Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 Recap, New Goals, and a Thank You!

Recap
Since the weather has been so icky in the first 9 days of 2015, it seems like a good time to reflect back on the past year since we weren't able to do so earlier. 2014 was a busy year for us. 



We set a goal, walking 1000 miles by the end of the year. The year got off to a rough start (much like this one seems to be determined to do), but we persevered and ended the year with 1070.64 miles. The monthly breakdown looks like this:
                      January: 49.05 miles
                      February: 47.05 miles
                      March: 69.64 miles
                      April: 95.43 miles
                      May: 95.77 miles
                      June: 138.90 miles
                      July: 118.49 miles
                      August: 105.20 miles
                      September: 97.21 miles
                      October: 89.37 miles
                      November: 80.48 miles
                      December: 79.82 miles

We between August and December, we walked 127 consecutive days (the last day we missed was August 26). We set a new personal record by walking 6.37 miles at the arboretum on the 4th of July.


We also walked in four different states while we worked towards our goal: Alabama, Massachusetts, New York, and, of course, our favorite state, our home state, Ohio. We're hoping to add some new states to our list in the new year! 

When you break 1000 miles down into individual days, it doesn't seem like that big of an accomplishment--only 2.74 miles a day--but after driving 774 miles home from my parents' house on Sunday, 1000 miles feels like an earth-shattering feat.


2014 also brought some new skills with it. We started the year learning the "paws up" command (which the adorable and talented Rocco over at To Dog With Love helped us with) and it's become a regular command during our photoshoots. We also started noseworks training early in the year because we were getting cabin fever with all of the cold weather--it's been a lifesaver on rainy days, snowy days, busy days and has helped a lot with Barley's reactivity. More recently, we learned to weave (some of us learned better than others--Soth doesn't really see the point of following rules). 


With lots of different types of weather, we had lots of opportunities for a variety of outdoor fun from romping in the snow, playing with Barley's tunnel, and birdwatching with Soth.


We also had a many opportunities to smile for the camera as we adventured together. Barley is just waiting for Tyra Banks to cast her in America's Next Top Model: Dog Edition--she's got smizing down pat.


We also got lucky enough to get to play tour guide to some of our favorite people (and Barley's favorite cousin) and show them around some of our favorite spots.

New Goals
We're setting new goals this year. There are two things I hope to accomplish:

  1. We're shooting for walking 1100 miles--that's 30 more than this year and averages out to 3.01 miles per day. Right now, our walks are pretty limited with the below freezing temperatures, so we're striving to just get out for a walk every day (which so far has been a couple .5 mile walks a day) and then we'll work on getting the mileage we need when the weather improves.
  2. My brother got me a Jawbone Up (a fitness tracker like a FitBit) that just arrived on Wednesday. I'm shooting for 15,000 steps per day. Barley will probably be involved in a lot of them with walking, agility, chasing her away from the cat food, chasing her away from the litter box, but this is a goal that's mostly for me. If anyone else has the Jawbone Up app and wants to be team members so we can encourage each other, let me know!

Thank You
We crammed a lot into 365 days last year--but we never would have achieved our goals without all of you cheering us on and holding us accountable for meeting our goals. Barley and I thought for weeks about how we'd thank you and we've finally settled on an idea. As those of you who have been reading for a while know, Barley was a shelter dog and she changed my nerdy, sedentary English majory life drastically; she got me involved in agility, she's my hiking buddy, and she's given me a reason to get out of my nice warm flannel cocoon during the winter months.

We know many of your have shelters and rescues that are near and dear to your hearts, too, so to thank you, we'd like to make small donations to two of those shelters or rescues. Since Barley was my little discount dog and her adoption fee was $50, we'll be donating $50 to two different shelters or rescues and you get to help us decide where they go! It's not much, but hopefully it helps a dog that's waiting to find his/her forever fitness buddy.

In the comments on this post, tell us which shelter/rescue you'd like to see one of the donations go to and provide a link to their website so I can find out how to get the donation to them; then I'll use a randomizer to randomly select two places. Since everyone's getting back into their grooves after the holidays, we'll choose the shelters/rescues on January 22 to give everyone a chance to comment and announce the selections on the January 23 FitDog Friday!

Hope everyone is staying warm and safe!


21 comments:

  1. So glad you hit your goal and have set a new one for this year. We walk/run 4-6 miles a day every day no matter what, and love it. It is often better to just think of the daily mileage rather than comparing it to the total. Mom runs marathons and the 26.2 seems doable, but when she drives that distance in the car, it seems it would be impossible to run it! Funny how the mind works! Keep on paw padding forward!

