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So, the best I can say is that I finally completed the Pikes Peak Ascent and my very first Triple Crown of Running series. Certainly not my best times or efforts, but I had tons of fun along the way and met some incredible athletes and human beings in the process. I suppose that is the thread that keeps me in the running community, despite the fact that life has a way of pulling me in the opposite direction at times.  It is the experience as a whole that keeps me lacing up my shoes, rather than any delusions of grandeur for myself.

I have completely enjoyed my summer journey, beginning with the Garden of the Gods Ten Miler (still my very favorite race of all time), the Summer Round Up 12K (a murderous course), and finally, the dreaded Pikes Peak Ascent (My Mountain Hike). I particularly enjoyed the peer pressure of my Pikes Peak Sports team to help me along the way and force me to actually show up for each race, rather than finding some completely weak excuse to simply avoid the challenge altogether.

Having added some new, difficult races to my running resume, I am now left with the question of What Next? Having the attention span of a toddler, I find that I’m always combing the horizon for something new and exciting. I’ve enjoyed the fact that in what I will call preparation for the Triple Crown, I also completed a sprint triathlon (after a several year hiatus) and the Beaver Creek Half Marathon this summer – both things I have said I wanted to do, but never actually got around to doing. I enjoyed the Spartan Race with my husband on our first wedding anniversary, the Sailin’ Shoes 10K with my kids, as well as a 5K in Lyons with the entire family (including two dogs and a turtle) over a fantastic RV camping weekend.  Throw in the drama and excitement of the Black Forest Fire, with a week-long evacuation (including an awesome 41st birthday party), and there isn’t much this summer DIDN’T have to offer!

It has been a superb journey, as is the rest of my life and I am thankful to all the friends and faces that continue to grace my path as I move forward. I am now focusing on the Pikes Peak Road Runners Fall Series, a return to a more regular swimming routine, and hopefully a bit of strength training, to include some time with my lonely boxing gear and bag, gathering dust in the garage. I hope everyone else has also found a reason to treasure the summer, but don’t forget to always look ahead.  What’s next for YOU?

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Comment by Melvin Watson on August 23, 2013 at 6:54am

Totally Awesome Vanessa! You are such a fun athlete!

Comment by CJ Hitz on August 22, 2013 at 10:36am

Congrats on finishing the series Vanessa! Enjoyed all your posts along the way...you have a nice way with words.  Wish you well both in running and in life.

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