Running For Rescue Dogs

For those of you that know me well, I’m a huge fan of dogs!  Well, pets in general but I prefer my pups more than anything.  When setting out to begin my 2017 year of running I wanted to make a difference in the world of Dog Rescues.  My choice was to team up with BlackJack Animal Rescue out of Tennessee.  They’re the people who found Stella and once I got to know their story, I had to step up my game.15823162_10208205482236738_934814482490240172_n

Blackjack Animal Rescue is a small group of people out of the Bristol, TN area (and beyond) that are doing everything they can to make a change in the lives of dogs.  The work hours are long and the job can be overwhelming at times.  The southern states especially seem to have problems getting these dogs into homes.  At times, it seems easier and more cost-effective to just put the animals down.  This doesn’t sit well with the owner/operator of Blackjack Rescue Sharon Bryant.  She sees dogs (especially Catahoula Leopard Dogs) the same as I do, amazing spirits that want nothing more than to be with humans.  The soul of a dog is special and Sharon, along with her team of angels work tirelessly to save as many dogs as they can and find them good homes.  The average adoption fee is $300 but let me tell you, this covers the animal being fully vetted, micro-chipped and usually transport to just about anywhere!  The fee also helps to cover the never-ending costs of maintaining all the animals in foster care but also helps to save more dog’s lives.

After getting to know Sharon more and seeing all the faces that she works to bring back to health, train, foster and eventually get homes, I knew I had to step up and help.  I’ve been working on bringing awareness of this population problem and lack of help in the southern states as well as raise funds through my running of races, blogging and regular postings on Facebook.  The hope is to get extra donations to this amazing outfit so that they can turn the tide of killing these animals.  I’ve reached out to the running community, co-workers, friends and family to assist in my efforts.   http://blackjackrescue.org/ is the website and they have a paypal system set up so that you can do either a one time donation or a regular monthly one!  If you prefer to mail checks, just send one off to Blackjack Animal Rescue 260 Old Stage Trail Bristol, TN 37620.  There’s also a wish list on the website if you’d like to help with food, toys, bedding or a Thundershirt!  Yes, I did donate a new Thundershirt to the rescue this year so that some wonderful pup would feel safer during storms.  Everything is tax-deductible as Blackjack is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

stellagoosecooper

Stella (right) and her cousins Goose (bottom) and Cooper (top left) are all BlackJack Rescue dogs!

I have a little more that I need to share about rescue dogs and what they can do for your life.  This being my own story.  I had an Aussie Shepherd/Catahoula mixed dog (Silver) that was part of my life for a very long time.  He lived to be 17 years old and was my world.  When Silver passed, I realized that I had a hole in my heart that only a dog could fill.  I hated coming home to an empty house and missed that wagging tail at the end of my work day or upon any return home.

I started my search locally and eventually found Blackjack Animal Rescue.  They specialize in Catahoula Leopard dogs, so I decided to keep watching the intake and hoped for another silver.  I contacted Sharon and told her my story which in turn prompted her to start sending my pictures of so many beautiful dogs!  I just couldn’t believe all these adorable speckled pups were in need of a home.  Well it happened, she notified me of a dog that was running loose on an expressway and was brought in by a member of her group.  She was a bit skinny, no tags, not fixed but pretty much healthy.  She sent pictures to me of “Stella”.  I just knew I had to have her.  We were heading for the TN area for vacation and made arrangements to meet Stella at a local dog park.  Wow!  She was not only beautiful but so playful and full of love.  Needless to say…the rest is history!  A couple of years later Stella is living the good life here in Ohio with us and my heart is once again full.

While she’s not Silver, she brought all new and exciting things to our home.  Stella is scared of the back yard (long story) so she requires regular walks just to go potty.  This means that Karla and I have to walk the neighborhood 3 or more times in a day.  While at first it seemed like craziness, it’s turned into a blessing in disguise.  We’ve met numerous people in our neighborhood and have become good friends with them. (Thanks Stella) We’re walking and getting more exercise than ever before. (Thanks Stella) We’re able to spread the word about Blackjack Animal Rescue and teach people more about the Catahoula Leopard dog! (Thanks again Stella)  You see, as Cesar Millan once said “You’ll never get the dog that you want, You’ll always get the dog that you need.”  I needed Stella in my life and she’s changed it forever.  Keep this in mind if/when looking at rescue dogs.  They’ll bring more to you then you’ll ever be able to give to them.  They want nothing more than to be loved by you and be with you.stella

