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My Running Journey 2021

Monday, December 28, 2020

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12.28 Mo
My fitness goal for 2021 is to rebuild my base running mileage so I can run pain free for extended distances and durations. For clarity, I consider extended distances to be 10-15 miles and extended durations to be 2-3 hours.

Today I discovered https://worldwalking.org and https://www.walking4fun.com. I believe completing some of these virtual runs will provide the motivation I have been needing to get me out the door again and begin rebuilding my base miles.

Before 1 January, I will register for an account and learn to navigate one or both of this sites. I will choose a shorter journey and begin on 1 January. There is currently a wingman challenge on the table to run a 5K on 1 January - no matter what the weather or temperature is on that day.

I would like to be able run 6 miles with no pain and minimal recovery by the end of March. By mid year I would like to be able to run a half marathon with very little to no pain and minimal recovery. I will stick with the traditional 3 half marathons for the year which will include USAF Marathon, Mo' Cowbell, and RACE 13.1 St. Charles plus any pick up runs with my wingmen - in person or virtual.
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2021 Running Goals/Milestones:
☑ 1) Register for World Walking account and explore site/app by 31 December 2020.
☑ 2) Register for Walking 4 Fun account and explore site/app by 31 December 2020.
☑ 3) Choose a route and register from one of the two sites by 31 December 2020.
☑ 4) Register for SparkPeople virtual run.
☑ 5) On 1 January register for USAF Half Marathon (event is in September).
☑ 6) Run 5K on 1 January with wingmen - 5K regardless of temperature or weather conditions.
☑ 7) Check for open registration for Mo' Cowbell (event is in October).
☐ 8) Check for open registration for RACE 13.1 in St. Charles (event is typically May or June).
☑ 9) Wingmen 2021 Challenge: Complete 1 Stack 52 Flexibility exercise and 1 Stack 52 Body Weight Strength exercise at least once a week.
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12.29 Tu
Created a World Walking account and a Wild Hogs group. Registered for my first run/walk. I will tour Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Created a Walking 4 Fun account and a Wild Hogs group. Registered for my next run/walk. I run around Crater Lake, Oregon.

Registered for SparkPeople virtual 5K run for Week of Dec 27, 2020-Jan 2, 2021 – 5K Running.
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12.30 We

Tonight I got my first event on the calendar. I registered for Fly With The Eagles, Cartersville, IL. The half marathon was already full as the limit is very small, probably due to the fact it is on a wildlife refuge. I put my name on the waiting list, but there are 177 people ahead of me, so I doubt I will be completing it in person. This year they have a virtual option, so I signed up for the virtual option. I hope the hoodie is as good as last year's hoodie. Very nice, high quality, and thick.
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2020 Running Wrap Up

2020 was not as good as 2019, but slightly better than 2018 and much worse than 2017. I have been tracking my miles since 2010. Since then, 2016 has been my best year at 1,017 miles. I ran my first half marathon in 2013 which is when I began running for fun versus Air Force physical training.

In 2020, I only ran 34 times for a whimpy 200 miles (20 miles better than 2018 and 162 miles less than 2019). 19 of these runs were for fun covering 84 miles, while 15 runs were competitive events accounting for 116 miles. The breakdown of events this year looks like this:

.......... Count ... Miles
Run ..... 19 ....... 84.2
5K ......... 4 ....... 13.3
8K ......... 1 ......... 5.0
10K ....... 5 ....... 31.9
Half ....... 5 ....... 65.5

Total .... 34 ..... 199.9

Bar chart of miles versus goal by month in 2020:


Line chart of cumulative miles comparing last 4 years:


Bar chart of miles versus goal comparing last 4 years:


In 2021, I will focus on consistency more than trying to reach a target mileage. I will continue tracking my mileage, but I will be striving to run more regular even if that means completing shorter runs. Well, it is time to start drafting some goals for the upcoming year. The team has thrown out the first challenge already - a 5K on 1 January, no matter what weather event is playing out. Right now it looks like I will be running in a cold rain. So long 2020 (and good riddance).

╒═══════════════════════════ ⋆⋅〔 2021 〕⋅⋆ ═══════════════════════════╕

╘═══════════ °❈° ≫ STAMINA ≪ °❈° ≫ VITALITY ≪ °❈° ≫ TENACITY ≪ °❈° ═══════════╛

Restore the power to endure, revive exuberant physical and mental vigor, and renew my ability to hold fast or persist.

