Saturday, January 31, 2009


Home in Port Charlotte
rained Friday, clear Saturday AM
Sunday night will be HOT BABY!

I ran 2 miles on Thursday and 7 miles on Friday. My January total is at 70 miles. Hmmm, 70 miles. If I ran 70 miles north from my house I would arrive in Tampa. Tampa is the home of Superbowl XLIII. The Arizona Cardinals are in Superbowl XLIII. I am from Arizona. I won't run to Tampa but I will go see the Arizona Cardinals in Superbowl XLIII.

I'm going to the SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Home in PC
High of 80

I taught a class today, for work, in Fort Myers. After work I picked up about 500 pounds of landscape mulch and started spreading it in our plant beds. Mulching in Florida landscapes is as popular as decorative granite rock in Phoenix. The mulch provides a decorative ground cover but more importantly it helps the plants retain ground moisture and decreases weeds and insects. Remulching beds in Florida is an annual affair.

Today was a no-run day but last night I ran 3.4 miles. I will run the same distance on Thursday.

The vacant lot on the other side of Rolando's (my next door neighbor) house has been listed on the market for $55,000. The seller had bought it several years ago for $169,000. Yeah, an unimproved 80 x 125 foot waterfront parcel. Can you say, recession?

Tonights low will be 64. The HIGH on Saturday will be 63. One of the nicer things about living here is that there is no brown cloud. I guess it's because of rainfall we get. If the sky is not cloudy, it is bright blue.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Home in PC
High of 80*

After spending Sunday recouping from my palm tree adventure I got back on my feet and hit the ground running today. I achieved a new personal best when I ran for SEVEN MILES! The first 6 were a piece of cake and the last one was tough but I worked it out, without walking a step. I spent the rest of my day preparing my lesson plans for a trenching/excavation safety class I am teaching on Wednesday. I watched this class a year ago but this will be my first time teaching it.

Kathy and I have decided to not install an underground irrigation sprinkler system. The county wants $90 for the permit and after a 60 day new planting waiver, we'll only be legally able to water on Thursdays before 8AM and after 6PM. That just doesn't seem worth the time and money it would cost to install the system. I collected soil samples to have analyzed at the University of Florida so we know if we need to add any soil amendments. Lacking an automated irrigation system, we will have to use free standing sprinklers to keep the seed moist for two weeks. To help manage it, we will divide the yards into smaller sections and do each one at a time before moving onto the other. There is still time to grow the whole yard in before the summer rainy season.

We decided we would use the money from our tree work to purchase rip-rap boulders and sand to shore up our beach and sea wall out back. You may recall we suffered quite a bit of beach erosion during Hurricane Gustav, due to the high storm surge. If we don't shore up the shore, we may not have a beach left after this hurricane season.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Home in PC

Today was spent pruning my neighbor's palm trees. It was quite a physical task. Once, the pole pruner broke out of my hands and punched me in the gut leaving a noticable bruise. I am so sore, it would have been less strenuous to run 6 miles. Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained. My honey helped by dragging the palm fronds from the backyard to the front yard for the pickup by the County. Our debris pile was 50' long by 10' wide by 5' high. I earned $200 for this work and will use it to purchase some of the supplies we will need to install turf irrigation. We bought our grass seed today; Pensacola Bahia. This spring we will have a beautiful, lush green, new lawn.

After a few cold days, we hit 75 today and will be close to 80 for the coming week.

Dinner tonight was some fantastic chicken kabobs, with mushroom, green pepper, onion, and delicious pinapple. I have hit a new low on my scale at 244. That puts my net loss at 36 pounds from last summer. Only 44 to go.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Home in PC
43* at 5:30AM

I made it home from my trip to Miami. It's still cold here but I did see 67* on the way home, so there's warmth in sight. Yesterday was a no run day of rest but today I plan on a light run of 3.4 miles. We're a week away from February and spring will be right around the corner. Remember my 83 year old neighbor, Bob? He's going to pay me to prune his 20 palms on his beach so I can make some money to put an irrigation system in for our turf grass renovation. I will start on that work this weekend. Having automatic sprinklers will make my grass seeding project much more successful.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Hampton Inn
COLD 35*

Yesterday's workout took me 6.8 miles, a new personal best.
I'm on the road for a couple of days and it is getting coooooold.
We had a cold front come through that will plummet our night time lows into freezing range.
The high today is expected to be in the 50's.
The only bright side is that these fronts usually only last a day or two and we get back to the 70's. The marine forecast calls for seas being 6-10 feet. Wow. That's dangerous.