I needed to share this so that more people will understand how important dogs are in our world.  I also want more people to get involved and help rescue these special animals.  We have several great dog rescues in our area that can always use help.  I’d love to see more people help me with our friends in the south.  They need us up here in NW Ohio!  We need to bring more Catahoula Leopard dogs this way.  We need to save lives that are being snuffed out at an alarming rate at the high kill shelters in Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee.  So please, take some time to get to know Blackjack Animal Rescue.  Like them on Facebook and follow along!  Donate and save a life!  I need you to help me make this happen.  Runners…it’s time to shine.  We can do this…Together.mikesraceshirt

I’ll see you on the Road!

~Zombie~

The Big Push!

Hey out there my fellow Zombies!!

Once again I find myself having to apologize for not getting on here and blogging enough.  (Sorry Marilyn. :))  Whenever I find a moment that I think I should blog, I end up dozing off due to training, work and just getting through a nasty Spring Crud!  I’m feeling better, took a little time away from work and finding myself in the home stretch for my Bucket List race!  The Big Sur 2017!!!

Big Sur by Rod Jones Photography; creative commons

Just to bring everyone up to speed…the whole idea was brought about from having conversations with my brother-in-law who has run a marathon in all 50 states (and D.C.).  I posed the question at some point…”What race stays fresh in your mind that you feel was your favorite?”  Now mind you this man has been to the Grand Daddy of them all …BOSTON!  His response was pretty quick : “The Big Sur out in California.”  He stated that the entire course was beautiful and he never got bored running it.  I researched the race and found that it was done on a lottery system to get in.  In other words…you put your name in a hat and hope for the best!  Well, after several failed attempts to get in…Karla and I both found ourselves with emails stating that we had been chosen to participate in the 2017 Full Marathon at Big Sur!  I almost cried when I received the email…lol!  Then I found myself thinking: I’ll have to start training for a race that I swore I’d never do again…the Full Marathon (26.2 miles).

Karla joined Dave’s Running shop’s Marathon In Training group and with my schedule decided that I’d have to wing it!  We both decided that this race is all about the fun and beauty that the California coastline has to offer.  No worrying about times other than beating the “sweeper” that scoops you off the course if you can’t make it to the finish within the 6 hour cut off.  So that’s the goal…to Finish The Damn Race!

Training has been going fairly well and no major injuries have crept up to bite me at this time.  I’ve completed just over 20 miles as my longest run -with some walking involved- and felt pretty good.  It took me 3 hours and 55 minutes which still leaves room for the final 6 miles while also taking into consideration the hills!  We have a plan to walk all the major hills to keep energy in reserve and take advantage of all declines with a nice easy pace.  Like I said before…this is all about finishing!

Running the Great Scott 25K with Karla

Ann Arbor Half Marathon Finishers!

I’ve been keeping up with my pledge to run at least a 10 mile run for each month thus far.  January was the Dave’s 10 miler, February was the Great Scott 25K, March we had a couple big runs and I threw in a couple smaller runs just for kicks.  The Great Black Swamp 25K was followed by the wearing of the Green 5K on the following day. The next weekend it was the Gibsonburg 10K and the following day we drove up to Ann Arbor for the Half Marathon there.  Ann Arbor has some challenging inclines and helped us prepare a little for California.  Now we’re in April and have plans to run the Glass City Half Marathon just one week prior to our Full Marathon out West.  Maybe a little crazy but hey…WTF!

Stella (right) and her cousins Goose (bottom) and Cooper (top left) are all BlackJack Rescue dogs!

