Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DF: RMU, Days 7-12 (AA)

Um, hi there.

So, yeah, I got lazy and stopped making a whole blog post per day. But nothing interesting happened. I walked and walk/jogged a lot:

Er, that's sideways. Oh well.

Except of course the last day I ran, and I tried to start at exactly noon and run exactly one 12-minute mile, but my stupid watch lost the satellites and I ended up starting at 12:02:

Then of course there's the snow.

It snowed about a foot on Saturday night into Sunday. (Yes, that's my back yard.) So I would have tried to do a 10-minute mile at 12:02 to end at 12:12 on 12/12/12, but, uh, no. I probably would have fallen on my face.

Anyway, also you should still go tell RWB that eating a dozen devilled eggs for fun is still not normal, because really. It isn't.

And now what are we supposed to do on the 12ths of months? I'm starting to go through withdrawal already.

Happy holidays, everyone! I'm sure we'll post random stuff when we're bored over here, but it's been a heckuva year!


Happy Finalethon day, everyone! I am nowhere near as awesome as the Angle and her 78-mile epic feat, but I did get in 12 today:

I did the Diabolical Dozen challenge again. The Angle thinks I'm insane, although as I'm not the one who did 78 miles, I think we may have a bit of a pot-kettle situation there. Anyway, I really like eggs. This was probably actually my favorite challenge back in Q1 so I was perfectly happy to repeat it.

Seriously, only eating one at a time is the hard part for me.

Clearly I needed something to wash the eggs down with, though - RUI Single-Fister, please!

It's back. Still tastes like cough syrup.

I just managed to get myself out the door in time for the sunrise at 6:42am:

The second one's actually from 45 min later
(yep, still suck at taking pictures), but it looked neat.

I threw in a Sisyphus since I hadn't done that yet and the libraries and other public restrooms on my normal route don't open until about 9, and I prefer to have those nearby on my long runs in case of "issues". Plus it meant I could just set the container of eggs down on the back of my car and grab one every fourth lap.

Aaaaaaand I guess that's it! If we do indeed make it past next Friday, what are we all going to do with ourselves on the 12ths??

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DF: RMU, Day 6 (AA)

Seven miles done, in the cold.

I guess it wasn't that cold today; it was over 40 degrees F when I left, but my face doesn't see it that way. I broke down and bought the 'expensive' face cream ($12.99 Neutrogena Naturals stuff) because I know it works, and after washing my face with my normal face stuff (Dr. Bronner's) and having it sting like I was sunburned, I feel pretty good about that decision.

Anyway, enough of that. DID EVERYONE SEE THE NEW STAR TREK TRAILER? The Japanese version has fourteen extra seconds. Find it here: Star Trek into Darkness.

Fifty-seven miles down, twenty-one left. So I've done more than a fifty-miler in the last few days, and I have less than a marathon left. Yay!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DF: RMU, Day 5 (AA)

Well, hi there. Eight miles today, and all is well!

I just wolfed down a burrito (homemade, not Chipotle) so I'm doing okay on refueling. I do kind of want cookies, but I can work on that later.

So let's talk about something a little less, um, highbrow: When you're running, do you wipe your nose all over your sleeves and gloves? Because, uh, yeah. It's gross, but you gotta wipe your nose somewhere.

50 miles down (!), 38 to go. Woo!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

DF: RMU, Day 4 (AA)

9 miles! In the cold. We're starting to get to manageable distances.

So today let's talk about food.

In addition to what kind of shoes you wear, I also do not give a flying flunderton what you eat. Except: make sure there's enough of it.

This Reverse Mayan Ultra Deathmarch thingy is a lot of miles in not a lot of days, and for me (and a good deal of the rest of you) it's also in the cold. The first couple days, I was super-exhausted all the time and I think at least part of it is due to expending too many calories and not replacing them.

