Roll another year over, but what about the decade?

David Yon, January 5, 2020

Sometimes I get confused.  Ok, often I am confused.  On January 1, 2020, I began my 38th year of running, including somewhere around 75,000 miles (maybe more).   What I do not understand, however, is whether December 31, 2019, was the last day of the decade referred to as the 2010s or was it the end of the 9th year of that decade making January 1, 2020 the start of the last year of the second decade of the century and December 31, 2020 the last day of the decade.  So, did I finish the 2010s or do have almost a full year to go?

There is a lot of information on this question out there in web world.  The answer depends on who you ask.  The Farmer’s Almanac, based on its review of the Gregorian calendar and its history, concludes that a new decade begins January 1, of the year ending in a “1” and ending on December 31, of a year ending in “0.” (For example, the decade under this approach began on January 1, 2001 and ended on December 31, 2020.)  The calendar began with its first day as year one, followed a year later by year 2.

The Farmer’s Almanac explains its position with an elevator analogy.

As an analogy, think of going into a building in which the ground floor is listed not as the first floor, but as the lobby. So, the first floor is one flight above you.

So if you were to go into an elevator located in the lobby and wanted to go 10-flights up, you would actually end up on the ninth floor (if you were to assume that the lobby as the “zero” floor).

But if you assume the lobby as the “first” floor and went 10-flights up, you would end up on the tenth floor.

In essence, on our calendars, 2021 is the equivalent of a “first-floor lobby,” and after going up ten flights (or years), we’ll arrive at the tenth floor. Or in this case, the year 2030—when that decade ends.

The US Naval Observatory, the keeper of our country’s time, agrees with the Almanac. The Observatory’s staff researched this issue in 1999, as people debated when the new millennium would begin, and concluded that a new millennium would begin on January 1, 2001. In other words, all those people cheering in the new year and millennium on December 31, 1999, were one year early.

But 2019 was a bit of a rough year, matching the difficulty of the decade of the 2019s. I prefer not to wait; let’s get started on a new decade now and send the last one packing. 

Tallahassee and Leon County continue to have amazing resources for runners.  Led by Gulf Winds Track Club there is a vibrant running and racing community.  Gulf Winds alone puts on more than 30 events every year.  You can read about these races at https://www.gulfwinds.org/gwtc-races/.  In addition, the calendar for all races in the area shows 75 or so races likely to be run this year on dirt, trails, pavement and track. The variety of terrain is a strong draw to this area.  The number of participants varies from 5,000 to 6,000 finishers at Turkey Trot to fewer than 100 runners at Prefontaine.  It continues to offer family entertainment as well.

Later this spring the Palace Saloon 5K will turn a large number of runners free on Jackson Bluff Road for the 46th time.  My quick count identified 10 races that have remained on the calendar for at least 40 years.

There are training groups for all ages including groups wanting to train for specific races, weekly interval workouts, fartlek runs, and long runs for marathon training.  Speaking of marathons, GWTC puts on a February marathon and half marathon that help show off the city and its surround area.  And for those who want to run with a team, there is a relay division that is steadily growing.

There are social and educational opportunities as well.   An annual holiday party and awards ceremony are the big hits most years.  Last year a visit by elite runner Meb Keflezighi lit up the city. The Apalachee Regional Park provides opportunities to bring top of the line cross country battles to town – like the NCAA National Cross-Country Championships. It is great venue for spectator viewing.

So, yes, it is a good time to focus on what is possible during this coming year, whether it is the start or the finish of a decade.  After a couple of difficult runs recently, I began to wonder if maybe running was just getting too hard to enjoy.  On a recent Thursday afternoon run, my phone started zinging from text messages and soon I found myself alone on the trails behind the tennis courts at Phipps.  I came close to skipping my run and going home.  For the first mile or so I thought I had made a mistake by not terminating the run.  Slowly though my body started warming up and moving with a nice rhythm.

The sun was setting quickly, and I knew the last rays of light would be gone in no time.  Everything around me was very quiet.   A hush had fallen on the park creating a perfect opportunity to melt away into a beautiful place.  I ran down a trail that ends near an overflow area passing what I always thought was a home for bats.  I thought to myself that there are hundreds of places like this in our community.  Places that help a runner feel free and bring a smile to their face. 

I plan to keep looking for them as we start a new decade.  Happy New Year and I hope to see you on the run somewhere.    

FEATURES

Diversity and Inclusion in Tallahassee 2021

Diversity and Inclusion in Tallahassee As a member of Gulf Winds Track Club, will you make a contribution to support to the club’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative this year? As a result of last year’s fundraiser club volunteers were able to provide running coaching...

Volunteers Needed for Beginning Running Group

The 2021 Beginning Running Group will kick off on September 22nd starting at 6pm at the FSU Mike Long Track.  Please consider volunteering to help new runners get started!  We will have multiple groups and need people to help lead or sweep them.  The groups will start...

Grand Prix is Back

​ We, the Grand Prix committee, are excited to bring you an abbreviated 2021 Grand Prix schedule that will consist entirely of Gulf Winds races. There will be a variety of distances and terrains. In the coming months, we will be accepting applications for both the...

Lecture Series Returns August 9

Who: Amanda Heidecker, Former FSU Runner, GWTC member & Director of Leon County Parks & Recreation When: August 9 at 6PM Where: Casa Grande Midtown www.casagrandemidtown.com formerly Beef O'Brady's in the JoAnne Fabrics shopping center Why: Get your County...

I wish I was there

I would much prefer to be there instead of watching from my couch. The USA Olympic track and field trials and the Olympic track and field games are among my favorite places to be – no matter where they are. COVID – 19 doesn’t care what I think. But we are way ahead of...

Stan Linton Takes Another Step Forward in Portland

One of the hallmarks of the Tallahassee running community and Gulf Winds Track Club it that it is like a big family. After more than a year of few races and very little activity, derisiveness made its way to the front too often. But families pull together. In addition...

COVID 19 closes Eglin AFB to runners for another year…

I feel powerless from the belief that I may never again get to enjoy the Eglin AFB Gate to Gate 4.4 Mile run and post-race party that for years have commemorated Memorial Day, our national holiday of remembrance… The COVID Pandemic has disrupted the annual road race...

Ready to Lace Up?

Racing eases back for summer with track series, Melon Run Racing is back. The June calendar is full! Yes, smiles are popping up everywhere and COVID’s strangle hold is broken. I am not suggesting that there are not still reasons to be careful. In fact, people are...

Trial delayed: Going the Extra Mile is Paul Hoover’s Legacy

I peeked ahead on my calendar and found an entry for May 17 that says: “Paul Hoover Trial Begins.” It turns out the trial has been pushed back – again. This time to Aug. 2, 2021. The wheels of justice are grinding much slower than Paul Hoover ran even on a bad day. It...