Monday, December 29, 2008


Home in PC
High of 79

Kathy made the decision to begin the Couch to 5K running plan! I told her that I would support her by doing the plan with her, as a supplement to my continuing workouts. We went out about 11 AM and started with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk. We then did 8 intervals of jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds. We finished up with a 5 minute cool down walk for a total of 1.7 miles. GOOD JOB KAT! You can do it!

I then headed out and ran an additional 3.1 miles, with a .3 cool down, for a total daily distance of 5.1 miles. I'm off for the week, so it's a good time to get extra road work in. I have less than 3 weeks until the St. Pete Beach Classic.

After our workout, we went to get Florida plates for Kathy's car and to file for our Homestead Property Tax exemption. Florida has very reasonable property taxes on your primary, full time residence. Whatever your assessed value is, it gets reduced by $50k before taxes are assessed. Vacation and investment homes are not treated quite as favorably by the county tax collector.

Tides are favorable for a fishing trip this week. My fishing buddy Rolando and his wife Kathy are coming over for the new year, so hopefully us boys will be able to get out. I charted some hot spots on the Gulf, both near and far, that we will try out for Grouper.

Speaking of boating...we found a deal too good to pass up. West Marine had a AM/FM/CD/iPod stereo with 2 speakers, normally priced at $299, on sale for $99. It shipped today, so I'll have another project waiting for me to install it.

I got an email from a blog reader who is moving to Port Charlotte from New Jersey. They bought a home on a canal in my neighborhood. How cool is that?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


80 degree weather helps you warm up quick.

DeBary, FL
83 degrees

Today we travelled about 200 miles north east from home to spend Christmas with Kathy's brother, Jim and his family. The drive was good until we got into Orlando, where traffic came to a halt and stayed under 30 for 14 miles. We arrived at about 4PM.

My day began with a 5k run. It was pretty tough going but I attribute that to some residual soreness from many hours of yard work yesterday. I have started renovating the turf. There was so much crabgrass infesting the yard, the only choice was to kill everything off and start over. I did two applications of roundup, 7 days apart, and then began tilling up the soil. I will re-seed or sod in the spring.

Speaking of renovating, my body renovation took a giant step today. While my exercising has done wonders for dropping inches over the past 16 week, my actual weight loss has been slower than I had hoped for. I started at 280 pounds and steadily dropped a little bit every week for the first 10 weeks but I seemed to hit a wall in trying to get under 250. I have bounced between 252 and 258 for the last few weeks but today I finally broke the mark by weighing in at 248.

A 32 pound loss in 16 weeks is exactly where the "experts" say I should be. That's 2 pounds a week. Slow and steady is the way they say to lose it if you want to keep it off. My weight goal is to get to 200 pounds before my 44th birthday in September. In addition to the weight loss I have also lost 5 inches off my waist. This is a nice Christmas gift to myself.

On Monday I achieved a new personal best by running 3.4 miles total. I can now run 3.1 (5k) as a regular routine. I'm going to slowly increase my max distance once a week in order to get to a 10k. My first organized 5k is January 17 in St. Pete. I think I can be ready for a 10k in March.

I went for a physical on Monday and was pleased with the results. My blood pressure was 124/76. The nurse said 120/70 was perfect. I had an EKG to test my ticker. There was a slight electrical anomoly on the right side but the doc said it may be something I've had my whole life. He scheduled me to take a treadmill stress test in a couple of weeks as a follow up but he said I don't have to alter my workout routine as long as I'm not feeling an aches or pains. I'm having a complete blood workup done as well. The last time I did that was about 3 years ago. I remember my triglicerides being too high, so I'm looking forward to see how I've improved there as well.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Keith shows it's a working vacation at Mimi's landing in our backyard before heading for Cabbage Key.

The 100 acre island has no roads and no cars but great food and fabulous views.

Keith paruses the menu at Cabbage Key, with our boat Messing About docked in the distance
Doni relaxes on the patio of Cabbage Key

Kathy stakes her claim on a seat for today's cruise

Views along the Gulf Inter Coastal Waterway

The cabin cam catches the captain catching a cold one
The lighthouse at Boca Grande

Captain and crew; Bill and Keith

Who wouldn't admire the rear Admirals?

