Well…not quite daily recently…

Posts tagged “jeremy

Photo #1588

A Short Run with Ultrarunner Scott Jurek

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Last week, I had the honor of running 3 miles with a running celebrity.  Here’s a rundown of how I got to run with Scott Jurek on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), who Scott Jurek is and what he is doing on the A.T., and how I got myself in the background of some local news coverage.

Who is Scott Jurek?  In the world of ultrarunning, he is a superstar.  He has the US record for longest distance run in 24 hours (165.7 miles…or 6.5 marathons in one day at an average pace of 8:42 per mile), has won the prestigious 100-mile Western States Endurance Run 7 years in a row, and has won several other major events including the Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles starting in Death Valley in mid-July, with 120 degree temperatures…).  In combination with his running, he is also a major advocate for plant-based diets (vegan since 1999), and he co-wrote a bestseller Eat & Run in 2012.

Why is he on the Appalachian Trail?  At the end of May, Scott began a 2,190-mile journey from Georgia to Maine in which he hopes to set the speed record for fastest completion of the entire A.T.  Calling it his ‘masterpiece’ before retirement, his original plan was to beat the existing record of 46 days, 11 hours by up to 4 days, shooting for a July 7th finish in a record 42 days.  By June 24th, he had already gone through New Jersey and was in Harriman & Bear Mountain State Parks in New York.  He had completed nearly 50 miles the day before.

So that is how it happened that, around noon last Wednesday, I joined fellow NY-NJ Trail Conference crazy runners Josh and Melissa in a game of “Let’s see if we can find Scott, get a photo-op with him on the A.T. (where our trail builders are actively building the trail, in the area that the very first section of the A.T. was established in 1923), and run with him for as long as we can”.  Up at the summit of Bear Mountain, we first realized it wouldn’t be a simple “Hey, how’s it goin’?” encounter when we spotted a bunch of local reporters with news cameras…and when we found Scott, he was surrounded by more than a dozen runners.  But something seemed a little unusual, because he was wearing a bright yellow “guide” vest, had a dog running with someone in front of him, and someone else was right next to him holding his arm.

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Scott Jurek guides Tom Panek on the Appalachian Trail on the summit of Bear Mountain

In the whoosh of Scott and everyone running by, and us joining the pack, it took us a few seconds to realize that Scott was guiding a blind runner up the A.T. on Bear Mountain.  Most people attempting a speed record probably wouldn’t purposely do things to slow themselves down, but Scott decided to run a section of difficult terrain with his blind friend as a way to raise awareness for his friend’s guide dog non-profit.  So we received an awesome inspirational boost right off the bat as we ran with everyone 1/4 mile up to the summit.  There, Scott took a quick breather as the reporters talked with Scott and his friend, Tom; they first ran together in the Boston Marathon this past April, where Scott guided Tom to a 3:42 finish (read more about Tom here:  News12 Hudson Valley story, LoHud.com story, Observer.com story).  We listened in and had fun taking some photos, like the one below of Melissa and Josh in front of the in-progress interview.

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Melissa and Josh in front of an in-progress interview with Scott Jurek and Tom Panek

The interview finished up, Scott said goodbye to Tom, and we joined in with the entourage of runners that had grown to about 15.  We passed Perkins Tower, spotted the Manhattan skyline, and then started our descent of Bear Mountain.  I’ve been on this section of trail many times before, as the Trail Conference has been building new trail here for more than 10 years.  It includes a stretch of incredible rockwork, including more than 800 handhewn granite steps (put in place with help from more than 700 volunteers), and it was pretty cool being led by Scott down this trail.

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Scott Jurek leads an entourage of runners down the Appalachian Trail on Bear Mountain

A quick shout out to Melissa (bright ‘Trail Crew’ shirt above), who didn’t have her running shoes, but couldn’t pass up the chance to run with Scott and so ran nearly 3 miles in athletic sandals!

We all wound our way down the mountain in mostly-single-file, and then took maybe a 10-minute break while Scott refueled.  At this point, some runners in our group decided to stop, a few more runners joined in, and we decided to follow along a little further.  Scott finished his fueling, and then was nice enough to accommodate any photo requests while we started walking.  The three of us tag-teamed with the camera, and so we got the photo up top of me and Scott at Hessian Lake.  Aside from this photo time, it seemed like most were trying to respect Scott’s space.  The group of 20 now ran through the Bear Mountain Zoo (Scott took a quick stop to watch two big bears playing) to get to the Bear Mountain Bridge.  Scott led the group across the Hudson River, where he hoped to cover another 30 miles for the day, but we decided to make that our stopping point and watched as the group started across the bridge.

