Early in 2020 I had the idea of registering for races outside Colorado in 2021. You know, after the pandemic would be over. One of the classic Mid-western ultra-marathons, if I won the lottery. Sadly, these races were cancelled in 2020 and no clear end to the pandemic was in sight at the end of the year. I decided to stick to races that wouldn't require flights and accomodations. I would run the relatively small races in my neighborhood, all of which I've run before, but in 2021 I would run all of them in 6 months and complete the Gnar Slam.
Here are the numbers for 2021 (as of 2021-12-27).
410 hours, 52 minutes of running (18% more than in 2020).
2001 miles distance (+15%)
264,514 ft of elevation gain (+17%)
6 pairs of shoes retired
My achievements for the year include:
Completing the Gnar Slam (Quad Rock 50 mile, Never Summer 100 km, Black Squirrel Trail Half-Marathon, Blue Sky Trail Marathon).
3rd place Men's Grandmasters at Quad Rock, my first racing trophy.
New personal bests at Quad Rock, Never Summer, and Blue Sky.
Finishing my own backyard ultra-marathon, 7 x 4.16 miles in March.
The low points of my 2021 season were being injured for most of March and half of April, and mental fatigue from the corporate union-busting at my day job (gaslighting, vague threats, pervasive fear, uncertainty, and doubt are part of the playbook) which undercut my Black Squirrel training. Happily, I fully recovered from the injury just before Quad Rock, and found myself a new job just before Blue Sky.
Many things went right in 2021. I did a bunch of long alpine runs with Mike Thompson and look forward to doing more of that in 2022. I got a lot better at descending trails. I'm faster, more confident, and use less energy going downhill. I was only injured once and it didn't require a trip to the emergency room. I wasn't attacked by a mountain lion. All in all, a very positive year. I'm looking forward to the next one. I don't have a firm plan for 2022 yet, but will probably run a little less and not do any ultra-marathon event until the end of summer.
I've gathered photos that appear in previous posts into a Flickr album.