This single frame is all we have until we get the video from Doni
(click to enlarge to full screen)

Kathy watches the sun set on the Gulf of Mexico in Lee County, FL

The 80 degree high quickly cooled after the sun went down

Twilight led us back to the Port Charlotte canal system
Home in Port Charlotte
Sunday morning 8 AM
61 degrees, going to a high of 78

Doni and Keith came to visit us yesterday. I had launched the boat at 10 AM in order to beat the outgoing tide. I boated over to Fishermens Village and tied off at the courtesy dock, where Kathy picked me up in her car. We went home just in time to meet our friends. We hung out at our house for a while, showing them our home and home port.

We drove back to Fishville and walked the shops in the village mall. We launched the boat about 1:30 PM. The weather was a perfect 80 degrees and the winds were light, about 10 knots. We crossed Charlotte Harbor and headed south on the Gulf Inter Coastal Waterway. At mile marker 61 we hailed the harbormaster at Cabbage Key and received a slip assignment. A dock hand was there to greet us and help us get tied up.

We visited the gift shop first, since it was going to close at 4PM. The shop clerk (and all the staff) was very friendly. She told us that everyone who works on the island comes and goes to work via boat. Keith treated everyone to some Cabbage Key shirts. Mine says, "I'd rather be on my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with my boat on the rocks." Kathy's says, "Fish Naked, show off the old rod."

Lunch was fresh caught Gulf Stone Crab claws. Wow, this was some fabulous sea food. It was our first time having them. Everyone else enjoyed clam chowder soup, but I refrained. Even though it is one of the tastiest soups to me, I have an allergy to something in it. Several times in my life I have suffered anaphylaxis after eating it.

After lunch we took a very slow cruise along the ICW, enjoying the million dollar views of Ussepa Island. It's an exclusive, owners only island with a private club and restaurant, accessible by boat only. We motored out to the mouth of the Gulf at Boca Grande. Doni joked that she didn't believe our story about the area being populated by bottle nose dolphin. I told her if we didn't see any, it would be the first time out that I failed to see any. When we shut the motor down to drift in the pass, the wind had stopped completely, and the water was as smooth as glass.

Finally, Kathy noticed a few bottle nose dolphin breaching the surface a few hundred yards away. There were very few boats on the water, in spite of the perfect weather. There was a fishing boat with four guys aboard, drifting about 100 yards away from us. We noticed one lone dolphin that was hanging out with them. All four guys were interacting with this wild sea mammal, who seemed to be playing with them. We thought they might be feeding him but couldn't see for sure. We decided to try to entice him to our boat, even though we didn't have any bait fish aboard.

Keith had Kathy knock on the side of our boat while he made splashing sounds in the water with his hand. I started making squeaky kissing sounds, like a Tampa friend had told me to do. We're not sure which of these methods worked but we clearly saw the dolphin make a beeline for our boat, across the surface of the water.

He came right up to the port side of our boat. He was HUGE! He had to be 300-400 pounds or maybe even more. He rolled over to show us his belly, as if he wanted us to rub it. He danced all around the water within an arms reach of us. Doni videotaped the whole thing as our new friend made us oooooohhh and ahhhhhhhh and oooooooo. When he came head first out of the water and opened his mouth for us, we must have returned the favor because I'm sure our mouths were wide open in amazement. It was like a Sea World show in God's own amusement park. After a few minutes our friend had to go. He came out one last time to show his teeth, nod his head and then swim off to the Gulf. I bet you could spend twenty years on these waters and never have something like this happen. The best thing about this experience was Doni being there. She is the biggest animal fan we know. Kathy worked with Doni in Phoenix and recalls a day when Doni found a cricket in their 4th floor office. Rather than let it die, Doni carried it down the elevator and released it outside. We think Doni's love of creatures played a hand in this special day.

After that Dolphin experience, the 5:39 sunset seemed to come in a distant second place. Once big red dropped beneath the horizon it was time to high tail it home. The water was still glass so I went wide open throttle the entire 22 miles home. With four of us on board, our single engine Volva 5.7 liter engine did 35.7 knots or 41 MPH. The tac was pegged at 6k RPM. Leaving twilight in our wake was a beautiful sight. We arrived at the canal system at about 6:15 PM. It's 2.6 miles of wakeless speed to get to our dock so we passed the time by enjoying the Christmas lights and trees in the homes of the Port Charlotte canals.

