Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The lovely disorientation of long weekends

I got in bed at K's place last night thinking I'd go to the boat house this morning, and start a 90 min aerobic piece at 6 am, finish by 7:30, and have plenty of time to be in San Jose by 10. Then I realized that today was not, in fact, Monday, but Tuesday, a day on which I have regular practice with the team. Which starts at 5:30. Which is why I don't stay at K's place on Monday nights. Because I'd have to get up at 4:45 to make it (15 min to get up, dressed, packed, 30 min to drive).

Last night I made beer at K's place. My holiday lager, which I haven't made since I lived in Boston, which is more than 6 years ago. It involves spices and orange zest, and it quite lovely. K was flipping through my recipe book and thought it sounded good, so we're making it. It's odd to have a girlfriend who enthusiastically supports my beer dorkiness. She wants to make labels for my bottles. She likes the trip to the brewery supply store.

Beer means bread. I make bread with the spent grain from brewing. The recipe is one I largely make up out of my head each time, but it goes something like:

2c milk
1/4 c brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 c molasses
1/4 stick butter

Warm milk, melt sugars, molasses, salt in milk. Allow butter to dissolve. Do not scald milk. When one can stand to leave a finger in the milk, add milk to:

1.5 c white flour
1.5 c wheat flour
1/2 c spent grain
1 packet yeast

And beat with electric mixer.

With wooden spoon, beat in more flour (2-4 more c) until dough is stiff enough to be kneaded.

Knead in flour till dough is sticky but not stiff. Form loaf. Allow to rise 45-90 min. Bake at 350 F for 45 min.

It's awesome stuff.

So now I have 5 gallons of lager fermenting on K's back porch under a tarp.

I did 10 x 500m with 2' rest intervals on Sunday, and it went well. Faster than last week by about a half second each.

Did 60 min this morning, heart rate all under 153. Was only in the 150's for the last 6 minutes, and held the pace to sub 2:00/ 500. So I'm going just as fast but at a lower intensity. So my training is working. I took a look at my 2K times from last year. My best last year was 6:42. I'd like to go that fast or faster this month. We have a 2K due in January, then another in February. I want to go sub 6:40 for sure, this season, and maybe sub 6:36. I've got time to make that happen before April.

K helped me make my apartment look amazing. Saturday evening she came by and we cleaned and de-cluttered and she applied her decorative eye. Some minor changes and re-arrangements of stuff that I already had made it look really great. I was impressed with what she could do, and touched that she wanted to do that for me. She's been rather restrained, given that my place is often in a state of "a boy lives here by himself". She's never commented or pushed. But she did admit she's been planning her attack for a year or so.

The place looks fantastic. I bought a new comforter, and some new towels, and it made the bedroom look great. I should have shot some before photos. Now I only have after. K brought some cool lights/ lamps, and gave me this kickass stereo thing that hooks to an iPod. It's got a great sound. Better than what I had before.

And now I'm at work. And K is in LA interviewing surfers about beer.