Another angry protest on the streets of Latin America.

Oh. Sorry. Just high school kids raising money for a field trip.

Funny thing…


Cable TV and all the jello you can eat!

Since I returned  from San Francisco I’ve been experiencing a little pain and swelling in my left calf. I thought I might’ve overdone it climbing those famous hills.  Just to be safe I had my doctor take a look a few hours before my planned departure. 

She didn’t like what she saw so she sent me to tower radiation for an ultrasound. Sure as shit I have a deep vein thrombosis also known as a blood clot. Not a big deal unless it dislodges it goes up into your lung- a scenario much more likely to happen on a long flight to… say Argentina.

That’s why I find myself in a hospital bed instead of an airline seat.  From what I’ve learned so far I’ll be put on powerful blood thinners and sent home. Hopefully I’ll be able to take my trip in a few days or maybe a week. I’ll let you know.

  Men plan. God laughs!

To recap…

To the best of my recollection, this is what I’ve done to prepare for the May 1st St. Anthony’s Triathlon:

Tuesday Feb 22 – 6.15 Miles with Cedrik and Erica.  Shwetty.

Saturday Feb 19 – Half Triathlon ( 1/2 Mile Swim, 12 Mile Bike, 3 Mile run)                 Swim/bike was a breeze, but the run was quite rough.  Legs were like WTF?

Thursday Feb  17 – 6 Mile Run  with Erica to Bayshore.  No prob

Tuesday Feb 15 – 6 mile run at 6 am with Cedrik and Erika. Best run yet.

Sunday Feb 13 – 5.5 mile run to Davis Islands with Erica.  Mildly miserable.

Thursday Feb 10- 6.2 miles (10 K) with Erica through Downtown

Tuesday Feb 8 – 4 miles through neighborhood with Erica.  Felt sick when I started. Felt sicker at the end.

Sunday Feb 6 – 5.6 mile run to Davis Islands with Erica.  This is the first run since I’ve begun training that felt invigorating. I could have gone a couple more miles easily.  The four day rest really helped me cross a physical and psychological barrier.

Saturday Feb 5-  One mile swim  (64 laps) at Interbay YMCA.

Friday Feb 4 – Four miles with Erica.  Legs have recovered and I felt strong.

Monday Jan 31 – Four miles with Erica.  Legs felt dead. Will not run for a few days.

Sunday Jan 30 – Six miles to Davis Islands with Erica.  Still no fun.

Saturday Jan 29- 25 Miles on bike at the Suncoast Parkway. Very discouraging. Slower than my first ride on this trail, but 100 minutes riding hard must be worth something.

Friday Jan 28 – Four miles with Erica. Went home, called in sick and slept until noon.

Wednesday Jan 26- 30 Minute treadmill at YMCA

Monday Jan 24- Four miler with Cedric. Very hurty.

Sunday Jan 23 – 5.4 mile run from home to Davis Island’s Dog Park (solo) Took exactly one hour.

Saturday Jan 22 – One mile swim (64 laps) at Interbay YMCA in 40 minutes

Friday Jan 21 – One hour of spinning with Wendy Ryan at Hyde Park Gym

Wednesday Jan 19 – 30 minutes on treadmill at 1.5 incline

Monday Jan 17 – 3 mile run with Cedric working on speed. Very tough

Sunday Jan 16 – 6.9 run with Cedrik and Erica

Saturday Jan 15 – One mile swim at Interbay YMCA

Friday Jan 14 – Four mile run with Cedrik and Erica

Wednesday Jan 12 – Four mile run with Cedric and Erica

Monday Jan 10 – Four Mile run with Cedric and Erica

Sunday Jan 9 – One mile swim at YMCA Interbay

Saturday Jan 8 – 25 mile bike ride on Suncoast Parkway Trail

Friday Jan 7 – Three mile run

Wednesday Jan 5 – Three mile run

A new personal best

I’m not sure if I’ve ever run this far before, but I calculated at 6.9 mile run with Erica and Cedrik.  Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Many feet make easy running

Despite the 39 degree temperature, this morning’s 4 mile run with Cedrick and Erica was a breeze. I do feel a little beat up as the day goes on, but I trust more conditioning will address that. I am amazed at how running with a small group seems to make running easier. I know I would be struggling with these runs if I were running solo, but the group dynamic somehow imparts an energy that makes the time and the miles fly by.

