Eric Van De Vens Blog

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Disney, Darth, and Diversity!

Since injuring my Achilles tendon, I have had to back off on training for the Disney Wine and Dine race in November.

To celebrate our son being “promoted”, and believe it or not, some aren’t, to first grade, we went to Disney World for Star Wars weekend!

To start off with, I have to give thanks to our Mousekeplanner, Jennifer Upton! For those that follow this blog, you already know I always give a “shout out” to Jenn and the reason is, she does a great job! If you are planning anything Disney related, click on the link and contact Jenn first!

Since we moved, we are now much closer to Disney, in fact, two weeks ago we went up for the day and it only took an hour and forty-five minutes to get there! I had to use up my last day of a three-day pass on that trip. At the suggestion by Jenn, the decision was made to purchase an annual pass for me as the wife and Marshall already have their own. For the annual pass to be effective, you need to spend at least five days at Disney. This trip was three and the Wine and Dine is four, so, I am already 2 days ahead!!!!!

The next matter was to get a room.  There are very few places in Disney that we have not stayed. In the short-term, the “value” resorts seemed OK, but upon further review, bumping up to a moderate was the better choice. Jenn got us a good rate and we stayed at Coronado Springs Resort.


The rooms were nice and had sliding doors to separate the bathroom/sink/storage area from the rest of the room. It also had a desk with receptacles on the top of the desk

20140606_120424The laptops were only out for the first day!

We never did get to eat at the restaurant as we had already made reservations at other places. We also selected all of our “fast-passes” online and they were uploaded into our magic-bands. Speaking of which, the magic-bands are fantastic. You almost don’t need anything else! They get you into the park, you can pay for dinner and drinks with them as well as purchasing gifts. There is a commercial where people are trying to use their magic-bands in grocery stores……..I predict that someday, this will be a reality! ;)



20140606_110619Marshall claims this was a hot tub! The water was warm!

20140606_110527With my affinity for Tequila, this would have been fun!

CS pool

We spent the morning/early afternoon at the resort pool. Then…off to Epcot

We, as usual, went “Around the World” at Epcot! We visited every country and ended up eating in Japan. We almost made it to fireworks……..but some members of the team were worn out. It wasn’t me! Even though I spent the trip in a walking boot and knee braces!




The little drummer boy




The above picture is the “diversity” portion of this post! Although I received numerous strange looks, I am happy to report that I had no pain at all during the weekend or the days after we returned home!

Day two began with breakfast at the resort. It is a treat to actually eat with real utensils!!! Unfortunately, we needed to acquire a spoon or three for yogurt we had brought. We made this remark to the maid and when we got back from the park, there was a Ziploc bag full of spoons, forks, and knives!!!


Off to Disneys Hollywood Studios and Star Wars Weekend!! We walked around, saw a bunch of characters and registered Marshall for his surprise……The Jedi Training Academy!



Princess Leia

Princess Leia

Darth Vader

Darth Vader


Time to go back to the pool..but first…………………..



More drinks!!

More drinks!!

Somehow, the wife got an early dinner reservation, which actually worked out quite well as Marshall’s Jedi Training was to begin at 6:00 pm. We had dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Disney! They have snippets of old “B” Sci-Fi movies playing while the seats are cars with bench-seats.

A few classics:



Coming Attractions

Coming Attractions

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Robot Monster

Robot Monster

The Gila Monster

The Gila Monster



























After dinner, it was time for Jedi Training! We have a video, but it is too large to post here. A picture will have to do!

This is actually how Darth Vader lost his hand!!

After the Jedi Training, we went on some more rides and then got our spot for Fantasmic! Marshall loved it and Daddy is still scared to death of that dragon!!!!!!


We didn’t get to see the fireworks….or so we thought! While we were waiting for the bus back to the resort, we were in perfect position to watch the fireworks show! A perfect ending to a perfect day at Disney!!!!

Sunday, we went to Animal Kingdom, saw the usual group of animals, and got to eat at my favorite place in Animal Kingdom, The Flametree Cafe!






Lunch at the Flametree Cafe

This is by far, the most enjoyable trip to Disney ever!!!

While we were there, we had our Mousekeplanner book our rooms for the Wine and Dine race in November. With our accumulation of points on our Disney Visa card, we should end up with a day or two free!!!

