Running on Empty

I’ve always been able to mask pain very well and for the past eight months that is exactly what I have been doing. Late last year I had a growing discomfort in my groin, hips and lower back but I was able to keep running. After the new year I backed off a little bit and the pain leveled out. Come early March I ramped things up for the upcoming show down of the Seneca 7. My pain also ramped itself up as well. I told myself repeatedly that I will get checked out after the race because there was no way I was not going to run.

Early in April while out training it hit me like a ton of bricks. After a workout one afternoon I came home sat down drank some water. When I got up I could barely walk! It took three days for me to feel normal again and I continued the cycle until race day.

After my race I completely dropped off running, I was burnt and let my diet go to the dogs so to speak. I thought a few weeks off would solve my problem and I wouldn’t have to go to the doctor. Lacing up my running shoes and hitting the pavement I quickly found I was wrong. I could barely run 2-3 miles without stopping several times, I was struggling to breathe and the next day I would have a difficult time getting out of bed.

Scouring the internet to self diagnose I was convinced my symptoms were conducive to a pelvic stress fracture. I finally had enough and sought the advice of a friend as where I should go for help. I wound up at UHS Sports Medicine and quickly was sent for X-ray’s. That imagery showed no apparent fracture and the doctor continued his evaluation. The doctor would eventually suggest that my lack of calcium and protein intake over the past several years has been less than adequate. He also discovered I have a very serious hip flexor problem as well. He firmly believes that my rapid weight loss combined with the volume of miles over the past several years is a big contributing factor. We made several changes to my diet and I am currently in a 6-8 week physical therapy program consisting of 2-3 visits per week. After the conclusion of PT the doctor may or may not recommend an MRI or continuing physical therapy. I guess this would be dependent on my bodies response.

I began my PT treatments this week and I’ll just say this OUCH! I did ask if I could still run because I can’t imagine not doing something I love. I’ve been told I can run if I run at a slow pace making sure I keep my mileage very low for a while. This is subject to change depending on my body as well.

I’m excited about this because its a starting point for recovery and for the future.

Cheers!

2017 Seneca 7 Wrap

I finally have a few moments to sit down and reflect on this years Seneca 7 relay race. A 77.7 mile circumnavigation of beautiful Seneca lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. This years field consisted of 319 teams equaling 2,233 runners.

This year we had an unexpected short notice injury to team member Jordan Varano. Jordan reluctantly had to bail out a week prior to the race. However friend Juan Martinez answered the call and I cannot thank Juan enough for stepping up and taking Jordan’s spot on short notice. Juan was a perfect fit for our team!

Our team “Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire” had some pretty stiff competition in the “Renegade 7” another all male team from Binghamton, NY who would go onto win the event placing first overall. They completed the course in 7:34:02 setting a new course record. The “Cayuga 7” a mixed team from Ithaca, NY finished first place mixed, second place overall with a course time of 7:40:40. Our team placed second male and third place overall with a time of 7:53:40 a 12 minute PR from last year with an average pace of 6:04 per mile.

During last years Seneca 7 we formed a friendship with Tom and Carrie Thompson owners of Bottomless Brewing in Geneva. Tom and Carrie were gracious enough to sponsor our team for this years event. Not only do they brew some really great beer but they add that extra special to this great running community we have. I love to run but what I love even more is the people and friendships running has graced my life with and that is always a winning combination.

And lastly I was overwhelmed with pride at the sheer volume of runners from the Triple Cities area in which we live and who I call friends.

Cheers!

Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire 2017 Seneca 7.
L-R: Ryan Heinlein, Dan Cavalari, Juan Martinez, Joe Geronimo, Adrian Milisavljevich, James Wilson & Aaron Perry
Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire 2nd place male, 3rd place overall 2017 Seneca 7.
Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire with Tom Thompson of Bottomless Brewing in Geneva, NY.
A well earned beer after the 77.7 mile Seneca 7.
Just a small portion of runners from the Triple Cities area at the 2017 Seneca 7.

