This is a Test and Only a Test……….

Whenever I’ve gone backpacking or canoe camping I’ve always used the already dehydrated meals. These are expensive and not always on the healthy side either. So back in January I purchased a small dehydrator for this sole purpose. Today I’m making my first attempt at dehydrating my own.

Today’s test meal is something I call “Sausage vegetable stew”. I put this concoction together yesterday in my crockpot and let it cook all day. Once cooled I put it into the refrigerator over night so all the flavors had a chance to meld. This morning removing the stew from the fridge I scooped it into a colander in the sink. I did this so any excess water can drain off. I then spread the stew onto my dehydration trays and now I sit and wait.

0715: The dehydration begins

1505: The Dehydration stops

I made three 6 ounce servings from this batch. Looking at one of my similar single serve pre-made meals they are 3.5 ounces. After a long day on the trail or canoeing I find that the 3.5 ounce serving doesn’t satisfy.

Stew:

1- pkg Gianelli Italian turkey sausage (6 links)

2- 28oz cans crushed tomatoes

1- 10oz can petite diced tomatoes with green chiles (Mild)

1- 15.5 can Goya black eyed peas

1- 15.5oz Goya small red beans (I rinsed and drained  both cans of beans)

1- 15oz can mixed vegetables

1- 15oz can cut green beans

1- pepper chopped

Half of an onion chopped

2- tbsp minced garlic

Salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste….

Combine all ingredients into crockpot except the sausage. Next fill a pot with water and bring to a boil, removing the sausage from the casings while you wait. Once the water is at a boil breakup the sausage as you put it into the water and cook for a few minutes. After sausage is cooked drain it in a colander. Next boil another pot or kettle of water and pour it over the sausage to rinse any residual fat (This is important). Once rinsed you can combine the meat into your crockpot.

I love the Gianelli sausage as it has half the fat and calories (90 calories per link) as pork sausage and it tastes amazing. This meal has a total of 1,875 calories according to all packaging. However caloric value does change during the dehydration process according to what I’ve read.

This recipe is endless with what you can do for your own personal taste. And a special thank you to my buddy Gary who claims he will be the guinea pig.

Cheers!

Putting the stew onto the dehydration trays.
The dehydration begins
The dehydration has ended and the weighing process starts.
Three 6 ounces meals bagged

 

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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.

2016 Seneca 7: 8:05:35

Team: Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire 2016 Seneca 7 overall winner.
Team: Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire 2016 Seneca 7 overall winner.

On April 24th our team “Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire” took part in my favorite race, the Seneca 7. For those of you who don’t know about this race I’ll briefly explain. The Seneca 7 is a 77.7 mile relay race around beautiful Seneca Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. This year 281 teams consisting of 7 runners each took part. Each runner on a team is required to run 3 times during the event. Each leg varies in distance but does not exceed 6 miles.

On the morning of the race I woke early as the sun began to rise over Seneca lake as I had an amazing view from my hotel room in Geneva, NY. Two other teammates of mine had crashed with me as well and the others scattered in hotels in the area.

The race start waves began at 0630 with the last wave going at 0900. We all met up at the starting line area around 0800 for our 0900 start (9:02:35). Aaron who was our first runner anxiously awaited the gun. A-Aron as we like to call him got the fire started quickly and the day just continued from there. We would arrive at the halfway point in the race at 12:50PM and begin our northward trek up the east side of the lake. We crossed the finish line back in Geneva at 5:08:10 encircling the lake in 8:05:35 for a daily pace of 6:14 per mile securing the 1st place overall winner of the 2016 Seneca 7.

To say we were excited might have been an understatement. I myself was personally humbled by the days event. In the end we ran hard, we had a lot of fun along the way but most importantly we ran as a team of friends who share a passion for running.

I’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to all who cheered for us, congratulated us and supported us, you all are amazing and I appreciate you!!!!!!!

A great big thank you to Seneca 7 race directors Jackie Augustine & Jeff Henderson and all who took the time to volunteer for another amazing race.

https://youtu.be/HX7ir8VQ-lE Take a peak at Ryan’s dance moves!

L-R: Ryan Heinlein, Joe Geronimo, Aaron Perry, James Wilson, Dan Cavlari, Race Directors: Jackie Augustine & Jeff Henderson, Adrian Milisavljevich & Jordan Varano.
L-R: Ryan Heinlein, Joe Geronimo, Aaron Perry, James Wilson, Dan Cavlari, Race Directors: Jackie Augustine & Jeff Henderson, Adrian Milisavljevich & Jordan Varano.
Aaron Perry handing off to James Wilson.
Aaron Perry handing off to James Wilson.
James Wilson handing off to Adrian Milisavljevich.
James Wilson handing off to Adrian Milisavljevich.
Ryan Heinlein handing off to Dan Cavalari.
Ryan Heinlein handing off to Dan Cavalari.
Jordan Varano handing off to Ryan Heinlein.
Jordan Varano handing off to Ryan Heinlein.
Joe Geronimo, left, waiting for Adrian Milisavljevich.
Joe Geronimo, left, waiting for Adrian Milisavljevich.
Ryan Heinlein having some dancing fun at one of the exchange points.
Ryan Heinlein having some dancing fun at one of the exchange points.
Dan Cavalari handing off to Aaron Perry.
Dan Cavalari handing off to Aaron Perry.

Long Run & the Forks XV

It’s the first day of Spring and today’s long run called for 12 miles. My workout was to consist of picking up the pace for the last 15 minutes and adding in some hills. As luck would have it today was also the 43rd annual Forks XV road race and that course I thought would be a perfect fit for part of my long run.

I began with a 3 mile warmup prior to the race. I would then run the 9.3 mile Forks course to complete my mileage. I made every effort to stay true to my workout and not get dragged into the excitement of “Race Day”. The weather was perfect with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees. I felt comfortable, strong and confident and was able to maintain coherent conversation for most of the run. Around mile 7 of the race course I stopped for about 30-40 seconds for water which I thought was odd because I rarely ever drink on a course less than a half marathon.

I finished the day with 12.32 miles with a time of 1:29:21. The time it took to complete the Forks XV course was 108:19 which is 2 seconds off from my PR of the course in 2014. To say I am happy in an understatement.

Cheers!

Along the Forks XV course March 20th 2016. Photo by: Sarah Brienze
Along the Forks XV course March 20th 2016. Photo by: Sarah Brienze

 

Gear Review: LL Bean “Ascent” Packaway Jacket

I’ve been an LL Bean fan and customer for years. As a matter of fact my life contains a vast majority of their clothing and gear. In my opinion LL Bean’s customer service is legendary, so when I needed a jacket for layering I turned to Bean. February here in New York has been extremely cold, with Jack Frost nipping at the noses of most in the Northeast. In retrospect a perfect environment to put my new remarkably light LL Bean “Ascent” Packaway jacket to the test.

The Jacket: 

This jacket boasts 60-gram remarkably light PrimaLoft One insulation. Ultralight ripstop nylon shell is treated to shed water and block wind. A highly compact alternative to fleece, packing into its own hand pocket.

Improved fit is trimmer through the body and upper arms with the ultralight ripstop nylon gliding easily under layers for a smooth fit that won’t restrict your motion. Shell resists wind and weather, has a drawcord hem and elasticized cuffs to seal in body heat, rated at -15 degrees.

Center back length, size L: 27″. Imported. Machine wash and dry.

Fit

Slightly fitted, best with lightweight layer, falling at hip. I wear a size large but decided to order an extra large for additional layering as I plan on using the jacket snowshoeing in the High Peak’s of New York’s Adirondack Park. Here weather conditions could change within minutes.

Test Dates:

Friday February 13th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 3 degrees and a wind chill of -13 degrees. With the wind at a moderate 11 mph I snowshoed around the local park for 3 miles averaging 2.9 mph. This particular park is open with no shelter what so ever. The jacket performed flawlessly. It did what it said, blocked the wind and kept me extremely warm, I was very impressed and extremely excited. I thought the jacket fit just right, I was unrestricted in my movements and after the first mile or so I had to slightly unzip it as I began to sweat a little.

Sunday February 15th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 0 degrees and a wind chill of -22 degrees. The wind was howling at 22 mph today and I went for a 5 mile snowshoe hike at a place called the “IBM Glen” where I averaged 3 mph. The first and last parts of my hike were .35 miles each across an open wind swept and snow drifting golf course. The wind was pushing at me so hard I had to use my poles to keep me upright. Again this jacket performed flawlessly! In truth I was utterly impressed because it was brutally cold out. Once in the woods I did receive some shelter from the wind. Like I said the jacket fit just right and I was unrestricted in my movements.

On both days I wore the exact same clothing to make sure this test was as accurate as possible. The layer closest to my body consisted of an Under Armour Cold Gear compression long sleeve shirt, followed by an LL Bean “Expedition Weight” base layer, topped with LL Bean’s linden green Ascent Packaway jacket.

Conclusion:

I truly love this jacket and its versatility. I felt very warm during the weather conditions on both days. I like the fitted style and feel of this jacket and I strongly believe it does what it says it does, blocks the wind and sheds water. This jacket is perfect for layering during the winter and can stand alone during the Spring and Fall months.

I have no affiliation with LL Bean or was I given this jacket. Just like you I am a consumer and I think I should get what I pay for. With that said I highly recommend this product.

If you are looking for a light weight versitile jacket look no further than LL Bean’s “Ascent” Packaway Jacket. http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/86465?feat=ascent-SR0&page=ascent-packaway-jacket

Sunday February 15th 2015.
Sunday February 15th 2015.