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!
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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.

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!

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!

Cha, Cha, Changes

In November I ran 135.50 miles, burned 22,000 calories and it only took me 18:27:41 to do it. This past month was my biggest running month of the calendar year. I’m extremely excited because over the course of this year I’ve been trying to cut back my mileage due to some piriformis problems I’ve been having and it has brought some success.

Recently I hired a running coach to help me become more disciplined in my running. I believe over the course of time my training has been somewhat helter skelter and lacking focus. Working with a coach I hope to gain consistency, strength and speed however long it may take. I do have some lofty futuristic goals!

I’ve been contemplating this idea for a while now but was a little hesitant at first. I was hesitant because in my mind I thought that it signaled failure and I have a really difficult time with that. Failure is not a word in my vocabulary. Having the opportunity to speak with several friends and aquaintences who are currently being coached I was able to get to the point of asking for help. Currently I am working with coach Harry Back of ESR Endurance Training. http://esofrunning.com

Yesterday was day one of a new adventure.

Cheers!

 

On the Trail @ Chenango Valley State Park

Chenango Lake @ Chenango Valley State Park November 15th 2015.
Chenango Lake @ Chenango Valley State Park November 15th 2015.

This morning myself, Ryan Heinlein, Linda Reynolds, Chris Welch and Ruby a Norwegian Elkhound met for a trail run. The air was brisk, the leaves crunchy and the canopy of trees overhead filtered the Autumn sunlight quickly warming us as we navigated the trails at Chenango Valley State Park. For me trail running is relatively new and I enjoy it quite considerably.

Our run would take us on a 6.25 mile adventure of wide trails, narrow trails, up hills, down hills and a few vista views as well. My trail running experience is limited but I will say this I really enjoy running at State Park. I feel there are many options for running here. Whether you enjoy trails or the road or a mix of both State Park offers it all.

http://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/ChenangoValleyTrailMap.pdf

I myself truly enjoy road running but running some trails on a periodic basis is a really nice change of pace (Pun Intended). I love the solitude of the woods, the camaraderie of friends and the time outdoors.

Questions for you:

Do you run trails? If so where is your favorite place to run?

Cheers!

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2015 Seneca 7

Seneca 7 Team Liar, Liar Feet on Fire
Seneca 7 Team: Liar, Liar Feet on Fire

Twenty four hours after the finish of the Seneca 7 relay race I am still flying on high. The Seneca 7 is a 77.7 mile relay race the circles Seneca Lake in New York State’s Finger Lakes region.

Beginning in Geneva New York teams consisting of 7 runners with each runner running 3 legs with various distances compete in this ever growing competition. On this day there were initially 225 teams in total. Our team Liar, Liar Feet on Fire competed in the days event and we were blessed with weather that was absolutely perfect. Plenty of sunshine and 66 degree temperatures.

We began the day in the last wave at 9:30AM and quickly clicked off the miles. By 1:30PM our team had made it halfway around the lake. We arrived back to Geneva crossing the finish line at 6:17PM taking 1st place male team and 3rd place overall.

We all ran hard, put what we had on the line but most importantly we had fun. The Seneca 7 is a wonderful experience and I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it once again.

See you in 2016!

Team: Liar, Liar Feet on Fire
Team: Liar, Liar Feet on Fire