Saturday, September 30, 2006

Captain Couch Potato

It was a warm July fourth morning. The 5k would be my first race in more than seven months. My training with Galloway and the Donna Hicken Foundation just entered its second month. I was acting cocky and feeling pretty good but something wasn't right.

At the gun I took off with the lead group of 500 plus runners. My first mile split was just inside a 6:15 pace - "not bad" I said to myself. Just before mile two the head games were in full swing and "Captain Couch Potato" reasoned with me to stop and walk. "You walk in your training runs, go ahead and take a short break. You'll feel better and it won't cost you any time." I guess the rationale was that I could run harder after walking because I would be rested. I walked on three occasions and finished with a sub par time of 20:57. Actually, if it weren't for the 17 year old female determined to beat me with 300+ yards to go I would have finished with a time of 21something.

This weekend the RITA 5k would be my first race since the "Independence Day Meltdown." Proceeds from the race will be shared with the Donna Hicken Foundation so all trainees were encouraged to sign up. Two months have passed since the meltdown and my weekly training has improved. Captain Couch Potato tries to get my attention but I'm getting ready for a race so I successfully ignore him. "Crazy Running Man" has my full attention at the start of the race and this time THERE WILL BE NO WALKING.

Twenty minutes goes by in the blink of an eye when you put it into the right perspective. Runners will often parse a race into some relative scale. Short 5k's (3.1 miles) are one third the time and exertion required for a 15k. Once you've done a 15k the information gathered goes into a mental holding place and it's brought out at the right moment in a race to assist moving through a new race challenge. When you're running full throttle twenty minutes can seem a lifetime if you don't have methods to block certain "pain cues" out of your head.

Captain Couch Potato had some fun playing a game of darts inside my head. At one point during the run (somewhere after mile two) he lobbed the idea that I could walk and then fake injury. Great excuse but it wasn't going to happen.
"Twenty minutes is a very short span of time... gut it up" yelled the Crazy Man.

So I didn't walk and finished with a respectable 20:21 time. Third place in my age group. Cool.

Congratulations to ALL the Galloway runners. It was wonderful to see so many out on a Saturday morning.
Enjoy photos from the race posted below.
Keep the checks coming.
Special Thanks to my friends at Surf Expo for their support of the Foundation.

A complete gallery of my marathon paintings has been posted at this link.

The Galloway group represents at the RITA 5k

Wascally Wabbits

Hey, at least we're not running in the dark

You gotta wear your "chip" if you want to know your race time

Making the way to the start line

I didn't realize Brad was at the run until I was cropping this photo of John.

The finish line

Dan Wohlgemuth has a good finish

finishing strong

The battle is won

If you don't look like this after a race you probably didn't try.

Post race staple

She's making a big decision.

Enjoying some food and music post race

Jonathan and Phil before the run. Jonathan finished 3rd in his age group.

Amanda finished 3rd in her age group!

Nancy 1st in her age group!


Someone made a mistake

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Don't Run Unless You're a "Purist"

I posted a new painting and some quotes from a recent article I read online.
If you have time and want to see some pics from my trip to Indianapolis with my oldest daughter click "view my complete profile" (to the left) and then click "jags vs colts".

We had a lot of fun at the Jaguar/Colts football game.

Hope you enjoy!

(quotes follow the painting)

Early Morning Magic Mile

Don't Run Unless You're a "Purist"

Margaret sent an email to me yesterday with a link to the website “Slate”.
The story she wanted me to read was…

"Running With Slowpokes"
By Gabriel Sherman

In a world filled with obesity how can ANY journalist challenge individuals in their quest to run a marathon?
I imagine this elitist would prefer all “non purists” to continue along their slothful ways and not disrupt his morning race.
I’ve pulled some quotes that were quite amusing.

“Chances are you've bumped into a newly devoted runner who's all too happy to tell you about his heart-rate monitor and split times and the looming, character-building challenge of running 26.2 miles. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a slovenly couch potato who abhors exercise. I'm an avid runner with six marathons under my New Balance trainers. But this growing army of giddy marathon rookies is so irksome that I'm about ready to retire my racing shoes and pick up bridge”.

“Back then, Americans who ran took running seriously. The icons of the era were Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, a couple of guys who happened to be the best marathoners in the world. Now, P. Diddy and Oprah spark tons of media buzz for finishing marathons in lackluster times. American record-holder Deena Kastor, who won the 2005 Chicago Marathon in 2:21, is completely anonymous”.

“In many ways, the slow marathon is the perfect event for the American athletic sensibility. Just finishing a marathon is akin to joining a gym and then putzing around on the stationary bike. We feel good about creating the appearance of accomplishment, yet aren't willing to sacrifice for true gains. It's clear now that anyone can finish a marathon. Maybe it's time we raise our standards to see who can run one”.

The rest of the article can be found at the link below.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Keeping All The Balls In The Air

Photos posted below from our Saturday training run. A journal entry follows with address info for checks to the Donna Hicken Foundation. Keep the checks coming. I would like to reach the halfway point ($2500.00) by early October. Including my family contribution money raised to date stands at ($1800.00).


This used to be a favorite � now I'm not so fond of them.

John takes care of the clock (and the bad jokes)

Getting ready to run fast in the dark. Crazy stuff.

MM start

MM completed

MM time sheet

Everyone smile, MM is behind you

ghost run

back in the parking lot

wrapping up

Thursday morning Hurricane surf from Helene. Photo by David Macri

Keeping All The Balls In The Air

I finally paddled out toward the line up at 8:10 Saturday morning. North Florida surfers were being graced with another strong pulse of swell energy from the second distant Atlantic hurricane within a week. I barely caught the hurricane surf from a week ago and it was looking like I would get skunked again. My workload and poor scheduling habits put a huge dent in my favorite past time activity. Friends were questioning if I really even cared about surfing anymore. I mean, if you’re a surfer it’s sacrilegious to miss good hurricane surf. Unfortunately, that’s what was happening.
Saturday morning I faced two options.

1) Get up early, head across town and run a quick 5 miles with the group and an even “quicker” individual timed mile (mm).
2) Get up early, head to the beach and surf fun, clean, chest and head high hurricane swells.

I created an option three.
Run fast and race back to the beach for surf.

It turned out to be a good plan.

The Magic Mile was back on our schedule for Saturday. I prefer to think of it as the Sadistic Mile.
Curiously, only a third (maybe half) of our training group showed up. Short distance runs create problems for some of the folks that plan long weekend runs. I understand this challenge but I also have to wonder if it’s the S&M that keeps them away. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it’s an unnatural thing to do to the body. But it is a necessary evil. Without pain there is no gain.

My MM was 5:50.
This mile time is not much faster than my first MM but I feel I’m getting stronger in my distance runs.
We will run a 5k race next weekend and then it’s a twenty mile run the following weekend. (scratches head) Yep, we are running twenty miles!

Keep the comments and support coming.

Make checks payable to:
The Donna Hicken Foundation

Mail to:
The Kurtis Group
425 8th ave. n.
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Lions Watch Her Back

We ran through San Marco last weekend and I really wanted to use the lions in my painting. The plan was to paint Donna running in front of the sculpture but as you can see from the painting it's hard to determine who or what is running.
I'll keep the title and submit a photo of Donna finishing her run.

The lions watch her back

more smiles

Demonstrating what this is about. Great finish Donna

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Like the song goes — "I Feel Good!"

Photos posted from the eighteen mile run followed by an entry.

I'm working on the San Marco painting and will post by Wednesday.

Erika, Good luck in San Francisco. We missed you Saturday.

Eighteen miles! Congratulations everyone.

almost home

Three hours of running and still smiling

strong finish


When you're not looking for a book our public libraries still offer a great place to learn something. Group members hanging together in the parking lot of the San Marco public library.


Still laughing after eighteen miles

Like the song goes - "I feel good!"

I didn't run at all this past week. I surfed every morning Sunday through Wednesday. Thursday I finished preparing for a noon meeting and on Friday I drove to Orlando for business. Friday evening I was back in Jacksonville Beach and in bed by 11:00pm. This was the first week I missed a morning run in many (many) months. The foundation runners were meeting at 5:00am Saturday for an eighteen mile run and I wasn't certain how I would feel.
The alarm was set for 3:30. I spent an hour at my office before heading into the San Marco area of Jacksonville for the run. During the half hour drive my initial (personal) physical assessment was positive. I was rested - my legs and feet felt strong and my attitude was upbeat.
If I can check these items off I usually run well.

But I hadn't run in a week.
Does that mean anything?

We took off on the run at 5:20am. Neighborhoods and roadways were quiet and empty. The group conversation, joking, and laughter began immediately. At some point we realized that this part of the world was still asleep and neighborly consideration would require us turn down our volume. We laughed as we imagined a husband awakened by his wife and being asked to turn off the tv because she was certain she just heard local meteorologist Tim Deegan telling some joke to a fellow news anchor. "It's 5:30 in the morning, what's Deegan doing on at this hour!"

Two hours after beginning the run we were climbing the Acosta bridge.
Are the legs holding up? Yes.
Is there fuel still left in the tank? Yes.

Several miles and another bridge remained but I was in good shape.
Mentally and physically there seemed to be nothing in my way.
By the end of our run the only issues I had were sore feet and some slight tightness in my calves.
Three hours of running and I felt good!

I am encouraged by all the positive feedback that I've received over the past several months.
I am encouraged by the way I feel at this point in my training. I am confident I can complete the marathon if I remain healthy and run a "smart" race.

This effort means a lot on so many levels.
On behalf of myself and The Donna Hicken Foundation - Thanks for ALL your support and contributions.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

downtown jacksonville. midway to 26.gulp!

Shiver Me Timbers

Let me preface this entry with a cautionary note:

The pictures and captions that follow are silly, senseless, and will probably be considered a ROYAL waste of your time when (and if) you finish checking them all out.

I can't explain the "brain-wiring misfires" that take place every time I'm presented with a challenge, or an opportunity to exploit a theme or concept. I've been blessed with this torturous character trait that requires me to exhibit odd behavior or an exaggerated (over the top) response to very simple requests.
Last week the foundation race directors determined that we would have some fun mixed into the eight mile run on our Saturday schedule.
A scavenger hunt was designed into the route and we were asked to dress in fun outfits so that we could capture unique pictures of our group as we traversed the city looking for locations presented in the list of clues.
Each group was given a "disposable" camera and a sheet of paper with the list of clues.
Our/my group was whittled down to Jonathan and me after Tim pulled himself and four others out to run another race. Once it was determined that it would be just the two of us — we decided to blaze through the run and get as many worthless pictures as possible. The pirate concept with swords and Deeganbandana's were provided by yours truly. Many of the people we saw that were out and about (that were not part of the foundation group) gave us the quick "double take" and a few seemed a bit uncomfortable as we ran past with swords drawn high.

It was a sophomorically fun morning.

Never to early for ale.

drunk pirates

Seriously, the guy on the left is the president of a full service ad agency and the guy on the right is an attorney.

she's as stiff as the ships plank

reaction to a scary pirate or just the camera flash in your eyes?

a fancy pirate ride