As I prepare to close out the year, I can't help but look back and think on how great 2013 was for me. It was truly a monumental year in my running career and one where I accomplished far more than I had anticipated at its start. Though there were several "filler" races, my focus for '13 was set on two key events: The Gobi March (China) in June, where I took 5th overall and 1st Age Group, and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (France) in August, where I took 9th American finisher and a top 10% result.
While reflecting on any event, I am admittedly rather hard on myself, but always in an effort to learn from mistakes and improve myself for better performance in future races. That sometimes comes off to my friends as being constantly dissatisfied or as never being able to just be happy with and enjoy the completion of whatever project I've just finished. In retrospect, however, I couldn't have been more pleased with my 2013 season. Yes, I see the areas that need improvement and the facets of training that I need to reign in and focus on, but I truly could not have asked for a better result to this year.
With one more race to complete, next weekends Lookout Mountain 50-Miler, I must admit that I'm a little worn out! I'm hoping for a great day on the mountain, but won't be heartbroken if things don't fall my way. That said, it would be nice to finish the year on a high note! This race for me last year was simply about finishing in order to get one last qualification point for France. This year, however, it's simply about closing out a great year doing what I love.
The cogs are already turning as I plot my course into 2014. I have lots of great ideas and possibilities before me, including a bit of non-running adventure planned. 2014 will also mark my 40th year on the planet, so if there's any decisions to be made, I plan to opt towards going BIG! I look forward to sharing my journey with everyone and hope that it can inspire others to seek out the adventure within their own lives, whatever that may be. Remember: Live your dreams and keep the faith...life is a gift best lived boldy!