2018 started out rough with a lot of snow and extremely cold temperatures. We managed to get 61.74 miles in January and 63.45 miles in February, but we were not making much of a dent in our mileage. In March, Rye and I started agility trials and March and April were abysmal months for walking because we had several weekends occupied by trials. Eventually, I figured out ways to get walks in between runs so that Rye and I could earn some mileage, but for the first third of the year, we dug a deep hole that was hard to climb out of to meet our goal.
By December, we were at 917.04 miles total, so we needed132.96 miles to meet our goal. Barley had 775.99 miles. I felt confident that Barley could get the 74.01 miles we needed to meet her goal for the year, but we needed an additional 58.95 miles to meet the total goal for the year. We needed to get 4.29 miles per day every day in December to meet our goal.
We walked a lot in the first couple weeks of December. It didn't matter if it was cold, wet, windy, or any other kind of miserable conditions. We were out there.
One day, we were walking in a cold drizzle and I was trying to convince Barley that she did want to walk. I was trying to convince myself that I wanted to walk. Rye had to poop and was walking like she was a feral animal attached to leash for the first time. We looked up and saw a man with a camera--who ended up being the photographer from the local paper who was taking pictures for their photo section. Thankfully, none of us looked as miserable when the photo was published as we felt when it was taken!
By the time we got to my parents' house on December 18, we had 984.35 miles--and still needed 65.65 miles with only 13 days to get them.
Y'all. My family was amazing. My mom entertained Barley while I took Rye for some solo walks in their neighborhood. Both of my parents took us to trails where we could get walks without the interference of neighborhood dogs that roam their neighborhood.
My parents, especially my mom, didn't complain about joining our "boot camp" and walking every day until our legs felt like they might fall off.
|Rye was so happy to be reunited with me after I left her with her grandma while I ran in for a potty break.|
My sister was also fantastic. She had to log some miles for her half marathon training plan, so she went to various trails with us on several occasions and ran while we walked.
|Rye thought running with Aunt L sounded a lot more fun than walking.|
Despite several very rainy days, we got out every single day (most days, twice a day). One day, there had been so much rain that the trail around the lake had flooded. This flushed an armadillo out of its home and up along the trail, which Rye and I found equally exciting. Rye also loved splashing through puddles on the trail where there were several inches of water over the trail (Barley did her best to find the high ground and tip toe through the puddles).
On December 31, my parents, my sister, and my brother and sister-in-law, all headed out to a trail with us to finish out our goal with a 2.8 mile walk.
We got in 66.87 miles in 13 days and finished the year with 1051.22 miles for the year and Barley was along for 895.19 of those miles.
It was nerve racking and exhausting and for the first time in years, I really didn't have any confidence that we'd make our goal. Without the support of my family, we definitely would not have made it this year.
For 2019, our goal is to walk 1025 miles--and that can be made up of any combination of dogs, either solo walks with Barley or Rye or family walk, as long as I'm walking with one of my two dogs, the miles count. That averages out to about 2.8 miles per day. Right now, our goal is just to walk every day--whether that's half a mile or 5 miles; we're taking whatever miles Mother Nature will let us have right now and once spring arrives, we'll focus on actually meeting the daily mileage goals. Hopefully, a slightly smaller goal will keep us from having to walk 134+ miles in December while still getting us up off the couch most days.