Category: Uncategorized

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.

In which, I discover Texas is freaking hot…

So Thursday is a run day, but I also had to work and travel and had an evening event. I couldn’t run early because I was up and on the road before 5am. This meant my best opportunity was a lunchtime run in 95 degree heat.

I would normally work to avoid running in the hottest part of the day. Little did I know, I had avoided that. I would later find out upon leaving to go to my evening event that the afternoon high was 105.

I didn’t set any pace or distance records as I ran from my hotel and passed the Ballpark at Arlington toward Cowboys Stadium. I am not being paid to use their official, sponsored names. I ran away from my hotel to a mile and a half secretly hoping that someone would pull along with an air conditioned vehicle and rescue me with a lecture on the stupidity of midday running in August in Texas.

I reached the home of the Dallas Cowboys and even though I had the same distance back to the hotel as I had just ran, it seemed much further. I stopped a few times to take pictures and to question my life but trudged onward.

As I said, the run/walk did not set any pace records but it was completed and my plan remains intact as I work toward December’s half marathon. Anyone have a name for that distance yet? I’ll have to come up with one.

Get up and go!

3.42 mi
15′ 35″ / mi

See you Saturday!

In which, I sign up and begin training…

So, last Thursday was the last day to register and save $10 for this December’s OUC Half Marathon.

I am nearing the end of another 24 Day Challenge and having lost another 15 pounds so far and dropping another couple inches in my waist has me motivated. Buying shorts in a store yesterday with my kids on this tax-free weekend that doesn’t sell my previous size was motivating. Not being completely disappointed when passing a mirror is motivating.

I had been challenged a few weeks back by Jeff Boddiford, who will either be credited or blamed throughout this process, to run the OUC Half Marathon.

I have two problems with a half marathon. First, it needs its own name. I don’t want to brag about doing half of something. Let’s come up with a name for the distance. Second is the distance. I have no memory of ever running more than a mile and a half at a time. I played soccer and football growing up and regularly ran more than that in a game, but never without any stops to walk or rest.

I am registered, so I need a plan. I did some research and have a plan to get to 13.1 miles by December. Now it’s about execution. I want to know that I can do it. I want to be comfortable and have a pace that I own.

Today, I ran/walked a little more than three miles. The longest sustained run within was a little more than a mile and a half at about a 12 minute pace. I really look forward to seeing how this progresses and how I will feel throughout. I was in Clermont for the kids’ swimming and found myself running hills of all things.

3.13 mi

Tomorrow may include some biking if I can get Mickey out or some other form of cross training before running again on Tuesday.

What are you doing? I need some teammates. Get off your ass and make it happen. Hit me up on the social media of your choosing and let’s help each other achieve our goals.

What Happened?

Last night’s events did not make the news anywhere.  I assume that every scholastic athletic team has a similar event every year.  This event, however, marked an emotional and impactful inevitability for me.  Oviedo High School Water Polo had its “Senior Night” last night. My baby girl is a senior in high school nearing the end of her high school career.  She is just weeks from graduating and turning 18 years old.  I did not cry, although it was touch and go for a bit.  She knows when and where she will be heading to college in the fall.  I know that it must happen this way for everyone.  Image

The last 18 years are a blur of activity, growth, milestones, challenges and love.  I knew the heartbreak of dropping a little girl at preschool and watching her run off into the classroom without a look back.  Then seemingly five minutes later she was heading into the mall to watch a movie with a boy without us.  What happened?

I had a cute little 6 year old girl promise to stay 6 forever.  Then, with a wry smile, she kept right on growing and became a beautiful woman.  What happened?

I knew the magic of being woke on a Saturday morning by being pounced on.  Seconds later, I was teaching her to drive and when I woke on Saturday mornings she was gone to practice before I was awake.  What happened?

Each day is a microcosm of our lives.  Today is the only Saturday, March 29, 2014, that any of us will ever get.  I had a time when they needed to be carried. I had a time when I could teach the alphabet.  I had a time when we could sit on the floor and play legos.  I had a time when I could drive them to and from school.  I had a time when we could talk about their friends and classwork.  I had a time where they thought I knew everything.  This high school senior year is the only one that I can share with her.  Next year we will be relating to her as a freshman in college.  It is a constantly changing dynamic.

I have recognized for some time that I must live in and enjoy the present.  I also know that life prepares you for what lies ahead.  If I had never dropped her at preschool or the mall or woke on a Saturday to her being gone to an activity, I would never be able to let her go to college.  Thousands of small heartbreaks and emotional opportunities to grow will make taking her to college this fall just one more heartbreak in a long line of them giving us all another chance to grow and expand our relationships.

I have loved every minute of it and look forward to all the pure potential of the future.  

Below is the picture of that cute little 6 year old.  What happened?