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Easter Hike

Monday, April 21, 2014

After enjoying a breakfast out together as a family my DS joined me on a hike through one of our local parks soaking up all the sunshine and nature. Despite this park (Chenango Valley State Park) being practically in my back yard, we don't visit it often enough. My son did the honor of snapping some lovely pics which I'll share. Not sure how the panoramic shots will appear, but will give it a whirl!

First is the area around golf course (a panoramic shot):

Here are some other pics from around the park:

I'm standing on the little footbridge in the distance near the lake in this pic:

And here's a lovely panoramic of the lake where we dawdled to soak up more of that wonderful sunshine:

Hoping everyone had a super Easter filled with Spark and special times!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 5/4/2014 8:21PM

    Lovely photos Don!
Say cheese!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 5/1/2014 12:07PM

    As always, you posted great pictures! emoticon

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KSIGMA1222 4/28/2014 10:35AM

    GREAT blog! Life is AMAZING as you always have a way of showing just that!

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ZELLAZM 4/27/2014 12:58PM

    We had a nice walk as well - with poles. Love the panorama shots!

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DOGLADY13 4/26/2014 9:22AM

    Thank you for the pictures! I have been to that footbridge. It is so pretty in that part of the world. What a treat to vicariously enjoy your hike in the woods.

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WOMANWITHGRIT 4/25/2014 10:30PM

    Absolutely beautiful pictures. I lived in Syracuse for 9 years and I love upstate NY. So glad you shared these. Pam

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CHANGE4FIT 4/25/2014 3:45PM

    Looks like a lovely stroll! How's the asparagus? We had our first from the garden at Easter-steamed and delish!

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SAM60SUMTHINK 4/24/2014 7:21PM

    Views are those are fantastic incentive!! :)
Thanks for sharing the pix!!

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L*I*T*A* 4/22/2014 10:35PM

    wow......................such great photos!!!
wonderful place to walk too.............

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IMSMILEY88 4/22/2014 4:52PM

    It looks like a lovely walk! And, nice photos! I should've taken photos of our Easter run along the highway. emoticon

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OUATEONE2 4/22/2014 1:25PM

    Great way to spend Easter! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics.

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KANOE10 4/22/2014 8:40AM

    Those are beautiful pictures. You had a great Easter walk!

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RAINBOWFALLS 4/22/2014 7:53AM

    We had another nice weather weekend. Now for some needed rain to get those flowers blooming. Have a great day

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_LINDA 4/22/2014 1:05AM

    emoticon emoticon photos!
That is wonderful to get out and enjoy such a beautiful setting! (and oh so green -getting a little green envy here!!)
My sister, Mom and Daisy and I got to go on a morning hike before she left for home. Was finally warm with sunshine, but the ice, browns and mud are getting old ;)
Have a great week!

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/21/2014 8:40PM

    That is a beautiful park in a beautiful piece of God's great earth! Glad you got to soak it all in at hiking pace!

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    emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 4/21/2014 5:54PM

    BEAUTIFUL scenery. I can see why you stopped to soak up the sunshine and the beautiful view of the lake. Thank you for sharing it. Glad you could share it with your son. THAT makes it extra special in my book!

`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸•
*¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“
“Your body is precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” The Buddha
,¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸• *¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“

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123ELAINE456 4/21/2014 2:44PM

  Wonderful Day spent with family and with Beautiful Photos. A Great Day for your Hike too. Thanks for sharing. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.

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BELFASTBIKER 4/21/2014 2:41PM

    Looks fantastic!!!

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WATERMELLEN 4/21/2014 1:43PM

    What a gorgeous spot -- you've inspired me to head out for a hike too!!

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COMMIT2BFIT4ME 4/21/2014 12:40PM

    What a wonderful way to spend Easter! These are lovely photo's, thanks for sharing. I did a late evening walk with my daughter to minimize the damage from Easter dinner. Always a great day when spent with family.

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VALERIEMAHA 4/21/2014 11:44AM

    Wonderful day with family, beautiful photos of the hike...thanks for sharing the JOY!

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MAMAMACK44 4/21/2014 11:18AM

    What a beautiful view! Great pictures. It is so great that your son was with you to share in it. Those are the special time!