I've since fixed that, or at least tried to (there were lots of burritos involved), and I can stay awake past 8pm now, but yeah. The Reverse Mayan Ultra is kind of a bad time to, uh, count calories, unless it's to make sure you're not shorting yourself much. Undereating will also affect your ability to recharge/heal, so, yeah. Don't do it.

Watch what you're eating later. Eat lots of food, especially protein, now.

And if you'll excuse me, I must drink my eggnog-spiked Kahlua.

Monday, December 3, 2012

DF: RMU, Day 3 (AA)

10 ugly miles, but a titch faster than yesterday, I think:

But really, you're here to see the greyhounds.

As it turns out, greyhounds are pretty difficult to photograph, but hey, here's the best I could do:

They're both female dogs; the brindle I think was named Morgan and the white spotted one was named Lanta. I don't know if they're perma-homed by the people they were there with or not, but they're cute. Anyway. There are three greyhound rescue societies in the Twin Cities area, and there's probably one near you so you should adopt a greyhound.

33 miles down, 45 to go!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

DF: RMU, Day 2 (AA)

Yeah, blah blah, I ran/walked (trotted?) 11 miles today in a ludicrously-long amount of time:

Note that it's actually about 10 minutes less than that, due to the fact that I spent about 10 minutes faffing around in a convenience store in there. (I had a coupon for a free coffee, and muffins were only $0.79, so I got a red velvet cake muffin. It was fantastic, thanks.)

Anyway, let's talk about shoes, and to start: I do not give a flying flunderton what kind of shoes you wear. You may have noticed that RWB and I both tend toward minimalist-ish shoes, her extremely so, me less, but that's for our own reasons which may not be yours. But what I'm about to say is important to everyone, or at least should be.

Throw out your damn shoes when they're dead.

Why? Because otherwise you might find yourself breaking in a new pair of shoes, of a new style/type, in the middle of a 78-miles-in-12-days deathmarch.

Unfortunately, I only noticed that my shoes were dead--for me that means starting to cause knee pain (the kind that almost immediately goes away)--um, like, Thursday, but I ignored it. So I'd be breaking in new shoes anyway around this time, but, uh, I would have been able to break in the shoes a mile at a time, if I'd worn them yesterday, rather than having to do 3.67 mi and then 7.33 miles all together.

So, yeah, the entire rear side of my body from my waist down to my heels hurts, thanks to going from Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 2s (4mm drop; moderate squish) to Merrell Bare Access Arc 1s (0mm drop; light squish). My left knee is also a tad tweaky: i.e., when my form starts to disintegrate at the end, if I'm not careful, it'll complain at me, but nothing is actually wrong and I just need to break up my runs a little bit for the next couple days. I'm blaming that on running about 2 days too long in the shoes with the dead midsoles, since I changed absolutely nothing else and this did happen last time, too.

But please, if you wear shoes with midsoles, don't wear them to the point that they screw up your form and make you hurt yourself. I missed going there just barely, and I'm glad I didn't.

23 miles down, 55 to go. Tomorrow: Greyhounds!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Finalethon: Reverse Mayan Ultra, Day 1 (12 mi) (AA)

Well, hi there.

You'll notice it isn't actually the 12th. That's because this month, as a special bonus, Our Fair 12athon Leader is allowing us--if we're dedicated enough--to attempt the Mayan Ultra again. The thing is, though, we have to do it in reverse. Also, it's a 50-point bonus, whether you do the Varsity (12-10-9-etc.) or JV (6-5.5-5-etc.) distance. So, clearly, why do the Varsity distance?

THE CHALLENGE, DUH. Or general weirdness.

So anyway, yeah, today I'm running 12 miles, but in order to kill myself a little more slowly, I'm doing the Slacker's 12-Hour Challenge: 1 mile an hour for 12 hours. As I type this I've already done two. I'm also doing the RUI Double-Fister with coffee spiked with Kahlua (mint juleps were getting tedious and I am so not 'wasting' my good GLBC Christmas Ale on this) and the Dirty Dozen, so I'm actually quite uncomfortable at the moment.

