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I’m Still Here :)

July 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Wow.  After a long hiatus (years…) I have decided to resume my blog.  In the meantime, since 2011 I have had 2 kids with my lovely wife, graduated with my MBA from Fordham, and achieved a promotion at work.  Please hold your applause, while I pat myself on the back.  But seriously, I have been busy.  Not a lot of running unfortunately.  A few races here and there.  I ran a 21:30 5k in 2014, but just haven’t made training a priority and my weight and fitness show it.  Currently about 224 lbs, marathon weight was 190ish.

So, now the journey to fitness begins.  I want to show and share how this can and will be done.  Doing this blog will keep me focused and hold me accountable.  I would also like to get into some youtube video posts.  I have done some of these in the past but not with any regularity.

Any suggestions or training plans are welcome!!  I went for a 20 minute easy run last week and strained my achilles (right side), but I think it was more from sprinting for the train the day before in street shoes.

Lets do this!

Romaine Salad with Avocado and Smoked Gouda Recipe Video

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment

This is one of my staple snack/lunches.  Quick. Easy. Nutritious.  It’s a great base salad to add more things to.  It already has the healthy fats with the avocado and olive oil.  For protein you could add some hard boiled egg, turkey, or ToFurkey.

Ingredients

One head Romaine lettuce

1/4 Red Pepper, diced

1/2 Plum Tomato, diced

1/2 Avocado, sliced

2oz smoked Gouda cheese, diced

1T balsamic vinegar

1T Olive Oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Enjoy!

Mother’s Day Duathlon Race Report, 5/9/10 Prospect Park Brooklyn

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I’d been looking forward to this race since it would be the exact course I raced back in April.  Now I would be able to compare and chart improvement.

Unfortunately the forecast was for 20-30 mph winds and about 50 degrees.  But hey, I just competed in 45 degree rain and wind so I am a seasoned vet 🙂  Kidding of course, this is my 3rd duathlon competition ever.

Another reason I was excited about this race is it is in my own backyard, literally.  Only a 2 minute bike ride to the start.

Now, I’m not sure if I didn’t set my alarm or I unconciously turned it off when it rang at 6:30 AM.  I jolted awake at 7:33 AM as I was dreaming about missing my race…luckily this dream didn’t come true 🙂

I gathered all the gear I had laid out the previous day and headed out.  The race was scheduled to start at 8:30, so I still had some time to get there, check in, and warm up.  But I don’t like to feel rushed, although over my years in NY I have become accustomed to adjusting to unforeseen tardiness to races.  Some due to my own fault, but most due to inner-city transportation issues.

In one race back in ’07 I woke up late.  Very late.  But I decided to try to make it to the race.  I made it.  Barely.  I actually crossed the Start line as the last of the walkers were crossing.  I guess passing all the people got my adreniline pumping more than usual.  Not sure what place I actually crossed in, but my chip time clocked me at 31st out of 3000+.  Gotta love that chip timing 🙂

Back to the Duathlon….My main goal was to give a more intense effort all the way through.  In my first dualthon I was a bit tentative since I did not know what to expect, I felt I needed to conserve energy.  With 2 duathlons under my belt, I realized that running hard in the first run doesn’t really hurt the bike since they are different muscles and with the downhill on the bike loop there is some recovery time.  The toughest part of my first duathlon was the 2nd run and adjusting the legs back to running after the bike.  In the Bronx Duathlon the 2nd run was definitely smoother.

It was a smaller turnout than the last Prospect Park race and the weather wasn’t as nice.  The plus side is that there were a lot less people in the park, which means less obstacles to navigate around.

I got to the check in, received my ankle chip and set my bike up in transition, then got in a quick running warmup.  The run course was very well marked with signage, so the detailed verbal description of the 20 turns of the course was terribly unnecessary.

I got out good in the run.  The leaders quickly put distance on me and I settled into 5th/6th place.  Since there were only about 110 people in the race, large gaps opened up quickly and I was by myself through most of the run.  Very different from the 5000 person NYRR road races in Central park.

I finished up the 1st 5k in 20 minutes flat.  I was on a faster pace through 2 miles but the last big hill got to me.

I realized my transitions were noticably slower than the competitors I finished around in my first race, so I wanted to focus on ways to stream line my transition time.  One thing was to run in just bike shorts like I did in the Bronx race.  That would eliminate pulling on bike shorts over my run shorts.  Also I didn’t worry about zipping my gloves (I should get velcro gloves)  They are weightlifting gloves, but they work for now.  I also made an effort to flex and stretch my fingers before getting to T1.  It amazing how difficult it is for my fingers to provide dexterity after a hard run.

Made it out of T1 in 48 seconds

The bike leg was interesting.  In my 1st duathlon I got rocked on the bike and passed by about 20 people.  This time I felt like I held my own.  I was only passed by 1 guy on the first loop, then over the next 3 loops about 8 more people passed me.

It was super windy so I think it affected my speed.  I was at about 10 1/2 to 11 minutes per loop, which was discouraging since I had just rode a 9:30 in practice the week before.  I’m still learning how to push myself on the bike like I do so easily on the run.  Practice, practice, practice.

There was a nice turnout of Brooklyn Tri Club members who were cheering the team.  It was nice to have support out there.

I made sure to stretch out at the end of my bike leg so I would be a little more limber getting off the bike and into the 2nd run.

I got to T2 and had a pretty speedy transition.  Gloves, helmet and shoes off, slid running shoes on, and on my way.  42 seconds.

I caught a couple people right off the bat, then saw nobody ahead of me.  The field was small and the leaders were so far up, I ended up running solo for almost the whole 2nd 5k.  It was tough to keep pushing,  but I wanted to beat my previous time.  I ended up with a 21:20.

Finished 12th overall, 4th in my age.  One place out of the awards 😦

Eyes on the Prize(s)

It was an overall exciting day and always motivating to compete.

Just signed up for the NY Sprint Triathlon in Flushing Meadows on Aug. 1st.  Time to get back in the pool…

RESULTS

Low-Calorie Cocktails

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

New Years Eve!!  Friends from around the country keep asking me if I’m going to Times Square…ahhh, no.  Times Square is a madhouse on regular days.  Tonight is x100.  Maybe one year, just to say I did it, but not now.  It is really for tourists and crazies 🙂

I’ll be at a club in Brooklyn.  Since I’m currently on a 5-day Reset and in the process of losing weight, but still want to take part in the festivities, I looked up some low cal cocktails and drinks.  Here it is from Cristina Velocci…Thanks 🙂  Have fun And be safe tonight!

Low-Calorie Cocktails

by Cristina Velocci
01.25.2008

For once, you’ve actually followed through with your New Year’s resolutions (so far, anyway): you’ve nixed the junk food and you regularly hit the gym—but despite your best efforts, you still have a gut. What gives? Well, the truth hurts but we’re going to serve it to you straight: your drinking habits could be to blame. Turns out, alcohol not only adds calories to your daily diet, but it slows the body’s ability to burn fat for energy, too-–not to mention it increases your appetite, as the line down the block at Pizza 33 at 4am on a Saturday night can attest. What you need is some low-calorie cocktails.

Studies have shown that those who drink regularly in small amounts average lower levels of abdominal fat than those who sporadically binge drink. In other words, a glass a day is better than becoming a weekend warrior. While eliminating alcohol altogether would probably solve your problem, let’s be honest—so not happening. For a more realistic alternative, we’ve rounded up some low-cal drinks to help you choose wisely and imbibe without fear of the bulge.

The best low-calorie cocktails:

Vodka Cranberry:
Otherwise known as a Cape Codder, this classic drink not only has few calories (about 65), but the cranberry juice also helps flush alcohol out of your system—just make sure it’s the light kind. For an extra splash of flavor without adding calories, squeeze a lime wedge in your drink and rub it around the rim of the glass.

Light Beer:
Beer is a slippery slope: think of how many beers you can down in a night versus the number of mixed drinks you can handle, and both are equally as calorie-laden. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re going to drink beer, make sure it’s light— both in calories and color. Darker colored beers (think a hearty mug of Guinness) pack more calories than their lighter counterparts. Two good options to reach for: Michelob Ultra (96 calories) and Miller Lite (98 calories). Sure, they may taste like beer-flavored water, but the diet-conscious drinker does what s/he must.

Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne:
Take a cue from super-slim model Kate Moss who sips this dry champagne whenever she goes out. The drink only has 60 calories a glass, so you can have three times the bubbly for what you would normally ingest in a single glass of regular champagne.

Mojitos, Done Right:
There are plenty of ways to slim down this refreshing, summery drink made with muddled mint leaves and rum: make sure the bartender uses fresh lime juice and ask her to hold off on the sugar, substituting it with Splenda instead. You can also swap out the club soda for Fresca, a citrusy-carbonated beverage that has a negligible 2 calories per every 8 ounces. A health bonus for this low-calorie cocktail: this drink is rich in antioxidants thanks to the lime and mint juices.

Watermelon Martini:
While some sugary martinis contain enough calories to classify as dessert (they don’t call it “liquid lunch” for nothing), this fruity, pink concoction of vodka, simple syrup, and pureed watermelon is the smarter choice, clocking in at a mere 125 calories. Nightclubs such as Lotus and Level V craft the cocktail exactly this way, so you can be sure they’re not slipping anything unwanted in there. To cut calories even further, request that it be made with agave nectar instead of simple syrup, which has fewer calories and requires a smaller amount for the same level of sweetness.

Margarita, Redux:
At a whopping 400 calories, a frozen margarita may not be worth its salt-rimmed glass after all. While a margarita on the rocks (170 calories) is a considerably better option, try mixing tequila with Crystal Light lemonade and Sierra Mist Free or Diet Sprite Zero for a drink that tastes like one without all of the calories.

Diet Tonic Drinks:
No matter which 80-proof liquor you choose as a base (gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, and vodka), they all have the same nutritional value of around 65 calories and zero fat. What matters is the mixer you choose to pair it with—that’s where the sugars and calories that contribute to your side tire lurk. The most popular pick, tonic water, is one of the highest sugar mixers out there, so make sure to replace it with diet tonic or club soda and you’re in the clear.

The Maggie McQuade:
Get your sweet fix with this saccharine-tasting drink, named after the stylish (and skinny) twenty-something who created it, which mixes vanilla vodka with diet ginger ale.

Vodka and Diet Red Bull:
When made with sugar-free Red Bull, this popular club-goer staple will help you keep slim (it’s only 75 calories) and buzzing all night.

White Wine Spritzer:
Sure, it may be the preferred drink of your Great Aunt Ethyl, but maybe she’s smarter than you think: diluting your drink with club soda or sparkling water means you get more glasses for fewer calories (around 100 each round). Stick to dry wines, which contain fewer calories than their sweeter counterparts.

Water:
Okay, so this isn’t a low-calorie cocktail, but it’s important to start your night off with a no-cal glass of agua and continue to have one between every drink you order. Water helps you maintain hydration so you’re not chugging cocktails to quench your thirst, fills you up, and allows you to monitor the amount of calories you consume throughout the night. Plus, it prevents you from having a hangover the next day, so we say cheers to that.

Low-Calorie Cocktails.

Waterstone Video

Easy Tempo, Weather Forecast, Next Weeks Dress Rehearsal, and Pictures!

October 21, 2009 2 comments

New York weather is officially crazy.  Supposed to be 76 today, it was 43 a few days ago, back down to 55 by Tuesday.  Who knows what Nov 1st will be…accuweather.com says Hi 48 Lo 39, possible morning shower. Hi 60, Lo 51 and sunny.  Thats doable, would like it a little warmer, but I’d definitely prefer a little chilly to a little warm.  Big change from yesterday’s prediction…Sun I like, any warmer could be an issue.  Still hoping for 55 and sunny!

Today’s workout was just a tune up, 3x10min tempo with 2 min rest.  Ran with Nate and managed a brisk but comfortable 620-630 per mile pace.

Next week on Wednesday I plan to do a marathon “dress rehearsal” which basically is dressing exactly how I plan to dress on marathon day.  I’m doing this because 1. I’m excited.  Even at age 35, I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.  2.  It will be good for my peace of mind to know I am not missing anything in my outfit.  3.  I will visualize a great race

I wanted to share some exciting pics from my facebook friend Dee of marathon prep around the city…

Banners are going up all over city!

Banners are going up all over city!

Bleachers at the Finish Line in Central Park

Bleachers at the Finish Line in Central Park

Signs for Marathon are EVERYWHERE!

Signs for Marathon are EVERYWHERE!

More Signs!

More Signs!

NYRR Headquarters Decked out

NYRR Headquarters Decked out

Im TOTALLY getting this shirt.

Im TOTALLY getting this shirt.

Three Golden Rules of Marathon Week

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

1) Go With What You Know. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and begin to make drastic changes in your diet, training and equipment race week. The number one rule in marathoning is DON’T TRY ANYTHING NEW on race day (or race week). Every long run has been a dress rehearsal for the big day and you know what to eat, how much to drink and what you’re going to wear. The time to make changes and adjustments is during the season. For example, you’ll want to avoid drinking tons more water in the hopes of being well hydrated, eating a ton more veggies than normal and trying new equipment. When you get tempted to make a change, remember Golden Rule One and stick to what your body knows. It’s what got you here and what will get you through race day.

2) Have A Mental Plan. Training is 90% physical and 10% mental. Race day is the exact opposite. Your body is trained, rested and ready to go. Your mind is in charge on race day. Keep your mind actively engaged in the race and think your way through the course. Review the course map and break it up into smaller, more digestible pieces. It’s easier to stay focused and engaged for shorter periods of time than for several hours. Understand marathoning is like life and you’re going to go through peaks and valleys. Bring power words and positive mantra to carry you through the valleys. Words like “strong and steady” are useful in keeping your mind focused and out of the bite me zone (pit of negativity).

3) Pace Yourself. The number one thing you can control on race day is your pace. It is very easy to get caught up in all the excitement, especially in a large race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon! Marathoning is all about energy management. If you blow through a lot of energy early in the race by going too fast, it will make for a fabulous first 10K and a really tough and not-so-pretty rest of the race. Not to mention your finish line photo will be dreadful. Conserve your energy by running at either an even effort throughout the race or run a negative split (my favorite) by taking the first half slightly slower than the second. There is nothing more fun and motivating than to have the strength, focus and energy to pass people in the last few miles of the race. But in order to do this, you need to be disciplined early and hold back the reigns. If pacing is a challenge or you’re looking for some professional pacing help, consider joining the Nike Pace Team on race day. They’ll do all the thinking (and pacing) for you!

Happy trails,

Coach Jenny Hadfield
Co-author of Marathoning for Mortals
Co-owner of Chicago Endurance Sports

10/19 Easy 4 Miles AND Week 2 Training Checklist

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment

1 loop around the park.  About 40 degrees, wore full warm ups, want to stay warm out there, and healthy.  A lot of people seem to be getting sick.  Felt good physically.  I took yesterday off and everything was rested.  Knee has “snapped” back into place, or whatever it does to feel better.  Groin is still not 100% but much improved.  Inner and outer thigh strength will be a focus during the next marathon build up.

I decided 10 minutes into the run today to throw in a couple Marathon Goal Pace miles.  I was running around 8 min pace and dropped it down to see how close I would be to guessing right.  There are 1/4 mile marks around the park so it is easy to gauge pace.  1st mile was pretty flat, 7:15, right on it, next one was uphill, 7:35.  It actually felt a little harder then I expected, but I wasn’t mentally prepared or dressed for any kind of workout.

I wore my new Brooks and for some reason, decided to wear a pair of sock I never wear, mini crew socks, that barely come over the heal.  The combination of brand new shoes and too short of socks allowed the heal of my shoe to rub my left achilles into a bloody abrasion. I should know better 🙂  No worries though, it’ll be fine in a couple days.

It’s 2 WEEKS TO GO until NYC Nov 1st!!

Here are a few pointers taken from Runners World Bob Cooper’s article “It’s Taper Time”

Week 2 is a transitional period. You’re halfway between the agony of your last 20-miler and the ecstasy of the marathon. Rest truly replaces training as the most important element of your race preparations, and race strategizing takes on increasing importance.

Training Checklist
1. Your mileage this week should be about half to two-thirds the amount you ran during your highest mileage week.
2. Almost all running should be slow (11/2 to 2 minutes slower than marathon goal pace) except for 2 miles run in the middle of a midweek 4-miler at marathon goal pace. “Even this small amount of goal-pace running is important because it physically and mentally reinforces the pace you want to run on race day,” says Finke. “This follows the rule of specificity–simulating as closely as possible what you hope to do in competition.” It’s also fine to throw in a few 100-meter strides after one or two workouts just to help you stay smooth and loose.
3. Weekday short runs should not exceed 4 miles.
4. Your longest weekday run should be 6 to 10 miles.
5. Your weekend long run (1 week before the race) should be 8 to 10 miles. Any longer and your muscles may not be able to fully rebound before the race.

Mental Preparation
6. “Set multiple goals so you won’t come away from the race empty-handed,” says Hays.
“Set three time goals– ‘fantastic,’ ‘really good,’ and ‘I can live with that’ finish times.” These can each be separated by 5 to 15 minutes.
7. Set general goals, such as not walking, finishing strong, or simply enjoying yourself.
8. Check the race Web site for race-morning particulars such as start time, and work out the details of how you’ll get to the start on marathon day. Logistics you’ll want to consider: where you’ll park; how early you want to arrive (an hour before start time is ideal); where you’ll stow your gear during the race.
9. Also check the race Web site for the course map and study it.
10. If the race is local, drive the course or run key sections to make it easier to visualize between now and race day.

Nutritional Needs
11. Your mileage may be dwindling, but keep those calories coming in as usual. Your body still needs to repair tissue damaged during your mileage build-up. “This is no time to diet,” says Tichenal.
12. Even though you’re running less, resist the temptation to cut way back on fat. A reasonable proportion of dietary fat (30 percent of your daily calories) is beneficial because it can be accessed as a backup energy source when stored carbs are used up. Fat reserves can therefore postpone or prevent a race-day collision with the notorious “wall.”
13. Eat foods that are high in unsaturated fat, such as nuts or fish cooked in canola oil. Limit foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fats, such as pizza and ice cream.
And Don’t Forget
14. If you’ve been lifting weights as part of your training program, stop. Weight training at this stage of the game can’t help your race, but it can sap your strength or cause an injury.

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