Running Into 2017.


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!  🙂

My tent set up very close to the race course marked by the red flags

Car in the background.  Drove it 200k for the race “Run For the Toad”

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!

Am looking forward to the next time our church grounds will be used for the Tour for Kids.

Am looking forward to the next time our church grounds will be used for the Tour for Kids.

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!

Hanging out with Kristi and her husband Michael after the race. Still havn't changed out of my running gear. My change of clothes was way up in my car in the campground.

Hanging out with Kristi and her husband Michael after the race. Still haven’t changed out of my running gear. My change of clothes was way up in my car in the campground.

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.  🙂

Picture from my latest post "Keeping track of Time" on my other blog.

Picture from my latest post “Keeping track of Time” on my other blog called “My Sunday Blog”.

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.

Total Sports...the magazine in which I wrote the article for.

Total Sports…the magazine in which I wrote the article for.

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“.

Caron and I after finishing. You will notice runners on the course coming down the hill to their finish! :)

Caron and I after finishing. You will notice runners on the course coming down the hill to their finish! 🙂

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.

Running in Christchurch New Zealand just a few weeks ago. it was an amazing 3 weeks.

Running in Christchurch New Zealand just a few weeks ago. it was an amazing 3 weeks.

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.

The two books I received for Christmas (one from my son and one from my daughter)

The two books I received for Christmas (one from my son and one from my daughter)

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!

 

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61 comments

  1. Happy New Year, Carl – Hope it is a great one for you. God bless your family! Hey, I’ve read both of those books you knocked out over Christmas – both terrific! Have you ever read Blue Highways? Let me know when you start a thru-walk of the Appalachian Trail – I might just meet you at the start 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for dropping in, reading and your very kind words. Yeah those 2 books were excellent reads. And both have that similarities of finding oneself in the wilderness. Makes me want to load up my backpack and do one of those through hikes such as the Appalachian. I would SOOO love to do something like that and would let you know if I get the opportunity. I have not read Blue Highways. Not sure if I have heard of it, but might just look it up.
      Thanks again for sharing! 🙂

      Like

  2. Happy new year, Carl! 2016 sounds like it was a truly amazing year for you (FOUR 50ks?!?!?!?). And I’m glad you got to New Zealand…it’s on my bucket list!

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and getting to know you. I’m going to head over to your Sunday blog now. 🙂

    Hope you have an even more amazing 2017…you deserve it!

    Denise

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Denise, so wonderful to have you drop by and share. I keep looking you up and Twitter to see if there is any new updates from you. Looks like you had a lot of changes yourself with the new website and it looks like your own business. Hope everything has gone smoothly for you.

      I was as shocked as anyone with those four 50k’s.. It is going to be tough this year to improve on that this year….haha.

      Wishing you an absolutely wonderful 2017 yourself! 🙂

      Like

  3. I wish you a happy new year and happy running !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow – it sounds like you had a super busy year! Hope 2017 is just as good 🙂 Happy New Year

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Carl for linking to my site, very much appreciated. I loved the year end recap, it sounds like you’ve had quite a year! It’s neat isn’t it, to look back and count up all the special moments, which the busyness of life tends to prevent us from remembering and appreciate.

    Happy New Year Carl!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome Tricia. You are such a faithful supporter and I really appreciate it.

      I had those few days off and it was really beneficial to look back. Once I get back into my routine I will not have nearly the opportunity.

      Thanks again for your support. Blessings to you and yours in 2017! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy New Year. 2016 was great. Wishing you an even better 2017. Really enjoy reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy New Year! Please pray for America as we transition to another administration which I hope will treat people of all races and religions fairly. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. it was almost like a wonderful revision of the last one year of blogging and it felt like revisiting an old friend – and I hadn’t realized how much your running has picked up this year. That’s massive! And here I have been scared of even thinking of 15K! Whew… And oh! Please do tell me what you think of Into the Wild – I read his account of the Everest disaster (Into Thin Air) and loved his style as well as his thoughts!

    Thank you very much for featuring me 🙂 Being the top commentator, I feel so honored! 🙂 Looking forward to the coming year and your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Prajakta. I am still a little shocked about the running, the big think is pacing yourself.

      Yes….Yes Into the Wild was so well written I had trouble putting it down. Extremely well researched both in the background and how Chris McCandless. Jon Krakauer interviewed a lot who had connections with Chris McCandless when he was on the road. And very respectfully written for the family.

      Thanks again for all your support! 🙂

      Like

  9. Happy New Year Carl! What a year it has been for you! You certainly packed a lot in there! I can’t wait to read your posts into 2017. Your posts are always so genuine, I really enjoy that. Chat with you on your next post!

