Happy New Year!

I hope all of you have enjoyed the holiday season and are off to a happy and healthy 2013.   Boy how time flies.  Another year, another day, and it seems like every retailer is in the process of preparing for the next holiday on the calendar, Valentine’s Day. Cupid, conversation hearts, heart-shaped peeps, and heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate treats have replaced the colorful ribbon candy and candy canes on the supermarkets shelves.

Maybe it’s just me, but the last thing I want to think about right now is another holiday.   Wouldn’t it be nice to take a moment and enjoy today, New Years Day without all of these reminders that it’s time to start thinking about another day of celebration that’s over a month away.

I’m not going to bore all of you with any self-improvement, organizational or weight loss resolutions that I have set for 2013. Besides, why would I want to set myself up for failure when it is a well known fact that most resolutions are broken within the month of January.  If you don’t believe me, check out how easy it is to secure a treadmill without waiting at your local gym come February.

Every day is a new day and for me, and my personal, professional, ant athletic goals are constantly being set and modified as life goes on.

With that said, I will tell you that I am psyched about the goal I accomplished today.  I ran a 5 mile Resolution Run and that it felt really good to safety-pin a bib number to my running jacket. It’s taken almost a year to get to this point of running without any walking breaks so to say that I was excited is an understatement.   The weather this morning was typical for Syracuse, NY this time of year… cold, windy, snowy, and slushy roads.  And the 5 mile course was a lot of ups and downs and it was a great feeling to be able to jog down those downhills.  Although there is no official timing for this run, I know that my watch recorded the fastest pace per mile that I have run since the infamous fall on the ice last year.


Goal accomplished for today and I will have to wait to see what challenges I can tackle tomorrow.

Have a wonderful New Years Day! Take time and enjoy the moment.

As always, comments are always welcome.


Trail Time

Note:  I’m sorry if you have received some of my posts that are in process or half done…. Don’t know what has happened with my blog but somehow it has published without me pressing the publishing key…. I need to look into.

Today is day number 2 of my fall semester and so far so good.  And I have sneaky feeling that I am really going to enjoy my classes this semester for two good reasons.

The first- I will be taking two of my classes at the Copper Turret Restaurant in Morrisville, NY.  There will be some classroom instruction on food safety, theory, etc. as well as some serious kitchen time dedicated to understanding the food service industry, improving my culinary ability and food preparation skills. That means I will be slicing, dicing, chopping and bopping doing whatever is asked of me so I can get a good grade.  I am really looking forward to improving my knife skills and expanding my horizons in the kitchen. To be honest, I really could use a lot of help in the knife skill category because I cut everything with a small serrated knife. Tim is always worried that I’m going to chop off a finger or two in the process.  I know, I know serrated knives are primarily used to slice bread not vegetables, meat, and the contents of the refrigerator.

The second- Is this textbook.  Don’t you just love the beautiful photo of the artichoke on the cover?  This book is definitely over priced but for all of the amazing cooking techniques you get and recipes to go along with each food category section, I think it is totally worth the price.   I’ll let you know what I think of it as I delve into the chapters.  I also needed to purchase a subscription for culinary lab online for purposes of the class.


So I survived the long lines at the college bookstore and made it out alive to tell you about it.

After my class today, I wanted to explore the Harry Lang Cross Country Trails located behind Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.   Years and years ago, (I’m talking late 1990’s) I remembered one of the Rave Runs in Runner’s World  featured a picture and short article about the beautifully groomed running trails in Hamilton, NY.   Every year since I saw that article I have been meaning to go there for a run but never have.

Unfortunately, I could not locate the photo or article from Runner’s World in my old magazine collection or the internet but wanted to share this picture I found online so you can see what I mean about how inviting the trails are.

Photo of Harry Lang Cross Country Trails & 3 runners - c/o Internet

Photo of Harry Lang Cross Country Trails & 3 runners – c/o Internet

I decided that today seemed like a good day to finally check these trails out.  One of my classmates, Lauren, decided that she wanted to join me since she is considering a half marathon in the fall.


It took us about 10 minutes to go from the Morrisville campus to the Colgate Campus and about 20 minutes driving up and down some serious hills with two stop and ask someone for help on where we needed to go to find these trails; but eventually we found trails.

Let’s just say that today was a day of exploration.  We found awesome trails to run on and other trails that were not so great for even walking.  This discovery was worth the agony of the rocks and roots.  I definitely plan on going back there now that I am acclimated to the lay of the land, the landmarks – it will make my trail map more meaningful!