By now everyone knows my Arizona Cardinals will be in Superbowl XLIII. I am hoping my 21 years of faithful fandom will somehow result in a chance to attend the big game in Tampa. The Cardinals needed near miracles to get to the Superbowl this year. So will I.

Saturday, January 17, 2009



Pre-race picture...something to remember me by, just in case.

Before it was over, I would pass those three

Approaching the 5 mile mark

Crossing the finish line in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 30 seconds.

Yo Mick, Yo Pauly, Yo Adrian.....I did it!

Today I completed something I have thought about doing for most of my adult life. I complete at 10K run! It was record time least for me (ya see, since I've never done one, this is a record)

Actually I run at "no wake" speed, which is boater talk for 5 MPH or less. My time was 1:14:30 or so, the official results aren't on the website yet. Given that it was my virgin race I was surprised at everything the organizers had for us. We traveled the hour or so from our home to St. Pete last night and stayed in a hotel. We missed the pre-race beach party and bon-fire in favor of getting a good nights sleep. The fear of temps in the upper 30's was relieved by some prevailing winds of 10 knots that kept the temp at 45 degrees during warm ups. The registration check-in was well organized, although they were out of the XL shirts, even though I had pre-registered and gave my size. I took the large in hopes I can continue slimming down and get into it. They had these computer microchip stickers that you loop around your shoe laces so the track timers can capture my blazing speed! I dressed in my running shorts, that Reebok shirt thingy that keeps me dry, my sweat suit and disposable nitrile gloves (two pairs). I stretched for close to 30 minutes, much more so than my normal routine but this wasn't a normal workout. I did some brisk walking in loops around the parking lot of the hotel and started to warm fairly quickly. There were some whackjobs out there in shorts, shoes and nothing else and I thought of my online running friends, the Northeasters and their sub-freezing workouts. This actually helped me feel warm. I did some slow, exaggerated, high stepping for about 5 minutes to stretch out my hamstrings. I was imitating something I saw Anquan Boldin (Cardinals receiver) when he was working out his injured hammy.

Four minutes before the start time I peeled off my outer layers of clothing and was surprised how light and energized my legs suddenly felt. I guess that's the race day adrenaline? Speaking of adrenaline, there was a vendor there selling shoes and I saw my next pair of Brooks for only $69. Because of my starting weight, back in September, the sales guy at Runners Den put me in a heavy pair of Brooks Beast model. I remembered him saying that my next pair after 6 months or so should be Brooks Adrenaline and they were listed at $120 back then. I decided to try and buy the new ones at my next event in March, if the vendors are there.

I walked the back of the pack, where I belonged and got some laughs from the others when I loudly asked if this was the "no wake" area. I didn't bring any gels or anything special on the run but I did accept a cup of water at each watering station on the way and forced a mouthful or two down. The cool weather really ended up helping keep me hydrated, I think. My goal for this race was to finish, without walking. The only time I had timed myself during training showed me doing about a 13 minute mile pace and I wanted to improve on that but wasn't overly concerned with it. I did achieve a pace of 12:01 today. I set little goals during the run, like when I would see someone ahead of me walking I tried to catch and pass them. After mile two, I decided to try and not let anyone else pass me if I could. When people would come upon me from behind, I upped my pace to stay with them and all but one of them ended up dropping behind me. After mile 3, no one passed me again and that felt really good.

One of the things I'd like to work on is learning how to open up my stride or increase my speed without burning out too early. I know there are speed walkers who go much faster than my run pace, but where I've come from in my my own head, I view walking as a step backwards now. Remember, one of my primary goals with this whole lifestyle is weight loss and control so I need to pound the pavement hard as much as I can.

Nearing mile 5 I could see my wife waiting on the sidelines and I still had the energy to wave and get her attention. She shot my picture as I "flew by". You will recognize me in the pictures cuz......well, frankly....I'm the only one in the picture. Everyone else was like done or being tended to by paramedics somewhere behind me.

As I neared the 6 mile mark sign, I eyeballed the last few people I thought I could catch and pass. Two of them were guys I was trying to catch since the half way point. I figured with two tenths remaining, I may as well leave it all here so I busted out in a full out sprint. To my credit, I was seriously moving. Some folks in the crowd started shouting and cheering, making comments about a strong finish so that energized me even more. As I crossed the finish line I briefly wished I would have turned it on much earlier, but alas...this was my first big one and I didn't really know what I would have left. I think look on my face seconds after the finish says it all.

The post race party featured lots of free food, fresh fruits; heathfood samples; some great rice & pork dish; FREE BEER; and free massages. How great is that?