Speaking of the Wine and Dine, As I am currently sidelined with the Achilles tear, and the torn meniscus in my right knee, I am concentrating on losing weight. While I was at the pool bar getting another drink, I was speaking with a guy who is also a runner. He was telling me that every 10 pounds lost equates to a 1 minute per mile increase in speed. I can certainly believe that as in drag racing, if you do nothing else to the car, every 100 pounds shed equals a 1/10 of a second gained in elapsed time.

Prior to the cleanse two weeks ago, the scale nearly broke as it registered 252 pounds when I stepped on it! Since then, I have lost 14 pounds. I suspect most of it was water..err…tequila weight! :)

I am also going to start riding the bicycle as I am not permitted to run for another three months. I rode one mile yesterday at an average speed of 17 mph, which isn’t bad for the first time out. I will increase the distance while maintaining a 15-17 mph speed. This should help with weight loss while at the same time, strengthening my legs and prevent further injury to my legs.

I have looked at all of my running times and I am stuck at 2:45 for a half marathon as the best and slower when the cramps show up. My goal for this years Wine and Dine is to finish in the 2:15-2:30 hour range. If I finish in that time-frame and don’t hurt myself, I will register for the A1A Marathon……unless the rumors are true about a Star Wars Imperial race at Disney World! :)


June 12, 2014 Posted by | Family and Friends, Health and Fitness, Home, Running | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s that time………………………….

I am sorry it has been a while since I last posted!

We are almost done getting settled into the new home. We get our sectional next Monday! :)

Our home in the (954) is rented, so that will help with the added income. The boat is resting comfortably in the storage facility until a spot opens up at the community boat storage in our development. A few odds and ends, some touch up paint, and I will be done with both houses! A few hundred dollars in parts, and the boat will be tip-top. That means, that finally, I will be able to concentrate on work and running! :)

Speaking of running, it has been verified via an MRI, that I have some torn meniscus in my right knee as well as some type of cyst. This injury took place prior to last years Wine and Dine race. The good news, is that my doctor said as long as you can tolerate the pain, go ahead and run and bike! I am sure there will be a surgery somewhere down the road, but, at least now, I can train for the Disney Wine and Dine 1/2 marathon in November. I am thinking of waiting for surgery until after February of 2015, as that, if I don’t sustain any more injuries, will be the A1A Marathon!

Our Disney Guru, Jennifer Upton has already secured our rooms for the W&D, so all that remains is training. :)

I think I have found a suitable gym nearby, but if not, a Golds Gym is opening up in May right over the bridge. Time to build a little muscle, then start the running portion of my training program. I will also be continuing the Atkins diet all the way through the A1A Marathon.


Stay tuned……………………………………………..

April 30, 2014 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running, Weight Training | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It has been a long time……………………………………………..

It has been over three months since my last post!

Something unexpected happened during the training for the A1A Marathon. The first of which, was, we bought a new house!

The 125 mile daily commute for the wife  and the two hours of my day being absorbed by taking Marshall back and forth to school, were beginning to wear us out. We were looking for a home for nearly six months, and finally, found one that was suitable in Palm City. We are very close to the water and the schools are some of the best in the State for Marshall. We don’t have a pool, but do have a hot tub!

We closed on December 30, 2013. During the last month and a half, I tore out the trim, had all of the walls textured, added new flooring, and painted the new home. Meanwhile, I still had to get the old home ready to move. It is amazing how much stuff you accumulate in 15 years!  We did the big move the 25th of January. We are almost settled in and the old house is almost ready for renting.

Marshall loves his new school and riding the bus……….which picks him up and drops him off right in our backyard!!! I get 2 hours of my life back!!! The 2 hours driven by my wife back and forth to work has been trimmed down to 14 minutes………with traffic! Not to mention, this place is paradise!


Since the last race, my right knee hasn’t gotten any better. I ran a total of three miles in the last three months. Fortunately, all the work and running around to both houses has kept the weight down. Race day weigh in was 228 pounds. And now…off to the race…..

Saturday: We went to the old house to set up the pull out couch/bed and then, went to the Expo which was at the Fort Lauderdale Convention center. As usual, the traffic was brutal even at 10:30 am on a Saturday. Once we got in, the Expo was great and we collected the most swag ever at an Expo!!

