50K… canceled!

As you can probably imagine, I was pretty bummed to find out on Thursday night that the Frozen Foot 50K that I was planning to run on Saturday was canceled, due to “unforeseen circumstances.”  Maybe the snow in the forecast played a part; I’m not sure if people do ultras in the snow. And it did actually snow, which (in my opinion) is fun.  And I know my dogs like it.

[snow dogs photo]

[linus snow photo]

So, looks like I’ll have to wait until January 2nd before I can officially call myself an ultrarunner.  On the bright side, the snow made us feel kind of Christmasy and wintery, so Erin and I stayed in and watched three consecutive TV movies Saturday night.  This kind of behavior, incidentally, is what you should look for if you ever suspect a Terminator has dispatched me and assumed my form — I usually hate watching movies and can rarely sit through one, let alone three.  But like I said, it was snowy.

To go along with the cozy winter theme of the day/night, we made this French onion soup from 1,000 Vegan Recipes:

[french onion soup photo]

We cheated a little by using real cheese instead of vegan parmesan, but still, this soup was far healthier than normal French onion soup with those floating globs of gruyere cheese that I find kind of gross anyway.  And that’s an Ezekiel sprouted-grain roll floating on top, rather than the sliced French bread that was called for in the recipe.

Beer disaster

Remember the beer I brewed last week?  Well, I came home the day after brewing to this lovely sight:

[beer disaster photo]

In trying to write a caption for this photo, I got as far as Oscar the Grouch and vomit before I made myself stop.  Apple, anyone?

What happened, if you’re interested, is this: yeast eat sugar to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.  While some of the carbon dioxide carbonates the beer, the rest must escape, through a valve in the top of the fermenter that prevents air from getting in.  Well, the valve clogged with foam, so I had to rig up a tube-and-bucket blowoff, which is actually not too uncommon.  But something went wrong; either the tube clogged or got a kink, and the carbon dioxide could only escape by blowing off the lid and causing Mount St. Helens in my kitchen.

The worst news is that the lid was probably open like this for a few hours, and it’s very easy for bacteria to spoil the beer if they have a chance to get in.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, and in a few days I should have a pretty good idea of whether the beer will be any good or not.

Where’s the giveaway?

If you showed up expecting the SIGVARIS athletic recovery sock giveaway, fear not.  Since the 50K was canceled, I didn’t get a chance to try them out yet.  I’m hoping to get a run in tomorrow, then try them out and write the review/giveaway post.  So look for that one mid-week.

And a warning: I have my big oral qualifying exam to become an official Ph.D. candidate on Friday, so my posts (and running) will be spotty this week.  But after Friday, I’ll be on winter break and it’ll be more NMA than you can handle.

Enjoy your Monday!



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  1. Cute pups!! I love watching my dog romp around in the snow. Too bad we don’t get a ton of snow every year here in Washington.

    That’s a bummer about your run being canceled.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Achilles Pain 🙁 =-.

  2. Wow, that beer disaster looks awful to clean up after.
    And your doggies are so cute!
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..The Skin Is The Best Part =-.

  3. Kristin P. says:

    I love your dogs! They are so adorable and look so happy in the snow!

  4. Aww, your pooches are darling, I especially like the one with the white markings. It’s funny, my dogs also love the snow and have no problem getting soaking wet from it. But just try and get them outside when it’s raining!
    .-= meatlessmama´s last blog ..Home Fermented Sauerkraut =-.

  5. awww- bummer about the run. But fun that ya’ll got to stay in and do some serious movie watching! I love it. Whooooa crazy beer explosion. Was it expensive to start brewing your own? I bet this is something my husband would love to do
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Baking Baby & Christmas Tree Part 2 =-.

    • Erica, I think my equipment and bottles cost around 100 dollars; it was a birthday gift from my dad and wife and has turned out to be one of the best gifts ever! There are beginner kits that are even cheaper but I think they’re usually junk. Ingredients for a batch of beer usually cost me around 40 dollars; could be done cheaper if you bought stuff in bulk and stored it. A batch is around 5 gallons, which amounts to over 2 cases of beer, so if the beer you make turns out to be good, that’s actually a decent price. Xmas idea!

