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Vblog: Being a Tourist at the Grand Canyon

Vblog of my day at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. I started at the Bright Angel Lodge area and then drove to Desert View stopping at all the viewpoints along the way. I did a little hike at Moran Point which I enjoyed very much. Totally worth it. 

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Vblog: Mesa Verde National Park

At Mesa Verde I ran about 23.5 miles on road and the remainder on the Petroglyphs Trail. Running on the road did give me an excellent view of the canyons and many of the ruins. Given an early enough start running on the road is safe and enjoyable. 

This video has much more of my face than normal. Hope you enjoy. Ha!

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Footsteps in a Dune: Great Sand Dunes National Park

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Footsteps in a Dune: Great Sand Dunes National Park

I went for a hike at Great Sand Dunes National Park. My route was to the top of 700 foot tall dunes starting at over 7,000 feet elevation. Great Sand Dunes is a popular park and this was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. By 10:30 a.m. there were already a lot of people plodding their way up.

Even though I’m in good running shape when I hit the steeper climbs in the high altitude I started to strain. Every step resulted in a little backward slide that made progress slow. I actively thought, “What could make this easier?” I began to experiment.

Stepping on the mounds of sand at the heel of an old footprint didn’t help. That wake was soft and slid downwards easily. Stepping in a spot devoid of a footprint was a little better. There was a little resistance before creating my own mark.

The best approach I found was to step directly into an existing footprint. The sand was already compressed and I didn’t sink as much. I seemed to make better time working with the footprints than stepping around them.

I contemplated this as I worked. The footprints were not straight: they zig-zagged from side to side, sometimes requiring a short step, sometimes a long one. They were not all made by the same person. However, collectively, they were helping me toward my goal.

Despite those that had come before me I was still on my own path. I was still going in my own direction. I may get to the same place as others but it would not be the same journey they travelled. I took my own steps.

This train of thought stayed with me for a long while. I was taking the best of what others had laid out before me. I was allowing myself to be guided. In the past, I’ve often struggled with needing to figure things out on my own rather than following another’s blueprint or asking for help. If I didn’t do it myself then was the accomplishment really mine?

I began to think that not even trailblazers start unguided. They learn skills and acquire knowledge from others. Once they’ve learned from following, they are ready to cut that new path.

My traveling over the past year has allowed me time to contemplate what I’ve learned and what I still have to learn. I’ve thought about how open I am (or not) to feedback, direction and help. I take this type of internal discussion as growth but also recognition that I need to embrace this even more.

I’m certainly not a trailblazer yet but I’m certainly on a new course of exploration and that is a big first step.

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Vblog: Barreling Down the Black Canyon Trail

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Vblog: Barreling Down the Black Canyon Trail

My friend Ron Peck and I had an awesome time running 26.2 miles at Rocky Mountain National Park on Wednesday May 17, 2017. This was marathon #42 for me and this was the second time Ron ran with me having joined for marathon #1 at Acadia National Park in June of last year. This is a quick video of us barreling down the Black Canyon Trail after hitting the snowline and having to turn around. 

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On the DizRuns Podcast with Denny Krahe

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On the DizRuns Podcast with Denny Krahe

On my way back north following my run at Everglades National Park I got the opportunity to be on the DizRuns with running coach and great guy Denny Krahe. We talked about the project, possibility and of course, running. At the end he added some really nice points about how he thinks about possibility and how we get caught up in "could nevers" (even me).  

He's got over 400 episodes so there is something for everyone to learn. Thanks to the opportunity and the great conversation Denny! 

Listen via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/diz-runs-with/id894643596, his web site at http://www.dizruns.com/408/ or here - 

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On the Dr. Laurie Marbas Podcast

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On the Dr. Laurie Marbas Podcast

I was honored to talk with Dr. Laurie Marbas on her latest podcast. Dr. Marbas is Board Certified in family medicine, a public speaker, author and the medical director at Dr. Furman's Health Oasis, a unique program combining nutritional care with innovative behavioral therapy to reverse illness. She is dedicated to making her patients healthy and curing disease not just treating symptoms.

Dr. Marbas has had big guests on her podcast like Dr. Joel Kahn, Andrew "Spud Fit" Taylor, Milan Ross, Josh LaJaunie and Dr. Robert Ostfeld to pick just a few. I am really appreciative that she asked me to join to talk about Running the Parks. 

We touched on how I came to the decision to start my project and how change is possible. We chatted about motivation and a little about our National Parks. We also talked about how I fuel myself when on the road. Sometimes simplicity is best. 

I really enjoyed our conversation. We ended up talking another hour after the podcast ended. I hope you enjoy as well. 

Listen via iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dr-laurie-marbas-podcast/id1163569560

Or via Soundcloud:

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Vblog: First Loop at Dry Tortugas National Park

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Vblog: First Loop at Dry Tortugas National Park

Back on April 8th, 2017 to get my marathon distance I had to run 0.6 mile loops around Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park. This was the first loop. I ran counterclockwise for 13 miles and then clockwise for 13 miles. I think 44 loops in all. I enjoyed it all. I wasn't loopy one bit. 

Here's a look at the first go-around. 

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The World is Supporting Me: Dry Tortugas National Park Logistics

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The World is Supporting Me: Dry Tortugas National Park Logistics

I knew Dry Tortugas was going to be logistically challenging. It involves a ferry ride from Key West to the island and then camping is limited by space. In addition, camping is fully rustic - you need to bring everything including your drinking water.

