Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Firecracker 4 run

Happy Independence everybody. This morning, I participated in the 11th annual Firecracker 4 race. For the eleventh year, Saratoga Springs hosted a tough four mile race through downtown. Where would you rather be on the fourth of July? I want to run a few miles with over three thousand other runners.

Runners Set
I did not eat anything prior to the race, only hydrating my body with water. Stretching and a couple warm up runs helped calm my nerves prior to the start of the race. Now, all the runners are at the start line, running watches getting programmed to their proper settings.

Air horn sounds and the Runners are off.
After taking off towards the first mile, it felt like I was starting slow but did not show any panic. Kept telling myself to run my own race without wearing down at the end of the course. It was surprising to see the time for Mile 1, 6:40. After hitting the mile marker, I decided to conserve energy following runners. It was nice seeing Saratoga Springs residents out on the sidewalks cheering all of the runners on along with musical entertainment. Running through hoses, especially on a humid day like this, was refreshing. I would rather see the mile marker timers instead of having a spectator shout out the time. Around the mile 2 mark, the spectator was shouting out 13:30 as I passed (6:50 mile).

The last half of the race would an endurance test with a couple hills to challenge all the runners. Approaching mile 3, my body started to get tired but I told myself, do not stop under any circumstance. I thought about walking a little bit with less than a mile to go but my mind was telling me to slow down and keep running. The last hill on Excelisor Street was tough not allowing me to give me an extra burst of speed. It did not upset me so I ran across the finish line with a 7:04 mile.

My splits were (6:40, 6:50, 7:00, and 7:04). Yes, the splits increased but I was very pleased with my performance. I did a tune up run the other day with a time of 29:30. Today, my official time was 27:45 with an average pace of 6:57. My Garmin watch was 27:38 averaging 6:53 per mile. Overall, I finished 229th out of nearly 3000 finishers which is a great accomplishment. I'm starting to enjoy the shorter distance races more. Can't wait to get signed up for another one soon.

Thank you to everyone involved putting on a safe and exciting road race. Also, thank you law enforcement and volunteers keeping the runners safe, handing out race packets, and refueling us after the race.  The spectators and musicians who performed along the course were very encouraging cheering all the runners on was gratifying. This was my fourth race in Saratoga Springs and it has been a very positive experience.

Happy Running
-Matt

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Vegan Five One Eats #4

Hello friends, it has been awhile since I did a featured Vegan eatery. Maybe it was the four bottomless cups of coffee that inspired me to write a post. Yesterday, I met up with my cousin Winsley and Patrick for a delicious brunch at Cafe Madison. Cafe Madison is located on Madison Avenue in Albany, NY. My friend, Jenna, recommended this eatery to me several months ago but never got around to stopping in. Thank you very much for the suggestion.

If you are vegan, make sure to ask for the vegan menu because it is separated from the regular menu. For my first trip, I ordered their French Toast with Maple Seitan Sausage based on a waitress recommendation. Their bread is home made dipped in dairy free batter (almond milk, banana puree, cinnamon, and sugar). The French Toast was delicious and filling. For my next trip, I will be ordering their Loaded Breakfast Burrito. Overall, the vegan options for brunch were very good and would recommend it to those looking for a great brunch spot. Check out the vegan menu here.

There is no food picture to post because I wanted to act like a regular human being interacting socially. That means, not staring at your phone while a conversation is taking place. Cafe Madison was an excellent establishment with great service and delicious vegan food. If you want to be guaranteed a table, I would recommend getting there early because it gets busy relatively quick. Cafe Madison opens at 7:30 Monday-Sunday.

Cafe Madison is located at 1108 Madison Avenue in Albany, NY 
For specials, get social with the Cafe