Well another year is behind and another brand new year lays before us. As a sit here and reflect on the year gone by, I must admit it was pretty cool. There were some amazing things (actually a lot of amazing things) that took place that were really unforeseen going to the beginning of 2016.
So far the next few minutes I would like to share some amazing highlights, some have been mentioned on the blog and some not mentioned at all….until now! 🙂
1: Getting another car. While my wife endearingly names her automobiles I am the opposite. Living in the country I need a car for my 40k commute and will drive my cars until they are no longer driveable. My last car was like that. It had no heat (think -30C Canadian winter) and the windshield washer system was not working. I had holes in the body (rusting out from road salt) and then the speedometer stopped working (you just can’t buy a speedometer anymore, you need to buy an entire instrument cluster). The car was going to cost way more to fix than it was worth. My “new” car is a 2009 Toyota bought from a co-worker. It was his wife’s. I trusted the man and bought it sight unseen. The bonus is if there is a race more 40k away I can go them on my own! 🙂
2: Learning how to operate a “tablet”. I am not that tech savvy, so when my wife gave a tablet for our anniversary I did not know if I would ever figure it out. I can actually go to the library now and hook up to their free Wi-Fi which is really cool.
3: Participate in the “Tour for Kids”. Well sort of. Not in the sense of being a cyclist participant, but having my church grounds being used as a rest stop/aid station. I absolutely loved talking to a few of the several hundred riders who stopped to get recharged. This was not a race so some riders stayed for quite some time. A blog post I wrote on this event can be found at Cycling For a Great Cause!
4: Meeting up with many, many new runners in 2016 was also a highlight. There is so much camaraderie among the running community and 2016 was an amazing year. There are so many faces that come to mind, but I will just list two. One is meeting up for a 10k run in the Midhurst area with Bill Steinburg. Bill is one of Canada’s top runners. He won the 50k Creemore Vertical Challenge for 20 minutes over the 2nd place finisher. He also was chosen as 1 of 6 runners to represent North and South America in the Asics Beat The Sun relay at Mt. Blanc France. I also enjoy meeting up with bloggers I have never met before and then running some or all of an event together. This year the person that ones to mind is Kristi from Blog for an Average Runner. We ran part of a 50k together which I wrote about in post Run for the Toad!
5: A new blog. In the beginning of last year I had no intention whatsoever of starting another blog, but things change. Sometime last early spring on a Saturday morning I decided to start a new blog with posts that tie in with my Sunday morning messages at the church I am lay pastor at. The name of the domain is called My Sunday Blog. I try to get a post for each Sunday, but often I do run out of time. My two blogs are under one administrator (myself). I am only able to get my main blog to follow back Thank you so much to the many bloggers who are now following both blogs. 🙂
6: Writing a magazine article. Always amazed when opportunities show up out of the blue. This was in the form of a magazine article which I was asked to write. The magazine is a great local magazine issued bi-monthly with a print circulation of around 45,000 called Simcoe County Total Sports. The magazine had never featured an article on running and since we were going into the winter season I titled my article Winter Wonderland Running. You will have to go to page 8 for the article.
7: Running four 50k during 2016. I am still a little shocked over that one as my 2016 goal was to run one 50k, the Creemore Vertical Challenge. In the spring I registered for a 25k, and was running with my niece Caron (who was doing the 50k) at a race called Pick Your Poison when I decided to run the 50k even though the most I had run in the previous 6 months was 15k. My race recap on that first 50k ultra can be found at “I’m Going to Miss You Uncle Carl“.
8: Trip to New Zealand. Probably the biggest unforeseen thing happen in 2016 was a three week vacation in New Zealand. A year ago I never had an inking this would ever happen. The time frame was centred around my daughter’s graduation from teacher’s college at the University of Christchurch. Boy we packed a lot of time into those three weeks. Have one blog article posted titled Called “Coming Full Circle In Life”, with about 5 or 6 more posts that are swimming in my head to come over the next several weeks. So appreciative to both my work and my church who both granted me an extended leave to make this trip possible.
