Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Shoes and running,and clarinets and making beer...

Ive been lacking motivation to run. Summer is my favorite time to run- i love the heat, and the chance to wear as little clothes as possible. Winter = dark, icy, and cold. None of which are conditions I like to run in. I trip a lot, I dont want to injure myself on ice, and the cold makes my hands feel as if my hands have been smashed with a hammer. Sitting on my comfy stationary bike has been my workout of choice lately...
It's pathetic for me to not even break 20 running miles a week and i've only done that 2 times in the past 6+ months. But, PT and my long term vision for ending my injury cycles have been #1. Now that i'm overcoming my anxiety of running more miles, I want to have goals. I want 2015 to be the year of the PRs!

Black friday, cyber monday whatever. I bought 2 new pairs of running shoes- Nike Zoom Fly and Mizuno Wave Hitogami. Both are extremely light (because those extra ounces add up, yo!) and feel pretty good- they have different heel to toe drops, but I am always about variety.  Different shoes for different workouts and all that jazz. Gotta keep the muscles engaged and on their toes.
Saturday was on the warmish side, so I took CB for a run. He saw some Canadian geese and had a great time running 5.5 miles with me.
Post run I made beer. Not any of that extract/syrup shit, but legit all grain brewing.  We have a one gallon set up which is perfect for our apartment.The "standard" home brewer would make 5 gallon batches. I cannot fathom making that much beer. I made an extremely hoppy IPA and if all goes well, in 2-3 weeks I'll have a delicious beer to drink.

The various stages of brewing- the "mash" process where the grains are soaked in hot water to get their flavor and sugars into the water. The OMG delicious smelling hop pellets for "the boil." And our fermentation vessel.
After the mash in, I had 2.5 lbs of spent grain left over. I could have tossed it out, but there was a precious pup who insisted I make biscuits.
With the spent grain I added flour, peanut butter and eggs to make the dough. *No hops are in the spent grain. Those are poisonous to dogs.
The pup supervised me and made sure all the ingredients were perfect.
The pup was drooling while "supervising" me. CB and one of 11 dough balls.
I used my new bear cookie cutter to make 74 bear cookies for CB and his BFF Tomoe. My oven was filled with spent grain biscuits!!! And I still have half the dough left in my freezer! I even taste tested a leg of one of the bears- and it was ok. Not overly sweet or flavorful. But CB approved. Spent grain can also be used to make bread.
To back track a little, On Friday evening I restored all my clarinets. I cleaned their wood bodies, I oiled them, I waxed the outside and cleaned their corks. For the first time in almost 4 years they saw the light of day. It was oddly relaxing to do this- something I had not done since I lived in Mexico and played professionally in an orchestra. It has been a struggle for me to enjoy classical music since leaving Mexico since it brings up so many mixed emotions. A story for another day...
I did all of this because I want to play again. It's taken me 4+ years to actually want to play them again  and before I could do that, I needed to perform the necessary maintenance on them. I would hate for them to crack because I didn't oil their wood. Thankfully they were all in great condition. I've played a few times now- only the Bb clarinet and plan to play the bass, my favorite, soon.
My Clarinets: Eb, Bb, A, and my favorite: Bass Clarinet.

Sunday I went for another run outside. It was cold and windy. I had originally planned to run 8-10 miles, but after going into the freezing headwind for 3 miles, I called it at 6. I just cannot handle the cold. I did another 2.5 on the treadmill once I returned.
The waves were crashing on the sea wall which, despite the cold, was so mesmerizing to me.
I am excited to build a good base going into 2015 and start chasing the goals I had to put on hold during 2014.
I just need to figure out what those goals will be...


  1. I've been wearing the Mizuno Wave Hitogami and really like them so far! I had no idea you played professionally in an orchestra - very cool! I hope you can enjoy playing again.

  2. LOVE the pretty new shoes! I used to play clarinet in high school. I played my moms clarinet that she played in high school. She bought it from an old man who had played it all his life. I should check and see if it needs oiling. I am hoping my daughter wants to play it someday.

  3. for some reason I am not able to see most of your pictures. It is probably my computer. I can't wait to hear how your beer turns out.

  4. Save some of those Barley Bears for cousin Bella !

  5. Oooh I would love to hear more about when you played professionally! Do you plan to just play for yourself now, or do you think you might join another orchestra? I've been looking up community bands, I know there is one at DePaul and one up in Jefferson Park. At some point I'd like to at least attend one of their concerts and see what they are like. I am by no means talented on the flute (I stopped when I graduated high school), I just enjoy playing.

  6. I played the clarinet tooooo! I haven't touched the thing since high school, and recently found it in my parents' house, haha.

  7. Cool that you played the clarinet. I miss playing the piano and I would like to get back into it again next year.