A few weeks ago I had a few ideas of how I wanted to spend Thanksgiving, and all of them included some sort of epic, push-my-limits celebration for one year of best-life choices. It was Black Friday 2017 when I woke up with my last, awful hangover from excessive drinking and decided enough was enough. I stopped drinking like it was my 21st birthday every weekend, counted calories, measured my food, counted macros, and most importantly learned the value of honesty with oneself.

A few days ago the plans finally evolved into running 40K on trails. It was 40K for 40 pounds lost. The plan included friends joining me in staggered times by the hour. As the day unfolded, it redefined what gratitude means to me. The first hour was spent with my friend Julia, the second was with friends Lisa and Amy, and then John showed up with a trunkful of baked goods and hot cocoa. After our cookie break, John joined me for a few miles, which ended up being the last 11 miles of the entire 40K.

I am so grateful for a tribe of supportive friends who don’t question the insanity, they respond with “When and where?”


I am so grateful for John’s support in everything I do. When I brought this idea to him his first reaction was “How do I get involved?”. Eleven miles was his longest run since Ironman Wisconsin and after a year of battling hamstring problems.


I’m so grateful for this body! I wasn’t sure I’d make the full 40K distance being two weeks after I PR’ed a marathon. The plan was to take it slow, easy,  and walk the hills. If anything felt wonky I would have pulled the plug immediately on this mission.


The entire 40K was filled with so much appreciation for the people who showed up I didn’t have the time to think or reflect on what the day really meant to me. Instead, the day provided its own meaning. A new symbol of Black Friday from here on out; gratitude.


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