Doni didn't have her USB cable to upload the video on here but she will send us a CD as soon as they get back to AZ. In the meantime, enjoy the above photos of our latest adventure in Messing About in South Florida.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


click picture for full screen
Above is a satellite image of just some of the Gulf Barrier Islands along the Intercoastal Waterway, south of Charlotte Harbor, Florida. Each Key is a separate island, less than a two hour boat ride from our home port.

Click picture for full screen image
Above is a satellite image of Cabbage Key.
The large yacht parked dockside is 85' long.

Saturday morning update:
Home in Port Charlotte

I got home about 5PM, had a nice spaghetti dinner with my bride and was in bed by 8:30.
I awoke at 4AM and by 5AM I was running another 5k. The trainers are right. This does become addicting. There's a thick marine layer of fog this morning, with visibility down to less than a quarter mile. It should burn off by 9AM.

Doni and Keith are coming today and we are looking forward to hosting them on the water and in our home. The boating forecast calls for winds 5-10 knots, seas 2 feet and a light chop. We'll have clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine with a high of 80.

Thursday Miami, Friday Wellington

Hampton Inn
Wellington, FL
79 degrees, gorgeous

Wednesday after work brought day 2, week 9 of my running plan. Having completed my first ever 5k run on Monday, I had every intention of taking it easy and doing about 2.5 miles. Ooops, I felt so good running, I kept going and going and going. Another day, another 5k. :-)
My morning after soreness was much less on Thurday morning too. I could get used to this.

Our friends from Arizona, Doni and Keith, are on their way to South Florida. They will spend Friday, Sunday and Monday with Keith's daughter in St. Pete but Saturday will be with us. I have a nice day on the water planned. I will launch the boat at 10 AM in order to get out before low tide. I'll run over to Fishermans Village and tie off there, where Kathy and our visitors will join me around noon. We will head for the Intercoastal Waterway and cruise to Cabbage Key. This will be a first for all in our party. There is a restaurant there, that as local tales tell, was the setting for Jimmy Buffet's writing of Cheeseburger in Paradise. I posted pictures above to show our destination.

We plan on enjoying a 5:39PM sunset before heading for home. I have until 8PM to get under the short bridge before high tide.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Home in PC
High of 80 forecast all week

I did it!

On my first day of week 9 of the Couch to 5K running plan, I was supposed to run for 30 minutes straight but I knew I'd be short of my distance goal. About 20 minutes into my run I decided I wouldn't stop running until I passed 3.1 miles (5k). I just kept my feet moving; one in front of the other; nothing was going to stop me today. My podcast trainer congratulated me at the 30 minute mark but that wasn't going to stop me. I continued running right through the 5 minute cool down. Seven tenths to go. The podcast ended and Kenny Chesney began singing, "I'm Alive." When I rounded the corner at my street I knew I had exactly three tenths of a mile to go. I felt more alive than I had in I don't know how long. At the 39:28 mark I crossed the finish line, having completed my goal of running 5 kilometers without walking. The plan promised to make me a 5k runner in about 2 months and it worked. My first official sanctioned 5k race will be the St. Pete Beach Classic on January 17. The lyrics to my victory song sum up my feelings :

So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me, I'd like to thank my lucky stars
That I'm alive...........and well

It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I'm alive

And today, you know, that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing, can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive.........and well
I'm alive and well

Stars are dancin' on the water here tonight
It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight
This boat has caught it's wind and brought me back to life
Now I'm alive.........and well

And today, you know, that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing, can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive..........and well
I'm alive and well

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Home in PC
52 at wakeup; high of 70

After spending Wednesday night, Thursday and Friday in Stuart (Atlantic coast) I returned home Friday night to the comforts of my own bed.

I awoke Saturday to a crisp and cool morning. At 9 AM I headed out for the last run of week 7. I had felt some shin splints after Wednesday's run, so I spent nearly an hour stretching this morning. I headed out to the thin morning air and felt good. After my 5 minute warm-up walk it was time for my 28 minute run. The sun felt so good on my face, I quickly forgot about the chill. At the half way mark, I knew I was on a good pace because I was a full block past where I was at the same point on Wednesday. Entering the final minute of the run I had a smile, as I had already passed my previous personal best for distance. In the end I was about 2 blocks further than the end of my last run. I later measured it with my truck odometer and found that my actual distance run was only 2.3 miles. I had hoped to have it be closer to 2.7. But that gives me more room for improvement.

