A Long Shot Around The Globe

Last month, blogger, author, budget travel expert, and online sales guru Nomadic Matt had an amazing contest. He released the third edition of his best selling book “How To Travel The World On $50 A Day” and offered an opportunity to anyone who bought the new book – the chance to travel for a year, receive $50 a day and guidance from him, and have your Round The World Trip come true.  You just needed to write an 500 word essay (and some other minor legalities). Amazing marketing!

I did not win.  I started to get my hopes up when we heard he was reviewing the final top twenty essays.  The idea behind my essay is actually part of my 3-5 year plan, but winning this contest would have sped up the process. I knew this was a long shot. I just felt my chances were a little better than most. I’m sure when I see the essay from a theoretical cancer survivor traveling around the world taking amazing pictures and sending them back to kids dying in the hospital that I will be really impressed and not bitter about losing. At all.

This was actually a great exercise for me. As if I don’t get enough introspection, after I wrote this, I started to question my current trajectory.  If I am so passionate about this idea, what am I doing in Poland wasting time? I really felt lost for a week or so (this happened to coincide with some issues I’ve had here in Warsaw) and not a little discouraged. In the end,  I can be passionate about this project, and still work on other things that enrich my life in many ways. I have gotten a lot accomplished in two months and sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit for that. The new friends and community I find forming around me here in this city at this time makes me feel like I am on the right path and I will explore the larger plan when I am ready to fly.

Here is the essay in full.  Enjoy.

50 Marathons Routes

50 States

50 Weeks

Wait a second. I already did that in 2016. It was an amazing journey filled with deep personal insights. It removed many of the boundaries I had placed around my world – mentally, physically, geographically, economically. I could do it again, but this time better. With the help of Nomadic Matt I could go bigger!

Putting together my original plan I was a lone wolf. At the time, I didn’t even believe in myself, so I didn’t share my plans with anybody and if I did, I certainly didn’t share any details, because people would have locked me up. Now I would have the vast knowledge and resources of the foremost budget expert in the travel community. I have a proven track record so I could garner more sponsors. I am associated with amazing friends, runners, and organizations and they could open doors for me world wide.

50 Marathons

50 Countries

50 Weeks

Wait a second. That seems exceptionally self indulgent, punishingly repetitive, and particularly derivative. No offense to the Star Wars franchise, but there is a lack of creativity in blowing up successively larger and more powerful Death Stars. It’s not enough to just go bigger. I need to go deeper. If there is one thing that I’ve learned is that I am happiest when I am making an impact. My strongest friends and supporters are people who love what I am doing and are incorporating a piece of that into their lives.

The long term plan I designed while on the road is an international race series of Marathons and Half Marathons. I have seen the impact that distance races have on people’s psyche. People who currently have problems walking around the block strengthen their will and resilience when training for marathons and the completion of these Herculean tasks gives them the knowledge they can do anything. During the run, the people they meet from all walks of life inspire, support, and maintain focus on their larger goal. When you add the element of travel, people get fresh perspectives and new ideas. Also to make this ultimately successful, I want the races to be free. After experiencing the success of the free marathon in Millinocket, Maine and seeing the impact that race has on the town as well as the runners, I think the model has merit. When I combine that with the concept behind ParkRun, a nonprofit that organizes free timed 5Ks in 16 different countries, I think there is blueprint for success, not just for a year, but for a lifetime and beyond.

So finally, what a round the world trip would provide is

50 International Marathons and Half Marathons

50,000 + People Impacted

50 Weeks To Begin A Worldwide Phenomenon

I look forward to working with you and bringing this dream to fruition faster than I originally imagined.

Derek Zardus

GloboRun.com

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The Big Move – Warsaw, Poland


What has Derek done now?!?! I did release a video on this and wrote a long heartfelt message on Facebook, but I may have convoluted too much information and confused people. The big news is that I’ve moved to Poland, not just for a couple weeks or months, but for possibly up to three years. Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Why Poland?