Last summer I weighed 280 pounds and really, really didn't like what I was becoming. At 43 I have now lost 34 pounds, enroute to my goal of losing 80, and I just finished my first 10K! No diets, no drugs, no money. I gave up fast food, of which I was addicted and I started exercising. Thanks to my nephew for losing 75 pounds last year, this same way, and showing me it can be done. Thanks to his mom, my sister Shannon, for turning me on to the Couch to 5K program. Thanks to my wife for supporting me and letting me buy these $135 shoes that she admits she didn't think I would use. And thanks to the guys and gals on, for continuing to inspire me and keep me accountable. Up next, the Bay to Bay 12K in March.
7PM update: official race results are in. see them here.
My official chip time was 1:14:06
My average per mile pace was 11:56
I came in 483rd place out of 530 finishers

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Click on any picture for full screen

Site of the famous hotel, The Compleat Angler, where Hemingway lived from 1935-1937 while he wrote To Have and Have Not. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 2006.

Resort homes under construction...from 1.5 million

The water was about 77 degrees...very inviting

Rock formations
Homes at the Bimini Bay Resort
Bimini Bay Marina
We lunched at Captain Bobs, named after Captain Bob Smith who ran a fishing charter off Bimini for 55 years. The walls are covered with photographs of the catches of the great Captain
Courtyards at the homes of Bimini Bay Resort

The negative edge pool gives the illusion of being connected to the Atlantic
The four motors on this boat total 1,200 horsepower. I bet this gives a quick ride across the 52 miles from Miami to Bimini
This was our limo for the day, with our host Owen. He was born on Nassau, raised on Exuma and has spent the past four years living and working on Bimini
Docks of days past
Water taxi from South Bimini to North Bimini.

This was the view from inside our 8 seater Cesna aircraft

View above Fort Lauderdale after takeoff

Our airport taxivan featured an Obama bobblehead on the dash

The Bimini aiport is a house.
The view over Bimini after takeoff

Our plane. The ride was surprisingly smooth, even with the windy conditions on this day.
According to our host, Owen, Bimini is actually one of the less attractive of the Bahamas islands. He says the waters of Exuma put Bimini to shame. I found the locals to be very polite and friendly. At the restaurant, everyone who entered from the street greeted us with a pleasant "Good Afternoon". Owen says the local custom is to greet anyone you come across. To not do so would be very rude.
The streets in town were lined with very impoverished homes. Outside the resort, the island is very third world looking. I'm told it is the same throughout many of the islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
There is a Christian school on the island for K-12. In the last year the church completed a beautiful gymnasium for the community. We stopped and shot some hoops with the kids.
The weather was perfect; about 80, with moderate winds. Owen says the winds are not normal for this time of year. I wouldn't want to be on the island during a hurricane. Owen says he normally evacuates by air to Nassau during major hurricanes.
We arrived back in Fort Lauderdale at about 5:30 PM. We stood around the empty customs area waiting to be called. With the ICE Officer staring at his computer for 30 minutes, we stood around doing nothing. There are signs prohibiting you from using any cell phones before clearing customs. Our pilot told us he has seen ICE take phones away from people who use them in this area.
We had a great trip and I look forward to seeing other islands of the Bahamas, hopefully someday via a boat that I piloted across the Atlantic.
To view video of us touring Bimini, click these links:
and the beaches

Friday, January 9, 2009


Home in PC

High of 78, low in the mid 50's

Brrrrr...a rare cold front has moved into Southwest Florida. I just got home from my road trip. After the Keys I went to Stuart and finally Fort Pierce. I put 1200 miles on my truck. We will remember the weekend at the Keys with these last photos taken outside our hotel room. After some Saturday yard work, we plan on spending the entire weekend lounging around at home.

My trip to the Bahamas has moved up from Wednesday to Tuesday. I'm looking forward to that. It will be the first time my new passport gets stamped.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Click any picture for full screen image

Click any picture for full screen image

Hampton Inn
Islamorada, Florida Keys
72 degrees at 9 PM

It's been a great three days in the Keys. I had productive days at work and Kathy had restfull days at the sea shore. Monday's run set another personal best for me, as I ran 6 miles on the Overseas Highway. I registered for the St. Pete Beach Classic online but instead of signing up for the 5K I signed up for the 10K. After sucessfully completing 6 miles yesterday, there's no reason I can't do 6.2 for my first organized event.

Tonight we had dinner in Key Largo at Snooks Bayside. There was great live music and a harbor full of boats. We had happy hour with our friend Iris and dinner together as the sun set over the Gulf.

