Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ridge Rockin' with the Depot

Last month I posted about Rock the Ridge, a new 50-mile race/hike that's being held for the first time this year to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Mohonk Preserve here in New Paltz.  I didn't say anything about running the race at that time. I've been planning since last fall on running the Ice Age 50K in Madison this month, a race I've wanted to do for quite some time, and with RTR falling just one week before Ice Age, it didn't seem doable for me.  Also, though I support the Preserve and their fundraising efforts, I wasn't too keen on going around, hat in hand, in order to raise the $250 in pledges necessary to compete.  But as the race approached I got more and more enamored of the idea of running an ultra right in my own backyard, on the trails I train on every day.  I don't know exactly what happened, but all of a sudden one day I decided I HAD to run RTR.  So I asked my friends Geoff and Mike, the co-owners of the Bicycle Depot, if the shop would be interested in sponsoring me for the race, and they graciously agreed.  So, my first sponsorship for 2013: the Bicycle Depot!

The Depot is one of several excellent bike shops in our area, and in my opinion is the best one.  They offer a wide range of road and mountain bikes, accessories, and apparel.  They have a full-service shop for assembly, repair, tune-ups, you name it.  They have a full fleet of rental bikes that they re-stock every year, so they remain in great condition.  And, they are just about the friendliest group of bike mechanics and business owners you could ever imagine.

Mike and Geoff are strong supporters of the local racing scene as well as the local community in general.  In addition to being one of the main sponsors of the Spring Dual Against Cystic Fibrosis, they are longtime supporters of the ridge, the Preserve, and the Mountain House.  They've donated brand new bikes as raffle prizes for local events like "No Petrol Day" and the New Paltz Regatta, and they've formed partnerships with other excellent local businesses like Rock and Snow (another huge ally of the Preserve and one of the main sponsors of RTR) and the Mudd Puddle Cafe to help support our unique community.  I'm proud to represent the Bicycle Depot and hope that I can put in a good showing this weekend.  In terms of the race, Ben Nephew is the overwhelming favorite, but hopefully he'll take it easy on me and we can run together for awhile, at which point, I don't know, maybe he'll get eaten by a wildebeest or something.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Supposedly Fun Thing Jay Will Never Do Again

I don't want to talk about Boston.  The past week was incredibly difficult and I've had more conversations about it than I care to remember.  I'm generally not an open/sharing person, particularly about "emotions," and you'll have to forgive me if I just want to say I'm tired of talking about it and dealing with my emotions about it and for now I'm just going to have to internalize whatever I have left.  There are many, many other places where you can read people's feelings about what happened, people who will say it much better than I can anyway.  Go ahead, I won't be offended if you click on someone else's blog.  I just don't have then energy to do that.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Taking Stock

Last week I had my semi-annual crisis of confidence during what was all in all a very pleasant (if exhausting) family trip to The Most Magical Place On Earth. After a long day on our feet in the Mouseland I was struggling through a very slow five mile jog, not acclimated to the 80-degree temps, and engaging in one of my favorite easy-run pleasures, listening to Ultrarunner Podcast. For those not familiar, URP is basically two mid-pack ultra geeks in Northern California, Eric Schranz and Scott Sandow, who interview ultrarunners--top studs like Max King, Dave Mackey, Anton Krupicka et al, but also "everyday" athletes with interesting stories to tell. They're very enthusiastic, they love the sport, they love good beer, and they've become pretty good interviewers over the past two years.  I was listening to their conversation with Russ Thomas, who a few years ago weighed 400 lbs but opted for diet and exercise over gastric bypass surgery, lost almost 200 pounds and now runs ultras all over the country. This was the guys' second interview with Russ, and he was reflecting on some of the obstacles that had forced him to curtail his training somewhat in the 10 months that had elapsed since his first interview.  Anyway, around the 18-minute mark, I hear this:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dylan's Salsa

Mommy really likes to can things (and put them in jars).

My sister doesn't like regular salsa very much, so Mommy made a special salsa for her called Dylan's Salsa. She likes it very much. Tonight for dinner my sister put salsa in her burrito. I didn't know she was going to like it that way. She usually likes it plain. That's how much she loves Dylan's Salsa!

I asked mommy how it is different from regular salsa. She says it's not but Dylan likes it because it has her name in it. Also she said it is pretty bland which means not too spicy which is what Dylan likes. She makes it with a lot of vegetables that she grows in our backyard and also vegetables we get from a farm in town. The salsa is made especially for Dylan, but other people in our family like it also.

The recipe is from a book called Put 'em Up. Here are the ingredients:

1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt
3 lbs heirloom tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 lb onions, diced
1-2 jalapeƱo peppers, finely diced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Buy the book if you want directions to make Dylan Salsa. Or you can ask my mom for a jar.