Poland is a beautiful country with wonderful people and traditions.  The cost of living here is very low for Europe, so my dollar goes farther. It’s not too hot here, so I shouldn’t melt as I would in many other countries. Poland gives me easy access to European countries in the East and the West. As a member of the EU, living here while starting a business may make other opportunities available in the future. Warsaw, in particular has some additional benefits. A great airport with many low cost carriers to get me all around Europe affordably.  It has lots of green space, parks, forest, trails, and paths for running.  There are a number of communities that I look forward to joining in this city.  There are many helpful expatriates here.  I have a supportive group of friends and acquaintances here as well as one of my best friends who I have known for 27 years. In the uncomfortable position of moving to another country where I don’t know the language, this may be as comfortable as I can get.

What are you going to do in Warsaw?

Two years ago, with a little bit of savings, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to afford traveling around the US.  With some penny pinching and more than a little help from my friends, I saw all fifty states, survived the worst months of a New England winter and traveled to 12 European countries.  Some bills need to be paid.  I will be teaching English to make ends meet and to start saving for future endeavors.  I will finish the book I’ve been writing about my 50/50/50 journey.  I will continue to work on my International Race Series concept but I am now working on another running opportunity as well.

Are you still running Marathons?

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I injured myself in the first European marathon I did in Milan.  I then ran seven more races on that injury.  Even as I was resting and recovering,  it could be argued that I was still running too much. I took some time off from running this summer and have been slowly rebuilding my body. I’m hoping that being in one place will help me get my training regiment back on par. Expect to see an aggressive European Marathon plan in place for 2018.

What’s with settling down in one place?  I thought a rolling stone gathers no moss?!?!

I will still be traveling a lot.  The aforementioned airport here in Warsaw was one of the big draws for me and bus prices are still low around Europe. Considering how much of my heart still lies in the Kennebec Valley, I think of there as home and my Polish move as part of my larger travels.  Expect to see frequent travel updates in the months to come with both personal excursions as well as potential business trips.

 

I hope this answers the majority of questions.  Something I didn’t cover? Feel free to ask in the comments down below!

Marathon Missteps – Recalculating…

“Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi 

“All I do is win, win, win, no matter what” – D-J Khalid

“What do you do when things go sideways?” I remember being asked this question last year, around this time, by a lovely young lady running her first marathon and gritting her teeth from the pain of a twisted ankle. I was shuffling along beside her with somewhat muted pain from the beginning pangs of a kidney stone. My answer at the time, was suck it up, readjust, do what you need to do to move forward without doing damage.  I had hoped for a PR that day. Instead, I struggled just to make a mediocre performance.  I found myself asking this same question last week during the Skopje Marathon when things were not going my way.   I realized, the answer was not so simple and some days it takes a roundabout route to get where we need to go. This year, I have not been having as much success with the marathon and I need to do some real reassessment. 

Quite frankly, I hate talking about failure. Part of me believes we don’t truly fail until we’re dead, but the fact of the matter is that I have a ton of failures on my resume and talking about one seems to dredge up whiffs of former crapfests. Most of the time I am able to muddle through and keep moving forward and friends always seem amazed at how I do that. I thought I would try to break this down as best I could. To synopsize, I will utilize my recent experience in Macedonia with the 5 Stages of Dealing with Death as laid out by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. I have found that those 5 stages seem to cover the gambit of emotions and recovery. 


Stage 1 – Denial 

The day started much nicer than expected. The forecast had said rain but the sun was bright and powerful as I headed out the door for the start line. I decided to walk the 3 kilometers to the start line to limber up and stretch the legs. I could have taken a taxi, they were dirt cheap in Skopj (I would have gotten change back from a Euro on that fare). Even then things weren’t quite right. Although it was mostly downhill to the start line, there were some occasional hills and stairs when my knees took turns aching. It was also then I noticed that despite the lack of clouds, it was extremely humid even though it was still early in the morning. I’d dismissed these early warning signs. The whole reason I’d walked was to iron out such little kinks. The race would be better.  
At the start line, I couldn’t find running friends from Serbia or Macedonia I had made while running the previous week in Dubrovnik, but I made some new acquaintances at the start line, a Norwegian and a young man teaching English in Macedonia from Beloit, Wisconsin. He couldn’t believe I had been to his home town. I lined up at the start and expected to take off. Except I didn’t. 

