Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Vegan Five One Eats #6

On Friday, I made the trip to Farmer's Hardware Saratoga restaurant. The day before, they hosted an Impossible Burger tasting party previewing the new menu item. I was not able to attend but I was in the area the next morning. How did I hear about Impossible Burger? Social media. Don't be fooled thinking it is a meat patty. Looks can be deceiving but you'll be surprised. The patty is made from plant ingredients. For some time, it was disappointing that the Impossible Burger was not in upstate New York. But that all changed a couple weeks ago.

Albany Times Union posted an article promoting Farmer's Hardware tasting party. Even though I could not attend, I stopped in the day after to see if it was on the menu. Guess what? It is on the menu permanently. It is a little pricey but that is not going to stop most of you, including myself.

I ordered the burger with lettuce; tomato; pickles; and sauteed onions on a toasted potato bun. My side dish was vegan sweet chili chickpeas. Took one bite of the burger for the first time. What are my thoughts? WOW! It was absolutely delicious. The salt and pepper cooked into the patty brought out the flavor. It feels like biting into a regular burger except that it is plant-based. I've had other vegan burgers including Beyond Meat and Lightlife. After that meal, I would give the edge to Impossible Burger right now.

Make sure to stop into Farmers Hardware in Saratoga Springs to order the Impossible Burger. According to the website, they also serve it at Lost Dog Cafe in Binghamton, New York. Don't see it in your area, DEMAND IT. If you would like to know more about Impossible Foods, check them out here. Get out and search for amazing vegan food. 

Happy Living
+ MJ

You can not deny this deliciousness

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Recap

2017 was a wonderful year filled with so many accomplishments and memories. When the new year starts, I'm excited to venture on new experiences. I want to take this opportunity to look back on some moments that got me to this point. Before that, marathon training has been going really well. The weather is getting colder so the times have been slightly slower. I have hit the 20 mile marks twice this month. It has been tough but I am getting stronger. Training has given me a chance to explore new running spots. Pebbles Island State Park has a couple miles of trails along the Mohawk River. In New Jersey, Sussex Rail Trail had some trails off the main route. I really enjoy trail running because it is a nice change from running on the pavement. Enough of the training update, here is my look back on 2017.

Vermont Marathon

Photo: Game Face Media

On Memorial Day weekend, I completed my third marathon in three different states. Prior to this event, I have never step foot in The Green Mountain State. Burlington was a beautiful city but I wish I could've spent more time there. Looking to run a half marathon there soon. You can read more about my experience there, click here.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert 

Prior to Vermont, I traveled to New York City to be in the audience for a live taping of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. I stayed in a hotel around the corner from the Ed Sullivan Theater in May 2016. Walking by the venue, I told myself that I will be there one day. If I couldn't get to Saturday Night Live or Jimmy Fallon, this is the event I wanted to attend. With my priority ticket, I was five rows from the stage. The guests were awesome: Jon Stewart, John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Ed Helms, and Rob Corddry. Dave Matthews stopped by to perform a song, Samurai Cop.

Tamerline Farm Sanctuary

This was an amazing experience. Personally, I would recommend visiting an animal sanctuary over a zoo and an aquarium.

Now for some personal achievements:

  • On December 21st, happy to say this, I reached two years of sobriety. No question, it has given me a better perspective on life and more time to learn about myself. I reached out to a couple friends who were a big influence on my decision. 
  • Right after my birthday, I transitioned into a vegan diet. For the past two years, I was a vegetarian but would eat vegan dishes any opportunity I got. I will be approaching one year in February. It is challenging but I feel better about myself physically and mentally every single day. 

Five Years of Running

I can't believe it has been five years since I started running.

As the anniversary approached, I was doing a lot of reflecting on this. Typical Matt would've lost interest maybe one year into an activity like this. If you would've told me that I would run three marathons; eight half marathons; and other various distance races in five years, I would've laughed at you. I can't wait for what the future holds. 

