Master Bathroom Inspiration & Design

December 5, 2016


For the last month, Zach and I have began the renovation of our master bathroom. For most of these weekends, we have been gutting the room to the studs. During that time, I’ve been constructing potential design concepts for this small bathroom. Above are just a few bathrooms that I’m drawing inspiration from – clean subway tiled shower, white shiplap walls, hints of
warmth with green floor tile and a wood vanity. Below is the design with these elements and so far, it’s been coming together so nicely!


Besides gutting the walls, floors, shower, removing the toilet & vanity – Zach has also fixed bad plumbing and damaged subfloors, created a waterproof shower frame, rewired electric outlets, re-drywalled, and tiled the floor. (Shout out to my Dad for the help on the plumbing!) Our hope is that in little over a month we’ll have this project completed!

Den Renovation (Inspiration + After Photos)

November 6, 2016

The Inspiration

den-inspirationWhen we lived in Grand Rapids, I loved our 100 year old house, but there was definitely a struggle with designing a space that leant itself to a certain era. Especially when a lot of the work we did to that house was superficial, I always felt like I was just trying to “make it work” when we renovated each room.

I find myself falling more in love with our Colorado home than I ever did with our American Foursquare home in Michigan as I’ve gotten a chance to push my creativity and create a home from scratch.  The den was the first room we’ve ever truly “gutted” so this was also the first time I had a chance to design an entire room exactly how I wanted it. Above are just a few of my favorite inspiration images that helped in the initial design process of our den renovation. The feel: minimal, a little rustic, with a dash of mid mod. It is my version of a Scandinavian cabin.

The Reveal

den-reno-2With the wood burning stove and large windows as our focal point for this room, we wanted to split the room in half, similar to how the previous owners had arranged it. Considering we had doorways and windows to compete with, it really left only so many avenues to rearrange furniture for the optimal view outside and allowing space for walkways. We chose to put the sectional close to the fire and TV and leave the other half for a quasi-office. den-reno-6Once the slate tile and walls were finished, I knew I had to do something about the horrible boob lights. I had been eyeing all the amazing and expensive lights from Cedar & Moss, especially their Alto Surface series, but knew we could never justify purchasing these. So naturally I did what I alway do – DIY it. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t very hard at all to replicate these beauts when I found A Beautiful Mess’s blog post for a similar look. I was able to make both of these for under $140! den-reno-3As the search for the perfect sectional continued, I happened to score an amazing find on craigslist… a 7 foot cactus for $60. For those who don’t think that is a steal, go to any nursery and I dare you to find one that tall for under $500. I instantly brought in our snake plants to add more greenery to our beetle kill pine ledge and a co-worker sold me her beautiful Kevin Russ prints to complete the “moment.” den-reno-8den-reno-7After waiting for a few months our couch from Scandinavian Designs finally arrived! I brought in this super inexpensive chunky jute rug to ground the area and began to think about the killer wood stump I got off of craigslist and how I could turn it into a beautiful coffee table. den-reno-5The desk was yet another craigslist purchase (I seriously do not know what I’d do without craigslist) that instantly helped bring the room together. For some reason it took us forever to decide on a stupid desk chair, but eventually we just purchased one from Amazon and called it a day. den-reno-14den-reno-4Once we finally got a free weekend, Zach and I started working on the wood stump coffee table. The bark had to come off, so I delicately chiseled away the sides of the stump until most of the bark was gone. To even it out, Zach had to chainsaw one side as level as he could. I then took a planer to even out the top before grabbing a hand sander to finish off the rest. After a few hours of hand sanding, Zach drilled holes in the bottom to install wooden dowels with a little wood glue. I finally got to my favorite part, sealing the wood. I love how quickly the grain and colors come out once you start this process. After a few coats I called it good and added our brass caps to the bottom of the wood dowel legs after it was all dry. By far, my favorite DIY to date! den-reno-10 The den has now become a place where we can relax in the evenings and congregate with friends. Now all we need to do is wait for winter to finally enjoy the best part of this room – the fireplace! den-reno-12 den-reno-11den-reno-13

Eventually I will have to paint our door out to the backyard, but besides that, I’m SO happy with how it turned out. It’s just the right amount of simple + cozy that I love. What do you think?

