Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer cooking

A guy could get a pretty good meal without even grilling meat.

Though we did indeed grill meat too.

Not meat in the Catholic sense, but meat in a taxinomic sense. Sorry for only having an image of the raw steel-head and scallops--I got too busy while cooking to take any further pictures.

It was a nice day, so we had the AC off and the windows open. A good time to roast coffee and after the oven was free of coffee (it gives off a lot of smoke) some JoJo's to go with dinner.

Mexican Turquesa

Yemen, Mocha Matari

Idaho, JoJo's Vaishali-style.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

At least I helped the team.

Last year I had a disappointing time at the Yankee Homecoming 10-miler. It is in the middle of the Summer, but in the evening--as if these things somehow cancel each other out. It is held in Newburyport MA, which is on the Atlantic Ocean, so one might even expect some cool sea breezes. The weather last year was above 90 with high humidity and not a breath of wind.

I wanted to run it this year because I figured that it couldn't possibly be as bad as last year.

It did not start auspiciously; I gave myself two hours to get there, park, pick-up my number & so forth. Google maps gave the route an estimate of one hour, so I figured that I was fine. Traffic said otherwise. As I looked at the temperature gauge, which hovered between 95 and 97 degrees, I half-way hoped I would arrive too late to race. Route 495 was a mixture of stop-and-go and wide-open lanes and I had spent an hour and a half by the time I got off the highway. I now had to find the race, park, pick-up my race number, run back to the car to drop-off my t-shirt and sun glasses and then run to the start. I got to the starting line right before the gun went off.

Some large races have a starting sensor which keeps track of when you cross the starting line and deducts this from the final time. This can be significant. In Boston from a couple of years ago, I started in the middle of the pack and still took over 6 minutes to reach the starting line. This race didn't have a starting sensor and since I came late I was further back in the pack than I would have liked. Between crowds preventing full speed running for the first mile and the time it took to reach the start, I estimate that I lost around two minutes. This translates into 12 seconds per mile for the whole 10-mile race. It was in the low 90's at the start, but there was a little wind and the humidity was much less than last year.

I think I was running in the mid sevens for most of the way. I didn't really go all-out except at the end though. I was up there on my own and didn't want to be in a position where I incapacitated myself. In the last two miles though, a group caught-up with me and I increased my pace to match them. We all, to one degree or another, sped-up in these last couple of miles since we could taste the finish and the temperature had fallen at least 10 degrees. By the last quarter-mile we were all moving pretty fast and there was even some jostling for position in the curves. For some reason this made me loose patience and I went into full sprint mode for the final 200 yards. I left the group I was in behind and passed another half-dozen runners in addition. It is nice to add a little drama at the end for spectators. It was a little irritating though--if I had all this speed at the end, I probably could have run a faster pace for a substantial part of the second half.

I did help the team though:


1:02:51 1:03:57 1:11:33 1:16:42 1:30:56 = 6:05:59

724 Jason Bui 30, 2997 Cody Freihofer 22, 1881 Ken Goodin 55,

2134 David Pecchia 47, 2299 John Ducharme 41

Had I not been there, then the 6th and only other team member's time would have been used. He ran it 19 minutes slower than I did and so this would have knocked us into 12th place. Not to disparage him, he is 71 years old and finished first in his age group.

Last year I was 310th and this year 312th, so I guess the better conditions this year helped everybody, not just me.

Update: Looks as if there were a couple more GLRR's there and we moved up to 7th:


1:02:51 1:03:57 1:08:10 1:11:33 1:16:42 = 5:43:13

724 Jason Bui 30, 2997 Cody Freihofer 22, 762 Fil Faria 45, 1881

Ken Goodin 55, 2134 David Pecchia 47