So now to the Big Push part.  I’d really like to make a BIG Splash during the next couple weeks and get some sponsors/donors to pledge some money to Black Jack Rescue.  The whole reason I wanted to do these races this year was to bring more attention to a very small and loving outfit that works tirelessly to save dogs.  Catahoula Leopard Dogs in particular!  They’re based out of Tennessee but branch all across the country.  They save dogs out of some of the toughest states.  Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and more are all full of shelters that will not keep dogs for very long.  Which means they’re put to sleep on a regular basis.  Just typing this makes me feel kind of sick.  Blackjack has a network of people who work to find these dogs, pull them to safety, get their health needs addressed, put them into foster care and then find them a forever home.  The challenges are many and great but they continue to do great things!  So please take a moment to like their Facebook page and send a few bucks via paypal or even snail mail!  I’d be thrilled if everyone reading this would just take $5.00 and send it to them.  The difference we can make as a group is huge!  Tell BlackJack Rescue that you want to make a donation because you’re a Zombie Supporter!  Call it a sponsorship for our big runs this month!  If you’d like to send a check…make it out to BlackJack Animal Rescue and send it to 260 Old Stage Trail Bristol, TN 37620.  Sharon Bryant is the Angel that makes this all possible and I want to see her continue to save these pups!  Pass this information onto your friends and family.  Like I said…$5.00 multiplied by many can change the lives of so many animals.  They’re worth it for all the joy they bring to our lives!  I can tell you first hand because my Stella is a BlackJack Alumni and she brings me joy on a daily basis!  My sister Patti has two from BlackJack…(Goose and Cooper).  I’m sure I can speak for her and tell you that they’re her world.

I’ll keep doing what I do and try to bring more attention and donations to BlackJack Animal Rescue.  I’ll do it by wearing my Run Zombie Run race shirts to the races with BlackJack on the back!  So come on Zombies…let’s do this!  April needs to be a huge month for our peeps!  Let’s see some local donations showing that you care about the Run Zombie Run group and want to see us crush the Glass City Half Marathon!  Let’s see some donations come in for the challenge that Karla and I have stepped up to run: a Full Marathon on the West Coast!

I need help Zombies, because I can’t do it alone.  If you make a donation and want to post a little something on Blackjack Animal Rescue’s Facebook page…go for it!  Say “hey…I love what you’re doing and I want to make a difference!”  Tell them Zombie sent you…lol!  Sharon will smile over that!

As always…get outside and play!  Walk, Run, Bike, Swim…just move!  I’ll see you on the road!

~Zombie~

What the heck…it’s Spring!

So we’ve managed to knock out the Great Scott 25K in the month of February.  For those keeping score it was a no snow kind of month and I loved it!  We’re now in March and have picked off the PI run (3.14 miles…lol!), the Great Black Swamp Festival of races happened on Saturday 3/18 (25K) and that was followed by a 5K at Maumee Bay State Park on 3/19.  Busy week and this next weekend looks to be much the same.  I’ll be heading out to Gibsonburg to take on the Golden Bear 10K…back home for a quick shower and heading up north for packet pick up to do the Ann Arbor Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  The weather looks on the damp side for both races (my least favorite) but it’ll get done!

For some odd reason I really enjoy the Ann Arbor Half.  It’s a tough course and feels mostly like an incline, the streets are a bit rough (it is Michigan…lol!) but the things to look at throughout the run keep me entertained.  Cool homes, nice parks and if you’re a fan of Michigan sports…it starts right next to the Big House!  All of this craziness are in preparation for the Big Sur Full Marathon coming later in April!  The training has been kind of fun and nothing on my body has snapped just yet.  So cross your fingers that I can keep things in order and on schedule!

So as promised when I started…I’ve managed a 10 mile race or more each month so far!

January- The Dave’s 10 miler

February-The Great Scott 25K

March- The Great Black Swamp 25K…and The Ann Arbor Half Marathon will be going down!

April will be mostly training miles and the build up to both the Glass City Half Marathon…just one week prior to our trip out to the West Coast!  The Big Sur is for sure my biggest hit on the bucket list!  I plan on taking pictures and just messing around during the race.  The goal is to just finish and not be swept up by the sag wagon…lol!  There’s 6 hour cut off and I have no worries we’ll make it in before that.  This run is all about the fun and taking in the beauty that is California!

I’ll get another blog together very soon.  I know that I’ve been behind but will work hard to keep you all informed.  New glowing Run Zombie Run shirts will be going to print this week so that I can be seen better on the race course.  This was a request by my Aunt and she’s been my number one fan so I’ll get it done!

Still focusing on our friends at BlackJack Animal Rescue!  They’ve been busy re-homing numerous dogs and helping many through some very hard times.  Heartworms have been tough on the Catahoula dogs down south.  It’s painful for them to be cured and the expense is always a challenge for those trying to save them.  So please help out if and when you can!  http://blackjackrescue.org/ is the place to go and they have a paypal button right on the page.  All funds go to help these beautiful creatures.  Tax deductible as well!  So it’s a double bonus!  Be sure to tell Sharon that Zombie sent you!  She’s a great lady doing a huge job with all her volunteers.