Den Renovation (Before Photos)

It’s been over a year since we moved into our home in Denver and I’m excited to finally share the hardest and the most rewarding transformation – our den. With the openness of the room, I saw potential in it instantly when we first did our walk through. Now for the ugly part – the before photos! img_0006The pro’s – we fell in LOVE with the wood burning stove, windows overlooking our backyard, skylights, open feel, and the cool little ledge that we threw all our photos on once we moved in.

The con’s – I HATE carpet, especially when it’s a beige color that just looks dirty all the time and has burn marks from the stove! What else? The brown trim, off white paneled walls, boob lights, the ugly hearth stone, and the fact that they had installed copper piping as a curtain rod.img_0010 img_0011We first started off with the easy tasks: pulling out the carpet, removing the trim, outlets, copper curtain rod. img_0033We then moved onto the heavy lifting: taking out the stove, smashing up and removing the hearth stone, and pulling out all the paneling. img_0187 img_0190

I really started to feel the room come together once we installed the new drywall, rewired our outlets, and I got to paint all the walls my favorite Super White color by Benjamin Moore.img_0210 img_0211 img_0215With a concrete slab, we shied away from our normal choice of putting down hardwood floors as we didn’t want to deal with any potential cupping issues, so tile was the next option. I had envisioned black slate tile and spent hours trying to find just the right look. It had to be durable, polished (but not high gloss), and within our budget. After scouring the internet, we finally checked out our local Floor & Decor where Zach found this amazing slate tile that had just a hint of blue tint to it. I went back and forth between several tile colors for under the stove before going more “fancy” with a polished marble mosaic look. So tile laying commenced after we installed the DITRA and with the help of my father got the tile laid in just two weekends. img_0241

I think one reason why this project was so intense, as aside from the intense tile laying in the dead of winter, was that we were pretty much replicating the same work in the dining room, right next door to the den (those photos to come along soon). Stay tune for the inspiration and after photos of my favorite room in our house!

