Monday, September 30, 2013

EdWort's Apfelwein

My beer brewing adventures have been going well. Just sampled my Chinook IPA this past weekend and it's a bitter resinous affair (in a good way.) Bottled a coffee stout as well so now it has three weeks to condition in the bottle. I've been absorbing a lot of information from Home Brew Talk's forums - they're a great resource for new brewers. I stumbled upon a recipe by tenured poster EdWort for an apfelwein (it's very dry and not quite a cider.) The recipe is so cheap and easy that I figured I'd give it a try.

All you need is apple juice, sugar and a packet of wine yeast. I did a half batch so I used 2.25 gallons of AJ and 1 lb of corn sugar.

I emptied half of each of apple juice into the Better Bottle. The suds are from StarSan, a no-rinse sanitizer. It's very easy sanitize with this stuff but it seems so wrong to pour the apple juice into a sudsy container. Everyone says "don't fear the foam" and so I don't!

The sugar gets poured into the AJ containers. I shake them all lustily to mix well. Then into the BB goes the rest of the juice.

After most of the juice was added, I dump in the yeast packet. I use the last of the juice to wash the dry yeast off the sides of the fermenter.

There you go. 2.25 gallons of apfelwein. Luckily the wine yeast is not as picky as beer yeast so I don't have to be as concerned with temperature control. It will stay in the utility room for two months before I bottle.

Two days later and the concoction has become cloudy as anticipated. I can see little bubbles lining the edge of the surface confirming that fermentation is happening. Looking forward to seeing how this drink develops.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weekly Log: 9.23.13 - 9.29.13

Monday - Smithfield, RI - 6 miles

An easy trail run in the woods behind Fidelity. Decided to scope out the trails that were under attack by Woodsmen. The bastards had been busy, cutting down trees and creating roadblocks in the sections of trail that were still intact. When I got to the clearing I was amazed how much larger it was than last time. I wonder how much farther into the woods they'll go? No doubt the houses they build will be lavish and isolated. I had a fun Strava segment back here but now it's more or less unrunable. I had a good chuckle at the thought that a year from now if you want to complete this segment you'll have to go through John Q. Moneybag's bathroom in order to stay on course.

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (60 minutes)

Wednesday - Hopkinton, RI - 10.5 miles

Another early evening run in Hopkinton. I looked online and realized that I'd be parking pretty close to many small ponds and trails in Rockville that fellow WTACers enjoy. I decided to try the Narragansett trail section that runs around Long Pond. I then read a good report about this trail on Crutchley's blog (complete with pictures) and realized it had some pretty steep/rocky sections I hadn't planned on.  Still I figured that it would only take me a little over two miles to get to the trailhead, giving me another half hour of light which should be enough time to navigate the 2.5 miles of trail. I opted to wear my lightweight NB 730 road shoes. I hoped that wouldn't regret this decision on the trails.

The run to the trail was quick (though an unusual number of motorists shouted things at me - that's Hopkinton for you.) By the time I got to the trail the sun was down but there was still a fair amount of light in the woods. It was technical right off the bat, with lots of big rocks to run around/over. It's always a little tense running in unfamiliar woods - you're never quite sure where the trail's gonna go. When I hit the parking lot on Canochet Rd I was relieved that I had hit the halfway mark on the trail and was on track. The rest of the trail run was much more challenging as now I was using the headlamp in the failing light. There are some awesome giant boulders to run across and also some really steep sections. Crutchley wasn't kidding when he said he resorted to climbing. The 730s proved to be no problem in the woods and I got a sense of why Jonny usually sticks with road shoes when running trails.

I knew from Crutch's Strava map that the trail section was almost done but now it was pretty dark and I had to keep pausing to make sure I saw the yellow blazes. The rocky outcroppings made the trail tough to spot. One last mountainous climb and finally I hit the parking lot on Old Rockville Rd. Success! And just in time as night had come. I motored down the dirt road, trusty headlamp showing me the way. The dirt road turned to pavement and then finally hit the intersection with Canonchet Rd.

I was still in unfamiliar territory but I knew where to go. There's a long stetch of road here with absolutely nothing on it. I ended up moving pretty fast on this road (a combination of feeling good and night creeps) and eventually I reconnected with the part I had run out on. A fun run in the darkness and I was really pleased with how I felt wearing the 730s - I think these are my go-to road shoe now.