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FITWITHIN 4/21/2014 10:47AM

    What a beautiful place for a walk. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

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DESERTJULZ 4/21/2014 10:24AM

    Beautiful photos. What a lovely way to spend the morning.

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LJOYCE55 4/21/2014 9:52AM

  Your pics are lovely. Thank you for sharing your Easter walk with us.

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What Goes Around...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A few years ago my neighbor was duly impressed by my health efforts and getting into bicycling. So he reclaimed what was once an interest of his in the past (cycling) and got back on the bike himself. Soon he was biking with his son and other friends and relatives. His forte is mountain biking while mine is road cycling, so our paths, despite being neighbors, haven't crossed too often.

Over recent years I've noticed many folks coming around to his place talking bikes and bikes coming & going. Upon further questioning my neighbor explains to me that he has developed quite the hobby, semi-business in taking in, purchasing used bikes and rehab-ing them, turning around and selling them for a profit.

Finally it occurred to me: Why take my bike into my local bike shop for its annual tune up when I can just step next to my neighbor's place?

So that's what I did this morning, sticking around to see if this all-thumbs, mechanically-compromised fella could learn a thing or two in the process.

Well I'm not sure I learned all that much, but did what I could to help here & there. I learned some things at least in my head a little...doubt my hands would know their way around without major assistance...lol!

Both front gears and rear cassette were pretty messy & filled with gunk and are looking mighty spiffy now! The derailleur (the original Shimano) was a wobbly mess and fortunately he just happened to have a brand new one (an even better grade of Shimano than was previously on it) that another fellow never came back for to have put on his bike, so *sure* I'll take 'er and get things running as good as new! A fresh chain, true-ing both wheels, lubing the cables and everything seems pretty ship-shape! He kindly only charged me for the parts.

No trip to the LBS needed!

It's so cool to pay my Spark forward to have ignited my neighbor's cycling interests so and even MORE cool to have it come back to me in the form of a knowledgeable bicycle repair guy living right next door! I've put in my request for him to keep an eye out for a Surly Long Haul Trucker for me someday...lol!

And why, pray tell would I care to have my bike all prepped and ready to rock & roll when I have designated it as off-limits while taking anti-coagulant medication?

Well, last Friday I paid a visit to the Arrhythmia Center and had a check on my pacemaker and everything was A-OK. I double-checked with the technician: If everything checks okay, then my pacemaker is doing what it should, there's no more blood pooling in the atriums and no further need for me to take anti-coagulants, right?

He confirmed this "in theory"...of course the doc / nurse practitioner / physician assistant would have the final word on this.

Well my appt. with the physician assistant isn't until May 19th.

Do you think I'm just gonna sit on my hands until then and wonder?

Heck no! Started an e-mail campaign and WOO HOO! Got my confirmation that I will be able to stop my anti-coagulant at the time of my May 19th appt. as protocol after an ablation is to stick with the anti-coagulant for two months afterward to minimize any clotting risks.

Break out the champagne! I've got such PLANS for this cycling season!

Which helps me to settle into my current focus: gearing up for my 5K on May 3rd. Last week I did 3 consecutive days of hour-long jogs, interrupted with a couple of spinning bike and and elliptical workouts. Now I'm on a 4 consecutive day hour-long-jog (#3 coming tomorrow).

The thought occurs to me that if my 5K time was as low as 33 mins. in the past, as I become accustomed to jogging for an hour, that's approaching perhaps, at least in theory, a 10K in distance, right?

And a 10K is a half-marathon, right?

And it occurs to me I must be starting to think at least a little bit like a runner.

Not bad for someone who doesn't consider himself a runner! :-)

Keep 'er Sparkin' everyone! Pay it forward this Easter! Pay it forward EVERY DAY!

It just might come back on ya in all sortsa super ways that you never dreamed possible!


ps...oops! goes to show how outta the loop I am to running...my bad, a 10K is only HALF of a half-marathon...! Google is my friend...if I care to USE it once in a while...lol!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 4/26/2014 9:26AM

    Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Great news that you are close to getting the all clear. Woo Hoo!

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_MOBII_ 4/21/2014 8:54AM

    That is GREAT NEWS!!!!!!! I am so glad you are on the mend!
Sometimes all it takes to spread a spark is a word or two, now you have a bike guy close by and he benefited by improving his health, his wallet, and probably some happiness with a new hobby!
You are such an inspiring friend!