I’m never a huge fan of the first three miles of a marathon, but I do usually have a lot of energy. Most days I need to hold myself back. Not this day. From the start line by the Alexander the Great statue, over the first beautiful bridge, buy all the fancy new government buildings, over the budge of lions, I was straining to move my legs. There was a part of me that began questioning if I was above a certain altitude (I wasn’t). I just convinced myself it was a little boredom at the beginning of the race and that my legs would continue to warm to the task. I was definitely in denial. 


Stage 2 – Anger

In the stages of death, anger usually manifests outwardly. For me and failure, it seems to attack internally. I get angry at myself. Why did I sign up for the marathon? I only ran twice this week. I should have trained a little more, done a little more speed work. Why must I push myself to do these races one after another? To a certain extent, I hope that the anger might carry me a little further along. I’ve run on anger before and it feels powerful and strong and vicious and comes with its own spikes in adrenaline and pheromones. Unfortunately anger is like a white sugar spike, good for a quick hit but poor for sustaining a continued power source. By its nature, anger at oneself is self defeating. At a certain point you are going to hear what you are saying to yourself and feel resentful (like anger but not nearly as powerful) or depressed, another stage that really isn’t helpful at this point. Unfortunately, I am still only around mile 5 or 6. For me, the anger quite naturally leads to…


Stage 3 – Bargaining

Quite frankly, sometimes this works. A good bargain, a little slight of hand, some smoke and mirrors, all of a sudden, you’re distracted long enough they somehow sneak an elephant on the stage. It worked for me in Milan. Unfortunately, this starts way too early in Skopje. I feel a little bit better on the first out and back in the city. I always get a little inspiration from the people in front of me and it picks up my spirits to cheer for those who are behind me. So with this infusion of energy, I start investing in some heavy duty bargaining. Another mile and I get my runners high and I’ll feel alright, I just need to find and angel and run with them for a little while, get back in stride, if I fall back on my training, start nailing my intervals, my body will just fall in line with old habits. It could have worked. But unfortunately, each little ploy had it’s tell. I couldn’t seem to consistently run with anybody. The runner’s high really never came (it did, but too little, too late).  Even intervals failed me, as even my shortest interval seemed to last forever. As each of these games came to an end, I would get little hits of frustration and anger, but when I felt the tip of my injured toe rip again and start feeling the sticky slick feel of blood in my shoe, I moved it the next category. 

Stage 4 – Fear
What if I’m doing real damage to my foot? What if it keeps me from running? What kind of example am I setting to my friends?  There are guys out here who are running without a foot and I can’t handle a cut on my toe?!? I’m such a loser! Ok, fear seems to lead to a little depression and I’m usually well protected from wallowing in this too much mentally, but my body has a mind of its own. I start to slow down. My feet lose their bounce. It seems like forever to make that slightest forward movement. Between, miles 7-9, I start running for a little while with a young American who is over in Macedonia with the Peace Corp. it’s his first long distance race. He is carrying his broken race bag on his back, because there was no bag drop off at this marathon. He looks a little ragged around the edges but he’s got that awesome look of someone who just now is realizing he is even stronger than he thought. He perked me up a little bit and I dodged a little bit back into bargaining territory (I can keep up with this kid. I can finish the race) but of course his major was psychology and so my defeatist attitude was leaking out of my cautiously constructed Trojan Horse, and he called me on my shit. Yeah, well, back into the depression, because of course, he’s twenty two so he gets his second wind, and I start bouncing through these three middle stages like a pinball at the top of the machine. 

