Week 2 - Are we really still in Florida?
Quick Recap of Week 2
First things first - gratitude. We covered a lot of miles in our Week 2 travels from North Palm Beach to Palm Coast, FL, and along the way, we were hosted by 4 different families and gifted a hotel room for one night (see below for more about these awesome people). It was really wonderful to chat with people who have an interest in what we're doing, and the kindness to open their homes and make us feel so welcome. We have seen that our expedition has already had an impact. People are more informed, and they're also very interested in how they can help. Many of them are helping already, which is why they’re excited about our expedition.
As we moved north this past week, we also made our way inland. The beaches are lovely, of course, but the quiet setting in Melbourne and the rail trails north of Titusville were a really nice change of pace. By the end of the week, we made it back to the coast, passing through Daytona Beach on Day 14 and settling in Palm Coast for the night.
feeding the runner
We’re starting to settle into a routine and Shan is doing his best to eat enough - even when he feels like he’s eating too much (he’s not).
Alarm goes off at 5:30. We drink coffee, Shan eats a little something - oatmeal, protein drink, or a hard-boiled egg - and then starts running. ~10 miles later we’ll stop at a diner for a legit breakfast. Shan often gets an omelet with toast and a side of ham, or sometimes he’ll feel whacky and have pancakes. Lunch is usually early afternoon - often a sandwich of some kind. In between meals, there is a lot of ice water and/or Diet Coke. Dinners are usually pretty big, with lots of protein - chicken, steak, fish - and some kind of veggie (top choice - broccoli, second choice - green beans, third - any kind of vegetable). Our meals have been a mix of restaurant food, home-cooked meals, and whatever we can piece together from the grocery store. On Easter Sunday no restaurants were open near us so we had Italian subs from Circle K. We’ve managed to get creative a few times, making chicken and veggie curry with quinoa at our campsite using an aluminum dish and a tiny camp stove. Our most recent “home-cooked meal” was at an Airbnb with just a fridge, coffee maker, and microwave, we had a Publix dinner of rotisserie chicken, instant mashed potatoes, canned green beans, steamed broccoli, and a chopped salad. We enjoyed the dinner with a bottle of Pinot Grigio that our hosts had waiting for us. It was awesome.
Eating enough is definitely a focus, and in the heat, it’s sometimes pretty hard to find an appetite. It’s also hard to find something at a restaurant that’s not fried or covered in sauce or yummy gravy. we’re doing our best though!
Some fun facts from Week 2
Miles this week =
Shan (running) - 252.41
Josh (cycling) - 260.23
Total Cumulative Miles Ran = 519.51 miles
Money raised for ECG = $2270
Week 2 Highlights
Most delicious meal: Home-cooked steak dinner by Bill, with our first taste of Key Lime Pie for dessert
Favorite local beer: BROMOSA by Big Storm Brewing Co. A tangerine IPA - very weird but actually pretty refreshing.
Awesome people we met:
John and Laura (in Stuart, FL) - Warmshowers hosts extraordinaire. John reached out to us when he learned of our expedition. We stayed in their guest room, did some laundry, and enjoyed a lovely roast duck dinner. We learned a little bit about their 6000-mile cross-country bike tour a few years ago and talked a lot about the ideal continuous, off-road, East Coast Greenway. We were happy that our expedition is helping to connect East Coast Greenway Alliance members with local cycling/running advocates.
Molly met Shan and John at 6:30 AM to start off Day 9 from Stuart. It’s awesome to see Shan's run being picked up by so many communities along the East Coast Greenway. Thank you, Molly!
Brandon also joined Shan on Day 9, as we got closer to Vero Beach. Brandon is a cross-country coach and currently training for the Keys 100. I imagine he got a few tips from Shan during their 2-hours of running together. Thanks for the support and best of luck in your race, Brandon!
Barry (of Vero Beach Cycling) also met us along the way. He stopped to say hi, shake Shan's hand, take some selfies, and more importantly, give his support. It was really nice to chat with him about the ECG trails in and around Vero Beach. Thanks for all that you're doing to enable safe places for cyclists, and thank you for finding us on our run! It was a pleasure to meet you.
Steven Mitchell, ECG CT membership chairman, happened to be vacationing in Vero Beach when we were there. Big thanks to Steven for biking out to meet us during the last 8-10 miles and for telling Olga, from the Islander Inn, all about our expedition. She was kind enough to provide us with a room, free of charge. Thank you, Olga!
In Melbourne, we met up with Kenny, one of Shan's high school friends. We stayed with Kenny, ate Thai takeout, and played with his adorable little girls in the pool before snuggling up in a comfy bed and resting up for another day.
Heather and Bill - this couple is awesome. Heather reached out to us and offered a place to stay in Cocoa, which we accepted enthusiastically. We had a fantastic dinner (steak, potatoes, veggies) and really awesome conversation. We talked a lot about ultrarunning and cycling, not just what Shan and I are doing, but also about the Ironman race, for which Bill is currently preparing. Go, Bill! We'll be watching you on race day!
Theresa, the owner of Coronet Motel, was the hero on Thursday when she called me early in the morning to let us know she found Shan's credit card in the parking lot.
The hardest day: The hardest day might be the ride/run from Cocoa to Scottsmoor. But it wasn’t directly related to ECG challenges or running/cycling woes. We arrived at the motel to find no one in the office. So we patiently waited on the bench out front. We were sticky, sweaty, smelly, but luckily it started to RAIN- lol! The rain passed quickly, the motel owner finally arrived, and then we learned that there was no electricity. The motel is on well water, so no electricity also meant no showers. The power outage didn't last forever, but it certainly wasn't our favorite day.
Favorite view/stretch of trail: I loved the Florida Coast to Coast and Central Florida Rail Trail between Titusville and New Smyrna Beach. It was very well maintained and had a lot of shade. There were some services, but mostly it was secluded and very peaceful.
Most exciting animal encounter: The pooping lizard. Yes - I saw a little lizard on a street sign pole and was happy to see it was "staying still" while I took some video. Playing it back, we saw that I caught the lizard doing his business.