Author: Grand Floridian

High on LSD with Eliud Kipchoge

High on LSD with Eliud Kipchoge

“Long Slow Distance” (LSD).  Today was my long run of the week and a tad slower than earlier paces at shorter distances.  That’s it.  No drugs.  I do like the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.  Maybe The Beatles were runners.  Eliud Kipchoge?  Look him up for all the details but suffice it to say he’s a badass.

Activity:  5 Miles     Pace:  10:57/mi     Time:  55:20

Gear: Nike Shorts and Shirt (models unknown), Socks? (need to improve my sock game), Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 Shoes (just second run with them), some generic running glasses (don’t like), Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3, Apple AirPods, iPhone X, No Sunblock

Weight:  260.4

Sponsorships:  None. 


Today was an audio guided run with the Nike+Run Club app.  I had eliminated music and all the accoutrements like headphones and phone from my runs a few years ago.  I gave them a try today for a number of reasons but mostly to get the instruction and help with pacing that I expected from a guided run.  I liked having the music.  The coaching was okay but more inspirational than educational.  Having the phone was more annoying than it was worth.  I will be retiring the music, headphones and phone going forward.  It’s just my opinion, but running without music or phone is just more zen.

I completed the 5 mile workout.  That was the plan.  I did it.  On to the next.

My two short runs this week were both at the 5k length and each was a PR and more comfortable than I would have previously believed possible.  I was so proud each day about the accomplishment of these runs that I was levitating.  Ana probably got a little fed up with me as both my PR’s this week are far slower than what she does to open even a 10 mile run.  I have told her that she needs to bring a book or a puzzle or something to do after she finishes some of the races that we have planned while she waits for me to finish.

I was surprised to see that it has been over 3 years since I last posted.  Most posts in the interim have been 140 characters or less.  A lot has changed in that time from our jobs to the kids away at school and making changes around the house.  Not the least of which, Ana runs and wakes up regularly at 0430, in the morning, to workout or run no matter the weather.

Ana has been well ahead of me on the get healthy fitness journey as she has made a lifestyle change and I have been on more of a roller coaster over the last few years.  I will fill you in on those details in posts to come but suffice it to say that we are having a lot of fun and getting fit and healthier along the way.

Next workout is at 0500 tomorrow at Orangetheory Fitness – Oviedo. Next run is a 4-miler on Tuesday.  Next race is a 5k Lululemon Cupid Shuffle in Winter Park on February 10.


Terrain Mapping

I am increasingly aware of every incline, decline, false flat and terrain change in the surrounding area where I run.  I am well aware that if I start and stop from the same spot that I will have an equal amount of decline and incline during the run.  That doesn’t stop me from considering the terrain before I depart and thinking about where and when I will hit the hills out on the course.

It has been a while since I last wrote.  You may think that my training ended and I just stopped updating.  Not true.  I have been busy with work and dealing with a daughter away at college and a son starting to drive.  And I have been busy running.  I am on the plan to run OUC Orlando Half Marathon in early December.

Since August 20 and my last post, I have run 20 times and more than 60 miles.  There have been runs in North Carolina to the Florida Keys.  I have run while on work trips and long weekends.  The consistency of making time for my program in my regular week offers challenges and a sense of accomplishment throughout the week.  Getting out early in the morning, especially on Saturdays, offers a chance to commune with nature and hear birds, wind in the trees, running water and rain hitting the leaves before it hits me.  I can see the beautiful sky, clouds, creeks, nice homes, sun shining and a variety of trees and animals.

I have also obsessed over researching for a new pair of running shoes as my old pair have deteriorated.  I will update on my process and results in a separate post soon.

Today was my first 5 mile run of not only the program but my life.

5.00 mi
12′ 52″ / mi

It actually felt better than last Saturday’s 4 mile run.  Maybe the new shoes were a part of that.  Update me on what you have been up to lately.  Are you running, biking, walking, yoga, meditating, or anything new? If not, why not?

On the Road, Again

Tuesday started in Charleston and ended in Charlotte. I didn’t get the run for the day completed in the morning when I had hoped to due an over zealous use of the snooze button and things that had to be done.

