Friday, December 23, 2011

2011: A Year in Review

A big year with a lot of twists and turns, both running wise and personally. But I have to say, 2011 has been good to me. Here's a quick recap.

5K - Sub 24. Well, I got close, 24:29
Maration - Sub 4. Again, I got close, 4:00:06. Stupid 7 seconds.
70.3 - The triathlon and I broke up in September. So I totally bailed on this one.

January - Kicking things off right
Started the year off right with a New Year's Day half marathon. Paced Mama C for a near PR. "You can cry when we're done."

February - Cowtown love
On a stupid hot and humid and windy Texas day, Mama C and I tried for that marathon PR. While we came up short, one thing is for sure, that woman has got more drive and passion than anyone I know. I am honored to have paced her for 26.2 and to call her my friend.

I also competed in my first duathlon. I did ok with a 5th place AG placement.

March - The month of the triathlon
In my usual fashion, I didn't train for the St. Paddy's Day Tri, but ended up with a 2-minute course PR. On a whim, I did the Tri Cowtown and ended up with a 5K PR. Who PRs a 5K during a tri?

I also came the closest I have ever gotten to WINNING race. I ended up 2nd overall female at the Boopa's 5K. I'll do this race every year in loving memory of Jayden and Lisa. Lisa was co-owner of Boopa's Bagels. Her son and her were brutally murdered in a domestic violence situation. No matter what, Lisa always had a smile on her face when you walked into her shop.

April - Seven seconds of separation
This was supposed to be it, my big sub 4 marathon. I ran a damn fine race. I knew I was cutting it close to come in under four hours. Well, I missed it by 7 seconds. Stupid marathon. I'll be back, you bastard.

May - Trail time
I ran my longest trail run, went through water waist high. Had an abosulte blast! I think this was the start of what was to come.

June - The heat is on
The start of the hottest summer in Texas began. So I ran a 5K. It sucked. So did the rest of the summer.

July - Longest bike ride
Still thinking I was going to do a 70.3, Mel, Beans and I hit the road to Stevenville for the Firecracker bike ride. It was hot, hilly and undulating. The best part was the fish tacos and beer at Fuzzy's afterward.

August - Race across the sky
I had the pleasure of crewing and pacing at the Leadville 100 Trail Race. Leadville, I'll be back, but this time, I'm running you.

I also ran my first trail half marathon in Seattle. Here, I earned my nickname, Honeybee, when at mile 10, a bee stung me on the ankle through my sock.

The day before I ran Cougar Mountain, I got my 5K PR at the Auburn Good Ol' Days 5K. Had the pleasure of running my good HS and college buddy, Peter in for the last bit.

September - More trails
Dashed through another trail half marathon in Seattle and really fell in love with this trail running stuff. Got to run my first race with Jeff in Seattle. And met his beautiful new baby boy.

It was September that I officially broke up with the triathlon. Realizing that my passion was running, I decided to focus my training in one discipline. Between traveling a lot and the hot summer, I could not devote the time on the bike, my weakest link.

October - Disaster strikes
It's not always fun and games, but one thing is for damn sure, I have the best friends in the world who are my rock when I can't be. Thinking I was going to throw away Long Beach and not go, I asked K2 to join me. She dropped everything and came to Cali with me and ran that marathon with me. It was still a disaster, in fact my personal worst, but I made it through with a little help from my friends. It's not how hard you fall, but how gracefully you recover.

The highlight of October for me was crewing and pacing Jeremy at the Cactus Rose 100. And being there to witness he and Reece complete something epic.

November - Ultra Madness
The one thing about me, if I fall, I'm gonna get up stronger than before. I ran my first ultra, Rockledge Rumble 50K.

Seven days later turned around and ran 12-hour Ultracentric. I felt on top of the world. Placed 3rd female at Ultracentic and 5th overall. I think I found my nitch.

December - Big decisions
I'll close December with a full marathon on Dec. 31. Maybe I'l sub 4 it, maybe I won't. One thing is for sure, I'm not going to worry myself sick over it. Those days are done.

I made a big decision, I chose my first 100. Zion 100 in May. I have my days where I think just one foot in front of the other, you can do this. Then I have my days where I start freaking out and looking at the calendar and what races do I need to do to prepare and what should my training look like. This will be the most difficult and challenging adventure of my life. But you know me, I'm always up for a challenge.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I had an amazing year. I feel truely blessed to have such an amazing group of friends who support and believe in me. I am one lucky girl. At the risk of missing someone, I'm gonna call out a few of you...

Bojana - You have been there through the best and the worst. We can solve the world's problems over a can of tuna or sushi. I love you.

Bemadthen (Lisa) - You always know how to make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts. You can't NOT smile around Bemadthen.

Beans - Dude, you know you're a good friend when you loan me your shoes when I forgot mine. Shafer 1.5, Thanksgiving orphans, Ruth Chris, Speedway, BNSF track. Beans and Rice. Rice and Beans.

K2 - Whine and wine and marathons. You are an awesome friend.

Ribs - My Ribsy. My mentor. "Love you forever, ever and ever. Love you with all my heart."

The weekend trail gang: Josh, Reece, Chris, Erich, Ninja and others - Northshore is always a blast with you all.

Jeremy - I think you are the reason I'm doing this insane ultra stuff. Thank you for inspiring me and all your advice. I miss our weekend runs.

Mel - I'm super proud of you and all you have achieved this year. You are a rock star and will go far. I look foward to the day you kick my ass in a marathon. It will be soon.

Mama C - When I grow up I want to have the drive and passion that Mama C has. You are an inspiration.

To everyone else who has been there for me, thank you, thank you, thank you.

In closing, I want to leave you with my favorite quote as of late. "Anyone who every gave you confidence, you owe them a lot," Audrey Hepburn. Each one of you has given me confidence to move to me that next goal. And I owe you a lot.

Wishing you a great 2012. See you on the trails!


  1. I am so proud of you, Suann! You had an AMAZING year both on the road/trails and off. I don't know if I will kick your butt on the marathon, but I'd love to run it with you! See you and your royal hotness next Wednesday... Love you!