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CELIAMINER 4/21/2014 7:59AM

    Great neighbor you have! It's inspiring to keep up with your athletic endeavors.

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MAESTROSHASHA 4/20/2014 7:38PM

    Great news! So happy for you! May 19th will be here before you know it! :)

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LUVLYLORELEI 4/20/2014 6:40PM

    Great blog! It's really awesome sometimes to see how our lives can affect the lives of others. Have a great biking season! emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 4/20/2014 1:50PM

    You never cease to amaze me, my friend. And your story-telling skills are primo to. It's so much fun to read this awesome account of instant-ish (good) karma! I'm here to testify that the convenience of rolling your bike NEXT DOOR to be serviced and not even get charged labor...that would be $45-75 labor for me AND end up with a new and UPGRADED derailleur, not to mention the new chain, all for the price of parts, is uber outstanding. And, of course, the meds news is THE BEST!

YOU ROCK, my friend!

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L*I*T*A* 4/20/2014 11:02AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 4/20/2014 10:18AM

    Awesome for passing on the spark!

AWESOME on your cardiac check up. That's great news.

Good luck with your running and biking!

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OUATEONE2 4/20/2014 9:56AM

    That's great news! You are now that much closer. I am off to work the hotel treadmill (has a decline to 3 which is great for simulating hills/mtns) and lifecycle. Glad things are going so great for you. I still use my lbs but can do many things on my own now. The internet has some great instructional videos for most things you would need to do to a bike.

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TURTLETRACK 4/20/2014 8:50AM

    Keep running friend.

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WATERMELLEN 4/20/2014 8:41AM

    What great news! And: what a beaming smile! So glad you and your neighbour have that bike all ready to go (and isn't that a nice cycle, if you'll pardon the pun: you inspire him and it comes back at ya!)

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KANOE10 4/20/2014 8:28AM

    That paying it forward is so nice..and how fun that circled back to you. I am so glad that your health is improved and that all of your labs and procedures are looking excellent.
You are doing a great job of finding an alternative exercise while you are patiently waiting for May 19 and biking.


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ROMANTILLY 4/20/2014 8:24AM

    emoticon emoticon KEEP 'ER MOOOOOOVIN DON. WAY TO GO!

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ZELLAZM 4/20/2014 7:48AM

    So the biking season will start May 20th! Woohoo!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 4/20/2014 6:48AM

    Lovely story, You're well on your way now.

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    LOL I saw that 10K error and thought it was me this early in the morning. LOL

You are doing so great Don. It makes me smile reading your blogs. You went through some mighty scary times with your heart issue and didn't break a sweat.

Spark/Run/Walk/Bike on!!! emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/20/2014 5:19AM

    emoticon I was going to comment that a 10K is HALF a HM, but you beat me to it. Yes, Google is our friend! But as a gal who has gone both distances... a 10K is cake, once you're fit to HM level. A 5K seems short. And I'm stepping it DOWN for my Olympic tri which is "only" a 10K... I haven't gone over 6 miles in months.

I'll have to step it up again after my tri... because I have a November HM, and another next February, already committed. But in the meantime, while my running miles have dropped, my swim and biking distances have been growing.

Congrats on your "all clear" and the upcoming plans! emoticon emoticon (Why is it Spark doesn't have a GUY on a road bike, only on a mountain bike?)

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123ELAINE456 4/20/2014 3:47AM

  Love your Story very much. You are doing excellent. Sounds like you have a like new Bike now. Enjoy it very much. Have a very Wonderful Happy Easter and Resurrection Day. Our Lord Has Risen. God Blessings Always. Take Care.

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_LINDA 4/20/2014 1:06AM

    How awesome is that? Wonderful go around with your neighbor!
Good news on the medical front too!
Have a fabulous Easter!

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STRIVERONE 4/20/2014 12:48AM

    Careful! Crazy talk has a way of morphing into perfect sense.

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JULIEABIGAIL 4/20/2014 12:03AM

  loved your story! thanks for sharing! you ARE kidding, though, about a 10k being a half-marathon, right? emoticon

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3 Days, 3 Hour-Long Jogs

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

These past few days have been such an amazing spring preview, with temps in the 70s, that I simply could not resist putting myself right out there and jogging to soak it all up before the hammer falls tonight dropping to 18 chilly degrees with snow yet one more time.