You can dooooo weeet!

Stepped out onto the sidewalk to meet Cedrick at 5:55 a.m.  Together, we walked around the corner to meet Erica for our 4 miler through Tampa Heights.  Cedric brings his usual quiet good nature while Erica keeps up a pleasant chatter the entire run.  We start in the dark and finish in the dark.  At the risk of getting overconfident I have to say it was easy (though both Erica and Cedrick were visibly appalled when I called out our running time of 44 minutes.  They were clearly slowing down the pace for my benefit.

Just because I’m not blogging doesn’t mean I’m not training.

Since the last post, I’ve successfully completed a 25 mile bike ride along the Suncoast Trail and felt downright springy at the end of it.  I’ve also run two 5-K’s  and today I swam a full mile at the Interbay YMCA.    This next challenge comes tomorrow morning at 6:00 am.

Neighbor Cedrick and another neighbor around the corner agreed to let me tag along on their regular morning run. Cedrick often runs 10 miles but in deference to my newbyism, we’ll go for 4 miles.  That will still be the longest distance I’ve run in a decade.


T’was the run before Christmas…

Remembered my watch today.  Covered 3.3  miles in 36 minutes.  Pokey, I know but I felt strong and kept a steady pace except for about a hundred yards of freak dancing. That’s where I break the monotony by running backwards, throwing up some jazz hands or prancing like a Lipizzaner Stallion.

The weather won’t get any better than this, so I’m remembering to appreciate that.  

High Point:  Hillsborough River flat as glass

Low Point:  North Boulevard by Blake High School

Music Highlight:  Jesse Colin Young’s Let Your Light Shine (especially the uptempo 2nd part)

Training Day

This was day one of preparation for  the St. Anthony’s Triathlon scheduled for May 1st. I signed up for it last week hoping 4 months of training should be adequate. After today, I’m not so sure.  Though  I could probably tough out a 1 mile swim or a 10 K run or a 25 mile bike ride in my present condition, the idea of performing all three consecutively seems way out of reach.  So today I laced up the Nike’s and hit the streets to see how the wheels are holding up at age 52.

Forgetting to check the time and wearing no watch, I jogged off the porch in the direction of the Heights Project along the Hillsborough River.  The first 1.2 mile felt great with a slight decline toward the riparian pathway that leads to Downtown Tampa.

As I passed the Performing Arts Center I decided to cross the Hillsborough River via the Cass Street Bridge and make a loop of it.  The slight incline got the heartrate and breathing up, but the legs and knees felt good.  I felt good.

After crossing the bridge, I turned north onto N Boulevard (the most stupidly named street in America).  Here the car traffic got thicker, the sun was in my eyes and a stiff breeze was taking a toll.  When are those pain killing endorphins going to kick in, I wondered? By the time I got to the steeply arched Holtsinger Bridge, I got a second wind. There wouldn’t be a third.

With Tish Hinojosa singing a plaintive cry for social justice in my iPod buds, I felt surprisingly strong on the uphill climb. At the summit, I did a few fist pumps before enjoying the downhill half of the bridge.  Then it got not-fun.

Turning East on Palm, I felt a strong urge to walk, but having decided from the onset that this would be a run I’d finish, that wasn’t an option. Even with the cool breeze, sweat rolled down my forehead into my eyes and I started to tire. It wasn’t any particular body part or system that was hurting or pooping out, but rather my entire self wearing out.

When I got home and cooled down, I felt none of the sense of well being a good work out normally creates. Instead I felt weird and sleepy.  To my disappointment, Google Maps pegged my route at only 3.5 miles… about the distance of a kid’s fun run.  My conclusion is that I need to pay more attention to hydration and nutrition if I want to complete St. Anthony’s.

Mostly dead is slightly alive when it comes to your frozen landscaping

Billy Crystal in “The Princess Bride” helps explain why you need to hold off on the pruning until Spring.