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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Not Running

Hello my name is Michael and I am an alcoholic Runner.
Everyone in unison: ("Hi Michael")
Today I am happy here to say that I've been sober  not running for 37 days.
::polite applause::
I hear many people say that running is hard….  But *not running* is no cakewalk for me…
Ya see…  I love to run…  I'm a natural introvert… I need that time…  and while I have been cycling a lot…  lifting weights and staying really active…  nothing can completely replace the place that I can go within myself, a kind of personal cocoon, when I'm running.
I have really not taken any significant (more than 3-4 days in a row) off running in probably 15 years with the exception of what turned out to be a torn quad in 2011 ( ) and even then I spent a significant amount of time doing "running type" training (elliptical etc)  Yep that's right sportsfans since I quit smoking back in 1996 I have really not taken a break…  and  It. Has. Been. Fabulous.  J
So why now?
Well…  to say that I over-trained in the first 6 months of 2013 would be a bit of an understatement…  and all the while… one niggling injury here…  bad knee creaking everywhere…  and an ache and pain there…  led to a compensation in running form and a weird snowballing effect of awesome aerobic capacity that I could no longer physiologically support…
So…  I've backed off…  working on Balance, core, strength, flexibility….  And cycling
I will be a runner again soon.

New Year's Eve

Busy working on my 2013 recap and 2014 goals



Monday, December 16, 2013

it was a Dark and Stormy November

I know...  I'm turning in my homework really late but maybe I can at least get 1/2 credit. plus...  here is a picture of a dog.

Okay not really but we did do a couple of rainy/windy night rides…  and I do look forward to the Tuesday night ride all week.
Another big cycling month…
Run  59 miles…  one of my lowest mileage months in recent years…  December will see me running even fewer.
Bike 49ish hours

Swim  800 yards – sticking the proverbial toe back in the water

Races Pink 4 Jon 5k – a first year event… so close to home we simply walked home after the race.  The course was not to well-marked basically all of the top 10 or so went off course in some way or another including me…  

Current Reads I finished wheelmen…  funny the more I read the less I cared about the whole deal…  Good news!  The last Lance doping book I'll ever have to read…  yay!

It's an often assigned novel for High School kids…  I normally like the Young Adult genre and this was not a disappointment.

Current Obsession riding my cross bike…  yep… still

Current Bane of My Existence a sore foot…  not bad enough to go get it checked out but pesky nonetheless.

Current Goal  No run December…   that's right kids…  I'm planning to take the whole month off

Current Excitement  FSU vs. Auburn in the Nationals Championship…   I'm not much of a college football fan but I grew up going to Seminole games….  Go Noles!

How did your month shape up?



your system.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Running QOTD

Running is the colander for my ideas it seems to separate the frivolous from the necessary rather effectively
-                        -  Anonymous commenter on a running blog

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


It's funny…  I was having a conversation with one of my buddies from the Tuesday night ride in Guana park. 
(I've described it a little here before.  It's basically a 20 mile out and back on sandy-muddy-bumpy doubletrack in the pitch dark…  it's one ride where the lumens you bring gets noticed more so than your gruppo…  Legs, handling skills, and tenacity trumps drafting and placement.  It is a group ride in the sense that we all start together but the group splinters and the strongest pull ahead leaving the rest scattered in twos and threes behind)
We were discussing the merits of the group, the route and the ride in general…
I told him…  "David, what I like so much about this is the requirement to be in the moment…  all of my mental focus is on scanning the ground for the firmest part of the road, the wheel in front of me, and whether or not I can hang on, pick it up, or best case drop the hammer…  for an hour every Tuesday night it's like nothing else really exists"
I think that's kind of what Bill Strickland is talking about here:
and that my friends is why riding a bike is so awesome

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wings on My feet

I have wings on my feet
That no one can see
Tho my shuffling, sweating body
Makes that hard to believe
These wings lift my spirits
Higher than calf or thigh
Perspective is sharpened
From my viewpoint on high
endorphins and elation  
Exertion and pain
understanding and peace
I long for time and again
-M. Cowart