    Angie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Angie for your very kind words. And Happy New Year to you as well. Once I wrote things down from the past year, I hit me that it was a big year it was. I really enjoy your daily Facebook posts with Kobi. Always so creative. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy New Year, Carl! Here’s to even more good things in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mike and I really enjoyed meeting you this year at Runfor the Toad. I hope our paths cross again at a race this year. I”ll look forward to hearing what races you are going to do.
    Happy New Year!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a highlight for my Kristi to meet you and Mike at the Run For the Toad. The New Zealand trip set me back pretty much on the wallet, so I might be scaling back from the 4 Ultras. But we’ll see. Mind you last year I was only planning on running one 50k…lol.

      Thank you for stopping by Kristi. Happy New Year! 🙂

      Like

  12. But of course I love your blog, Carl! And Happy New Year to you. That very last image, says what our Pastor says to us each and every Sunday since 1998.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for the shout out, I appreciate it! You beat me running any day. 4 x 50kms in one year! Spartan Beast was enough for me with just 21km. Just out of interest are you planning on running more ‘extreme’ distances this year, upping the 50km?
    I hope you’re snug with the work commute. I can’t imagine what -30C is like. I prefer a toasty 30C!
    Happy New Year and wishing you a great 2017 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure Natalie. I appreciate your support so much. You are one of those runners I would LOVE to run an event with. Reading your blogposts with your healthy active lifestyle I really think you are in better shape than myself. I KNOW you can do a 50k.
      I am pondering the 50 mile (80k) North Face race. The guy who won it last year (Phil Brunette) told me in the comments of his blog post that once you run 50k the jump is not that bad. We’ll see, 80k sounds SOOOO far…lol.
      BTW here is race recap https://philrunshills.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/finding-my-stride/
      The amazing thing is he ran that 80k faster than I ran the 50k.
      I have a heater in my newer car which is so wonderful. January is our coldest month and we hit -30 once or twice during this month.. It has been pretty mild but heading to -20C this weekend.
      Thank you for sharing Natalie and thank you for all your support. Have a wonderful 2017. 🙂

      Like

      • 80km is a big jump from 50km. 30km more! With the right training, support team and if you want to do it, there’s no reason not too. But only if YOU want to (no peer pressure!). I’m happy to bike/cycle 50km, but run it, I’ll leave it to you 😃😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • haha thanks Natalie. The New Zealand trip set me back a fair bit and I’ll be cutting back on the number of events this year. And train hard for this one big one! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Carl what a lovely surprise to find myself on your top commenters list! Thank you for the generous description of our blog. I am humbled by your kindness. It seems you had an extraordinary year capping it off with a fabulous trip. Wishing you the very best in 2017 and thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so very welcome Sue. Thank you so much for your support. I really don’t know how you do it, as your comments are always so generous, and carefully thought out and articulated. And you share your kind encouraging words on so many blogs.

      That trip to New Zealand was really amazing. It definitely was a highlight.

      Have a tremendous 2017 yourself Sue! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Sounds like 2016 has prepped you for new adventures in 2017! Where to go from the highlights from 2016 though… new territory!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m new to the blogging world–anyone mind checking out my site??

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Excellent summer! I can say one unexpected thing from my 2016 was you coming to my blog, and introducing me to Caron and her running challenge. Without that, I wouldn’t be 260+ days into my walking challenge. So thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohh you are welcome Sarah. It is really cool how a blog post might without expectation inspire someone else. Even though the Dog Walk Challenge has been wonderful for yourself and Choppy I am absolutely certain this is inspiring others to do something they did not think they could do. Two hundred and sixty days and still going strong is amazing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’re hoping to make the year – after that, who knows? It turns out, I really enjoy the walks. I had viewed them as a chore for a long time, but over these months they have become something I look forward to (so much so that I am willing to wake up 30-40 minutes early during the week to make sure I get them in!).

        Liked by 1 person

      • WOW, waking up that much earlier is huge Sarah. The hardest part is probably these next few months to reach the year, being colder months. But the days are getting a bit longer with each week, and you will make it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Those longer days make a huge difference to me. I just really dislike walking in the dark. Our morning walk should be in daylight here in the next couple weeks (if we get a clear day, the first, pre-dawn light is visible over the horizon now). I’m tired of having to add reflective gear to our many layers!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I find the longer day hard on myself as well. Hang in there my friend! 🙂

        Like

  18. Oh what a cool post! Totally agree with point no.10 about people who come to read one’s blog. Also there were clearly some great things that went on last year for you. Love the car, the tablet and the reading TWO books ones. Would that I had the time! (Hope that last phrase scans for a Canadian!) – Also didn’t know you were a pastor. And I always enjoy the pics you take en route even if I’m not going to get my sneakers on and join in any time soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A great read as well as images.
    Hope you are off to a great start and wish you a wonderful year ahead!😃

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow, good for you! Sounds like you had a great year! Here’s to many others 🍺🍺🍺

    Like

  21. I wish you a glad new year and cheerful running…

    Liked by 1 person

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