Binghamton Parade Day Mile

Michael & I after the Binghamton Parade Day Mile.
Michael & I after the Binghamton Parade Day Mile.

It was a cold and blustery day here in New York but the beer flowed and the green reigned supreme. Even though the race was short the day was long on fun. I enjoyed every minute of it with my son.

Halloween 13K & Relay: “If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball”

This past weekend my friend Tom Hanselman and I ran the Halloween 13K & Relay right here in Endicott as team Hanselween 2016. This was our second year running this race and it has quickly become a favorite of ours. For starters this race is right in our backyard so to speak. The cost is inexpensive, the fleece jacket this year is awesome and the candy corn on the cake is all the costumes the runners came up with. I just love all the effort that was put into this race. For me personally I try to find something easy to run in. The movie Dodgeball so happens to be a favorite of mine and I found an “Average Joe’s gym costume and hit the pavement running. Tom brought back his Yukon Cornelius costume minus the “Stache” due to technical problems…

Tom and I would finish 2nd place in the relay with a time of 54:57 besting last years performance by 21 seconds. Time and place aside this was a fun time and we are already talking about next year.

A huge thank you to the race director, volunteers, Police and everyone else that made this race a success, Happy Running!

 

Tom & I prior to the Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016.
Tom & I prior to the Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016.
Tom Hanselman running leg #1 along the Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016. Photo courtesy of Confluence Running.
Tom Hanselman running leg #1 along the Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016. Photo courtesy of Confluence Running.
Joe Geronimo runner #2 Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016. Photo courtesy of Confluence Running.
Joe Geronimo runner #2 Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016. Photo courtesy of Confluence Running.

Lake to 10K: Chenango Valley State Park

Thick fog covered Chenango lake this morning as I carried my canoe to the waters edge. The air temperature a brisk 33 degrees and the local Kingfishers were not thrilled with my presence. Paddling quietly through the fog a slight breeze came up and the silence broken as the woods began raining acorns. I had hoped that the sunlight would burn the heavy fog off the lake but it would be hours before that would happen.

It’s 9:00AM and I’m back to my car clothes changed, shoes laced and I’m off for a 10K run along the Tow Path. The Tow Path follows the remains of the Chenango Canal and it is just over 3 miles long. It has some single track that twists and turns bringing you along the Chenango river. This is my favorite section! I was feeling pretty good until mile 4 where my stomach began to feel unsettled, a short break and I was back at it… Despite my stomach this was a great run and it was exactly what I needed.

Cheers!

Chinning lake, Chenango Valley State Park October 14th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo
Chenango lake, Chenango Valley State Park October 14th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo
Chinning lake after the fog burned off. Chinning Valley State Park October 14th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo
Chenango lake after the fog burned off. Chenango Valley State Park October 14th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo
Along the wider section of the tow path on my run. Chenango Valley State Park October 16th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo
Along the wider section of the Tow Path on my run. Chenango Valley State Park October 16th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo
This was a fun run! Chinning Valley State Park October 14th 2016
This was a fun run! Chenango Valley State Park October 14th 2016

Vermont, Covered Bridges, Taking a Break:

Windsor-Cornish-Bridge2
Image taken from Google

By time you read this I will be on my way to Vermont with some friends so we can take part in running the Vermont ‘Covered Bridges” half Marathon on Sunday. Even more so I’m looking forward to running it for fun and not time.

Lately I feel burned out and that I need a break. Running seems to have morphed into a job and I miss just running for fun and social engagement. Just this past week I’ve dropped my mileage considerably and will continue to do so throughout the summer. It feels great! Last August I learned a valuable lesson during the Catherine Valley half marathon, I hate the heat and humidity. As the warmer weather approaches I get quite obsessed with my passion to be out in my canoe or kayak either by myself or with family and friends. There never seems to be enough hours in a day to do all the things we would like to.

My goal right now for this summer is to run 3 or 4 days each week, logging maybe 25 miles. Im just going to let my body and mind run the show.

So this Sunday’s race will conclude any racing for me until the fall and then again maybe until next April. I firmly believe we all need a break periodically.

