2018 Goals (January)

Over the many years of blogging and tracking my annual goals, I have found it to be most productive when I review them each month.  This allows for me to see the progress I have made and also to remind myself of goals that I may have forgotten about.

Run more miles than 2017

I was off to a great start this January, especially with a half marathon thrown in, but then I got hit with a cold/cough/sinus thing that I am still trying to get over.  (I slept on the couch last night so I could sleep sitting up.  It’s fun.)  However, in 2017 I ran 22 miles in January and this year I’ve run 46.

Pay off all debt. (starting amount: 6,176.09) current amount: $6,153

Very little progress was made. Embarrassing really.  I only paid off $23 dollars of debt in January.  While I am disappointed.  Here are the upsides :  I spent the first 5 days of January in Europe, I spent 3 nights in San Diego, and I paid my property taxes on time. So no, I didn’t pay off any debt.  BUT I didn’t dig my hole any deeper.  I am excited to make real progress on this now that life as settled down some.

Read 52 Books

I am attacking this goal head on, I signed up for a library card &have been keeping notes of interesting books that others have read ready to go.  I have read 4 books so far.

  • Half of a Yellow Sun –  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid – Giuseppe Catozzella
  • Everything All At Once- Bill Nye
  • This Is Where You Belong (the art & science of loving where you live)- Melody Warnick

Volunteer 100 Hours

No volunteering has happened just yet,  but I have signed up to be  an assistant coach for girls on the run and will be looking forward to the season starting in just a few weeks.

Successfully boulder a V3 (at my gym movement)

I met up with an Albany internet friend at movement last week and struggled up some VBs.  It was near the peak of my plague, so some of my lack of skills may have been related to that.

Wear my hair other than a ponytail once a week.

twice in january I styled my hair!  Not quite the 4-5 I should be at, but its a start.  You know the saying, Rome…..

Complete 12 things off my bucketlist.

This has been a common goal for many years, what is different is that I’ve already identified 10 to accomplish in 2018.

  • Complete a Sprint Tri
  • rock climb outdoors
  • 18 holes of golf (i’ve done 9 holes several times)
  • run a 4:30 marathon
  • run a sub 2 hr half
  • complete the San Diego Triple Crown
  • Volunteer with the Girl Scous
  • Learn to Drive Standard
  • Change my own oil
  • Solve a rubix cube

I have not yet accomplished any of my bucketlist goals, but I did run the first leg of the San Diego Triple Crown and as of post time, I have used my air miles to book my flights for my second trip in April!


Planned Races 2018

Originally I had wanted Carlsbad to be a PR race for me.  Like big scary PR and going Sub 2 hours. This fall was hard for me,  I am struggling at my new job, struggling to make connections in Denver, and most notably struggling with my health.

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns in 2005.  For the most part, my symptoms have been minimal and I’ve been able to be medication free for the majority of the last 10 years.  Unfortunate a small flare started in August and has continued for the past few months, varying in symptoms and intensity.  While a doctors visit is in sight, my energy levels have struggled the past few months and my training has suffered.  I’ve had some decent runs and acceptable mileage.

I am going into Carlsbad this weekend well trained, but not PR ready. But as I look towards my 2018 calendar, I know I’ll have more opportunities this year.  So this weekend will serve as a solid base to work off of for the remaining 11 months.

With that, a quick look at my planned races for 2018

  • January- Carlsbad 1/2 ( 1st race of SD Triple Crown)
  • April- La Jolla 1/2 (2nd race of SD Triple Crown)
  • May- Colfax (?) Not sure of which event yet
  • May- Boulder Bolder 10k
  • June- Her Half Marathon in Madison Wisconsin ( I’m an ambassador, join me with discount code CARUSO !!)
  • June- Sprint Tri ( to be determined)
  • July- Boilermaker
  • August- America’s Finest City (3rd Race of SD Triple Crown)
  • October- Chicago Marathon

With most of my races this year being out of state & likely lower elevation, I am hopeful to reach some of my big scary running goals.  Until then, I’m just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and listening to my body.



Flatiron Vista Trail

While not a true goal for 2018, I do intend to write/interact with blogs again more.  I enjoy the opportunity to challenge myself with writing, I often struggle to get my ideas down on paper (computer) and I truly enjoy being able to look back at things I’ve done in the past.  The holiday season was crazy.  I spent it mostly in London with a few days traveling around Belgium as well.  I didn’t take loads of photos and unfortunately, my phone completely crashed mid trip and anything that was on my phone has since been lost.  Such is life with the digital age, maybe soon I’ll start to back up my photos and (just maybe) printing off copies.

Anyhow, J and I made it home Thursday night at 8pm.  A full 20 hours later than originally scheduled. We both limped along at our respective jobs on Friday, luckily for me I was able to work from home for the morning and then attend just an hour of online training before a freak power outage sent us back home. I fell asleep on the couch at 7:45 and slept until 6am the next morning.

After joining my running club for our last ‘winter session training’ J and I decided to go walk along the Flatirons in Boulder.  A quick google search told us we could do a 3 mile-ish Flatiron Vista Trail Loop among several other options.  Neither of us were looking for an intense walk, so the vista trail sounded perfect.

