10/27/2011 01:01 pm ET Updated Dec 27, 2011

Elevated Living

I am currently situated deep within an oversized couch at 6,800-feet. I am living the "high life" in several aspects of my life.

First, I am coming off two weeks of successful racing. I train to race. When you race well, and win, it feels good. You feel validated, you feel -- well, you feel high. I won the SF Corporate Challenge in 19:10 (3.5 mi) which I considered respectable for an after work 6:45 p.m. effort. I rallied 18 of my other co-workers to participate in the event and got a buzz off their first time race excitement. I felt proud to represent AOL and the people that I live the 9-5 with. As I crossed the finish line, the announcer identified me, my company and exclaimed, "Well look at this, AOL... making a comeback." I loved it. A little free PR never hurt a media company.

The corporate challenge was the first time that any of my co-workers had been engaged and/or present at one of my running events. It was a glorious moment being able to see myself transition from "crazy runner girl" to "competitive athlete" in their mind's eye.

Last Sunday was the San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon. It was a focus race for me, and being able to PR and podium was an amazing feeling. I elevated myself to a new level of determination and focus for the upcoming trials. Standing next to an Olympian and a multiple time All-American was daunting, but I started to feel like I truly belong, which is something that I have continually struggled with since I began running competitively eight years ago.

Living the high life in competitive running must be appreciated, then taken with a grain of salt and tossed over one's left shoulder. I stand by my mantra that "this too shall pass." Don't get me wrong, I'm not planning or hoping to shit the bed in my upcoming races, but I'm not going to let my world get turned upside-down if my next efforts don't end in victory. There are things to be appreciated and learned with the good and the bad. I will continue to put my head down and train hard because I know that my competitors are doing the same. We are all on a path to be our best selves and it should never stop, even if you feel on top of the world. Victory, like life, is fleeting.

Monday, Greggory (my MINI Cooper) and I, drove up to Tahoe Donner. Now, literally and not figuratively, I am living high. Altitude is a magical place where every effort is challenging. Walking up stairs, timing cooking, running up an "anthill" hill all take focus and adjusting too. I am fortunate enough to be living like a monk up here. I am surrounded by smart, athletic, talented women who also want to spend their entire day stretching, eating nutrient dense, clean meals, napping and dreaming big with me. To set myself apart, I am attempting to do all of these things, while managing a book of business, scheduling conference calls and researching brand objectives. I'm not sure that the big-wigs I'm talking to know that I'm in sweatpants drinking water enriched with hydration tablets while simultaneously having my Dorsal Sacral Ligament worked on by a fellow runner.

I will be in this magical world for 30 days. I will train hard, I will sleep hard, I will absorb the elite lifestyle. My goal is to emerge a stronger version of myself.

The world was devastated to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. He was a leading innovator and creator, and a giant among men. However, he was also a brilliant writer, and presenter. He challenged himself to elevated living and held himself to that standard. As I spend my time here in Tahoe, and as I move forward in my life journey, I am going to constantly remind myself of one of Steve's own mantras:

"Stay hungry, stay foolish."

Happy Trails.