Run Away // Leadville Trail 100 Run

October 31, 2016

leadville-trail-100-runHave you ever had an experience happen to you in which you fell so short in explaining the magnitude and effect this experience had on you? How do you document such an event? Even though I was asked a multitude of times to talk about my first 100 mile trail race, I don’t think I ever got the story “right.”  But then again, how can you when the story is about something most people think is impossible? img_3407Let’s take it back a year. I had just ran the Silver Rush 50 Miler and had came in as 6th woman overall… which meant that I had a shot at getting an automatic entry into the Leadville 100 Mile Trail Run. I kept telling myself before the awards ceremony that I wasn’t going to get it, because if I did, well then I’d HAVE to run it. After seeing and actively pacing my husband for a couple of 100’s, I had sworn off the notion of ever running that distance. Trail running itself was already a huge departure from my true love of road racing, let alone the whole 100 mile component, but as fate would have it, I finished 3rd in my age group and qualified for one of the Leadville slots. Less than a day later and to the surprise of many, I officially signed up for the longest race I’ve ever done (and honestly, will probably ever do). leadville-100-race-7Fast forward to the weekend of the race. I had an amazing crew: Jill, Kyle, Zach, Taryn, Chad, Annie and Alden; all who gratefully volunteered to help me in some way – from pacing, crewing, or just being their for support! (Thanks Jill for the photos!) As we gathered in the parking lot of our hotel to eat our pasta dinner that night before, I kept thinking of all the beautiful and kind souls I’ve met through running or from the outdoor world. How these people were folks I never wanted to let go. With ginger cookies for dessert and a beer for a nightcap, I said my good nights and headed off to bed around 8pm. img_0149 With a 4am start, I barely slept the night before. Thoughts of what could happen and how I’d feel kept churning through my mind. Anxiety immediately fell to the wayside once I walked up to the start line and Ken Chlouber, founding race director, started talking. Ken has a way to tug at your heart strings, inspire you, and get you pumped to run the race of your life! Once the air horn went off, I felt that spike of adrenaline and told me myself that even though it felt easy, to not push the pace, that I had a LONG way a head of me! In those first few miles, I slowly started passing runners who had started ahead of me in hopes of gaining some ground before we hit the single track trail section around Turquoise Lake. leadville-100-race-8The first 13 miles flew by in a daze. Cursing myself for having started so far back at the starting line, I really only remember passing by quite a few runners (on your left!) and wondering why the heck was I seeing so many men basically peeing on the trail so soon into the race?!  Heading into May Queen (mile 13.5) I barely stopped for food and to ditch my headlamp before running out towards Fish Hatchery (mile 23.5). For the next 15 miles or so, I felt amazing and was flying through the aid stations. It was around the time I had left Twin Lakes (mile 39.5) and was making my way up the dreaded Hope Pass that the effects of the altitude started to hit and I knew I was coming upon a “low.” For the next four or so miles I crept up the mountain, trying to push away negative thoughts and keep up on my eating routine. Cresting upon the Hope Aid Station (mile 44.5), which was about half a mile from the top of Hope Pass, I was not in a good place. “What can I do to get out of this? What can I say to get Zach to let me quit?” was all I could think about. Thoughts like, “well, I could pretend to faint” or “maybe I tell him my pee is bloody” actually went through my head. I was miserable and questioned why in the world this race was a good idea. I probably sat at that aid station for a good 10-15 minutes, eating and hoping I could make myself not feel like shit anymore. Once the leader of the race came back through Hope Pass, I knew I had to get my ass into gear. leadville-100-race-6It’s funny how something as simple as eating a bit of food and making your way DOWN a mountain can instantly make you forget your crazy thoughts about quitting. Lucky for me, I began to pick up the pace a bit on the other side of the pass, but still felt a little off. Coming into Winfield Aid Station (50 miles & turnaround) I was so happy to see my team and have a chance to sit on a cot for a bit. The top of my foot had started aching around mile 35 after I had took a fall and by this point was starting to actually become pretty painful. With more food in my belly, hugs, and Jill as my pacer, we set off to make our way back up Hope Pass. leadville-100-race-3This time, Hope Pass felt “manageable.” Having my poles helped tremendously with overall morale and eased the stress off of my legs.  Most of all, Jill provided me with stories, food, positive vibes, and just an amazing attitude. She truly is the reason I went from, “I’m going to quit” to “I’m halfway done and I can do this!” Passing by the llamas at the top of Hope Pass and seeing the amazing view towards Leadville, I knew I would finish. leadville-100-race-4Heading into Twin Lakes (60.5 miles) to pick up my next pacer, Taryn, I was all smiles again. Zach had brought me a grilled cheese and I shoveled it down with warm broth. The next 15 miles with Taryn passed by so quickly as we chatted away about every aspect of our lives. I loved how this race became a mini reunion to see these two amazing women in my life. Woman who feel the same way I do about running and who I share a treasured history with.  It was only until we reached the road portion leading towards Fish Hatchery where the pain on the top of my foot started to really become apparent and I knew I’d need to rest for a bit. leadville-100-race-5Picking up Zach at Fish Hatchery (76 miles), I was so ecstatic to see my husband. For the next 5 miles, things were going far easier then I had expected considering some of the steep climbs up Sugarloaf Pass. It was around mile 80 when I started to really complain. “How much further till May Queen?” “Why does this road keep going up?!” “Argggh my foot hurts so f*&king bad!!!!!” leadville-100-race-2 There was a reason Zach was chosen to do the last 25 miles with me. I knew that point in the race would be when I needed someone who can put up with my whining, who has seen the worst parts of me, and someone who has been down this exact same trail before (literally & figuratively). I knew if he was with me during these brutal last miles, I would complete this journey, because he knows how to push me to that next level and would have done anything to make sure I crossed that finish line. leadville-100-raceThe last 15 miles (which took around 3 hours to run) seemed to be endless. The pain in my foot was preventing me from running down any inclines and when I could run, it was only for a few meters before I had to walk again. All I could think about was the finish line, a warm shower, and sleeping forever. As we approached the city, my crew joined me for my last mile into town. Tears of joy and a raspy “I did it, I ran 100 miles!” escaped as I crossed the finish line and walked up to Merilee Maupin for my medal.