I still have plans on getting a virtual 5K together later this year.  I’ll be talking with the people at Jupmode to see about having them do all the shirts and making them available on their website to make things go smoother and easier.  All funds raised from the shirts will then go to Black Jack Rescue!  Stay tuned on this one.

Let’s hope that March is as kind to us as February was.  I like running in more moderate temperatures for sure!  Go out and walk and if you’re doing that, put the ResQwalk app on your phone and place Black Jack Animal rescue in as your preferred pet rescue.  Each time you go walking this app will track your miles.  For each mile you walk, money is then donated to the rescue!  How easy is that?!  So let’s get out there and raise some funds, walk the neighborhoods and save some pups!  Thank again for following along and I look forward to sharing more fun pictures soon!

See you on the road!

~Zombie~

Stay Strong and Move Forward

daves10formike The first official race has been run!  The Dave’s 10 Miler turned out to be an absolutely perfect day!  Late January in NW Ohio and 60 degrees at race time?  Are you kidding me?  Karla and I both wore shorts and I had on a short sleeve shirt…Wow!  The 10 Miler is billed as the race that can give you anything from our 60 degree sun filled day to a full on blizzard!

When I ran this one in 2015…it was the only race that I seriously considered giving up on.  My mindset was that I was out there running with a purpose and I needed to stay strong and move forward – telling myself to never give up and never stop!  I won’t lie…it was the longest 10 miles of my life but the satisfaction of crossing the finish line washed all the negative away.  There will always be obstacles in our lives…we just need to roll through them because the finish will be sweet!

The next run up will be the Great Scott 25K.  It’s a Toledo Road Runner club event and can also be a challenge due to it being run in late February.  March is when things will get really busy!  I’m laying out a couple of 5K runs to go along with a couple of bigger runs!  We’ll have both the Black Swamp Festival of races (25K) and the Ann Arbor Half marathon (13.1).  Trying to keep the legs moving and focused on the big prize in April!  The Big Sur Full Marathon!  Just for kicks…we’ll be running the Glass City Half Marathon the week before the Big Sur Full!  Crazy you say?  I’m going with absolutely on that!  LOL!

Training has been going well and both Karla and I remain focused.  I’ve been getting my much-needed lifting days in each week which is helping a bunch.  I’m still carrying around my food journal and writing down what I eat each day.  I do allow myself one full day off of strict eating and usually enjoy a pizza after my long run then.  Something to look forward to after all the miles are run!

My sister Patti and I have been changing up our running routes to see different parts of Toledo – or at least parts that we haven’t run in quite some time.  I threw in both the High Level bridge and the Martin Luther King bridge on a couple of long runs.  Back in my old stomping grounds of the East side!  The High Level bridge seems so much smaller than I remember it…lol!  Maybe after running the Ravenel bridge in South Carolina a few times I’ve learned how big a bridge can really be!  That one is a monster!  I’ve been keeping away from too many “junk miles” so that I can keep myself healthy.  I have a regular issue with my right foot and want to keep it from acting up yet again this year.

The purpose this year is of course for BlackJack Animal Rescue!  I love my dogs and especially Catahoula Leopard Dogs!  Blackjack has had their hands full with the storms in the south, poor animal shelters and just people’s lack of care for animals.  If we can get funds to them and save more of the precious pups…the world just might be a better place!  Sharon Bryant and her band of warriors are always on the lookout for dogs to rescue.  They share these faces in their network and find foster care, get them fully vetted and ready for their forever homes!  It’s truly an awesome job they do and I’m honored to put my race shirt on and show the name BlackJack Animal Rescue on my back!  Please like and follow them on Facebook. To offer a donation just go to Blackjackrescue.org.  You can make a one time donation or set up a recurring monthly amount.  All donations are tax deductible as well…so double bonus!mikesraceshirt

Stay with me…we have much more to come!  I’ll update you on training and such during February.  March we’ll be “Bringing it”!  Getting ready for the final push before we roll into April…so stay tuned!

You know what I’m going to tell you now.  Stay active!  Go walk, run, bike, lift weights…whatever you want – just move!  The human body was built and designed for motion!  Drop one bad habit in your eating or set yourself a challenge to walk a 5K by a certain date.  Be proud of yourself and keep going!  I’m always around if you need a kick in the pants…lol!  Until then…

I’ll see you on the ROAD!

~Zombie~

Find a way…or Make one!