01.01 Fr
Registered for USAF Half Marathon in Dayton, OH on 17 September, 2021.

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My wingmen and I logged our first run of the year in the books today. Met wingman challenge set weeks ago to run 5K on New Year's Day. It was 34° with a steady drizzle, but at least the freezing rain was over.

We visited Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts on this solo venture. Here are some highlights:

Mayflower II

Plymouth, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts holds a prominent place in American history.

Known as "America's Hometown”, it was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, England in a ship named the ‘Mayflower’. The Pilgrims' story became a central theme in the history of the United States and their ship has become a national cultural icon.

Plymouth is the oldest municipality in New England and one of the oldest in the United States. The First Thanksgiving feast was held in Plymouth.

Located at the State Pier in the centre of Plymouth is the ‘Mayflower II’, a full-size replica of the ‘Mayflower’.

Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock is the traditional site of disembarkation of the ‘Mayflower’ Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620.

The rock has occupied a prominent spot in American tradition and has become a symbol of both the virtues and the flaws of the first English people who colonised New England.

In 1774, the rock broke in half during an attempt to haul it to Town Square in Plymouth. The top portion was moved to the Pilgrim Hall Museum in 1834 where it remained until 1880 when it was returned to its original site on the shore of Plymouth Harbor and reunited with the bottom half.

Today, the Plymouth Rock is ensconced beneath a granite canopy designed by McKim, Mead & White.

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts which replicates the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony established in the 17th century by the English colonists who became known as the Pilgrims.

The Pilgrims were among the first people who immigrated to America to seek religious separation from the Church of England.

The museum includes a recreation of the small farming and maritime community built by the Pilgrims in which interpreters depict day-to-day life and seasonal activities, as well as featuring some key historical events and special celebrations.

It also features a Wampanoag home site, where modern American Indians from a variety of tribes in traditional dress explain and demonstrate how their ancestors lived along the coast.


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It was a busy first day of the new year. We also toured Bologna in Northern Italy on a group tour. Our group is the Wild Hogs. Here are some things we saw and learned:

Basilica of San Domenico

The Basilica of San Domenico is one of the major churches in Bologna, the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy.

The church, consecrated by Pope Innocent IV in 1251, contains a vast collection of treasures by some the greatest Italian artists, including Michelangelo and Filippino Lippi.

The remains of Saint Dominic, founder of the Dominican Order, are buried inside the exquisite shrine Arca di San Domenico by Nicola Pisano; considered the founder of modern sculpture. The shrine, located in the middle of the church under the cupola, is adorned by three Michelangelo sculptures; Angel, St. Proclus, and St. Petronius.

Young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played the organ in the church, while studying in Bologna in 1769.

Archiginnasio of Bologna

The Archiginnasio of Bologna is one of the most important buildings in Bologna.

It was once the main building of the University of Bologna, the oldest university in the world founded in 1088.

Today, it houses the Archiginnasio Municipal Library and the Anatomical Theatre.

The construction of the Archiginnasio dates back to the 16th century, when Piazza Maggiore was drastically remodelled under papal orders; the Fountain of Neptune was built during this same period. The construction of the Archiginnasio was commissioned by Pope Pius IV.

The building was inaugurated in 1563. The goal of this project was to create a single place where the Schools of University, previously located in various places across the town, could be hosted together.

Basilica of St. Petronius

The Basilica of San Petronio dominates Piazza Maggiore in central Bologna.

At 132 metres long, 66 metres wide, and 47 metres tall, the basilica is the city’s most imposing church. Its nave contains 22 side chapels

The basilica is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, Saint Petronius, who was bishop of Bologna in the 5th century. Construction began in 1390 under the supervision of Italian architect Antonio di Vincenzo. Despite works lasting for several centuries, the basilica’s main facade has remained unfinished.

The coronation of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V took place in the basilica in 1530.

The relics of Saint Petronius are located in the basilica and Elisa Bonaparte, younger sister of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, is buried there.

Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore is the central square in Bologna. Its appearance today generally reflects the layout from the 15th century.