leadville-trail-100-mile-race1. May Queen Aid Station    2. Fish Hatchery Aid Station    3. Twin Lakes Aid Station    4. Finish!

Finishing in 24 hours and 9 minutes, I earned the “Under 25 Hour” mega belt buckle, along with the honor of being 10th female overall and 2nd in my age group. For as horrible as an idea of running 100 miles might sound and despite my foot injury, it really wasn’t that hard. I know there are probably some runners out there who think I’m either crazy or just plain cocky, but truthfully this type of race can be done by anyone who puts in a little training and has a super strong mental game. Don’t over think it. It can be done!

Master Bedroom Reveal

October 16, 2016

master-bedroom-final-3Wow guys, it’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to post the after photos of our bedroom, but with my training for the Leadville 100 taking precedence, the blog had been put on the back burner way longer than I imagined. Now that my training is over for the year, it’s time for more blogging! If you remember this post about my inspiration and our before photos of our bedroom, I talked about how I had envisioned a very minimal bedroom for us… well it has been done for many months and I’m excited to finally share the after photos with ya’ll. master-bedroom-1master-bedroom-final-reno I love how the acacia floors we put in are almost the exact match to the rest of the living room floors that were installed by the prior owners. I now feel like the main living space has a more cohesive look with the same flooring throughout and not chopped up by the dirty carpet. We finally bit the bullet and purchased a real bed frame after we moved in last year. Such an adult purchase, but one I hope will last years! I repurposed our old side tables and painted them black to match our other accents like our amazing ceiling fan and sconcesmaster-bedroom-final-5master-bedroom_4 We had kept some left over wood from when Zach had built our dining room table and I felt like our bedroom needed that touch of rusticness to it, so I put together this simple DIY table that helps bring together our small mountain gallery wall. master-bedroom-final-6With the bed centered under the window, I always felt like the space on either side was super awkward when it was left bare, so I found these beautiful lanterns and bought some brass chain from Ace Hardware to hang them from the ceiling. One has a huge air plant in it from Ironwood, and the other has a white candle in it. Since the lanterns were a little pricey and I wanted to depart from my need to have symmetry in every room, I ended up doing another DIY inspired from this post on the right side of the bed. So easy and cheap! master-bedroom-final-7Of all the design elements in this room, I had the hardest time picking out a rug, which shouldn’t surprise me by now since almost every room that I’ve decorated in this house or in our Michigan home, finding the “right” rug always stumps me. I wanted to bring in more color, but didn’t want it overly loud, so I decided to go more the “traditional” route with this navy rug that coordinated with our our navy linen duvetmaster-bedroom_6Overall, the design is relatively simple and clean, which creates a very stress free atmosphere. What do you guys think? This was one of the first rooms we had officially finished this year, so I’m stoked to share how the rest of our house is progressing as we’ve come a long way since February!