Starting Monday, it's week 9 of Couch to 5k. That's the final week. I will be running for a full thirty minutes. I won't achieve the entire 3.1 miles in those 30 minutes but I'm going to give it my all. After next week is done I will continue 30 minute runs three times each week but will begin working on my speed so as to try and cover the 3.1 miles (5k) in a half hour. When I am able to do that, I will add a tenth of a mile every week and start running for distance. January 17 is the St. Pete Beach 5k classic. I should be prepared to make that my first real 5k event! It's not like I'm trying to win a race, just complete it without walking. That will be my victory.

Dad made it home in 6 days! Talk about a race. He went through tons of rain in Louisiana and a snow storm in Houston but he is now comfortably home in the beautiful confines of Strawberry, Arizona.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Home in PC
High of 75
Yesterday we got bit by the Christmas bug and put some decorations up at our house.

After work today I completed day 1 of week 8 of the Couch to 5K running program. I ran 28 minutes without walking, my longest run to date. The podcast for this week had some remixes of music that I've heard before and found to be very motivating. There's some lyrics that go, "Is this the truth, is this the truth, is this the truth...or just a dream." It made me think about my training program. I truly believe I have turned the corner toward physical fitness and I'm no longer just dreaming about it.

Late today, I also did a little boat maintenance, checking the water in the batteries and hooking up the shore power to charge them. I'm not sure I wrote about that but Dad and I successfully installed a shore power station and a new fresh water station at our backyard dock.

Dad is in Texas, figuring to be home in AZ around Thursday, weather permitting.

The other pictures above were the sunrise I shot over Palm Beach County last week on my trip to the other side of Florida. Click on them to get a full screen image. The one with the beams of light shooting through like tunnels from heaven is my favorite.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Home in Port Charlotte
64 degrees, going to a high of 74

Once again my bride and I have an empty nest. Kimber is back in Mesa and Dad is on the road toward Arizona. He is presently near Pensacola. Our next visitors will be Doni and Keith, who will be here for one day on December 18. After that, Stephanie will return for spring break in March.

Yesterday Kathy learned how to ride the lawn tractor. She did great and had a fun time doing it. I am going to have to kill off a lot of crabgrass in order to plan a nice lawn in for this spring/summer. I decided to seed with Bahia grass, which is draught tolerant. That's important because we don't have an automatic irrigation system. It also performs very well in hot/wet climates, which describes our summer.

Rolando and I spent some time fishing on the canal yesterday but with no bites. I threw a brand new lure into the mangrove trees on the near side of the canal, but over the water. Rolando said, "well you just lost that lure." I proved him wrong by getting the dock hook from my boat, venturing into the brush and retrieving that new lure.

I did my workout, week 7, day 3 of the C25k plan. I ran 25 minutes, covering just over 2 miles. Next week I increase to 28 minute runs.

This coming week I will be on the Gulf side Monday-Wednesday and on the Atlantic side Thursday-Friday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


4 AM in Port Charlotte

Departing for Palm Beach County
There's so much news to catch up on, I will just give the headlines before I go:

Kimber departed for AZ after a wonderful trip. The best part of her vacation, to me, was getting re-acquainted with her grandpa Ed, my dad. I anticipate she will begin visiting him in Northern AZ in the near future.

Dad departs for AZ tomorrow. He has also enjoyed his 2 month stay in Florida but it is time for him to get his "girls", the Pointer sisters, back to their one acre spread in the mountains and Dad is looking forward to his own bed.

Before leaving, Dad surprised me with an early Christmas present, which is pictured above. I was so shocked when I saw it in the driveway, they said I was shaking for several minutes. This will not only bring me loads of fun, ease my summer workload, and make the yard look great, but it will also allow Kathy to help do the lawns when I am on the road. Nothing runs like a Deere. Thank you, Dad! God bless you on your trip home and thanks for all the great memories this year.

My workout is going along as planned. I am in week 7 of the Couch to 5K running program. I am presently running 25 minutes a day, 3 days a week, covering about 2.5 miles. Hey, come to think of it...I'm starting to run like a Deere!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lucky Old Sun

Islamorada, Florida Keys
74 degrees
It's late and I have to work tomorrow morning. I have decided to turn the blog over to a guest writer for the night, to share our wonderful day. Enjoy this guest column from my daughter, Kimber.