Friday, November 1, 2013


Okay.. I totally ripped off this format from boB (thanks Beth)
Run  70 miles – Houston we have a problem…  it looks like fall running season will not get off the ground this year.  Mileage is not the problem legs are the problem.  More on this in a future post
Bike  40 hours on the bike…  yep…  ridin' like it's a part time job
Swim I am beginning to seriously consider it =;-)  in all seriousness…  I will return to triathlons in 2014…  and ergo swimming too
Races – Just the aforementioned CX stuff
Current Reads
A pretty good novel about the Norman invasion of England in 1066 and the aftermath.  I plan to read the other 2 books in the trilogy.
Right now I'm reading :
Interesting…  it's lots of stuff I did know along with a few very interesting details of which I was unaware.  The book really tries to unravel the interconnecting relationships and conspiracies behind the Lance Armstrong story.
Current Obsession cycling aside…  Playing Golf.  After a 10 year hiatus..  and no surprise…  Judi is pretty good.
Current Need A new pair of mountain bike shoes. These fell apart midway through a Cyclocross race.  My "sole wrenching" did not help my podium chances
Current Triumph – Getting CPR and First Aid certified
Current Bane of My Existence keeping the 3 bikes I have in working order
Current Goals
Racing:  Southern Cross 55 mile endurance Cyclocross race on 22 Feb 2014
Personal development:  Judi and I are half way to being certified to teach spin at the YMCA.  Just two more classes which we will finish up in six weeks or so.
Current Indulgence Brown Ale
Current Blessings the best family and friends a guy could have
Current Excitement  Tuesday night rides in Guana Park


Friday, October 25, 2013

Ridin' Dirty

So…  I have been doing a lot of riding…
Group rides:
Cyclocross Races:
Trainer rides:
Climbing Mountain Passes:
I even placed in a Cyclocross race:
I know…  3rd place in the "B" race is not the Olympics or Le Tour but for me….  Being the 3rd fastest non Cat 3 or above goofy cyclist running around in a city park on a Thursday is kinda groovy
But last Tuesday…  well let's just say that I found my people…
One of our local group rides ( goes off-road in the off-season…
Well actually the road looks like this:
In the daytime….  And when it is dry….
Well…  last Tuesday it rained all day and the sandy dirt road was awash…  but…
About 25 of us went out and rode our bikes from twilight into pitch black darkness down these roads like we were racing Paris-Roubaix
It. Was. Awesome.
Afterwards I looked like this:
And my bike may never be same
But I'll be back next week…  is it Tuesday yet?


Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Yes kids that's a bunch of bike hours…  almost like it's a part time job
Run distance is not as consistent as I would like.  I need to work on that
Swimming…  gotta get back in the pool.  Planning on a few triathlons next year.
Kid Rodelo
The first novel that I ever read…..  way back in like 1979  I found a digital copy online so I re-read it… Kind of a quick easy read.
I started reading anther book that I'm pretty excited about
If you are an athlete…  I advise you to check out this guy's website:
it can change your athletic life.
His mantra is simple…  yet a bit unconventional for the overmedicated masses…
In other news…
It's Cyclocross Season.
Pretty muddy last week…  not my best race.  I struggled a bit jumping/landing on my creaky old knee and with 3 creek crossings it was not a fast course for me…  but it was muddy and we had beer so who cares.
Judi and I are half way to our goal of becoming spin instructors…  We have taken a basic fitness course as well as CPR and First Aid
Now for the cycling part.  I think that we have decided to get the Cycle Fusion Cert:
Hopefully we will be teaching classes by January

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tempo/Fit Test

So I have been "exercising" for a couple of months recovering not only from RATS but the training that came before as well.  My body feel pretty well rested and recovered.  Now I'm ready to get into a bit more of a training mode.
The plan was 1 mile warm-up, 3@~8:15-8:30 the 1 mile cool down.  How did I come up with that?  Well it's simply what I had time for at lunch.
The results:
8:22 pace with an average HR of 146.  It was 93F with about 60% humidity.
No great turn of speed but I am happy with the stable HR and the god sensations in my legs during the effort
bring on the trainin'!

Friday, September 6, 2013

August Recap

I know…  we are already 1 week into September but…
Another month spent just exercising and being active…
I still have a few little injuries that haven't remedied themselves but…  then again I'm not 23 years old anymore.
It's good to feel some cycling fitness return, and I know like Eddy Merckx said if I "ride lots" I will continue to improve.
I read a couple of books:
As with anything written by Pat Conroy, it was excellent.  I had actually first read the book when I was about 18.  Interesting to read the book again with the experience of fatherhood as well as that of a son.
I also read "Calico Joe"
And Grisham is a great storyteller…  and I love baseball history…  I should have loved the book but…  it was just okay
I didn't listen to any books this month but I did discover Podcasts…  or to be specific a podcast that I enjoy.
"Open Mic with Mike Creed"
it's basically recently retired domestic pro cyclist Mike Creed talking cycling with people involved with pro cycling.
I dig it.
Got some big plans for the coming year…  I'll blog about that soon.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Guess how many intervals I did today...

