August September October 2018 Goals

And Ryder parties with some pineapples

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“Ughhhh I’m so behind on my goals posts,” I lamented to my best friend recently.

“Liz!! Those are my favorite ones!”

“What, the goals posts?!”


“Well dang. Now I feel guilty that I haven’t been posting them.”

So yeah! Here’s a goals post. Finally.

July 2018 Goals

I trained Ryder to wear sunglasses! It took lots and lots of bribing and he kinda wrecked my background in the process. But hey! My dog is cool and wears hater blockers!

The last goals post was back in July. July!! Eek!! So here’s a quick recap of that month, and then we’ll just pretend August and September didn’t happen. (Except I promise I’ll get some race reports up from those months asap!)


Post once a week. I knew I was going to be swamped with work in July, and sure enough I was overwhelmed with work, so that meant...I posted once. And it was my goals post. 🤦

Prepare a short story draft to read at my writers' group. My writers' group does a neat thing where every July and December we have a writing prompt rather than the usual critique structure. I actually worked hard to prep a piece for this reading, but it ended up not being a flash fiction piece (it was a couple thousand words over the limit, whoops) and then I ended up working late on the night the writers' group met, soooooo there's that. Ah well, at least it was a good kick to get me to actually put something together.

Type up five pages of fiction writing.  Sooooo can I count all the pages of my short story draft towards this? If so, I hit this goal! ::checks text from July:: ..."And I'm not allowed to cheat and say this is the same five pages as the short story draft ;)" - Drat!!

Revise my e-book (again). I did quite a bit of editing, but I didn't finish the e-book quite yet. Progress though!


Play with some lighting. I got to work with some off-camera lighting again for the Duke Children's/Children's Miracle Network event that I photographed, so that's always fun!

Work on some photography classes. Yay photography! I made some dents in some classes, but I haven't finished any this month, ha!


Run 70 miles! I did 93.3 miles in July! Okay, strictly running only it was 65.19 miles, but there were a couple hikes with friends where I said, "I'll race you to the top!" to sneak in some running on trail plus lots and lots of very strenuous hiking in Colorado that hit running-level effort in my opinion, so I'm counting it.

Side note: while I might not have been writing blog posts I was definitely running in August and September. I ran 96 miles in August and 108 miles in September! I know I said I was going to ignore those two months, but I kinda want to give myself a hug for some big running milestones these past two months.

Do two long runs on trails! Huh, so apparently I only did one long run on trails (13 miles at Uwharrie with some friends) but I killed it with some other long runs on the American Tobacco Trail (which counts as a trail, right??), including the 16-miler.

Side note: I’m also going to give myself a pass on this July goal because I did some pretty big trail runs in August and September, including in August: Rabid Squirrel (13 mile trail run at Hanging Rock), 16 mile long run at Umstead, a 20 mile long run at Stone Mountain State Park (the one in NC, not GA), and 5 mile hill repeats at Al Buehler trail. Then in September I did a “Laborious Day Long Run” with Jill at Umstead for 20 miles on Labor Day, and then there was the super epic super crazy super wonderful Table Rock 50K towards the end of September! I’m still kinda elated about that race and I’m looking forward to more races!


Go on at least one "Sunday Stroll" hike. I didn’t do this, but I did LOTS of hiking in July! Including hikes in Colorado - the Boulder Flatirons and Rocky Mountain National Park - as well as some hikes in North Carolina at Uwharrie and South Mountains.

Do lots and lots of hiking in Colorado! I did this!! I did this!! It was incredible!! And maybe one day I’ll get a post up about it ;)


Climb at least once a week. Oh! I just realized I met that July goal. I climbed the first week of July in Fort Collins, Colorado. McCrae and I went and checked out a local climbing gym for an afternoon and it was pretty fun seeing the chill Colorado climbing scene. And then I actually rock climbed at least once a week once we were home, so goal met!