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Scott Jurek leads the group of runners across the Bear Mountain Bridge

We ended up running with Scott for about 3 miles, and it was an honor being able to join him on 0.14% of his incredible Appalachian Trail journey.  And lucky for us, our cars were back where we started…3 miles away and more than 1,000 feet of climbing…which meant we had a bit more time to reflect back on Scott’s inspiration!  A fun 6 miles for the day, up and down Bear Mountain, with an ultrarunning celebrity, two cool co-workers (thanks Josh for putting this “Let’s see what happens!” plan together), and a bunch of other great runners sharing in the adventure.

Later that day, we discovered some of the news articles, and found video that they had shot up at the summit of Bear Mountain.  Check out the short video on News12 Hudson Valley’s website.  My royal blue Trail Conference shirt and pale white legs make a few appearances, including the shot below of Josh, myself, and Melissa behind Scott and his wife Jenny (who is serving as his main support crew!).

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Trail Conference representation on News12 video!

Scott is currently in Vermont as of Tuesday morning (June 30), with just less than 500 miles to go; you can follow his progress on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ScottJurek.  It’s tough terrain the rest of the way, but here’s hoping he gets to the end in Maine around his goal date to set a new speed record!

I’ll end this fairly long post with a great quote from Scott from his Bear Mountain summit interview that we listened in on:

Reporter Question:  What have been some of the struggles?

Scott Jurek:  Some of the biggest struggles I would say are, each day, trying to get myself to get out and do the same thing over again. I mean, when I finish at night…I mean, two nights ago, I finished at 1am in the morning, and the next morning I’m waking up at 5:30 and hitting the trail again. And that’s the biggest thing, is every day I’m like “Oh man, I just finished 50 miles!”, you know, so jubilant, and then I remember right away that I’m going to have to wake up and do that again. So, as much as I love being out here, it’s a struggle, and life is a struggle, and it’s in times like that that you learn the most.


Photo #1585

Jeremy’s Childhood Stuff:  Care Bears

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Ah yes, Christmas day 1985…what a glorious morning that was.  My sister got some ‘Princess of Power’ and Ken dolls, my brother got some Transformers (including an awesome Optimus Prime huge truck), a motorized Construx set, and a belt…and I, I got a box full of awesome Care Bears figures (I also got a huge red Tonka firetruck on Christmas Eve).  Of course, I don’t remember any of this, being a little more than 2.5 years old, but luckily we’ve got some great photos to fill in the gaps (thanks Mom and Dad!).

I may not remember that morning, but I do remember the Care Bears figures.  My mom said I played with them quite a lot, and I especially can think of playing with a green one with a shamrock and a lion one.

Flash forward almost 30 years, and I’ve finally grabbed tons of my childhood toys, games, trophies, sports memorabilia, junk, etc. from my parents’ attic (so stay tuned for more childhood memories centered around this stuff!).  Amongst all the goodies, we found a beat-up bag full of 20 Care Bears figures, and with a little scrubbing, they look almost brand new!  The photo below shows them all lined up after their cleaning, and now they are ready for Nolan to play with himself.  Maybe he’ll like playing with them as much as I did!

In case you are interested, the inspiring names of these figures are (from left to right, front to back):  Good Luck Bear, Cheer Bear, Tenderheart Bear, Grumpy Bear, Bedtime Bear, Love-a-Lot Bear, Funshine Bear, Birthday Bear, Grams, Baby Hugs, Baby Tugs, Champ Bear, Share Bear, Professor Coldheart, Cozy Heart Penguin, Lotsa Heart Elephant, Swift Heart Rabbit, Bright Heart Raccoon, Brave Heart Lion, and Cloudkeeper.


Remember that guy who posted daily photos once upon a time?….

I think his name was Jeremy…Whatever happened to him?!

After nearly 9 months since my last post, I thought I had better post something or else I’ll even forget about this blog!  The short answer to this question is that primarily great things have happened in the past year.  Of course, these great things have also been time-consuming/life-consuming, so it has been difficult for me to really carve out a chunk of time to get back into my Daily Photographs.

