2017 wrap up & 2018 plans!

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Gotta’ say I’m proud of myself for accomplishing some great endurance sport goals this year. My first big swim (Raleigh Half Ironman 1.2 mile swim in Jordan Lake, NC)…..my first Olympic distance completed (Outer Banks, NC)…and my first “classic distance” tri as a recovery goal after surgery. All 3 events were open water – 2 ocean, one lake. Here’s a cool recap of pics from the season. Always sporting the #trimafia gear through Velocity Sportswear – their gear is fantastic!

CHECK OUT MY 2017 SEASON PICS HERE!

For whatever reason I’ve been struggling with what my plans for 2018 will be. But for whatever reason the light bulb went on & I think I’m pretty close to figuring it out. I think I have about 6 events I’m planning on again this year. My bigger plan is to hopefully complete a 70.3 Half IM distance event by 2020, but to do that I have to take steps in that direction. Last year’s big 1.2 mile swim was huuuuge for me & felt impossible. In 2018 I’m looking at another big scary thing – a half marathon!

I have decided my word for 2018 is STRONG. I want to focus on strength training through the winter & apply that to my swim strokes, cycling, and stability for running. I’m continuing with my 3rd year as a brand ambassador for Velocity Sportswear – great people, glad to be a part of the family! Always loving their shirts – especially my newest, RAISE THE BAR! Pic taken in the dark at 6am after a  brief workout, of course!

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2018 Tentative Plans:

January 15, Indoor Tri at LifeTime
March – TBA
April – lots of fundraising Walks for work
June 24, Smile Train Triathlon sprint
September, Mud Run with family or friends
September 15, OBX sprint
October 13, Wilmington Half IM as a team (swim & run)

…and maybe another brand ambassador gig. Not sure yet, but I’m looking at one! We’ll see what happens there!

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Occoneechee Mountain, NC

It’s not exactly a mountain. Big hill, yes indeed. But it’s close to being a “mountain” for the middle part of NC, and definitely a really beautiful place! The weather was crazy perfect and there was still a lot of color left to see in the leaves.

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After losing Tina and feeling so sad it was nice to have 2 hours of being physical in nature and being in the ground. Little Frank had the best time. =) It was great having him out there and loving life with us.

Check out these pics…

I also started thinking about plans for 2018 and what goals I want to commit to. I want to nail that down soon so I can start thinking about what to do and how to make that happen. Stay tuned for a list of the dragons I’m gonna’ slay next year…

But for now, I can’t believe all of this beauty was only 40 minutes away. The kids thought it was about 7 hours away based on all the whining. : / WE ARE GONNA HAVE FUN DAMMIT!!

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Dog heaven must be amazing

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In my mind, I close my eyes and I see dog heaven. I see all the good dogs who have come and gone….the sick dogs aren’t sick anymore. The old dogs are young again. The broken dogs are whole. The abused dogs are loved. They are all friends in a dog utopia land with lakes and hiking trails, warm beds for all, tons of bacon, restaurants serving burgers and biscuits, and automatic ball/pinecone/stick throwing devices that never stop. It’s a beautiful place with perfect weather all the time. All dogs in dog heaven behave & love each other in their own way.

I guess she has fulfilled her purpose with us and it’s time for her to transition to move on. Her purpose in our family has been to teach our young boys how to treat animals. How to interact with a big dog. To respect dogs. To take care of them with food and water and exercise and biscuits. Lots of biscuits. How to snuggle. To understand nonverbal communication. To know the power of touch. To understand that nothing lasts forever.

I started writing this at one pm, November 7th. In 2 hours we will be saying bye to our 15 year old dog Tina…also known as Tina Turner. I’ve cried for the past 3 days. We know it’s time. We cooked her chicken & bacon today. She loved it.

As painful as this is, I know that there are dogs that I can’t see right now that will be in my life in the future. And I’ll do this again. And again. And again.

Today is the next day…Nov 8th at lunchtime. She’s gone but her water dish, food bowl, food mat, bed, and collar are still here. The kids don’t really seem to care. Maybe it’s not real to them or maybe they just were never attached like we were. Maybe one day they will remember her and her lessons. I cried most of the day yesterday. Woke up at 4:30 crying, next to our other dog Frank. Have tried to occupy my time today with lots of things. One day it won’t feel as awful and I’ll have great memories. Right now I miss her so deeply. It’s like a stab to my heart that never stops dripping. One day it will close up and heal. And I’ll stop crying.

I really hope dog heaven is amazing.