The neglected runner’s log

Good afternoon readers,

Ever since I got my iPhone, I have been tracking my workouts  in the Runner’s log app.  It’s a great app that is easy to use that keeps track of daily workouts and there is even a section to enter notes regarding your workout.  The app is convenient to use and I like that it allows you to export your history to excel so the data entered can be viewed in a spreadsheet format all on one page.   I’m sure you can get fancy once the data is in excel by creating colorful charts and graphs to monitor your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly progress; but, I do not get that intense with my running mileage.

For the past several months, this is what my log has looked like. NADA!


Now I know that you all know that I have been running on and off since the dreaded fall on the black ice. But I lost my interest / motivation to enter any of these easy runs, so there is no data whatsoever since March 17, 2012.  I thought that I was progressing enough to start using this app again but I guess I was wrong.

My point being that I have experienced another setback with my running since the Utica Boilermaker.  I don’t know if it was the 15k distance, asphalt,  the downhills or a combination of all three in this race; but I am on the sidelines once again.

Boilermaker finish line- cheesy boilermaker proof- Does anyone ever buy these photos from races?

Boilermaker finish line- cheesy boilermaker proof- Does anyone ever buy these photos from races?

In an effort to keep active, I decided that I needed to do something because sitting on my butt was not helping the emotions that I was having not being able to run.  So I did the next best thing.  I reintroduced myself to my bike and Kurt the bike trainer.  So far this week, I have been on the bike every day and increasing the duration and speed every day. Every day gets better and better so I’m feeling good about the bike now that my female anatomy has adjusted to the bike seat.

Biking indoors has never been my cup of tea; but if it is the only way I can sweat, I will learn to love the bike.  Today, I challenged myself on the bike while watching last nights Olympic swimming events.  My goal was to pedal as fast as I could for 30 seconds, take a reprieve for 30 seconds and start pedaling fast again until the first swimmer touched the wall.  Watching the competition amongst the worlds fastest swimmers kept me motivated to stay strong.

I am happy to announce that the other runner in this house is PRing in every single road race he enters.   Tim continues to get stronger and faster and faster with every race he enters and I am so proud of him.  This weekend Tim will be racing a 20k as part of The Sauerkraut Festival in Phelps, NY.  I don’t know how he does it as I mentioned in a previous post.

Tim started out running in an effort to lose a little weight and to get in shape after several years of not doing much due to the demands of his profession as a CPA.  Tim has an amazing and inspirational story about how he got his run on and will be sharing his story with all of you by writing weekly posts about how he lost 100 pounds and the sacrifices he made along the way.  Tim will be sharing the good, bad, and the ugly and some of it may be shocking but I think you will all enjoy his journey.

Off to watch the live stream of USA Gymnastics and later swimming. Then later…  Go RYAN LOCHTE – win another gold for team USA!!  Perhaps my next swim coach since he is a native Upstate New Yorker.  A girl is allowed to have wishes!







Boilermaker Eve & Some Changes

Tomorrow marks the 35th anniversary for Utica 15k Boilermaker. The Utica Boilermaker is the largest 15k race in the country and had a record sell out in March this year. This years 15k race has the largest field in the race’s 35 year history with 14,000 runners lining up at the starting line at 2201 Dwyer Avenue Utica, NY and finishing on Court Street just blocks from the post race party at the F.X. Matt Brewery Company. 300 kegs will be tapped before 9:00am and the free Saranac beer will flowing into the thirsty mouths of the sweaty runners along with 40,000 running fans in the brewery parking lot. There’s nothing like a cold brew beverage to kick off your Sunday with a rapid beer buzz.

I have run this race for seventeen plus years with a PR in 1994 with a time of 1:03:32 and a disappointing time of 1:24:57 in 2007 and lots of finishing times in between those results.

Goal for tomorrow is to finish! I contemplated transferring to the 5k race due to the number of down hills on the course but decided that I wanted to keep my Boilermaker running streak alive so I will walk the downhills so I didn’t miss out on all the festivities along the course.

For the years Tim and I have been running this race, we have followed somewhat of a predictable routine year after year. Friday night – drive to Utica and attend the expo at Masonic Care Community campus followed by dinner (pizza & hot buffalo wings) at Tom Cavallo’s restaurant in New Hartford – Saturday– rest up and consume a carbo loaded meal- Race Day– race, attend post race party and see how many empty Saranac plastic cups I can pile up underneath the one with a full beer, dance in the middle of the parking lot to Nik and The Nice Guys band, spy the legendary Bill Rodgers, approach Mr. Rodger’s and strike up a conversation, take several photos of me & Bill Rodgers, have Bill Rodgers sign my bib number, etc. etc. etc. I think you get where this is going.