Thursday - 0 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)

Random Stuff
I had a dream last night that I was running the Ocean's Run 1/2 and was very late. I got to the race and people were already lined up. I didn't have my bib and because I was late they gave me a new bib. All the bibs they had left were gibberish. Mine said something like "3R8." And they made me fill out a tiny name tag. The runners took off as I was completing the tag and I felt completely dejected.

Yesterday's run was my longest yet in the 730s and while I've got a little ankle/calf soreness it's really not much. Psyched. Can't wait to use 'em in some fall road races.

Friday - Snake Den, Johnston, RI - 7.5 miles

I hadn't been to the Snake Den park in a while so it seemed a good choice for this morning's run. Took it fairly easy as I made my way up and down the hilly trails but I turned it on when I hit the Connector Trail segment. Last time Strava gipped me and didn't recognize it.  After the segment attempt felt pretty spent - I gave it my all.

And it turns out Strava denied me again.  Curses!


Saturday - Carter Preserve, Charlestown, RI - 7.9 miles

I had planned to run eight or so miles on Sunday and take Saturday off but when the e-mails went out about a group run at Carter Preserve on Saturday, I couldn't resist a group run so close to home.  Big group with Jonny, Jeff, Mike B, Muddy and Nate.  We hit up most of the trails in the preserve, keeping it at a fun conversational pace for the duration (save for a Strava segment loop around the grasslands - we all pushed the pace here.)  It's been a while since I participated in a big group run and I'm glad I made the decision to join them.  Good times.

Sunday -  0 miles

Weekly Mileage: 32 miles

Year to date: 1,366.9 miles

Fun week with a return of the always enjoyable group run and some new trail adventures in Hopkinton. One week until NipMuck!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Weekly Log: 9.16.13 - 9.22.13

Monday - Smithfield, RI - 6.1 miles

Legs were pretty stiff this morning after Surftown but a early morning dog walk loosened 'em up. I stuck to my normal Monday morning trail run and ventured into the woods behind Fidelity. While legs felt alright to start after a few miles of singletrack they began to feel worn down. It was only a six mile run but the last few miles were tough - just good training for NipMuck right?

Now a few hours later and I'm shuffling around the office. Surftown DOMS has caught up with me.

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Back & Biceps (50 minutes)

I was going to do Legs & Back since it's been a while but my legs are feeling pretty rickety so I opted to give 'em a break and focus on some upper body work. Good choice.

Wednesday - Big River, West Greenwich, RI - 5.7 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)

Woke up feeling groggy with a sore throat. Was supposed to do Yoga but that wasn't happening. Eventually willed myself to do Ab Ripper. It's been a couple weeks since I did it and it was not easy.

Packed my running gear for a post-work run and thought to bring my headlamp as it's getting dark earlier these days. Decided to hit up Big River knowing full well that a good portion of this run would be in darkness. I parked off of Exit 6 and first did the Pine Trail while there was still some light. After that I struck out down Burnt Sawmill Road until it hit another dirt road (Sweet Sawmill Rd?) Took a right and followed it down until it passed some farmland. It was getting dark and I still had to pick up Em so I turned around at this point and clicked on the headlamp. The run back was uneventful but the mind does play tricks on you in the darkness. Should I venture over to the Things Go Bump in the Night trail? No thanks.

Finished up the run on the short singletrack section that runs alongside Burnt Sawmill. Definitely tricky running amongst the roots with only the headlamp light. It required a lot of focus. I thought about long endurance events and how rough it must be for those exhausted runners when they have to don a headlamp and continue on in the dark. Crazy.

So the run was a little creepy but also fun. I wouldn't mind doing another night run out here sometime - but with a group to give me fortitude.

Thursday - Wolf Hill, Smithfield, RI - 6.5 miles

Another Thursday, another excuse to get out of going to the track. This time I justified it by telling myself that I was going to do some hill work in the afternoon. Went over to Wolf Hill and headed into the preserve, pushing the pace as I ran up into the quarry. Then I turned around and followed my tracks back down and made my way up the Ken Weber trail, trying to keep the pace up and not stop running. After that I ran the usual trails here. I feel like my climbing ability is much improved since last year and I'm looking forward to seeing how that translates at NipMuck.

Friday - Ryan Park, North Kingstown, RI - 7 miles

Easy miles at Ryan Park to round out the weekday runs. About two miles in I took a nasty digger in the Root Run section. Probably my worst spill ever. Took a small chunk out of the palm of my left hand, a small gash on that forearm and my right knee was a bloody mess. At least I fell just before the bridge, making it easy to wash out my wounds in the pond.