Stage 5 – Acceptance

At a certain point, time passing make the acceptance a little easier. The race has a 5:30 time limit and no matter how you slice the minutes, there comes a time to recognize that if you are not hitting specific time marks, you are not finishing in that time frame. A constant training phase that I have heard from the best of the best is that of you are not winning, you are learning. In its own way, that’s is a win, right? It still sucks, but mentally you are a little stronger and a little more wise. I could have finished the marathon, but I had nothing to prove that day to myself or anyone else. I have races to run in the next couple weeks and beating myself up mentally or physically will not help me meet my goals in those races. The goal is lifetime beautiful running and there were a few beautiful moments on the course that day. I did get a couple weak runner highs late in the game.  I spent the last three miles singing through the pain and not only did I get cheers from the local spectators,  I had a young gentleman slow down just to tell me how much he appreciated my positive energy and my singing, that it had helped him get over his hump and finish strong (he then took off). This is really how I love to run, so of course that’s a win. I had the pleasure of talking to another member of the Peace Corp who was dealing with a bad knee and watching her give her all in that last mile was pretty inspiring. As I came down the final stretch of the race towards the finish line through the little Macedonian L’Arch De Triumph, I saw some of my Serbian friends from the race in Dubrovnik cheering me on. As the sky opened up and started to rain, I had no problem making the choice to finish the race at the half marathon point. I got to see the city of Skopje on my feet, I had made some new friends, and I had kept moving forward towards that goal of lifetime running. Onward and upward. 

What are your thoughts? Is this just training plan for failure or healthy acceptance of the cards as dealt that day? I want to know your real thoughts. 

Hanging With The Cool Kids In Venice


Walking down the streets of Venice can be difficult at the best of times. Regular tourists, cruise ship passengers, vendors, beggars, school children, delivery men with hand carts piled twice their height all jostling for space on these crowded streets all seem to part way for the guy leading our pack. A cross between a WWF wrestler and ‘The Dude’, he clears a path not only with a loud “Ciao” and the occasional clasped hand but also his purposeful walk and intense stare. Following behind in her tattoo sleeves and Magenta hair is the better half of the dynamic duo, making sure the group sticks together, has time to take photos, pointing out occasional architectural oddities, making sure nobody is hitting the wine bottle too heavily. They are the masterminds behind Venice Bites Food Tours and if they are taking you on their #1 ranked food Tour in Venice, Italy, they are also your new best friends. 

Why am I writing about Adam and Maya Stonecastle when I’m in one of the most beautiful cities in the world? Because Adam and Maya are Venitians of the Heart. In the city of Love and Dreams, they are lovers and dreamers, both for themselves and for their city. Five years ago when they met online, Adam had a final line to his profile “I want to live in Europe.” Maya’s was much more specific “I want to live in Venice”. How many people put those sorts of comments in their profiles and then never move out of MiddleAmerica City, USA? However, these statements were deal breakers. After a quick trip when Maya introduced Venice to Adam (she has been coming to Venice for 20mmpmmm years), they returned for a month to see if this was possible – that two Americans (Maya does have Irish dual citizenship) could be accepted in this tight Italian, even more exclusive – Venetian, community. The resounding answer from all the locals they talked to was “YES!” 

The Venetians are excited to have people who are so enchanted and enamored with their city that they will drop everything and move there to be a part of it. Venice has a resident problem. The city loses 1500 people a year, the old and the young. One of the problems is that with it being such a huge tourist destination, it’s more lucrative to rent rooms on Air B&B per week than to residents on a lease for a month. Check out the 1000s of listings on Air B&B. Despite that challenge and still having two homes back in the states, Adam and Maya set a goal of moving to Venice in 8 months. Not just with some luggage. Oh no, they doubled down. They brought dogs. They shipped furniture. They ended careers. Just days before leaving they signed a lease, sight unseen, of their new apartment in Venice. With that, they’ve never looked back. 