This has been my first trip to Florida, let alone the Keys. I wasn't sure what I was to expect but let me tell you, it has been amazing. Today I woke up on my own at 5:30 a.m. I'll say that at home in Arizona, I work at a bar and usually don't get home until a few hours before this time so it was unexpected. Dad and I left home at about 7:30 to the Keys. We started listening to the new Kenny Chesney CD Lucky Old Sun which is based in the Keys and was the perfect music setting. The way there, I was still trying to wake up and decided to read my book. I have been reading the Twilight series and am on the third book called Eclipse. We were traveling through the Everglades when I saw a sign that said 'Panther Crossing'. Are you kidding me?! I was still reading while Dad shouted and I had just missed a dead alligator on the side of the road. Dad said it must have been 10 feet long. When we finally got to the Keys, I was reading and Dad asked me why on Earth I could have my head in a book with this scenery. I looked up and we were surrounded by the most beautiful water in front of me. The Atlantic Ocean on my left and the Gulf of Mexico on my right. The color reminded me of my favorite Kool-Aid flavor, blue crush. This was a constant for miles and miles. I have never seen water or land like this. Up until this point of my 22 years, Rocky Point, Mexico has been my favorite place in the world. I go every year. I jokingly asked Dad why he would rob me of that and change my new favorite place to two thousand miles way??! He said Kimmy, you have no idea what you are about to embark on. We stopped at Key Largo I believe, to see the actual boat that Ernest Hemingway sailed on. I remember reading on Dad's blog about the day he first saw this boat. It was amazing. We checked into the hotel shortly thereafter and then headed for Key West. This was such an amazing drive. I would highly suggest it to someone who has never done it. My new favorite song is Kenny Chesney's "Way Down Here". It says 'If I'm gonna be down, I'd rather be down, way down here'. This is about the Keys and I can totally understand the lyrics. We walked around for a while, taking pictures at the Southernmost Point of the U.S., buying T-Shirts and what not. We had lunch at a seafood restaurant. I had clam strips and Dad had a chicken caesar salad (abiding by his diet). After lunch, we went to an area the server had suggested to watch the sunset. There, we saw the most amazing ship I had ever seen. It was the Disney Magic cruise ship. It was so incredible, you couldn't believe the sight. We sat there for a while talking about fishing and different boats Dad wanted. He talked about wanting to sail to Key West one day and I told him that when he decided, I would go with him if he needed a sailing partner. While Dad was talking about his dreams, I was having a hard time paying attention with the weather above. The 'Lucky Old Sun' was hiding behind the darkest black clouds. It started to sprinkle and I asked him if he thought that we should go. We arose from the ground that we parked at and it started pouring rain. I am from Phoenix and I am sure that I have never seen rain like it! We ran for a few blocks when Dad left me under some shelter to go and get the truck. It was so amazing. We drove the 80 some miles back to our hotel on Islemorada. When we got here, I was on the balcony and heard some live music. I asked Dad if we could head down there and he agreed. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. Live music on the beach next to a Tiki bar. Perfect. All I can say is that my friends are telling me that they will send me my belongings as soon as I give the word. This place is perfect. Listen to the song 'Boston' by Kenny Chesney and you will know that one day that will be me.

Thank you for having me as a guest blogger and I hope to have more adventures to share with you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Click on photos for full screen view

Click on photo to enlarge to full screen

Home in Port Charlotte

High of 78
Ship's log hour 357.8
Kimber and I set out from our home port at 3:00PM and cruised the canals to Charlotte Harbor. As we idled through the residential canals I enjoyed my first sighting of a manatee. These aquatic mammals are an endangered species and a real treat for any Floridian to see. They are gentle giants, weighing up to 500 pounds, and as vegetarians would not harm a human in the water.

At 4:00 PM we docked at Fishermen's Village in Punta Gorda, where we met Kathy. She had driven over to meet us because I had planned on spending the night on board and the girls didn't want to. We launched from Fish.Vlg and set out to Boca Grande to watch the 5:35 sunset. The water became absolute glass and was unbelieveably smooth. Just shy of our destination I spotted a bottle nose dolphin to port side and stopped so Kimber could shoot some pics. We were instantly surrounded by a pod of dolphins that must have been more than 2 dozen. This was the biggest pod of dolphin I have seen since arriving in South Florida.

The sunset was all Kimber could have dreamed of. Clear skies, perfect temperatures, a real Kodak moment. Our trip back to Fish.Vlg was so smooth, Kathy didn't even object to me running at wide open throttle, 34 knots. I dropped the girls off as the twilight was really fading and I made a beeline for the Charlotte Beach complex, where I planned on anchoring down in 6 feet of water in a rising tide.