If you guessed 6 you are correct!
1 mile warm-up…  6 @ 3 minute intervals with a 90 second recovery interval 1 mile cool down.
In this: weather
I'm sure this will pay off during cross season..  which starts this week!
Heck to the yeah!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

10 tips to keep you near your target weight


Hey you!  Yeah I'm talking to you…
Are you anywhere near your goal weight?  Why not?
Really?  Those excuses again?
Busy eh?  Not running as much you say?
Oh, riiiight…
You are lifting weights again and it's all muscle??? 
so why are you wearing the same pair of "fat pants" that you wore on Tuesday…  and it's only Thursday?  And BTW weren't they a bit snug this morning?
Okay listen up Fatboy
1.      You have a good reputation to live up to…  live up to it…  wife, kids, coworkers, family…  they all expect for you to eat healthy most of the time…  that's good peer pressure… use it!
2.   Weigh yourself daily…  and log it…  some folks say not to…  but it helps you keep focus… and is proven to work
3.     Keep good snax handy (actual picture of my credenza)
4.     Be this guy (race weight is ~178…  you can go fast there) think of yourself as an athlete in top condition and act like it with your dietary choices.
5.      Not this guy (I weighed 222# in March of 2008)
6.   Keep a diet log..  you have one ya know:
7.    You don't need to eat for recovery…  that's a bunch of bull$#!t…  and a handy excuse to eat pizza and drink beer after a 2 hour ride
8.   You do not need to carb load….  Ever!!!! Really you don't…  especially not for the 65 minute tempo run you did on Sunday…  that's bogus
9.     Every wine has it's time…  and wine time is *not* a continuous flow from 1730 to 2300… that's a stream of awesome, delicious, mellowing, but totally empty sugar calories…  moderation is the key
10.     In summation….
"In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the differences of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law I will obey, which precedeth all others is – I will form good habits and become their slave. " –Og Mandino, Greatest Salesman in the World
You know what to do… and you know how to do it…  go get 'em Tiger
The above is an actual conversation I had with…..  MYSELF
Odd huh?  Or maybe you talk to yourself like this too…

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My 10 Simple rules for Spin Class

I like to ride bikes…. I love to ride bikes outside
But often times getting a ride in outside is just not feasible…  bike on the car rack in the morning…  off to ride at lunch… Just a lot of work for 30 minutes of pedaling…
So god invented spin class.
At their best they are high energy karaoke dance parties
And at their worst they can be like moving your feet in small painful circles while you are stuck in someone else's car who is yelling at their spouse on the phone and blaring a radio station you hate
And over the last oh… 15 years or so I have been to hundreds of these gatherings of music loving cycle fitness enthusiasts…  here are a few things that I would like to share with spin instructors everywhere.
1.  It's really pretty much all about the music
2.  Keep it simple – steady on the verse faster on the chorus
3.  Jumps are fun…  but only if you have rhythm and can count J
4.  No songs without lyrics – how can we sing along if there are no words
5.  No deep album cuts or obscure bands – play stuff we know
6.  Smile - if you don't the class thinks that they are ticking you off
7.  I don't care if you went to a live show of "Riverdance" and thought it was awesome…  please don't try and enlighten us during class
8.  You really can't miss with the Black Eyed Peas
9.  No Pink Floyd
10.  Have fun… it's a workout but it doesn't have to be work - if the instructor is having fun pedaling to music...  we all might just want to come along for a ride.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Doing summer right

Ran 5 miles at lunch..
Showered and ate a quarter of a watermelon.
The salt packet in the bottom left of the picture is but one of a dozen or so….  Because that's how you are supposed to eat a watermelon


Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Recap

Had a kind of recovery month
Lots of cycling
50ish miles running
More lifting than I have done in a coons age
The weeks were pretty consistent
All that said…  I'm in kind of a weird place
I am exercising…  but not really training per se…  no concrete and measurable goals to attain