But: Holy quads afire I've got a good aching soreness that comes from working different muscles. Each year I re-discover how differently one works muscles with running as opposed to my usual spin bikes and elliptical workouts...!

One thing I've been doing with my jogs has been to, whenever possible take to the grass and dirt instead of pavement so that I can be kinder to my joints. I've seen folks way more obese than I pounding the pavement and can't help but cringe, thinking: please don't punish your body and move off the paved trail into the grass and dirt!

Plus tip #2 I'd give them if I could: all the torture involved in moving a morbidly obese body anywhere on dry land (as opposed to water) is going to yield miniscule results for weight loss compared to channeling our efforts toward diligence in making healthier food choices. Drop some pounds this way first and THEN when one can take pleasure in moving one's body, THEN start pushing yourself with workouts to lose inches and tone yourself.

Yesterday's jog was not as awesome as those over the weekend as it was cloudy and unsettled. But my route took me from my fitness center downtown Binghamton along the Riverwalk trail (which is my current SparkPage background picture from another year), over the Washington Street bridge and the Vestal Parkway overpass toward what used to be MacArthur school (flooded and torn down) and around the track which still remains and heading back to the fitness center. The wind was wild and woolly as I jogged along the two rivers of my route (Chenango & Susquehanna) taking in the energy of the waters at their confluence. When one is outdoors there are always special aspects of nature to take in and savor.

Here are a couple of pics from the Confluence Park from calmer times:

Now I shift gears for a few days and take 'er indoors to the spin bike and elliptical. The warmth & sunshine? They'll be back to lure me outdoors again soon enough!

Have a wonderful Easter week filled with SPARK everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYCHRIS1952 5/1/2014 12:05PM


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DOGLADY13 4/26/2014 9:28AM

    I'm reading your blogs backwards and enjoying the pictures. Is the big tree over on Conklin (I think it was Conklin) still there. It was a tremendously old, enormous tree. It may have been a beech tree... Anyway, if it is there, I would love it if you could post pictures of it through the seasons.

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ZELLAZM 4/19/2014 5:27AM

    Happy Easter to you, too, Don! Thanks for the reminder that food choices are even more important than exercise! Lesson learned - and re-learned, and re-learned!

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RAINBOWFALLS 4/17/2014 8:57AM

    We can get back outside again today! I hope you get to enjoy some of the sunshine. Take care

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PATRICIAAK 4/16/2014 1:49AM

    you're an inspiration

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L*I*T*A* 4/15/2014 11:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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123ELAINE456 4/15/2014 10:05PM

  Beautiful Photos. You are Amazing. You are doing Excellent!!! Sound like you had Beautiful Weather for your Jogs too. Sorry to hear about the Snow coming in tonight. Hope that You can get back outside soon. Keep It Up. God Blessings Always. Have A Wonderful Happy Easter. Take Care.

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/15/2014 9:32PM

    One of these years I'm going to have to schedule myself into a race out that way, so I can take a nostalgia trip. Nearly killed myself in the Binghamton - Borovichi sister city 8K in 1992, was it? I thought all the rooters were for me, but it turned out it was a Russian weight lifter who finished right behind me... I swore I'd never go longer than 5K again. (Never say never...)

Great advice about running softer, by the way... I find myself doing the same on my long and slows... seeking the verge, where it's not as tough on the joints.

Spark a fine Spring, Don! emoticon

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    Well you certainly are staying in shape. Kudos to you Don.

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STRIVERONE 4/15/2014 5:02PM

    I know it's a cliche but it's really true. Eighty percent of weight loss is effected in the kitchen and twenty percent in the gym. It's probably about opposite proportions for building strength and endurance.

Happy Easter to you too.

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WATERMELLEN 4/15/2014 4:47PM

    You are doing absolutely amazing! So smart to take advantage of the weather when you could: I'd hoped our snow would be a quick melt but not so, still plenty out there!!

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_LINDA 4/15/2014 4:13PM

    Way to get out there -pretty awesome after having just gotten some heart fixings! The nervous ninnies in me would be worrying if the impact might dislodge something vital, you know? Good on you getting past it!
I have always admired (*envious*) of your background and photos.
I can never go as nearly as far on paved surface as my beloved grass and earth trails.. I cringe when I see even normal healthy people jogging on cement.
Enjoy your week and I am hoping for sunshine and warmer temperatures for Easter weekend when my sister comes in from her farm..
Spin it good!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/15/2014 3:56PM

    That looks like a beautiful park. Your advice to drop some lbs. THEN work the body to lose those inches. DEFINITELY!