My plan was quickly altered when the anchor windless malfunctioned and wouldn't drop the chain. I determined the problem wasn't witht the actual windless as much as some kind of electrical shortage in my dashboard. The windless switch made a hard, rapid clicking sound like a bad solenoid. When I activated my running lights I noticed the instrument panel gauges all red lined and my GPS shut off. If I turned the running lights off, everything came back to normal. With the fading light I didn't have much time to troubleshoot. A decision had to be made. I could stay away all night, drifting and fishing in the darkness. No. I could tie up at the Charlotte Beach pier in violation of the county ordinance against camping there. No, mostly because foot traffic could approach my boat on the pier while I was sleeping and even though I was armed, I didn't like that idea. (At 2AM on Thanksgiving morning, 17 Cuban refugees landed at Gasparilla Island, near here). I checked the GPS and saw the tide was at 1.1 feet above mean tide. Last I calculated, I could make it under the short bridge. I decided to try it. I set out in the darkness, using my running lights but no GPS and got to the short bridge at 7:30PM. I made it under with 2 inches to spare. I love it when a plan comes together.

My new dock light and pole made docking a piece of cake. I flushed the engine and spent the night in my own bed. Now I have an electrical problem to mess about with.
Ship's log hour 363

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for Paradise

Home in PC
High of 75

My daughter Kimber, 21, arrived last night to spend 8 days with us. This is her first trip to Florida and I will try to make the most of it for her. We started out our day with Dad making us a ham/mushroom/cheese omelet, topped by Dad's homemade salsa. After a minor home repair to Kathy's bathtub faucet, Kimber and I set out for the 20 minute trip to Stump Pass Beach State Park. We spent a few hours watching the waves roll in while we each read novels. Kimber is reading the second in the series called Twilight and I am reading a biography called Papa Hemingway. It was an absolutely gorgeous day on the beach.

It's going to get cold tonight, 40's on the coast, 30's inland, but it will still reach the 70's in the afternoon. By Friday we'll be back to a high of 80 and a low of 68. Kimber and I are heading for the Keys on Sunday morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Run and give me twenty

Home in PC
52 degrees at wake up

Friday I accomplished my 20 minute run! It wasn't easy but the end result was satisfying. Next week is more interval running/walking, with a 25 minute run to end that week.

Saturday we worked around the house. Kathy inside, me out. Dad got the day off after all of his projects. I spent the day on my hands and knees pulling weeds in the yard. There are so many and they grow off these looooong vine like roots. I filled an entire 30 gallon trash can with them. The grass doesn't look very good now but I am fighting battles that will, hopefully, pay off in the spring.

Sunday will be focused on football. The Cardinals (7-3) take on last year's champs the Giants (9-1) in Arizona.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lucky 13

Hampton Inn
Ft. Pierce, FL
58 degrees at sundown

Today's workout called for:
5 minute brisk warm up walk
8 minute run
5 minute walk
8 minute run
5 minute cool down walk

I went to the hotel fitness center and started out on the treadmill but quickly realized the equipment was malfunctioning. I think the belt was loose. I abandoned the comforts of the indoors and headed outside. It was a little chilly in my running shorts and tank top but I didn't care. I had work to do. The run went as planned but I couldn't help but think about what it waiting for me on Friday; 20 minutes of running, no walking. I decided to try and push myself today to test my endurance. When I neared the end of the second interval 8 minute run I just kept going. I ran through the 5 minute cool down music, with a really wide strong stride for the final minute, for a 13 minute longest to date. I then did the cool down on my own. Today's total ended up being 21 minutes of running and 15 minutes of walking. I'm ready for Friday.

For dinner tonight, I inquired at the hotel desk and took their suggestion. Chuck's Seafood Restaurant is located on Hutchinson Island, across the causeway from Ft. Pierce's U.S. 1 Highway. It was nothing more than a small neighborhood bar but it has been there since 1961. The menu was very impressive. I enjoyed:

a cup of Concho Chowder
a ceasar salad
grilled/blackened Dolphin (mahi-mahi)
steamed veggies
3 Michelob Ultras

The bill before tip was $35. The food was very good. I'll be coming back here in four weeks when I return to Ft. Pierce to teach First Aid/CPR. By then I will be running 5k three times a week! I still say the best meal I have had in all of Florida is from the Fish House, in Key Largo, where I had the Dolphin served Hemingway style with the white wine cream sauce. I'm telling you...that is the best! When Kimber comes for Thanksgiving we are going to the keys and I will get to enjoy it again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

St. Lucie River

Click on any picture for full screen

A sculpture at my hotel: Dolphin fish in pursuit of flying fish

American Tug

M/V Broken Promise V

Hey, that's my wife's wine!

