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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Well.... We're in

I’ll be heading back to Utah this June to run 148 miles on the Kokopelli Trail.  This time Judi is coming too.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Today we visited my old stomping grounds

On the way we stopped at the classiest convenience store in Lake County and got this nice photo op:

Judi had a 3 hour meeting…

And after we planned to ride here:
a nice rail trail from Tallahassee to St Marks on the Gulf coast.

Since I was going to be bored for a few hours Judi conveniently forgot to pack bike shorts…

At 0930 she was off to her meeting and I was off on a shopping mission.

A couple of hours and a few dollars later I had purchased what amounted to be passable attire for her and went off in search of the YMCA.

To say Tallahassee hasn’t changed since I left there 20ish years ago is like saying David Banner is basically the same guy when he gets mad.

Well 20 minutes or so after I set out my blackberry and I found the YMCA.

Ad a nice quick circuit…  then back to pick up Judi.

Judi’s new pants…  and yes she still has a number on her bike from a ½ IM in Oct (don’t judge)  J

And no she does not always ride on her aerobars like that

The trail was nice…

My attempt at artsy

The best part of the ride was the stop in St Marks…

Beer and fries at some dumpy bar and grill…

Our view:


Just one of the funny posters on the wall:

All finished and cleaned up:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Not like this:

Or like this:

More like this:

Oh, ship!

This Piriformis issue has pretty much stopped me in my tracks running wise…

That is not a good thing….  I love running…  the rhythm of my moving feet takes my edge off…  soothes my soul… is my escape…  and the place where I often find myself.
I look this pitiful

Since I can’t run I’m doing everything I can to get me back to where I can run again.

Please allow me to introduce you to my new friend:

This baby can dole out the pain…  and it’s easy on my back while working my weak glutes… 

It is, however, not single-track…

I’m doing yoga, and spinning, stretching, and lifting…

I will get better…  I have a lot to look forward to…  I guess it’s time to get grounded.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Anecdotes and/or antidotes welcome

Over the past week I have been doing a bit of research…

Research that is not in and of itself a pain in the arss but is in fact research on a pain in the arss

it seems..  that Judi and I both are suffering with Piriformis syndrome…

It started for Judi about a year ago…  and for me 6 months or so ago.  When it started I thought it was just normal soreness… a slight hamstring issue due to a change in my running gait..  I just ignored it like I do for most of my aches and pains but…  this time it did not just go away

And now…for me it has gotten to the point of debilitation

Running = Pain from my buttcheeks radiating down to my calf in both legs…  I can’t generate much power…  I have to keep a short stride… and the speed is just not there

Sitting = discomfort in the area as well…  I have even contemplated a standing type desk.

And picking stuff up off of the floor…  oh, that has been difficult for quite some time now…  and makes me feel like an old man

I’ve started doing research/rehab and treatment as I, once again, try and fix up this old body…  but all that said..

Anecdotes and/or antidotes welcome… 

I’d love to hear some success stories

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Stay at Home Tourists

this story actually took place almost 2 weeks ago...
Ribault's monument and my Lemond

For most endurance sports is an activity, for many it is a chore…  and they call it “Cardio”.  The purists, and the “racers” it is training…  Serious and regimented.

At times I’m sure that I am all of these…  but on the weekends..  we are first and foremost adventurers.  We don’t ride the same group ride…  or run the same routes each weekend…  but at the same time…  we are parents of teenagers…  have jobs houses dogs etc…

We still find time for adventure…  and often find it not too far from home.’

This past weekend was a good example.

We had an hour run and an hour ride on tap for Saturday…  So where to go?

We have been meaning to run the trails at the  Timucuan Preserve …  and since this is the only part of our fair city that has anything close to a hill we decided to do our ride in this area too.

With only two hours of training (marathon taper) we had a rare Saturday when we went about the business of getting up and getting ready in a leisurely way….  Including coffee, breakfast and a bit of a stab at the crossword puzzle in the paper.