The square is surrounded by some of Bologna’s most important historic administrative and religious buildings, including the Palazzo d'Accursio, the former city hall which is now a museum and art gallery.

Other buildings include the 14th century Palazzo dei Notai which was the former notaries’ guild; the imposing Basilica of San Petronio; the Palazzo dei Banchi, a former banking centre; and the Palazzo del Podestà, the former police and justice offices, adjacent to which stands the 13th century Palazzo Re Enzo.

The northwest corner of the Piazza Maggiore opens into Piazza del Nettuno with its magnificent 16th century Fontana del Nettuno.

Palazzo del Podestà

The Palazzo del Podestà is a historic civic building built around 1200 to house the local podestà; the high officials who controlled the city, initially appointed by the Holy Roman Emperor and later by the citizens.

It stands on the Piazza Maggiore, near the Palazzo d'Accursio facing the Basilica of San Petronio. Proving too small for the number of people involved in the city's government, it was flanked in 1245 by the Palazzo Re Enzo, over which stands the Torre dell'Arengo, whose bell was used to call the citizens during emergencies.

In the 16th to 18th centuries the Palazzo was used as a theatre. In the 20th century it was decorated with frescoes by Italian painter, Adolfo de Carolis.

Two Towers

The Two Towers and the most prominent of the Towers of Bologna and the city’s symbol.

The taller tower is called the ‘Asinelli’. The smaller, but more leaning tower, is called the ‘Garisenda’. Their names derive from the two families which are credited with building them between 1109 and 1119 in a competition to show which of them was the more powerful.

The Asinelli Tower was used by Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli in 1640 and in the following century by Italian physicist Giovanni Battista Guglielmini for experiments to study the motion of heavy bodies and the earth rotation.

During the 1960s, architect Minoru Yamasaki is thought to have been inspired by the towers when designing the World Trade Centre.



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01.02 S
The Wild Hogs are off to Chicago for our next adventure. There are 7 stops along the way starting at The Magnificent Mile.

The Magnificent Mile

Chicago on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is the third most populous city in the United States.

Iconic Route 66, known as the "Mother Road,", established in 1926, starts in Chicago and runs for 2,400 miles to California.

The Magnificent Mile is an upscale section of Chicago's Michigan Avenue, running from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side. Many of the world's leading retail stores populate The Magnificent Mile.

The Magnificent Mile is the main thoroughfare between Chicago's Loop business district and its Gold Coast and is a major tourist attraction.

Landmarks along the Magnificent Mile include the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and the Chicago Water Tower,built in 1869 which now serves as a art gallery.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier is one of the most visited attractions in Chicago and the Midwestern United States drawing millions of visitors annually.

This 3,300-foot-long (1,010 metre) pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan is located in the Streeterville neighbourhood of the Near North Side community area.

The Navy Pier currently encompasses more than fifty acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, family attractions and exhibition facilities.

Navy Pier opened to the public in 1916.It was built by architect Charles Sumner Frost, with a design based on the 1909 Plan of Chicago by Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett.

Attractions include sightseeing tours, dinner cruises, fireworks shows, an ice skating rink, a maze, a children’s museum, and even a botanical garden.

Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk is an open, pedestrian waterfront located on the south bank of the main branch of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois. It extends from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street.

As part of a more than fifty-year-old Chicago tradition, the Chicago River is dyed green in observance of St. Patrick's Day.

Called the city's 'Second Lakefront', the Riverwalk contains restaurants, park-seating, boat rentals, and other activities.

Construction of the Riverwalk began in 2001; the oldest section being an extension of the lake shore trail. The final section to Wolf Point opened in 2017.

DuSable Bridge which carries Michigan Avenue across Chicago River offers great views along the Riverwalk. This bascule bridge opened to traffic in 1920.

Millenium Park

Millennium Park, which was created to celebrate the third millennium, is the top tourist attraction in the Midwestern United States and one of the most popular in the United States.

This prominent civic centre located in Grant Park in the Loop community area of Chicago near Lake Michigan is considered to be Chicago’s most important project since the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.

Attractions include the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate, the Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden, and Wrigley Square.

The park sits atop a parking garage and the commuter rail Millennium Station and is considered the world's largest rooftop garden.