Master Bedroom (Inspiration + Before)

February 11, 2016

Master Bedroom Inpiration

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 /

Despite all the hard, long hours that go into renovating a home, I truly love the process. From seeing the hidden potential, culling Pinterest for inspiration, to getting your hands dirty and body aching from a weekend of putting in new floors… I delight in seeing our hard work come to life. I’ve always viewed the bedroom as a place that would put me at ease at night, that didn’t contain the distractions the kitchen or living room might. A place that was beautiful, yet very simple and clean. The above images were my source for that look I wanted – an organic modern bedroom. The previous owners took great care of the house, but had filled it with too much “stuff.” I knew the bedroom would feel bigger and updated once we had less furniture and a fresh coat of white paint on the walls.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom 2

Our bedroom has good bones, but until you start diving into the projects, you never know what you get into. Within the first month, we ripped out the carpet, lament, old lighting, and started taking down some panelling. The goal was to put in acacia hardwood flooring so all the bedrooms would match the living room and hallways, while removing any panelling and poorly spackled walls. During this reno, we ran into a bit of a problem with the panelling on the south wall, which caused us to have to re-drywall the entire section… it wasn’t pretty under the panelling, but glad we were able to fix it, instead of just “living with it.” Below are just a few images of the bedroom “in progress.”

Master Bedroom Progress

Once the drywall was up, walls painted (in my favorite Super White by Benjamin Moore), floors put in, and trim installed, we slowly started to figure out what the heck we were going to do with our awkward closets. Looking at closet systems, I just couldn’t justify the price and hassle to install them. After seeing several cool IKEA hacks for the Tarva dressers, we opted to go this route since we want to eventually put in french doors to hid our messy wardrobes.

Master Bedroom Progress 2

With the Tarva dressers to work on, doors to install, and just a few more minor decorations to add, it’s almost complete. Stay tune for the after photos of the bedroom and more house progress posts soon!

Weekend Adventures // Ouray

January 16, 2016

Weekend Adventures in OurayI found things in the woods that I didn’t know I was looking for… and now I’ll never be the same. // Jennifer Pharr Davis

You know those places, those special spots that you get so fired up about that no matter the distance, you’d go there in a heart beat. The San Juan Mountain ranges are one of those precious areas for me. It is a remote craggy perfection, so different than the ranges near Denver. So when a few of our friends invited us out to Ouray, we knew regardless of the leering house projects we had going on, we had to go visit this quaint “Switzerland of America” again. IMG_1850The awesome thing about traveling with new friends that love the outdoors as much as you, is that they are usually up for anything. Each day we all split off to play in the mountains however we deemed fit. From backcountry skiing, running, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, to ice climbing – there was no reason any of us would have been bored on this trip. IMG_1848Honestly, it’s hard for me to loosen up and “be me” around people until I’ve known them for a while, but there is something about being in the mountains and sharing in that beauty with others that helps make that transition a little easier. Driving into Telluride to go on an “extreme snowshoe adventure” was probably the highlight of the trip for me. Not only did we get a great workout in, but the VIEWS had me wishing for a little house in Telluride. Snowshoeing towards the epic Bridal Veil Falls, I couldn’t help wondering what the trails would be like in the summer and when we could come back so I could run close enough to the falls to be enclosed by it’s mist.IMG_1853After long days of being out in the snow, we spent each evening cooking family dinners and soaking in the local hot springs. Ouray has several places to go: Ouray Hot Springs, Orivis Hot Springs, and our personal favorite, the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodging. Sitting in a dark cave that was a mix between an intense sauna and a hot tub, I wondered how they came across this and whose crazy idea was to turn it into a spa and hotel? IMG_1927The morning before we left, I had my first amazing experience ice climbing in Ouray’s Ice Park. This man-made park touts over 200 climbing routes and is one of the world’s premier ice climbing venues in the world. I never really enjoyed rock climbing because of my fear of heights and falling, but for some reason I didn’t think it was near as scary and I loved that I could decide where to put my hands and feet. The ice that wrapped around the rock in this valley was an intense shade of blue and bright white, with a variety of huge ice pillars to delicate chandeliers.   IMG_2062Vacations always make me feel so torn. As much as I didn’t want to leave Ouray and the amazing people we stayed with, I craved to get home to sleep in my own bed and see my puppy. Nothing like a wonderful adventure to remind you of the simpleness of home. IMG_2063