But wait…  I’m getting a bit ahead of myself…  the story actually starts on Friday…  We met at lunch for a quick circuit.  I decided to do a couple of sets of deep squats…  yeah…  getting strong and flexible I thought… that’s what I get for thinking.


By the time we built our homemade Pizza for supper I had already started getting a bit sore and when I swung my feet of the side of the bed the next morning it was confirmed…  my legs were in a great deal of pain and no amount of movement or stretching was going to help anytime soon.

No matter fresh trails awaited at the  Timucuan Preserve.

So we loaded up the bike… put on our trail shoes and headed out.

The trails did not disappoint..   gnarly and rooty, plenty of ups and downs, and scenic views of the marshlands too… 

We ran for an hour or so…

Then grabbed our bikes and went for the hilliest bike ride I’ve ever done in Jacksonville, Florida (which is to say that we rode up 4 “hills”)

On our way back to the car I asked if we could go a bit further down the road “just to see where it goes”  a mile further on we happened upon a historic site -  the Ribault Monument (link for details)

pretty cool site, monument and view.

Judi Claims the lands across the marsh as her new kingdom

All in all a fun day…  exercise and education

Friday, December 2, 2011

November Totals

Swim: currently disenchanted with swimming...  considering retirement
Bike: 967 minutes
Run: 209 mi
Strength/core: 390 minutes

Major run focus until RATS

 What is RATS you ask?

Finishing the Turkey Day race

Monday, November 28, 2011

4 day weekend

If Judi knoew how much Peanutbutter Jimmy and I ate while she was in Deleware we would both be in big trouble


I think if every weekend was four days long I might just, as my Granny used to say, wear myself down to a nub… 

The crew

the ugly shirt


We all did the local Turkey Trot…  specifically…  I did the Subaru Distance Classic ½ Marathon while my kids, along with my oldest daughter’s boyfriend did the 6K.

I knew that I just didn’t have the speed in my legs that I had last year

With that knowledge I had a bit of a hard time motivating myself….  I’d probably have skipped the race had it not been for the kids and the tradition…  Since I love them both…  my kids and the fact that a couple of teenage girls would want to get up on Thanksgiving morning to go do a race with their old dad…  we signed up and got the T-shirt.

Just after the national anthem (man I have a real hard time with folks who mill about while our anthem is being played) I tossed my shirt over a tree branch and started to slip up the line as close to the front as I could get…  I didn’t get too far before the cannon boomed…

The race itself was, for me, more like a tempo run…  I tried to stay relaxed in the early miles…  with the plan being to turn it up a notch and finish strong…  which is the exact opposite of the way I tend to race.  The plan worked…  nice and smooth for the first handful of miles… knocking off 7:4x…  funny thing tho….  As I tried to pick up the pace…  I began to tire…  my head said go 7:30 pace…  my legs said 8…  we compromised at 7:45.

End result was a 1:42 half…  no too bad.

Even passed a guy in one of the ugly race shirts in the final turn.

Looking like a cooked turkey
After the race we drove home and packed the car for our trip to Grandma’s house…  our part was Broccoli casserole that I cooked the night before and frying the turkey (yes we fry everything here in the South)

Once packed I hopped on my mountain bike and rode the 16 miles over to their house…  my daughter followed later in the car.  I had the rare experience of a whole ride with a tailwind and made it there in less than an hour…  even with tired legs.


Rode 45 or so…  about half of which with one of the local groups… 


I got to Hannah Park about the time they opened the gate and 2 hours later I had ridden most of the trails there crashed 5 times including one endo! And run 3 miles.

In the woods
At noon we picked up Judi from the airport (the highlight of the weekend)

Sunday: (long run day)

Got a bit of a late start but as Judi put it:

“I have 20 miles in my brain and that’s what I want to do”

in action self portrait
So we ran…  From Jax beach…  South to Mickler’s landing in St Johns County…  back north through Sawgrass…  then North for a couple of miles…  and finally a quick out and back to even it off at 20.  Not pretty but well done.  Judi had cramping issues but fought through like a champ.