Sometime while working all day but before beginning my three hour drive to Charlotte, I became aware that my nephew, Liam, had challenged me to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As this was done on Facebook, I didn’t see it until about 21 hours into the 24 allotted. By the time I arrived in Charlotte the 24 hours had passed and it was time to run.

I changed and headed out of the hotel in near total darkness looking for a path that was lot well enough for me to follow. I resigned myself to running loops as if I were on a track. One length was uphill while the other was down. As soon as I began running I was ready to quit. I wasn’t feeling it. By the mile and a half mark, I had the near constant sensation that I was going to vomit. I powered through and did not set any pace records, but got it done.

3.13 mi
14′ 19″ / mi

After returning to the hotel, I made numerous treks to the ice machine to fill my tub with ice cold water. I filled a bucket and proceeded to record video thanking Liam and dumping the bucket over my head, plunging myself into the tub and challenged Ralph Peña, Mike Padron and Sam Kimbrel.

I tried to post that video on Facebook but was unable to after many attempts last night but it just went up moments ago.

Do something!

The Longest Weekend

This weekend has been on the calendar as long as we have known where Shannon would be going to college. This is the weekend that we move her into her residence hall and she begins her freshman year. We arrived late Thursday night and checked into our hotel exhausted from the drive. We were unconscious before there was time to think of what was ahead.

Friday morning, we were up early for breakfast and headed to the campus to get in line for the unloading of our vehicle and load-in to her room. We went right to work and made more than a couple trips to various stores to set her up right. Although we spent most of the day arranging and building, hanging and organizing, it was not long before she was headed off to convocation and an evening of activities with her new classmates and teammates.

We went off to explore Asheville and to apply a liberal amount of carbs and alcohol to our wounds. I believe we did a great job of it since we included Asheville Pizza and Brewing and a stop at the Grove Park Inn for drinks and finally dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe.  Asheville was overflowing with people, music and excitement.  There is no mystery as to why Shannon fell in love with this area.  While waiting for a table at Tupelo, we walked down to Green Man for a beer and acquired album by The Tillers.

Saturday morning called for an early morning run due to the full day we had planned. I scouted a safe route from our hotel and while certain there would be elevation change I was excited for the opportunity to run in Biltmore Forest. I was up early and out just before the sunrise. I ran nearly straight uphill on Vanderbilt Road for the outward mile and a half and downhill coming back. My legs did burn on the climb and I was unable to maintain any pace, but my shins burned even more on the descent.


3.06 mi
13′ 38″ / mi

10 push-ups

After breakfast, we drove out the Blue Ridge Parkway to Craggy Gardens and did the 0.7mi hike/climb to the summit for the 360 degree views.

IMG_5230 IMG_5219

As Saturday went on, we found ourselves at Wicked Weed for a late lunch and explored Asheville while returning to Grove Park Inn for sunset drinks.

Classic Burger and Milk Stout at Wicked Weed
Classic Burger and Milk Stout at Wicked Weed

We saw Shannon for a few more minutes across the weekend to setup her television and some decorations that we got her for her room and finally to go to Mass before we left.  We made the long drive back to Florida to start our week of work and school and left Shannon to her new chapter in Asheville.

Pick Up the Pace

Spoiler Alert: I may get the feels in this post.

We have an emotional weekend ahead. Tonight we take our beautiful daughter, Shannon, to college. She is heading to Asheville, NC to attend University of North Carolina – Asheville. If you don’t know our family well, you will have to take my word on how close knit we are. We have had a little time to begin getting used to her absence as she had such a wonderful friend group here and they have had an emotional few weeks already as they have been saying goodbye to one another as each departs for the next chapter. I will miss many of her friends as well that have nearly lived in my living room the last few years.

Today, I wanted to pick up the pace for a number of reasons. I wanted to see if there was a faster pace where I might actually find some comfort running and holding that pace. I needed to get done with the run as there is a lot to do today and Ana and I are both working. Plus, I just felt like kicking a little ass.