Stopped back at the car to take a grisly picture and then I continued over on the west side of the park. Lost my pep as the run wore on but the pain was minimal. That is until I got to work and cleaned the damage properly with alcohol. SEARING PAIN.

Saturday - 0 miles

Headed over to Newport with the girls to cheer on Amanda as she completed her third triathlon of the season.   This was her toughest yet with a longer swim (1/2 mile) and a hilly and hectic bike course.  Her goal was to finish in under two hours and she came in at 1:57.  Very proud of all she's accomplished this year!

Sunday - Burlingame, Charlestown, RI - 11.4 miles

I woke up early determined to run in the rain and...heard thunder.  Waited until the rain weakened a bit and then headed to Watchaug Beach.  My original plan was to run two loops on the Vin Gormley trail in order to hit 16 miles.  But after a few miles in the rain coupled with my late start, I decided to cut it down to 11 miles.  I ran down towards North Camp and then hit up Sammy C's trail.  Rain made the Sammy C rocks slippery and I had to tread carefully.  So two 8 mile loops turned into one 11 mile loop but it was a fun running the trails in the rain.

Weekly Mileage: 36.7 miles

Year to Date: 1,334.8 miles

Good week with a lot of trail work.  Looking forward to more trails next week as we begin to taper for NipMuck.  Also this was my 20th consecutive week with 30+ miles.  Consistency!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Surftown Half Marathon 2013

Official time: 1:24:00.  13th out of 1614.  2nd in Age Group.   Results here.

Held on coastal roads in Westerly, Surftown offered the opportunity to improve on my 1:25 PR and serve as a fitness barometer before embarking on NipMuck in a few weeks.   Weather was perfect - sunny and cool.  With 1800 runners it was going to be a pretty big event but I avoided most of the traffic and had plenty of time to pick up my bib and warm-up.

The race was delayed about 15 minutes because so many people were in line for the john and everyone was getting antzy.  Finally it was go time and I toed the line alongside teammates Muddy and Ryan Woolley (whom I finally met after the race.)  At the gun we took off and I found myself very briefly in third place as Ryan and Muddy took off ahead.  Then Jeff and some fast ladies went by followed by a few others.  Over the first mile people continued to pass me until equilibrium was reached which left me in around 20th place.  I got into a good rhythm and my pace was in the 6:20s.

The loop around Weekapaug featured some minor hills and I picked up a couple spots as some guys slowed on the inclines.  As I came back onto Atlantic Ave I found myself in a group with four other guys.  We all were happy with the 6:20ish pace we were running and stayed together for most of the race.  This was a big help as each guy seemed to take turns running ahead before the rest of the group reeled him back in.

Amanda and Ezri were waiting at 7.5 miles.  I ran to the far side of the road to give 'em high fives and it gave me a surge of energy.  I also seemed to pick up the pace after the water stops.  I started with water for the first half of the race and then switched to gatorade.  It seemed to work.

Mile 7 was the fastest yet at 6:17 and now it was beginning to feel like work.  This is where running in a group really helped.  One guy had already dropped back and I didn't want to suffer a similar fate - I pushed harder to stick with the other three guys.  The four of us continued to run in 6:20s as we approached Watch Hill, slowly gaining on two other runners ahead of us.  As we entered the historic district I found myself pulling ahead of the other guys.  At the hill leading up to the Ocean House, I kept the pace up and caught up to the two men we had been chasing.

Suddenly I found myself out in front of everyone.  The hill had slowed all of them down but it had given me strength.  I knew this was my window to put some distance between my competitors and I pushed - miles 11 & 12 were 6:14 and 6:12.  I was moving very well at the end of the race - at one point during mile 11 I glanced at my watch and saw a sub-6 minute pace.

By the time I turned onto Maplewood Ave I was tired and ready to be done.  I glanced back as I turned onto Atlantic and there was no one to worry about.  The homestretch was a slog - I felt like my pace was awful though the spacewatch says otherwise.  As I approached the finish line, a guy told me I was 13th which was awesome.  Then I saw the 1:24 on the clock and that was even better.

1:24:00 on the dot!  PR by one minute exactly! (kind of weird that I ran Ocean's Run in 1:25:00.)  And it was a big day for WTAC all around.  Ran into Muddy and learned that he won the whole thing!  Ryan in 3rd and Jeff Walker in 6th (after completing a half Ironman last Sunday no less.)  Young Matthew Walked finished 26th in under 1:28.  Pretty impressive for a 13 year old - I'm not sure how long I'll be able to hold him off.  Another big PR for Crutch.

Swag and Spoils

I did a short cooldown then grabbed my free beer and waited for the awards.  I came in 2nd in my age group (Surftown has generous five year categories which helps) and snagged a pint glass and visor. Overall everything worked out perfectly. I ran a smart race and was able to save my best for the end. A huge motivational boost with NipMuck approaching!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekly Log: 9.9.13 - 9.15.13

Surftown week! I'm looking forward to this fairly big race on a very flat course. Hopefully I can best my March PR at Ocean's Run. I had planned to do some tempo work leading up to this race but it never came together. With these longer races I always question how I'm going to be able to run at a sub-7 minute pace for so long - it still seems like such an unmaintainable speed in my mind even though I've already done it this year at Ocean's Run and the Blessing. No doubt things'll click into place as soon as the race begins but it's funny how my confidence seems to wane as the race approaches.

Fall is definitely in the air and we've just under a month to go for NipMuck. I've been reading Dean Karnazes's Ultramarathon Man and it's getting me psyched up for another long distance endurance challenge. I also seem to be getting the makings of a cold. Let's hope it doesn't amount to much. Shall we blame it on the early morning dog walks in the chilly pre-dawn hours? Yes, let's do that.

Monday - Wolf Hill, Smithfield, RI - 5.8 miles

This is fall weather! Stepped out of the car at Wolf Hill and it was downright cool. Ran the usual rocky trails, enjoying the crisp air.

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Chest & Back (50 minutes)

Wednesday - Hopkinton, RI - 6.5 miles

Another evening run while Em was finishing up dance class. The temperature had backed off from the earlier scorcher but it was still pretty warm. Ran shirtless and was soon sweaty. Wish I had brought a headlamp because within 20 minutes it was pretty dark. There was no repeat of last week's unexpected Mind Journey but I felt good and picked up speed at various points to feel out a pace for Surftown. Last section of the run was behind the golf course. Now I was running into pitch blackness on back country roads - kind of creepy but also thrilling.

Thursday - 0 miles

No workout today.  Headed over to Jay's house in the evening and I completed my BrewTraining.  Bottled two batches - a porter and an IPA. 

Runner.  Patriot.  Brewer.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 5 miles

Just a short run on the Fidelity paths to loosen up the legs before Surftown. I've been feeling really good running in the NB 730s and I really want to wear 'em for Surftown but I've never gone longer than 8 miles in 'em (and I still feel it in my calves the day after using them.) I'm sure I could wear them for the half but I question how my legs would feel on Monday. To that end, I ran in my 890s as that's the shoe I'll be wearing on Sunday. They're getting up there in mileage but they'll serve me well for one more long race.


Saturday - 0 miles


Sunday - Surftown 1/2 Marathon, Westerly, RI - 16.3 miles

Big PR!  Official time: 1:24:00.  13th overall.  2nd in Age Group.  Report forthcoming.

Made a batch of pickled peppers in the afternoon.

Weekly Mileage: 34 miles

Year to Date: 1,298.1 miles

Monday, September 9, 2013

13th Annual Shawn Nassaney Memorial 5k

Offical time: 18:40. 11th overall. Results here.

I was looking forward this race. It's held at Bryant University and in memory of the brother of a coworker so it's a race I'm always happy to do. This was my first race since the Blessing back at the end of July and my first 5k since the Rock SK5k back from June. I had run this race last year in 20:40 but had since run several 18+ min races - I was thinking I had a shot at running an 18:30 or lower.

The course is a loop on grass that runs the edges of the Bryant soccer, baseball and football fields with a short dirt trail section thrown in. I opted to go with the New Balance MT00s since I've been feeling good in 'em lately and this is as benign a offroad surface as you're going to get. After putting in a couple overtime hours at the office, I went across the street to Bryant where lots was going on. There were football players lined up in their suits getting ready to prepare for their game. Folks were setting up their tailgating stations (well a few folks, this is Bryant after all.) And there were mens and womens college invitationals taking place before the Memorial 5k.

Did a brief warm-up, got a photo with the other Fidelity runners, met another local blogger Beth and then it was time to race. Loooong start line and I lined up at the far end with the faster alumni runners. Everyone was straining to hear the announcer. Then a gun was fired and we were off.

Fast start as always and I found myself moving at a 5 minute pace. Too fast but after a minute the surrounding runners began to ease off and I started running around 5:40 which was where I wanted to be. A couple young guys in team singlets passed me but I overtook 'em by the end of the first lap and found myself running with no one directly in front of me. Near the end of the first lap I hit the first mile at 5:48.

Heading into the second lap and it was getting a lot harder to hold the sub-6 pace. I could hear people behind me and just tried to maintain. The layout of the course meant that I had a great view of the runners ahead of me - I guessed I was in 12th position. About halfway through this loop I began to lap the back of the pack runners. Well, walkers actually. They were walking four abreast of course and appeared to be having a jaunty conversation. I startled them as I skirted around and continued on, startling more walkers as I went. I tried to alert people as I approached them but many were wearing headphones and couldn't hear me. I hit mile 2 earlier in the loop this time: 6:07.

As I'm finishing the second lap a huge billow of smoke from the post-race cookout wafts past me, illiciting a strange mixture of both revulsion and craving from my stomach. Finally a tall guy in a blue shirt that had been on my tail for most of the race made his move and surges past me. I try to keep with him but it's becoming really hard to maintain this 6-ish pace and he put some space between us as we're both zigzagging amongst the bulk of the runners still on their second lap. Mile 3: 6:03.

The third loop is shorter than the previous two. The trail section is omitted and the portion that skirts the football field is cut out. With .1 mile to go, Blue shirt guy goes left with the masses instead of right and I'm briefly ahead of him with one turn to go. I tried to find another gear but I'm worn out and then Blue Shirt guy surges by me once again with a surprising amount of speed. I end up finishing two seconds behind him.

So I finished in 11th place out of 237 with a time of 18:40. A new 5k PR by 2 seconds! I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to shave more time off my PR but I really don't train for this short a distance so I have no reason to complain. If I want to make excuses I could say that the grass terrain slowed me down a bit, as did dodging the other runners. But honestly the thing about the 5k distance is that you've got to be able to run fast and hard for the whole race. It requires a fortitude to push it to the max at such a short distance and that's not my forte. So I'll take the PR and be happy.

Running in the MT00s was no problem - this terrain was made for them. Afterwards I did a short cooldown and then stuffed my face at the cookout. They always have a good spread of burgers, dogs and desserts at this race. Chatted a little more with Beth while we ate and then I made the long journey home. Now if I can just shave 2 seconds off my PR at Surftown next weekend I'll be psyched!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekly Log: 9.2.13 - 9.8.13

After using August to focus on trails and mileage, I start September off with a couple races.  First is the Shawn Nassaney Memorial 5k up in Bryant on Saturday.  I haven't run a 5k in a while and I'm looking forward to seeing how I do.  The following weekend is the Surftown 1/2 in Westerly.  Then a few more weeks before NipMuck.  I have a feeling that September is going to fly by just as fast as August!

Monday - Charlestown, RI - 10.9 miles

It was insanely humid and wet outside after last night's thunderstorms and running in the soup was not very appealing.  But I knew that if I didn't get it done in the morning it probably wouldn't get done at all.  The girls were going over to visit friends on Shannock Rd in order to introduce Oliver to another dog so I crafted a local route that involved mostly roads but also some trails and finished at their house.  I was soaked pretty early in the run and my legs didn't have much pep but they woke up some (though the hills on Biscuit City Road were not so welcome.)  I jumped on the Heart trail off of Worden Pond Rd and did some of the Browning Woods loop as well.  Someone cut down a giant tree that now blocks part of the path.  Hopefully they're going to clear it up soon.

Tuesday - 0 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)
P90X Shoulders & Arms (60 minutes)

The last day of a five day respite from work.  But with tight calves and heavy thunderstorms all day, it was an easy decision not to run.  I did use the rainy day and empty house to the fullest advantage by brewing another beer - a coffee stout! I followed the recipe and let the grounds steep for 20 minutes at flameout but then I regretted this decision as now there are plenty of grounds in the primary. Hopefully they'll settle out and won't be a problem when it comes to bottling - we'll cross that bridge in a few weeks. The rain also gave me an excuse to bail on a necessary chore - car shopping. I won't be able to put it off forever.

Once the storms passed, I walked the dog in the afternoon and noticed this thing growing in our yard.

Hands off, Crutch!


Wednesday - Hopkinton, RI - 3.75 miles

P90X2 Yoga X2 (45 minutes)

Man my calves are really sore. Not sure what's going on with them. Amanda suggested that it might be from the dog walks. Seems counter intuitive since I run so much but she could be on to something - maybe the brisk walking is having an effect on my legs since I'm not used to it.

After work I ran some errands then went to pick up Em from dance class. Got there early and went for an easy couple miles. Calves loosened up quickly and weren't an issue. The sun was fading as I started the run and I first checked out a lonely dark road that led to corn fields along the highway. Then I looped back and ran around the nearby golf course. I went across the street into a neighborhood I had last visited when I ran at Black Farm. A few minutes after I entered this neighborhood something...happened.

It was getting quite dark as I ventured down these quiet country roads. I began to sweat profusely. Strange as it wasn't hot and I wasn't working very hard. Then a wave of euphoria swept over me and I could feel myself grinning uncontrollably. Everything seemed wonderful and I felt like I could run forever. What was happening to me? I hadn't felt like this since my last Phish festival! Was this the infamous Runner's High? If it was then sweet fancy Christ sign me the hell up!

I was happy as a clam but good and lost in this neighborhood. Not that I cared all that much. Dark now, I figured any car I encountered was going home for the night so I ran in the opposite direction. Soon enough I arrived at the main road. Once back at the car the run was over but the bliss remained. I cranked a great Tweezer jam and climbed onto a giant rock and gazed out at the darkened parking lot - contentment flowed through me. I ran my hands through my wet hair and it felt so good. I stretched. And I gazed some more. The other parents probably thought I was mad but I didn't care one bit.

It was a throwaway run of 3.75 miles but I think it may have been one of the most important runs of my life.

Thursday - Rome Point, North Kingstown, RI - 6.4 miles

How the hell do you follow up transcendence? Rome Point'll do, I s'pose. Wore my MT00s to make sure I felt comfortable in 'em for Saturday's race. Kept the pace easy early on. I found an old trail that led to a condo neighborhood on Oceanwood Dr. Trail was overgrown with lots of makeshift bridges to traverse swampy sections. It immediately brought me back - we use to take this trail into Rome Point back in my cross country days when we went offroad on our fearless "blood runs."

Now on the roads I scooted over to Terre Mar and then crossed the old rail bridge and continued in Rome Point. I did all the usual trails - water was very tranquil and not many people were out there. I decided to take a stab at the Yellow Blaze trail segment but I wasn't sure of the direction to run it in (I choose wrong.) But it felt good to push the pace for a bit in the MT00s and then I took it easy for another mile or so before calling it a day. No euphoria but a good run nonetheless.

Friday - 0 miles

P90X Chest & Back (50 minutes)

Saturday - Shawn Nassaney 5k at Bryant

Official time: 18:40. 11th overall. Race report to follow.

Sunday - Burlingame, Charlestown, RI - 8 miles

Met up at Jonny's house in the morning and ran some easy trail miles with him and Nate. It was fun exploring Burlingame from another direction. We started in North Burlingame before running part of Vin Gormley and Sammy C's. Jonny also led us down another trail I had never been on which took us back into North Burlingame. Fun run with good conversation. Afterwards we hung out in Jonny's driveway with his kids and cheered on the cyclists doing the Firmman (1/2 Ironman.) Saw Jeff Walker in action looking strong.

Weekly Mileage: 34.9 miles

Year to Date:  1,264.1 miles

Good week with a PR at Bryant and an unexpected journey into the Mind's Eye on Wednesday.  Last year's total mileage was 1,265 miles.  In your face, 2012!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Habanero Hot Sauce

With my two habanero plants beginning to churn out the hot peppers, I knew it was time to put 'em to use.  I found a great recipe on chef Rick Bayless's website and decided to take a stab at it.


The recipe calls for unpeeled garlic cloves, an onion, apple cider vinegar, a medium carrot and of course the hot bastards.

The garlic are cooked in a pan until they get soft with brown spots.

One thing I don't need is habanero oil near my eyes.  These glasses were designed for cutting onions and they'll do the trick.

Chop up 1/2 cup each of onion and carrot.

The recipe calls for 12 habaneros equaling 5 ounces.  I had 15 of 'em but they only came to 3 ounces.  Good enough.

Cook the carrots, onions and peppers in a pot along with the cider vinegar and a cup of water until the carrots are soft.

Throw it all in the blender plus the garlic (peel 'em first) along with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar.

Mmm.  Orange slurry.

Poured most into a refurbished Frank's bottle and put the rest in a mason jar.

The hot sauce is kept in the fridge and it is yummy!  Not overpoweringly hot (unless you really dump it on.)  I put it on my eggs every morning.  I mixed some into my tuna lunch for more awesomeness.  I'm really pleased with how it came out.

More pepper madness around the corner if I can get around to it.  I'd like to make habanero jelly and pickle some of the other varieties I've got growing.