to Orcas with her to see all my friends and cheer them on at Orcas Island 50k. I hang out with fellow injured runners Jonathan, Matt Hart and Susannah Beck and kick it with my pal (and co-RD of the race) Alison.

2/21/2009 Hagg Lake 50k (Oregon)
My stuff had just been put in to storage and I headed south in my mini cooper for the first of many road trips to San Francisco. I stopped off in Portland to explore and to also head out and run Hagg Lake 50k. Krissy is there and we run most of the way together, though in the end I send her off to try and chase down Joelle in first place and I lay back content to just cruise it out. All three of us ladies go under the old course record. I run a 4:24 and we celebrate by eating delicious buffalo burgers. (Recap)

2/27/2009 4 am run with my sister (San Francisco)
My sister and I get up at 4am to go for an 11 mile run in the Headlands. It is super fun and I think it would be nice to make it a regular routine (recap). My foot is completely healthy and I am back in full training mode.

3/8/2009 Appalachian Trail Run (Georgia)
I go to a very cold Atlanta, GA for work and while I am there I get to hook up with my buddy Christian and go on a great long run on the Appalachian Trail up to Blood Mountain. We run about 20 miles and I get my first taste of what the trail is like, it was awesome (recap). I also start to feel like a runner again after not feeling very fit or fast. But I wasn't running on that day, I was freaking flying.

3/14/2009 Way Too Cool 50k (Cool, CA)
I fly back late Thursday before the race feeling like I didn't want to run at all. I run anyways, not feeling great and decide to just back it off and enjoy my day (recap). It was a great day for friends and training partners since I got to see a lot of my old friends from the area, as well as it is the day that I met Caitlin Smith, who would over the following months become a fast friend, training partner and kick ass TransRockies partner (not to mention winning pretty much every race she entered!). I come in 6th woman after throwing a brief temper tantrum at mile 20. I run a 4:25.

3/21/2009 Chuckanut 50k and Winthrop Weekend (Bellingham and Winthrop, WA)

After Way Too Cool, I drive back to Seattle and promptly head up to help Krissy before the Chuckanut 50k. I had out bib numbers, socialize for a bit and then take off in the car to go to Winthrop to hang out with Alison and explore her town of Winthrop. We do lots of fun things and run in crazy partially frozen snow. It was so much fun and I was so happy to be able to hang out with Alison for a while.

3/26/2009 Mt.Si Run with Krissy (Cascades)
Krissy and I get together to do the first Mt. Si repeats of the season. Its pretty much straight up and down. We attempt to go all the way to the top on the first go and are turned back by the snow. On the second time up, we brave the knee high snow to catch the view from the top and promptly smack ourselves for not bringing a camera. We add miles on the road at the bottom. It was at least a fun adventure. A bit too early season for the kind of hill repeats we wanted to do.

3/28/2009 Dizzy Daze 50k (Seattle)
I head back to Seattle and run the bestest everest Jonathan Bernard's race Dizzy Daze 50k. I wasn't feel great the night before, the weather was going to (and did turn out to) be crap and it was 10 loops around Greenlake. I ended up feeling great, was first female/ second overall in 4:04 despite about 6 bathroom stops along the way and just felt stronger and stronger as the race went on (recap).

4/21/2009 Boston Marathon (Boston, MA)
Invited to be a part of the Women's Elite Start at the Boston Marathon and I figured I would go for it since it is on my list of races I want to do. I feel fit and ready and hoped for a 2:45. It was a lot of fun hanging around the likes of Kara Goucher, but my favorite moment was when my friend and 100k teammate Michael Wardian came over to say hi where the elites got to hang out before the race and all the girls I was hanging out with got all starstruck. It was funny. I end up running a 2:53:20, good enough for 36th place out of 11,000 and enjoy myself. It was a crazy windy day and the downside of being in the Elite Women's Start is there is no one to hide behind to break the wind. It was an experience (recap).

5/3/2009 Pacing Miwok 100k (Sausalito, CA)
Back again in California (epic drive #2), my Seattle pals come down to race Miwok 100k. Before the race I chat with Caitlin again and after the race we exchange numbers and plan runs together. Jonathan has a good day despite having issues with him feet and puts in a solid performance. I pace him for the last 20 miles and fall in the mud numerous times on what was one of the colder days I can remember in a long time (recap).

