A Look Back on 2015 and Seasons

Truth time. I have a really, really poor memory when it comes to running. Here’s the thing: I tend to get injured often, which I am working on fixing by gaining some weight, but I will share more about that in another post. I would say that I tend to get injured about 3-4 times per year, and these are not just fall and hurt my knee injuries, though those do happen quite often during our trail running seasons. No, these are “I really shouldn’t be running on this because it is causing me to limp/change my running form injuries. Here is where my poor memory comes in. During these times, I tend to think “Well, that’s it! I will never be fast again, I will not run long distances, my ultra dreams have ended!” Yep, dooms day, the roof is caving in type of melodrama. The pattern is that I stop running to try to fix the injury, do absolutely no workouts, and get super down on myself. I quickly forget about all the accomplishments I have in running and life and just think that I am a worthless lazy blob. Well, no more. I am using this post to reflect on 2015 and the cool things we did as a result of running during the year.

 In May, we did the Thunder Rock 100 near Chattanooga.  It was crazy technical and mountainous and I fell about 15 times. HARD. No exaggerations. My knee was about the size of a basketball by the time we crossed the finish. But, we did it! Then, we proceeded to get right into the car and drive back home for 4 hours. 

Em Pre Thunder Rock Outside May 15
Night before at Thunder Rock 100 in May. From the outside, I look happy and carefree, but on the inside, I am a bundle of nerves


In June, we ran the Hell Hole 100 in Charleston, South Carolina. It was literally in a swamp and it had flooded and there were snakes and alligators. We finished.  We also got to spend quality time with two of the best people in the world, Matt and Lindsey.

Em sitting pre Hell Hole June 15
I am so relaxed right now.  I am not even thinking about the swamp, snakes, and alligators.  This should be fun.
Ems Ankles Post Hell Hole June 15
My ankles took quite the beating in the swamp.


To celebrate our nation’s independence, we ran the Merrill’s Mile 24 Hour in Georgia over the 4th of July weekend.  It was a blast, though it rained a few dogs and cats on us, to state it mildly. We drove back to my mom’s in Kentucky where I did a lot of this:Em at Valerie's Post Merrill's Mile July 15

A few weeks later, we ran the 8-Hour Dream Endurance Race in Carmel, Indiana.   It was very HOT! We did super well, despite the heat and blaring sun. I won a trophy that was half the size of me and Todd and I had a dance party on the car ride home while chowing down on Burger King Chicken nuggets.

Em with 8 Hr Trophy

In August, we ran the Holston River 24 Hour Endurance Challenge in Bristol, TN. We set our PR of getting to 100 miles in 20 hours and 20 minutes. It was also SO.MUCH.FUN.   

In November, we set our 50 mile PR at the Nashville Ultra, proving that, though, I turned 30 this year, I can still do better!

In December, we toughed out the hills and ice at the Jackson 50/50. Again, we did way better than we expected and also had a great time.  

Okay, I say all this to point out to myself more than anything that I face injuries but I do come back. This hamstring/quad/hip flexor thing that has got me temporarily down and likely elliptical-focused for the next few weeks will not define me. I will overcome. I hope this helps you if/when you also experience injuries or even just times when you cannot put as much time/effort into your training. Seasons people (preaching to myself here). And, if there are any seasons out there to not be running, I would say that this is probably the best time to take it inside! Snowy Tuesday Jan 16

 Tell me what you are proud of today! Or, just tell me why you rock your life on January 12, 2016 (because I know you do, even if you don’t think so)!

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Valerie (mom) says:

    I knew you and Todd did all this but reading it – word for word – out loud — I am so very proud of YOU!!! BOTH!! I’m so proud of your accomplishments and strong will. (not so much the swollen feet and ankles – hard for this mother to see 😁) great job in 2015!!! And you can stop over here ANY time!!
    ❤️❤️ You both! XOXO


    1. We love crashing at Val’s house after our races.


  2. Melissa @ See Dav Run says:

    Wow, what a year! The sleeping picture would have definitely been me after a few of these races 🙂 very impressed! 1/12/2016 rocks because it’s my dad’s birthday and I’m headed to my training group run. Proud that I started running two years ago and have already accomplished more than I could have believed. Love the post!


    1. Happy Birthday to Melissa’s dad (one day late)! Thanks for your comment. I hope your run went well last night and that you are setting some cool goals for 2016.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jenny says:

    I’m new to your blog but am enjoying it! I’m also dealing with a hamstring injury right now, and am particularly interested in hearing how you deal with injuries. Sounds like you had an awesome 2015- congratulations!!!


    1. I am so sorry to hear that you are also dealing with an injury, Jenny! I am trying to do a lot of foam rolling and icing (see today’s post). I have also found a great massage therapist, so I am trying to see him fairly regularly. I really don’t know exactly what my issue is right now, so I am trying a lot of different things. I will keep you posted through the blog and let you know if I find something that works for me!


  4. Hollie says:

    This was really interesting to read, especially since I’m a new follower of your blog. I’m not an ultra runner but I’m always in awe with how far and long people can push their bodies for. Plus, that trophy is amazing.


  5. Thanks, Hollie! We always tell people that the body is capable of so much more than folks tend to give it credit for. If you had asked me 15 years ago, I never would have thought that I was capable of 5 miles, much less >100!


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