It just feels, as life moves forward, that there’s less and less time to get things done.  I was sitting down to go over races that I’ve signed up for and others that I’ve expressed interest in for the 2017 running season.  Fitting a large mileage race in each month of the year has proved to be challenging.  Take into consideration my all over the place work schedule (that can change at any moment) along with general life scheduling…it gets tough.  There’s marathon training to fit inside all of this and the hopes that I can stay healthy!  The mind set is…”Find a way…or Make one”!

This week has been tough to get the miles that I keep hoping for due mostly to a lack of sleep.  I’ve never been much of a sleeper and when I do get to sleep, I seem to be getting only a few hours…Stella decides I need to be awake and walk her around Oregon.  I never get mad at her because it’s her release and she just wants to stretch her legs and be with me.  Yet there’s still the part of me that says “how the hell am I going to get through the day on a few hours of sleep”!  We’re working on that…Stella and I!  (Note: Stella is my 2 year old Catahoula Leopard Dog)stellaDogs…once again I realized this week why I started this adventure.  Texting back and forth with Sharon Bryant (who runs BlackJack Animal Rescue), I was expressing my sadness when looking through some of the links that I’ve been introduced to through social media to different animal shelters in southern states.  I have to tell you all…it’s an eye opening problem down there!  Most of these shelters are nothing more than killing machines!  Corruption and money grabbing that leaves so many animals to die.  Sharon has been fighting this battle for some time and with the help of her small army, they do everything they can to save as many dogs as possible.  Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee all have high percentage kill shelters!  In Sharon’s words “The Catahoula Leopard dog is considered a dime a dozen in several states”.  Backyard breeders sell what they can of litters and then just dump the remaining puppies at a shelter, knowing full well they’ll likely be killed.  This has got to stop!  Sharon is very organized and, as I said, has a small army of very dedicated people that want the shelters to become “NO KILL”!  It can be done and they have the volunteers to make it happen.  The hurdle of politicians is the uphill battle.  I will continue to work to bring attention to BlackJack Animal Rescue and would love for everyone who reads this to “like” their Facebook page, follow along and share when they are in need!  Donations are a must and very appreciated!  This rescue relies on good people to keep up their efforts to save more animals and get them to good homes.  If we are to spend money, why not do it to make the world a better place?  Dogs and cats can absolutely change your life and make a home complete.  If you can’t adopt, volunteer to help transport animals from one state to the next!  Become part of a network that saves these beautiful animals!  Donate on a monthly basis or give a nice donation so that this fight can continue!  I’ll be working on getting more things together as the year progresses.  A virtual 5K is in the works (more on that later).  T-shirts are currently available on Blackjackrescue.org and all monies go to save animals.  I’ll also be looking into doing some kind of t-shirt or magnets for the Run Zombie Run part in this!  Help where you can and make me proud!

15977693_10208297764623740_4723280493295590567_nSunday is the Dave’s 10 Miler!  It starts at 2 p.m. and looks to be pretty good weather this year for what can be a very crazy event weather-wise!  I’ll be putting on my new Run Zombie Run racing shirt for the very first time Sunday and will represent BlackJack Animal Rescue with honor!  https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Delta/Daves10Miler?remMeAttempt=  Feel free to come on out and ring some cow bells!  Runners love Cow Bells!!  LOL!!
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via GIPHY

I’ll keep working on my training and finding a way to get everything done!  Forge ahead…progress!  Keep tuned in and please, take a look at BlackJack Animal Rescue on Facebook!  We’re almost to 5,000 likes…so get on there…Like and share!  Then go outside and play!!

I’ll see you on the road!

~Zombie~

Keep the Focus!

We’re working through the second week of training and thus far I feel pretty good!  I’m staying focused on keeping my miles where they need to be and getting to the gym 2-3 times each week to maintain my strength.  Doing the core work and eating better will help I’m sure.  I really hate carrying the extra weight but know that in time that’ll be corrected. I always feel better when I’m a bit lighter and my speed will improve as well.  On Task!

I’ve signed up for group of runs that’ll be done here locally. http://runtoledo.com/runthe419/ I’ve run a couple of them in the past years but there are some that have been brought back from my past.  The Channel 11 River Run was one that I remember running in the wayyyyy back!  I like the idea of running the streets of Toledo and reliving memories of yesteryear.  Brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.  For those of you that are here in town…you need to come out to these and cheer!  If you have the time…volunteer!  I’ve never known a race director to turn away free help!