Next we went back to the old house to move a few things then to lunch. A little boy came to the house and started playing with Marshall….three hours later and no lunch, we took Marshal to his Aunts house and we went to Carrabbas for dinner. I had the usual “Johnny” and the mussels with a couple of glasses of Sangria!

We went back to the old home and went to bed watching “Interview with the Vampire” dvd on the laptop. In what seemed to be 10 minutes, it was 2:49 am…..time to get up!

Raceday: I got up and took a hot bath. The wife had breakfast, then took a shower. We got dressed and drove to the VIP parking lot. The VIP parking lot is at the finish line of the race, so you don’t have to lug a bunch of stuff to the UPS check-in, then retrieve it after the race. The Durango had all of our “post-race” supplies! :)

The only issue I have with this race is the restrooms…or lack of them. For some unknown reason, the City of Fort Lauderdale doesn’t open up the beach and convention center restrooms, so you are left with a bunch of port a potties, which even under the best conditions, are not something you want to deal with 15 minutes before the race!


The singing of the National Anthem

Speaking of which, this is the first race I feared I would experience a “fecal encounter of the worst kind”! I had my usual elimination at the house and felt that would be it. On the way to the parking lot, I felt the sensation of an impending explosion. I made it to the port a potty in the nick of time and thought I was done. When we got near the starting line, I felt the “feeling” again and had to wait in the lines for the port-a-potties at the starting line. I go in the potty and no toilet paper!!!!! Back out to a different line. I entered another potty, did what needed to be done, came out to hear “5 minutes to race start”!!!!!

The race:

As I had done no training to speak of for this race, I wanted to take it easy and  shot for a 13 minute/mile pace.

Mile 1: 12:46

Mile 2: 12:46

Mile 3:12:57

5k a1a

The sails at A1A and Las Olas Blvd, the 5K marker

Mile 4: 12:19

a1a sunrise

One of the few things I will miss about Fort Lauderdale, the morning sunrise on the beach!

Mile 5: 12:52

Mile 6: 12:31

Mile 7: 13:01

Mile 8: 13:12

Mile 9: 13: 21

Mile 10: 12:58

Mile 11: 12:59

Mile 12: 13:07

Mile 13: 13:48 There is an extra tenth of a mile here!

Endomondo Final time:   2:54:10       Pace:12:58

Official time: 2: 52: 57  Official pace: 13:12

Looking back on last years event, which was my personal best run, the time was 2:46:24 and a pace of 12:42. Only 6 minutes slower with no training!!

Back to the Durango for a snack and to wait for the wife to finish.


Left over steak and lobster for a post-race snack!


The race medal and a Redbridge beer to celebrate!

The aftermath:

Aside from a massive blister on my right side pinky toe, no injuries to speak of. The right knee actually feels better today than it did before the race. The left knee is fine as well. The bone spurs in both feet are a little sore and my quadriceps are also a little sore, but two trips to the hot tub and all is well.

The diet for this race was low carbohydrate as the two previous races have been. I had no fuel issues and ran across the finish line! The only thing different in this race from the others, was that I consumed three bottles of Gatorade two days before the race, drank more water than I thought was possible prior to the race, and then, at the race had at least two cups of water at every water station. I had five bottles of Gatorade on my fuel belt and ran out at mile 12.  At the expo I picked up this handy key holder, so I can add another bottle to my fuel belt which will make 7 total. At the next race, all will be filled with Gatorade.

After the cramping issues of the last two races, I decided to over-hydrate to try to prevent it from happening this race. That strategy seems to have worked as there wasn’t a hint of a cramp the entire race.

Some have said shoes don’t make much of a difference. For me, they do. Since switching to the Saucony Omni 12 shoes, I haven’t had even a slight bit of pain in my shins! My knees don’t hurt, and, these shoes seem to wear much better. To bad they are too small! Walking around in the 4E sized shoes, then switching to the 2E race shoes, there was an immediate difference!!! That is what accounted for the blister on my right toe. I will be looking into getting a stability shoe in size 4E that doesn’t weigh a pound each!

