This was a transitional year, as my now 4 year old daughters are increasingly able and incredibly enthusiastic about getting out for hikes in the mountains and foothills. It is a constant evolution as they get bigger, trying to balance my desire to introduce them to new places and push their limits a bit to make them stronger, yet not push them over the edge to where they dislike what they are doing (I think this approach has been successful thus far). The majority of our hikes have been shorter (not more than 4 miles) and well within their abilities. We make it a point to keep it interesting for them along the way, which is not too difficult, as at this stage in their life, the World is so full of novel wonders and they soak it up like a sponge.
Running and racing was a bit of a mixed bag. I had some days where I felt as strong as ever, achieved a few PRs, but overall feel as though I am slowing a bit. Those great days where I feel as though I am defying gravity are fewer and further between. Age is catching up to me for sure and I am becoming less disciplined to a certain degree (not that I ever have been disciplined). Regardless of the numbers though, I had many enjoyable runs and races and still enjoy it immensely.
As for 2015, I have not really had time to give it much thought. I'm not sure how much I'll race or what my focus will be. Most likely the Pikes Peak Marathon, but I am also intrigued with some other races as well, so I have debated shifting my race priorities entirely. I also toy with the idea of not racing at all and fill that competitive void with doing what I like better anyways, just running my own challenges up/over/through the mountains. I would like to run the Pawnee/Buchanan loop again, though put in a bit of a more concerted effort this time. I would also love to run the Aspen 4 Pass loop hard (have hiked it before), want to summit some new (to me) 13ers/Centennials, be patient enough to hike another 14er with my aging dog Sierra, spectate/crew/pace at Hardrock, things along those lines.
Mostly though, I look forward to continuing to spend time in the mountains and desert with my wife, daughters and dog as the girls become stronger and more able bodied. Introducing them to the landscapes we love most has been infinitely more rewarding than anything else.
Oh yeah, almost forgot, for my fellow stat conscious friends:
1,335.5 miles (19 miles of that was "road" running (I include flat paths in road category)).
553,934 vertical feet
Avg. elevation gain: 2,506 feet
Max. elevation gain: ~11,000 feet
Max. distance: 42 miles
159 Green Mountain summits
20 Bear Peak summits
16 S. Boulder Peak summits
24 Sanitas summits
6 Flagstaff summits
4 14er summits
9 13er summits
1 12er summit
4 Other summits
1 Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim
1 Pawnee/Buchanan Loop
I posted just a few favorite photos from 2014 below (OK, a lot, my mom is probably the only one that will look at them all) ;).
Racing the Sourdough Snowshoe Race in January (2nd place)
Running Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim, April. I went in fit and well prepared, but got sick, ran anyways and struggled to finish in a bit over 9 hours.
The animal tracks chart helps to make these hikes even more interesting
Relaxing in Lake City
First (car) camping trip at the Great Sand Dunes
Just before the first crack of thunder which had me giving her a high speed piggy back ride to the car.
A day at the beach
Just barely earned an old guy award
Suffering bad on Pawnee Pass
Very temporarily ahead of Andy Ames
Celebrating Green #1,000 with great friends.