Well, okay, I did remove the jacket and a couple of hats so I could survive indoors but I'm still wearing three pairs of pants. I think if you would have found me in March, or whenever the last time I did the Dirty Dozen, and said I'd be doing it again in December, I would have laughed. But the high today is 46 and it was already above freezing when I did the first mile at about 7:35, so.

Anyway, it's like 10 hours later and I'm done now, so let's get to the important part: ridiculous pictures of me.

Here's sort of how I looked when I started:

And here's my coffee (still in the French press) and the Kahlua (still in the bottle, but shortly after that I poured it into a couple of travel mugs):

Believe you me, I consumed all of it.

Here, if I've managed to do it properly, is a series of pictures of my Garmin watch:

I'm going to post this picture an extra time because I would like to highlight my photo-bombing cat:

And here is a series of pictures of me, standing in front of the microwave mostly, for timestamps, holding various articles of clothing that I promise I was wearing before I got pictures:

Yeah, I'm well aware that it's too small to see the timestamps, but they're there. *sigh*

Here's what I removed, in convenient list format:

  • A mitten
  • The other mitten
  • A balaclava
  • A red shirt
  • An Active Band headband, 12athon swag
  • A pair of gray capris
  • A knee sock (bought for a race, so it's running wear)
  • The other knee sock
  • A glove
  • The other glove
  • Another pair of gray capris
  • ...and then everything else

So: Slacker's 12-Hour (24) + RUI Double-Fister (12) + Dirty Dozen (8), but I can't really figure out what the total points are until the 12th because who knows if I'm going to finish this or not.

And holy crap am I tired now. Also, I think I killed my shoes, and I saw greyhounds in between miles 5 and 6, but I've got eleven more days of blogging, so I'll talk about those things in the next couple days.

12 down, 66 to go!

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12athon - RWB

I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that eating 13 jalapeno hushpuppies is a terrible idea, even if you do have that many of them left over from a Celebratory Catfish Dinner the night before and even if their brethren were extremely tasty at said dinner. I forgot to take a "group photo" before I started, so here are the last three. I enjoyed the first five or so, but these particular specimens did not go down very easily.

And an individual shot, just for fun:

Just in case the blurry hushpuppies have left you with any lingering doubts regarding my total lack of photographic capabilities, I present you with what I am fairly certain is literally the worst photograph of a sunset ever taken:

It was actually a pretty decent sunset in person?

This picture still totally sucks, but it looks
almost okay if you compare it to the other one.

Anyway, I also wore VFFs for the Naturalist challenge and had two thingums of cherry brandy for the RUI Double Fister because I needed a tablespoon or so of it for a recipe once and I figured I might as well use a bit of it up for the 12athon. It tastes exactly like cherry cough syrup, which I don't really mind that much. In any case, it does not taste like hushpuppies and that is what's actually important here.

Yeah, I should wash these.

November 12athon: AA

So, Saturday (the 10th) it was 55 degrees (Fahrenheit), partly cloudy . . . well, okay, then there was a thunderstorm. Sunday the 11th was about 32 degrees out, again, partly cloudy, clear and cold

In other words, I should have known.


Ahem. Well, okay, I shouldn't complain; we've had unseasonably warm weather for the last year or something, so.

Anyway, for the last couple weeks I was actually on the IR (injured reserve, for non-sports fans) because I managed to screw up my back leaning over to put on running shoes, I kid you not, the morning of the Halloween half marathon I was supposed to run. Yeah. Bad idea. So that meant I wasn't really going to do a full 12 miles today, having not run since about Oct. 25th.

On the other hand, I'm very proud of myself for getting 6 miles in today, which I did:

In my 'new' shoes (Merrell Bare Access Arcs. I bought them in July or something but I hadn't worn them yet, and really, I just wanted to wear them; the old pair is still fine):

Around the little park at the end of the street that is about a 0.15-mile track:

(Yeah, I'm a terrible photographer. I know. That blue thing is my sleeve.)