I went out in what felt comfortable but decidedly faster than my two precious runs that I ran the entire 3 miles. The pace that I settled into was fluctuating slightly but it was under 11 min/mi pace. I decided about the 3/4 mile mark that it wasn’t sustainable for 3 miles yet. I held it to the mile and then began intervals. In my neighborhood I choose to use the streetlights for demarcation. They vary in separation but average maybe 100 yards. I run to the next at about an 8 min/mi pace and then walk to the next at maybe a 14 min/mi pace and kept this up for the second mile before increasing the walk length to two streetlights and eventually three to complete the third mile.

Even with the intervals of walking the entire 5k was completed in over 1′ 30″ per mile faster pace than Tuesday’s continuous run. And based solely on perspiration and hyperventilation, it was much more challenging as well.

For good measure, I knocked out ten push-ups and 10 myotatic crunches (Follow the link for a demonstration)
before hitting the shower.

3.12 mi
12′ 34″ / mi

10 push-ups
10 myotatic crunches

After tonight’s long drive, we will be loading my baby girl into her dorm room tomorrow morning. Not long after that, she will depart for convocation and we will hangout in Asheville hoping against hope that she has another minute to spare or needs anything before we drive home without her.

We are just as unprepared to let go of our kids as we were to have kids in the first place. We have no idea what we are doing and we will just have to figure it out as we go.

The next run on the schedule is for this Saturday. If it goes as planned, I will be running in and around Biltmore Forest.

Stay hydrated and go do something. Geez!

Home Sweet Home 5k

I am back in Florida and I am on plan in my training. I have not allowed rain, travel, a busy schedule or oppressive heat to deter me from my planned runs. I wrote out my training schedule on monthly calendars from the date that I registered until the date of the race. So far, I have been able to hold myself accountable. Tuesday morning called for 3 more miles to get logged. The road that circles our subdivision, if circumnavigated twice, makes for a nice route of almost exactly 3.1 miles, or 5 kilometers, also known as the 5k.

The weight is not falling off as fast as I might like. Isn’t that the way it always goes? I do, however, notice changes in my body composition. I have not tracked my fat percentage or measured like I should, but I am confident that I am moving in the right direction. I have shared my story often this week. Most people can’t believe that I was ever on the wrong side of 300 pounds. I am amazed at the changes in clothes sizes and comfort during physical activities that being 50 pounds lighter affords.

I am considering adding on some shorter races in preparation for the half marathon to get more participation from family and friends in the training process. I am looking at races like the “UCF 5-miler” and the “Turkey Trot” if anyone has any interest or input.

3.11 mi
14′ 06″ / mi

In which, I can’t decide if 5am is late night or early morning…

Saturday! I have a full day ahead with AdvoCare National Success School well underway and plans to race from Dallas to Frisco for tonight’s FC Dallas game against the Colorado Rapids. Have I told you how much I love soccer and the MLS? Pay attention.

So with a busy day ahead, I was up putting my run gear on before 5a. I considered taking a different route than Thursday, but being it was very dark out and that way seemed well lit and provided opportunities to see the stadiums at night, I went the way that I knew. I may have made it a little longer as I went through a park and got closet to Cowboy Stadium to see all the lights going off from the stage setup inside and to take more pictures.

The night sky was beautiful and clear allowing stars and a near full moon to shine. The temperature was comfortable and there was a blessed breeze. Other than a quick photo or a redlight, I didn’t stop. This made the run unique as I have never run for three miles at any pace without stopping. It hurt and my mind and body negotiated many times over what was happening and what should be done, but I ran on.

3.19 mi
14′ 37″ / mi

I can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment as I overcome the difficulties and potential excuses to continue on with my plan to train toward this half marathon. In the words of James Brown “I Feel Good!”

I had a great day and drank my body weight in water and then enjoyed the evening while FC Dallas completed the day with a win.

I head back home tomorrow to my family that I miss so much. I will never say that Florida is too hot again after these few days in Texas.

Do you have a plan to reach your goals yet? Do you have goals?