Destinations, Training & Racing, Travel & Gear

The Runner’s Trip Turns One: Favorites from the First Year

6 Comments Posted by: Sarah Lavender Smith, December 25, 2011

Exactly one year ago, I published my first post and introduced the blog this way: I like to think of running in terms of a trip, in all senses of the word: a journey, a mind-bending head trip, and an occasional stumble that represents unexpected challenges and comebacks. Infected by wanderlust, I love to take all kinds of trips. I came up with “the runner’s trip” to capture those concepts and desires. If “the runner’s high” is a peak, then “the runner’s trip” is a whole mountain range.

One year and 80 posts later, I’m taking time early on Christmas morning—before the kids rush up the stairs and the day is consumed by gift giving, family outings, phone calls, pie baking, and running up to the lakes above Mammoth—to reflect on this blog by digging into the archives. You’ll find a “best of” list below.

This, by the way, is how I work on the blog: erratically, early in the morning or late at night, whenever I can and feel like it. I am not a disciplined blogger with an editorial schedule and promotional plan. I have pretty much abandoned attempts to monetize the site (those ads on the side only generate a few bucks). This is a hobby, a personal journal, and—I hope—a resource for others who seek inspiration and information about trail running and travel. I earn the non-quantifiable intangibles of personal connections, motivation (to run, to travel, to write), self-awareness and feedback. As a writer, nothing makes me happier than hearing someone say they felt like they were in my shoes and couldn’t stop reading one of my stories from the trail.

Me on Christmas morning, about a half hour after I wrote the words above.

If you’re relatively new to the blog or click through to it only occasionally, I hope you’ll check out some of these earlier posts.

My Favorites from 2011:

Race Report: “The Ohlone 50K: Where the Dreams that You Dare to Dream Come Back to Haunt You”

Travel Advice: It’s a tie between “5 Steps to Get Out of a Rut and Plan a Dream Trip” and “How to Jump Off a Cliff …”

Training/Racing Advice: “How to Recover From a Race that Sucked”

Guest Blogger Report: A tie between Joe Osha’s “One Guy’s Gobi Desert Run” and Jeff Kozak’s “Pine to Palm 100-Mile Report

Q&A: Probably the one with Born to Run author Chris McDougall, but I also quite liked the ones with WS100 studs Hal Koerner and Graham Cooper. And how can I not mention the interview with Tamara Johnson about her extreme multi-day Costa Rica challenge? For a non-running, travel-oriented one, I loved interviewing Angela Rehm about her digital nomad life in a falling-apart VW van.

Profile: Monica Scholz, who ran 25 100-milers in 2010.

Book Review: Bart Yasso’s Life on the Run

To everyone who has read this blog regularly, I sincerely thank you. You would do me a big favor by subscribing by email or RSS, “liking” the Facebook page and suggesting it to your friends, and using the “share” buttons at the end of the post to share it with others.

I promise to do my best to create interesting and informative stories in the coming year. The blog’s two topics, “running” and “travel,” aren’t always easy to combine, and lately the blog has been weighted more toward running and training for races than toward discovering new places while traveling to far-flung destinations. I hope to correct that balance in the coming year through some trips we have planned and also through the contributions of guest bloggers.

Well, I need to log off and bake an apple pie with my daughter. I started this post this morning, got interrupted, took a long run, and now it’s time to enjoy Christmas dinner preparations. Before I go, I feel compelled to share my gratitude and love for my family (I took this pic when we all rode a chairlift while skiing a couple of days ago) …

Morgan, Kyle and Colly

… and for my dog.

Teddy is like a gift to me year round.

Happy holidays and happy trails to you!

Your Comments

6 Comments so far

  1. Colly says:

    This is so great :) I love being here with you.

  2. Meghan says:

    And your second comment comes from a friend. ;)

    Happy one-year blog anniversary. It’s been fun to follow along!

    Also, I just now realized Teddy looks a little like Bo, the White House dog, in his colorings.

    Happy holidays, Sarah and family!

  3. Jean Pommier says:

    Good job, Sarah, quite a milestone indeed and thanks for making us travel the world. At least you should not get short of stories and inspiration, the possibilities are endless. Like Mark Twain put it a while back: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
    Jean Pommier recently posted..Happy Boxing Day, Mike and all!My Profile

  4. ScottD says:

    A fabulous job of blogging (and writing) in year one! Looking forward to more.
    ScottD recently posted..The Delicate Fate of Pacific Coast Trail Runs – Will It Survive?My Profile


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The Runner's Trip is a source of information and inspiration about: running and travel, destinations for runners, marathoning, ultrarunning, trail running, race reports and extended travel. Please subscribe by using the buttons above!

My 2014 Race & Family Travel Calendar

Lake Chabot 30K, Feb. 22. Race report.
"Uncool 50K," March 8
Night Sweats Marathon, March 24. Related post
Diablo Trails Challenge 50K, April 19. Race report.
Miwok 100K, May 3. Related article
Pacing at Hardrock 100, July 9 - 11. Report
Family trip to Honduras and Costa Rica, late July. Costa Rica report
Crystal Springs 50K (pack training run), Aug. 9. Report
Grand to Grand Ultra self-supported stage race, Sept. 21 - 27
North Face Endurance Challenge 50M, San Francisco, Dec. 6

Proud to race on the team of Inside Trail Racing. Check out their calendar of great trail races.

Recommended Products

I use Honey Stinger waffles, chews & bars for long runs.

Wear Road ID for safety when you run, www.RoadID.com:

This Fenix flashlight is perfect for nighttime running; see this post on the lighting system I recommend.

I recently discovered the Nathan Quick Shot Plus 10 oz. hand-held bottle with a pocket, and I really like it for shorter races when all you need to carry is a gel, your car key and a small amount of liquid.

My 2013 Race & Family Travel Calendar

mid-February: Telluride
Way Too Cool 50K Mar. 9. Race report.
Oakland Marathon, not racing but volunteering as leader for the 3:40 pace group, Mar. 24
Lake Sonoma 50M Apr. 13. Race report.
mid-April: exploring Vancouver for Spring Break
East Bay Triple Crown Series: Tilden Tough 10M May 19, Lake Chabot Half June 2, Woodminster 9M June 16. Short recap.
Marin Ultra Challenge 50M training run, June 22. Story & pics.
6-day Maine biking trip, trip report.
8-day Colorado River rafting trip! Trip report.
Aug. 11: Skyline 50K in the Oakland hills. Injured.
Pine to Palm 100M Sept. 14 Injured.
Berkeley Trail Adventure 50K Sept. 28. Finished 1st F!
Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Endurance Run Nov. 9 Injured.
Quad Dipsea, Nov. 30 Injured.

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