  6. Too bad about the beer. My blowoff hose clogged on my last batch too, only instead of an explosion, I awoke to a high-pitched whistling of air blowing under the seal all around the now dome-shaped cover of the fermenter. Another few minutes and I’m sure I would have had a delicious-looking mess as well. Crisis averted!

    What are you brewing?

    • Artie, it’s supposed to be an English strong ale (also called English old ale). The only familiar brand of the style I know is Old Peculiar.

      Interestingly, foam in the airlock has been a problem for two batches in a row for me; the other was a Scottish ale (though no explosion then). I’ve always thought vigorous fermentation was a good thing, but I’m wondering if I should start with less than 5 gallons to give it some more room.

      That’s pretty funny that your fermenter cover is a dome now!

  7. Yay for puppies and snow! Boo for cancelled races! And MAJOR boo for busted beer brewing! Blech!
    .-= katherine´s last blog ..Rockin’ It Solo =-.


    That’s a crazy beer situation!! hehe..

  9. Sucks that your 50K was canceled! Funny, I was actually out pacing my friend for the last 20 miles of her 50 miler on Saturday and it was damn cold — well, by San Francisco standards anyway.

    Waiting to January won’t be terrible — at least you’ll get some extra training time in! 🙂
    .-= Jamie Walker´s last blog ..Miso Shirataki Noodle Soup with Oyster Mushrooms =-.

  10. Aw Matt…. so sorry to hear about the cancellation of your 50K. Especially after all the hard work you’ve put into your training!

    I’d be happy to relinquish some of our snow here in Colorado to send your way – I’ve had my fill already and winter isn’t even “officially” here! We have more in the forecast tonight and it’s supposed to be 2 below zero tonight… brrrrr! Needless to say I am having SEVERE ”outdoor run withdrawal”!!
    .-= Shari B.´s last blog ..Am I in the Holiday Spirit Yet? =-.

  11. Sorry about the cancellation of the 50K, that really stinks. But I absolutely love you’re dogs! They look so cute in the snow : )
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Knee Update =-.

  12. Congratulations on the Phd! Wow. Sorry about the race being canceled, but your dogs are cute! The beer pic made me laugh pretty hard, not the first time and not the last. Maybe you can make and apple ale 🙂
    .-= Hethir´s last blog ..Yoga, oh Yoga =-.

  13. Aw I’m really sorry your race was canceled. But you ARE an ultra runner already (and you know it!) 🙂

    Your puppies are so adorable. The beer picture made me giggle (but I know how it feels when something doesn’t turn out like that!). Is 1,000 Vegan Recipes any good??
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Day Eight of the 200 Reps Challenge =-.

  14. Yikes! Beer gone wrong is bad. I would love to try and brew my own…maybe one day I will.
    .-= Nicci@NiftyEats´s last blog ..Stuffed Peppers and a Cold One =-.

  15. Bummer about the race. All that hard work, it has to be disappointing. The soup looks great, but come on now, a well made, high quality real cheese is the way to go if you are going to eat a animal product anyway. 😉 I’m a real cheese lover, sorry. Ha, ha!

    My husband reads your blog and I hope he saw the beer picture. He’s been trying to convince me convert one of our showers to a brew pub. Thanks for the warning. 🙂
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..Sharing My Win: French Press Coffee =-.

  16. Just an FYI, Matt. When you have toddlers running around the apartment/house, beer explosions become very common place!
    .-= Nicki´s last blog ..Condiments and Sandwiches in the DVD =-.

  17. Blast, not my size 🙁
    .-= Caleb´s last blog ..Three days until I “Run the Rock” =-.

  18. Oh man! Sorry about your beer batch! My hubby and I brew and we use glass carboys instead of the buckets because you can more easily keep explosions like this from happening.

    Don’t give up! There’s nothing like a good homebrew

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