I may have been a little lax in researching the availability of the ferry and camp spaces. My friend contacted me and said he was going to be there in June and maybe our dates would overlap. Yea, exactly. How often do you know anyone visiting Dry Tortugas National Park much less close enough to the dates you are thinking of going there?

Unfortunately our dates are not going to overlap. By his date in June I will be all the way back to Colorado and approaching completion of the parks in the lower 48 states. But, he prompted me to call the concessionaire that runs the ferry and coordinates the campground for the National Park Service.

Here is an example of where the world is conspiring to help me. I would have likely waited for some other day. I might have even waited until I got to Florida and was running in Biscayne and Everglades to think about booking Dry Tortugas. But, my friend reached out and I am grateful.

When I called and told Val at the ferry service about my marathon project she was very enthusiastic and supportive but when I told her my dates of late April she said that the ferry and the campgrounds are booked until July. I thought a bit and I said I could be there as early as April 8th. It would just mean I would run Dry Tortugas first and then Everglades and Biscayne instead of the reverse.

She said, wait, we must have had a cancelation. I can get you to the island on April 8th for two nights of camping and the ferry returning to Key West on April 10th. She said, “that has your name written all over it”. So, that’s what I did. I wrote my name all over it (well, she did it over the phone and into her computer but you get the idea).

If you notice these events then you will see that the world is aligning to support you. But, if you only notice the challenges that life can bring then you will think the world is against you. This trip has really helped me see and believe that the world is out to support me. I just had to open my eyes to see it.

How about in your life? Are your eyes open to how the world and the people around you are supporting you?

Are you willing to connect a random instant message, call, conversation with a friend which was perfect timing?

Are you willing to make the effort to do what really feeds you and believe that the world will support you?

Because it does.

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On the Plant Trainers Podcast with Adam and Shoshana Chaim

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On the Plant Trainers Podcast with Adam and Shoshana Chaim

I was recently a guest on the Plant Trainers podcast with Adam and Shoshana Chaim (www.planttrainers.com). This was a huge honor for me. Their podcast is one of the leading sources of information for leading a healthy and active life through a plant based diet. Their past guests are educators, doctors, professional athletes and other leaders in the plant based community. They were gracious to invite me to talk about my project and how I'm keeping myself in shape to run a trail marathon a week on a plant based diet while living out of my car (Yes! It is possible!).

We touch on my decision to make a change, the mindset of possibility and of course what I eat. I enjoyed talking with Adam and Shoshana and I look forward to meeting them in person when we attend HealthFest in Marshall, Texas in March. 

Listen here on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-plant-trainers-podcast/id957883184?mt=2&ls=1

or on their web site at http://planttrainers.com/wordpress/169/

I would love to hear your comments. Thanks!

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On the Go Hunt Life Podcast with Todd Nevins

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On the Go Hunt Life Podcast with Todd Nevins

I was honored to be asked to join Todd Nevins (@todd_nevins on Twitter) on his excellent podcast Go Hunt Life (www.gohuntlife.com) He interviews people who "pull the ripcord" on life and make a big change. We discuss everything from how I felt before I made the change, how I've changed and what I still struggle with. We also touch on our fabulous National Parks and even running form. I hope you enjoy and would love to hear your comments. 

Listen Via iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/go-hunt-life/id1130031805

or directly on the Go Hunt Life web site - http://gohuntlife.com/e037-lifestyle-reboot-running-59-marathons-all-us-national-parks-bill-sycalik/

 

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Vblog: Interview with George Rehmet after marathon run at Pinnacles National Park

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Vblog: Interview with George Rehmet after marathon run at Pinnacles National Park

Welcome to my vblog about my time at Pinnacles National Park. This video contains a lively chat with George Rehmet, Western Regional Director of the Road Runners Club of America (www.rrca.org) and photos and video of the park.

George joined me for the marathon to celebrate our National Parks and his last day in his 40s! We talk about beauty and challenge of running at Pinnacles and why more people should run at the parks. Watch out for the caves!

I hope you enjoy. I thoroughly did. 

Interview footage by Jennifer Weiss

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Vblog: Isle Royale National Park

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Vblog: Isle Royale National Park

I'm getting back to my videos. Here's a short one about my time way-back-when at Isle Royale National Park. It gives you an idea of what it is like on that old island. Trust me though, my photography and videography has improved since then. Keep watching.... and #runningtheparks.

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My Marathon Quest Podcast

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My Marathon Quest Podcast

I was honored to be invited by Juan and Stephanie Pena to be on their podcast, My Marathon Quest. I'm their third guest after duathlete Chris Mosier, the first known openly transgender athlete to earn a spot on a U.S. men's national team. You may have seen Chris in Nike's Unlimited Courage commercial. You can check it out on YouTube here. And Oscar Kemjika athlete and entrepreneur who is training for a spot on the 2020 Olympic Team in track. Then, little ol' me. 

In the podcast Juan, Stephanie and I talk about the genesis of my project and what it takes to be ready to run a marathon a week. We also discuss the mindset it takes to leave the city and a good job, living a minimalist lifestyle, learning about living an experiential live as well as some of the challenges of living on the road. And, in support of with the title of the podcast we talk about my tips for a novice or first time marathoner. 

Juan and Stephanie are wonderful and I enjoyed spending time with them. I hope you enjoy the discussion as well. 

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