The next two weeks will be spent finishing off the two houses and then training will begin for the next race, hopefully in April. We may also run the “Halloween Half” in Stuart, then the Disney Wine and Dine race in November. For 2015, if all goes well, I will run the A1A Marathon! Really…I will! :)

The wife had asked me prior to the race, if I was going to turn for the half, or go straight for the full marathon when that point came in the race. As I approached that point, I was tempted to go straight, but brains seemed to have triumphed brawn and I went for the half. Could I have run the full marathon? Possibly………but looking at some of the people finishing at the 5-hour mark, perhaps not quite yet!!

All in all, I am very pleased with the outcome. I made the run in a respectable time, and when they announced my name crossing the finish line as a marathon finisher, I had to yell “No…it is only the half”, which was kind of funny! The wife finished the race, with no training either, and experienced no major injuries. Great job honey!!! :)

Maybe it is the beach or the fact that this is our home track, but if they had a race next month, we would run it! It is so far, my favorite race!

Now that the move is complete, I can get back to blogging and hopefully some fishing as the boat is the last thing left to move!

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On to the next Race!

It is three days after the Wine and Dine 1/2 marathon. Looking back on this race, there is good and bad. I’ll start with the bad first.


  1. I didn’t get the finish time I was looking for.


  1. I got to see my son run his first race!
  2. My wife showed a lot of guts just to finish this race. I am very proud of her.
  3. I managed to survive the race with no new injuries.
  4. All of the modifications, except one worked to perfection.
  5. Another medal!

The only issue during the race was dehydration. That was caused by more than likely, loss of salt. My black running shorts were almost white with salt stains after the race. During the coming weeks, I will change the diet a little bit to prevent this from happening.

My next scheduled event, there may be a 5K or two in between, is the A1A Marathon. You will notice, there was no “1/2″ in front of that word!

The gang in Fort Lauderdale are feverishly working on this years medal. And what a medal it is!


I can’t wait to run this race!

Training will begin or should I say resume, after Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I may have to revert to my old high school football days and start “two-a-days”, aka, two trips to the gym for some extensive low impact cardio training to lose weight. I need to shed roughly 30 pounds by January and then settle into the last 10 pounds, the month leading up to the race. That will be roughly 40 pounds of weight loss.

The “diet” will be just a standard healthy diet of fruit, vegetables, meats, in moderation. The family will have to live with the effects of a lactose/fructose intolerant individual, but it will only be for four months! If I can take it, so can they! :)

I’ll start the food diary next week and post daily to chart my progress.

Stay tuned…this should be a hoot!

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Home, Running | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine and Dine (part two, race day)

Saturday was race day. In the morning, we went to Marshall’s first race ever. A 200 meter run. Another bus ride to Wide World of Sports.

2013-11-08-09-29-46_photo (Custom)

2013-11-08-09-58-41_photo (Custom)The corrals

2013-11-09-08-29-19_photo (Custom)Marshall….ready to race!!!!!

2013-11-09-08-48-09_photo (Custom)Marshall running the Tower of Terror!

2013-11-09-08-48-38_photo (Custom)Marshall, practicing his victory pose!

2013-11-09-09-02-13_photo (Custom)Kids Races entrance

2013-11-09-10-20-51_photo (Custom)The race is on! Marshall was so fast, I couldn’t get a picture of him! He finished in the front of the pack..leaving Mommy in the dust!

2013-11-09-10-37-45_photo (Custom)

I don’t think Marshall even broke into a sweat!2013-11-09-10-43-15_photo (Custom)Medal time!!!

We took Marshall over to his grandparents and then, went to lunch at the Outback. Once we got back to the hotel, we went in the hot-tub for an hour. Chatted a bit with Jen, then off for a pre-race nap. It was a little later than we thought, so, time to get ready.

2013-11-09-18-47-48_photo (Custom)

Teala, ready to race!

2013-11-09-18-47-33_photo (Custom)Eric, ready to race. No, I didn’t wear the wings in the race! Maybe I should have!

We loaded everything up in our race bag, and headed for the bus. We left the hotel at 7:10 and got to the corrals at about 7:45. Only 2 1/2 hours to go before the race!

We sat around, looked at some shows, did our final prep, and then, it was race time!

2013-11-09-22-00-11_photo (Custom)

2013-11-09-22-12-07_photo (Custom)Fireworks at the Start!

2013-11-09-22-14-51_photo (Custom)The starting line.

