Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2017 Resolution Recap

For the last several years, Barley and I have had a goal to walk a certain number of miles together throughout the year. The first year, we had a goal of 1,000 miles for the year. We'd cut back from 1,100 miles the two previous years because I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to walk Barley and Rye together, so I didn't want Rye to be neglected while Barley and I worked towards our goal.

We got off to a slow start. Partially, this was because I was able to walk Barley and Rye together, but we had to keep those walks short enough that Rye didn't get tired and start getting wild (she's just like a toddler sometimes). Then Rye also proved to have some reactivity issues to certain dogs in certain yards, so I wanted to make sure she got plenty of solo walks to work through those issues. We ended up  with 55.41 miles in January and only 29.1 in February thanks to some bitter cold.

The first walk we took just the three of us.

Despite our slow start, we got into more of a groove as spring came. We also got in our first big adventure at the end of March as we went to my cousin's wedding and rented an old farm house in rural Pennsylvania.

Thanks to warmer weather, lots of training, and a little travel, we got in 65.83 miles in March and 92.88 miles in April.

Our mileage always begins to pick up in mid-May after I finish the spring semester and get to spend the entire summer with my girls. We took another little road trip to support my sister while she ran in a race in Vermont over Memorial Day.

We found some great places to walk in New York on our way there.

And some gorgeous trails in Vermont (along with plenty of mud!). 

And, of course, plenty of visits to Vermont breweries with my favorite Brew Dogs.

All of our adventures helped us get to 100.87 miles in May.

June and July continued to be strong months with 113.87 miles in June and 104.29 miles in July. We got in plenty of arboretum walks with some of my favorites being evening walks with Barley after our agility classes.

Then things slowed down again in August when we only got 83.89 miles. Part of this was due to Barley's dental surgery when she was a little loopy on some pain meds and really just wanted to rest. The other part was the fact that school started again and any time there are big changes to our schedule, it takes a while to figure out where walking fits in.

By September, though, everyone was feeling better and we'd figured out our schedule and ended up with 94.23 miles in September. One of my favorite walks was taking the girls up to campus to see the 9/11 Field of Honor that the Student Veterans Association puts up each year with one flag for every life that was lost during the 9/11 attacks.

October always brings my favorite walk of the year--my birthday party walk (which somehow I didn't write about until November)! We started the month strong with our Arboretum visit for my birthday and continued to get our 3 miles a day for a total of 94.87 miles in October. 

Things slowed down a bit in November. The first two weeks, I didn't want to stray far from home while Soth was recovering for his surgery. I was busy dividing my time between Soth and the girls and trying to give everyone enough attention and also get ready for the end of semester chaos that begins right around Thanksgiving, so we spent less time walking. We did manage to get 83.27 miles in November, though, so it wasn't a bad month.

By December, we were finally back on track and only needed 2.73 miles/day to meet our goal, which is exactly what we started the year needing. We migrated south and spent time walking in Alabama and added in one last adventure with a trip to a couple Civil War battlefields in Georgia (more on that later).

Alatoona Pass Battlefied

We logged 88.09 miles in December, which pushed us just a little bit over our goal with 1006.6 miles total. 

There were several times I worried that we wouldn't meet our goal, but overall, this year was quite a success. We met our goal and walked in six different states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Alabama, and Georgia.

We've set a new goal for 2018. We're striving to walk 1050 miles, and Barley and I have to get at least 850 of those miles together. After the girls were fully integrated into each other's lives, Rye didn't get as many solo walks because those miles didn't count towards my mileage goal since the goal was for me and Barley to get those miles. Rye's training suffered because of that. She's gotten better walking on leash, but she's still mostly just controlled chaos when I clip a leash on. After a bad encounter with a neighbor's dog, Rye has become severely leash reactive to off-leash dogs, and that's not something I can work on effectively when I'm holding on to two different dogs. It's not fair to Rye to not give her more solo walks, too, so I'm hoping with this new goal I won't have to choose between meeting my goals and training my little dog.

What are your goals for 2018? Did you make any dog-related resolutions? 


  1. Congratulations on hitting your goal! We have no idea how many miles we walk and run, and my sisters do their thing and I do mine, so Mom is the one with double mileage. Good luck on your goal this year!

    1. Starting to track our mileage is one of my favorite things we've done. The first year, I went into it thinking we walked a ton because we walked every day but we definitely weren't walking as much as I thought we were. Now 3+ miles a day has become such a part of our routine that the days we can't get all of that in seem like torture!

  2. You are an inspiration! That's a LOT of miles!

    Chris from Boise

    1. Thank you! Most of the time, it doesn't seem like too many miles but when we get stretches of bad weather, all of the sudden it seems like a totally crazy, unrealistic goal!

  3. Yay congrats! You got to walk in so many fun places this year! Glad I got to do some miles with you :)

    1. We're glad you got to be part of so many miles (and in three different states!!) with us, too!

  4. Congratulations on once again meeting your goals! You do so great! The best thing is all the wonderful photos showing how much fun you all had together.
    I don't set any goals, but I really should. That kind of motivation wouldn't hurt me. I'll have to think about that!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. Having our goal definitely helps keep me on track--especially this time of year when it would be really easy to crawl under the covers and stay there until April! And once we get out there, we do end up having lots of fun!