STRIVERONE's SparkPeople Blog STRIVERONE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Caught Off Guard Last fall I heard that Mainly Marathons would give a free race entry to anyone who hadn't raced with them yet. There was a wide selection of races so I requested entry in one that was fairly close by and never received a response. So I wrote it off -until today, that is. I just got a confirmation email. Now I have an 8K race this Sunday, the free marathon in New Paltz on May 21st, and another Marathon in Binghamton on May 29th that I paid for. <BR> FUN, FUN, FUN! <BR> <BR> Here's a link for ... Wed, 11 May 2016 20:42:48 EST OVERDUE Wow! It's been more than a year since I added to this blog. I've been trying to be succinct and use status reports instead. This deserves a line or two more though. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow morning, Judith (DW) will be getting a right knee replacement. That is going to sideline her for a while as she recovers. She hopes the new and improved joint will let her join the cycling club for more rides and maybe even let her run a 5K. Being the caregiver for a while may sideline me for a few weeks also. ... Tue, 12 Apr 2016 20:48:58 EST Ducks In A Row: I know what I'll be doing this October. So now the question is: How well will I be doing it. I will be running three marathons. Race registrations are paid; hotel reservations are made; day after adventures are planned; and Judith is on board. <BR> <BR> I was waiting to see how I made out in the Marine Corps Marathon registration lottery before I dropped the hammer on all this, but now it's written in stone. I've crept up to 185 lbs. and I feel pretty good at that weight, but I have six mont... Wed, 25 Mar 2015 20:18:32 EST Get Outside <BR> I got this one from Christine Luff's Running & Jogging column on and the way this season has been across the country, it struck a chord. <BR> <BR> "Whether the weather is fine, or whether the weather is not; whether the weather is cold, or whether the weather is hot; we'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not!" -unknown <BR> <BR> No excuses! Go use the great outdoors. Sun, 15 Mar 2015 14:08:25 EST A Helping hand. There are all kinds of reasons for interrupting a workout, but this one takes the cake. Less than a fifth of a mile into my run, I see a deer's headil sticking out of a snow bank. I think it must have been hit by a plow. When I got closer I saw that it had run downhill and as it came out of the woods, got buried up to its ears in snow.I dug it out. It was alive but its legs were frozen and it could not stand. I spent an hour getting it mobil again and keeping it from causing an accident Sat, 7 Mar 2015 04:53:15 EST Charmed Life: I really am grateful that I can say February has been the worst month of my life since the week preceding my father's death from cancer thirty-five years ago. Compared to other people's recent tribulations, mine haven't been all that bad, but I'm going to run through them anyway because it gives me a chance to vent. <BR> <BR> I thought I had a deep vein thrombosis in my left leg and went to the hospital. That was ruled out. They thought it was a burst bakers cyst. I think it was a spider bit... Wed, 25 Feb 2015 17:33:44 EST Snowed In! Judith had a an appointment with the surgeon who fused her toe scheduled for 11:00 this morning. We woke up to howling winds and driving snow. At 8:00 A.M. I put a shovel in the car and so I could get rid of any snow drifts that might block us from getting to the road. I backed out of the garage and couldn't even turn the car around. There was more than a foot of heavy wet snow. It took me ten minutes just to get back into the garage and I have a four wheel drive RAV4. The driveway is a quart... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 08:33:34 EST Things Were Rolling Along Nicely Until... They weren't. <BR> <BR> I haven't done much blogging lately because there wasn't much new to talk about. We were keeping out heads above water financially. I was doing reasonably well at maintenance. I was running consistently if not aggressively, and I had my 2015 race schedule planned out and pretty much paid for. <BR> <BR> Then in the past couple weeks things changed. Judith had the toe joint implant that she got two years ago removed and the joint was fused. The recuperation has been m... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:00:17 EST Funny Thing... When I joined Spark People over three years ago, I set my notifications for most of the comments and activities of my Spark Friends but I didn't request email notifications about comments and likes on my own statuses. I have seen all the comments on my Spark Page and on my blogs but since I check my friend feed from the start page, I never saw any of the comments people have making on my status. It was only two days ago that I took another look at my preferences page and elected to get an em... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 23:35:37 EST Try Something New SparkFriend, KRISZTA11 mentioned in her June 8th blog entry that she was working on the Yoga Crow Pose and posted this picture as an example of her goal: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don't really see Yoga as something I would devote a lot of time to, but I wondered if I had the balance to do something like that so I turned on my camera and gave it a shot. I never tried this before and the results are not pretty, but they were enc... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 20:15:47 EST Polar Bear Run I ran in my first organized shirtless winter run yesterday with the Triple Cities Runners Club which I have belonged to for over a year and Confluence Running, a new local running store. It really didn't take much bravado because the day turned out to be surprisingly warm at 38F. It was blustery though with 17 mph winds. So there's that. What did take bravado was committing to doing this run when frigid weather was expected. <BR> <BR> Anyway, here are some pictures. I'm the guy with the whit... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 17:17:15 EST Saved by the Snow... It's been over a month since I blogged. We had a slew of small problems, that wouldn't have interested anyone else, but together took up all my free time. I'm not as prolific as some of my Spark-Friends, but I'm going to try for at least a blog entry a week. <BR> <BR> Anyway, on to today's episode: <BR> <BR> We had some pretty rough weather yesterday and overnight. The result was that I spent over three hours shoveling heavy wet snow on Valentine's Day morning. Good thing though because I'd... Fri, 14 Feb 2014 20:21:02 EST Chasing My Tail I promised Judith that I would go for a walk with her Sunday as R&R after Saturday's race. But high winds and a touch of DOMS for me discouraged both of us. I opted for some stretching, self massage and a long hot bath. Judith did her stint on the treadmill. She is on the Where Are You Walking To? SparkTeam. So today she reminded me that I owed her a walk. I had planned on running a half marathon to meet my January Challenge. We compromised. She would walk a 10K. I would do fartlek... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 21:30:16 EST I'm Stoked! <BR> This December I decided to take a chance and do something that is generally considered a rookie mistake for runners. I ran at least six miles every day alternating between two routes for thirty consecutive days. Every run was downhill out uphill back. I didn't kill myself. The challenge was to get it done. <BR> <BR> Today I was in my first race of the year and it was in the rain although it was ridiculously mild for the date. I didn't know if my unconventional running schedule at the e... Sat, 11 Jan 2014 17:21:31 EST The Ugly And The Good... We were away three days for Thanksgiving and I ate and ran. Literally!!! After having a salad at IHOP en-route to my sister-in-law's, I was offered some really delicious bread pudding when we arrived. I knew I'd be up early in the morning for a turkey trot and figured I'd take the carbs. These were not good carbs. They were melted brown sugar and chocolate syrup drenched bread carbs. Read "cocaine to the recovering sugar addict". I certainly overindulged. Come morning, I ran my race and felt ... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 02:23:10 EST If not fast, then maybe far: The 2013 running season is winding down. I have one more race that I'm committed to, a 5 mile turkey trot Thanksgiving morning. I'm thinking about next year and I have a bunch of stuff lined up. A couple weeks ago I read about one of the "Mainly Marathons" 5 States Series and thought that since it's almost a year away, it's doable. Here are the particulars: <BR> <BR> Oct 11: Bluefield, West Virginia <BR> Oct 12: Bluefield, Virginia <BR> Oct 13: Morganton, North Carolina <BR> Oct 14: Seneca, ... Fri, 22 Nov 2013 23:25:56 EST Taking it in stride -followup Last week, I mentioned runner Michael Wardian's plan to run marathons in both San Antonio and Las Vegas yesterday. Well although he didn't meet his goal to run each in under two-and-a-half hours, he won the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon first in 2:31:19 and finished tenth in the Las Vegas marathon. You'd think the guy would be a bit sore, but he's going to run the JFK Fifty Miler in Maryland this Saturday. <BR> <BR> For the full story, here's a link: <BR> <link> Mon, 18 Nov 2013 18:39:27 EST Taking it in stride... I've heard that on average we only use 5% of our intellects and 15% of our lung capacities. I like to think that our breathing and thinking are not that shallow. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I saw two shared articles on Facebook today that made me see what a what a small fraction of my own physical capabilities I am willing to work to achieve compared to what is achievable. <BR> <BR> I'm actually quite satisfied with my own goals. They probably will not change, but I am in awe of the high bar the subj... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 21:02:48 EST Chomping at the bit. Today was the first day of registration for next year's Run For The Red Marathon. It's a one-way downhill race. It was a blast this year and an exciting first official marathon even though it was a little rough on the quads. I didn't want to risk getting closed out of registration for the next race, so I'm in for May 18th 2014. <BR> <BR> I started with a nine minute pacer last time around and that turned out to be a mistake. Unless I make some dramatic improvements over the next six months,... Fri, 1 Nov 2013 23:47:14 EST What we have here... a failure to communicate. MY BAD! I read the first comment on my last blog entry and thought I buried my point too deeply and I responded directly. Now I see three comments that say basically the same thing, so I guess I completely screwed it up. Instead of answering each comment individually I'm going to give it another try. <BR> <BR> When I was ticking off the elements of my race, I was trying to convey the feeling of high satisfaction I got from breezing though a marathon despite no... Wed, 30 Oct 2013 13:53:45 EST Back From The Races... Well, it's fall marathon time and there are a bunch of us who ran or are planning to run one. We all have different abilities, goals, expectations, and reasons for taking this challenge at all. I've been following real world and online friends' exploits here on SparkPeople and on other sites. I'm impressed. I'm even impressed with someone who did not finish because he was smart enough to not to push through on a rolled ankle. I'm impressed with a guy who is six years older than me who has bee... Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:38:37 EST Off to the races- I haven't blogged in a while because the main thing that has been on my mind was being ready for the Empire State Marathon and I figured I'd spare everyone a constant barrage of that. But now it is upon me so I'll indulge. <BR> <BR> Saturday morning Judith and I will be volunteering at 5K & 10K races with the Southern Tier Runner's Club. I would have liked to run the 10K but thought it wouldn't be a good idea the day before running a marathon. So it will be up at six a.m. and a 45 mile drive... Fri, 18 Oct 2013 20:34:09 EST There's a Motivational Poster for Runners that Says... "BLACK TOENAILS ARE SEXY." OK! Maybe when they are attached to someone else. I hate my own and they generate sympathy from Judith, but I don't think they contribute to our passion. <BR> <BR> Toe blisters are are my number one de-motivator. I'll run whether its frying or frigid. I'll run when I'm sore, and I'll run when I'm tired. I've stupidly run with all the common injuries that plague amateur runners. But I won't run with raw toes unless I'm already in the middle of a workout when I get t... Tue, 17 Sep 2013 11:24:48 EST Where Do I Fit In? I'm running in a 5K in the morning and I just printed out the registration form and filled it out. There were three check-boxes: Competitive Runner, Runner, and Walker. I wasn't quite sure what the distinction was between Competitive Runner and just plain Runner. It is a race. I think both categories will start at the same time and will not be sorted. I checked Runner because although I aim to do my best and certainly get more pleasure out of doing better I don't really have that competitive... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 00:44:30 EST Upgrade or Downgrade? A friend of mine got fitted for a bicycle at an expensive East-Side pro-shop when we were both much younger and paid what seemed like a huge number of 1986 dollars for a Panasonic Team Japan road bike. He rode it a few times and decided it was too small for him and went back to riding his too big and less expensive bike. The new bike went unused, taking up space in his apartment for about three years. One day he comes over to visit and brings the bike. He says "Vinny, I brought you the bike. ... Fri, 26 Jul 2013 15:03:01 EST No Animals Were Hurt... the making of this entry. <BR> <BR> I was cycling down a steep hill at a pretty good clip yesterday when I'm passed by a Mercedes convertible with the top down. About four hundred feet in front of me, it stops dead right in the lane. Flashers go on, the door flies open, and a well dressed woman jumps out and runs around the rear of the car. By this time I on it and she is pulling a huge rooster out of the right wheel well of her car. I stopped and laughed because she cuddled it, stoked... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 00:31:16 EST I Had No Idea... I got the following email this morning: <BR> <BR> From: MapMyRun ( This sender is in your safe list. <BR> Sent: Fri 6/21/13 10:18 AM <BR> To: ***** <BR> <BR> This email may cause spontaneous fist pumps. <BR> Congrats on Your 350th Workout! <BR> You've logged 350 workouts since you joined MapMyRun on 02/25/2012. <BR> We think that's pretty epic, and you should too. <BR> Keep up the awesomeness and you'll be the envy of all your friends! <BR> <BR> It must be ... Fri, 21 Jun 2013 11:21:43 EST Idyllic Afternoon... I posted this in the Today's Run thread on the Sparky Marathoners' message board. I think it says something about the way people who try to take care of their bodies relate to each other. <BR> <BR> Here in the US today was "National Running Day". I went to a railroad bed that has been converted to a paved fitness trail in Vestal NY. It is only two miles long, but well maintained, pretty, with wide flat grass covered shoulders, and it has restrooms at each end. The weather was perfect and the... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 23:07:33 EST "Little Scare" Revisited I went for a run today. I was gone for about an hour and a half. When I left I jogged over a muddy spot on my driveway and this track was not in it. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> When I returned, it was. I'm betting it's from the bear I blogged about on May 23rd. <BR> Mon, 3 Jun 2013 16:00:09 EST Funny Me.... I hope the text in the second picture is readable. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Anyway, SP carried my totals for the day out to 14 decimal places, and places 3 though 13 were zeros. After I got the screen grab, they were dropped. This may have been the 1st time Mathematics ever brought me a smile. Sat, 1 Jun 2013 21:31:42 EST Another Critter... I had another close encounter with wildlife while I was running yesterday. This time it was with a porcupine, so only one of us was scared. He was about to cross the road. I stopped to look at him and he turned around real slowly and crawled up the bank. I think he was pretty nervous since I was standing over him. <BR> <BR> I used to stay in lean-tos along the Appalachian Trail etc. and hear lots of these critters. Since they are generally nocturnal, a daytime sighting is unusual. They would... Tue, 28 May 2013 22:14:21 EST Little Scare... I intentionally took off from exercise Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday life and weather got in the way, but today I knew I had to get out and back to it. I'm running in a 5K to raise money for our school district's elementary school playground fund Saturday morning and Judith is participating in a health walk over the same course at the same time. From there, we are driving to Kirby Park in Wilkes Barre, PA to watch our son's "band" perform. I think tomorrow will be pretty much a rest day. <BR... Thu, 23 May 2013 22:13:51 EST Rainy but Satisfying Marathon I'm Still in PA, so I'll write more from the comfort of home. <BR> <BR> I finished the Run For The Red Marathon today. It rained the first 24 miles and was pea soup fog for the first six, but it was a good race. I think I'll do it again next year and see if I can do better. <BR> <BR> During the race, I had a conversation with a woman running her 82nd marathon. She's run one in every state at least once. <BR> <BR> When I told her this was my first, she said that If I could run this one, I c... Sun, 19 May 2013 23:15:10 EST Good Friend! I have a friend who lives in the suburbs and enjoys getting out to the edge of nowhere every now and then, so he's a semi-frequent house guest. Anyway, He told me that he had a treadmill that he bought and never used. It was taking up space in his living room -and would I like it? I never used a treadmill except to take a stress test and a five minute turn at a running analysis clinic. I almost turned it down but then checked with Judith to see if she thought she would use it. Yes she would. ... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 17:37:25 EST Spontaneity: I just read about the May 19th Pocono Mountain Run For The Red Marathon last night. It's about a two hour drive from my home. <BR> <BR> The thing about this one is that according to, "The course begins at roughly 1946 feet above sea level — the highest point on the 26.2-mile route. From there, it's smooth sailing down the mountain, where you'll finish at an elevation of 400 feet." <BR> <BR> The race is a Boston qualifier. For my age group that would mean I could get in next year's... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 18:17:52 EST My Marathon+ Redux I frequently spell out things I plan on doing in my posts because telling people about them in advance helps to lock me in. Today was different. I woke up and it was a beautiful day. On the spur of the moment I decided to re-run the route I did for the Strava Marathon Challenge on April 6th, just for fun. I already knew I could do it so no pressure. I left the house a little after ten A.M. and was back thirty miles and six-and-a-half hrs. later. Just like the first time I was able to do the m... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 22:13:41 EST Did it. Guess what? I did get another PR today (25:45) and the 3rd place prize for the over 60 age group. I finished in the top 25% overall so I feel even better than I did yesterday. First place 60+ went to a 74 yr. old who did 5K in 19:something. I am awed. <BR> <BR> No trophy for this one, but something a tiny bit more useful. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 21 Apr 2013 19:50:10 EST Suprise... I registered for two 5K races this weekend. Today's was in my hometown and Sunday's is about 40 miles away. Both are on very flat courses so I was thinking that I might have my best 5K time on at least one of them. I did that today even though my time would seem slow to many of my SparkFriends. What really shocked me was that I was first in the over 60 age category. I've received various prizes in my life for mostly not athletic efforts, but I never got a trophy before. I may never get one ag... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 22:41:12 EST My Marathon+ I mentioned before that I was entered in the Strava Marathon Challenge. <BR> Here are the rules from the Strava site. <BR> <BR> You have to run 26.2 miles in a single run (just like you do at a marathon). <BR> There is an eight hour time limit to complete your 26.2 mile run. <BR> The Challenge starts and ends based on each runners local time zone. <BR> Manual entries or treadmill runs will not count towards your Challenge effort. <BR> All activities logged during the Challenge period must be... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 22:35:09 EST March Goals Follow-Up Back on March 4th, I posted a fairly ambitious list of goals for the month. At the end I added this: <BR> <BR> "I'm sure I'll meet those goals but I have a side bet with myself that I won't log any >12 minute miles. That one is up in the air considering how hilly it is around here. If I manage it, I'm buying myself something." <BR> <BR> Well the month isn't quite over, but I've reached all my goals and I'm a little sick, so I'm going to declare my bet won now, grab my winning, and slow down... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:28:24 EST Hale Fellow! Well Met! At least from my perspective. <BR> <BR> This is pasted from my forum entry on LiveFitRevolution: <BR> <BR> <BR> I'm really tired and sore today but I had a great race yesterday. What made it great was beautiful weather and a superior running companion. <BR> <BR> I usually find myself a spot in the back third of the starting pack and go with the flow until things open up a bit. About a mile into the 15K we were running uphill and there were some opportunities for me to find my pace. I was ... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 20:19:54 EST Not Fast, But Well. This year, I joined a local runners club and through that club, I was able to attend a running analysis clinic yesterday where each of the 18 participants was videotaped from many angles while running on a treadmill. Then the videos were shown to the entire group while a panel of three sports medicine doctors evaluated and discussed each runner's form. Unbelievably, I was held up as the example of excellent POSE running form. I was told that they could not find anything to correct except that... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:24:31 EST When I First Started Trying To Get Healthy Again... ... I'd commit to some physical exercise and then have to force myself to fulfill the commitment. As time went by it became more natural to just do it, but there were times when severe weather or life in general got in my way. That would bother me. I'd feel guilty. Eventually I got comfortable with averages. An average number of calories consumed, hours of exercise, or miles run per day over the course of a week worked for me. <BR> <BR> After my bicycle mishap last Wednesday, my upper body w... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:49:42 EST St. Pat's 4 Miler: My shoulder is still pretty messed up but my legs did me well yesterday. The St. Pat's 4 Miler race was great. The weather was great for this season in Binghamton and there was an indoor gathering area. This was the first race I've been to since October where people hung around afterwards. <BR> <BR> I took this picture an hour after I finished and there is still a good crowd. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I was happy with my own results ... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 17:24:08 EST Sore My shoulder was really sore last night but I managed to get some sleep thanks to a kidney destroying amount of naproxen sodium. While yesterday, the only visible damage was road rash on the back of my shoulder, today the front was black and blue. Its appearance will probably get worse, but the discomfort is lessening. I did an easy 5K around noon, just to make sure I didn't have any long lasting damage. That was encouraging. Right now I have the unabraided parts of my shoulder slathered with ... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 16:09:25 EST Regarding Yesterday... ...Today <BR> <BR> I beat the snow and found my keys at mile 23. That's the good news. The bad news is that I was so intent in looking for them that I was hunched over the handlebars. I was so excited to find them that I braked hard, did an endo, and really trashed my shoulder. I had four layers of clothing protecting it and I still got road rash through the undamaged clothes. No KBs or pull-ups for a while. I'm going to rest for two days and hope I can manage the four mile race I'm registe... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 15:07:22 EST Oh, The Horror... ... Of Losing My Car Key While Running A Long Distance. <BR> <BR> I wanted to do my challenge run on the same relatively flat course I used before so I could compare times and arrive home intact so I drove to the next town and parked in some friends' driveway. Before I started my run, I locked my car without thinking and put the key and alarm fob in my zippered pocket along with a Cliff Bar. I had a $5 bill and ID in the other pocket. Somewhere around the ten mile point, I felt like I needed... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 22:54:24 EST Mixing It Up... ...In March <BR> <BR> Since my body won't let me set a goal of running a whole lot faster, I've been working with duration. My January goal was to complete four 10K races. Check. February's was to run 150 miles. Check +25. My March goal is to complete four different distance running events and to average 40 miles a week. <BR> <BR> Here's the event line-up: <BR> 03/05 Strava Challenge -Run a continuous 20 miles with GPS and upload to Strava site. <BR> 03/09 St. Patrick's Four Miler -Road... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 16:34:11 EST Big Bird... Judith and I saw a bald eagle close up on our walk today. We were just past the end of our property going west when I saw a shadow on the road that looked like a glider was coming toward us. We looked up and saw it from the underside. It was fast and silent and looked like an Indian Thunderbird design. It passed not 20' over our heads and we could only see white feathers. We thought it was a huge hawk or falcon until it passed and turned to fly off over our property. Then we could see the ful... Tue, 26 Feb 2013 20:51:11 EST A Running History... ...of My Running Footwear - or Chasing Imelda Marcos <BR> <BR> I remember the first non-hand-me-down non-thrift-shop shoes I ever got. For my 10th birthday, my mother let me order a pair of military surplus sneakers from Hudson's Supply. They were a couple sizes too big, but she said I'd grow into them, and I did. They looked like this: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> -except that they were olive green rather than olive drab and the soles were bl... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 20:34:29 EST