Great advice. Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

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_MOBII_ 4/15/2014 2:50PM

    I spent the summer in south Louisiana 2 years ago giving my poor body a pounding on the pavement. For me, the only problem with walking or jogging on the grass is that my feet always manage to find the smallest hole and twist my ankles like there is no tomorrow!

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IMSMILEY88 4/15/2014 11:23AM

    I love your background photo & these photos! Sounds like you took advantage of the beautiful weather. Here in Houston, we should already be 'hot'! But, yesterday dropped down into the 40's and was quite chilly. It's been an amazingly cool fall... but I'll take it!

As soon as summer comes, I'm going to have my foot looked at again. In the meantime, I'm going to take it easy on the running!

Enjoy your indoor workouts for now!

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DAISYBELL6 4/15/2014 9:53AM

    Sounds like a great run!

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/15/2014 9:47AM

    Great pics. Thanks.

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When I Grow Up...

Monday, April 14, 2014

I had such a wonderful jog yesterday in my favorite local park, Dorchester:

I maintained my jogging gait as I went up the ridge to jog along the top of the dam...the same angle as this photo was taken. This ridge is such a GLORIOUS place to be in the part as one is right on top of the dam which creates the lake you see on the one side and on the other side you see the valley of Whitney Point and its school sprawling, often with the athletic fields filled with kids playing football or other sports. Today was an amazing day because of the WINDS! Oh MY I felt like I was going to take FLIGHT!

I felt just like this little boy and remembered the image, spreading my arms like a bird as I jogged along the ridge smiling and laughing out loud...

Sending this out with wishes for everyone to dig deep, find your SPARK and CELEBRATE IT!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 4/24/2014 3:05PM

    Wonderful place to run!

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COMMIT2BFIT4ME 4/15/2014 11:09AM

    Wonderful! I can just picture you out there with your arms stretched out as if you were soaring at great heights. Aahhh, I know why..because you are! Have a sparktaculous day!


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KANOE10 4/15/2014 8:01AM

    Beautiful pictures. The joy of your run is contagious!

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L*I*T*A* 4/15/2014 1:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAM60SUMTHINK 4/14/2014 10:16PM

    "Share the Joy" is what you did in this smile-evoking blog; loved it!
Thanks for letting us soar with you!

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WATERMELLEN 4/14/2014 7:53PM

    Just love the exuberance of this blog!! You're tapping into new joy.

And: congrats on losing that 2 pounds.

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/14/2014 7:46PM

    I remember that park! We used to take our son there when he was little. Great place to picnic and play. Love the Joseph Heller quote... second childhood is the bomb!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/14/2014 5:52PM

    What a gorgeous picture! Inspiration to be sure.

Have a good time with your training today.

`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸•
*¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“
No one should relinquish his duty, even though it is flawed; all actions are enveloped by flaws as fire is enveloped by smoke. From the Bhagavad Gita
¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸•
*¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“

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PATRICIAAK 4/14/2014 4:37PM

    sounds wonderful

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STRIVERONE 4/14/2014 3:54PM

A couple years ago a friend of mine decided to do the Broome County sprint triathlon at Whitney Point. I am not much of a swimmer, but I accompanied him several times on his bike and run practices there and went to the event as a spectator. Dorchester Park really is a gem and not overused.

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123ELAINE456 4/14/2014 11:41AM

  A Beautiful Photo. Sounds like you had a Wonderful Jogging on the Ridge. You are doing Great. Keep It Up. God Blessings Always. Have a Fantastic Day. Take Care.

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ZELLAZM 4/14/2014 10:22AM

    Springtime always makes me feel like this! Joy!

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WMUGRAD 4/14/2014 10:16AM


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_LINDA 4/14/2014 10:03AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Yes, never lose that childhood sense of wonder. There is always something out there to bring a smile to your mug :)
Love your photo (and background)! Wish it were not 18 this morning, but the sunshine makes those browns and grays a little bit brighter!