The main life-changing event since last March was the birth of my son, Nolan Thomas, in mid-April.  He is nearing 9 months in age, and it is really remarkable how fast this time has flown by.  A few words that come to mind to describe the past ~9 months — tough, exhausting, rewarding, incredible, joy.

In terms of this photo blog, for now, I’ll be shooting for posting at least a Weekly Photograph…maybe I’ll be able to work back up to Daily photos at some point!  So please check back periodically, or just sign-up with your e-mail near the bottom of the page to receive new posts as they are written.

So with that, I’ll leave you with an all-smiles family photo from Christmas.  Here’s hoping 2014 is a great year!


Photo #1560 – 02.22.13

Occupied…

Of course I had to stick my head in a little oval-shaped hole at this farm where Heather and I picked a couple pumpkins this past fall…  Do they still make huge Sears catalogs??  And isn’t the toilet paper supposed to be inside the outhouse??


Photo #1552 – 02.14.13

To My Valentine

It’s Valentine’s Day, so I thought I would share one of the earliest photos I have of Heather and I.  This photo was taken about ten and a half years ago soon after we officially started dating.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my valentine!


Photo #1542 – 02.04.13

Delicious Nagle’s Ice Cream

Sure, it’s the middle of winter, and we might receive an inch or two of snow overnight…but any time is a good time to think about tasty ice cream on a summer day.  These cones (orange creamsicle and black raspberry with fudge bits) did not last very long as Heather and I made quick work of the cool treats.  We got them at Nagle’s Apothecary Cafe (in the background) in the town of Ocean Grove, NJ, and we would definitely be sure to stop by again the next time we’re in town!


Photo #1535 – 01.28.13

The Yukon, Forest Fires, and GIS

The majority of my time during graduate school was centered around all things Yukon Territory.  My research focused on snowmelt in the Yukon, but I was able to work my love for the Yukon in to other projects as well.  This poster was created for my one Remote Sensing course and describes how I used a series of aerial photos from different years to track effects of forest fires in the boreal forests of southeastern Yukon Territory.  This project was one of many that allowed me to play around with map-making a bit…career skills in their infancy!


Photo #1500 – 12.24.12

Merry Christmas Eve…from 1988!

Merry Christmas Eve...from 1988!

1988 was probably a good year…I don’t remember exactly what happened that year, but I was 5 and we had just recently moved into our house, so I’m sure I had a fun year.  Plus, I’ve got a nice smile on my face in this photo that was taken on Christmas Eve.  Doesn’t Kristin look swell in her dress?  And Michael’s zig-zag sweater is quite cool.  And it looks like we made a paper chain to put on the tree this year…who knew you could have so much fun with a little stapler and strips of colored construction paper?!

Merry Christmas Eve!!  And Happy 1500th Daily Photograph!!!


Photo #1467 – 11.20.12

The Lil’ Kid’s Table

Sippin’ some juice, eatin’ some cherry tomatoes, playin’ with a few badminton shuttlecocks…these are just a few of the normal activities Jada, Noah and I were doing at the little kid’s table in my cousin Victoria’s childhood treehouse this past summer.  Gotta love playing ‘House’!


Photo #1462 – 11.15.12

Baby On the Way

Old toy letter blocks are great.  Old toy letter blocks arranged in words are even better.  But the best is when you are walking through a huge antique festival and you happen to spot old toy letter blocks arranged in words that spell out a message that you would like to share with family, friends, and anyone else that might care to listen…

And would you believe it, that is exactly what happened to Heather and I when we came across this handful of blocks in a little toy wagon!

So in case it isn’t obvious, Heather and I are excitedly expecting our first child next year!  I say excitedly expecting, but I also mean anxiously and nervously expecting…  Heather is thankfully doing well overall, and we are really looking forward to taking this huge leap into parenthood.

Today also marks the 4th anniversary of Daily Photographs!  It’s hard to believe I have been posting these photos for this long, but it has really been enjoyable and I always appreciate hearing the great feedback.  In terms of stats (aren’t stats fun??), the site is quickly approaching 70,000 visits, more than 1,250 comments have been left, and 175 people are signed up to receive my Daily Photographs (scroll down to the bottom of the page to check out the e-mail signup!).  This past year had a few long-term delays that resulted from becoming a bit busy with moving into a new home, training for a marathon, and other fun stuff.  With a ‘Baby On the Way’ in 2013, I cannot make any promises about interruptions to the frequency of daily photos, but I will certainly try my best to continue sharing photos.  As always, thanks for checking out my Daily Photographs, and for a look back at the photo that started it all, click here to view Photo #1 from 11.15.2008!


