First, a big shoutout and congratulations to Taylor, my incredible creative director, for finishing the Hennepin Hundred this past weekend!
That’s right—she ran 100 miles straight. When I think about dedication, determination, and discipline, Taylor stands at the forefront.
Every year, I motivate my team to embark on a Misogi, urging them to stretch their boundaries and dive into the unknown—to push themselves truly.
For those unfamiliar, a "Misogi" is a new interpretation of a Japanese concept of undertaking a challenging task to transform oneself.
Taylor didn’t merely accept this challenge; she dominated it, showcasing an unwavering commitment at every juncture. Regardless of the destination or time zone, her dedication to training never wavered.
Taylor, with her friend Naomi, has been finding a Misogi since 2018; they've been on this remarkable journey of taking on significant challenges each year.
This past November, I remember her floating the idea of a hundred-mile race for 2023.
Naomi showed initial reservations, but by December, her apprehension transformed into enthusiasm. It was on!
In finding the right race, Taylor turned to me for advice. I recommended The Hennepin Hundred.
I’d done it before and thought it would be a perfect fit. With the race selected, Taylor spent the early months building a running foundation, with many of those runs shared with me.
Following our cross-country biking adventure, Taylor began intensive training with Coach Chris—a renowned name in my circle and the co-founder of All Day Running Co.
Her regimen was demanding, including four days of running each week, complemented by a day dedicated to strength training. Weekends saw her on extended runs, the durations of which increased progressively.
Taylor's approach to training deviated from the norm; she weaved in her personal ambitions, like the runs around New York City and the challenging Wonderland Trail surrounding Mount Rainier.
It was unconventional but highly effective. Chris played a pivotal role, deftly intertwining her aspirations with the rigorous demands of preparing for the Hennepin Hundred.
Race day was an emotional whirlwind for Taylor. She shared with me the overwhelming anxiety she initially faced but highlighted how she found her rhythm, adopting my 7-3 method—seven minutes of running followed by a three-minute walk. As exhaustion crept in, this changed to a 6-4 rhythm.
She recounted the harrowing stretch between miles 78 to 83, where the absence of her support crew and the intense mental fatigue converged, leading to an emotional breakdown at a remote aid station.
She was revived with caffeine and pickles.
I love pickles.
The concluding miles were, in Taylor's words, a celebration. With the sun heralding a new day, she was joined by her pacing companions as they neared the finish line.
The joy, she recounted, was palpable, especially when she spotted her parents waiting for her at the finish line. Throughout this journey, my main goal was to offer unwavering support.
Our numerous discussions, whether centered on strategy or inspiration, were aimed at fortifying her mindset. Because in grueling endeavors like these, battling the naysaying voices in one's head becomes paramount. And she did it!
I'm so proud of Taylor.