Spike’s 2014 in Photos

Wheels recently sent out an email that did two things, first it pointed out how lazy we all are with regards to posting here and second it suggested we do a 2014 in photos.  After going through my various albums from the year, I learned that I lead a slightly less boring life than one might anticipate for a swamp resident.  Here, are some selected highlights for each month.  Some were easy to find, whereas other months involved mostly work, while some months had multiple highlights.  If you feel something I did with you should have made the cut and didn’t, well next year you will just have to improve your lobbying game.  I enjoy coke, snickers, and marshmallow filled candies.

January– Last January I resolved to run a minimum of one mile every day, this year its ten minutes.  This ended up being a fun goal and was a good motivator to get outside every day and to explore places I might not have otherwise, even during work travel.  This photo was taken on a run I took above the Rio Grande outside of Los Alamos, NM.

IMG_1117

February– This month didn’t hold a lot of excitement other than a lot of work deadlines.  I’m sure I had lovely runs and lovely bike rides here in the swamp, but the focus was on meeting said deadlines.  As a placeholder, please see this very cute photo of Tilly relaxing in my home office, while I typed away.

February

March– In March I made up for February, and as such will post two <gasp> photos here.  The first photo is from a trip, which is detailed in this blog when I biked the Florida Keys with my friend Jenn.  After that trip, I was sooooo calorically deficient that I flew to Utah to eat Habit Burger with Ali.  Oh yeah and to ski with Ali, Adele, Jeanni, Kendra, and John.  It is worth noting that that was a speed-eating Habit visit, because there was fresh powder at Alta that needed to be tracked out, and lets be honest Ali and I were the best qualified people for that job.

March March-2April– This was another great month.  I took a trip to New York to run a trail race in Westchester County, outside of New York City.  For reasons that probably made sense only to me, I decided to pop over to visit a friend who had just moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  You know, while I was in the area!  While there, I got to climb my first ever New Hampshire peak.  Folks, they don’t call it the granite state for nothing. The photo below is taken from Mount Chocorua from the turn off to the trail head.  From the top we had great views of Mt. Washington and the White Mountains.

April

May– After traveling like crazy last summer, this year I tried to keep that in check.  I spent most of my time in the swamp doing work, ramping up marathon training, and doing great bike rides.  The photo for this month is from the Prairie Overlook, one of my favorite scenic spots on the Hawthorne trail.

May

June– June was a fun month, where I finally managed to visit Italy.  This has long been a place I wanted to visit, ever since I studied Italian language and Culture as my Liberal Arts theme requirement as a techie in college.  While attending a conference in a small town outside of Tuscany, I took advantage of jet lag to go for early morning runs.  As luck would have it, on one of these runs I saw a sign with a hiker on it pointing me to trails that headed up.  Never one to miss out on a good climb, I began to explore.  These trails went  from dirt to cobbles, and I found myself in the idyllic hilltop town of Montecatini Alto.

June

July– This is another month that was tough to pick just one highlight.  Though difficult the decision, it had to be made.  This month was the culmination of my marathon training with Claire, where I was able to run with her for 26.2 beautiful miles in the San Francisco Marathon.  Kudos to Claire for doing a marathon within 14 months of giving birth to her beautiful and energetic daughter.  She probably also deserves kudos for putting up with my stories not only during 26.2 miles of running, but through the 100+ miles involved in training. Check us out as we run through Golden Gate Park!

July

August– Once again I found myself in San Francisco, this time for work.  Thanks to Kelly & Dave for their incredible generosity as I used their house as my basecamp for almost 3 weeks straight.  Though I had two conferences in San Francisco I naturally visited many more parts of California.  One ended on a Wednesday and the next didn’t start until the following Sunday.  Naturally, that time was spent going to Sonoma, Montana de Oro, Santa Barbara, back to Montana de Oro, and finally back to San Francisco.  In addition to letting me crash off and on at her house, Kelly also allowed me to borrow her road bike, which allowed me to go on many rides with friends, including the ride below with Jill in Sonoma.

August

September– There is a whole blog post by Wheels on the September highlight.  Can you guess? It was of course traveling to Utah to pace Jeanni in the Wasatch 100, where I might add she had an amazing race.  I was lucky enough to get to pace her on the section from Lambs Canyon to Brighton, where we had a great time making excellent time. This photo shows how high maintenance I am as a pacer.  I had Jeanni drop these bags for me every 0.25 miles of our journey.  Seriously though, it was fascinating to see all the drop bags for the racers at the pre-race meeting.  It gives you even more appreciation for how much work volunteers do to aid in the success of racers on race day!

September

October– October was a good month.  I did my third half ironman that allowed me to bike through closed off sections of Kennedy Space Center.  I even saw some alligators on the course, which thankfully weren’t during the swim, and for some reason didn’t make Wheels or others excited about the idea of doing a triathlon in Florida.  Despite this highlight, half ironmans have nothing compared to the Wasatch and in October I was able to sneak away and spend some quality time with Wheels running and playing.  This time Wheels was kind enough to take me on several runs with complete daylight.

October

November– After a fun-filled last few months, it was time for me to get back to my routine trails and rides at home, and also to do some work.  Here, is a photo of the cats mocking me one Sunday as I was working hard to develop research ideas that didn’t violate the laws of physics.

November

December– As most people who know me have become aware, I suffer from a rare disease known as Alpine Crankypants.  As a result of this condition, every few months I must be sent to the mountains in order to regroup and to be capable of functioning in society, or at least pretending to.  This December per what is becoming a tradition, I headed to Mammoth and went skiing.  I was lucky to get fresh powder, and even luckier to spend time with great friends.  The below photo is a picture of me and Anneke at Minaret Vista after we cross country skied.  It was a wee bit cloudy and beyond a wee bit windy, but nonetheless we snapped this lovely photo.  Patagonia, if you want to use this for your catalog please let us know 🙂

DecemberThanks to everyone who I played with in 2014! I am excited for the adventures that 2015 is sure to bring, and cannot wait to see you in them!

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