For this race, I went on a low carbohydrate diet as I felt so good after the Race Around the Lake, except for the broken legs, and thought that I would have enough fuel for this race. I was right. Fuel wasn’t the problem.

After the Race Around the Lake, it was discovered that I had severe stress fractures in both tibias. No training for 5 months and the training I did do, was minimal. Several short runs and one 10 mile run. None was done at “race speed” in an attempt to let my bones heal and not to injure myself. That seems to have worked.

Changing shoes also seemed to work as I am happy to report, there was no shin pain during or after the race.

Two weeks prior to this race, I was doing an inspection and climbing through an attic. I twisted my right leg and my foot got caught in one of the trusses. There was instant pain in my right knee, the “good” knee, followed by swelling, later that night. I iced my knee every night and kept it wrapped up until race day. I suspect there is torn meniscus or possibly, a torn medial collateral ligament. I’ll find out later this week.

I had hopes of running this race as at least as fast as the last race, 2:50, but since I hurt my knee, I didn’t even know if I would finish. Even with the pain in my knee, I didn’t take any medication. No Advil or Vicodin. There was some question as to if the drugs may have caused or been part of the massive cramping at the race around the lake. I wanted to eliminate them as a possible cause. Since I hadn’t used either during any of the training runs and no cramping developed, I didn’t want to change that for the race.

Finally….time to race:

Mile 1- 13:20. This was a fast start, even though I inadvertently set my walk interval at 1: 55 instead of 55 seconds. During a walk interval, I reset my run/walk interval to 35 running/55 seconds walking and used that for the entire race.

Mile 2- 12:37. What turned out to be the fastest mile.

Mile 3- 12:56 I sped up in mile two to make up for the mistake in the run/walk settings. 13 minutes per mile was my goal for the first half of the race.

Mile 4- 13:05 Everything was going fine, until, one of the fairies decided to do a “crazy Ivan” and ran me off the road! I landed in a hole in the grass and felt a bunch of pain in my right ankle and knee. Great…just what I needed.

Mile 5- 13:21 I finished 5 miles in 1:05:19 which was under my 1:06 goal. :)

Mile 6- 13:33

Mile 7- 13:32 Through the first seven miles, I was running just about where I expected to.

Mile 8- 14:12 I had been drinking a bunch of water as I wanted to prevent the cramps that occurred during the last race. Unfortunately, it appears that lack of water wasn’t the problem. Halfway through mile eight, I began to feel the “little balls” in the back of my left calf. This is exactly the same time as in the Tower of Terror race that this began to happen. I walked, stretched, drank more water, and the cramps went away…for a little while. :(

Mile 9- 15:54 Now, both calves started to cramp up. I was fighting through it, but even walking was hard.

Mile 10- 15:02 I was still cramping, but was able to walk “like a duck” which seemed to take some of the stress off of my calves.

Mile 11- 16:53 The slowest mile I have ever run. It was filled with walking, drinking as much water as possible at the drink station, stretching, anything I could think of to finish the race.

Mile 12- 16:11 Still fighting, but, after taking a few cups of Powerade, the cramps started to subside.

Mile 13- 15:23 Starting to run a little bit normally heading to the finish.


Chip Time:     13.1 miles –Time  3:13:42–Average pace: 14:47. :( Almost a half an hour slower than my last race. And, 20 minutes slower than my first Wine and Dine race last year.

Endomondo: 13.5 miles –Time 3:14:06–Average pace: 14:19

The electronics, The Galaxy S4 phone (still had 60% battery left), Run/Walk interval, Endomondo, and WinAmp music player performed flawlessly. The Endomondo tracker is pretty accurate. The times were only 40 seconds apart and with the zigzagging, I am sure I ran more than 13.1 miles!

After the race, both knees hurt, but that was to be expected. The left knee is a disaster as it is, and the right knee was injured prior to and during the race. The toenail that was injured on my trip to the Keys three weeks ago, didn’t fall off during the race. It did today! As for energy, running on a low carbohydrate diet, I had all kinds of energy after the race. We didn’t get home until 5:00 am! If my math is correct, that would be staying awake for 23 hours straight…with a 13 mile race thrown in!

Monday, there is a little pain in my calves and the right knee is swollen. Fortunately, I have today off. I plan to take two weeks off to let my body heal. Then, on to marathon training.

