The road to Western States starts here! (part 1/6)

Contemplating the enormity of making a dream come true, I want to keep some thoughts and experiences close to the forefront of my mind and hopefully share and inspire someone else to follow their dreams.

The road to this dream started about 8 or 9 years ago, over weight, out of shape, unhappy with my relationships I turned to the road. First it was a trip around the block which turned into a trip around a couple blocks. Then it turned into running to my local park to work out on their outdoor work out bars, you know pushups, pullups, situps…then running home. This all culminated into my first half marathon in September of 2009, I trained, I worked hard, and it was the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life. I will tell you what, crossing that finish line to something that I thought I’d never be able to do was a high that I knew I could not live without.

What’s the next step? Run a marathon of course! I took the leap of faith and signed up for CIM. I trained, I read every book about what to expect, what to eat, how to train, and even some books about these strange/insane people that run 100 miles in one go.

100 miles?! Impossible!

December 2010, I crossed that marathon finish line. Again, crossing that finish line of a distance that I thought I’d never be able to do was another once in a lifetime event for me. Suddenly….a niggle in the back of my brain said, “if you can do that, I bet you can go farther….”

Time flies and so do the distances.

First 50K at Burning Man in 2011.

First 50M at Leona Divide in 2012.

First 100K at Gold Rush in 2013.

First 100M at Zion in 2015.

Then came a slew of racing, pacing, and building relationships within the running community that I’m sure will last a lifetime. Last year, the beginning of part 2 of this dream came to fruition with a ticket to WSER 2017 through the Silver State Striders volunteer ticket. I am incredibly grateful to be representing the running club that has changed the course of my life, I promise to work hard and give it nothing less than everything I have to cross that finish line. Thank you for this opportunity!

So, without further ado….here we go!

January (month 1):

The weather has been frustrating to say the least. The temps have been low and the clouds have been generous in their offerings to the drought. Typically January is coined “June-uary” due to sunny skies and “unseasonable warm temperatures”. Not so this year, this year, we got the seasonably cold, snowy, and rainy January all us skiers jones for all year!



This led to a lot of bargaining with myself after work to put the sports bra on, put the shoes on, and go out in the rain/snow/cold. Here are some of my favorite documented moments from January!

Cold? Yup.


Dark? Usually.


Photo Credit: Jill Andersen

Flood ravaged trails? Sure, why not!


Photo Credit: Tiffany Brown Anderson

With of course a quick jaunt over to Foresthill to find some dirt and sunshine…

Photo Credits: Lauren Watson (top right) & Jill Andersen (left)

Friends? Absolutely!

Photo credits: Kaycee Green (left and top right) and Tiffany Brown Anderson (bottom right)

At the closing of the first month of training, I’ve logged 150 miles, and lots of hours shared in the cold with some really amazing people! Cheers to a successful springboard month into this journey to Placer High School, ON TO FEBRUARY!!!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Kim says:

    This is going to be an incredible journey for you and all of us that will be there for you. So exciting and lots of hard work but you will do it. Michelle I am so excited for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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