2016 was the year I discovered trail running and rediscovered how an active lifestyle makes me a lot happier of a person. Seems obvious to some, but over the past couple of years I've slacked on the weekly exercise and tried to fill it with entrepreneurship, meetups, Netflix, and career goals. Don't get me wrong, I love challenges of software engineering, I've discovered some oustanding television, and I've enjoyed being a part of the Utah and San Francisco tech communities. But if I could identify one new activity that stuck this year, it's trail running.
In July I ran my first trail race. It was the Capitol Reef 50k. It was the hardest thing I've done, mostly because of the elevation. Of the 32 miles, around 20 of them were above 10,000 feet. I remember feeling awful at 13.1 and like the real challenge was just beginning despite having completed a half marathon. I trudged along and finally started feeling better for the last 5 miles as the elevation dropped back down to finish at 7,000 feet.
A month and a half later I ran my second 50k, turned on to the Skyline Mountain Marathon and 50k by a friend at work. I ran it much stronger than the first, but still felt awful from miles 18-27 before getting a little extra energy to finish it off.
I rounded out the two 50k's with the Moab Trail Marathon in early November™. Beautiful course through Moab red rock and slickrock, but the sandy clay dirt was so much harder to run on than I expected. It was like running on the hardpack between the ocean and the dry sand. I finished it a half hour past my goal time.
Probably my favorite run of the year was doing Mount Timpanogos in the fall. It feels like my home trail... if there is such a thing, since I practically lived in its shadow for 6 years. I hiked it once 5 years ago in about 10 hours. Mid-summer I "ran" it in just under 4 hours and then in September I pushed it down to 3 hours and 7 minutes. I'd love to go back and do it in under 3 next summer.
In 2017 I want to hit all the major Wasatch peaks. To this day I've done 2 of the 13 on this map. I'd also like to push weekly mileage above 50 through Spring and into Summer... also something I've never before.