I have my sights set on a couple of my Winter favorites.  The Great Scott 25K was big fun the last time through and I absolutely must run it again. February 19th at Oak Openings Metro park.  The next favorite is the Great Black Swamp Festival of Races! FALLEN TIMBERS MIDDLE SCHOOL, 6119 Finzel Rd, Whitehouse, OH 43571.  For those of you who have followed Run Zombie Run you may remember that I love this race because of the “Memory Mile” at the end of the race.  Signs posted everywhere of special people that we’ve loved and lost.  I find myself fighting tears and emotion during this final mile.  All the names just make you realize how precious and short life really is.  It’s a must to come out to this one!

I’m keeping with the challenge to run at least a 10 mile (OR More) during each month of 2017!  I’ll run some of the super fun 5K’s as well but want to keep at the Big Runs!  The idea is to maintain big mileage but stay healthy to make it through the entire 2017 race season.

The Race shirt for this year is a dark Gray Nike DriFit.  We have white letters for the Run Zombie Run and an Orange Zombie!  New this year is an Orange Zombie Dog!  This year’s focus is on Blackjack Animal Rescue.  blackjackrescue.org  I want people to know the kind of work that’s going on in the world out there so that we can keep hope.  Sharon Bryant and so many others that she’s networked with do hard work for the love of these animals.  They want nothing in return but to know that they’ve made a difference and saved one of God’s creatures.  How can you not want to help a group like that?  I’ll talk about them more in future blogs and continue to find ways to raise funds to help their operation.  Feel free at anytime to get on their website and make a donation!  Tell them that Zombie sent you in the comments…it’ll make Sharon smile!

I hate to get too much ahead of myself but I will tell you that I’m looking into a possible Virtual 5K again this year!  My Tattoo artist told me today that he’d be happy to do artwork for shirts and you know…we just might have to do that because it sure was fun the last time!  I’ll look into getting a sponsor or two to cover the cost of the shirts and printing so that every dollar can be sent to Blackjack Animal Rescue!  If there’s interest…I may look into doing regular (soft) T-shirts that mimic my Run Zombie Run Race shirt!  Reach out and let me know if it’s something I need to look into.

I always like to close by telling you all that I appreciate you following me on these journeys in my life.  I love that people become inspired and want to do good for others as well as themselves.  Remember the human body was meant to be in motion!  Go out and enjoy the winter…don’t just hide from it.  There’s a certain peace in walking on a crisp Winter day!  Download the ResQwalk App on your phone and turn that on while walking as well!  If you put Blackjack Animal Rescue in as your chosen rescue…every mile you walk they’ll donate funds to the rescue!  How cool is that?  So get out and go!

I’ll see you on the road!

~Zombie~

2017…Running To Make A Difference

I pretty much stepped away from organized running for the 2016 year and I have to tell you, it sucked!  2016 left me with such an empty space inside after everything that went on in 2015.  Raising money to help Mobile Meals of Toledo was a blessing for me.  I had such purpose and enjoyed every moment I was out running races!  So to make things right…I needed to get back out on the road and make a difference.

This 2017 year I’ve teamed up with BlackJack Animal Rescue.  They’re a Tennessee based animal rescue that helps not only Catahoula Leopard dogs (my Stella) but many others as well.  They may be based out of Tennessee but their heart-strings venture out across the country!  They’ve devised a wonderful network of people who Foster, transport and just get out and save these beautiful creatures from a sure death.  I can think of no better way to spend 2017 than by raising funds and awareness for this rescue and I hope you’ll all join in and help along the way!

The shirts!  Run Zombie Run racing shirts will be put together in the very near future.  I’ve reached out to Matt at Second Sole 4130 Levis Commons Blvd, Perrysburg, Ohio to supply me with the shirts.  I’ve also reached out to Jon & Mike over at Jupmode to do the printing of my race shirts.  The front will remain pretty much unchanged from prior years but the back will have All proceeds to benefit Blackjack Animal Rescue!  Working on either a pup face or paw prints on there as well!  Hoping to go with Black this year but will be happy with a dark gray as well.  I do have some ideas for T-shirts for sale to help raise more money for Blackjack.  We’ll get that moving in February or March.  I’ll be working on the big build up to our Big Sur Full Marathon out in California!  Stay tuned!

