Summer Ideas for your Yard

By John Focht

So it’s mid-July. The summer sun is up, and your green spring lawn has turned into a brown summer scorch. Since your lawn doesn’t grow as much in the summer, now’s a great time to get some other yard work done; just in time to get you into the autumn season.

Trimming Tree Limbs and Bushes

While the summer sun browns your lawn from mid-July to the end of August, now is the perfect time for trimming the overgrown bushes, tree limbs, and general landscaping that has overtaken your yard the past several months.

Do section of your yard each week. Spend the first week doing the front of the house and areas where people see most of your house. Next hit the backyard and areas where you and your family spend most of your summer days and nights. And finally hit the sides of the house and areas where there isn’t much activity.

Breaking up the yard into different sections will help alleviate doing all the work in one shot, and will allow you to stay up to date with your landscaping as you head into fall.


It’s an ugly job, but at some point somebodies got to do it. If you haven’t done a clean-up already this summer, by this time of the season you are probably in dire need of a good weeding.

In lieu of cutting the grass, give your flower bed a good once-over and get rid of those pesky weeds. Be sure to pull them out by the roots to keep them from just growing back next week.

Cutting the Grass

If your lawn does need a good mow over the dog-days, raise your blades to one inch. Cutting the grass at a longer length will allow the grass to shade itself and help its roots.

During the hot summer months, it’s always good to cut the lawn an inch higher than you normally would in spring and fall.

Now it’s time to find the hammock, lie in the shade, and enjoy the summer breeze.


Memorial Day Weekend Down the Shore – Plenty to do this Holiday Weekend

Need some things to do this Memorial Day Weekend? Head to the South Jersey Shore for family fun and entertainment

From Ocean City to Wildwood, there is great family fun at the South Jersey Shore

By John Focht

Memorial Day Weekend down the shore. There isn’t a much better way to kick off the unofficial start of the summer season than a weekend down the shore. From Ocean City to Wildwood Crest, there is plenty to do down the shore this Memorial Day Weekend.

Centennial Summer Kickoff – Stone Harbor

Start your Memorial Day Weekend early in Stone Harbor on Thursday, May 22at 4pm at the 95th Street Beach for the “Beach Opening Ceremony”.

Stone Harbor Mayor Suzanne Walters will officially launch the 2014 summer season in Stone Harbor at the Centennial Summer Kickoff ceremony. There will be beach activities for all ages immediately following the ceremony, so start your holiday weekend early this year in Stone Harbor.

Tribute to Heroes with the Jersey Shore Pops – Ocean City

Head north a few towns to Ocean City on Friday night to the Ocean City Music Pier on the 9th Street Boardwalk. The Jersey Shore Pops will be playing Tribute to the Heroes of America  with a wonderful musical tribute.

Conductor Linda Gentille will help kickoff the weekend celebration in Ocean City by leading the Pops with renditions of Glenn Miller and George Gershwin, among other great artists of years gone past.

 StandUp4Seals Beach Adventure Race – Ocean City

Stick with Ocean City on Saturday morning with the StandUp4Seals Beach Adventure Race on the 8th Street Beach beginning at 7:30am.

The race will consist of three simultaneous events:

  •  The Stand-Up Paddle Ocean Challenge
  • A SEAL Team-approved Obstacle Course Challenge
  • And a Kids Fun Run.

There will also be a Patriot Ceremony to honor our veterans and fallen warriors following the events. All proceeds from the event will go to One Team One Fight, the official sports charity program of The Navy SEAL Foundation and The Travis Manion Foundation.

This is a great event for the whole family; race as a team or as individuals, and let’s go!

 5k Beach Run – Avalon

Head south on Route 9 on Sunday morning in time to be a part of Avalon’s Matthew Mullin Memorial 5k Beach Run. The run starts at 8:30am sharp at Avalon Community Hall at 30th Street and Avalon Avenue.

This is a great way to get an early exercise in before chillin’ and relaxin’ on the beach for the remainder of the day.

Summer Concert Under the Stars – Wildwood Crest

Finish your Memorial Day Weekend under the stars in Wildwood Crest with Wildwood’s kickoff of the Summer Concert Series.

Head to Centennial Park, at Fern Road and Ocean Avenue, at 7:30pm for the free outdoor concert; great for family and friends of all ages. The Fabulous Greaseband will be providing all the musical entertainment for this wonderful event. Bring a beach chair or beach blanket and enjoy the night!

On Memorial Day, up and down the coast, stop in any of the Jersey Shore beach towns and you will find the Memorial Day parade kicking off in town at 12 noon.




Training for a 5K in 14 Days

By John Focht

The spring season is loaded with 5k races in every town every weekend now through June. It’s a great time of year to get yourself into shape, as well as accomplishing running in a 5K.

It just takes a little dedication and motivation, but within the month, you will find yourself easily running the 3.2 mile race. All you need is 45 minutes to an hour every other day for the next month.

Start Slow

Start simple. If you try running three miles, or even a mile, on day one, you will fail. Avoid the discouragement and start small by building yourself up to running the 3.2 miles.

On days 1 and 2, alternate running one minute then walking two minutes – do this for 20 minutes.  That’s it for days 1 and 2.

By spending the first two days with this minor 20 minute exercise, you are getting your body prepared for physical activity again (especially if it’s been awhile since you’ve done any physical activity).  Too much too soon will be a negative to your training.

On day 3, up the ante a bit by increasing your run from one minute to two 2 minutes.  Continue with the 20 minute workout by alternating the two minute run and two minute walk.

Start Increasing your Training and Stamina

Day 4 will continue where day 3 left off: alternate between a two minute run a two minute walk for 20 minutes.

Days 5-6: The 20 minute workout remains, but you will again up your continuous run time. This time, alternate between a three minute run and a two minute walk – do this for 20 minutes.

You are roughly a week-and-a-half into your training and you have slightly increased your continuous run time from one minute to three minutes. Believe it or not, that’s a pretty big accomplishment after only six days of training. You have begun training your body for getting ready for continuous running over a longer period of time.

Start Pushing Yourself

This is where the real training starts. No longer are you looking at your watch and starting and stopping based on time. Now is the time to push yourself for distance.

On day 7, you will run for 0.5 mile, and then walk two minutes.  Repeat this exercise for three times.  You will have accomplished a few things on day 7:

  • Running a total of 1.5      mile which is a pretty good accomplishment.
  • And two, you have begun      training your body to run for distance.

On day 8, there is only a slight change. Instead of your walk between runs being two minutes, decrease it to one minute and 30 seconds. So overall on day 8 you will run continuously for 0.5 miles, and then walk for one minute, thirty seconds. Repeat this exercise three times.

On day 9, run continuously for a mile-and-a-half; don’t stop for a walk. Push yourself to complete the 1.5 miles. How did you do? Were you able to complete 1.5 miles without a break? Don’t worry if you were unable to make it. There is still some time before the race to work on stamina and strength.

Two Mile Run

You’re getting into the home stretch here. On day 10, you want to continue working on stamina and strength. You will run one mile, and walk one minute.  Repeat two times. Don’t worry about distance today; you should only be thinking about increasing your stamina and strength.

On day 11, run the 1.5 miles continuously again, and then finish with a minute-and-a-half walk. By now, you should be at the point where you are able to run 1.5 miles continuously.

On day 12, push it a bit further: 2.5 mile continuous run. Don’t worry about time. Focus only on finishing the 2.5 mile run.

Bring it Home

On day 13, you will continue working on distance, strength and stamina; run 2.75 miles. By now, your body should be adjusted to the continuous run, and your stamina should be well-adjusted.

On day 14, just do a 2 mile run. You don’t need to run the entire 3.2 miles today. You have trained and prepared your body for the race. This run should just be looked at as a tune-up for the actual 5k.

Day 15 is the 5K race. Congratulations! You made it. Now time to line up and go. Remember to pace yourself. Your adrenaline might kick you out of the gates quick, but slow down, pace yourself, and enjoy the run.