Posts Tagged ‘miami’

A detailed training log for the week is here.

It’s a crazy time in our household right now. Sometimes it’s hard to find time for a run, but it always seems that a stretch out on the road is just the right trick to mentally relax and escape from some of life’s daily nonsense.

My wife started a new job this week; congratulations baby! I’m so proud of you.  Our kids are in the final trimester of the year, looking forward to their 3+ months of vacation starting the third week of November. But not so fast! Their weekend was interrupted on Saturday by the Cambridge English language evaluations. Students who pass this testing throughout their primary and high school careers will receive international certification of their diplomas that enables them to continue their educations in English speaking countries without having to repeat any course work. We are also in the process of trying to obtain financing to purchase a new home, in a foreign country.

On other entertaining fronts, the New York Yankees were promptly and decisively eliminated from the MLB playoffs, the Presidential debates kicked it up a notch and Lance Armstrong was all but asked to join Julian Assange in hiding within an Ecuadorian embassy.

This week I ran three times, an easy paced 5k plus hill sprints, a 5k time trail which I finished in 26:55, and a 7.3 mile easy pace run today, which I broke into segments based on the location of the first few aid stations in the ING Miami Half Marathon.

There are fewer than 100 days remaining before Miami, so my focus will change dramatically after November 11’s City Tour 10k.

If all proceeds according to plan I will have four runs in the coming week, in a 3, 4, 3, 6 miles format.

There were quite a few events this weekend but the race that caught my attention was the Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational where Sara Baxter destroyed the previous course record. You can catch the entire 16 minutes of action here.




There comes a time when you just have to take a leap of faith.

Why not today?

2013 ING Miami Half Marathon Course and Event Information

2013 ING Miami Half Marathon Registration

ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon Course Map

Reviewing my previous posts caused me to realize that I’ve been boring you to tears with the sob story of my Achilles tendon injury.  Let me apologize and lead us down a new path by adding the last word regarding that issue.  As of today I am taking an anti-inflammatory for recent swelling and pain, despite roughly 10 days of variations on the RICE theme.  Until I am running again or diagnosed with a condition requiring surgery, I’ll refrain from discussing the topic again. Woo-hoo!

It’s been a busy week and I can happily proclaim that it was productive, hectic, joyful and relaxing all at the same time.

Pacuare River, Class IV rapids

My wife and I made a white water rafting trip down the Rio Pacuare to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary two weeks ago.  It was by far the best organized and most enjoyed trip we’ve made since living in Costa Rica.  The journey to the river took us by the Volcan Turrialba, one of the many volcanoes in Costa Rica, and one of several that are active.  On our way to the rapids it was spewing a solid column of grey-white ash and smoke.  Apparently what we saw was just a prelude, as the volcano finally blew its top last week.  Woo-hoo!

Turrialba Volcano erupting

On Tuesday I made a flight back to the United States to spend a few days in Miami.  A few times per year I return to knock out early Christmas shopping, grab a few birthday gifts, as well as more mundane tasks such as paying my respects to the banking industry, accountants, lawyers and the such.

The commute from my home in San Jose to the Juan Santamaria International Airport traverses the General Cañas Highway, which is the primary transportation route for all traffic connecting the city to the airport and beyond.  According to the Public Works and Tranportation Administration (MOPT) the highway will need 3 weeks of repairs and advised daily commuters to either “work from home or take a vacation.”  Welcome to life in Costa Rica!

Highway sinkhole in Costa Rica

According to government officials a tree clogged the sewer system that lies beneath the highway.  Coupled with massive run-off from the recent down pours of the country’s rainy season, the duo proved too much for the road to withstand causing the collapse.

I arrived at the airport at 5am for my 7:15am flight and missed the sinkhole disaster by roughly 12 hours.  Woo-hoo!

My 4 days in Miami had a few bumps in the road that mostly revolved around lost or dishonest taxi drivers and their upscale, car service counterparts.  The positives however far outweighed the minor annoyances.

I’ve been a follower of the Primal Blueprint for roughly 5 or 6 months and love the results.  But I don’t shy away from enjoying any food options when they are opportunities that present themselves few and far between.  Miami is well known for its large Cuban population, and they bring a lot to the table.  Pun fully intended.

Sergios Cuban Food

I didn’t eat both of those delicious sandwiches but I easily could have!  If you are ever in the mood for a great sampling of Cuban cuisine, Sergio’s is the place to go in Miami.

The highlight of the week however had to be my trip to the new, Miami Marlins baseball stadium.  Marlins Park opened to usher in the 2012 MLB season.  The park seats 37,000 fans, has a retractable roof, swimming pool, and a diverse choice of food vendors that include everything from traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, to kosher food, bbq, seafood, latin fare, pizza, and even a gluten-free vendor.