I thought about jumping into an unheated outdoor body of water then, and there was even one nearby:

...but then I realized I was REALLY STINKING COLD and that wasn't going to happen.

So! Happy cold 12athon! 6 miles (6) + Sisyphus (8) + Naturalist (4) + Multiplier (1.2) = 19.2 points for me this month! I think.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 12athon: Travel Edition (RWB)

Happy 12th! I'm too tired to write anything exceptionally coherent at the moment, so here's a bunch of pictures with blurbs:

Sunrise/Sunset: 7:42am and 7:11pm in Columbus, GA.

Three Square Runs.

It occurred to me right after I left for my morning run right at 7:42 that I couldn't run 4 miles before 8am. Fortunately, Alabama is only an eight-and-a-half minute jog away, and it's an hour earlier there than it is in Georgia. Crisis averted!

Alabama wins the Fancy Sign contest.

Work-y, work-y!

I used the 'lunch' run to go to my afternoon rehearsal and the 'dinner' run to come back to the hotel between rehearsals. I'm staying a whopping 2 blocks away from the hall, though, so I didn't take a particularly direct route:

Okay, it's definitely past my bedtime now. See you all next month!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream Recipe

This is, I absolutely confess, the gimmickiest recipe ever. Ever.

Yeah, I admit it.

Anyway, so I, like everyone else in the country, love pumpkin spice lattes, and I also like making ice cream. So what better to do than to combine the two? And sure, I could probably find a recipe for pumpkin-spice-latte ice cream on the internet somewhere, but why do that when I could take an actual pumpkin spice latte and turn it into ice cream itself?

Yeah. Gimmicky. I know.

So. Here it is: How to turn your Pumpkin Spice Latte into ice cream.

This recipe assumes you have an ice-cream maker, probably of the frozen-bowl variety, like this one. If not, well, I found mine (Rival, not Cuisinart) for $4 at the local Goodwill, and you can almost always find one for $15-$35 on Craigslist. Or, well, I bet most of us in existence can call up an aunt--yeah, that aunt, the one who owns two Kitchen-Aid mixers--and borrow one. But I digress. Pre-freeze the bowl.

If you already know how to make ice cream, you're welcome to skip to the ingredient list. If not, I've helpfully included pictures. It's a tad complicated for a beginner but not un-doable.


(makes just over a quart)

  • 1 16-oz (Grande) breve pumpkin spice latte (that is, one made with half-and-half instead of milk)
  • 4 egg yolks (save the whites for meringue or throw them out; I don't care)
  • 1/4c white sugar
  • 1/4c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 3/4c heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2c pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin-pie filling)
  • 3/4t cinnamon
  • 1/4t ginger
  • 1/8t cloves
  • 1/4c creme fraiche (or sour cream or more heavy whipping cream)
  • 2T coffee liqueur or Kahlua (I used Kahlua)


  • Candy thermometer
  • Hand mixer (or crappy stand mixer; I wouldn't do it with a Kitchen-Aid)
  • Whisk
  • Smallish bowl to go with hand mixer
  • Second bowl, and then a larger one it can nest inside of for an ice bath
  • Ice
  • Strainer
  • Small pot


