Wow! I feel like I have not written in this space in a year and, not just from 2016 to 2017 but actually 365 days and not just over two weeks. It was lovely taking a break from the blog and social media in general, although I did find time to post a few pictures on Instagram and articles on Facebook due to my addiction but, it’s good to be formally back. So, happy New Year everyone and now let’s jump into 2017 and all the places, races and faces I plan to see in the next 365 days!

#CrazyEyes

PLACES

Cuba

I can finally announce that I will be going to Cuba, homeland of my father, in February! I cannot tell you how insanely excited I am for this trip. My father was forced to leave his native country in 1961 and has never been able to return, until now.

I will be participating in a triathlon in Havana (more on that below) and writing an article about my experiences for USATriathlon Magazine. In addition to my dad, my stepmom, husband, sons, brother, SIL, niece and nephew will all be coming. It will truly be a trip of a lifetime for our entire family!

Is Cuba ready for all these kids?

Hawaii

Hawaii has been a dream trip of mine for a very long time however, the ridiculous flight times from the east coast and ages of my kids have prevented me from planning a trip. In my mind, I was thinking of staying in Los Angeles or Napa for a few days before heading to the big island, and taking our sweet time so no one would have to see me lose my shit on a plane for 15 hours. But, then life intervened.

My husband qualified for some “president’s club” work trip, the details of which I know absolutely nothing about, and we are headed to Kona in just over three weeks. Directly to Kona, I might add, and without the kids. You win some, you lose some.

Peace out bitches. See you in Kona…

There is more ying and yang to this one as we will be in Hawaii before Cuba so I will be able to do some hot weather training but, we only have two weeks in between returning from Hawaii and leaving for Cuba. Pray for me.

Las Vegas

This is the only other big trip we have planned for the year and it’s to return to run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in November. I seriously want as many as my friends to come as possible so please adjust your plans accordingly!

You know you want to be in that pack this year!

RACES

Havana Triathlon, Havana, Cuba | February 24, 2017

There will be a lot of “firsts” for this race! First time in Cuba, first time swimming in the ocean in a triathlon, first time being in a meaningful country (other than the U.S.) to race, and the first time having so many of my family members at one of my races since running the Boston Marathon in 2007. Wow. That is some epic shit right there.

USA Triathlon Nationals, Omaha, Nebraska | August 13, 2017

We will return to Omaha (possibly with the boys!) where I will qualify for Team USA and the Triathlon World Championships. That’s right, I WILL qualify.

In order to make the team, I will need to shave at least seven minutes off of my time and move from 39th place to 18th. It’s a huge, scary, ridiculous goal but I will be ready.

I’m looking forward to getting this outfit in a TRI kit.

Half Ironman | TBD

My coach is setting the stage for something, I can feel it. She suggested I “try” the half ironman distance after nationals this year. I have to say that I’m genuinely excited but, we’ll see how I feel after a season of pushing myself harder than I ever have, and how “excited” I am to add mileage to every single element of triathlon.

It’s going to be one hell of a racing season.

Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Las Vegas, Nevada | November 12, 2017

Can I be any clearer about this? It’s the only running race on my calendar. Let’s make this happen people! I have yet to find out who the headliner is but, I’m hoping for a miracle and having Snoop perform again in 2017.

FACES

My Dad

I cannot imagine what will happen when my dad sees Cuba for the first time in over 50 years. I cannot wait to see the look on his face. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have him and to have the opportunity to experience this not only with him, but my entire family.

Myself

No matter what happens at triathlon nationals, I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror afterward and know I left my heart on the course.

My Kids

It will be another year of experiencing life through their magical eyes…sometimes crazy eyes, but it’s all a privilege to witness. The perspective they bring is unmatched and I will do my best (with minimal swearing) to embrace their everything as they mark eight years on the planet.

And, now they have drones…

My Friends

I have big plans for my birthday this year and I’m looking forward to seeing old and new friends celebrate with me.

Strangers

To everyone I will meet for the first time in 2017, whether they become lifelong friends or just interesting company for a few hours (like during a race or while in Cuba with my family you weirdos!) it’s always exciting to not know what you don’t know.

A lot of people will talk and write about a new year being a new beginning and, although that is way too cornball for me, I will say this; when someone close to you dies when you’re young, the way my mom did, you think of everyday as a new opportunity. Do not wait one more minute to dream big and live your life. Every day is yours for the taking, not just January 1, but it’s as good a place as any to start…

What will you do in 2017?

Any advice for traveling?

What faces are you looking forward to in the new year?