Wednesday I will take Kathy home, do some office work and head right out across to the Atlantic for Thursday in Stuart and Friday in Fort Pierce.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Hampton Inn
Islamorada, FL
75 degrees at 9PM

Alas my holiday vacation has ended and I must go back to work. What better way to stumble back into the old grind than by heading for the Florida Keys! Kathy got to join me and we are facing the Atlantic Ocean at the Hampton Inn, Islamorada. Except for the brilliant glow of the Little Diper and some of the other local stars (in the sky) it is dark. We will take some pictures tomorrow and get them posted.

We stopped in Key Largo for dinner at Rib Daddys. We split a rack of baby backs, some corn on the cob and such. This will be Kathy's first time at this hotel, but it's where I brought Kimber in November. Kathy will have to amuse herself, seaside, in a hammock all day while I go to work. We used to stay in Key Largo but that hotel changed hands and made some unwelcome changes. This one has much better views, free breakfast, a tiki bar, and an Outback Steakhouse on site. We shall opt, instead, for the Islamorada Fish Company at the Worldwide Sportsman (original Bass Pro Shop). We will also dine at Snooks bayside and visit our favorite bartender, Iris.

Congrats to my football team, the Arizona Cardinals, who played in their first NFL Playoff game at home in 61 years and prevailed. The Cardinals won, 30-24, scoring more points this weekend than any of the 8 playoff teams in the league. Next Saturday, they head for Carolina to face the Panthers. If they can win that game, they would be one victory away from the Super Bowl. (that sound you hear is me knocking on wood). The Super Bowl XLIII is being played 70 miles from my house and Kathy says if the Cardinals make it, we will have to get a temporary divorce because she knows I will be impossible to live with that week. But, that whole scenario is highly, highly unlikely. In fact, I will guarantee that the Cards won't make it (if it means I'm wrong).

Kathy's knee has been bothering her, so she is being placed on the injured list for 7 days of no running. I have had two days off and am ready to run along the Overseas Highway (US 1) tomorrow after work.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Good Saturday morning to all. It's 5:24 AM, EST, and I'm up to go fishing on Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico.

Yesterday I warmed up by completing W1D3 of C25K with my wife. She's starting to do a better jog with every workout. After doing the 60/90 intervals with her over 1.7 miles, I turned the jets up and opened the after burners...oh yeah, baby, I took off at all of five miles an hour. LOL. I ran 3.1 on my own and finished the week strong and healthy, albeit sore. I spent the day installing our Christmas stereo and speakers on the boat; finishing, again, in record time.
Uh huh . . . .I was up till 12:30 AM.

But it's a no run weekend. Southeast winds around 10 knots, Gulf seas 2-3 feet, and a light chop on the harbor. We're looking at 61 degrees right now, with a high of 80 today and tomorrow. Tonight, it's the NFL Playoffs. It's been 10 years since the Arizona Cardinals have been in the tournament. It's been 61 years since they had a home playoff game. Let's go Cards! (Actually, I'll be happy to simply not be blown out like we were on Thanksgiving, Christmas and every other nationally televised game this season).

Warn the Grouper, alert the Snapper. Here I come!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

BILL 5.1

For 2009 I am proud to introduce the newest version of me . . . . "Bill 5.1"

This model is more compact, stronger, faster and has a much greater life expectency than any prior version of Bill.

Here's the details:
Yesterday, I set a new personal best. What better day to go for it, than the last day of the year. It will be fun to see where I am at the end of 2009. I started off my workout alongside my wife, supporting her with D2W1 of C25K. She fared much better today, knowing what the intervals would be like. As soon as we completed her 1.7 mile trek, I took off for my run. I wasn't planning a long run, but about two miles in I started getting "that feeling." You know the feeling. It's the feeling that you're feeling IT. I got to thinking pretty deeply about how far I have come in just a few months and my body told me it had a lot to give today. My previous personal best was only 3.4 miles and I knew I could easily do four today. I have this great street track laid out in my neighborhood. Once around is exactly 1.7 miles, according to my truck odometer. As I completed the second lap (3.4) I knew I could make it to the stop sign, which would be another mile. As I approached the 4.4 mark, I knew my legs would have to get me home so I may as well continue running. I rounded the final corner to my own street, with only 0.3 to go. I'm gonna make it! I opened up my stride and before I could say wow, I had completed a 5.1 mile run! Adding in my wife's workout, it gave me 6.8 miles on my feet today. My first upcoming 5K, the St. Pete Beach Classic seems like a no brainer now. It's going to be a nice milestone to actually be a recorded finisher in my first event, but I am totally focused on the Bay to Bay 12K in March now. And I just found out about the ING Miami Marathon and half marathon. I won't be ready by January 25, but lookout 2010, here I come!

In the coming year I plan to release Bill 7.45 and Bill 13.0