A 55+ yachting community (condos) with gorgeous docks

A condo community's docks, "Tarpon Bay" in St. Lucie, FL

Nice grass, huh? Wonder who does the landscape.....

The St. Lucie River in Stuart, FL

Stuart is one of the best boating communities in all of FL

7:00 AM Eastern
Hampton Inn
Stuart, FL
54 degrees at wakeup; high in the 70's

Last night I completed day 1 of week5 of the C25K plan. It was tough but I sure felt good about accomplishing it. The weather hasn't gotten quite as cold as they forecast and I have no problem with that. This new Hampton Inn is on the banks of the St. Lucie River, just west of the Atlantic intercoastal.

7:00 PM Eastern
Hampton Inn
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
70 degrees

During the work day I shot the above photos for your enjoyment. The green and white boat is an American Tug trawler, the first I have encountered so close up. Beautiful boat, docked at a 55+ condo complex on the St. Lucie river. These folks are minutes away from the intercoastal and the wonders of the Atlantic Ocean. Lucks sons o guns......

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Football weather

Home in Port Charlotte
55 degrees at 8PM

A cold front has moved into our area and tonight we will hit the 40's and be cold for a few nights. We will hit the 70's in the daytime, but the 40's each night.
Yesterday I finished week 4 of the Couch 2 5k plan. Tomorrow I will begin week 5 and it gets tough from here. I will begin the week with three 5 minute runs and end the week with a 20 minute run.

Kathy, Dad and I went to Applebees to watch the Arizona Cardinals game on TV. We had a nice dinner and the Cards improved to 7-3, their best record since 1977. The Cardinals have 6 games left in the regular season and 4 of them will be home games. My football team will be in the playoffs for just the 2nd time in my children's lifetimes. Have I mentioned the Superbowl will be in Tampa this year?

Tomorrow I will head to the East coast of Florida for Tue/Wed/Thur.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Let There Be Light

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Assembly stage

Before photo shows the dock without light

The new lamp and pole features a double 120A outlet for running a shop vac or battery charger on the boat.

We chose a high pressure sodium lamp

We have long needed some good lighting for the boat dock. It's difficult to slip the boat in the darkness and once we land, I have an hour or so of post trip maintenance such as flushing the motor and performing a fresh water wash down. Dad and I recently installed a high pressure sodium lamp, mounted on an 8 foot pressure treated 4x4 pole. We added a dual 120A power outlet to run the occasional appliances I use on board, since we don't have a shore power pedestal.
I completed day 1 of week 4 of my Couch to 5K training program last night. It was the toughest run yet. This week's plan is:
5 minutes of brisk warm up walking
3 minutes of running
1.5 minutes of walking
5 minutes of running
2.5 minutes of walking
3 minutes of running
1.5 minutes of walking
5 minutes of running
5 minute cool down walk
The total comes out to 15.5 minutes of walk time; 16 minutes of run time. I covered about 2 .2 miles on that routine and can tell that I am officially running more than walking. I chose to continue my cool down walk for an extra mile. My legs were feeling it this morning.
I weighed in this morning at 254. That's minus 26 pounds in 10 weeks. It's slow and steady weight loss, which they say is the best kind. I'm also down 4 inches in my waist size.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fresh Catch

Home in PC

Our off shore fishing trip turned out to be 4-5 foot waves off shore, when we were expecting 2-3. It was great experience for me to handle the rough seas but lousy for fishing. We returned to Charlotte Harbor and fished Boca Grande Pass. Rolando had the King Triton touch, as he caught more than we could count. It took me a while to hook up but when I did, I boated Nassau Grouper, Gag Grouper and Snapper. All were undersized and had to be released but Rolando got the two keepers above, a Snapper and a Spanish Mackeral.

It's after midnight and my Arizona Cardinals just escaped Monday Night Football with a narrow victory. I'm headed off to bed, thankfully with playoff dreams still in my head.