Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: A Very Good Year

Virginia and Audrey on Trayfoot mountain

A few weeks ago, as I am sitting around the lodge after finishing my fourth Hellgate 100K in a PR time, I'm giving David Horton grief about how he seeded me this year--5th seed, my lowest ever. (Some background: last year at Hellgate I was 2nd overall woman but apparently experience and a high finish from the previous year mean nothing to Horton). Never one to shy away from a good argument, I get right to the point:

SS: "Horty, why did you give me my lowest seed ever this year?"
DH: "You didn't have a very good year."
SS: "Whaaaa you tawkin' 'bout? What about finishing Grindstone in my fastest 100 miler time ever? What about finishing third at Cheat 50 with Rebekah? What about winning my age group at Promise Land? Huh? Huh?"

At this point Horton was all the way at the other end of the room, on some other random tangent, like announcing to those in the lodge who the Best Blood winner was.


So, is it true what Dr. Horton says? Did I really not have a very good year?

If I define "very good" as meaning top-3 overall in every race I entered, then, no, I didn't have a very good year. (That's what Horton thinks is "very good", I think). But if I define "very good" as meaning finishing 1st or 2nd Masters woman in every race....then yes, I had a very good year. If I define it as meeting---no, exceeding--my goals for 2008, than I had a "FANTASTIC" year!

Here were my ultra goals for 2008:

1. Run faster, shorter races (ranging from 5K-40 miles) in the Spring/Summer with good Masters results...check.
2. Run more weekly mileage injury-free all summer in training for Grindstone 100...check.
3. Finish Grindstone 100 injury-free and without a huge death march at the end...check (I had a teensy death march in the last 5 miles, sorry Mikey Mason).
4. Break 15 hours at Hellgate 100K...missed it by 3:00.

But my "very good" 2008 was so much more than racing and winning and PRs for me. In no particular order, 2008 was really about

-caring for and loving our new puppy Jack
-feeling the rush of emotions while watching STAB lacrosse win States
-listening to my son's fears and worries while he rehabbed his torn ACL
-watching as old friend Tom Perriello, whom we knew when he was 9 and we were college sweethearts, get elected to Congress against all odds at age 36
-sharing the DC experience with my family as we visited the Museum of American History
-feeling the joy on election night when Obama won
-setting a goal to run another 100 miler and loving every moment of training and racing
-hiking my favorite Trayfoot Mountain loop with my family on a glorious winter day and then savoring Crozet Pizza afterwards
-enjoying spending time with my family over a glorious Thanksgiving meal
-watching my children flourish while attempting new challenges

Here are some of my favorite pics from 2008. I'll post my 2009 goals soon.

Vicki Kendall, David Horton and me moments before the start of Grindstone 100

Looking west at Afton Mountain from my sister's barn after Thanksgiving

Dorothy's Ruby Slippers at the Museum of American History

Celebrating STAB's boy's lacrosse state championship with Chapin

Hanging with the girls at the Masochists finish line

Me and my sweedie

Farewell 2008! Here's to a fantastic 2009, one filled with hope, new beginnings, and even greater adventures...


farmgirl said...

Soph, a wonderful, thoughtful and meaningful year-end post.
Congratulations on all you have accomplished, athletically, spiritually, professionally and personally.

Rick Gray said...

Sophie, Remember that Horton very rarely makes sense in his seedings, so chalk that up to his continuing sickness of playing mind games with us. You had a spectacular year. 2009 will continue on, as you are on a roll. Happy New Year! Rick

Mackenzie Carpenter said...

Sophie, I found this post to be very touching and revealing. Your knowledge of yourself is impressive... your family life is rich and meaningful and I am so proud of what you've accomplished. It seems to me that you're living the life you always dreamed of living, and I don't think one could ask for more than that. love xoxoxo Kenzie