I had a plan in January 2018. I was going to race in St. Anthony’s in April and compete in my first half Ironman in September. But, that never happened.

The year started off well, my family and I went on a cruise to CUBA and I was all geared up to start the year. I continuously worked out every day in anticipation of the big events. 

I raised nearly $3,000 from family and friends for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to compete in the St. Anthony’s Triathlon. I booked my hotel and my air and was psyched to do this, because it is one oldest and most prestigious in the country. (It’s amazing, I raised LLS more than $20,000 in donations through my introductions. They were a blog/team sponsor. It’s a shame they decided not to sponsor again. I felt like they pressed me hard for introductions, and then once they had my mailing list, they didn’t need me any longer.)

In January, I competed in an indoor triathlon with my running friends from Team Galloway LI. I was so proud of Janeth, Merril and Rebecca for doing this! It was a short sprint that was done totally indoors at LifeTime Fitness. 

The following month, the team and I ran the Long Beach Snowflake Run on the Long Beach Boardwalk, which freezing and quite uncomfortable!

I ran the Riverhead Rocks 10 Miler Race. That was an awesome run. I forced myself to stay in the back for the first mile or two and then kicked it into gear. The police car was behind me and I could see them shaking their heads. I didn’t care, I knew I would finish strong.

The following month, I was supposed to run the Shape Half and St. Anthony’s but both didn’t happen. My sister had a stroke/aneurysms and fell into a coma. She had no symptoms, just a headache that started after a conflict at work and never went away. She went to the emergency room at Plainview twice and then went to a neurologist in Plainview and they all told her it was just migraines. The morning after she saw the neurologist, she collapsed in her home. I spoke with her an hour before it happened. I didn’t realize that was the last time I would speak with her.

The month was challenging. Here my best friend, the person who I grew up with, the person who mentored me, was lying with tubes coming out of her and there was nothing I could do. The triathlon training was my saving grace. It helped me to get rid of some of the anxiety and depression I was feeling. Nearly a month after that, my sister died. My whole life was turned upside down. I still have a hard time dealing with the fact that my sister, Lori and I won’t grow old together. She was a huge influence in my life and it’s still painful (I guess it always will be).

This was the last time I saw my sister…

During the summer, I swam in two tough races – the Fire Island 1 Mile Swim and the Lido Beach 1 mile swim. Both were rough because the water was choppy and cold. But I got through both of them and even won medals in my age group. (I was the last one standing…haha!)

We also had Jeff Galloway give a running clinic on Long Island. It was awesome having Jeff stay in my home and I got to spend quality time with him. He is an amazing athlete and person. I am proud to be a program director for him.

In August, I competed in the SmithPoint Triathlon, which I love. This is such a fun race, produced by EventPower LI. It’s flat. It’s fast. And, it’s convenient.

That same month, the WeRTriathletes virtual team grew to 450 members across the globe. Members got free education from experts in swimming, cycling, running, nutrition, and recovery. They also got lots of company discounts from Rudy Project, Roka, Final Surge, EventPower LI, TriBike Transport, and so many more amazing companies. I was so honored to be affiliated with Once Again Nut Butters, Brands Cycle and Fitness, Zealios, Dr. Dan Schaefer, Pacific Health Labs, Rock ‘n Roll Marathons, Infinit Nutrition, among many others!

The following month, I competed in the Mighty Hamptons Triathlon. This was also a tough race. It was cold, windy, the water was choppy and on the bike, I dropped my chain three times! I wanted to quit so many times and yet, I forced myself to stay with it. I was really proud of my friend and training partner, Ray, for competing in his first Olympic race.

Later in the month, Team Galloway LI ran the Hamptons Half Marathon. That was such a great day! Laura won her age group. Didi ran her first half since she was injured. And, Dawn ran her first half marathon since she was diagnosed with and cured of cancer. Everyone did amazing and I was so proud of the team!

My son and I ran the Rock ‘n Roll San Jose 10K again and had a total blast. I was getting over being sick, so it was rough running with my cough but I did it anyway and I’m glad I did. 

After that, the team and I ran a series of races including the Stepping Stone Race, produced by EventPower LI. All of us placed in our age group which was so exciting. 

We ran the Post Office Race in memory of my friend and team member, Colleen’s son, Patrick, and we enjoyed every moment running through Bayshore!

I signed up for The Running Event in Austin in December. I wanted to share some of the new products with you here on my blog and was grateful that the organizers had me! It was an awesome show and in 2019, you will hear about a lot of really interesting companies that I met there.

I was surprised when I was invited to St. Croix to compete in the triathlon there. After The Running Event, I flew from Austin to St. Croix.

Although I didn’t do the full triathlon, I did an Aqua Run and enjoyed every minute of it. The swim was magnificent. I saw a turtle as I was swimming and the run was just as gorgeous. The run was very hilly. But, the scenery was gorgeous.

As we end the year, I look forward to 2019. I signed up for the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in April (but this time not with LLS) and will compete in my first half Ironman in Maine in August. I also have a bunch of half marathon and other running races lined up with Team Galloway LI. In addition to that, the WeRTriathletes team is expected to continue to grow.

Although it was a rough year for me, I realized that I have wonderful people in my life who are so supportive. I am truly blessed and appreciate all of them! My life has never been easy. Nothing ever came easy to me and all my life I struggled to dodge every fast ball thrown my way. This year was no different.

The thing about it is that no one gets untouched in this world. It’s the way we look at life and go about living that’s different. For me, I just have to move forward and am grateful that I have triathlons in my life to take me there…