Sunday, September 18, 2016

Saratoga Palio Half Marathon

This morning, I completed my seventh half marathon and second in the beautiful city of Saratoga Springs, New York. It was beautiful running weather and honored to run for a great cause, The Melanie O'Donnell Foundation. In my previous half marathon, not only did I set a personal best but it was the fastest 13.1 miles I have ever ran. My goal was to set another personal best. Unfortunately, I was about 3 minutes slower than my July race. I had to stop at mile 8 to use the bathroom which cost me a minute or two. Would it have helped me PR if I did not stop? Not entirely sure. Despite that, I walked away pretty satisfied with the result and knowing it will be a very nice tune up for the Philadelphia Marathon coming up in two months. It was beautiful running through downtown and through the state park just up the road. Thank you to all the volunteers, road marshalls, and race coordinators for making this a safe and exciting race. The last time I spent time downtown was almost three years ago when I went to a wedding reception. It was pretty sweet walking around after the race.

Not sure if it is just me but it was difficult falling asleep Saturday night. Race day anxiety? We'll never know. I was just happy to be running in another race. Woke up at 6 AM to get ready for the day making the best of a tough situation. Before races and long runs, I do not eat a very heavy breakfast. I limit it to fruit and grains, banana and toast with a peanut butter spread. After you finish a race, what is usually waiting at the finish line? A nice spread of post race fuel (bagels, fruit, and beverages). Today was a nice post race recovery because Purebred Athletics offered free massages to runners. I took full advantage of it and felt a huge sense of relief afterwards. It was nice getting out meeting new runners and seeing familiar faces again. I saw Jenna who was watching her brother run in the same race cheering us on. I talked to Alaina, a college classmate I have not talked to in several years. It was very nice to catch up again. Running races has really helped me break out of my own shell and be more socially engaging.

I'm exhausted and now it is time to start a new work week. Until next time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Blood, Sweat, and No Tears

So far, the change of scenery has been nothing short of amazing. I kept telling myself, why I didn't relocate sooner. It is pretty sweet waking up on a Saturday for a long run and the trail is right out your front door.

Speaking of a long run, I did two within a span of six days. It is the longest total distance I've ever ran in my life. The first run was twenty miles and the second one was just under nineteen. I was very surprised with the results from the first one but it was very rewarding. I finished in just over three hours. I compared it to a similar run back in April, and the difference was very staggering. I took almost forty minutes off. The second one was good but my body was totally spent at the end. I was upset that I decided to cut it short instead of doing twenty. Getting home late and rising early will take its toll. With the Philadelphia Marathon almost two months away, I have been very pleased with the results. I will be running a half marathon in Saratoga Springs on Sunday for The Melaine Foundation. That race will be an excellent tune up for November. This past weekend, I got to bond with one of my roommates, Otto. We really hit it off when he was asking me about running. His advice and words of encourage were very helpful and I will keep that in mind when running in future races. Enough of the running, lets dial it back a little bit.

Sunday, was a celebration of one of my favorite bands, Sick Of It All. They are celebrating thirty years as a group and I really commend them for their pride and dedication to New York Hardcore. All of the music they have created has been very good and the band members are very friendly. Thank you for everything you have done. Your live shows are always a great time and you are built to last. I love you very much Lou, Pete, Armand, and Craig.

"We are playing the same set as New York City except there are no balloons. I know I was looking forward to the fucking balloons."- Lou Koller

Check them out: 30 Years
  
One of my favorite songs on their most under rated album:


Not going to lie, I am having recipe withdrawl so I'll get back into that soon.



Monday, September 5, 2016

New Is Better

A lot has been going on in my life since my last post. New area, new job, and new outlooks on life.

I relocated to the Albany area a couple weeks ago intending on transferring to another office for my previous employer. At the same time, I got offered a full time position as a Sterile Processing Technician at Saratoga Hospital. I ended up accepting the full time job and I'm very proud with where my life is going right now. I really loved what I did at my other job but I couldn't pass up the long term objectives that came with Sterile Processing. I stayed at my cousins house along with her boyfriend until I found a place to get myself situated. I really can't thank them enough for making the transition much more easier. I've been living in a new place for a few days now and the change of scenery is already having an amazing impact on me. I kept telling myself why I didn't move up here sooner. Along with the awesome place, it is even better having running trails right out your front door. The homeowner has a few books by David Sedaris and I was almost ecstatic. I wish she was there to see my reaction in person. Now for some fun adventures.

I went to a Boston Red Sox game a week ago, Sunday night, at Fenway Park. If you have never been to a game or never seen the ballpark, you will be absolutely amazed. Not only is the ball park iconic, the fan atmosphere is second to none. That was my fifth game and my first time standing in the famed Green Monster section. The view was absolutely spectacular and one of the best in all of baseball. All the fans I talked to at the game were friendly, energetic, and fun. If you do make it to a game, make sure to stay for a rendition of Sweet Caroline. It is always a tradition at every home game prior to the bottom of the eight inning. Reminds me of SUNY Oswego Men's hockey games during 2nd intermission. Even though the game was hard to watch, I always have a great time at the ballpark and will always go back every year. Now, my next goal is to get inside the Green Monster along with a picture someday. Before the game, I had brunch at an amazing restaurant outside Boston called Walnut Grille. The vegan and vegetarian options are excellent for brunch and dinner. While walking around Fenway, I stopped at an amazing vegan dessert place called Fomu, which specialize in dairy free ice cream and desserts. While I was at the game, I had to get my veggie hot dog and veggie burger because it is the way to go. Sorry, no Fenway Frank for me.

How can you not deny my excitement and that beautiful face. After all, it is a pretty amazing place.

Iconic

 One of the best views in all of baseball. If you get a chance to be up there, you can not say no.

 The picture speaks for itself.

This past weekend, I was at a wedding for my cousin and it was a great time. It is the one time where I can dance and be myself socially. I danced for a few hours and never took my suit jacket the whole night. Even my father was amazed. Congratulations Torey and David on your marriage. I am glad you made me a part of your big celebration. When you put two like minds together, even if they are weird, you are bound to have a lasting relationship. It was great catching up with the family, meeting new people, and catching up with those I have not seen in some time. To cap off the amazing weekend, I went out on the boat with my family at their camp in Union Springs. Thank you Miranda for making me put family first. It was an amazing time.

After little sleep and no food, I went out on a twenty mile run to keep pace with my marathon training. Within the first five miles, I knew it was going to be a very successful run. Even I was very surprised as the run concluded. My run took just over three hours exactly with just over nine minutes as a pace. I compared it to my first one back in April and the results were staggering. I took nearly forty minutes off this run. Over the past few months, I have been very pleased with my results getting ready for my second marathon race. Less than three months until the big day. That is all I have right now for an update.

It is has been amazing turning a new leaf that is blowing in the wind leading me on this incredible journey. The future is going to be great. Until next time, thank you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday and burned my mouth with hot coffee

It feels very strange writing on a Thursday morning instead of every weekend. Yesterday, I did a 13 mile run to get back on track with my training regimen. Even though my time was a few minutes slower, I was very happy with the results since it was over a week ago that I ran. Less than four months until the Philadelphia Marathon and I almost can't contain my excitement. It's pretty amazing how far I've come in less than four years.

Speaking of excitement and Philadelphia, This Is Hardcore Fest takes place August 4th-7th at the Electric Factory. Its been a couple years since I've made the trek down to the best hardcore music festival in the country. I'll be down there Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. I'm excited for all the bands that are playing this festival including those I haven't seen in several years and others for the first time ever. Joe Hardcore and his entourage do an amazing job every year putting on a great show and he knows how to take care of his audience. Philadelphia is going to be an amazing time and can't wait to see everyone stage-diving and losing it during the sets. My only regret is not going sooner and every year he has put it on since 2006. Every time I have gone, it has been nothing short of amazing. The hardcore scene is awesome and the city is great. If you want to know more, check it out. I'll have another post when the festival wraps up.

I'm very happy to establish a routine cooking a dish once a week. You really learn more about yourself when you are in the kitchen making healthy dishes. This is what I made on Monday:

 Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish

I would definitely make this dish again in the near future. That's all for me because I need to get caught up on more reading. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Saratoga Springs pace and catching up

Been home for several hours coming from an exhausting but amazing weekend. I ran in my sixth half marathon in Saratoga Springs and it was an awesome result. I took a couple minutes off of my personal best going from 1:43 to about 1:40. Despite the miserable weather, it was a very enjoyable run through Saratoga Spa State Park and the course was very flat for the most part. The course was not overwhelming and you do not have to deal with so much vehicle traffic compared to most races. It was organized very well and hopefully will have more participants in the coming years. Thank you 3C Race Productions, the Strong Serve organization, and all other participants who made the event possible. I would definitely run this race again in the future and it was one of the best I have participated in.

While I was in the capital region, I got to catch up with an amazing friend I have not seen in almost five years. Me and Jenna went to Browns Tap Room in Troy and talked over an amazing meal. I still can not get over that it has been so long since our last get together. We also reminisced about eating at the same place six years ago Thanksgiving weekend. It was great going back there even though I do not drink now. I was impressed with selection of vegetarian and vegans options available. Jenna told me that the establishment just hired a new chef to do a complete overhaul of the menu. Even though it was my first time in the restaurant in some time, I was very pleased with the atmosphere. If you are in Troy, NY, definitely check out Browns-Troy Tap Room. Next time on my trip to the area is brunch at Cafe Madison and doughnuts at Nibble Incorporated. Thank you Jenna for those excellent recommendations and I can't wait to get together again soon. Lets not wait another five years. Now, it's time to start a new week.

That's me all soaking wet from the rain but very happy with the end result

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Books, Philosophically Built, and another half marathon

Hope your Fourth of July was amazing like mine was. It has been another very productive week and I couldn't be any happier. I got two books from the library written by legendary New York Mets players: Dwight Gooden and Mookie Wilson. I finished Doc A Memoir and learned so much about this amazing pitcher after reading his book. He is now a bigger influence on me for quitting drugs and alcohol all together and he is still fighting today. Keep up the good work Dwight. I'm glad to see he is still alive and doing much better. Hopefully people in similar circumstances to his can learn from him and always surround yourself with positive-minded people. Hopefully I can meet him one day and talk to him about the obstacles he has had to overcome. He will be in an upcoming documentary on ESPN July 14th called Darryl and Doc. I can't wait to hear their about their memories and tumultuous relationship as professional ball players. I just started reading Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the '86 Mets yesterday. I will let you know how that book is when I am finished.

Friday was another workout day at Philosophically Built. As Blake likes to call it, Challenge Friday. I got on the board again by completing two challenges. The first one was five minutes of clean and jerks with the 12kg kettle bells. I was able to do fifty-five in that time frame good for second rank. The other challenge was reverse lunges with 16 kg kettle bells. Despite struggling at the end, I was able to do 24, good enough for the top spot. Look whos getting stronger! I can't wait to get back to work on Tuesday.

This Sunday, I will be running in another half marathon to get tuned up for the big race in November. This will be in Saratoga Springs and I can't wait to have a great run and maybe beat my personal best of 1:43. It has been almost three years since I have been up that way but I am excited to be up there again visiting my friends.

It has been awesome cooking my own meals again and spending more time in the kitchen. The dishes I have made so far have been excellent.

 Home made veggie burgers


 Szechuan Tofu and Green Beans