How to Make Cashew Cream

January 6, 2016

how to make cashew creamThere is something about the fresh starts that come with a new year that undoubtably reinvigorates my drive. What is it about the New Year that makes all of us want to be our best, to start new projects, and kick those bad habits? Is it that we feel like our slates are clean, that this year will be different than the last? Or is it the need to jump on the bandwagon and make some sort of improvement to our selves like everyone else? I’d like to believe we all innately want to make improvements and the New Year allows us that chance to jump start those goals.

My theme to begin this year is driven by the Busy Boycott, a challenge to eliminate the overwhelming need to “be busy.” I’m optimist that by joining this 21 day challenge, a year of stress free living will hopefully ensue, allowing my true passions to come to life.cashew cream 2Experimenting with cooking has always been one of those favorite passions. After receiving the Homemade Vegan Pantry cookbook for my birthday, I knew I wanted to test out every recipe for those essential staples. First up, cashew cream!cashew cream 5 This versatile staple can be used for savory or sweet dishes. I’ve used the base of this recipe in different ratios to make cashew “cheese” for nachos, mac ‘n cheese, and cheesecake. It’s perfect for any pasta dish or soups calling for heavy cream as well. cashew cream 6Obviously this cream doesn’t taste exactly like it’s dairy brother, but it has it’s own richness and creaminess, along with added benefits of healthy fats, magnesium, and other key minerals. cashew cream

Cashew Cream – recipe from Homemade Vegan Pantry

3 cups water

1 cup cashew

Place water and cashews and in high speed blender – blend until creamy and smooth!

Do you feel the same way for the start of a new year? Shout out your top goal // bad habit to kick for 2016!

Our New Colorado Home

November 8, 2015

Colorado HomeThe journey towards “finding home” translates very differently for all folks. For me, I’ve come to the terms that home is sacred; I have to have a place of my own that equates stability, quietude, and overall relaxation. As we have slowly settled into our new place (only to rip it all up again a week later) I couldn’t help thinking that after three years in our last home in Michigan, I had never felt as comfortable as I did that first week in our Colorado home. Maybe it had something to do with the size (this new place is about half the square footage and much cozier), that the projects will not take us three years to accomplish, or the fact that I don’t have to try to bend this house to match my taste… looking past all that, I really think it’s about a new perspective. We are putting down these roots that we hope will last a long time, that this place will be here for us as basecamp while we spend time outside of it going on grand adventures.

Below are photos of our new place prior to closing with the previous owner’s belongings. It’s already been well over month, but it’s already been transformed quite a bit. Can’t wait to share more soon!IS5uauju4oyax10000000000ISpp85utt8ok830000000000IShv76cpsps0s20000000000IS9p5utiohk3s20000000000IS1zz50yjjtox10000000000IShb4u0bsz9jx10000000000ISp1aiuvwx0yr20000000000ISph66jhw7igx10000000000IS9d4htgls7q830000000000IShj6tbnp0gn830000000000ISlmvhzkb3dux10000000000IS1725bahkzs830000000000ISt00ts3dcrv830000000000ISdov4sq4wa1930000000000 ISluxgax84jy830000000000ISdgt5he7v4xx10000000000 ISxbrgrdwfu6930000000000

*Photos by Cherry Creek Properties LLC

Weekend Adventures // Leadville Trail 100 Run

September 5, 2015

Leadville100A couple weeks ago I went to a seminar about resilient people; the speaker discussed what makes a person resilient and the levels of that trait within us all. As she pointed out the attributes of those who can bounce back after dealing with difficult situations, my mind instantly went to those in my life who I would put into the resilient “bucket.”  My father starting his own business, friends who made the touch decision to move to new cities or to start a new job, and then there is my husband…These loved ones all struggled in the last year to move closer to an ultimate goal, one with several unforeseen hurdles to cross in order to get there. But they bounced back, they pushed onward, and they stayed hardy.