The schedule is to see my team of doctors to make sure no permanent damage has been done and that no surgeries are required, then start the weight loss and training.

In approximately three months, I will run my first marathon. Words I thought I would never hear in my life!

The plan is to run on a low carbohydrate diet, with an infusion of carbohydrates prior to the race. Also, five of my six water bottles will be filled with Gatorade. The Powerade, although it tastes horrible, did seem to help with the cramping. Once I get into the 15-20 mile training runs, I’ll see what happens. The most important part of this run, although disappointing from a results standpoint, is that with the exception of my right knee, I feel fine. I could probably run today if I wanted to…but there will be plenty of time for that in the coming months!

Thanks to everyone who has liked or commented on my blog or FB page. Your encouragement is appreciated!

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Home, Running | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine and Dine!! (Part one)


Another race in the books!

Before I get started, I would like to thank our friend Jennifer Upton – Disney Travel Specialist with Mousekeplanner. If you are planning a trip to Disney, contact Jen!

Next, I want to congratulate my wife on finishing this race. Although she ran it last year, this year, a month prior to the race while trying out a new set of shoes, she either broke a bone in her foot or damaged a tendon. Running for nearly four hours, on an injured foot, takes a lot of guts. As the kids say, “Mad Props” Teala! :)

And now, on to the Wine and Dine weekend!



Checking into the Caribbean Beach Resort


Apparently, the replacement of refrigerators was not completed for our room!


Marshall, Stitch, and “Spi-tor” seemed to be having a good time though!


Ahhh, our chariot!


We arrive! This should make an even 200 pictures of the “ball”!

2013-11-07-14-28-26_photoVegetarian haggis?


2013-11-07-16-49-19_photoMarshall….touring around the world!

2013-11-07-17-22-37_photoMexico. I had the 25 dollar Cabo Wabo Margarita, which was delicious!

2013-11-07-17-38-02_photoTeala and I………after said Margarita!


The waterfall at Canada. Every time Marshall goes to Epcot, we have to see the waterfall!

2013-11-07-18-34-21_photoDinner at the Rose and Crown pub. Note: Do not order steak in a British pub! :)

2013-11-07-19-51-53_photoNite Nite!



Race packet pick up. I would have taken pictures of the Expo, but how many pictures of the same ten vendors do we need? :)

2013-11-08-11-43-18_photoMarshall and Teala.

2013-11-08-15-05-12_photoThe backstage tour. Things were going fine….until……………………….

2013-11-08-15-05-45_photoThe water showed up…………………

2013-11-08-16-10-52_photoThat is a big hat!

2013-11-08-17-03-35_photoA little blurry, but the Muppet show.

2013-11-08-19-51-10_photo (Custom)The “Brown Derby”. Although it was a bit pricey, it was great. Note: Do get the steak here!!! :) Also, the grapefruit cake dessert, which everyone raved about, wasn’t worth the hype. Stick with the flour-less brownie!

After dinner, time to watch the Osborne Lights:


2013-11-08-20-02-40_photo (Custom)

2013-11-08-20-04-02_photo (Custom)

2013-11-08-20-17-54_photo (Custom)We finally got to see this..without having to run through it! And, yes, that is snow in the last picture! :)

2013-11-08-20-24-57_photo (Custom)Marshall, a little tired. He was up at 6:00 am and went on until we left at 10:00! Good job!!

This concludes the family part of the weekend, well almost. We still have Marshall’s first race tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Family and Friends, Food, Health and Fitness | , , , , , | Leave a comment



At long last, race week is here!

I am hoping tapering off will help me to a faster time for this race.

The goal is 2:30.  We will see how close I get to that.

After the race, I’ll post an update and a review.

So far, we have spent a lot of time at the Wine and Dine festival…….mostly the Wine portion! Tonight at dinner will be the last of that, probably a glass or two, then tomorrow will be in race mode.

Stay tuned!

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Home, Running | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Race week simulation

This week is  race week simulation of the upcoming Wine and Dine race, three weeks from now.

But first, the weekend!

I got a call from my good friend Paul that he was making a trip to his Keys house and I was asked to go. A weekend of diving and fishing in the Keys…I just can’t pass up! So, seven of the “usual suspects” were rounded up. Some went by car, others, like myself, accompanied Paul down from Lighthouse Point to Islamirada by boat.

