As 2015 comes to an end…

This year has been oh so kind to me! Although the last 300+ days have been amazingly full and brimming with adventure, so much that I cannot write about it all; but here are a few favorite moments from my journey through this year.

Kicking off 2015:  January-February I spent approximately 5 weeks in Quebec, Canada experiencing for the first time (what I consider), a true winter. Snow fell almost every day with a few blue skied beauties intermixed. I spent my winter base training climbing stairs and running in negative temps learning how to bundle properly and experiencing icicles on eyelashes for the first time. During the weekends I traveled out of town and spent the day snowshoeing through Canada’s finest national parks. The freezing temps were easy to leave when it was time to come home, but the amazing national parks were difficult to leave behind!

During the beginning of the summer my cycling team and myself decided to attempt cycling 200 miles to the beach in one day. Several accomplished their goals while some of us put in a terrific effort only to fall a few miles short; my total miles were 165 miles… the tooshie just couldn’t take any more! Two of my best friends came along to support during this journey handling the SAG wagon behind us only to cement another of many lifelong beautiful memories.

When September came around, bringing with it my 30th birthday, I was just a few weeks away from attempting my first full Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, yes, all in one day and under 17 hours per Ironman rules). I decided that 30th birthdays were not for tears, but instead for accomplishments. One of my favorite parts of my Ironman was being chosen to participate on the Ironman Foundation Newton Running Ambassador team. As a team we represented the sport of triathlon, the Ironman brand and community outreach by fundraising for a local charity in Chattanooga, TN. During race week we volunteered at the Chattanooga Area Food bank as well presented them with $26,846 check allowing them to provide an additional 107,384 meals to those most in need. Many of you donated to this cause, you were key to making our fundraising a success! Thank you!

Back to race week… well, tears did come during my 30th birthday month but they were tears of pain, determination and finally immense joy as I crossed the finish line at Ironman Chattanooga, 140.6 (technically 144.6 since Chattanooga has 4 additional miles on the bike). Because of my family and friends I was able to finish this race and check it off of my bucket list. Seeing my parents, my best friends that flew in from DC and NC and Marty along the way kept my spirits high. Mom and Marty each ran/walked with me during the long marathon portion of my race.

My last exciting exploration for this year came towards the end of October when we flew to the northwest and explored Mt. Rainier and part of the Oregon coast. Ever since a marathon took me to Alaska I long for gorgeous mountains and clean air. Mt. Rainier supplied us with not only snow but also blue skies and gorgeous, breathtaking views that photos and description fail to convey its glory. Leaving the mountain was a little depressing until, during our last hike along the Oregon coast, we hiked through Oswald State Park on very narrow, precarious trail that took us up a mountain with the final destination overlooking the cliff side bordered coastline. Breathtaking.

Due to time and space I’ve kept many other wonderful memories to myself, but so none of my lovely family or friends feels left out there are many, many, many other wonderful moments through this year that I hold dear to my heart! Most of you follow me through social media (Facebook, because that’s all I have) and I truly enjoy being able to follow back. As chaotic as our lives can become, the simple connection via social media has made my life much more full because I am able to keep up with family and friends near and far.

So thank you… thank you for your love, support and for allowing me to continue to be part of your lives no matter how frequent (infrequent) our visits may be.

Charity and the 4-legged – Edgar, Berny & Bee