So Tim and I kicked off Boilermaker last night attending the expo for race packet pickup. But the expo location was changed this year to Mohawk Valley Community College. I really enjoyed the change of locale. The expo was perfectly organized this year with vendors spread out in front of the athletic building outside and inside the gymnasium. It was really a nice change and there were no parking issues to be concerned with.

I spied Bill Rodgers at the expo this year but bypassed him at the expo in search of another celebrity that was rumored to draw many fans. Who was this celebrity you might ask?? Clue: He was a major player in season 7 of The Celebrity Apprentice. Clue: some of the other celebs in this season were: Piers Morgan (winner), Trace Adkins, Gene Simmons, Nadia Comaneci, Tito Ortiz and Omarosa… The celebrity I was stalking was the 10th person to be fired out of 14 contestants by Mr. Donald Trump.

This famous celebrity was born in Syracuse and has three brothers who are also well know actors. In fact, one of his older brothers recently hosted and emceed the Academy awards. His mother is also well know for establishing a breast cancer research fund in her name.

I know that you are dying to find out who I rubbed elbows with last night. So take a lookey…

We chatted for a while talking about his experience on the Celebrity Apprentice and what it was really like in the boardroom when the show was being filmed. I also told him that I would love to be a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice and asked him to persuade Mr. Trump to hire me! I must say that Stephen Baldwin was a nice down to earth man with a sincere personality.

The Celebrity Apprentice  Stephen Baldwin

The Celebrity Apprentice
Stephen Baldwin

He autographed my Boilermaker bib number and an 8X10 portrait of himself and wished me good luck in the race. After my brush with fame, Tim and I walked back to a car to fetch some pizza at Varsity Pizza on the SU campus that was close to home. It’s good to change-up the pace once in a while and not follow protocol.


I’m hoping that his autograph on my bib will bring me good luck tomorrow. As I said before there will be no PR’s being set tomorrow. It will all be about the fun & excitement before, during and after the race! Good Luck to all you runners out there that are running the Boilermaker 15k & 5k tomorrow!

If you have ever run the Utica Boilermaker, what is your favorite thing about the race?? Also, what are the chances that Johnny Depp will be in attendance at next years Boilermaker??

Once you go Jack, you never go back

Happy Friday Readers,

Now if I were writing this blog  in my 20’s and early 30’s, the content in this post would include information about all the wild and crazy social activities that occurred while consuming a well-known Tennessee whiskey with a splash of Diet Coke served over ice.  Jack &  Diet Coke was my go to late night beverage after the happy hour specials ended.  Probably because after the 4 for 1 drink deals, I needed a little pick me up to keep up my endurance until 2am.  And yes, back in the day, it was not uncommon to see happy hour offerings of 4 for 1.  It is my understanding that there is some kind of law now that restricts bars from offering those kind of drink deals.


When I think back, I am not sure how I ever functioned with all the mixing of various beverages I used to consume.  Not to mention that on many of these Saturdays,  I would get up  bright and early and find myself at the starting line of some local race ready and willing to run.  My sister-in-law can can confirm these not so bright activities and was always astonished that I never blew any of these races off or the contents of my belly up due to my over indulgence the night before.  Oh, how things have changed!  Not that there is anything wrong with my old behavior; after all I was young and definitely stupid.  It’s much more enjoyable for me to run without remnants of toxins in my body.

This blog is supposed to be about healthy living, so I’ll get on with the show. The other Jack. Jack Daniels’ Running Formula book is my bible when it comes to training for a 15k to the marathon distance.

There is something about Jack Daniels’ method of VDOT madness that clicks with my training style and is relatively easy to follow. That is of course if you follow the pacing guidelines prescribed precisely for you at your current ability level.

My goal in the next few days is to reread this book and figure out a training plan that will work for me during my recovery from recent injury phase.  As of today, I am only signed up for two events this summer, The Utica Boilermaker 15k in July and Irongirl sprint triathlon early August.  I’m really nervous about being ready for either of these races because of the recent training setback I just went through.  My goal for both events is obviously to finish with a smile on my face, but;  more importantly is to finish with a healthy body.


I’m going to trust the other Jack to help me control my urge to run faster and longer than I know I should be going so early in the recovery phase.  I even caught myself today pushing the pace and training distance because I felt good. It’s so easy for me to throw caution to the wind  when it comes to running when I start to feel my stride come back.

I am happy to say that the first Jack has hit the road and is never coming back but Jack number 2 will help be get my running back where it supposed to be.

Have a wonderful weekend with or without Jack!

Any other suggestions or methods you have regarding easing back into the running routine without having another setback would be appreciated. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.