Here we are under power:

Under power

Time for a little fishing:

leavingUnfortunately, I didn’t have my camera when we took a little ride into the inlet to watch the sunset, but, here is Sunday mornings sunrise:


All in all a relaxing weekend. Thanks again Paul!

Of course, there always has to be at least one incident. While I was putting away my dive gear in the back of the boat, the large hatch fell and landed directly on the joint of my big toe. Here is the result of that:

toe (Large)

I suspect right around mile 10 of the Wine and Dine race, my toenail will fall off!

Tomorrow will be a quick, hopefully, three-mile run and this Saturday, we have the Breast Cancer Awareness run/walk in the morning, then I will attempt to run 13.1 miles Saturday night.

If you wish to donate, please follow this link: Donations

I’ll post the results of that run Sunday, if all goes well.

It would also appear, that I probably shouldn’t have eaten the delicious fried grouper, redfish, and snapper Saturday night. I thought I got all the breading off, but alas, yesterday started the violence that is being “gluten-ized”. The bloat, weight gain, and bathroom issues are in full swing. Hopefully, by tomorrow, everything will have “cleared” my system. If not, the three-mile run will be very interesting!

The diet this week will be very low carbohydrates and a minor variation of the Atkins diet. This will help with losing the 8 pounds I gained in three days and also help get my system working so I will be burning fat  during the run Saturday night.

Until Sunday………..Run, run, run run run…..

October 15, 2013 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faux Tower of Terror Run!

This time last year, I was writing about my first ever run, the 2012 Tower of Terror run. It is hard to believe that it is only been a year seems much longer!

The wife and I made the decision not to run this race this year as our schedules were just too crazy, besides, the recent injury to her foot more than likely would have prevented her from running anyway. I, on the other hand, while training for the Wine and Dine half Marathon, bumped up the mileage a little bit, so, I did run 10 miles Saturday night! This was a significant point in my training. This run was run as close to “race day conditions” as possible.

I started the run at 8:30 pm. As this is a training run, I’ll keep it short.

Miles 1-3: Time: 39:43. The fastest lap was lap one at 12:26 and the slowest was 13:42. As is usually the case, the first three miles are spent figuring out how to run without pain in various areas.

Miles 4-6: Time: 40:48. Fastest lap:13:03, slowest, 13:44 I was a minute slower overall, but, running at a comfortable pace.

Miles 7-9: Time: 44:33 Fastest lap: 13:58, slowest lap, 15:48 which included a water fill of three of the six bottles, should have filled them all! Mile eight was, once again, a test. At this point in time, I was wondering if I might have to call the wife to come get me!

Mile 10: Time:15:16, the second slowest lap of the 10. Actually, probably the slowest as the slowest included a water stop.

Total time: 2:20:20

Last years time at the Tower of Terror run: Chip time: 2:20:30.

If my math is correct, that would be 10 seconds faster than last years run! Of course, this was running by myself in pretty decent conditions. The race conditions last year and this year, were hotter with more humidity. This training run did have heat, 84 degrees, and humidity, 70%, but, there was a nice breeze for the most part, which made the run quite enjoyable.

The aftermath: I was expecting some sort of pain somewhere, and my body did not disappoint! The good news, is that the pain was in my heels, which adding the gel inserts I have, should correct. There was no pain in my legs and not even a hint of a shin splint. Looking at the bottoms of my shoes, although they are wearing on the outside, they are wearing evenly. This would probably explain the lack of hip pain as well as any other pain. I appear to be actually running “level” and not to one side or the other.

Modifications: Since the disaster after the race around the lake in April, I knew some things had to change. The first was the switch to a stabilizing shoe, the Saucony Omni 12s. Next, was to add some cushioning, so, the blue pads I had in my other shoes were installed. This eliminated all of the pain in my shins. I am also running wearing the Zensch calf compression sleeves. The compression socks were too tight and both feet cramped up when I ran in them. I also switched my fuel belt, upside down, so now my phone is on the left side and goodies pouch is on my right. This allows for three bottles of water to be mounted somewhere near each side. Before, there were two bottles that were in the small of my back, which when running, is quite annoying as they tend to bounce up and down with every stride.

Speaking of the phone, the Galaxy S4 performed flawlessly and only used 20% battery during the run. Much better than the old Atrix2. The apps, run/walk interval, Endomondo, and Winamp, also worked perfectly.