5/11/2009 Ohlone Run with Caitlin and Will (East Bay, CA)
I go for a nice long trainer with Caitlin and Will from Sunol to Mt. Rose on the Ohlone Course. We take it easy and do a lot of uphill. I can't keep up on the uphill but run away on the downhill. I make a note to self that if I want to keep up with Caitlin, I must work on uphills. I suggest to her that we should consider running TransRockies together in August.

5/16/2009 Pacing Glen at MMT100 (Virginia)
I crew for Glen all day and then pace him for the 27 hardest miles I have ever run in my life. We have a battle for most of those miles with Mike Mason and Todd Walker. In the end, Glen edged Mike by about 30 seconds. It was brutal, but still a lot of fun. Second pacing gig of the year and not slowing down.

5/23/2009 40 mile road training run (Seattle)

After flying back to SF, driving back to Seattle and then planning to run 40 miles on the road as 1 of 2 peak runs for June's World Championship in the 100k, didn't bode well for the success of the run. But I surprise, no shock myself and run super strong and feel fantastic. I pick Jonathan up for the last 18 miles and he paces me out for the second half. We run all over Seattle, it really came together and I ran the 40 miles in 4:47.

5/29/2009 35 mile road training run (Seattle)
Less than a week off my fantastic 40 miler, I put in another great long run at the same pace, running 35 miles on the roads. In the month of May, I ran 475 miles. Felt fit and ready to go for WC100k.

6/6/2009 Pacing Jonathan at SD100 (San Diego)
I fly down to SD for the second time in two weeks (the first was 5/30 for my sis's marathon) and pace him for the last 30 miles of his 100. He has stomach troubles and feet issues but pulls through to have a fantastic race. It was freezing cold but I was so happy and pleased to have been able to crew/pace Jonathan and crew for Linda. Pacing gig #3!

6/19/2009 WC100k (Belgium)

I put together dang near the most flawless race I have ever run. I paced my teammates when they needed help and took off to try and hunt down 3rd place when I was still feeling great after 75k. We win the team gold medal, I am 4th woman and run a 7:59:14 (turns out the course was actually 1-2k longer). I crossed the finish line and scratched my head, could I really feel that good after running that way (recap).

6/23/2009 Headlands Birthday Run (Sausalito, CA)
I flew immediately back from Belgium the day after the race, so I could be back for the following week's pacing duties for Krissy at WS and so I could spend my birthday in CA. I invited Caitlin, Will, and new friends Brett, Larissa and Nathan out to do a 15 mile super hilly trail run. They all blow me out of the water, but I run along happy and tired knowing I had so seriously cool and fast friends (and that I had run a rockstar race on 3 days earlier)

6/27/2009 Pacing Krissy at WS100 (Squaw Valley to Auburn, CA)
I pace the last 20 miles of Krissy's amazing race at Western States. She comes in second and runs her heart out. It was a great experience and was so glad to be a part of her crew.

7/7/2009 Firenze 10k (Florence, Italy)

While on family vacation/business trip to Italy, my sister and I are convinced by Lorenzo Targetti to come out and do "a little race" in the park. The race turns out to be a big deal 10k. I win and bring home a whole bunch of cool things including a Vespa Helmet. I make it in the papers all over the area but the reality was, I was just running my marathon pace. Was the first time I started to feel good while still recovering from WC100k.

 7/11/2009 Headlands run with Nathan (Sausalito, CA)
Upon returning to California after our trip to Florence, I decide what I need is a good 30 mile run to get back in the grove and start training for TransRockies. I head out in the Headlands and about 4 miles into my run I see Nathan coming up the trail. We decide to run together. He is on his second loop of a 50 mile training run for Headlands Hundred in August. I talk a million miles a minute about my trip to Florence and torture him by talking about all the great food I ate. I couldn't help myself.

July 2009 I stay in one place and train my butt off.
For the rest of July I stay in CA and do weekly double and triple back to back long runs in preparation for TransRockies with Caitlin. I become an excellent hill climber for an ultrarunner.

8/8/2009 Pacing Brian Krogman at Headlands Hundred (Sausalito, CA)
After a brief trip up to Seattle for a visit, I hurry back to pace Brian at Headlands Hundred. I pace Brian for 50 miles after he gets lost on his 2nd loop. It was an experience. I will just say that. Nathan wins the race and I am super stoked for him. My 4th time pacing a 100 miler in the year.

8/12/2009 Run up Hope Pass with Bryon Powell (Leadville, CO)
I head to CO to acclimatize to elevation, meeting Bryon in Leadville to camp for 10 days before Leadville 100 (for him) and TransRockies (me). The morning I arrive, I stumble out of the car and we do a double crossing of Hope Pass, up and over 12+ feet (blog).