I’m kinda happy to be sitting back at my desk

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Judi and Michael's Rails to Trails 50k

What: Judi and I are going to run the Jax-Baldwin Rails to Trails plus a little extra to make the run 50k

Where: We will Start and finish at the Imeson Road trailhead in Jacksonville, FL

When: January 21st 2012 at 0700

How:  Basically a self-supported run.  There are facilities (restrooms and water fountains) along the way roughly at 6, 12, 14, 18, and 25 miles.  You will be responsible for not getting lost and keeping up with your time.

Who:  all are welcome.  Let us know if you plan to attend  

Why:  Because it's there...  and it's 28.sonething miles round trip...  why make it 50k?  Well...  Judi has yet to do an ultra.  We couldn't find one nearby in January so we made up our own.

Notes From the Feild

1. Started the weekend with a spin class followed by core and stretching before going out to dinner… A good idea but I think that after 15 years of spin classes I’m just getting sick of it… We have bikes in our gym where you can basically give yourself a spin class… I’m liking that option more and more.

2. Reverse Brick last Saturday… 10 mi run @ Steady endurance pace followed by a 35 mi ride. It was a really good idea but for the fact that we did the return leg of the ride into a 25mph headwind….

3. 17 mile run on Sunday… with the last 4 progressively faster

4. I ran with my youngest Monday after work… we just jogged 2.5ish miles and talked… I dig that kid

5. Really bumping up the run mileage this month… over 100 already. Hopefully will pay dividends later.

6. A final thought:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Doing what I love and lovin what I do...


Yesterday I was reading this post from Big Daddy Diesel…

I know where he’s coming from

and while I do get up…  make lunch for my kids… and do the 9-5 M-F corporate grind…  it’s just a small part of my life…

the rest is illustrated by this past weekend.

Judi and I got in a nice 7 miler at lunchtime on Friday just to get a jumpstart on the weekend.

Somewhere near Lake Butler, FL
We followed that up with a 3 mile run on the site of our Next Ultramarathon (more to come on that later).  We had planned to run 6 but had a challenge or two getting out the door… . then had a planned meet-up with a few of my old work buddies from Winn-Dixie for a 75 mile ride.

The ride was heckawindy…  and the forecast of sunny and 72 by noon was way off…  it was barely 55 when we finished... but we did and had a good time catching up with some of the old WD IT crew.

Sunday morning we ran 16 in even higher winds than the day before…  despite that we nailed our planned pace and felt strong at the end.

Post Sunday morning run
In between all this training we also cooked (and ate) some really good food…  watched a couple of good movies, some parenting, and did some mindless chores around the house… 

Took the girls out to lunch
And loved every minute of it…

Jimmy did zero training this weekend

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bike race or cult

As Judi and I headed to the car last night after cross an older gentleman who had been playing tennis stopped to ask us what the ruckus around the park was about.  We explained the basics of cyclocross, the course etc… as we were leaving he said “I really was not sure if it was a bike race or a cult”

I assured him that it was probably equal parts of both.

My friend Mark joined us last night as well…  I think he had a good time…  hopefully he will blog about it…  he is much more entertaining than I am.

Mark, Judi, me

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cross Baby!

Went out to cross again last night…  Great course…  much more rideable than last week…  I still went down 3 times…  once pretty hard on the paved path thru the park.

And to answer some questions from last week…  yes Mountain bikes are allowed but…  all obstacles must be dismounted for.

The coolest thing about this week is that my kid wanted to give it a try…  Judi gave up her bike…  and basically her whole setup.

My baby girl did us proud tho…  she kept at it for the entire hour.

She did, however, pass out exhausted as soon as we got in the car.

Man this sport is fun!