The Struggle is Real

Since the beginning of the year I have been running consistently and on a plan. I’ve also noticed small gains as my fitness slowly makes improvements. However I’ve also paid more attention to my bad runs where I’ve begun to notice a pattern emerging. In the past this is something I have not given any attention so I am intrigued to say the least.

My “Bad Runs” runs that I believe should have felt less effortless or where my heart rate seems higher than it should are due to several things in my opinion.

#1. Sleep or the lack of: Most mornings I get up at 0330 to be at work by 0430. I find it very difficult to go to bed before 8PM. I’m currently getting on average 6 hours per night. When I come home from work I try to take at least a 2 hour nap most days. I feel that sleep or proper rest plays a HUGE roll in the quality of our lives.

#2. Feeling Rushed: If I don’t give myself down time between work,life, etc and a run my heart rate has the tendency to be higher as well. I firmly believe if there is not a transition period that this definitely affects attitude, approach and performance. Also time constraints fall into this category as well.  I’m keeping a close eye on this one.

#3.Fear: Fear of getting hurt again rules the roost here, as does fear of failing in my workout. This is just a major part of my personality or as my wife calls it “The Mr. Excess” clause. As much as I want to say she’s crazy I can’t because she is 100% correct. Over the years I’ve struggled with this in many aspects. I’ve had this predetermined notion if you aren’t running big miles or fast paces you’re really not running. This is absolute foolish thinking on my part and a major reason of why I’m always injured.

The Positive: This past Sunday was my long run (8 Miles). This would be my longest run in well over a year. I got a good nights sleep, woke early and took the time to do my pre-run stretching, rolling and mentally eased myself into the workout. I was rewarded with a great run!

As I move forward I hope to learn and grow with this process. I also hope that even when I have a bad run/workout I can move past it and live for the next day.

Question: Do you struggle with anything similar?

Cheers!

Long run (8 Miles). This was a great run in my opinion.
My go to breakfast and post run fuel is:
“Chocolate Oatmeal” with raisins. 1 cup quick oats, 1 ounce serving raisins, 1 Tbsp mini chocolate chips and 3 packets Stevia sweetener.

 

 

The Poor Me’s

I believe in for the lack of better words “Global Warming”. I firmly believe that we cannot just strip the earth of it’s resources and not pay a price for it. I also believe the same stands true for our bodies. We are bombarded daily with countless options that are just bad for us. We are told that we are too busy to make better food or for that matter better choices.

Recently I re-watched a great documentary called “Forks Over Knives” (On Netflix) and I really focused on the science this time more than I did the first time I watched it. I am living proof that this for the most part is true.

In February 2012 I made a choice to change not only what I eat but the way I eat. And over the course of 10+ months of good eating and exercise I dropped over 100 pounds. Fast forward to December 2018 when I got hurt and I couldn’t run for over 9 months. I developed a severe case of the poor me’s and totally fell off the wagon. Actually I kind of crashed and burned a bit. I kept telling myself “Oh I’ll just run it off”, well that didn’t work. So I kept plugging along with the poor me’s.

On January 2nd 2020 I made a pact with myself to get my mind in order, my eating and my running. I’m currently working with a local coach for the running. I’m basically starting from scratch, a total re-boot so to speak. Also I’ve gotten myself on a path to better eating again and I’ll tell you I feel great, mind, body & soul. In 23 days I’ve lost 10 pounds, am sleeping better even though I work a shitty job schedule but most of all I’m extremely happy.

And lastly what I have discovered over the past several years is do what makes you happy and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Just that can be a freeing experience.

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

Running Re-Boot

A lot has changed since the last time I wrote about running. For starters what I was doing just wasn’t working, I mean part of my personality is to over do pretty much everything.

I decided I needed a total running re-boot so I’m starting from scratch. So far all my runs have been short distance 2-3 miles and at a conversation pace. I have to say this has been wonderful! I’m after consistency and fitness above all but longevity is the ultimate goal.

I was also refitted for new running shoes which have made a huge difference in comfort. I’m currently in the Brooks GTS Adrenaline 2020’s. Wow what a difference in the weight compared to their older model shoes.

I’m excited and I feel energized and look forward to just taking my time and rebuilding.

Cheers!

To run is to be happy…….

Back in mid September after about a 9 month hiatus I started running again. It has been a tough road both mentally and physically. My knee is still not 100% and I’m not sure if it ever will be. As for my cardio well that is totally gone right now.

I’ve been running on average about 8-10 miles per week since. Yesterday I ran 5 miles and I struggled a little but just being out there was so rewarding. Autumn is my not only my favorite time of year but it is my favorite time of year to run.

Come December I’m looking forward to running a really fun 5K in Seneca Falls, NY “It’s a Wonderful Run“. I’ve run this race a number of years ago and the atmosphere is amazing. I just hope we don’t get a blizzard!

At this point I’m just going to take it slow and see what happens. Most importantly I’m going to try and have fun in the process.

A New Day

There I was, waiting for the swimmers of the “Big George” 70.3 triathlon to enter the water. Glancing over my shoulder I spy an Adirondack Guide Boat gracefully skimming across the painted, silent waters of Lake George. Of course I have the wrong lens on my camera but I still take the shot.

I’m very fortunate to have been able to work in a beautiful place this weekend.

Cheers!

Lake George, NY September 1st 2019 © Joe Geronimo

On the Mend

Three weeks post surgery and I’m really beginning to feel better. Still a touch sore on the inside of my right knee where they went in to repair my meniscus and remove some small amounts of arthritis. Basically I pretty much haven’t done a stitch of exercise since Christmas Day when all this went down and it shows. Man are my calves sore!

My body wants to consume food as if I was still running 30 miles a week and the scale well that thing and I haven’t been friends for a while now.  None the less yesterday was a beautiful day with bright sunshine, a light breeze and some cool spring temperatures. Going stir crazy I decided to head over to the Vestal Rail Trail and do some walking.

I wound up walking 4 miles with minimal discomfort and a tiny bit of soreness. This is huge in the process of healing! On April 11th I return to see my doctor for a checkup and his thoughts of when I can start slowly testing the waters of running again. My fingers are crossed that come end of April I can return. It will take me a while to get back into shape but I’m all about baby steps and doing this process right.

Cheers

Finished my 4 mile walk on the Vestal Rail Trail March 27th 2019.

 

The Winter Blues

On Christmas morning my running world came to a screeching halt. I went out early with my friend Ken to do a 5 miler while our families were still asleep. The pain in my right knee was so bad by the time I got home I could barely walk. I couldn’t climb the stairs in our house for several hours until some of the pain subsided. On New Year’s Eve I finally got into see the doctor and he was concerned about my pain and its location so he ordered an MRI. My MRI lit up like a Christmas tree showing I had what the doctor called a severe bone bruise (Almost a fracture) and a torn meniscus. He was perplexed more about the severity of the bruise than my meniscus. As I sat in his office with my wife you could see I wanted to cry. It was immediately clear to me that I would not be able to run the Parade Day Mile with my son nor with my team in this years Seneca 7 race, I was devastated!

I could not imagine where the bruise had come from as I had not fallen or anything recently. Flipping through the pages in my mind I did recall falling back in early October and banging my knee pretty hard. It hurt for a few days and then went away. I continued my running routine and sometime in late November I would get twinges in my knee while running, kind of like it wanted to give out. In typical fashion of me being me and my high tolerance for pain I kept running on it thinking it would just go away. I was wrong and it gradually got worse, with some days better than others.

I have not run or done anything too strenuous since the holidays. The doctor wanted to wait at least 4-6 weeks to see if my bone healed before doing meniscus surgery otherwise I would need two surgeries. The good news is my bone has healed and I will be having surgery on March 1st. Recovery in theory will be another 4-6 weeks before I can think about running again.

As I mentioned earlier I won’t be able to run with my team this year at the annual Seneca 7 relay race. However I will be there that weekend in April with my friends cheering and celebrating.

Cheers!!

The Winter Blues…..

4 for 44 Relay Race

Over the past 24 years I’ve been traveling the Southern Tier of New York west from Binghamton towards western Ohio where my wife is from to visit family. Just beyond Jamestown, NY the interstate spans the beautiful Chautauqua lake. My wife and I have always commented to one another that we should stop sometime and check out the area, but in reality we never have.

On September 9th 2018 I had the opportunity to join my friends and take part in the 4 for 44 relay race that encircles Chautauqua lake. This race which began and ended at Southern Tier Brewing in Lakewood, NY was a 44 mile relay race. Each team consisted of 4 runners who would each run 3 legs of varying distances.

The festivities began the afternoon before as we all would meet up at Four Mile Brewing in Olean, NY. I don’t think I have ever seen that many traffic circles in my life. Anyway I personally enjoyed the place and their beer was pretty solid. They also had some great munchies as well and puzzles….

After spending some time at Four Mile Brewing we made a beeline for Jamestown to check into our hotel rooms and head over to Southern Tier Brewing for packet pickup and you guessed it more beer. I began to have flashbacks from a few years ago when I raced with my friend Diana. The night before the race she forced me to drink way to many beers.. Hmm I’m beginning to see a pattern here!

Race morning came and I was feeling pretty good, as we would start the race in the first wave at 0700. Bob was our first runner followed by Jo (Without an E), she gets very testy about that, next would be Diana and lastly myself our fourth runner. The course was really nice and not flat either by any means. I particularly liked the Beamis Point area.  My first leg of the race was 4 miles, the second 5.20 miles and the last was 3.25 miles. All three of my runs were listed on the course guide as moderate. However according to the course guide my last leg had 300 feet of gain and I think all 300 feet of that was in the first half mile, my legs were zapped!

We all had a wonderful time and I truly enjoyed running with Bob, Jo & Diana and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Cheers!

As a side note Jamestown, NY is home to the Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz Museum.

http://www.lucy-desi.com

Bob, Diana & myself at Four Mile Brewing in Olean, NY September 8th 2018.
Goosing Lucille Ball in Jamestown, NY September 9th 2018.
Myself, Diana, Jo & Bob after the 4 for 44 relay race September 9th 2018.
A few days after the race I received this postcard in the mail from Diana & Jo.. I love it, thank you!

Snow, Rain, Cold & Wind = Seneca 7

For the past several years now I have been wondering when we would get stuck with some tough weather conditions for the annual Seneca 7 relay event. I’m here to tell you that Mother Nature did not dissapoint. Teams were subjected to hours of snow, rain, cold and wind for their 77.7 journey around Seneca lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

Looking back over the past five years since I have been running in the Seneca 7, I think this year had to be the most epic. We knew we would have it tough as the super fast and talented women of Red Newt Racing would put us through our paces. This all day battle where we traded the lead back and forth was nothing short of awesome. Red Newt Racing would beat us by 64 seconds according to official results. They ran around the lake in 7:54:28 for a pace of 6:06 and our team “Liar Liar feet on Fire” completed it in 7:55:42 for a pace 6:07. Can you say nail biter!

I’d like to extend a big thank you to our sponsors Bottomless Brewing and Zenolink Human Performance Center for their friendship, generosity and support as well as all the amazing race volunteers who stood with us in those conditions, cheers to you all.

L-R: Adrian Milisavljevich, Joe Geronimo, Ben Snodgrass, aaron Perry, Ryan Heinlein, Jeff Fahery & Jordan Varano. 1st place male, 2nd place overall.
Red Newt Racing 1st place overall and Liar Liar Feet on Fire 2nd place overall Seneca 7.
L-R: Adrian Milisavljevich, Ryan Heinlein, Ben Snodgrass, Jordan Varano, Jeff Faherty, Aaron Perry, Chris Welch owner (Zenolink Human Performance Center) Joe Geronimo and Tom & Carrie Thompson owners of Bottomless Brewing.

Weekend Re-Cap

Saturday September 23rd 2017: Zipping up my wetsuit into a new adventure, open water swimming. Several years ago I had purchased a wetsuit with the intent on using it, things never panned out that way. Our swim was to take place on Quaker lake in Silver Lake Township Pennsylvania not too far south of the New York border.

Saturday morning the fog quickly burned off, the air temperature perfect and the lake  like glass. I’m guessing the water was somewhere between 66-68 degrees. The three of us (Chris, Bob & Myself) plunged into the lake at 0840, beginning our swim. I’ll admit I had been nervous all week leading up to this. I purchased a 15 liter New Wave Swim Buoy as a safety precaution. I was extremely happy with it and you wouldn’t even know it was there. Chris would swim 2 miles skirting the perimeter of the lake. Myself and Bob would swim 1.5 miles down and back the length of the lake. I stopped a few times briefly to adjust my goggles and take a quick break. On our way back up the lake I began to feel a little more confident with some endurance, my nerves had finally settled. Exiting the lake and sitting on the dock I glanced down the lake taking notice of my accomplishment, turning to my watch I covered the distance in 1:27:00. I really enjoyed the experience of open water swimming and look forward to more of it in the future. Recently I have been using swimming as a cross training tool, a low impact workout to supplement my running.

Later that day Julie and I would head back down to Pennsylvania to our families lake house to visit my cousin, his wife Dawn and friends who were staying the weekend. Some great food, company, kayaking, campfire and a game of Cards Against Humanity and all was right with the world.

Quaker Lake Silver Lake Township, PA. © Joe Geronimo. Note: This image was taken in October 2007.

Sunday September 24th 2017: Lacing up my running shoes I would run my first race in five months, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Greater Binghamton Marathon. Myself, Chris, Chuck and Ken would run the marathon relay as team “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. It was another beautiful day in the Southern Tier but extremely warm. Chuck would be our first runner, followed by Chris, Ken and lastly I would be runner #4. I do feel the need to pick on Ken for his little snafu during the race, just because it adds to the memories of a really fun day. Prior to Ken’s turn running he was getting in a few extra miles. Chris arrived to the exchange earlier than anticipated and Ken wasn’t around. I panicked and quickly jumped in and began to run. A few minutes later Ken exchanged with Chris and the guys came and pulled me off the course just over a mile in. Even though we lost some time Ken ran strong showing up to exchange with me pretty much as predicted. My leg of the course would be 4.2 miles mostly along the rail trail. It was HOT and I struggled a bit. I almost never hit the water stops on a race course but today I did twice. I ran an average of 7:26 pace for the race and honestly I could not be happier finishing my run in 30:58. This was huge for me because I had no pain in my hip flexors at all. I’ve finally have gotten my bigger muscles to start doing the work and I have really been enjoying the rebuilding process. Approaching the finish I was very excited to see my wife cheering me on as it its always brightens my day to see her smile. Our official finishing time was 3:15:25.

Post race refreshments and entertainment were provided by Ommegang Brewing of Cooperstown, NY and Local band Wreckless Marci. Later in the afternoon the week had finally caught up with me and I found myself unexpectedly napping on the couch.

Cheers to a super fun weekend!

Dick’s Sporting Goods Greater Binghamton Marathon relay team “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. L-R: Joe Geronimo, Chuck Hein, Chris Pilotti and Ken Burt.