Photo #1428 – 10.12.12

Leaf Play, 1986

What is it about large accumulations of dead leaves in autumn that makes playing around in them so thrilling for kids?  I’m not sure, but I would say it is just plain fun…speaking from plenty of experience, of course.  At about 2.5 years old in this photo, I was probably enjoying leaf piles for the first time, while my brother and sister were likely seasoned veterans at this point.  I don’t remember this, but I would like to imagine they showed me some classic leaf-playing techniques, like burying your sibling, tunneling through the pile, jumping out of a pile to surprise someone, and throwing a sibling into a leaf pile.  Whatever they showed me, I’m sure we had a fun time together!


Photo #1425 – 10.09.12

Old Guy, Robot, Raggedy Ann: Halloween 1986

Continuing with a few older Halloween photos (to get in the October spirit), here is a shot from 1986 taken a few days before Halloween at a birthday party.  Michael went with the cigar-smokin’, black-clothes-wearin’ old man, Kristin turned into a redheaded Raggedy Ann (previously made and worn by our mom {photo #1424}), and I was a tired Halloween robot…well, I was probably a rambunctious Halloween robot earlier in the day, but it must have been getting close to my bedtime…

For any Mets fans, this photo was taken the same night as Game 6 of the World Series, which the Mets won in dramatic fashion before winning the title over the Red Sox a couple nights later, their last championship title to date (I noticed the “Mets” headline on the newspaper and made the connection…).


Photo #1423 – 10.07.12

Beautiful Butterfly and Magnificent Magician

Check out the awesome costumes my sister and brother are showing off on this halloween night in 1985!  Kristin is sporting a lovely butterfly costume with see-through wings and antennae, and Michael has been transformed into a moustachioed magician, complete with glitter-water wand, top hat, and cape.

I’m not sure why I’m in the photo…I had not been turned into a farmer quite yet, but I guess my mom still made me stand in the photo.


Photo #1409 – 09.23.12

Madison’s Fine Portrait Photography

Every once in a while, my oldest nieces Hannah and Madison will stare at the camera hanging from my neck and ask, “Can I take some pictures?!?”  As long as I can get the camera strap on their neck, I enjoy showing them how to use it, and they have both taken some good shots all on their own!  Just last night, Madison asked to take a picture of Grandma, Aunt Heather, Uncle Jer, and sister Jada, and although I am pretty sure she wasn’t exactly looking through the viewfinder, she snapped a nice ‘all smiles’ shot!


Photo #1408 – 09.22.12

Time to Get Out the Rake…

It is now officially autumn, which means it is time to dig out the rake and/or leaf blower and get ready for the onslaught of colorful falling leaves.  Along with all that back-aching work, it also means it is almost time to create big leaf piles for jumping into!  This photo illustrates what can happen when my parents and I have a little too much fun with dead leaves…

Happy Fall!


Photo #1394 – 09.08.12

Deep in Thought with Karma

While enjoying a bit of midday relaxation outside our cabin on the Wheaton River in the Yukon Territory one day, my buddy Ken and I were joined by two of the cool dogs on the property, Karma and Tatra.  Ken snapped this photo of Karma and I staring off into the distance…who knows what we were looking at, or what we may have been pondering.  Although I’m guessing I was just checking out the fantastic scenery all around, since I found myself doing that quite often!


Photo #1389 – 09.03.12

The Apgar Clan, August 2012…Gone Crazy!!

Well…we were a good lookin’ crew, until someone said “Silly Faces!” and we erupted into chaos.  Kids will be kids…whether they are actual kids or just kids at heart…

Have a happy Labor Day!


Photo #1388 – 09.02.12

The Apgar Clan, August 2012

What a nice lookin’ group, if I may say so myself!  We took this photo in the beginning of August and managed to get smiles and open eyes throughout!  Gotta love family.


Photo #1378 – 08.23.12

Happy 4th Anniversary, Heather!!

Photo by Dennis Becker

4 years already?!?  It seems like just yesterday that we were walking very, very slowly on the beach toward Lake Valhalla as our photographer snapped photos of us staring at each other…I’m still not quite sure how we didn’t just start laughing at the cheesiness of it.  But hey, I guess it wasn’t all that bad since the photos came out great, not to mention the reception after this photo shoot was outstanding!