We did have to pay $5 for parking since we are not residents of Boulder, but they do offer a yearly pass for $25 which I definitely think would be worth it.

The parking lot is small and was full but we found a space for the little corolla and got settled up for our walk.


The trail was wide with great views the entire time.  While it was busy, but no means was the trail crowded.  There were people enjoying a wide variety of options on the trails, hiking, biking, running, & horse back riding.  Everyone was polite and gave way whenever needed.

The is a larger network of trails also available to gain more mileage or other views, but again we are still feeling pretty lazy from our travels. We opted to do the full loop rather than an out & back that lead us back to the car.

We’ve put this down on the list of things to show people when they come to visit, as its an easy hike & lovely views!

Goals for 2018

Greetings!  The holiday season was LONG.  It started off with J and I traveling to Idaho/Wyoming for Thanksgiving and finished with an 18 hour delayed flight from London back to Denver. It was lovely and I am glad its over to get back into a routine and tackle 2018.

I didn’t make official goals last year for 2017 and I felt un-tethered the whole year.  I love having the accountable goals, so here is what I am looking forward to for 2018.


Run more miles than 2017

I ran 1,043 miles in 2017.  While its been a long term goal of mine to reach 1200 in one year, I was very satisfied with an increase of 128 miles from the previous year. I won’t have a set number for this goal, just anything higher than 1043.

Pay off all debt. (starting amount: 6,176.09)

I made a big jump on this last year and was on better track to tackle this sooner, but life happens. (waiting until way too late to buy international holiday flights and a cross country move) but I just made my last payment of a loan that was a big monthly amount.  With that amount, I’ll start to roll it into the other accounts.  I feel confident I can pay all of this off by the end of 2018.  (if not sooner!)

Read 52 Books

I  didn’t keep track of what I read last year, but I know it was less once moving to Denver.  When I was living alone, I would read for 20-60 minutes a night before bed. Now that my bedtime routine is different, I’ve struggled to fit in my reading.  Luckily, J is taking evening classes 2x a week for a few weeks which should give me some time to make new routines.

Volunteer 100 Hours

As a new Denver resident, I am still dying to dig some roots.  I know that volunteering will help do this, so it is my goal to give more time to my community.

Successfully boulder a V3 (at my gym movement)

As novice at bouldering, I am hoping to develop my skills to the V3 level.  Currently I am at a vB,V0, V1 all of which are introduction levels.

Wear my hair other than a ponytail once a week.

This seems like a really silly goal for 2018 but I only ever wear my hair in a bun, ponytail or long braids when my hair is long.  I’m an adult, I can put in just a bit of effort!

Complete 12 things off my bucketlist.

This has been a common goal for many years, what is different is that I’ve already identified 10 to accomplish in 2018.

  • Complete a Sprint Tri
  • rock climb outdoors
  • 18 holes of golf (i’ve done 9 holes several times)
  • run a 4:30 marathon
  • run a sub 2 hr half
  • complete the San Diego Triple Crown
  • Volunteer with the Girl Scous
  • Learn to Drive Standard
  • Change my own oil
  • Solve a rubix cube

Hopefully opportunities will arise to find the other 2 bucket list, but I think this alone would make 2018 epic.

To a new year with some fun & challenging goals!



TL: carlsbad 13.1

In the interest in traveling lightly (I am currently in Europe for the next two weeks) I left my laptop behind. While the WordPress app is great, I have uploaded my photos in the wrong order, but am just going to roll with it. Two weeks ago I had a kick ass training week, I ran 30 miles and felt great. Unfortunately my motivation was a bit weak this past week and I struggled to put in the same amount of miles. Sunday 12/24: 5.4 miles @11:34 I’d be lying if I said I was pleased with this run. I was hoping to feel magical after running in Denver for the last 5 months, but jet lag /colitis flare won out and I felt beat up. Unlike running in Denver, my heart and lungs felt okay, but the rest of me was struggling. Saturday: Rest My flight landed around 11am and by 1pm I had made my way to my sister’s house. I was excited to see my nieces and nephew along with my sister, BIL, and parents. Running would have been nice, but wasn’t that high on my list. Friday: 5.3 miles @10:36 Friday morning was busy,I brought j to the train station & mdog to the kennel before going on an epic search for Bell’s seasoning. The house needed the be clean & I even managed to get a few loads of laundry done. Once I managed all of my loose ends, I had enough time to squeeze out some miles. Earlier in the week I had hoped I would knock out a double digits run, but I am still struggling to find a good route for that. (Oh suny + state campus how I miss you) I was surprised at my quicker pace, which had me wondering how much pace reflects to the various days in my cycle. I plan to do some extensive data mining leading up to Chicago training. Thursday: 4 miles @ 10:47 Wednesday in Denver was 65, Thursday it was a high of 22. These major swings are tough for motivation. Ive been joining the Belmar Running Club and this week they were having a Nog & Jog along with a cookie exchange. I made up some mini pumpkin muffins the night before, so I had no excuse to not attend. it had snowed that morning and there were some parts that were quite slick. It seems that most people already know each other and haven’t been overly welcoming to a solo newbie, but I’ll stick it out for my free t-shirt after 10 group runs. Wednesday: 2 miles @ 11 something 3 miles @10:00 It was quite nice on Wednesday, I packed shorts and sneakers for work and shuffled out two miles on the school tiny track. After school I stopped at Sloan lake to add a few more for the day. I felt awesome at this run! I didn’t run on Monday or Tuesday. Monday we went to the Zoo Lights and Tuesday I just wasn’t that motivated (and traffic was a hot mess to where my running club was doing a speed workout) not my best week of running, but most certainly not my worst!