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    1. Right now, comparing the daily mileage to the total seems very depressing since we'd gotten so used to seeing an almost full goal bar on our Garmin account and now we're back to square one! Even though, our new goal is only a little bit more than we achieved last year, it does seem impossible--you're right, it is funny how the mind works!

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  2. What a great year-end wrap-up. You did so great attaining your walking goal - a very busy summer ! Good luck with this year's goal and I hope the weather cooperates!

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    1. Thank you! I didn't even really realize just how hard we pushed ourselves in the summer until I did this post--I'm hoping the weather gets on board with our new goals some time soon, too, but at least we know we can make up for it later in the year if things don't change soon ;)

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  3. Wow, nice job on completing your 1,000 mile goal! It's a great idea of adding up all your walked mileage! I may pick up on that ;-)
    My favorite rescue group is Boxer Butts & Other Mutts. They are located in western NC: http://boxerbuttsandothermutts.org.

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    1. Adding up our mileage has definitely been more motivation to get out there and walk! And what a great name for a rescue! When I first started looking for a dog, I found one with a group called Wiggle Butts that I fell in love with even though she ended up not being the right dog for me--I think the key to a god rescue might be adding "butts" to the name ;)

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  4. Hi Y'all!

    Congratulations on persevering to reach your goal!

    Y'all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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    1. Thanks, Hawk! We couldn't have done it without your regular encouragement!

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  5. Paws up is great for photos. Good luck with your challenge this year! I'm nominating the Pixie Project, here in Oregon. http://www.pixieproject.org/

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    1. Thank you! Barley needs to take some lessons on posing from Mr. N--he'll definitely her biggest competition if Tyra calls them up for America's Next Top Dog Model ;)

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  6. What a great year for you! Congrats on making your goals and good luck in 2015 don't think you will have any troubles with it. So nice of you to make a donation to the shelters!

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    1. Thank you! We wanted to do something to show our appreciation to everyone and since I wouldn't be here participating in FitDog Friday without my shelter pup, I thought it would be appropriate to help out other pups who will one day inspire people to get out there and get moving :)

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  7. So glad that we got to be a part of your miles! Can't wait for those cousins to walk together in 2015! You'll own this goal, too!

    I'm putting Mad Pup's mothership in the running: Lucky Dog Animal Rescue: http://www.luckydoganimalrescue.org/donate

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    1. I'm glad you got to be part of our miles, too! Barley loves walking with Maddux even if he is a bit of a treat diva during their photo shoots ;)

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  8. Wow! That's awesome you met your goal! I don't like to leave my flannel cocoon when it's cold here either! brrrr! (we had a freezing snap in Atlanta this week!) Thanks so much for the mention and congrats on your weaves! Did you use the 2x2 method? That's such a nice idea about the shelter donation, too. Here's our nomination here in Atlanta: http://mostlymutts.org Good luck in 2015!

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    1. If we wouldn't have had you and Rocco to teach us Paws Up, we might have lost the little bit of sanity we had in the bitter cold last year! We used several different methods for the weaves--some of them I'm not even sure have names because our trainer modified lots of different techniques. We started with the 2x2 method, but then we tried using the weaves with the training wires--which Barley just jumped over, so then our trainer came up with several different methods until we found one that worked for all of the dogs in class.

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  9. What a great year you had, and I have a feeling that you'll accomplish your goals this year as well. If you can get through these first horrible weeks of January, you can do anything!
    And leave it to you to over-achieve (LOL): I was thinking of trying the 10,000 steps this year and figured that would be hard enough (I need to get some device to track though, I might have to look at the one you mentioned).
    What a nice way to say thanks...I will nominate the rescue that we got Luke through: http://peaceandpaws.org/site/
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. I'm starting to think I was crazy for setting a 15,000 step goal! I decided on that because when I was hanging out with my mom and her new Christmas FitBit she was hitting 10,000 steps by 3 or 4 every afternoon--but we were also getting in two decent dog walks every day. On Thursday, I literally ran laps around my apartment at 11:30 p.m. to get the last 600 steps I needed to reach 10,000 for the day--Barley thought I was nuts! I'm hoping that once I'm back at work on Monday, I'll be moving around the classroom enough to actually reach my goal :)

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    2. I just saw there's a groupon for the Jawbone Up trackers, so I thought I'd share it: http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-up-by-jawbone-fitness-tracker?utm_source=fac&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=US_DT_SOM_FAC_TIM_TTT_RS_CBP_CH1_NBR_x%2Afb6022922740616

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  10. Congrats on meeting your goal and best of luck in the new year. Everyone I know has a Jawbone. :)

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    1. Thank you! So far I'm really liking the Jawbone!

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