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MNCYCLIST 4/14/2014 9:27AM


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SLIMMERJESSE 4/14/2014 9:15AM

    What a joyful blog! Thanks.

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CHANGE4FIT 4/14/2014 9:14AM

    Wow-what a beautiful view!

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JLAMING263 4/14/2014 9:12AM


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VALERIEMAHA 4/14/2014 9:00AM

    You're on fire in the world -- vibrant, engaged, childlike, tuned to the Mystery... you and Mary Oliver:

Mysteries, Yes

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

~ Mary Oliver ~

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HMBROWN1 4/14/2014 8:46AM

    Sounds like you had a great run!

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Salty Upper Lip: Prepping for 5K

Saturday, April 12, 2014

We've been graced by stupendous spring-into-summer-like weather this weekend and EVERYBODY'S heading outdoors! Today I began in earnest to prepare for the Binghamton Bridge Run, my only 5K of the year...good timing since I am still taking the anti-coagulant and am staying off the bike.

So I focus on jogging...or fast-walking...lol!

One voice told myself before heading out to our Vestal Rail - Trail to jog 4 miles: first of the season, take it easy, it's okay if you need to walk some of it.

The other voice? "Heh: no WAY are you gonna walk!" ;-)

And nope, I didn't...my time for 4 miles wasn't TOO bad, 50 mins. or 12.5 min. mile. Considering my best 5K time over the past few years has only been an 11 min. mile I thought I did pretty good for my first crack at it today. My tunes were as helpful as ever...Springsteen's Dancing In The Dark had a spot-on pace for my jog. Got my salty upper lip, just like I do when I have a hard ride on my bike!

I waved at a couple of cyclists from the bike club as they rode by...longing to join them, but being oh-so-patient with the process!

Yesterday I met with the fellow at the Arrhythmia Center who ran the test on my pacemaker and determined that everything was looking good. I'll be getting my own box for doing the same in a few weeks. I was very precise in my questioning of him: So the readings today indicate that my heart is doing what it should, not dropping beats, no blood pooling in the atrium any longer? Correct, he said. And this is wired directly to my cardiologist, right? Correct.

Well even though I don't meet with the cardiologist until May 19th, I'm going to start e-mailing her next week about discontinuing my anti-coagulant and see if I can get started BEFORE May 19th...!

The box is a very non-intrusive process and unlike my earlier explanation of this occurring every night in my sleep I can run the test any time and it's only necessary to run once every few months. Easy peasy!

The pounds are holding steady these days...some zig-zagging but lately holding around 216.5. I'm enjoying downsizing my clothes...even though the pounds aren't dropping I feel like the inches are. Have to get cozy with the tape measure sometime. I'm actually getting a teensy sense of scrawniness around my shoulders and upper chest and eager to get back to my upper body strength training, but am still restricted: no heavy lifting, pushing, etc. This should be discontinued also when I meet with my cardiologist on May 19th.

Sometimes I get a little frustrated over the plateau, but mostly I'm "okay" with it...realizing that a "pause for the cause" ain't such a bad idea! This isn't a race, it's all about building a lifestyle that can weather the test of time. I also tell myself that numbers are one thing, but what works when it comes to living my life is another.

The "hungries" have reared their head now & then...and although I've overindulged in the quantity of food, I've stood firm in maintaining my zero-sugar, zero-grain, no-food from 9 pm until noon approach...occasionally creeping up to 10 pm. Avoiding sugar and grains has worked well for me and I think I will be able to stand by this approach, with some thoughts of adding oatmeal when cycling comes along...but keeping my oats "clean" with no sugar or butter, just lots of cinnamon and banana to sweeten it.

So all in all, I've been keepin' on, keepin' on!

Hope everyone is savoring weather that's just as tasty as ours has been this weekend! :-)


PS: Update! Down 2 pounds all of a sudden today! 14 pounds from GOAL! More proof that if you work your SPARK the pay-offs will come! :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELER 4/14/2014 8:32AM

    Way to go, Don!! You're becoming a very wise man. Glad to hear that things look positive on the medical side. You'll nail that 5K if you're already running 4 miles. I'd like to keep up a little running, but focusing on getting my bike legs back right now.

We're enjoying beautiful weather, too. At least until tomorrow.

