2020 is here and, naturally, we’re setting new running goals for the new year. But before I move forward with my plans, it’s beneficial to look back where I ran in 2019. It was definitely a fun year as I utilized several races as longer training runs leading up to my goal race in July.

For the year, I ran 1,472 miles and mixed in 226 miles on the bike for some cross training at the end of the year. Climbed 128,774 feet in elevation, which all came to a total of 284 hours.

I became much more comfortable with longer distances and taking time to enjoy some hiking along the way. I had a tough spot early in the year as I couldn’t get my stomach settled during races. Turns out it was the flavor of Tailwind that didn’t sit well. Changed back to my normal flavor in May and everything was back on track.

running ultramarathon training

2019 Running Recaps – Part 1

  • Arches Ultra 50 Mile, Moab
  • Ragnar Del Sol, Phoenix
  • Psycho Wyco 50k, Kansas City
  • Ruck A Chuck 50k, Foresthill, CA
  • Rattler Trail Races 50k, Colorado Springs
  • Greenland Trails 50k, Colorado
  • Quad Rock 25 Mile, Fort Collins
  • Find the second half of 2019 race here.

January – Arches Ultra 50 Mile, Moab

I did take the opportunity to recap this race in more detail in an earlier blog post. I’ve run both the 50k and 50-mile distances at this race course now. 2019 was a mud fest for the outer portion of the 50-mile distance. I was covered in red mud, frustrated, but still smiling.

I finished in 10:46:58 with 3,884 ft elevation gain. It was a slog fest, but I enjoyed myself for the day. (Strava, UltraSignup)

February – Ragnar Del Sol, Phoenix

Near the end of February, I returned to my Montana Running Ranchers relay team for a Ragnar Relay in the Phoenix area. It actually wasn’t that warm, but it was much warmer than our home states. We had a blast for 3 days as we rented a house in Scottsdale and enjoyed the relay route from Wickensburg to Tempe. I was SO TIRED in the middle of the night driving, but these events are always a good time.

I ran legs 8, 10, 22, and 34 for a total of 26.4 miles. We ended up placed 4th in our division despite being down two runners and celebrated with pizza and a tri tip roast. Not a bad time at all!

February – Psycho Wyco 50k, Kansas City

I had made plans for a 50k run in the Seattle-area, but apparently they can’t handle a little snow and the event was canceled. So, I used my airline miles and found another trail race in Kansas City on the same weekend. The Psycho Wyco 50k lived up to it’s name (race recap). With 4 inches of slushy snow and ice with rain, the day proved to be a challenge of mental training.

I finished in 7:29:31 with 4,644 feet of elevation gain, cold, wet and muddy. And to add insult to injury, they had already packed up all the warm food that was a big part of the race advertising. And it wasn’t like I was last. 40% of the field was offered nothing more than a cold banana at the finish. Poor planning and reaction on the RD’s part. (Strava, UltraSignup)

March – Ruck A Chuck 50k, Foresthill, CA

When I landed at home in Colorado following a massive blizzard and saw a 5-foot-tall snow drift covering my entire driveway, I cannot tell you how happy I was to book a quick trip to California. The Ruck A Chuck 50k had perfect timing for warmer weather and gave me an opportunity to run a portion of the famed Western States 100 Trail.

I finished in 6:00:25 with 5,144 feet of elevation gain and had such an enjoyable day on the trail taking in the sights, tackling a few good climbs, and diving into conversations with fellow runners. This low-key race was awesome. (Strava, UltraSignup)

April – Rattler Trail Races 50k, Colorado Springs

This was a race where my fuel did not sit well with my stomach and I found myself on the struggle bus. The Rattler Trail Race, which is part of the Mad Moose series, is well-marked, well-organized, and has a great race crew. The race takes place in a city park in Colorado Springs, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The course is single track with plenty of climbs and rocks. The course map looks like a spaghetti maze. The weather for the day was less than ideal with freezing mist and no sun. I had a layer of ice on me throughout the day.

I finished in 6:37:54 and 3,855 feet of elevation gain with a smile on my face looking for a heater. It was a good challenge that I’ll be going back to tackle again in 2020. (Strava, UltraSignup)

May – Greenland Trails 50k, Colorado

Another race where I just could not get my stomach sorted out. I’m so glad to have found that the caffeinated Tailwind doesn’t work for me. This race course is such a beauty, taking place on open space and rolling hills. The looped course follows old ranch roads and makes for easy running. I wrote about my adventures in the same race in 2018.

I finished in 5:27:31 with 2,379 feet of elevation gain. The last loop was a slog and I just needed a coke to settle my stomach. But it was a good way to celebrate #MayThe4th with a Star Wars theme. (Strava)

May – Quad Rock 25 Mile, Fort Collins

I think I bit off more than I could chew with this race. But, I wouldn’t really be an ultrarunner if I didn’t try. Quad Rock lives up to its name because if you can run this race (better yet, the 50-mile distance), you’ll have some rock hard quads. The climbs on this course are no joke above Horsetooth Reservoir. But the views are spectacular.

I finished in 5:18:27 with 5,512 feet of elevation gain. The aid stations were on point and this is where I started turning a corner for the season. I’ll be going back to this race in 2020. (Strava, Ultrasignup)

I can’t say the first half of my running year was going as planned. But once I figured out what was screwing up my stomach, things started to improve on the trail to my 20th ultramarathon! Click here to continue reading.

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