Zach is by nature a “hardy” person. And I guess you’d have to be in order to train and run a 100 miles. No softy is going to survive the physical, emotional, and psychological damage that occurs over a course of 20+ hours of running through the mountains. Adaptability is his strong suit, one that I admire him greatly for. So when he decided this year to attempt his third 100 miler, I knew he’d do whatever it took to cross that finish line. IMG_0830Getting into the Leadville 100 Trail Run in itself is no easy feat. The months of training, hours and weekends of pure mileage were just the foundation. After not getting into the lottery, Zach flew down to Austin, TX to attempt to “win” his way into Leadville by racing the Austin Rattler 75k. Only a few spots were guaranteed and Zach ended up walking away with a third place finish and his ticket into Leadville!IMG_0841As race day came closer and Zach without a second pacer, he reached out to our buddy Rob. Without any hesitation, Rob flew all the way from Chicago – with little sleep and no acclamation to the mountains – just to pace Zach and assist me in crewing. Pure resilience. Robbie is probably one of the most loyal friends we have and one that understands the reasons why we put ourselves through these taxing races. As we chatted non-stop from Denver to Leadville, I felt like I was in college again; there were no cares, no adult things to worry about, just a lady and her friend picking apart old stories and catching up on each others lives.  IMG_0858That night as we walked through the race strategy and aid stations, the peaceful feeling I had slowly waned. Sleep didn’t happen that night and with a 4 am race start, we all appeared a little hazing that morning. Rushing out the door with our burritos and stale hotel danishes, Zach was oddly calm and quiet. We drove in silence to the start of the race – where we were greeted by over 600 other participates. You couldn’t help but be overwhelmed and in awe as guys and gals of all ages toed up to the starting line. Ken Chlouber’s words kept running through my head as the gun went off and the runners causally passed by, “You’re better than you think you are. You can do more than you think you can.” IMG_0841With coffee in tow, Rob and I headed to fulfill our crew duties and wait for Zach as he passed through several aid stations. Around mile 50, Rob geared up to pace Zach for a grueling climb over Hope’s Pass. With several river crossings, long climbs,and a steep decent, I knew once I picked Zachary up at mile 75, he was going to be wasted. Anxiety can’t help but creep in when I’m waiting for hours at these aid stations. As soon as he ran into mile 75, all anxiety left as I took the reins and we worked our way towards the next drawn out climb. We didn’t talk much those 25 miles. I pushed gels and chews on him, he told me how much he was hurting, and we tediously made it through the miles. I remember selfishly thinking to myself about how much my feet hurt and how I wish we could just run faster to get the race over with, only to kick myself for thinking my pain would be anything near the feelings Zach was enduring at the time. IMG_0911These races tend to push you to your brink. You second guess your capabilities, you tell yourself you want to quit, or you start hating the whole experience. But then you find yourself a few miles from the finish. It’s distant at first, but a soft cheer can be heard. With lights in the distance growing stronger, we hit the downtown roads only to hear a familiar voice. A mile to go, Rob had patiently waited for us in the cold to help pace the last leg. IMG_0862I gulped down the thick rise of emotions as Zach grabbed our hands as we ran through the finish line. With a finish time of 22 hours and 36 minutes, Zach ended up 28th runner overall, and third in his age group. It’s difficult to comprehend such a feat, but know this – it takes guts, grit, and determination to finish a 100 miles. Frankly, it has me scared shitless as I’ll be tackling this race next year, but I know I have an amazing training partner who will drag me across the finish line if need be. He’ll teach me the tricks, tell me to suck it up, and show me what it means to truly be resilient. Leadville100Finish