  • Go to Starbucks, or your coffee joint of choice. I'm recommending Starbucks right now, because if you buy a mocha, you can get any other drink of equal size for free. That means if you buy yourself a 16-oz salted caramel mocha, you can have a pumpkin spice latte for free. Ask them to make the PSL a breve-no-whip, which they will cheerfully do.
  • Go home, and try not to drink the PSL as you do. That's what the salted-caramel mocha is for. About here is a good time to make the ice bath: Put some ice and a little bit of water (about 1/3rd of the bowl) into the larger of the two nesting bowls, and stick the smaller on the top. The smaller bowl should still be able to hold at least a quart of liquid.
  • Stick the candy thermometer in the PSL; if you're fast enough and you had a very eager barista, it might be hot enough to make the next step easy. It should be about 160-165 degrees on the candy thermometer; if it's less than that, pour it into the small pot and heat it up.
  • While it's heating, put the four egg yolks into the smallish bowl that goes with the hand-mixer and beat them for a minute or so at a very low speed. I've got a 3-speed hand mixer and I use the 1st setting; RWB has a 5-speed and uses the 2nd. Then add the white and brown sugar, slowly, and keep beating until you get what Julia Child calls 'light yellow ribbons.' They'll look a tad funny because of the brown sugar, but they should be ribbon-y. Careful for lumps in the brown sugar; you may have to de-pack it first.
  • Slowly--VERY VERY SLOWLY; a few drops at first and then a tad more--use the PSL to temper the eggs. That is, put a tiny, tiny bit in at a time and beat the egg mixture on the same setting as you do it. SLOWLY. This whole process should take at least five minutes or you're doing it too fast. I usually pour my hot-milk/PSL mixture into a measuring cup, and this time I discovered that I got about 14 oz of PSL. It's fine; I'll make it up later.
  • Return the whole mess back to the pot, and cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes. DO NOT LET IT GET ABOVE 165 DEGREES ON THE CANDY THERMOMETER. Julia Child will beat you over the head if you do. It should thicken a bit. If you don't notice it doing so, don't worry about it. Also, there may be foam. That means you did a crap job at separating the eggs, and don't worry, I always do. It won't make a damn bit of difference. Ignore it.
  • Strain the contents of the pot (the custard, if you're being pedantic) into the smaller bowl in the ice bath. This will get rid of the cooked-eggy bits that just happen. Deal with it.
  • Add the whipping cream. If your PSL was exactly 16 oz, add 1/2 cup. If yours was a tad less, like mine (see below), add extra cream to make it so you have two and a half cups of half-and-half and cream.
  • Add the spices. If your cinnamon sucks as much as mine does, you may need to add a tad more. It might be a smidge overwhelming. That's fine; freezing will mute the flavors a bit. You will probably also need the whisk to get the spices in. That's fine, too.
  • Once the ice bath has done its thing and gotten the stuff in the bowl to room temperature or cooler, cover the bowl and put it in the fridge, or, if you're impatient like me, into the freezer. It'll take about six hours in the fridge or one in the freezer.
  • If you put it in the freezer, I have a few suggestions as to what to do with the hour you have:
    • Go for a run. This is ostensibly a running blog.
    • Watch an episode of Castle and then pace for the other 17 minutes.
    • Clean frantically for 30 minutes, realizing that your sister-in-law will be in town in 2 days, and then watch 3/4ths of an episode of Castle for the remaining 30 minutes, having de-cluttered three rooms and a hallway.
    • While watching Castle, start writing a blog entry about making gimmicky ice cream.
    • Pet a cat.
    • Frantically check the Minnesota Board of Legal Examiners website to see if they've decided to tell you if you've passed the bar or not early NO, DON'T DO THAT.
    • Wash the epic number of dishes you've created.
    • Guess which one (or more) of these I did.
  • Take the cold base out of the fridge or freezer, and add the creme fraiche (or sour cream, or heavy whipping cream), the pumpkin puree, and the Kahlua/coffee liqueur. This necessitated more whisking for me.
  • Strain the thing again, if you have the patience. Pumpkin is sometimes stringy. I got lazy and didn't do it.
  • Pour it into the ice-cream maker and freeze according to the machine's directions, yada yada. It was done in about 25-30 minutes for me but your mileage will probably vary.
  • You're going to want to eat it right now. You probably shouldn't, because it's the consistency of soft-serve, like all ice cream that comes out of a frozen-bowl maker. Put it in a container or two and put it in the freezer. Torture your spouse, if you have one, by letting him have a taste but not letting him eat the entire thing.

Mine tasted a bit smoky, due to the fact that I used a Starbucks latte; yours will vary if you use someone else's latte, I'd guess, or if you make your own.

Anyway! Enjoy.