Keep working 5.9 routes. I did in fact work on these and I was getting better. Then in August and September I got a little worse. I’m working on getting better again.

Keep sending V1s and working V2s. Fun fact: In Colorado I could totally climb most, if not all, of the V1s and V2s. So I think my home gym is being a little sneaky with some harder problems that they set. Hmph. But I did also get better at working harder problems at my home gym too.

Other Fitness

Try out a new yoga studio. Didn't do it yet. This will stay on the list though until I get it done!

Try downhill mountain biking! I did this!! I did this!! I almost died. And then I almost killed McCrae. But I did this!!


Start planning a trip to France! Haha does telling people “I’m going to France next year!” count as trip planning??


Read two books! I only read one book in July and that was the audiobook Ready Player One*. And I’ve got to admit I was so happy when that book was finished. I did not enjoy it, nope nope nope. I wanted to quit it so many times but I also really hate quitting books, so I stuck with it. I listened to it on audiobook, and this book is the reason I finally broke down and bought headphones instead of just listening to something on my phone speakers. I’m not one who minds dirty language (hang around me for a day and see how many f-bombs I drop), but there’s an art to foul language, and the language should be used appropriately for the proper emotional effect. This book rather distastefully used excessive foul language and had such shallow character development and such poor plot development that I was just embarrassed to listen to it. So I bought headphones and then I celebrated the day I finished that damn book. Also for the record: to everyone who thinks this book is “geek lore” stfu. You don’t know what a geek is then, because that was just amateur hour. What, like reciting all of Monty Python and the Holy Grail is hard? ::eyeroll:: Plus the treatment of women in the book is creepy. Yep, I said that. Come fight me.

Survive and thrive at work. Well, I made it through July. And August. And September. At the start of the summer I was worried about a major project at work, and while yes, it put me through the wringer and took away all my free blogging time (and then some), it was also a huge growth opportunity which I very much appreciated. So yes, I survived and I thrived. Even if I went MIA on the Internet for more than a little while.

Okay! So what's in store for October?! (Even though we're halfway through the month...shhhhh...)

October 2018 Goals

Ryder and pineapples! This was originally the monthly picture for August, but I didn’t write any August goals. Or September goals. So now it’s the monthly pic for October!

Ryder and pineapples! This was originally the monthly picture for August, but I didn’t write any August goals. Or September goals. So now it’s the monthly pic for October!


Post three times a month. I'm finally not drowning at work, but I’m not trying to bite off more than I can chew. I definitely need to post the Table Rock Ultra race report and the Rabid Squirrel Race report. And some running photos. Oh, so I guess those are 4 posts right there ;) Real target: 4 posts this month. I can do this!

Type up five pages of fiction writing. Yay fiction writing!

Compile my e-book. I ought to wrap this thing up I guess.


Play with some fall lighting/colors. Don’t you just love October’s light and colors?

Have fun with some fall family portrait sessions! It’s that time of year, yay!


Run 125 miles! Sooooo I’ve been doing some math. And if I run a whole whole lot I might be able to hit 1000 running miles this year! Might as well aim high, right?

Race Tuna 200 Relay! Yay! It’s my favorite race next weekend!

Race Marine Corps Marathon! Haha my first official marathon is coming up! Okay, so I might have tapered for my marathon with an ultramarathon, but I’ve still got this big race! I’m a little nervous about my first road marathon - probably more nervous than I was about the trail ultramarathon! I knew for the trail race that no matter what I’d be able to just keep hiking, but for the road marathon I’m worried I’ll feel the pressure to run faster and risk injury. Note to self: run smarter, not harder.


Go on at least one "Sunday Stroll" hike. Hiking time! I’ve actually been really bad about Sunday Strolls this summer though. I went on one Sunday Stroll with my dad back in September, but that’s the only one I’ve gone on since June. Oops. Sorry Dad! And while I’m putting this as a goal because I want to make sure it’s prioritized, looking at my schedule I know I won’t reasonably be able to do one of these until November. (Is it bad to set yourself up for failure? Probably. But my main motivation here is to remind myself to make time for this in November and not let this goal slip off my radar.)