Two and a half years and they are going strong. After a slow start, where they may have been second guessing their life choices, they finally accepted that they had a great product, that they were an amazing experience and started allowing reviews on sites like Trip Advisor. Things took off from there.  They now live a dream life in the City of Love, the envy of Expats everywhere. They are my new heroes and friends and if you are ever in Venice, take one of their tours your first day, so they can coach you on the finer points of the city they love. I took their tour and I’ve included  my review from Trip Advisor below. 

Venice Bites Food Tours

www.venicebitesfoodtours.com

818-303-9175


Trip Advisor Review

Where ever you go on this tour, you will see that all the locals know and treasure Maya and Adam. It’s the rare street you walk down without hearing “Ciao Adam!” or see a quick embrace with the kiss on each cheek for Maya. Your two tour guides are Venitians of the Heart, Americans still on their honeymoon with the city of their dreams – Venice. As such they take nothing for granted, showering you with beautiful views and local lore alike.


This is not a quick in and out, tagging only the biggest and most convenient. We visited 9 locations eating and drinking our way over two miles of the city in establishments stilled owned by families who have run these businesses for generations and continue to do so in a city being engulfed by corporate Disneyfication. A block a half from where you meet, you start off with “Coffee Corrected” with Grappa and a sweet Coronet, Italy’s answer to the Croissant. With this, and at every location, comes lessons in etiquette and cultural behavior which will serve you well at any of the establishments you visit during your stay. How to approach ordering, how to not get cursed out from the nonna’s for a lack of respect. A variety of establishments follow with an assortment of Venice’s little bites which define the drinking and eating community here. Most places have a variety of choices so even if you have allergies or foods you avoid, there is always something pleasing to the palate. All sourced local. All produced locally. A large sit down lunch which fortunately our group loved seafood because we had a phenomenal pasta with all the luxuries of the sea piled on top. Two dessert places – gelato (which locals consider more like a coffee break) and a pastry place. A final perfect people watching cafe on the grand canal with a “spritz” and a gorgeous view. 


Sure there are more generic, corporate tours that will hustle you in and out as a huge herd. Take this tour if you want to intimately have this city lovingly interpreted by two passionate Americans who have entwined their lives with the most romantic of cities.


Halfway There!

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25 marathon distances completed in 25 weeks! During training I quailed at 3. After the first one in Florida, I questioned whether or not I could do another.  Yet week after week, I have continued to exceed that initial expectation. There were many who doubted or expected me to fail in this quest, deservedly so, because I was not always sure that this was an achievable goal. Yet here I am, almost 6 months down the line, having conquered the west and parts of the south.  There is still a long path ahead of me.  An extremely hot summer is starting to rear its ugly head. Many of my big, “destination” races are behind me.  But I think now is a great time to summarize my accomplishments and my challenges in order to approach the second half of my quest with fresh eyes if not fresh legs.

Miles Run

I have run more miles this year in six months than I have run in any two years previously. 838 miles this year.  655 miles in marathons routes. 183 miles in support miles.  It is tough to be disappointed in those numbers. Of course, I am.  My goal is 12-15 support miles through the week and had I hit that goal, my total miles for the year should be over 1000.  I have some good reasons for this.  I need to judge the wear and tear on my body as a day to day operation.  Although physical stresses have been at a minimum comparatively speaking, there have been days when running on damaged feet, legs, knees,hips may have been detrimental to the prime directive – a marathon a week in a different state.

Side Quests

I have been able to complete a number of side quests this year falling into three categories: 1. Running in State and National Parks 2. Volunteering at local races 3. Joining group and social runs. Some states I hit the trifecta and completed all three side quests.  Other states I failed to complete even one.  Partially, the same physical conditions that limited my miles in a week also limited my participation in local runs.  The other major factor was traveling logistics.  In some cases, I would get into town the day after a social run or on race weekend, my marathon fell on the day when other organizations planned their runs, if there were even any local races. There were also weeks that after running a marathon on Saturday, I did not have the energy to volunteer at a race on Sunday.  You can be sure this makes me very hesitant to sign up for a weekend Marathon double header.