Tomorrow will be a four mile run or 45 minutes, whichever comes first. I will try the gel inserts for my heels and hopefully, that will eliminate the remaining pain in my heels,especially the left heel. It feels like the bone spur in my left heel is growing and may be on its way out of my foot at some point in time. It has taken on the shape of a Klingon battle cruiser!


It would appear, that everything I have done to correct the shin splints, which lead to the fractured tibias, is working. Hopefully, this trend continues as I gear up for the A1A Marathon next February! Two days after the run, I have no pain to speak of.

This weekend, I am going away to the Keys for a little fishing and diving. I may actually get a run in Saturday. The following week will be short runs and a 14 mile run Saturday night. That will be the true test and give me a better picture of where I am at time-wise for the race. Four more short runs, then race-day!

October 7, 2013 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine and Dine training has begun!!


At long last, it is time to start training for this race! But first….a run-down of the previous months activities.

August started off with some very good news. Our son, who has a cyst on his brain, got his annual MRI done. Last year, the result was that the cyst had shrunk, slightly. This years result was that the cyst has shrunk considerably and that we do not have to put our son through the MRI process for another three years!!!!

Moving on…..Spring Lake 2013.

Since 1992, when I received an invitation to Spring Lake Golf and Tennis through my business, I have gone every year to “get away from it all”.  Somewhere in the 90s, I decided to make it a tournament and invited a few friends. Now it has morphed into a 5-day event filled with drinking and golfing, complete with hats, trophies, and a good time for all.

And now, finally, actually time to start training!

The first thing was to go on the Atkins diet and eliminate a bunch of carbohydrates. Then it was time for a new set of shoes.

While we were up in Stuart, we decided to visit a running store Fleet Feet. This store, is where Jeff Galloway has appearances and also a running team.

I spoke with one of the individuals in the store, told him about my injuries, and more specifically the recent injuries to my tibia. He recommended that I switch to a stability shoe.

I tried on a bunch of shoes, and ended up with the Saucony Omni 12 in size 11 and a half. The shoes in the store were too narrow, however when I got home, I ordered the shoes from Zappos in size 11 and a half, 2E.

I first tried a quick half mile run around the block. There were was no pain in my shins or knees. I gradually worked up to a mile running in these shoes.

Last week was my first official training run which was 3 miles. The time was a lot slower than what I was running at but there was no pain.

  • DISTANCE      3.33 mi
  • DURATION    45m: 59s
  • AVG. SPEED  13:49 min/mi
  • MAX. SPEED  9:17 min/mi

The next run was 3.8 miles and again no pain.

  • DISTANCE     3.80 mi
  • DURATION   54m: 01s
  • AVG. SPEED 14:12 min/mi
  • MAX. SPEED 7:14 min/mi

Saturday night was my first long run which was almost 7 miles. The heat is still present as well as the humidity! The run was accomplished at a 14 minute mile pace which is about a minute and a half slower per mile, then what I was running before.

  • DISTANCE      6.54 mi
  • DURATION    1h: 36m: 51s
  • AVG. SPEED   14:48 min/mi
  • MAX. SPEED  9:57 min/mi

The good news, is that there is no pain in either leg! The run also was done, as have the other training runs, with no Advil or any pain killers of any type. Now it is time to work on the speed. This run was also done at night to simulate the Wine and Dine race conditions. If it is going to be 83 degrees and 250% humidity, I am ready for it!!!
I was going to trim the running down to two days a week, but, I have some ground to make up, so, Tuesday and Thursday, will be short run days. Saturday will alternate between long runs and speed runs, of 4 miles.

I am still working on the strength training, chest and arms, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, back and shoulders, Tuesday and Thursday. I appear to be fully recovered from the shoulder surgery. Every workout I am getting stronger and in a few weeks, I will just work on weight training using lighter weights.

The weight is at 230 pounds and I am hoping to lose 15 pounds prior to the race, in six weeks.

We also purchased new phones, the Galaxy S4. All of the running apps work flawlessly on this phone! This phone also does almost everything my computer can do! In fact,most of this post was done on the phone!!

I’ll try to give daily updates, but more than likely, it will be one post, Sunday.

September 23, 2013 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Home, Running | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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