Happy 4th Anniversary, Heather!  Love you!


Photo #1377 – 08.22.12

9.5 Weeks Until My First Marathon

On October 28, I’ll be running the Marine Corps Marathon as my first marathon, and I’ll be running as part of ZERO‘s Dash for Dad endurance team.  I’m raising awareness of prostate cancer in honor of my father-in-law Tom, who passed away just over 3 years ago at the age of 52 after a long battle with prostate cancer.  I have previously run a couple of 10K events with Heather through this organization, including a race in 2010 captured by the above photo (I guess I was too focused on the finish line to smile for the camera!).

Please visit my donation page, read a bit more about Tom and prostate cancer in general, and consider making a donation to lend your support in honor of Tom or someone else special in your life: https://zerocancer.org/races/raise?form_id=MjQ2.  Amazingly, I am extremely close to surpassing my fundraising goal thanks to many wonderful people, which means I might have to adjust my goal to an even higher amount!

In terms of my training, I’ve been feeling great recently and continue to increase my weekly mileage and develop my race pace.  This Saturday I will run my longest distance ever of 17 miles, and I’m still on target to run the 26.2 mile race in around 3 hours, 15 minutes.  I’ll be sure to share some training updates and other photos as race day approaches.

On a related side note, I apologize for the inconsistent ‘daily’ photographs recently…my marathon training, along with lots of “new house” things, has kept me off a regular schedule.  Here’s hoping I can fix that!


Photo #1335 – 07.11.12

View from Apgar Lookout

Apgar Mountain is located at the southern end of Glacier National Park, overlooking Apgar Village and Lake McDonald along with a series of mountain peaks in the distance.  My brother, sister and I enjoyed a tough hike and the views from atop this mountain about 10 years ago on our family vacation.  As I looked out across the mountainous landscape all around, I was pretty thrilled to share a name with this awesome mountain!

You can check out a current webcam image from Apgar Lookout (from a slightly different vantage point than above) by clicking here!


Photo #1333 – 07.09.12

Old Fart…Again

1987 was a great year, wasn’t it?  It seemed pretty good to me, but then again, I was only 4 and it probably didn’t take much to please me.  But it was the year that my dad apparently turned into an Old Fart, as evidenced by the lovely hats in the above photo.

Today is my dad’s birthday!  So Happy ‘Even Older Fart’ Birthday, Dad!


Photo #1287 – 05.24.12

Home Sweet Home

And just like that, I’m finally caught up!  I posted 31 photos in the last two days (if you missed any, scroll to the bottom of the main page and click on “Older Entries”), and for those of you that get an e-mail with each new post, I apologize for the hourly barrage!

As you may have guessed, pretty much all the photos in this ‘Rapid Catch-Up’ were taken at our new home.  The photo above was taken a few months ago, so I guess we need a new one showing all the early spring growth.  We’ve been plenty busy transitioning to new homeowners, and now that spring is in full swing, we’re doing work outside as much as possible.  From flower and veggie gardens, to reseeding our lawn, to moving piles of rocks from one spot to another, we’ve been getting a lot done in our yard.  And it has been great watching all the different plants pop up all around.  Indoors, we’ve gotten pretty much settled and are definitely comfy in our new home.

So I’ll be proceeding on a much more regular schedule, and I hope you enjoy looking at my daily photographs once again.  I appreciate all the ‘Likes’ and considerate comments and certainly encourage you to share your favorite photos on Facebook, Pinterest, or anywhere else.  Thanks!


Photo #1244 – 04.11.12

65-Ton Faro Mine Truck

As soon as you reach the town of Faro in the Yukon Territory, it is immediately apparent that the town has some sort of connection with mining.  This 65-ton mining truck greets visitors to the small town of less than 400 residents and makes a nice photo stop (hence the photo above of me taken by Ken).  The town’s mining boom was more than 30 years ago, and the town has more recently been trying to portray itself as a great tourist location within the Yukon.  We actually did some snowpits in the gigantic mine areas up in the mountains, and one of the weirdest parts was driving our SUV down this overly wide road that looked like it could easily allow a few of these huge trucks to easily pass along…in some ways, it reminded me more of an airport runway than a drivable road!