Sponsors

Although I haven’t had a company offer to pick up any race entries or traveling expenses, I have become an ambassador for two great companies: Salming and Spandits.  Salming is a fantastic international sporting company with a focus on shoes, equipment and apparel and Spandits is a wonderful company from my home state of Maine focussing on quality spandex apparel. As an ambassador, I am not a paid employee, more an enthusiastic fan dedicated to spreading the word about their phenomenal companies.  In return I receive product and discounts based upon referrals I make.  The more referrals I make, the more product and discounts I earn.  If you are considering trying either of these great companies, I have discounts to offer that benefit both you and me.  Please visit my Ambassador page to request current codes and current discounts.

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20% Discount. Submit Request on Ambassador Page

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10% Discount. Submit Request on Ambassador Page.

I would also like to take the time to thank a number of people who have contributed to my emergency fund. I do have a page set up through Crowdrise. that was designed to alleviate any unforeseen costs or situations that should arise.  Although, I have dipped into that account on a couple of occasions, that has not exceeded funds I had already earmarked and set aside.  So instead I have be using those funds to purchase additional race entries for the rest of the year. Starting with this week’s race in Iowa, you will start seeing shout outs to people who contributed to that site and made these extra races possible.  You can still contribute on my Sponsors page or
Click here for a direct link ——> GloboRun’s Crowdrise Funding Site

Interviews

The first interview was recorded before I started my trip but released in late February. Super Joe Pardo has made it a mission to help others make their dreams a reality and he has a great interview style. From what many of my friends have said, my interview begins at 25:01.

Super Joe Pardo’s Dreamers Webcast with Derek Zardus

The second interview was recorded just before my 8th marathon with an old friend, Chris Day.  Chris has been a passionate follower of inspirational stories that remind us that people are doing amazing things in our world, everyday. I was flattered and maybe a little embarresssed to be included in such illustrious company. I believe it was not only made available online but also on the radio in a couple markets. Released the beginning of March.

Writing
At times I have been overwhelmed with the logistics of traveling and aligning my many directives with my schedule. Due to Internet and data access issues, writing has been one of the first things to drop. I’ve kept somewhat consistent with the marathon route reviews (by which I mean I am only 5 marathons behind). Expect at least 2 posts a week moving forward, both catching up with the marathons and writing about my experiences on my side quests. I should also soon have a mini book on preparing for a personal marathon.

Thank you so much for following along on my journey. Constant words of support and care are delivered online, on the phone, and in person everyday. You can follow me on Facebook by name, though I also post many of the unfiltered and unfocused photos at GloboRun’s Facebook page. Also I am on Instagram as @derekzardus and Twitter as @globorun. If you haven’t already, sign up to get my updates via mail on the side of this page. Thanks again and we’ll see you later this week.

And The Winners Are…

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It is with great pleasure that I can now share this earth shattering news.  I am one of this year’s Salming Ambassadors. This was, by no means an easy feat, and despite the support and help of so many of my friends, family, and colleagues the end result was not guaranteed.  In fact, in the final three days, I went from first place by a hair to second place with Mr. Andrey gaining a phenomenal 350 votes in final voting!  I obviously have a lot to learn from my fellow teammates on how to reach out in the electronic world.  I am fortunate that Salming extended the ambassadorship to others on the leader board who they felt would best represent their brand. Congratulations to all the athletes who entered the contest and made an effort to promote such a phenomenal company.