9: Down time between Christmas and New Year. After my arrival back in Canada from New Zealand I was exhausted. It was 35 hours from when I left Christchurch airport and home. And being Christmas season both airports and airplanes were packed. I did not have to return to work until January 2nd which was wonderful. And I set a new PB, not in running but in reading. This is the first time I have ever read two books in one week. I really enjoyed this down time.
10: Many new blog followers. It still baffles me that people from all over the world would actually want to read what I write. I would like to thank each person for your visits, camaraderie and kind comments. Through these comments friendships are developed, we have encouraged each other when things go wrong, and we are excited for one another when things are going great. This year WordPress has opted not to send those cute automatic annual reports. Instead I will still present my top commentators. These people spend valuable time to read and share words strength and encouragement. Even though I have never met any of them, it is as if a friend has dropped by. It is an honour to present my top 6 commentators (based on the 1,000 most recent comments)
#6 is Angie from the blog My Outdoor Running Adventures with 14 comments. Angie is a fellow Canadian trail runner living in remote Northern British Columbia. Her posts are very entertaining revolving her running with her rescue dog Kobi. You might possibly encounter wolves, bears and her photography is spectacular. This year she was dealing with the pain and frustration of a heel spur she nicknamed “wolverine” Angie also directs a trail race in her area called “Summit Run-It.” This past year it was on June 5th. The recap link is found her at Summit Run-It. Thanks for your support Angie! 🙂
#5 is Yvette from the blog Priorhouse Blog with 15 comments. She is one of the most active bloggers I know, participating several times a week in word prompts, photo challenges and photography. All tremendously presented. When she visits my own blog her genuineness comes right out. I am always so encouraged from her visits. On her “About Page” she lists herself as a SBNR (spiritual but not religious). I love this phrase as I try live this at work, running on the trails and around people I rub shoulders with. And her refreshing posts reflect that. Thanks for your support Yvette! 🙂
#4 is Sue from the blog Travel Tales of Life with 16 comments. Another fellow Canadian who lives in the province of Alberta, this is a travel and photography lovers dream blog. Travelling with her husband Dave there are posts about travels close to their home in Alberta, and others to destinations around the world. I would describe Sue’s blog as very attractive and educational. I learn so much and the photos are breathtaking. A blog you would spend hours at and not get bored. She has a huge following, but spends a lot of time visiting her followers blogs including mine and leaving such a genuine, heartfelt comment. Her latest blog post titled “The Best of 2016” is a recap of her 5 most viewed blog posts in 2016. Thank you for your support Sue! 🙂
#3 is Natalie from the blog Natjtan with 19 comments. Hailing from Spain there is a little bit of everything for everyone on each of her posts. They include photography, travel, running, cycling, fitness and working out, her cats, healthy eating to mention a few things. Her writing is such as if you were visiting with her and she is sharing what she has been up to. Her visits to my blog are always encouraging and welcoming. Her post Buff Epic Run 2016 is about am “8k untimed, costumes obstacle trail run” with the recap done in amazing detail. Thank you for all your support Natalie! 🙂
#2 is Tricia from the blog Freedom Through Empowerment with 25 comments. Tricia writes very thought provoking posts that reflect her Christian faith and sticking up for our freedoms in her country of the United States. Often long discussions are found in the comments that come out of her posts. Other times her posts focus on her photography tied in with a very inspirational narrative. Tricia has a very gracious nature , both found on the discussions that arise from the topics she posts about, and a very gracious nature when she visits my blog, which she does often. A post that stuck with me was called The Higher Self. It looks back on the selfless sacrifices made during 9/11. Thank you for your support Tricia. 🙂
#1 is Prajakta from An Armchair Perfectionist with 27 comments. It has pretty much been 2 years we have been following each other. Prajakta hails from India. India is different country and a bit different culture from Canada and I have learned a great deal. Prajakta is intelligent, she is poetic and she a very encouraging runner friend. And just very recently she got married. She is a very consistent supportive reader always leaving me a generous comment. One of my favourite posts this past year was a post about fatherhood titled A Parent Named Daddy. Congratulations on being my #1 commentator Prajakta. Thank you for all your support! 🙂
Well there you have it, another year done and a new year beginning. Thank you for all your support!