I ran my first race 25 and a half years ago...a 50 m dash on the track at West Bend High School under the watchful eye of Coach Dad. In the past 25 years I have managed to run almost every distance between that 50 m dash and a 50 mile trail race. I have had quite a few sucesses and at least as many failures.
I had my first taste of trail running watching my brother run cross-country in high school. As fun as it looked, a 5K still seemed daunting back then. In fact I often told my high school track coach a 400m was way too long! It wasn't until I joined the cross-country team in college and started running the deforestation trails that I really fell in love with trail running. Over the 12 years its been since I graduated college I have sought out more and more trails. But it wasn't until about a year ago that I decided I had enough with road racing and that it was time to really test myself on the trails.
For years now, in fact ever since I first heard about the Leadville 100, I knew I would one day run it. I've said for a long time that I will run one 100 miler in my life and it will be Leadville. After running my first 50 miler (North Fork 50) last summer I had begun to think that now was about the time to get serious about Leadville. So one November morning I was running on the treadmill in Anchorage due to the icy streets, desparately wishing I was out on a trail and my mind got wandering to Leadville. The next thing I knew I was clicking "submit" on my entry to the Leadville 100 a mere hours after registration opened. Sometimes I think signing up for a race, especially one of that magnitude, is way too easy. This is the one time a box should pop up "are you really sure?". So here I am 6 months pregnant, logging the miles on snowpacked and icy trails, and wondering if its really possible that I can run 100 miles in August. At this point there's only one way to find out...I'll just keep running, one step at a time!