Fall 2016 Race Report

The 2016 / 2017 race season started with the fantastic annual Jeff Annas Memorial Firefighters 5K in September, and ended with the Shamrock Run 10 Miler in March. In this span, I ran a marathon, several half marathons, 5K’s and even a 15K and 8K. My first 3 races were disappointing, time-wise, and made me think a lower right back issue would continue to slow me down, but after the New Year when I switched to half marathon training, I hit a couple of personal records (PRs).

Initial training began in May 2016, so I would avoid another 5 month off-season like I did in 2015, with full training starting in late June. May and June saw me ramping up my miles following nearly 7 weeks of off-season, and the big downside was the heat. We hit 90+ degrees well over the usual 75-day period. The good news is I ran in the morning or at night, sometimes with different groups, plus I added swimming and spin classes with my best friend Stephanie.

Full-on training under Coach Randy K’s plans began in late June, and despite the heat and humidity of South Florida, I was able to get my mileage in, including speed work. But the heat and humidity caused me to slow down a bit. My normal easy pace is 10:09 / mile average, and in the cooler temperatures of late fall to early spring, I can average 9:15 to 9:45 / mile easily. I dropped to 10:45 / mile average. In addition, I had been dealing with a lower right back issue; I can’t call it an injury, as it’s something I’ve had for years, but it really flared up since the end of 2014. That really affected my speed, as I couldn’t push myself, and the sore back caused pain in my glute and hamstring (though those aren’t injured).

Fall 2016

A collage of running the Jeff Annas Memorial Firefighters 5K, 2012-2016.

After a solid 8-10 weeks of training, I did my first race, the wonderful Jeff Annas Memorial Firefighters 5K on September 10, 2016. This was my fifth year running the race, and the only one I’ve run more than twice. As I had in 2015, my pace was slow, 26:12 with an 8:26 / mile average. It’s disappointing, but seeing so many people run in the memory of Captain Jeff Annas, including firefighters in full gear and soldiers, how could I not be happy? Plus, an incredible BBQ and post-party!! This year (September 9, 2017) will be the 10th and final Jeff Annas 5K.

At the Space Coast Marathon 2016 Post-Party. My wife dropped me off, slept, ate, showered, and still had time before meeting me at the end.

My next race was my big one, the one I’d been training for all summer and part of the fall: The famous Space Coast Marathon in Cocoa Beach, Florida! Before I go into the race, a big caveat: The final full month of training (October) saw two events happen: Hurricane Matthew, which dodged us for the most part, and my wife and I close on our new house and move, and aside from the usual joys and stress associated, I did miss a couple of key runs overall.

So the race: Beautiful course, all on the intracoastal, and it was a nice cool day. The first 18 miles went by smoothly, I averaged roughly 10:20 / mile, even passing the 4:40 group. As I slowed down, the heat and humidity kicked in, and at mile 20 or so, I bonked.

Then my foot started hurting at mile 19, and the pace dipped to 11:18, then 11:43, then I had to sit for a moment to adjust my shoe. It was at this time I realized the Superfeet inserts I wore with my Newton Running Fate (1st edition) didn’t do so well with the Fate II shoes. Too late for that. By then, I was cramping up and realized after the race the heat and humidity was making it hard for me to eat or drink.

I was walking by mile 25, but some Gatorade and seeing a running buddy helped me speed up a bit, and the last .2 miles, well, I did an 8:25 / mile pace. As they say in Hollywood, wow them with the ending, and I did. After this race, I decided any future marathons would be run out of Florida and anywhere hot and/or humid. One other thing I did was stop putting Superfeet inserts into the terrific Newton Running Fate II shoes, and trust the inserts that came with them, and it worked.

The Drunken Elves at the Jingle Bell Run 5K.

My wife, friends from multiple run groups, and I all dressed in Christmas gear and ran the Jingle Bell Run 5K in December, and it was definitely a muggy race. I remember running to this race in 2013 (I wasn’t in the race), and it was muggy then, too. Welcome to South Florida. Unfortunately, the lower right back was nagging, and my time was 26:23 (8:29 / mile). Afterward, we had a merry ol’ Drunken Elves time!

Delray Beach Half Marathon on New Year’s Eve 2016; repping Fit2Run!

I wrapped up the year by running the first annual Delray Beach Half Marathon, which was timed, but the times weren’t posted to Athlinks. This was a fun race with a beautiful course, and about 50 or so runners, and we started from Fleet Feet Sports Delray Beach, and ran to A1A in Delray, then north to Atlantic Avenue, back south near Boca (I believe), where we saw runners at a 5K and 10K, then we wrapped up back at Fleet Feet. This was definitely a training run for me, and my time was 2:10:51 (9:52 / mile), though I was starting to think that 2 hour-plus half marathons were going to be the norm for me, due to that nagging lower back issue. Overall, I really enjoyed the race, bling, and the runners, race organizer, and volunteers were fabulous, and I signed up in early January for the December 31, 2017 race!