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ZELLAZM 4/14/2014 6:16AM

    WTG on cutting out the grains and sugar - and on the good results! Looking forward to your training blogs and, of course, rooting for you as you do your 5K - soon!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/13/2014 4:50PM

    Good job with the release of 2 lbs.! You are right to be patient with the process and sounds like you did well with that. Hmmm...the hungries get to me sometimes, too, and sounds like you did well quelling that beast!

I do so much better, too, with both salt and sugar out of my system! Both are so darned addictive and more importantly, don't agree w/my body! So, if it doesn't agree with me, I'm not putting it in me!

Good luck and here's to a good sparking week.

`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸•
*¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“
Today is a new beginning, the first step on a very special journey. Along the way there will be new sights to see and concepts to learn. As you travel through this day, take time to acknowledge yourself and celebrate your choice to live mindfully and wholeheartedly! With your mind and heart open, you are creating the space to manifest the life of your dream. Deepak Chopra
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RACEWELLWON 4/13/2014 4:06PM

    Good for Don - see back on Track Cycling and hitting the Happy Trail Me too and loving it ! Love Steele Oats ! Thanks for the support - Oh name change - a gift to myself for my third Spark Anniversary - Happy Spring - Yeah Karen

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_LINDA 4/13/2014 4:01PM

    Great news all around!! Way to run it!! So glad your added equipment isn't going to be a bother! Imagine getting to do what you love by May 19!
Hope your great weather continues and you can get outside regularly!
Congrats on the weight loss! May it continue!

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DOGLADY13 4/13/2014 3:37PM

    I used to live in Binghamton - back in the late 1990s. I worked at the Agway store and lived on Broome Street.

It feels so good to get outside and exercise. So much better than the treadmill and stationary bike.

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L*I*T*A* 4/13/2014 3:18PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 4/13/2014 1:12PM

    You are creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself! The pause for a cause is needed and you are doing a great job of taking care of yourself. Your healthy eating is working and your maintenance is going well.

Have fun in the next race!

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HILLSLUG98239 4/13/2014 12:28PM

    I feel your pain about not being able to ride. I had a doctor-ordered lay off last summer. I walked. A lot. Sometimes three times a day.

Hang in there : all will be right with the world again soon!

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HIPPICHICK1 4/13/2014 10:42AM

    I've started to nix grains from my diet recently. I read an article about how many "teaspoons" of sugar are in one's diet. They gave the formula for figuring it out. Take your total amount of carbs, for example, my low end recommended by Spark is 165 grams of carbs, so we'll use that number. (I have often times eaten up to 200 grams of carbs in a day, but usually stay at the low end as I tried to get more healthy fats into my diet, which fill me up for long periods of time.)

Now, subtract the grams of fiber you ate from the carbs and then divide by 5 and that will give you the # of tsps of sugar (because all food is converted into sugar when it is digested) that you consumed in a day.

The target is 6-12 tsps., so 165 g of carbs minus 40 g of fiber = 125 divided 5 = 25 tsps of sugar!! I was like WOAH!

I have slowly, using baby steps, been reducing the carbs and so far (over 4 days) have reduced it to an average of 20 tsps a day. Yesterday was a mere 14 tsps, but I gotta say, it ain't easy!

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WATERMELLEN 4/13/2014 9:28AM

    This is totally impressive! Great run, and great progress with your heart health. Great discipline on the food front too.

You are indeed building a lifestyle that will stand the test of time.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 4/13/2014 7:52AM

    Good job sticking with the plan. I've got relatives up in your 'neck of the woods' - nice area.

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    Don, try quinoa also. I hope your oatmeal is the slow cook type. It's best to start from scratch always.

You are doing very well and being a good boy with your program. Caution is not being thrown in the trash bin and you'll make more long lasting progress that way.

Keep on keeping on.

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STRIVERONE 4/13/2014 12:18AM

    That's a pretty good clip, all things considered. Hope Judith and I see you at the Bridge Run.

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PATRICIAAK 4/13/2014 12:07AM

    staying sensible and steady is super

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123ELAINE456 4/12/2014 11:39PM

  Sounds like you are progressing forward very well. Keep it up. You done great on you jogging run too. WTG!!! God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/12/2014 11:10PM

    Love the background photo... I remember that trail... think it's had some upgrades in the past 15 years! Glad to hear you're making good progress in getting back to 100%.

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