Lead the RhoTREATS group! We’ve got a group going to Elk Knob this month! Our first few RhoTREATS were all great - we’ve been to Hanging Rock, Raven Rock, and the US National Whitewater Center - and now I’m looking forward to hiking and backpacking at Elk Knob State Park!


Climb at least once a week. We’ll see how well I do this, since I haven’t been great about climbing regularly recently.

Keep working 5.9 routes. Practice practice practice.

Keep sending V1s and working V2s. I actually haven’t been bouldering much at all since I’m not climbing as often. So that means I’m really terrible at bouldering problems now and probably need to start back at V1s again.

Other Fitness

Try out a new yoga studio. This will stay on the list though until I get it done!

Get 7 hours of sleep each night. I’m a horrible insomniac. I’m trying to be better. (I should probably go to bed right now in fact.)

Get ready for indoor soccer. That starts around the end of this month, yikes!


Start planning a trip to France! Haha I ought to plan!


Read two books! Soooo…I’m currently reading three books simultaneously, because I have the attention span of a walnut right now. In my defense, with the work project taking up so much brainpower I decided I needed a little bit of escapist fiction. I had been reading Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and it’s a fascinating read and very well written, but the themes and plot twists are a little heavy and after a day of work I’m mentally exhausted (not to mention the emotional barrage of the news cycle) so it’s just a little too overwhelming right now to read The Wind-up Bird Chronicle steadily. So I started reading Harry Potter. Again. Except this time it’s in German. Which begs the question: if you’ve read a book once in English, and then you’re reading it again in a foreign language, does that count as re-reading the book, or does that count as a new read?? I could see it argued either way; on the one hand it’s the same story, but on the other hand each language has its own construct and abstraction and social implications, so reading it in a different language is actually a different experience of the book. Meh, either way, I’m reading Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen as a bedtime story, which I feel is exactly the way that book was meant to be read. Except maybe there’s supposed to be a kid being read to? Idk, I’m a Millennial, I’m supposed to upend all those norms anyways.

Fix the roof. Aka hire someone to fix it. You know what’s not fun? Being an adult. First I had to get a new HVAC system this summer (like the WHOLE new system - unit and ducting and everything!), and now the roof. Ugh. Stupid hurricanes, can’t they just leave us alone?? Speaking of which, Florida and NC have been pretty devastated by some recent hurricanes. Please volunteer, donate, give blood, or help in any way you can to those affected. I’m sitting here whining about a stupid roof leak and there are thousands of people who have been absolutely devastated, so please just ignore me and send some love and care and tangible goods to those who need it.

Look at grad school options. Funny thing about turning thirty…it makes you have a mid-life crisis and realize there’s not much time left for that advanced degree you’ve always wanted…oops.

Spend less than I earn. I mean…I usually do this. I think. I got a fancy new planner for everything from now through 2019 so I’m going to be more intentional with the spending. (Aka I’m not allowed to walk into REI or Fleet Feet and shout, “Take my money!!”) (The planner also has a section for house stuff - like cleaning and meal-prepping and maintenance work and projects. I seriously have no idea wtf I was thinking adding that section. I am so not domesticated, so just filling out that section is ambitious for me.)

Encourage people to get out to vote. You know what’s coming up in November?! Elections!! Go vote go vote go vote!! October 12 is the deadline for registration (THAT’S TODAY!!). One-stop early voting starts October 17 and runs to November 3. Double check NOW that you’re still registered; some people have been purged from voter registration databases. If you miss the voter registration deadline you CAN register for vote at a one-stop early voting location. (Note, this is all info for NC voters. Please look up your local voting rules.) GO VOTE!!

Survive and thrive at work. Haha I thought that work project would be over by now! Surprise! Nope! “I am going to make it through this year if it kills me…



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