Unfortunately after this race, I developed a chest cold which sidelined me for several days, made worse by my celebrating 5 years of running on January 2nd at Okeeheelee Park. Dr. Joe, a marathon runner and my general physician, suggested I get a steroid shot to get me well fast, because I had the first of several Best Damn Race half marathons coming up! That’ll be in my next blog, my early 2017 race report.


BDR: Jacksonville Finishing my first sub-2 hour half marathon in 2+ years.

I’ve decided to start writing about one of my biggest passions, running. I originally relaunched HeathMcKnight.com to discuss Final Cut Pro X when Apple redesigned and launched their famous NLE back in 2011. Since I work for doddleNEWS as Editor-in-Chief, where we cover filmmaking and movie news, and we’re part of the Thalo group that also includes LarryJordan.com, I decided to stop blogging actively here (here’s my explanation).

So now I’d like to start blogging about running, and everything that comes with it: Gear (I prefer Newton Running shoes), training (Randy Kruman is my coach, and I’m on a special modified Lydiard-style plan), my races and those that look cool, articles and blogs I find and want to share, and more.

The photo to the left is me finishing the Best Damn Race -Jacksonville half marathon. It was my first sub-2 hour half since December 2014, mostly because I’ve had a lower right back issue that flared up at the end of 2014. I’ve been dealing with that kind of pain since I was 18 (I’m 41 now) due to a slightly lower right hip. Since I’ve been stretching better, the pain went away and I had a great half!

BDR is a fantastic race company based in Florida west of Tampa, and they have races in Jax (January), Safety Harbor (February), Orlando (March) and now New Orleans (March). Great people, great courses, great after parties! Check them out here.

Thank you for stopping by, and I’ll have a new running blog soon!

Where Have I Been?

Hey everyone, it’s been almost 4 years since I posted anything! So where have I been?

At doddleNEWS as Editor-In-Chief since April 2012; we cover filmmaking news, reviews and tutorials, plus movie and TV news and reviews. Check it out here. I recommend bookmarking doddleNEWS, where you can get a lot of news on cameras, editing software (FCP X, etc.), and much more.

Our parent company Thalo recently acquired Larry Jordan’s training site (Larry is still onboard) and his podcast The Buzz.

In addition, I got married last December 2015, and since January 2012, I’ve been running. Literally running. Ran my first half-marathon in Southwest Florida in January 2013, and my first marathon at Disney World in January 2014.

As far as film and video production and editing (I still love and use Final Cut Pro X), not much is new there. I will be making a new short film in the coming months, if all goes according to plan. It will be the first film I’ve directed since September 2007 (Hellevator), and the first film I’ve been involved with since April and May 2008, when I co-produced the feature film December for writer/director Dr. Gary Dresden.

In the meantime, my most recent works are the afore-mentioned Hellevator (a short film written by comic book legend David Michelinie [Iron Man, The Amazing Spider-Man) and 9:04 AM, now on DVD. If you’re a local filmmaker in South Florida and the Treasure Coast, check out the Palm Beach Film Society.

Here’s Hellevator:

Final Cut Pro X update: 10.0.6

The new Final Cut Pro X update, 10.0.6

As if the new iMac, Mac mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, plus the 4th generation iPad and the iPad mini weren’t enough, us FCP X pros got a ‘one more thing’ surprise when Philip Hodgetts tweeted that Apple has finally released the biggest update to Final Cut Pro X since January 31, 2012! Sure, we had some updates before NAB and in June when the 15-inch MBP with Retina display came out, but this is a big one! So what’s new?

Final Cut Pro X multichannel audio editing


  • Multichannel audio editing: Apple discussed this prior to NAB with Philip and Larry Jordan, and now it’s here! This is incredible: quickly expand or hide the audio control options right in the timeline, to help edit and mix your sound.
  • Dual viewers: We’ve been asking for it, and it’s here, the ability to pull up a second monitor whenever you wish, so you can see your raw footage, and still view your edits. Just like in FCP 1-7, the Viewer and Canvas, though I don’t believe they’re called that.
  • Unified import: This is awesome, because in today’s world, we’re shooting on different formats, like RED, Sony, Panasonic, DSLR, GoPro and more, plus from other drives and the network, all in one window.
  • Tons of RED support: Apple doesn’t just give us more RED support, they give us direct import and edit of native .r3d, convert it up to ProRes 4444 or down to ProRes Proxy, the ability to work with the new RED Meizler Module and ProRes, REDCODE RAW, RED ROCKET for faster renders, trancodes and encodes and more.
  • Extremely awesome (and streamlined) share options: This is just incredible, because while I do like the share options, this makes it easy and still powerful and customizable, to share your video projects just about anywhere!
  • MXF support: Works with third-party apps to allow you to edit native MXF.
  • The return of copy and paste attributes (!!): One of my favorite features in the previous versions of FCP, I loved to copy and paste specific attributes, like filters, settings, etc., then paste to specific clips.
  • And more!

The new share window in Final Cut Pro X really is streamlined

I highly recommend checking out Apple’s page on the major new updates, and also the full specs. FCP X 10.0.6, Motion 5.0.5 (open multiple projects and switch, copy and paste easily, better anti-aliasing, faster load times) and Compressor 4.0.4 (enhanced share for MBP with Retina display, stability improvements) are free updates for existing users. You can still try FCP X for free for 30 days by clicking here. Be sure to read Philip’s review here.

How to Get Great Audio in iMovie ’11

I have a new article at Macworld about using iMovie ’11 to get better audio in your video and film projects. There are plenty of great sound tools in iMovie ’11, and good audio is very important. If you decide you want to step up to better audio mixing, then take a look at Final Cut Pro X. Check out my article on getting great audio in iMovie ’11 at Macworld!

Hellevator, My New Short Film Written By Comic Book Legend David Michelinie

Greg Nappo as Jordan

It’s my first film in over 5 years, Hellevator is finally done! A little backstory: I asked David Michelinie (comic book creator on Iron Man — with Bob Layton, Amazing Spider-Man and more) if he’d like to write a short film for me. He sent me the script for Hellevator, a film that takes place mostly in one location, an elevator. Greg Nappo, a fantastic actor I’ve worked with in several films, took the lead role as high-strung sales executive Jordan Marley, and we shot the film in a studio, in front of a green screen.

Jeremiah Hall handled the visual effects (Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Boris FX), I cut the short film in Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5, and Grant Balfour composed the music score and provided sound effects. Check out the Facebook page here.

Here’s a clip from the film, which I hope to get into film festivals and some local, South Florida screenings:

Happy Birthday Final Cut Pro X!

Editing Hellevator in Final Cut Pro X

It was one year ago that Final Cut Pro X launched (along with Motion 5 and Compressor 4) to hype and, yes, controversy. Even I was hesitant, but with each update (including the biggies like 10.0.1 and 10.0.3), FCP X got more and better features, and of course 7toX made our lives easier, helping us translate FCP 6 and 7 projects over to FCP X. Even the latest update, 10.0.5, adds more stability and allows you to edit in full HD 1080p on the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, without going to fullscreen.

I have been using the app pretty much exclusively since 10.0.3 and 7toX came out, and I won’t go back to FCP legacy. I recently finished editing my latest short film Hellevator (more on that soon) in FCP X (which helped me learn this great app), and I’m really excited about the upcoming features Apple talked about in special NAB meetings. FCP X is a professional non-linear editing app that has changed everything I do when I cut. The features are incredible, including the meta data, keywords, smart collections, skimmer, magnetic timeline, Roles, multicam, third-party apps and more. Editing, sound and color, all in one app! And Motion 5 and Compressor 4 aren’t half bad.

Check out FCP.co’s timeline of FCP X history since it changed everything on June 21, 2011. And download and try out FCP X today, you’ll be surprised!

My First Macworld Article: Editing Your Vacation Videos On iMovie For iPad

I’m really excited to share my first Macworld article, “Editing Your Vacation Videos The Easy Way With iMovie On Your iPad.” This is a tremendous opportunity, and I’m grateful for the Macworld editors giving me a chance to write for them. Check out the article and enjoy your summer vacation!

Apple Details Final Cut Pro X 10.0.5 Update And MacBook Pro With Retina Display

Apple updated their Final Cut Pro X page, and under the “What’s New” section, they offer some details on the 10.0.5 update, and how it works with their new MacBook Pro with Retina display. In addition to beautiful, 2880 x 1800, 5.1-million pixel screen, you’ll be able to edit and view in full-resolution 1080p video in the viewer, without having to open it for full screen playback. You can view it while in your normal FCP X workspace.

Thanks to the standard flash drive, fast RAM (up to 16GB), and faster Intel Core i7 processors, up to 2.7 GHz, this baby is lightning quick, so it can handle multistream and multicam smoother and faster than on other systems. According to Apple, the throughput is up to 500 MBps, so you can edit up to 9 streams of ProRes video at 1080p resolution, or four streams of 8-bit uncompressed 1080p video. Wow! This system is a BEAST! The rest of the details go back to the 10.0.3 update in late January 2012.

I personally can’t wait to get my hands on the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, with 16GB of RAM, and put it through its paces with FCP X 10.0.5, along with Motion 5.0.4 and Compressor 4.0.4. Check out all the “What’s New” details on Apple’s FCP X page.

Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4 Updated

As I speculated, Final Cut Pro X is getting an update to 10.0.5, and Motion 5 and Compressor 4 are getting updated, too. Looks like a minor update, to add stability and allow Apple’s NLE and motion graphics apps to be viewed on the new Retina Display MacBook Pro. It’s a pretty cool update, if you think about it — how about full-resolution 1080p video display in FCP X?! iPhoto is also being updated, so I’m sure we’ll see some other Mac apps getting updated, too, for the Retina Display MBP. Also, the Compressor 4.0.4 update also “resolves a stability issue that could occur when selecting the Publish to YouTube job action from the Inspector.” The iPhoto update now supports AVCHD, how about that?!

What the Mac App Store Showed Me (Click for larger)