Zoo Lights

One of the many perks of moving somewhere new, is the opportunity to create new traditions. I didn’t have many Christmas traditions in Albany, but since Denver definitely doesn’t feel like home (yet) I find it even more important to go out and do things.

I had seen a Facebook ad (where I find most of my local events) for zoo lights and was super interested. After mentioning it to J a few times, I finally just had us compare calendars and pick a day. Some events do sell out (the Botanical Garden Lights did that night) once we settled on a day (Monday) I booked us.

We purposely went on a Monday thinking it’d be less busy than the weekends. It was still packed, but there is a set route for people to walk and I never felt too crowded.

We enjoyed admiring the lights and looking for sleeping animals. We spent about two hours zig zag gingerbread through, before stopping for a hot cider. I fully enjoyed Zoo Lights and definitely intend on it becoming apart of our holiday routine .

TLT: Carlsbad 13.1

It seems crazy to me that last year/ this past spring, I was routinely pushing out 40 mile weeks.  For the first time since moving to Denver (and first time since my May Marathon) I ran more than 30 miles.  I would love to eventually get closer to that 40, but for now, this is what my body and schedule can offer.


Monday: 2 miles @ 11:04

I ran 2 miles on the school track during my lunch.  It was slow as I have kids to run around and with but enjoyable.  Our track is very far from any regulation size. So lots and lots of turns.  I had thought about doing more when I got home but it was cold and I just didn’t feel like it.


Tuesday: Hill Ladder Climbs with Runner’s Edge (5 miles total)

I met up with my running club for a Hill Ladder workout.  This isn’t one that I’ve ever done before, I enjoyed it though.  Despite being in dead last for each interval, in no way was I comparing my fitness / strengths / paces with others, but I was definitely in last each time.  Being with the group definitely encourages me to push a lot more than I would if I had done the workout independently. I was pleased with my paces and how it felt. (although, i am unclear, should I have aimed for the same pace each interval?  all were well under my 10k pace the coach had recommended, so theres that…)

Wednesday: Rest

It was cold and I needed a bit of a rest after the speed workout.

Thursday: 4 miles @ 11:06

I had randomly sent out some text messages earlier in the day to a girl I met with Runners Edge, she mentioned she’d be running with the Belmar Running Club later that evening, so I invited J to meet me there too (its on his way home) and joined up.  We were all a bit surprised by the snow burst that we ended up running in, the sidewalks were all covered and a bit slick.  I began running with two woman who seemed to know the deal, we did a loop around the nearby park before the others peeled off and I decided to head out for a second loop. After J and I even joined the others for a beer/ dinner. Look at us being social!

Friday: 3.29 miles @ 11:30 pace


I wasn’t wild about the idea of running again on Friday, but I’ve been slowly working towards building up my mileage.  Plus since I ran with a group twice during the week, Marcy dog needed to burn off some energy.  Plus, there have been new pokemon released on the pokemongo app and I was eager to try to find some.  (yes yes I still play, its a good motivator for walks & occasionally slow runs)

Saturday: 12miles @ 10:51


Each Saturday I am super grateful that I decided to join Runners Edge.  These long runs would be nearly impossible on my own.  As it’s been a few weeks, I am recognizing people from each week. This helps with my whole ‘love where you live’ project as well.  Its nice to see people each week and feel a bit more rooted in the community.  I ran with the 4:15 pace group again and wasn’t dropped by them immediately this week. ( wohoo)  It was a 7 mile loop, or one could turn back at the appropriate mileage to build up to 14.  Since I didn’t want to give myself the option to quit at mile 7, I turned at the 6th mile to return back the long way.  I am so glad I did, I felt great and finally got over the 10 mile hump I’ve been stuck on for a few weeks.

Sunday: 3.68 @ 11:15

I didn’t have to run on Sunday, but I was close enough to finally hitting 30 miles again, that I decided to lace up and head out.  The Broncos were playing at home, so  instead of my usual loops around the stadium, I took to the other direction.  J had run there earlier in the week and said there was a nice park.  I took his advice and brought Marcy along with me, I knew that the new dog park was also over there and was eager to let her have a chance to socialize.  I am definitely looking forward to running over on this side a bit more for some variety and to let Mdog play with other dogs.

I am very pleased with how this week went.  My legs feel strong.and I finally ran 30 miles in a week!! The paces are still not what I’d like to see, but it’s bound to come around eventually.