The park is connected by the BP Pedestrian Bridge and the Nichols Bridgeway to other parts of Grant Park.

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 and located in Chicago's Grant Park, is one of the oldest art museums in the United States.

The museum's original building was constructed for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. It has been extended several times and now this popular attraction is the country’s second-largest art museum, after the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York.

Its collection of more than 300,000 works of art. It has one of the United States' finest collections of paintings produced in Western culture including Pablo Picasso's ‘Old Guitarist’.

The Art Institute is connected with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, making it one of the few remaining unified arts institutions in the country.

Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark donated to the city by Kate Sturges Buckingham in memory of her brother, Clarence Buckingham.

The fountain, dedicated in 1927, is one of the world’s largest.

It was designed by beaux arts architect Edward H. Bennett who was inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles in France.

The fountain is considered Chicago's front door, since it is located in Grant Park, the city's front yard, near the intersection of Columbus Drive and Ida B. Wells Drive, named after the early leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

The fountain represents Lake Michigan, with four sets of sea horses symbolising the four states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana that border the lake.

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01.03 S

Last stop in Chicago before we move on to Barcelona.

Museum Campus

Chicago’s Museum Campus sits alongside Lake Michigan and encompasses five of the city's most notable attractions: the Adler Planetarium, America's first planetarium; the Shedd Aquarium; the Field Museum of Natural History; Soldier Field, home of the NFL Chicago Bears football team; and the Lakeside Centre of McCormick Place; the largest convention centre in North America.

Museum Campus, which opened in 1998, was created to transform the vicinity of three of the city's most notable museums into a scenic pedestrian-friendly area. The a 57-acre park is landscaped with greenery and flora as well as jogging paths and walkways.

A picturesque promenade lined with bronze monuments commemorating Kościuszko, Havliček, and Nicholas Copernicus links Museum Campus to the man-made peninsula of Northerly Island.



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01.04 M

Today the Wild Hogs are touring Barcelona, Spain. We will make 6 stops starting at Torre Agbar.

Torre Agbar


Welcome to Barcelona, on the north-east coast of the Iberian Peninsula; capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain’s 2nd largest city with over 1.6 million residents and the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea. A city with 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and host to the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Barcelona, whose cultural roots go back 2000 years, is a bilingual city with Catalan and Spanish both official languages and widely spoken.

With its Las Ramblas, Barcelona is the most popular city to visit in Spain.

Your walk around Barcelona begins at the Torre Agbar is a 38-story skyscraper/tower near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, gateway to the city’s new technological district. The tower was designed by FrencharchitectJean Nouvel and built by Dragados. The Torre Agbar is located in the Poblenou neighbourhood of Barcelona and it is named after its owners, the Agbar Group.

The tower, which measures 50,693 square metres, was opened in June 2005 by King Juan Carlos I, and at a cost of 130 million euros.

The design of the building combines many different architectural concepts, and is built with concrete and covered with a façade of glass. The building really stands out in Barcelona as it is the 3rd tallest building in the city at 144 m (474 ft.) after the Arts Hotel and theMapfre Tower, which both measure 154 m (505ft.).

When designing the tower, Nouvel said that he had rejected the North-American idea of what a sky-scraper should look like, hence the shape of the building. It was his intention to give the impression of land that is emerging in a special, unique way out of the ground.

The most defining feature of the building however is its night time illumination. It is equipped with 4,500 LED light devices which allow the possibility of many luminous images in the facade. The system is often used in the celebration of events such as the naming of Barcelona as the capital of the Union for the Mediterranean and the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. It is capable of creating 16 million colours and has the ability to make very fast transitions between colours, which can create a spectacular visual effect.

The Agbar Tower has become an architectural icon of Barcelona and one of its most famous buildings and has become one of the symbols which universally identify Barcelona and one the city's top tourist attractions.

Since 2006, the main Catalan TV channel TV3, has used the abilities of the tower’s unique lighting system to show Barcelona’s end of year celebrations. It has become the venue of choice for thousands of locals, visitors and tourists who wish to welcome the New Year in Barcelona.

The choice of the tower as an iconic image of the city has allowed Barcelona to appear on TV around the world alongside famous landmarks in cities such as Sydney, Madrid, Paris, London or New York.

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