When I was was younger I use to scoff at New Years Resolutions. The changing of a year is just another day and you aren’t suddenly going to change out all of your bad habits for good ones. I was cynical back then. I’m still cynical, but now I’ve come to appreciate the changing of the year as a time to reflect on your past year and make goals for the next one.
In January this year I wrote down a list of goals for 2018. The list had four things on it:
- Run a 50 miler or 100k
- Climb Mount Jefferson and North Sister
- Lead a 5.12a outside
- Climb a V8 in a gym
Shortly after writing down this list Mark Nick and I started planning our 20 Peaks sufferfest that would include climbing both Mount Jefferson and North Sister. And so to to prepare for all four of my goals and our sufferfest I started running regularly and climbing regularly. After a finger injury set me back on my climbing it took me a while to get back to where I wanted to be, but in March I was climbing really strong in the gym and I thought I might have a chance to send a V8 before I left for a two month long work trip. But I didn’t have much time. I only had one session to climb the hardest boulder problem I had ever attempted. I found a problem that looked fun and in my wheelhouse and fell off on the first move. 2 hours later I had pulled every move on the problem, but I hadn’t even tried to put it together. I was also very tired, but I wasn’t going to get a chance to work on it after that day so I had to see if I could do. I took a 30 minute break and told myself “I’ve got one go left in me.” I got back on the wall and sent it using everything I had left.
While I was on my work trip I managed to get a bit of climbing in Including climbing the hardest route I ever had outside an 11a I was a long ways off and I wasn’t able to train like had been in March. My climbing fitness was slipping, but I was able to keep a pretty good running schedule as tried to stay in shape for our 20 peaks trip.
When June rolled around and our 20 peaks trip got under way I was able to tick off my second goal for the year by summiting Jefferson and North Sister as well as 18 other peaks in a 20 day window. But I’m sure you’ve all heard enough about that.
With 20 peaks completed it was time to get back into climbing shape and running shape. I had signed up for a 100k and was short on time to train for it. My fitness was high from June, but I needed to turn it into ultra marathon shape with no time to spare. The training went really well until 2 weeks before the race I rolled my ankle. It wasn’t too terrible and it was time to recover for the race anyway so I took a step back and let rest be my top priority heading into my race. I started the race off relaxed and easy and before too long I found myself well ahead of my goal time. Feeling good I continued to cruise that pace until my body abruptly let me know that I was not consuming enough calories. I stopped briefly for a caffeinated snack and quickly felt better. When I hit the halfway mark in the heat of the day I took a quick dip in the lake and continued moving. At 36 miles I was feeling pretty good, but by 39 miles my hip was in excruciating pain. When I hobbled into mile 44 I was sure I should stop, but I was also 2.5 hours ahead of the cut off time and I needed to do everything I possibly could at that aid station to give my hip a chance to heal. Minutes before the cut off I tested out my hip. It was still painful, but not like it had been. So I ran on it. Then it got worse and worse and worse. When I hit the next check point at mile 50 it was clear I wouldn’t be finishing the race. I had run too many miles on a slightly swollen ankle and 50 miles was as close as I would get. Reaching the 50 mile mark meant that I did sort of reach my 2018 goal though, but not really.
After a few days of not being able to walk and a few more of not being able to climb I settled into climbing training again. And once again worked my way back into shape, but I was still a long ways from a 12a. I sent an 11b at Smith, but never even managed to attempt a route harder than that. I set my goal high and I fell a little short, but I still managed to climb my first 5.11 and I got better and more confident, because I was striving for such a lofty goal. I’ll get it next year.
2018 was a really good year. Aside from the goals I set back in January I also managed to accomplish many other things I didn’t even think of. I got accepted to Portland Mountain Rescue and became field deployable. I got a promotion at work, even if I’m not sure if I wanted it. I climbed the longest multi pitch I have ever climbed. I climbed the the hardest trad route of my life, even if I had to aid through part of it. Climbed 20 peaks in 20 days!!!! Made new friends. Spent time with old friends. Visited new places.
All in all a really good year!!!
Here is a graph of where I have slept in 2018: