Monday, December 29, 2008

Dew Point, Laces and Lessons Learned

Tough run on Saturday.
I injured my left foot and spent almost 4 hours at the hospital waiting on a boot and some crutches. On a positive note I can still say I'm learning.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

twenty on the trail

The Baldwin Rail Trail is a gem in the rough.
This is a location designed for long training workouts.
We had a great time running twenty miles.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chasing The Sun

Continuing my Thanksgiving theme...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cold Roads — Warm Souls

This was only a six mile run however,
I got some really good stuff.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

18 Miles

I was back with "The Fasties" on Saturday. We started with light rain falling on us for the first five miles. The entire distance took us three hours.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Running Shoe Symphony

You might want to grab a bag of popcorn or something...
...this video is about 5 minutes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hat Trick

Three opportunities that required expert timing.
We call that a "Hat Trick"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Good Turn

It's time to meet our 26.2 running friends.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

"Regular Joe Six Mile"

That's right.
Six miles is a short distance when you know you're running 14 miles in less than a week.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Some afternoon cross training

Sunday, September 28, 2008

12 miles in Fernandina

I've run in the dark before but never in pitch black.
We had a great time in Fernandina beach Saturday morning, September 27.
Thanks for hosting us Chris.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dr. John Video Tribute

Hello friends,
I've combined a couple posts.
Training cranked up several weeks ago for the February '09 26.2 with Donna.
It's been hard trying to get myself inspired this year with the training blog however Friday, September 5, I learned that a very special individual to the marathon group passed away.
So I determined to commit this years blog to Dr. John. The video is rough and I'm not sure about load times on individual computers but I hope you get a chance to watch.
The second post seems appropriate even though it's images that were shot several weeks ago after an early morning beach run.
I hope you find the video and images inspiring.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Wire

We are closing in on the final weeks of preparation. Everyone involved in the training effort has SOOOOO much enthusiasm that it needs to be bottled.
I ran seven miles with a camera in my right hand. Pictures and final sketches are posted below.
Special shout out to Chris and Amanda (our training directors) You guys KICK ASS!

By the way...
I have volunteered to PACE the 4:15 marathon group. I will explain this later.

Thank you again for your encouragement!

Foot Work

Chris Leads The Way


Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Finish

Thank you Deb and Lee for the recent donation!
Thank you to all my supporters!!!!
The latest painting has a lot of emotion.
It depicts the final six miles of the marathon run.


I spent some time putting the marathon route into "map my run".

Since my measurements are off by a half mile I will need to recheck the info. This is NOT AN OFFICIAL MAP. I just wanted to provide you with a "rough" view of the course so that it might help visualize the distance.

26.2 Map (almost)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rain Sloggin’ & Mud Boggin’

(run photo's posted)

The U.S. Postal Service has a well known motto for their carriers — "Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds.” It’s an inspirational statement that was adopted by the U.S.P.S. in the late 1800’s. I’m not certain that today’s carriers still identify with their hearty predecessors but, if they do — the 26.2 with Donna marathon training group has a lot of folks who would do the mail service proud.
I was 100% positive the Saturday morning marathon distance training run would be cancelled. The weather was horrible at 4:30 a.m. as I prepared for my 40 minute drive to the Baldwin Rail Trail. It had rained (poured) throughout the early morning and temperatures were dropping. However, determining to follow thru with the most important training run on our schedule was a matter of routine for me. On the interstate my 4 Runner hydroplaned along rain soaked pavement as the windshield wipers struggled to permit a reasonable view of the traffic 30 feet ahead.
I imagined a rain-drenched individual standing at the entrance to the Rail Trail telling the runners “We’re sorry, the marathon is postponed, go back home to your comfortable beds.” At least my effort would be seen (and noted) and my commitment to the training would remain intact. My announcement when I returned to a sleepy home — “At least I tried.”

My heart sunk when I saw the spattering of cars and people preparing to run in the dark, cold morning rain. What?!! "Do these people know it could rain for the next 2 hours?" "Do they know that the temps are in the high 40’s — not to mention wind chill!"
Running in rain soaked clothes (and shoes) for 4.5 hours is punishment deserving of wayward Marines who fail their leaders, NOT ME! There were at least sixty runners out on the trail. Several groups actually arrived at 5:00 a.m. to start their runs.
Our entire “Fasties” group was in attendance — Chris, Phil, Tim, Brad, Jonathan, Loretta, Joe, Garrett, Stephanie, Sky, Nancy and yours truly. Very impressive (or insane).
Starting our long run in rotten conditions with a pessimistic sense of worsening weather was difficult for me. If the group hadn’t been so upbeat I would never have gone.

Ready for some good news?
The rain stopped at mile four and did not return! The sky remained overcast but, the cold grey morning was extraordinarily refreshing. We stripped off the rain protection and extra layers. By mile six, joking and stories enveloped the group.
Phil did a masterful job keeping us on pace and attentive to walk breaks. Mile eight soon became mile ten and then twelve, thirteen and quickly 13.1. Half way home!
Fortunate for Chris he turned at mile thirteen and beat the train crossing. The quarter-mile long train would come to a complete halt as we jogged up to the crossing arm. The Fasties were stuck at a train crossing and not going anywhere fast. Impatient to stand in place, a few runners wanted go around or under the train. Better sense prevailed and the train finally cleared after ten minutes.
Everyone appeared strong and upbeat during the final eight miles. Stephanie was getting ready to complete her first marathon distance and her energy was being felt by everyone.
Two weeks earlier she had a very difficult (and I guess disappointing) 23 mile run with the group. She was nervous all week leading up to the marathon distance. Getting her to slow down was nearly impossible. She was Fired UP and feeling strong!
The pace and stop breaks were pushed in the final four miles. With two miles left Phil announced that everyone should finish their own run.
Jonathan, Brad, Garrett and Joe started to separate from the group. I was going to let Stephanie’s energy pull me in. Tim and Phil followed close behind. What a Finish!
I stayed to celebrate for a short time but, as I reflect back on the morning, it really was a lesson in dichotomy. Thankfully my early morning pessimism was changed through faith, effort and a little luck. I appreciate my running partners and applaud everyone that completed their morning marathon. Way to go!

P.S. The Mud Boggin’ title is a reference to the Rail Trails' rain-soaked grass/mud lot where a few of our vehicles got stuck.

Photo's — Marathon Training Distance

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Paintings. A Post. A Thank You!

Thanks Ike

Goose Bumps

As I look through the pictures from Saturday mornings 7.5 mile training run the obvious struck. In just over a month the runners that will share our beach roads will not be twenty or 200 it will be at least five thousand. Reality is beginning to set in. Chills, goose bumps, nervous energy, you name it, I’ve got it (and I’m not even in charge).
This is a very exciting time for SOOOOOOOOO many reasons.
Here’s my top 10 list of “Why it’s exciting to be a participant in the Inaugural 26.2 with Donna Marathon”.

10) The first “national” marathon (worldwide) to ever target breast cancer research and support.
9) Over five thousand running participants from all over the world.
8) Five to Ten thousand local volunteers.
7) Major money and awareness
6) Hundreds of people getting into shape
5) Thousands of people getting life changing support.
4) North East Florida beach communities will be showcased
3) North East Florida hospitality will be shared
2) New friendships will be made
1) This is only the beginning

WOW, this is fun!!
Next week we run 26.2 miles (gulp!)
I hope my feet hold out. This past week I put about 36 miles of running into my schedule.
Every morning I limped out of bed questioning what I was trying to do.
I know what’s going on and should be able to fix the problem. I just have to make the time.

Before I end my post, I want to give a shout out to Ike.
After our Saturday morning run I shared breakfast with Ike — another representative of Jacksonville’s finest (sheriffs department). I am so encouraged that men like Ike exist and work so tirelessly on behalf of local citizenry. There was no reason I expected my day to be any different than a typical run with our group but, Ike shared wisdom and personal knowledge that left me feeling so grateful and optimistic about the men that protect us.

Thank you for your courage.


I’m looking forward to Saturday.
Hope you like the new paintings and photos.