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Trimmed to fit...

This photo isn't the best quality, but I'm sure you "get the picture"...this is fall 2006, my first season in Florida, and I was fit and trim and wound about as tight as a guitar string.

Florida became many things to me. When I took on my first Florida summer, I thought it impossible to run; the heat and humidity were too oppressive and I had incurred several bad experiences in hot weather ultra runs.

But over time I understood. In Florida, even the fast dudes (and dudettes) lope along at a slow, methodical pace. It isn't pretty high speed running, but it's relentless forward motion.

I learned to get out early on those thick summer mornings, trying to stay ahead of what would become piercing rays of sun. And to add frosting to the cake, I joined the Florida Track Club. A small group of committed runners met every Tues and Thurs evenings and those runs turned into my weekly speed work.

Two running compatriots, James and Ed, were older than master competitor, but nonetheless handed me my heinie on every outing. These boys would turn up the wick on the final sections of our 4-5 mile loops and it was all I could do to keep them in sight from turn to turn.

But in the end it was all good. I was building a strong base in a hot climate. I have greatly enjoyed my new life in north central Florida.

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