Those were the biggest moments of 2017. I created so many memories that got me to the new year. Concerts, comedy shows, sporting events, traveling, hiking, vegan food searches, and family gatherings made this year positive and fulfilling. Most importantly, thank you everyone who took the time to read my blog and inspired me to dig deep for my potential. Hope your year was amazing and you are living your life prosperously, peacefully, and positively.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Five Years

This weekend marks my fifth anniversary of running. Considering I started in a 5K race just for fun, it is hard to believe my running has grown substantially. I have been reflecting on it for at least a month now and I'm struggling for words at the moment. Ironic that a 5 mile training run fell on the anniversary date. Thank you to everyone who told me I was crazy to train and race in a marathon. It is crazy that I would finish a 5K race then decide to run a half marathon in 2013. Three years later, I am at the start line for my first marathon on a very humid Sunday and was able to finish the event. In 2017, I have several races under my belt including three marathons and a better understanding of what it takes to prepare.

Excerpt from October, reflecting on my journey:

A common job interview question an employer asks, where do you see yourself in five years? You don't hear that question in too many, if not, any running discussions. Why is that? It is hard to have a five year plan as a runner. Goals change over that period of time. Setbacks also factor in.

Did you ask yourself that question when you first started running? I didn't but it has been on my mind for days now. I bet you are wondering if I have an answer for this question. I'll give you answer.

With my fifth anniversary of competitive running approaching in December, I still want to be running, hopefully injury free. Continue to obtain additional running knowledge regarding training, diets, and workouts. Also, I want to build my community of friends that share similar interests. As my experience grows, I will be looking for that next running challenge.

Running has given me an opportunity to explore other parts of the United States I've never visited before. It gives me a chance to act like a tourist in motion, without the camera. Continue to learn more about myself as I continue to run.

Hopefully that answers your question. Let me ask you, how would you answer it, without repeating my answers? Tough to do isn't it?

There is so much more to learn and experience with my running journey. What started as fun running a 5 kilometer race has transformed into marathon races and growing friendships along the way. My love and passion for running has grown substantially in five years. I'm looking for it to continue as I get older.

If you have been running for more than five years, I hope you obtained the goals and dreams you set forth. For everyone else, where do you see yourself in five years? See you soon.

Thank you to everyone that I have met during my five years of running and inspired me to continue the journey. I have to get running because there are places to see, people to meet, and accomplishments to obtain.

Prosperous Running,

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Week 12 training

After a wonderful holiday last week, I'm back for another week of marathon training. Resting Thanksgiving week was an excellent choice allowing my body to stay fresh. At the time of this writing, we are in the final month of 2017. Despite that respite, I logged over 134 miles for the month. I'm already thinking about the new year for training and races. Can't believe it will be less than five months until New Jersey Marathon.

November 28: 5.5 miles/ 38:49.6/ 7:04 mile

Mile 1: 6:57; Mile 2: 6:57; Mile 3: 7:07; Mile 4: 7:06; MIle 5: 7:09 with the last 0.50 at 3:55

November 29: 6.55 miles/ 46:42.1/ 7:08 mile

Mile 1: 7:19; Mile 2: 7:09; Mile 3: 7:02; Mile 4: 7:10;
Mile 5: 7:10; Mile 6: 6:59 with the last 0.55 at 3:55

November 30: 5.4 miles/ 38:25/ 7:07 mile

Mile 1: 7:08; Mile 2: 7:03; Mile 3: 7:09; Mile 4: 7:09; Mile 5: 7:03 with the last 0.40 at 2:55

Very pleased with the consistent mile splits.

December 2: 13.25 miles/ 1:39:39/ 7:31 mile

Mile 1: 7:42; Mile 2: 7:32; Mile 3: 7:30; Mile 4: 7:29; Mile 5: 7:23; Mile 6: 7:28;
Mile 7: 7:33; Mile 8: 7:31; Mile 9: 7:52; Mile 10: 7:39; Mile 11: 7:31; Mile 12: 7:22;
Mile 13: 7:25 with the last 0.25 at 1:44

December 3: 8.2 miles/ 1:02:31/ 7:37 mile

Mile 1: 8:06; Mile 2: 7:36; Mile 3: 7:38; Mile 4: 7:32; Mile 5: 7:40; 
Mile 6: 7:40; Mile 7: 7:29; Mile 8: 7:27 with the last 0.20 at 1:24

That first mile is tough with a gradual uphill at the beginning. Overall, the run went really well. I knew it was going to be tough after running over 13 miles the previous day.

What has Matt been up to? Besides training, I like to read and listen to podcasts. Here is what I have been enjoying this week. Happy Running everybody.

Rich Roll Podcast

ultra runner
Learn more here

I've been listening to several episodes for the past week or so.  Past guests included Lance Armstrong, Mishka Shubaly, Bryan Fogel, Chris Hauth, and Doctors Dean and Ayesha Sherzai. The doctors were on the most recent episode talking about reversing Alzheimer's disease. It is one of the diseases with increasing deaths annually. It can be reversed if you get an adequate amount of sleep, active lifestyle, and a healthy diet. I would highly recommend listening to this episode and previous ones wherever you subscribe to podcasts. You can find Rich Roll on social media: Instagram and Twitter

Hard Truth with John Joseph

Warning: Contains strong language

John Joseph is a musician, author, and triathlete who recently completed an Iron Man in Hawaii. He has been a very influential person lately striving for a positive mental attitude and a healthy plant-based diet. The main reason why I transitioned from vegetarian to a vegan diet. Currently, John has five episodes on his YouTube Channel. Check it out and get your mind blown. Everyone needs to hear the hard truth. Thank you John Joseph for your wisdom. Check out more of John's work here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Holiday Travel

This is a good opportunity to talk about my travels last week. I'm sure you are getting bored reading the weekly training updates. It was a wonderful week taking time off from running and spending time with family. One exception was the Turkey Trot race (more on that in a moment).

Tuesday, I drove to my parents house in New Jersey to celebrate Thanksgiving. First, I stopped at Tamerline Farm Sanctuary in Montague Township, New Jersey. Prior to the visit, I have never been to an animal sanctuary. After the tour and interacting with animals, it was an unforgettable experience. I would highly recommend visiting a sanctuary over zoos and aquariums. The animals were very friendly and excited by my presence. The educational tour guide was pleasant and very knowledgeable. If you would love to find out more about Tamerline Farm, click here. The animals will appreciate it.



After the Farm Sanctuary, I stopped at High Point Park to hike the Appalachian Trail. The weather was beautiful outside so I got in a little over eight miles total. If you hike that portion, be careful of all the rocks sticking out of the ground. The trail had some drastic elevation changes but it was a nice workout.

Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning, I ran in the Krogh's Turkey Trot 5K race in Sparta. My father and sister also participated in the race. They posted very good results and I'm very proud of their effort. Despite not running the past few days, my goal was to do the best I can while not exhausting my body. My final time was just under 21 minutes (20:56). This is the quickest 5 kilometers I have ever ran. Of course, I was very pleased with the result and finished inside the top five for my age group (44th overall). Thank you very much to all the sponsors, event coordinators, volunteers, safety personnell, and residents for making this race possible.

Thanksgiving (Thanksliving, for all the vegans) was very enjoyable. It was wonderful spending time with the family these past few days. Now, it is back to training. Hope your holidays were filled with prosperity and happiness.

Happy Running

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Week 11 training

Sunday afternoon and another week of training in the books. After today's run, I have decided to take the week off from training to be with my family for the holidays. The only running I will be doing is the Turkey Trot Race coming up in a few days. The upcoming week will be a great opportunity to recover and be fresh for another week of training coming up after Thanksgiving.

November 14: 5.1 miles/ 35:44.9/ 7:01 mile
Mile 1: 7:08; Mile 2: 6:53; Mile 3: 6:57; 
Mile 4: 7:05; Mile 5: 7:02 with the last 0.10 at 0:41

November 15: 8.0 miles/ 56:32.8/ 7:04 mile
Mile 1: 7:07; Mile 2: 6:55; Mile 3: 7:06; Mile 4: 6:55;
Mile 5: 7:10; Mile 6: 7:08; Mile 7: 7:08; Mile 8: 7:04

November 16: 5.0 miles/ 38:21.4/ 7:40 mile
Mile 1: 7:46; Mile 2: 7:43; Mile 3: 7:50; Mile 4: 7:37; Mile 5: 7:26
November 18: 18.39 miles/ 2:18:22/ 7:31 mile
Mile 1: 7:28; Mile 2: 7:07; Mile 3: 7:20; Mile 4: 7:29; Mile 5: 7:16; 
Mile 6: 7:28; Mile 7: 7:30; Mile 8: 7:19; Mile 9: 7:36; Mile 10: 7:26; 
Mile 11: 7:51; Mile 12: 7:39; Mile 13: 7:27; MIle 14: 8:06; Mile 15: 7:49; 
Mile 16: 7:39; Mile 17: 7:22; Mile 18: 7:42 with the last 0.39 at 2:49

November 19: 8.0 miles/ 1:01:04/ 7:37 mile
Mile 1: 8:13; Mile 2: 7:27; Mile 3: 7:20; Mile 4: 7:37;
Mile 5: 7:17; Mile 6: 7:48; Mile 7: 7:41; Mile 8: 7:37

Not my strongest run after running over eighteen miles the previous day. At eight miles, rain started down pouring quickly. Luckily, the sprint home was very short.

Thank you very much for taking the time to check out my blog. Have a safe and prosperous holiday everyone.

Happy Running

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Week 10 Training and Stockade-athon 15K

Another week of training is in the books. I can't believe it has been ten weeks already. Also, I got an opportunity to run in a race for the first time in a few months.

November 7: 4.17 miles/ 30:00.6/7:12 mile
Mile 1: 7:20; Mile 2: 7:11; Mile 3: 7:10; Mile 4: 7:04 with the last 0.17 at 1:16

Not pushing a quick pace this week due to an upcoming race on Sunday.

November 8: 8.0 miles/ 57:43.2/ 7:13 mile
Mile 1: 7:23; Mile 2: 7:07; Mile 3: 7:16; Mile 4: 7:10; Mile 5: 7:09; Mile 6: 7:13; Mile 7: 7:23; Mile 8: 7:03

November 9: 4.0 miles/ 28:04.6/ 7:01 mile
Mile 1: 7:00; Mile 2: 7:02; Mile 3: 6:57; Mile 4: 7:06

November 10: 8.0 miles/ 58:58.4/ 7:22 mile
Mile 1: 7:29; Mile 2: 7:15; Mile 3: 7:13; Mile 4: 7:19; Mile 5: 7:35; Mile 6: 7:29;
Mile 7: 7:24; Mile 8: 7:15

Great tune up run for the race on Sunday. Did not want to push myself because it is going to be an exhausting day.

November 12: 1.5 mile (warm up): 14:27.7 at 9:38/mile

9.44 mile run (Stockade-athon 15K race): 1:06:07/ 7:06 mile
Mile 1: 7:25; Mile 2: 7:11; Mile 3: 7:07; Mile 4: 7:02; Mile 5: 6:54; Mile 6: 6:56;
Mile 7: 6:59; Mile 8: 7:05; Mile 9: 6:49 with the last 0.44 at 2:42

6.5 mile run (post race run): 51:39.9/ 7:57 mile
Mile 1: 8:07; Mile 2: 7:39; Mile 3: 7:42; Mile 4: 7:58; Mile 5: 7:52; Mile 6: 7:56 with the last 0.50 at 4:27

Didn't I tell you I was going to be exhausted after the day I had? Despite the uncertainty of how my day would turn out, I was very pleased with the results. I did not panic when my first mile was 7:45. At mile two, I got it down to approximately 7:30. For the rest of the race, my splits averaged around 7:00. Final time was 1:06:03 with an average pace of 7:06. It was a very exhausting day but very rewarding.

Onto another week of training. Happy Running.