The challenge!  I’m setting a start goal of getting at least a 10 mile (or further) race for each month of 2017!  I’m going to do my best to find as many Half Marathons as possible as that is my distance of choice!  We’ve committed to run the following right now:

The Dave’s 10 Miler-this is on January 22nd and can be anything from a crazy 60 degree day to a fricking blizzard!  I ran it in 2015 and holy cats was it a tough, windy and cold run!  That one almost broke me.  If you look back through my blog postings you’ll find an entry on how I struggled to finish this one.  Had to dig deep!

The Ann Arbor Half Marathon-this is on March 26th and is a scenic but tough race!  It has a serious mother of a hill at right about mile 11!  Most of the race is on an incline and of course…shitty Michigan roads…lol!  It starts out right next to the Big House so if you’re a Michigan fan…it’s pretty damn cool!

The Glass City Half Marathon-this one is on April 23rd and is a week prior to the Big Sur Full Marathon!  I thought about skipping it this year but hey…the bling is cool and Karla gave it a green light!  I may regret it the following weekend but I’ll worry about that when the time comes.  Love running in my home town!

The Big Sur Full Marathon-this is on April 30th and is considered to be one of/if not the most scenic Marathon in the country!  Getting into this is done on a lottery system and I’ve been trying for a few years now to get into it.  I’ve always said that if I did…I’d run the Full Marathon…well…now it’s time to get it done!  My Brother in law who has run Marathons in every state has said time and time again that the Big Sur is one of his favorites.  That speaks to me as he’s seen some of the most beautiful spots in the country.  I’m all in for this one!

Training… I’ve decided to take my own approach on the training for the Full Marathon.  I’ll be doing a build up by adding a mile to each week on my long run.  This should have me right where I need to be come race time.  During the week I’ll do smaller runs and maybe a mid mileage run to keep moving.  I have to think of keeping healthy so I need to keep it simple and allow myself rest time as well.  I’ve already started my strength training to re-condition my body for the beating that it’ll be going through during the coming months.  I’m adding the stair climber back into the mix to get ready for elevation issues in California!  There might be a few hills in that race…lol!

Diet will be cleaned up and I’m going with the 6 clean days and 1 off day.  The off day will be on my long run day as I’m sure Carbs will have to be my friend!  I used this program a few times over the years and love how I feel when I’m eating clean most of the week.  The one off day keeps your head in the game and gives you something to look forward to when you want to eat something “bad”!

The Rescue!  Blackjack is a very small and humble organization.  They’re a 501c3 non-profit and are doing their work because it’s a calling!  How can you not fight for people who do that?!  I love my dogs and when I lost my Silver…my heart was absolutely broken.  I reached out to Blackjack and found a whole new world of animals that are not only unique…but absolutely wonderful!  The Catahoula Leopard Dog (mostly known as the Cata-What??) when you tell someone what kind of dog you have are very energetic, loving and beautiful dogs.  They’re the Louisiana state dog and you’ll find most of them in the southern states such as Tennessee, Georgia, Texas and of course Louisiana.  Blackjack watches for dogs that are on death row, being mistreated, strays or just pups turned over to them to find good homes.  Sharon Bryant runs the show there and can I just say…she needs to receive some kind of award for the work she’s doing!

So fellow Zombies…time to focus!  Tune in again and I hope you’ll stay on for the entire stretch!  There are good things to come in 2017!  If you haven’t got on Facebook and like/shared Blackjack Animal Rescue…please do so!  Look on their web page:

http://www.blackjackrescue.org/

If you need a dog or can foster…even better!  They have a paypal set up for one time donations or monthly donations.  You can also help by using :

https://smile.amazon.com/  Just put Blackjack Animal Rescue in as your choice of charity and they’ll get a portion of your dollars spent on Amazon!

Also…break out your smartphones…go to the App store and get the ResQwalk App.  put Blackjack Animal Rescue in as your choice of charity and just turn it on and go out and walk!  Blackjack will get money just for you moving your butt!  lol!!  It’s a fun App and you can look through all the people out there walking and posting pictures of their pups!

You all know I’m about moving and working on keeping healthy.  So lets all make the pledge to do that in 2017.  Help make a difference in the lives of these beautiful creatures that depend on us humans to have a good life.  They deserve that.  I’ll get back to more regular blogs…I promise!  Stay Tuned for more info as it becomes available!  Keep following me on 30races.com and also on my Run Zombie Run Facebook page!  I’ll post pictures of the shirts as soon as they’re done!  Woo Hoo!!  Let’s do this!

See you on the road!

~Zombie~