Last year was a good year for me on the trail! I ended up amassing more than 2300 running and hiking miles which included some pretty memorable experiences. While I got hit with Covid (who hasn’t at this point?) in May, I thankfully was able to recover fairly fast and get back on the trail. I continue to reduce my prednisone dosage with the intent of putting my auto-immune condition Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) into remission. I had a couple of minor flair-ups but nothing that stopped me from running and hiking hard—well at least as hard as I can at this stage in my life!
I am welcoming my 60s as a time to go for it! And with that I have gotten back into marathon running and ultra-racing. I completed 4 marathons (Covid robbed me of number 5) and four 50Ks last year—something I was not capable of doing in my 20s. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t count my blessings that my body is allowing me to do these types of events. I participated in a grueling 50K –the Backcountry Rise at Mount St Helens in which I was just one of 6 over 60 to complete it!
Most of this year I will be focusing hard on my running with three goals I wish to attain. I hope to once again qualify for the Boston Marathon. I ran it in my 20s and would love to recapture the magic in my 60s. My fasted marathon last year was in Manchester NH in which I ran a 4.07-so I still have some work to do to run a sub 3.50—something I haven’t done since my 40s. My other goals are to run my first 100K-since I will turn 62-might as well run 62 miles—and to continue on my journey to run a marathon in all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces (I’ve got two new marathon states coming up!). Can’t think of a better way to see North America! And with Team Potato sponsoring me I hope to bring lots of Washington Potato love on the run! Carb up-refuel and run!
My biggest hiking highlights this past year included completing my trail research in the Columbia River Gorge; hiking undeveloped barrier islands in Mississippi and Florida; hiking in BC’s Glacier National Park and California’s Joshua Tree National Park (one of my favorite national parks); doing Mount Rainier’s Northern Loop in a day (okay that was mostly a run); setting a personal WTA Hike-a-thon record for the month of August by doing 352 miles; and doing some incredible hikes in Arizona including the state’s highest summit Humphreys Peak and hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and out in a day!
I got to spend some great time on trails in BC, WA, OR, CA, AL, MS, FL, VT, NH, ME, MA and CT! And I got to do some kayaking in Alabama in bayou country. I don’t do enough paddling and I plan on doing more in 2023 as well as hiking and running my culo off like there’ss no tomorrow—because life truly is too short and you have to seize as much as you possibly can! And of course I will have my family along on many of my hikes and runs, because spending time with them is as precious as the time I get to spend outdoors.
In 2023 I am going for it!
I hope you are too!