I purchased the tickets for the game a few days in advance after viewing one of Groupon’s local deal emails.  Offering 58% off regular prices for a variety of seating options the discount was a great way to sit in seats I otherwise would not have purchased.

Spending an evening with great friends, while reminiscing about days gone by, drinking a few beers and watching the home team hit consecutive home runs to win the game is an experience that  beats most.

Miami Marlins Park

When we are down in the dumps about something, like not running for 10 days due to some mystery Achilles injury, it’s easy to start feeling jaded and cynical about things.  But it’s vital to remember that most of our sufferings are trivial in the greater scheme of life, and if we open our eyes and hearts there are plenty of great experiences waiting to be had.


Unfortunately, my version of the iconic Willie Nelson tune refers not to my 5 foot, 10 inch frame striding at an efficient 180 steps per minute down a picturesque trail, or even my uncoordinated flailing that probably tempts any unlucky onlookers to call 911, as I struggle down the final stretches of asphalt during a longer run.

No such luck for me.  On The Road Again simply refers to my current travels which find me back in Miami, the city of my collegiate experience and afterwards, about roughly 15 years of pondering why I lived there for so long.

I arrived at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) at a very bleary eyed 5am this morning in preparation for a 7:15am flight to the Magic City, Gateway to the Americas, aka The Capital of Latin America.  And here I am, sitting in my hotel room, nursing an Achilles tendon strain that has been slowly improving day by day, until now.

My hope was to use these fours days in Miami as my final rest and recovery effort, and maybe even sneak in a test run or two on the hotel’s treadmill.  I let out a rather loud, and possibly rude chuckle when I took a tour of the hotel to inspect the fitness center.  Instead of an array of ellipticals, treadmills and the like, I discovered an otherwise abandoned hallway located beyond the hotel’s restaurant and en route to the pool (another victim of heavy handed Photoshop enhancement.)

One treadmill, one stationary bike and one out-of-service elliptical machine stood in ragged formation as if they were the last survivors of an unseen battle.  And perhaps they are.  Veterans of the hotel’s budget wars.

The F-Lites earned frequent flyer miles but aren’t racking up any road or treadmill runs.

My desire to complain however, was tempered both by my sleep deprived state, and more importantly, by the fact that my Achilles tendon and ankle are now slightly swollen, a condition that neither had displayed at any previous time since my injury.

I’m writing this entry as I my heel wedges its way deeper into my hotel room’s ice bucket.  Word to the wise, if you’re ever in room #514 ask for a new ice bucket!

I haven’t panicked yet because I am going to remain positive and attribute this slight swelling to the airplane travel and a fairly common case of foot and ankle edema, exacerbated by the preexisting injury.

But to be 100% honest with you it’s mentally tough.  I’m trying to convince myself that all will be fine, and that I should go ahead and book my return trip to Miami for the 2013 ING Half Marathon.

I guess in a worst case scenario I will have front row seats to an exciting show on the beach.

On the road again.  But when?





Latitude and Longitude

Posted: June 21, 2012 in misc
Tags: , ,

The world continues to shrink day by day. New and improved technologies have made communicating with friends, family and strangers on the other side of the globe as easy as a click of the mouse. Airlines can deposit us in foreign lands within a business day for the most part. And the internet has created business, employment and income opportunities that provide the possibility for pulling up your roots and transplanting yourself practically anywhere that tickles your fancy.

map costa rica

So that’s what I did.  I sold everything I owned of any reasonable value (not much) and made my way to Costa Rica. I wish I could claim it was an exciting and dangerous journey, trekking through the rain forest and  crossing raging rivers while dodging crocodiles and jaguars. But honestly, it’s a three hour flight from Miami to Juan Santamaria International Airport, and the relatively modern infrastructure of the capital city, San Jose.

My income originates primarily from several internet based ventures. It’s fantastic to not have a physical storefront, leases, or a warehouse full of depreciating inventory! Whenever I am not in front of the computer at home, I can manage my business via all the normal email, skype and other related applications from my android phone. The freedom from commuting to and from an office everyday cannot be overstated.

My wife and her family, originally from Colombia, have lived in Costa Rica for over ten years. So I was comforted by the fact that by living here we would have a support network for her and the children, as opposed to in the United States where my family is fairly large in number, but spread out over a variety of states.

I maintain a legal residence in the States and file my taxes every year.  And we may chose to live there permanently some day.  But for now, we are an immigration officer’s worst nightmare: American father, Colombian mother and children born in Costa Rica.

The world continues to shrink, day by day.