As the year is coming to a close, I wanted to reflect on some of the most memorable moments from our 2017 and share them with you. There was a lot of travel, running, and traveling to run. But besides the big trips and races, our year was made up of many, many special moments and I’m so grateful for our good health, safety, and security, and having friends and family to share it all with. I am, and we are, so incredibly privileged.
Starting with security, December marks five years for me at my job, where I get so many opportunities to grow. I am incredibly grateful for a career that feels meaningful and for colleagues who make me feel valued. This month also marks one year for Dan in his current position, where he gets to do amazing work in a place that fits his lifestyle (sustainability, FTW!). The highlights below wouldn’t be possible without our jobs.
We’ve spent another year living in our little duplex in Golden and every day I have to pinch myself to believe that I get to live in such a wonderful place. We’d love Golden anyway, but having four of our best friends, our Golden Gang, live here too is icing on the cake. We have trails from our door, can walk to the library, grocery store, many breweries, and our favorite coffee shop. In the summer, we soak in the ice cold Clear Creek running through town. In the winter, we feel like we don’t ever have to leave.
Over the past year, I saw so many sunrises with my running buddies, and getting that time together before we go to work has felt like such a gift. Dan and I witnessed friends get engaged, married, buy houses, and prepare for their first kid. And while the news this year has been pretty terrible overall, I feel especially grateful for a community that shares my values and builds people up.
We are so fortunate to have Dan’s family here in Colorado, where we get to watch two of our nephews grow up. Just this month, we celebrated his parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. We’ve also gotten to see my family a handful of times this year (though it’s never enough time), and capped it off with five days in St. Louis with them for Christmas.
With all that, here are the experiences that stood out most to me in 2017. Thank you to everyone who shared in these with us. And thank you to Dan for being the best partner, making every day fun and full of love. ❤
We celebrated Dan’s birthday with a quick weekend trip to Portland, Oregon and had such an amazing time exploring and connecting with each other. We stayed in a cozy Airbnb, ate amazing food (Pok Pok, Salt & Straw, Blue Star Donuts…), drove to the coast and ran around Cape Lookout State Park, ate a grilled cheese at Tillamook Cheese Factory, and ran in Forest Park. It was the perfect way to start the year.
This was the only month of the year in which I didn’t fly somewhere. Dan and I went on a special belated Valentine’s date night to see the Colorado Symphony with Stewart Copeland. Living in Golden, it’s a big deal when we make the 25-minute drive into Denver. We went out for tacos first then walked to the symphony and loved it! Every time we see live music, I want to do it more. I also did a lot of running with Robyn and Meg, as I was training for a spring half marathon. One Saturday, Dan surprised us by showing up to the end of our long run with donuts and coffee. The best.
I’m not remembering the reason for this trip (do we even need one?), but we took a long weekend to go to Taos, New Mexico. We started Friday morning by attending Creative Mornings in Denver then hit the road for about five hours in the car. We stayed at El Pueblo Lodge (that continental breakfast…so good) right in town. We ran around, soaked in the hot tub, and ate at Orlando’s, a restaurant we’ve now visited a few times. On the way home, we stopped at the Colorado state border and I took this little video of Dan that still makes me laugh.
We ran a lot in April. But the highlight of the month was the first annual Dino Ridge Relays, a race hosted by me and Mike Bell. We gathered 30+ friends to our favorite stretch of road for a relay race, with bagels and coffee and prizes. It was so fun! I also traveled to San Diego for a conference and had a lot of fun exploring on my own.
May started off with a bang with our trip to Santa Clarita, California for the Wings for Life World Run. If you know anything about our year, I’m guessing you know that that Dan won this race. We had such an amazing trip and then floated through the rest of the month. May closed with seeing my favorite band, Paper Bird, at Mishawaka up in the Poudre Canyon, where we camped after the show.
My parents came to Golden for my birthday (May 31st) and to spectate the Dirty 30 50k the first weekend of June. The race didn’t go as well as I’d hoped when I first started training for it, but that’s how racing is sometimes and I actually learned a lot from it. We had a great time with them anyway and had fun celebrating my birthday. A couple weeks later, Dan and I headed to Crested Butte for a quick early season camping trip. That town is a beaut! I highly recommend making a trip. On the way back, we stopped for a hike and lunch in Salida.
July kicked off our very busy summer. We started with an um… adventurous road trip to Wyoming and Montana. Once we eventually got to Red Lodge, we camped for three nights and it was oh so nice. We then traveled to San Luis Obispo for a Berteletti family reunion, and fit so much into just a couple days. July was packed full of fun and exciting moments, and I’m tired just thinking about it. But the summer fun didn’t stop there…
A lot happened in August! We had plans every weekend, so I can’t pick just one highlight. The month started with our first anniversary! We celebrated in Minturn, Colorado where we ran in the mountains for six hours, ate a small version of our wedding cake, and stayed at this cute hotel. Then we crewed/paced Mike Bell at the Leadville Trail 100. We also ran a trail marathon where Dan and I both came in third place. And last but not least, we flew to St. Louis to celebrate my mom’s retirement after nearly 30 years of serving families. Hearing people share about how my mom touched their life as director of a child care center was really touching. I felt especially sentimental because I grew up at the center, watching my mom work while also being surrounded by people who cared about me. My mom never complained to me about her job and even as retirement was nearing, she was still dedicated to the people she worked with and the kids she came to know and love. It was a good weekend and a great month!
You would think that me running a 40 mile race through the mountains of Crested Butte to Aspen would make top highlight of the month, but then we went to New England and had an amazing six-night trip. We celebrated our friends’ wedding in Sunapee (Funapee!) before a mini vacation to the Cape where we stayed with Dan’s aunt and uncle and to Boston where I got to do my first Harvard Stadium workout with November Project. Perfect weather, perfect trip. I’d like to go back to New England every fall.
October was marked as the month that we’d travel to Pennsylvania for Dan to run the USATF 50 mile road championship race at Tussey Mountain. The trip felt much more like a business trip than a vacation, but we still had a good time with it. Dan came in third and I had a blast following him around all day. I also went on a quick work trip to California (my second home this year). One of my favorite moments of the month, though, was a 22-mile run with Robyn around Denver – her last big run before the NYC marathon. We were so in sync and the miles floated by. We capped off the month with celebrating Hilloween and carving pumpkins with our friends.
Hey, what do you know? We traveled some more! First, we went to St. Louis for my friends’ wedding. An added bonus of a St. Louis wedding is that we could squeeze in some family time too. And then we traveled to San Francisco for The North Face Endurance Challenge 50k. We had a fantastic weekend in the city with our friends, and ran pretty well too. We celebrated Thanksgiving with Dan’s parents and Kaitlin and Mike in Broomfield, CO and then we headed up to a little cabin in Grand Lake for a few days of R&R with Kathy and Paul. Dan and I both added a mountain cabin to our Christmas lists.
Somehow another year is almost over. I traveled to DC for work. My dear friend, Katherine, came to visit. We celebrated Christmas #1 in Colorado. And then we road-tripped to St. Louis where we spent five nights with family. The holidays went way too fast and we were treated way too well.
Thank you for following along and being part of our lives. It’s been such an amazing year and I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds!