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.

 

 

Snowshoeing Nick’s Lake Loop

Back in the fall the Northern Forest Canoe Trail reached out to me asking if I would be willing to do a presentation to a local outdoor club on their behalf. I’m not your typical motivational speaker but I jumped at the chance to talk about something I feel passionate about. This past week I traveled to Utica, NY to give my presentation. I’m truly grateful that the NFCT felt confident enough in me to even ask.

As winter pressed on I had been keeping an watchful eye on the volume of snow in the north country “Adirondacks”. As my presentation date grew closer I decided I would spend the night in Utica with my sights set on some snowshoeing. The next morning I would do my 4 mile run before checking out of the hotel and continue my trek northward.

I arrived in Old Forge at the Bisby Road trailhead under cover of overcast skies with temperatures around 28 degrees. In my opinion this was almost near perfect. Strapping on my snowshoes, throwing a few last minute items in my backpack I was soon off on my adventure.

The first mile of trail had been broken by XC skiers but that soon would change. The next 4 miles I would have to break trail myself and around the half way point my legs were beginning to feel it. I took a few rest breaks standing in awe of the beauty and the silence. I was the only one out here on these particular trails, I saw not one other human being until I returned to my car.

Once back to the trail junction and my final mile before returning to civilization I stopped for a bit to strip down some of my clothing. I worked up a pretty good sweat over those 4 miles, it was time for a snack and some water.

This 6 mile journey took me 4 hours in which I took a few breaks, some photos and a few video clips. The day could not have been more perfect as the clouds gave way to a blueberry Adirondack sky.

Cheers!

Bisby Road trailhead “Black River Wild Forest” Old Forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Bisby Road trailhead “Black River Wild Forest” trail register Old Forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Along the Nick’s Lake Loop Trail. © Joe Geronimo
Frozen silence at the Nick’s Lake canoe launch Old Forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Along the Nick’s Lake Loop Trail Old Forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
I love how the snow clings to life on the Tamaracks along Nick’s Creek. © Joe Geronimo
Here I’m crossing a portion of Nick’s Lake Old forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Undisturbed beauty along the Nick’s Lake Loop Trail Old forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
6 miles along the Bisby Road and Nick’s Lake Loop Trail Old Forge, NY.
I closed out my day at one of my favorite places, Fulton Chain Craft Brewing http://www.fccbrewery.com in Old Forge, NY. This is the Vanilla Caramel Cream Ale, that is so damn delicious I brought a crowler home with me. © Joe Geronimo

Post Run Lunch

For the past several weeks my post run lunch has been what I call utterly awesome!  So here is what I put together.

1 avocado, 2 roma tomatoes chopped and a handful of kalamata or green olives. Some kosher salt, cracked black pepper and a small drizzle of olive oil. Nothing like fresh avocado, tomatoes and olives. Can you say yummy!

Cheers!

Post run lunch of avocado, tomatoes and olives.

Buffalo Wing Sweet Potato Wedges

One of my favorite foods are sweet potatoes with a drizzle of maple syrup, oh man my mouth is watering now.

So I decided to combine my love of sweet potatoes, wing sauce and make some homemade buffalo sweet potato wedges that are out of this world good. I mean these are cosmic!

First I began with two medium potatoes washed and the ends trimmed off. Then I cut them lengthwise into wedges, placing these babies in a bowl. I followed with 1 tsp olive oil, kosher salt and smoked paprika. Now things are starting to get happy.

I then placed the seasoned wedges on a wire backing rack into a 425 degree pre-heated oven, set my kitchen timer for 25 minutes and BAM, these babies are even happier now.

Once baked I put them back in the bowl, tossed them with 2 Tbsp of Frank’s wing sauce and placed some buffalo wing heaven on a plate. Now I use Frank’s wing sauce because I like it but also it is a vinegar based sauce and does not have any added sugar. However feel free to use whatever sauce makes you happy.

Cheers!

Squash Noodles with Garlic & Oil

In my ongoing quest for delicious healthy eating I’m always looking for creative EASY meals. Well I think I just created one!

We’re fortunate to have a Wegman’s grocery store here in our area. Many times while perusing the produce section I’ve seen packages of butternut squash noodles but have been hesitant to try them. Hey don’t get me wrong I love butternut squash especially roasted and also as a soup. Yesterday I decided to give them a try.

I wanted to keep it simple but delicious. So I boiled a small pot of water and added the squash noodles, some sliced mushrooms and cooked for 5 minutes. While I was doing that in a small cast iron skillet I heated a tablespoon of olive oil. I drained the noodles and mushrooms adding them to the hot skillet, with some minced garlic, kosher salt and a dash of crushed red pepper sautéing another 5-6 minutes. Once done I plated it and hit it with some grated parmesan cheese. WOW!

I woofed this down as it was absolutely out of this world. I was truly sad once it was all gone because I craved more.

I boiled the mushrooms with the noodles because fresh uncooked mushrooms soak up the oil like a sponge. I believe boiling first helps prevent a lot of this. A few minor changes next time I make this. First I’d boil just a few minutes more as well as adding in some onions, garnish with fresh basil as well.

You’re kitchen is a studio so be creative as you want with this.

Bon Appetit!

Butternut squash noodles with garlic & oil. image © Joe Geronimo 2020.

 

Delish in a Dish

Grilled veggies over rice, delish in a dish. ©Joe Geronimo

I’ve been having fun plotting and planning healthy dishes over the past several weeks. Last nights dinner was really yummy so I thought I would share.

However there are just a few minor changes that I would make. First off I would omit the eggplant. Not that I don’t like it I thought it threw the texture of the dish off a little. And the other change I would make is go easier on the amount of rice I cooked.

With that said I will post the recipe exactly how I made it.

1 green bell pepper (chopped or sliced)

1 red sweet bell pepper (chopped or sliced)

1 sweet Italian pepper (chopped or sliced)

Half of a medium vanilla onion sliced

3 cloves garlic

1 small package Bella button mushrooms

1 small package Bella sliced mushrooms

Half of a medium eggplant (Cubed)

2 TBSP olive oil

Salt & Pepper

1.5 cups rice

I prepped my vegetables and put them in a ziplock bag with the 2 TBSP of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Made sure everything was coated and put in the fridge for a few hours.

This evening I decided to grill the veggies but you can do them either on the stove or in the oven, the choice is yours.

While the veggies were cooking I cooked my rice. Now I used just water but you can use any stock you like for added flavor. Once everything was done I plated the dish.

I really enjoyed this and definitely would make it again. This made two large servings but hey I was hungry anyway.

Cheers!

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.