There are so many people to thank for this opportunity. Firstly, I truly appreciate the way Salming Running North America put this contest together and managed the voting process.  This is an amazing position within their company that they left up to the general public to decide and I appreciate their trust and discretion.  Certainly, I appreciate their support as I finish my quest of 50 marathon routes in 50 states in 50 weeks.  Secondly, I’d like to thank everyone who voted knowing that this is an important step in my future plans in the running world and industry.  Aside from supporting a company I believe really has the best interest of runners at heart, I can hopefully learn more about the industry and how they research, design, and market the footwear that carries us forward on our fleet footed quests. Thirdly, I would like to thank those who went the extra mile to garner me votes.  People reposted my contest link on their Facebook Wall. They harangued husbands, wives, significant others, family, coworkers, and even clients. They regularly asked if there was anything more that could be done to earn extra votes.  I would not have been in a top position if it wasn’t for your very vocal support. Lastly, I would like to thank the folks who didn’t vote, yet also didn’t unfollow me despite my constant pleas for help.  I understand.  It’s against your religion or the email verification process made you nervous, or you don’t believe in contests that appeal to a democratic process.  Despite this, you continued to check in on a daily basis and support me in a myriad of other ways and for that I thank you.

For those of you interested in trying Salming for themselves please either contact me directly, on Facebook, or in the comments below for a 20% off discount code I can offer to friends and family.  I have worn their Miles shoe and it is the most comfortable running shoe I have worn in a while.  I will be getting the newest versions of their most popular running shoes and you can expect detailed reports on the quality and experience that each shoe provides.

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2016 – Let The Adventure Begin

Letting the days go by

Let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by
Water flowing underground

Once In A Lifetime, Talking Heads

2015, I hardly knew ye. No, seriously where did 2015 go?!? Every time I try to review the last year in my head, this Talking Heads song pops into it. I know I got things done. I made a paycheck, I trained my butt off, I healed my heart. I remember events from all four seasons but it hardly seems like there were 365 days. Maybe, instead of a Leap Year and adding a day, we had a Bound Year and lost a month? Seems only fair. If we combine Daylight Savings Time’s “Spring Forward, Fall Back” with Paula Abdul’s “Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back”, celestialy we lose a month every quarter century? I don’t know. This seems like one of the word problems I should’ve worked harder on in Math Class.

Here we are January 1st, 2016: Day 1 of The 50/50/50 Project and it’s a rest day. Seems a bit anticlimactic, I know, but everything in it’s time. Instead, we will start the New Year by volunteering at Greater Fort Lauderdale Road Runner’s 15th Annual Resolution 5K. A good day to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at a road race and how organizations make the magic happen. I’ll probably be standing around, using my big mouth to cheer on the runners and maybe help lift some boxes.

What can you expect from this blog in 2016? You can expect a minimum of 4 posts a week. Monday or Tuesday will be a Marathon Recap. Wednesday or Thursday will be a recap of a State or National Park Run. Fridays will be a personal status update, talking about how things are going with the project or myself and Saturdays will be Local Days, highlighting local running groups and volunteer opportunities.

This past week went by so quickly. Family and the holidays took priority but I also started to ramp back up my training, necessary with the increased heat and humidity. Midday at times has felt cooler with the sun burning off the moisture. The mornings and evenings are incredibly muggy, drenching my running gear in sweat despite minimally cooler temperatures. I’m glad I had so much time to try and readjust my body. That and a child borne chest infection have given me much to consider as I attempt this first Marathon Route on Sunday. I plan on starting early to keep out of the sun as much as possible. I will going a little slower than I originally planned to accommodate the heat and the lower December training mileage. I was feeling a little nervous, but a great 10 mile training run with a local group, FIT (Friends In Training) last Saturday, calmed me down and brought me back into my training groove.

I wish in the new year that you and I don’t let a single day “float” by. I hope that every day, you can feel the impact you make on other’s lives. I pray that every day, you are surrounded by love and support and the knowledge that you can survive and thrive no matter what life throws at you. I wish that 2016 will be a banner year for you and me and the world at large. Watch out 2016 – here we come!