8/23-8/28 TransRockies Run with Caitlin Smith (CO)
Cailtin and I team up to race TransRockies and win the women's open division. We just edge out Kami Semick and Nikki Kimball by less than 2 minutes in the end (recap).

9/27/2009 Vermont 50 (Vermont)
I change my plans last minute to just run TusseyMtnback 50 mile on Oct 3 at the behest of my Salomon teammate Glen and go to the east coast early to race Vermont 50 and try to get a spot in WS. I run great despite the gnarliest mud you've ever seen and win, earning my way into the 2010 WS (recap).

10/3/2009 Tussey 50 mile (State College, PA)
After Vermont, I get the swine flu and end up deathly ill and unable to race Tussey.

10/17/2009 Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim (Grand Canyon, AZ)

Meet up with my Seattle girls Krissy, Ellen and Monica and we run an epic Rim to Rim to Rim run in celebration of Krissy's birthday. 11,000 feet of climbing, 46+ miles. Fun Fun Fun. This run just made me want to go on as many running adventures as possible.

10/24/2009 SF One Day Crewing
After doing my own 30 mile run, partially with Brett, Larissa and the Endurables, I head to Crissy Field to cheer and crew for Nathan as he runs SF One Day.

11/7/2009 Lithia Loop Trail Marathon (Ashland, OR)
Nathan and I head up to Ashland for Lithia Loop Trail Marathon. I run it as a tune up/speed workout for JFK 50 miler. I run 3:16:20 and nearly catch 2nd place in the last mile when she was more than 45 seconds ahead of me (she finished 5 secs ahead of me) (recap).

11/21/2009 JFK 50 miler (Hagerstown, Maryland)

I run the race of my life and have the most fun ever. I am first woman, 10th overall, beat a bunch of fast guys and break the course record. It was epic. I run a 6:29:21(recap).

11/28/2009 Cheer Squad at Quad Dipsea (Mill Valley, CA)
Nathan and I don t-shirts that say "GO LARISSA" and do a crazy run all around Mt. Tam trying to catch her at different spots of the course. Coming up Matt Davis I fall hard on my face and hurt myself. But I run 20 miles, mostly climbing, a week after JFK and felt good.

12/5/2009 Pacing Michael Wardian at The North Face 50 mile (Sausalito, CA)
I try and pace Mike Wardian. This run takes the cake as the hardest I have ever run on trails. 20 miles of what felt like tempo pace. It was no easy run, but I feel like I helped Mike get back in the Top 10 (recap).

12/12/2009 Seattle Move
Not a run, but a move. I fly to Seattle on the 11th. Pack up the truck on the 12th. Drive back to SF on the 13th and finally have a home for the first time in 2009.

12/19/2009 Rodeo Beach 50k (Sausalito, CA)
I finally feel the move, JFK and the season coming down on me and feel super tired. I show up for the PCTR race anyways. As the miles tick away, I feel better and better. I put together a good run and am first woman in 4:28 (recap).

12/23/2009 Thursday Morning Early Run on a Wednesday
We run a pre-Christmas early morning run on our usual Headlands Rim Route (Nathan, Brett, Larissa and I).

12/24/2009 Thursday Morning Early Run Christmas Eve
We run counter clockwise on our usual loop and run 15 minutes faster. It was me and 5 fast boys. We pushed the pace the whole way and had a fun fast time.

12/26/2009 40+ miles of Headlands and Mt. Tam 
12/27/2009 21.5 miles of Mt. Tam
The last big long weekend of the year. I run with Nathan (who is peaking for HURT) from the Coastal parking lot along the gnarliest route up to Pantoll (18 miles), around Mt. Tam and back to the Coastal parking lot for a total of 40 miles and 7500+ climbing. The next day Nathan, Jim and I run from Rock Springs down to the Lakes and back up Cataract. Nathan and I continue with a loop on the North Side of Tam for a 100k total weekend.

12/31/2009 Final Thursday Morning Early Run of the Year!
Brett, Larissa, Nathan and I get up at the usual time and do our Headlands Rim Route. We celebrate a great year of running (it was ALL of their debut ultrarunning year! Crazy) and enjoy a run on the final day of the year.

All in all, I ran almost 4300 miles. I was like 8 miles short. I thought about going out for an extra run to make it but decided to be a rebel and not go for the even number (ha). I am excited and intrigued to see how 2010 shapes up. It will be different. It will be special. It will be all part of the journey and I am definitely looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds!