Eric Van De Vens Blog

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Time to start training!

It has been quite some time since my last post. I have been busy with the holidays, Cub Scouts, and a whole host of other things….including, running the Disney Wine and Dine half marathon in November!

I was making great progress in my training and really felt good about this race. Unfortunately, due to severe weather conditions in the area, it was shortened to roughly 7 miles. This actually worked out well as I had plenty of time to take pictures of some of the characters on the course, as well as to run at a leisurely pace.

The shortened race also allowed myself and the wife as well as a couple of friends to enjoy the Wine and Dine portion of the event until 4:00 am!

There is nothing to really report with regards to that race. I barely broke a sweat and had no damage reported to equipment or myself. So much for old news!

a1a medal

Now, it is on to training for my 4th A1A Half Marathon! Hard to believe that someone who never ran and has the injuries I have, has somehow managed to run 9 half marathons and a 10 mile race as well!

As I do at least twice a year, I am finishing up the 7-day total body cleanse……..and boy do I need it!

It took nearly five days before I started to feel like “myself”!

Next week begins training for the A1A half marathon which will focus on cardiovascular training. This will be accomplished using a three day a week full body workout along with an hour of cardio on those days, split up into 2 half hour blocks, one prior to the weight workout, one after, and three running days.

The one thing I really like about the A1A Half Marathon is that is first thing in the morning. This means that I can do all of my training before 9:00 am, and that will carry over to race day.

I will try to update the blog once a week, hopefully, after a successful week of training!


January 9, 2016 Posted by | Home, Running | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A1A Half Marathon Wrap-up!

This was one of the best races and times we have had in a long time!

I will start with a trip down memory lane. But first……….

I decided to start Saturday morning with a soak in the hot tub!

The hot tub

The hot tub


Now, on to memory lane…..

This is the 11th Avenue Bridge. It is one of the few bridges here in South Florida, that turns instead of going up like a draw bridge. To the immediate left of this bridge, was a home owned by one of my fathers friends. He used to let me come over and crab off of his dock. Good times for sure!


The 11th Avenue bridge.


This is the Evergreen cemetery. It is the one of the oldest cemeteries in Broward County. Back when I was in high school, we used to jump the fence, which was lower than it is now, and have parties til all hours of the morning. The phrase was, we are having a party Saturday night…and everyone was dying to get in!


Evergreen Historic Cemetery


After driving around Broward County for a while, it was time to visit the Expo. As always, this Expo has just about everything you could want for running and fitness. We got our race packet, shirt, poster, sport beans, all in 40 minutes!











Lexus isle at the Expo.


Next, we took Marshall to his Aunt Rose Maries where he got to spend the weekend! After that, time to check into the hotel. When I went to get a hotel for this race, everything was booked, at least what was in our price range. So, we had to “settle” for the Ritz Carlton! The standard rate for this room was $599.00 per night……………unless……you have Marriott Rewards points! Since we use our Marriot credit card for everything, we have an abundance of points, so, 50,000 points deducted, and the room was free!! And what a room!

This has to be the best hotel room we have ever stayed at. Click on the link Ritz Carlton, just to look at the place. Below are a few pictures of our room and the view. As an aside, the service is unbelievable! Everything you want is a fingertip away!

The Bed

The Bed

Bathroom vanity

Bathroom vanity

The bathtub

The bathtub

The toilet room..with a phone and a TV in the bathroom!

The toilet room..with a phone………… and a TV in the bathroom!


The view from our balcony.

The view from the 7th floor pool deck.

The view from the 7th floor pool deck.

After we settled in, we decided to have a few drinks on the patio overlooking the Intracoastal waterway. The Miami boat show was going on the same weekend, but we had our own private boat show!

Bridge opening.....

Bridge opening…..



A nice boat....

A nice boat….

A real nice boat......

A real nice boat……

A really, really, really nice boat!!

A really, really, really nice boat!!

After viewing our own private boat show, it was time for dinner. We decided to walk around to burn off a few drinks and ended up at the Quarterdeck Lounge. This is a place that as youngsters, we used to frequent. Maybe when you get older, you notice more, but this place was a dump. After waiting 20 minutes for service, and none ever came, and being subjected to a smoker who appeared to be in the final stages of some sort of death disease, we decided to eat elsewhere!

We walked around some more and ended up back at the hotel to see about getting dinner reservations. All booked up. We walked back down “the strip”, and ended up at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Looking at the menu, there wasn’t much that appealed to me, so we moved on. Eventually, we arrived at the H20 Cafe.

The wife used her phone to look up the reviews and most were positive, so, we decided to eat here for our Valentines dinner.

We were seated immediately and our waiter asked for our drink order. My current training drink is Jose Cuervo tequila and diet Sierra Mist. It is a zero carbohydrate drink and not as fattening as my normal Tequila Sunrise. Since they had no Diet drinks of any kind, we had to improvise. Tequila, Seltzer water, lemon, lime, and Splenda!

With the drinks out of the way, time to order food.

First was the appetizer, Cozze Posilipo….which is “Mussels in a light tomato wine sauce with red onions and a touch of fresh tomato and basil.”

Cozze Posilipo  Mussels in a light tomato wine sauce with red onions and a touch of fresh tomato and basil.

Cozze Posilipo
Mussels in a light tomato wine sauce with red onions and a touch of fresh tomato and basil.

This was absolutely fantastic! I was tempted to get another order, but seeing the portion size, figured the dinner would be plenty!

Speaking of which, I had the NY Strip Steak and the wife had the Risotto Champagne. Both were outstanding! I highly recommend this restaurant if you are ever in the area.

New York Strip Steak

New York Strip Steak

Risotto Champagne Risotto with baby shrimp and asparagus in a champagne cream sauce.

Risotto Champagne
Risotto with baby shrimp and asparagus in a champagne cream sauce.

The view of Fort Lauderdale Beach from our dinner table!

The view of Fort Lauderdale Beach from our dinner table!

Time to head back to the room to watch the sunset and go to bed around 8:30 pm.





Nite nite……..

What is that sound? Ah, the alarm… is 3:00 am!!!

Remember that hotel service I mentioned earlier?

Can you send us up a pot of hot coffee?

Can you send us up a pot of hot coffee?

Although it was 20 dollars, it was worth it!!!!! And, it arrived 10 minutes after the call and was fresh and hot!!

Now it was time to bathe, get dressed, and do everything else that you have to do before you head out to a race. We made a phone call to the valet, yes, it is mandatory valet parking, and when we got downstairs, our car was waiting for us! We even picked up a girl runner who was waiting for a cab, and we offered her a ride to the race.

Five minutes later, with a little “creative” driving, all routes to and from the hotel were blocked off and I had to navigate several cones, we were at the VIP parking lot, which is at the finish line. So far, so good.

Next we got on the bus and headed to the starting line, which is normally a 15 minute ride. Unfortunately, due to construction, several of the “usual” roads were blocked off and our driver seemed to have a hard time understanding what some of us locals were trying to tell her! Eventually, we ended up near the starting line, the driver pulled off to the side of the road, and we all got off and made our way to the start.


The Starting Line!

We only had to wait 20 minutes until the Star Spangled Banner was played on a saxophone. Then the wheeled racers were off. At 6:00 am, the race started. This race, unlike the Disney races or any other race we have run, is a mass start race. Everyone gets into position by markers for their projected pace. The only issue with this is that some of the slower runners, jump to the front of the line, which, later in the race, causes some runners, to have to weave around these other runners after you catch up to them.

In any event, I preferred this start as I only had to wait 6 minutes to get to the Starting line as opposed to the half hour or more at Disney.

As I started to run, I realized that I felt really good. I had no pain and also, no tightening up of my calves. I was running effortlessly, but still trying to keep a 13:30 pace.  For the first nine miles, I never was slower than a 13:29 pace. The first 4 miles were run in an average pace of 12:55!

5K time:38:48, which is  a personal best! The view of the 5K marker, which is now a castle instead of the previous sailboat.

5K castle.

5K castle.

Running along, at miles four and five, the sunrise….



Now it was time to focus on running. I was running at a consistent pace, 13:04 or so for a majority of the race. At mile 10, I finally had to urinate as I had been holding it for six miles! Miles 10,11,and 12, were my slowest miles. I was fighting a toe cramp in my left foot, as well as pain in my left hip. Luckily, those pains went away and to my surprise, and I didn’t know this until I looked at the tracker later, my fastest mile was my last! Mile 13 was at a 12:51 pace!

Here are the official and unofficial results:


Distance: 13.27 miles

Duration: 2:57:09

Average Pace: 13:20



Official time:

First Name Last Name Age 10k Gun Time Net-Time Pace
Eric Van De Ven 54 1:18:46 3:03:50 02:56:38 13:29

Not a personal best, but considering I was 15 pounds heavier than last year, I was only 2 minutes slower. And, no pain except for a little soreness.

Also, using the run/walk interval method and the low carbohydrate diet, I felt fresh after the race.

While waiting for the wife to finish, I took a few pictures of the beach and surrounding areas.

Fort Lauderdale beach!

Fort Lauderdale beach!

More beach....

More beach….

In the instruction manual of our new Canon camera, it says not to look at the lens if you are taking a picture of a bright the sun!

In the instruction manual of our new Canon camera, it says not to look at the lens if you are taking a picture of a bright object…like the sun!

The Bahia Mar hotel..

The Bahia Mar hotel..

A cargo ship...that was probably at least a half a mile away. That zoom really does work!

A cargo ship…that was probably at least a half a mile away. That zoom really does work!

Wishful thinking!

Wishful thinking!

Almost there!

Almost there!


The finish line! I took this picture while running with the wife to the finish!

The best thing at the cold low fat chocolate milk!!!!!!

The best thing at the finish…ice cold low fat chocolate milk!!!!!!



Now that the race was over, what to do? We got an extended checkout, so, went up to the room, rehydrated, and packed. We called the bellman and they took our luggage downstairs and held it for us. Meanwhile, we went to the pool patio deck and had lunch. But first, drinks!! Now that the race was over, carbohydrate fever! A Mojito for me and a Bahama Mamma for the wife!

Mojito and a Bahama Mamma!

Mojito and a Bahama Mamma!

A quick burger and Mahi Mahi sandwich..time to enjoy the view!

Bacon cheeseburger.

Bacon cheeseburger.

Mahi Mahi sandwich!

Mahi Mahi sandwich!

Bye bye Lauderdale...... :(

Bye bye Lauderdale…… 😦

This was a fantastic trip. No injuries and no drama..except for nearly missing the race! 😉

We are already planning for the race next year and it may be a 2-night stay this time!

Next race up….Disney Wine and Dine 2015!




February 16, 2015 Posted by | Gluten-Free Foods and Diet, Health and Fitness, Home, Running | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two weeks later……………………

This time two weeks ago, I was gearing up for what would be the worst race, performance wise, I have ever run. The good news is that I had low expectations entering the race to the extent that I didn’t know if I would finish. The fact that I finished is an accomplishment in itself!

The last two weeks I have been slowly adding distance to my training runs. I am, for all intents and purposes, starting over as far as training for the A1A Half Marathon in February goes.

The first run after the Wine and Dine was the following Sunday.

  • DISTANCE:   1.46 mi
  • DURATION: 18m:43s
  • AVG. PACE: 12:49 min/mi

I have changed the run/walk settings on Run/Walk Interval to 45 seconds run/50 seconds walk. As I get faster, I will change the settings, but for now, I want to get to at least 10 miles with these settings and stay in the 12 minute mile pace range.

The next run was this Thursday.

  • DISTANCE:   3.29 mi
  • DURATION: 43m:15s
  • AVG. PACE: 13:10 min/mi

This run was at a slower pace, but getting used to the new settings is always a bit of an issue.

Todays run, Saturday, was the best so far since completing the Wine and Dine race.

  • DISTANCE:   4.25 mi
  • DURATION: 52m:54s
  • AVG. PACE: 12:27 min/mi

I could have gone to five miles, but I had to return to the home as the wife had to leave. The good news about this run, is that since I started taking Potassium, my cramping issues seem to have been resolved. Also, I am only running with four bottles of water/Gatorade. That removes a little weight as normally I run with 8 bottles. Speaking of weight, I ran the Wine and Dine race at a staggering 251 pounds! Since we have returned, my weight has gone down to 239 pounds as of today. I am going to continue to run, cross train, and stay on the Atkins diet. The goal is to lose another 39 pounds by February.

The biggest issue for me, is that when I can’t train, I resort to poor eating habits, which adds weight very quickly. Dealing with the pain of injuries also is an issue as alcohol seems to quell the pain the best! Unfortunately, it is also responsible for a lot of weight gain!

I plan on two runs next week as it is Thanksgiving, then back to two or three runs a week. Short runs during the week and a long run on Sunday mornings. This is in preparation for the A1A race which unlike the Disney races, is in the morning…Sunday, February 15, 2015 morning to be exact! 🙂

The next update should be in two weeks barring something spectacular!

November 22, 2014 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon 2014 (race day)

It would appear, that Thursday night dinner would be the high-point for this weekend!

Marshall was a bit Grumpy when he woke up this morning and wanted to “postpone the run until he was better rested”!

We loaded up and drove to Wide World of Sports for the Kids races.

The required picture under the ball at Wide World of Sports!

The required picture under the ball at Wide World of Sports!

Marshall ready to run.....

Marshall ready to run…..He is getting some last minute advise from his coach!

A few trips through the obstacle course, and Marshall was warmed up!

A few trips through the obstacle course, and Marshall was warmed up!


Marshall finishing. If he didn't trip at the start, he might have finished first in his wave!

Marshall finishing. If he didn’t trip at the start, he might have finished first in his wave!

Marshall and EJ at the finish.

Marshall and EJ at the finish.

Now it was time to take Marshall to his grandparents. We got back to the room and ate and tried to rest.

As I was on a gluten-free and mostly low carbohydrate diet, I made six cheeseburgers before we left. They came in handy for race fuel!

We got ready and headed to the bus in front of the hotel at 7:00. We arrived at around 7:45.

We mingled with some friends and got a picture taken:


The air was crisp, temperature around 65 degrees, and a slight wind…..when we arrived at Wide World of Sports!

That changed.

Right around 9:45, it started to rain. Just a slight drizzle. It never stopped!!!!

On to the race……

I was using the backup phone wrapped in a sandwich bag. The apps running were: Endomondo, Run/Walk interval, and Winamp for music.

The Motorola wireless headphones were also used.

Mommy ready to race!

Mommy ready to race!

Yours Truly

Yours Truly

And we are off………………………………

The Start

The Start

Right off the bat, I knew this would be a slow race. Between the large amount of participants, especially in the corral I was in, I knew I would be lucky to finish this race.

Mile                            Pace

Mile 1:                     14:55

Mile 2:                     13:33

Mile 3:                     13:26      Fastest lap! But, problems developed!!! 😦

Mile 4:                     13:56

Mile 5:                     14:02

Mile 6:                     14:13

Mile 7:                     15:01

Mile 8:                     14:41

Mile 9:                     15:05

Mile 10:                  15:31  More problems!!!!!!

Mile 11:                   15:55

Mile 12:                   16:11

Mile 13:                    16:51

Endomondo:      3:13;20     Pace: 15:04

Chip time:            3:21:37     Pace: 15:23

Considering the conditions, and the fact that I weighed 245 pounds at race start, I guess I can live with the results.

Problem one developed right after mile three. The insert inside my shoes, started to move and eventually, was crinkled up under my foot. I tightened up the laces on my right shoe, and that seemed to solve the problem, for that foot! The left shoe, however, was still having problems all the way to the end of the race. I tightened the laces three more times and it got better, but about every mile and a half, I had to stop, take off my shoe, straighten out the insert and re-install it. This cut into my time.

Problem two developed around mile 11. I get a warning that my battery is low in my headphones. Shortly thereafter, no headphones!! I managed to finish by counting on my fingers to forty for the run intervals and 50 for the walk intervals. At some point, it was quiet enough where I could hear the commands from the phone speaker. So could everyone else!

Problem three: While tying my shoes around mile eleven, I got a cramp in my left calf! Great!! The previous races “up north” I have cramped badly. This race I took special care to prevent that from happening. I was taking potassium, drinking a bunch of water and Gatorade, and doing everything to prevent cramping. The good news, was that when I got up to run, the cramps went away. The bad news, I had to adjust the insert three more times! Each time, I feared the cramps would return, but they didn’t. 🙂

After I crossed the finish line, I grabbed my bag and headed to the after-party. I met my wife and we decided that since I was shaking uncontrollably, we should go back to the warmth of our room! Once back to the room, I took a hot shower and then crawled under the covers!!

The aftermath………………………

As with all of these races, it is a battle between your mind and body. Your body keeps trying to find ways for you to go and lay down. Your mind says no. This year, the mind won as going into this race, I didn’t know if I would finish. After the race, I am pain-free. Nothing hurts and I could go out for a run today. I have never felt this good after a race. No pain in the shins, no pain in the knee or feet. I am actually quite surprised as after the race, due to the awkward running style caused by the failed insert, my left knee hurt. Sunday it felt fine and today, you couldn’t even tell I just ran one of the toughest half marathons in my life!

What’s ahead?

Depending on what happens regarding the wife, she fell at mile three, hurt her knee, and continued to mile 7, before finally surrendering to the pain, the next run will either be a local 5K and/or the A1A half marathon in February.

I wish to thank all of those who cheered us on at the event, and those that have wished us well on the blog, and Facebook pages.

Stay tuned……training resumes Tuesday! 🙂




November 10, 2014 Posted by | Gluten-Free Foods and Diet, Health and Fitness, Running | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wine and Dine 2014 1/2 Marathon wrap up (Pre-Race)

Another race in the books!!!

This years race was one of the more enjoyable events, as well as the most painful! We will start off with the enjoyable part first!


We arrive bright and early to our hotel, the Caribbean Beach Resort. Checked in and then, got to the Pirate Room! Thanks Jen!




Now it was off to Epcot for the Wine and Dine portion of this trip!


I had to be careful as to which countries we ate at due to my gluten issue.

We started off in New Zealand, where I had the Steamed Green Lip Mussells. I forgot to get a picture! Next, we skipped around until we got to Morocco for some sangria. Which was the best sangria, hands down at the event. Then we went to France for the Braised Short Ribs and some Cabernet Sauvignon wine. Delicious!! Next, Brazil for Crispy Pork Belly and Black Beans. I had the Frozen Caipirinha…whatever that is!! It was very refreshing! We finished up the eating portion with a trip to Puerto Rico where I had a conch salad and sangria. We ended the Wine and Dine portion in Mexico where I had the third sangria.

Braised Short Ribs in France

Braised Short Ribs in France

Pork Belly and Black Beans in Brazil

Pork Belly and Black Beans in Brazil


Conch Salad in Puerto Rico

Bye Bye Epcot....for now!

Bye Bye Epcot….for now!

We went back to the room, had a snack, yes, hard to believe we will still hungry, and then, to soak in the hot tub.

Time for dinner! Every time we visit Disney, we try to eat somewhere new. This trip, we went to the Contemporary Hotel and ate at “The Wave“.

Contemporary Hotel

Contemporary Hotel

The Wave

The Wave

I started off with Steamed Florida Cedar Key Clams with Chorizo Sausage, Fennel, and Smoked Paprika, which was tremendous!!!

Steamed Florida Cedar Key Clams with Chorizo Sausage, Fennel, and Smoked Paprika

Steamed Florida Cedar Key Clams
with Chorizo Sausage, Fennel, and Smoked Paprika

That was followed by Herb-Salt Seasoned Beef Tenderloin Caramelized Field Mushrooms, Organic Green Beans, Potato Mash, and Sauce Bordelaise. This was also delicious!

Herb-Salt Seasoned Beef Tenderloin Caramelized Field Mushrooms, Organic Green Beans, Potato Mash, and Sauce Bordelaise

Herb-Salt Seasoned Beef Tenderloin
Caramelized Field Mushrooms, Organic Green Beans, Potato Mash, and Sauce Bordelaise

For dessert…and this isn’t on the menu, Gluten-Free Carrot Cake!!! I also ordered a Chocolate martini. This was one of the best desserts I have ever had! If you are ever at the Wave, make sure you order this combination. I was almost tempted to order a “to-go” version!!

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with a Chocolate Martini

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with a Chocolate Martini

After dinner, we watched the fireworks and the castle got “Frozen”!

Frozen Castle

Frozen Castle

We went back to the hotel and to bed! Day one was tiring!!


Friday started off with a trip to the race Expo at Wide World of Sports. We had to get our race packets, bibs, run tracking, and a few supplies. Then, it was off to Animal Kingdom.

Marshall and Mommy at Wide World of Sports

Marshall and Mommy at Wide World of Sports

Marshall and Daddy at Wide World of Sports

Marshall and Daddy at Wide World of Sports

Marshall in the dugout.

Marshall in the dugout.

Home plate!

Home plate!

Sports Expo

Sports Expo

Off to Animal Kingdom…….


I finally got to see the walking tree lady!!

I finally got to see the walking tree lady!!

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life


Marshall riding a dinosaur!

Marshall riding a dinosaur!

A large lizard............

A large lizard…………

A lurking bat.....

A lurking bat…..

Mt. Everest

Mt. Everest

After lunch at the Flame Tree Cafe, we headed back to the hotel. Had a few drinks, relaxed, then it was off to dinner.

Dinner was at the Flying Fish.

A Blood orange margarita

A Blood orange margarita

The only picture worth posting is the one above. The food was pedestrian at best. The service and mass confusion was also a contributor to an overall forgettable experience. With such high ratings, we surprised by the experience. Young Marshall did enjoy the mussels though!


Time to return back to the room and rest up….

Next post….Race Day!!!!

November 10, 2014 Posted by | Gluten-Free Foods and Diet, Home, Running | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Race week..Wine and Dine 2014 is here!

It seems only a few short weeks ago, we moved into this house and now suddenly, it is 10 months later!


Time to pack up the tribe and head north to Disney for our third Wine and Dine 1/2 marathon. All of the packing is done, well, most of it, and thanks to our Mousekeplanner, Jennifer Upton, our upgraded room should be ready when we arrive early Thursday morning.

On the training front, last Saturday night was supposed to be a simulation run for the race. The temperature dropped into the 40s and I was painfully reminded, that surgically repaired bones do not perform well in the cold! Back in 2010, I was wandering aimlessly around Disney in one of the coldest times of the year. The result of that trip was surgery number 5 on the left knee! It was the beginning of the “floating debris” that has been accumulating in my knee. The end result is that the back half of my knee locks up……which is detrimental to running!

Saturday night, the same thing happened. I was able to work it loose, and continue to run, but, I decided to cut the run short at 4 miles. There was swelling in the knee, which has since subsided. I guess the voodoo doll is back from vacation!!

Prior to the 2013 A1A half marathon, the temperature dropped into the 30s, which for us native Floridians, is close to arctic conditions! The workaround was to put the cold/hot gel packs in hot water then apply them to my knees. That worked and there were no problems with either knee. Hopefully, as the temperatures are supposed to be in the high 50s, I shouldn’t have to use the gel packs, but I am bringing them!

The weight loss is coming along, but I will still be running at the heaviest weight, probably 235 pounds on race day, that I have ever run at. I’ll just have to make the best of it. I am going to run a conservative race and shoot for a 14 minute/mile pace. Anything faster than that will be a bonus.

My playlist is done and I have three hours and seventeen minutes of music. Hopefully, I won’t need it all!

All that is left is to make the trip north.

Thursday will be Wine and Dine day as we eat and drink our way around Epcot.

Friday will be race packet pick up, Animal Kingdom, and possibly Magic Kingdom. Park orders are subject to change…and most likely will! 🙂

Saturday is race day and starts with Marshalls race in the morning followed by a day of relaxation and then race prep and the race for Teala and I.

Sunday will be a day where depending on how we feel, either a visit to a theme park or, an early return home…hopefully uninjured!!!

Wish the team luck!!!


November 4, 2014 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A funny thing happened……

On the way to running retirement! Pain free runs!

Since the last post, I got the results of the latest MRI and it is more of the same, torn rotator cuff, partially torn biceps tendon, but no torn labrum. So, an injection or two, and the left shoulder is returning to service.

Meanwhile, I have been training for the Disney Wine and Dine 1/2 marathon. Since switching shoes to the Saucony Omni 13s, I have had no pain after any run. The mileage has been creeping up starting with one mile and getting to 7 miles last week. A brisk 3-mile run yesterday was also pain-free and the fastest run since I resumed training.

Saturday night is a scheduled 10-mile run to simulate race-day, then one more 3-mile run Tuesday, and that will be it for training.

The goal is a 13 minute/mile pace. The Wine and Dine has always been a problem race for me, between the crowds and cramping, I have never performed well there. I am hoping that will change this year. Moving to Palm City, it was apparent immediately, that somehow, there is more humidity here than back in Coconut Creek. This is evidenced every morning when everything outside looks like it just rained! The good news, is that I have as of yet, not experienced any cramps during any run. I am hoping that trend continues during the race, if so, I may kick things up during the last 5 miles of the race. I have also not experienced any pain, and by that, I many any pain, after any run. I suspect whoever was playing with the “Eric voodoo doll” has put it away for a while!

After this race, I will reevaluate everything, to determine if I will continue. Right now, it is a very good chance I will keep running. I am not sure about running the A1A race in February this year, as it is down in Broward, but who knows.

I will be posting the playlist next week and a final race-day post.

Stay tuned………………………………



October 31, 2014 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The pain at wounded knee returns…………………………….

For those that follow this blog as well as my friends, you are all aware of my damaged left knee. For those that aren’t, the gory details can be found here: The Pain at Wounded Knee.

The long and short of it is, due to a botched surgery in 1998, I ended up tearing my ACL, MCL, PCL, meniscus and cartilage. In other words, just about as bad a knee injury that there is.

A timeline for surgery has been established at roughly every five years. The last surgery in 2010 was extensive and, there was a piece of something, lodged in the back of my knee. On occasion, this piece would wander around and every once in a while, lock up my knee. A little massage and the knee was back to normal. This never occurred when running so, I kept running. Unfortunately, other issues have shown up like the massive stress fractures in both legs, the broken bone spur in my left foot, and recently, the partial tear of my Achilles tendon in my right leg.

Monday night while sleeping if you can call it that, as there are a whole host if things that go “bump” in the night around here, starting with the blood curdling scream from our son at 2 am, followed by Samantha massaging my bladder and then ending with Sophia with her big head and loud purr in my face at 4 am, the wife was somewhat surprised to hear loud screaming coming from our bedroom, from me!!

Whatever the wandering piece of debris was, it has now broken free from its mooring and wandered its way into the middle of my knee. I couldn’t move my left leg below my knee in either direction. The pain was intense and for those that know me, that is a lot of pain! After 20 minutes of massage, I was able to move my knee a little bit. Yesterday, it was swollen and very stiff. Today, it locked up on me at the gym….which I would expect if I was working out legs, not chest and arms!

In two weeks, I am attending my annual golf tournament in Sebring, Fl. This will be the 20th year for this event. The question is, “How am I going to play 100 holes of golf…when I can barely walk”? I could pay Dr. Baylis a visit, but he will say two things. 1) You need another surgery to clean this knee out. 2) Stop running. I can deal with the first statement, but not the second. He may also say something else which I do not want to hear, and that is, that the time has come, to stop prolonging the inevitable.

When I first saw Dr. Baylis in 1998, he told me then that if we were extremely lucky, we would be able to prolong the eventual knee replacement for possibly 20 years. If my math is correct, we are at year 16. Can another surgery be done to get to 20 years? When will it have to be done? That is the big question!

If I get the surgery done after Spring Lake, the 3rd week in August, it will take approximately six weeks to recover, depending on how bad things are. That will put me into October which would allow me 5 weeks of training for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Although I ran the A1A Half Marathon with virtually no training, at least the Wine and Dine was only two months prior to that race. It will be at minimum, 8 months since the last run if I start training in October. I could always defer the race until next year, but by then, who knows what will happen. I still have torn meniscus in my right knee to correct at some point in time. I could also just run with my wife at the Wine and Dine, and end the running career after that…………….

The next month will be very interesting so stay tuned!!

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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