Cheers and Happy Running!

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

 

Life in Boxes:

I began shooting slide film around 1990 but most of the images I made at this point were mostly captured on print film, something I regret. I didn’t really begin to convert solely to slide film until early 1992 and have been shooting it ever since. I’ll admit that in 2005 I was intrigued by the digital camera and purchased my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. I enjoyed it and made some great images with it as well. I loved the instant gratification of viewing the picture immediately. I also liked the fact that outside the camera and flash card there was no additional cost of film purchase and processing. I vowed to never shoot another roll of film again.

That vow would only last about 6 months before I found myself lacking in something I craved the most. A tangible asset. I would go on to own more DSLR camera bodies as well as film bodies. I spent several years arguing the film vs. digital argument only to realize that it all boils down to preference and what your goals are. There is room in my camera bag for both film and digital.

Our world moves at the speed of now and that is why I carry a DSLR with me most of the time. News happens at a moments notice!

A passion of mine is to preserve history and I choose to do my preservation through photography. No matter the subject matter or the camera you use every click of the shutter captures a moment in time, a piece of our history and for me that is most important. Over the past 24 years I have been documenting my career mostly on film but I do have several hundred images made with a digital camera. I have also been documenting our family as well which is 90% slide film and 10% digital. Without an actual physical count I’d have to estimate my family slide collection hovers somewhere near 8,000 images of which only half have been filed. I just received another 216 slides the other day from the holidays.

Another reason I still shoot slide film is because of monetary value. Collectors want originals. I’ve sold older slides from my collection on Ebay for some serious amounts of money. As a matter of fact I know people who do it for a living. They buy slide collections and break them up. This is both sad and fascinating as well. I’ve slowly been acquiring slides that I hope to flip in the near future but only time will tell.

Since Kodak has exited the slide film market entirely there are only several choices left in which to buy it. Agfa Photo has recently restarted its slide film business and I’m glad because I love the stuff compared to Fuji’s. Its comes done to personal choice. Also Kodak does not process film anymore and most film (Print) is either processed in house at local photo labs or stores like Walmart or CVS. Slide film processing is only done at a handful of locations around the United States with the most popular being Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas.

Although those yellow Kodak boxes of joy that came in the mail are no longer I still get excited for those Red, White & Blue boxes from Dwayne’s!

Cheers!!!!!!

Twas the night before Christmas. Agfa CT Precisa 100, ©Joe Geronimo 2015.
Twas the night before Christmas. Agfa CT Precisa 100, ©Joe Geronimo 2015.
Agfa CT Precis 100 Slide Film.
Agfa CT Precis 100 Slide Film.
I just received 6 boxes of slides from Dwayne's Photo shot over the Christmas holiday. ©Joe Geronimo
I just received 6 boxes of slides from Dwayne’s Photo I shot over the Christmas holiday. ©Joe Geronimo

 

Winter Running:

Here we are the last day in January with no significant snowfall so far this winter and none in sight for the coming week. I’ve enjoyed this weather so much and as a matter of fact I’ve even run several days this month in shorts and a long sleeve shirt. I can proudly say I’ve only used the treadmill a handful of times due to my schedule and the wind. I hate the wind!

It has been a good month for me running and with no real races planned for the next 90 days I’m enjoying it even more. I call it stress free running. One thing I have noticed over the past two months is a tiny bit of speed improvement but by far I’ve seen my aerobic fitness increase. Last year my mileage was reduced quite drastically and I saw my fitness drop. However I have a long way to go in that department but the progress is promising.

This month the boys brought home the plague from school and kindly distributed it throughout the house. Ok not the plague but a cold to us guys is like the plague. I managed to get through it and have one of my biggest running mileage months. With a scheduled long run this morning I thought it would be best to get started early. Waking at 0545 in order to get myself together and get out there I hit the pavement by 0645. With winter still on the fence today was one of those shorts and long sleeve shirt days. I finished a strong month today with a total of 209.57 miles.

I’m hoping this weather pattern continues for February.

Cheers!