Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Running and Surfing Weekend Recap!

I've been having a bit of a writers blog as of late. I come up with blog ideas and get excited only to let them fall by the wayside for a few days and then they aren't so exciting anymore. However, I have a great recap from last weekend to tell and a few ideas in store for the next week so hopefully my little stumble will fade away.

The Surf

As I mentioned in last Thursday's stoke, it was Jenny's birthday weekend and what better way to celebrate than with some running and surfing!?!? On Saturday part of the gang gathered, or should I say only those of the surfing gang brave stupid enough to venture into our cold surf that has dipped down into the lower 50s due to our record cold winter. Now us Florida boys only have 3/2 wetsuits. Years ago when I surfed in Oregon we wore a 5/4 wetsuit in 52 degree water along with booties, gloves and hood. This Saturday it was more like whatever you can find, wear it! I chose a 2mm O'Neil short sleeve top as a base layer under my Excel 3/2 full wetsuit. I have some 2mm O'Neil booties that I also sported. No gloves, no hood. Dees and JB had similar tactics.

The air temperature was about mid-50s and there was a side shore 15-20mph wind that was mixing up the head high surf a bit. I was glad I brought my 9'8" Anderson nose rider at first because of the wind, but later wished I had a performance board as the waves turned out to be sectiony and choppy and I needed more drive. Jenny watched in amazement as the three of us screamed profanities at the ocean upon first charging it. I imagine to an outsider it's probably the same kind of "your insane" as an outsider looks at runners when they say "I can't go out tonight because I'm getting up at 4 a.m. to do a 15-miler."

I tried to keep my head from getting wet as long as possible, but eventually had to take a wave on the head. It felt like thousands of ice crystals being blown into my face by a hurricane and instantly took my breath away. Soon I lost all feeling in my hands. Then my nose, ears and lips followed. Nevertheless, we were in the zone; cheering, hollering, yelling every time one of us took off after a wave. It was good to be back in the ocean. Nearly a month since I last surfed and for JB his first time this winter wearing a suit (he just returned from Puerto Rico). We were making the best of it!

After about 45 minutes someone said something like, "I think I might take the next one in," and immediately another said, "me too," followed by a final, "me three!" We were all cold. I was so cold that when I stood up on my last wave my muscles were failing to do what my brain was ordering! For safety and health reasons it was definitely time to go in and call it a day.

That may have been as cold if not colder than my session back in Oregon.

Jenny ran a few miles on the boardwalk and was reading a book in my pickup truck bed as I shivered out of the water. Her run was marked by the cold wind as well and wasn't ideal. It wasn't long before we all decided to head home to warm up. It was good to get back in the water!

The Birthday

Saturday night was planned as a beach bonfire night. The Cooper Street gang got the permit, but at the last minute it was canceled due to cold weather and that blistering wind. Not to let that ruin our night a bunch of us decided to have our own little bonfire in my backyard. Jenny didn't want everyone making a big deal about her birthday so I didn't tell most of them, that way we all hung out as normal. What we learned:

Cut up palm tree trunks, no matter how old or rotted, do NOT burn well.

Eating up the jumbo rock shrimp before everyone arrives is a good idea. More for us!

The ceviche was a SUCCESS! Jenny and I made a ceviche inspired by the one JB and Julie made for us in Puerto Rico. It was simple amazing and easy to make. Here's how:
1.) Soak (cook) 1 lb of oily fish in a bowl with fresh lime juice (we used Golden Tile)
2.) chop up a fresh organic tomato, avacado, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, sweet onion and cilantro to be mixed into a bowl with more lime juice.
3.) Once fish turns white-ish in color mix with the veggies and now you have an amazing ceviche dip that is good for you!

The Run (a.k.a. The Stump Jump!)

On Sunday morning, or should I say late morning as we wanted to sleep in and let it warm up, Jenny, myself, Harrison and Katie converged upon the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve for the week's long run. Katie is one of Jenny's running friends from Gainesville and a member of Team Hot Legs. She came into town Saturday night to celebrate Jenny's Birthday and do this trail run with us. It's been several years since I've run this trail, but I've done it on mountain bikes numerous times. The entire loop is 7 miles and that matches our Seattle RnR Marathon schedule exactly. The trail is very similar to the San Falesco route that I've run with Jenny and Katie in Gainesville a few times and I was excited to share with them a trail in my neck of the woods. The weather warmed up to be one of the hottest days of the year so far! Low 70s with a comfortable breeze near the Spruce Creek section of the route. The big difference between San Falesco and Spruce Creek is the difference in under growth. Spruce Creek has much more of it, whether it's scrub oak or palmetto brush, it's harder to see long distances so in some sections of switch backs it's difficult to see the path much further than 10-15 feet.

We nicknamed our run the "Stump Jump." Two reasons for this:
1.) Katie was supposed to do a trail running marathon in North Carolina on this very day, but had to cancel because of an hip injury that she is now recovering from. Jenny decided it was a good idea to give it a name and we even created a "race packet" for Katie with mementos from New Smyrna Beach. Any "race packet" deserves to go with a "named" race so we dubbed it to the Stump Jump and even made a bib with the number 1 for her because....
2.) We saved a bottle of wine for the night before that just happened to be named "Stump Jump" wine. Not sure why, but it sounds like a good race name. The joke was you drink the entire bottle and then demonstrate exactly what a "stump jump" is for your friends!

We drank the wine the night before, but didn't do any stump jumping although during the run there are several log jumps that bicycles jump. As we jumped over them we all yelled "stump jump!" Plus, we decided that a trail run isn't official until someone falls down. This happened around mile 4 when Harrison tripped up and had to fall on one knee. That made it official!

The Stump Jump was a hit with Katie and Jenny and I'm sure we'll return for some more fun out at the Spruce Creek Preserve soon!

I tested out a new app on my HTC Hero phone called "My Tracks" that uses GPS to map out your route and uploads directly to My Maps in iGoogle. I'll probably write a review for this phone in the future as I learn it, but here's the satellite image of the route we ran during the Stump Jump.


  1. I am signing up for next year's Stump Jump!

  2. The ceviche recipe sounds great! :) I'll have to try that.

  3. How and the hell did I miss this post? I am glad that you had fun on Jenny's birthday:) You must continue to post pictures of your surfing adventures:) You could also throw in a few pictures of the ocean:)