Where's Waldo Wednesday - 4/4/13-4/10/13

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Where's Waldo Wednesday - The point of the week where more is behind than ahead and the weekend, and thus playtime, is the bright light at the end of the tunnel.  Why did I call it Where's Waldo Wednesday?  No particular reason really...other than I like alliteration and it is fun to say.  Try saying it five times fast!

A weekly series of what's new around here and other ramblings like things I found interesting on the internet this week or cool runs I did, kind of like a weekly synopsis.  Originally, I was going to do this on Sunday and call it Sunday Synopsis but then I couldn't decide between Sunday Synopsis and Sunday Summary...so I did the only logical thing and decided to write it on Wednesday? 

The Week's Happenings

1. Snow in April.  Only in Blacksburg. - Is this real life? The week was progressing like most other weeks this semester and I was on the downhill side of an easy week (academically) before things ramp up as the semester draws to a close.  Thursdays, I only have one class from 3:30-4:45 which means most of the day is spent catching up on work from the week (I will openly admit I am never 'ahead') in hopes of having a "relaxed" weekend.  The weather on Thursday had been very...Blacksburgesque, meaning gray and gloomy.  About a half hour into class the phone rang, this never happens, and I jokingly made a comment that class was cancelled because of weather.  It was.  Most of the class was in total disbelief because Virginia Tech has a habit of never canceling classes...except for that one time last fall!  The town was total chaos because Virginia Tech cancelled classes effectively immediately, causing a exodus of 25000 people from campus.  To further compound the problem, the roads were not prepared and the rate of snowfall was significant enough to cause major delays.  As in standstill.  Fortunately, I made it home without any problems (Subaru For the Win!) and had a somewhat productive evening.

It really accumulated quickly!

The two above photos say it all.  On Thursday we had about six inches of snow at the higher elevations (Including where I live) and the forecast for Friday had a high of 57...talk about identity issues Blacksburg! 

So my intention was to take these photos 24 hours apart but I wound up taking the second photo around 6ish on Friday...but ~25 hours will have to do.  A pretty big difference!  Even more incredible is that nearly all the snow had melted by 6PM the following day!

The weather made me want a warm comforting meal and I had been craving Thai so I tried one of the Campbell's Skillet meals I had in the pantry and dressed it up with things I had lying around.

Thai Green Curry with basmati rice, cilantro, and peanuts.

2. Trail Run...with 6+ inches of Snow!  I have enjoyed getting out and running on the trails in Jefferson National Forest over the past couple weeks but it adds about thirty minutes to a run because of the drive there and back.  Hence, it isn't always super practical to run there but I when I have the chance I try to seize the opportunity; Fridays are ideal because I only have one class that ends at 9:55.  I was not going to let a measly six inches of snow Thursday evening put a damper on my Friday morning run.  However, I did alter my initial plan, which included a ton of climbing, that would not have happened after I saw the conditions of the trails.  I was hoping because I was getting out there "early" that I would only catch the beginning of the melt off but as the picture above shows the snow melted fast which made Fridays run wet.  Wet and cold.  I had planned on doing 14 or so but after getting out there and changing routes I wound up settling on a loop about half as long.  I nearly turned around 1.5 miles in because my feet were so painfully cold from the 2" of standing water under the snow but decided to tough it out.  Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos on the run because I haven't figure out an ideal way to carry the camera when I don't have my hydration vest on...so you'll have to believe me!  I did take some photos after I got back to my car.

You can see at half past noon when I finished my run most of the snow in the parking lot was gone. 

To me, Friday meant the start of Chaco weather.  The. Best. Kind.  Snow or no snow!

Friday evening, Michelle and I were up to our usual dirtying every pot, utensil, and appliance in the kitchen!  On the menu for the evening: Calzones!  Michelle LOVES artichokes and I picked up this fun pizza book over break at Home Goods for cheap which just happened to have an artichoke-prosciutto-spinach calzone recipe.  As a first attempt, we were both very pleased with how they turned out although we both agree that next time we will make them smaller.  We've been making dough via the recipe from the book and it has turned out to be really easy to work with and the KitchenAid mixer makes cuts down the time to about 15 minutes including cleaning and washing the bowl (obviously this doesn't include the hour for the dough to proof).

We blanched the spinach by boiling it for ~30 seconds and then shocked it in an ice bath.  I was shocked (pun intended) by how much the spinach reduced, next time we'll have to double (maybe triple) the amount we use.
Cheesy goodness!  
(No.  I didn't eat the whole thing in one sitting.  I easily could have but showed self control).

As a side note, I had mentioned a few weeks ago at the Rock 'n' Roll USA marathon expo I created a video audition for TEAM REFUEL and had the card sitting at my desk reminding me that April 5th was the day they intended to post finalists.  Unfortunately, I was not one of them.  But NEXT TIME!

3. Operation Smile 5K - Dublin, VA - On Saturday morning, Michelle and I headed down to Dublin (the biggest city in the world! ....It's dublin' every day) for the Operation Smile 5K.  Michelle had signed up for the run through her masters program, I think there was some academic incentive but none the less a great cause, and I was along to spectate and support (read: ring a cowbell).

From Operation Smiles website:
We're a mobilized force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
The race was very small...maybe 50 participants combined in the running and walking categories.  We arrived a little before 8:30, the run did not start until 9, and mingled with other folks in Michelle's program until they held the pre-race briefing.

The race was held at Radolph Park "The Pride of Pulaski" which is a nice recreational/athletic facility.

When we arrived they were in the process of setting up the finish shoot.

The course began with three laps of the athletic fields prior to a short singletrack section in the woods followed by a lap of the perimeter of the park.  The gentleman who won had to have been in his early sixties..."beast" status!

Michelle finishing the run!

After the race they had a raffle and handed out plaques to the age group winners.  It was very different from most of the races I have done recently but it so nice to feel a sense of community between the runners and take a break from the "big box" races.

When we got home, I went out for a quick run before we were out the door again, heading north to Salem, to check out the "newly" opened Parkway Brewery!

4. Parkway Brewery - Ever since I heard the NRV (New River Valley) was getting a brewery (Bull & Bones doesn't count in my opinion) I had been been itching to check it out!  I liked their Facebook page and followed their opening but week after week was not able to make the short trip up the road for one reason or another.  We  finally made time on Saturday to go see if it would live up to the hype.  After I knocked out a quick run, we rode up to Salem with Michelle's parents and met up with some friends to see what the brewery had to offer and "carboload" for Sunday's long run.  The brewery does not serve foot but instead invites food trucks (Brooklyn Brewery does the same thing) as an option for patrons or allows food be brought in from the outside when in the absence of food trucks.  The brewery could be very easy to miss as you drive down the road as from the outside it's just a baby-poop-greenish industrial building but all of the cars outside gave it away...and also made parking a challenge but we managed.  Usually a good indicator!  It turned out to be a beautiful Saturday with temperatures in the 60's and it seemed like everyone had the same idea as us...so we snagged seating on the inside as most of the outdoor seating was taken.  The setup is very simple, a single bar opposite where you walk in and the rest of the area is filled with a bottling line, boxes of beer, as well as tables and benches to sit as you enjoy cold adult refreshments. 

The view as you enter the brewery. 

I have to admit, I was excited about going to the brewery and finally tasting their beers but I was way more excited to try Bruno's Gastrotruck!  Michelle and I...well...we're foodies and food trucks are pretty high up on our list.  Another reason why I wanted to get out on a run before we left for the brewery was because I knew exactly what I was going to order, the LE BACON ROYALE WITH CHEESE.  A play on Pulp Fiction for those that don't get the reference, STOP reading and watch this video first.

Bruno's Gastro Food Truck (HA! Didn't even realize I caught Cindy and Cheryl at the truck)

They actually pull the truck right into the brewery. One thing that I found neat was to see that they can operate off the location power which seems pretty logical but just wasn't something I had thought about.  You can actually just make out the chord in the photo above near the front left tire of the truck. 

Three of us stated with a "flight" or a 4oz (seemed bigger though) sample of their four beers for only $5, a great deal.  I loved their get Bent Mountain IPA which we wound up with a pitcher of.

My beautiful fiancé!
Now, the Le Royale with cheese was a Kobe Beef patty, Applewood smoked bacon, havarti, over easy egg, baby arugula, picked onions, tomato, and sriracha mayo.  It was THE. BOMB. DOT. COM!!! Michelle had a beef tip wiz' wit (Philly-peeps) that was also amazing.  

Verdict: Bruno's Gastrotruck - Five Stars!
**(It was a bit pricey in my opinion, would've thought ~$8 for the burger instead of $10)**


I digress...back to the brewery.  It is super impressive that they already have a bottling line and are distributing in Blacksburg...well their Baltic Porter in 22oz. bottles is at the speciality stores in Blacksburg and they had everything else available for purchase there at the brewery. 

Bottling line.

Not quite sure what this thing does as the line wasn't running while we were there (obviously) but I'm guessing this is the capper?

5. Sunday Long Run - Sunday started early for me as Michelle and I planned to go to church at 11 and I wanted to get a long run in...that meant leaving the house a little before 7:30 and just getting in the door at 10:00AM to stretch, shower, eat, and get to church.  And we made it.  With time to spare!  This was my longest run since the Rock 'n' Roll USA marathon and it felt really good.  It started out a little chilly, 45 degrees, but warmed up nicely throughout the run.

Totals for the week: 4/1/13-4/7/13 (I always start my weeks on Monday)
Mileage: 44   
Elevation Gain: 4,019 ft.  
My highest mileage week this year.

6. Spring is FINALLY HERE! - I had forgotten how long and depressing a Blacksburg winter could be, not that I'm complaining, but the opportunity to run in shorts and short sleeves over the past week has been AWESOME!  The start of this week was super busy and the next 6 weeks look to be even more so.

Interesting Internet Findings
  1. Canadian Space Agency Informative Video - Ever wonder what would happen if you cried in space?  Yeah.  Think about that for a minute.  Well the Canadian space agency decide to create an informative video about it.  Pretty wild what happens! 
  2. Social Media Brings Back a Retired Shoe from Brooks - #OperationSaveTheLaunch - The Launch is Back!  Honestly, I could care less but I love social media and think this is an awesome example of the power of it. Read it HERE (via Brooks Blog)
  3. 12 Year-old WINS Cherry Blossom 5K?!? - Yep.  You read that right.  A 12 year old won the Cherry Blossom 5K.  I'll say it again.  A 12 year old won the Cherry Blossom 5K.  While I applied to run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler this year, my application was not accepted so I only have to be rejected one more year before automatic acceptance.  It was tough reading all of the posts about it but it's high on my dream list! Read it HERE (via Washingtonian)
  4. "The truth is, I hate to run. It’s just a means to an end. I like to race, but I hate to run." - Interesting article on one runners realization waiting for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler to start.  Super brief but I really enjoyed the read because I understand where he's coming from and wrote something similar a few weeks ago. Read it HERE (via Forbes)
  5. 91 Year-old Run 3:04 Half-marathon!!! (I have to admit, I originally thought it was a 3:04 marathon and was going to quit running altogether) And you thought a 12 year old winning Cherry Blossom 5K was impressive.  Talk about the real deal!  Read it HERE (via Runnersworld)
  6. Ultrarunner Survives Avalanche Scare while Climbing - A scary and humbling thought about how we handle our trips out into the woods, even if were just going for a few quick miles. #RespectMotherNature  Read it Here (via Ultimate Direction Blog)
  7. Meb Keflezighi Withdraws from Boston! - With the Boston Marathon this weekend it is disappointing most of the American hopefuls have withdrawn from the race (Meb and Ryan Hall). Read it Here (via Meb's Blog)
That's it!  Hopefully you enjoyed my ramblings and seeing what I've been up to this week. This weekend we head down to Charlotte for a friends wedding but not before the 3.2 for 32 - Run in Remembrance Saturday morning.  I'm so looking forward to getting back to the Queen City!   Leave some love!


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  © Blogger template On The Road by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP