All posts by New Britain Bo

Smoking Char


Ordered these fine fellows (Arctic Char) from Coastal SeaFoods on Snelling in St. Paul, approx 3 lbs each.  Originally I was going to get Lake Trout but they can be iffy to get fresh.


Soaked them in a brine (salt and brown sugar) for 6'ish hours.

fullsizerender-3Then on to the smoker with Alder chips soaked for about 15 minutes.


Turned the smoker on to 200F and let them cook for about 3 hours (turned up the temps slightly for the last 1/2 hr.  Meanwhile me and the brothers were chainsawing trees in the yard.  Awesome Alder smell from the smoker.  Can't get too far away as the chips sometimes catch fire and need to be doused.


Tender, moist, and wonderful flavor.  Char (Salvelinus alpinus) is a delicate, fatty fish - smoking is a great way to make it.


γνῶθι σεαυτόν – Know thyself

Looking back on 2016, I had some high points (Simsbury TryAthlon, TrapRock 17K Trail Race, Ragnar Trails in MA, Longest Swim Evah in Carnac-Brittany, Narragansett Wheelmen Century Ride), but I also had numerous nadirs.

A glance at my training spreadsheet over the summer yields several gems: "more limping", "muscle spasms", Select Therapy sessions, "sore ankle", "sore knees", "epsom salt/vinegar bath."

Thanks to Baby Jeebus that it's not age-related.  And, this boyo ran my first mile in a month two days ago,  and the knee is behaving.  I'm trying to run responsibly while on the heal, but I want to go out there and run 10 miles.

What are you Citizens doing?

Trails and such

I decided I'm going to hike/bike/run across Connecticut - and started this last weekend.

The New England Scenic Trail goes from the MA border down to the Long Island Sound in Guilford.

On Saturday did the Beseck Mountain segment (hiking boots/trekking sticks, etc.) and on Sunday did Bluff Head by Guilford.  All have similar characteristics from north to south (volcanic eruption with westward facing basalt cliffs).

This evening did a trail run from Albany Ave (Reservoir 6 in West Hartford) to Heublein Tower on the Metacomet Trail.  Tough when it starts to get dark around 6ish.  Several trips but no problems.

Tough running on rocks/boulders/roots/etc. but I like the variety compared to running on asphalt.

Bum wheel

I ran a trail run on Thursday night at Penwood State Forest with some friends - good temps, great run.  At one point, I tripped on a root and started to fall, but recovered.  Didn't notice anything weird that night.

All day Friday I felt sore, and it hurt to stand up.  This morning, we were to do a triathlon at Lake Waramaug (Hopkins) and I could barely stand from a sitting position without wincing pain.

NBBW did well but I sat it out, and read Pynchon in a camp chair along the route.  Not sure what the injury is but I'm thinking something in the hamstring cluster.

What is the Nation doing for fitness besides watching the Tour de France trying to run over cows?


Fish class

I signed up for Master's swim classes at my club, and have been going for the last 4 Tuesday's at 6:30PM.  There are about 12 of us in the class, and a third of us are focused on endurance (long-distance) swimming for Triathlon.  Actually one of the guys wants to do really long distance swimming - a later post on that (he recently did 10 miles).

My challenge is to add kicking to my swim, which I started with this class - beforehand I've done all my swimming with my arms.  So I am kicking now, but not correctly.  My coach has suggested several improvements, but I can't see what I am doing now with the advice.

Today at lunch, NBBW and I were discussing a way to drag some kind of device behind you while you swim with an embedded iPhone so you could film your kicking pattern.  One idea was a strap around your waist, with a cord hanging behind you dragging a floatable device that would be holding your iPhone in a vertical position underwater (in a clear plastic bag) pointed towards your legs and able to capture your kicking movement.  More to come on this...

Nothing new on race day

This last Sunday I did the Cheshire Half Marathon.  Great temps (43F at the start).   Flat course.  Trained for it well.

Several weeks back I bought some hiking boots/socks, and have been doing some trail hikes to break them in.  The hiking socks are some kind of smart wool, and are pretty close to the same color as my running socks (which are not as thick).

So I accidentally picked out the hiking socks on Sunday morning, and didn't even think about them, until mile 11, where I was struggling to run.   I finished, but wasn't happy with my time.

When I got home I found that the hiking socks had crowded the small toes in my running shoes, and I had developed large blisters on the outside toes.  Natch.

Spring is sprung.

Got in a 7 mile group run on Saturday, then on Sunday did the Bimbler's Bash trail run in a State park in Guilford, CT.  They said 10K'ish, but it was easily 7 miles.  Some running, but mostly crawling up rocks and around mud pits.  Proceeds go to maintaining the trails.

Tho't I'd be sore on Monday, but I felt good enough to log 16 hilly miles on my bike in balmy CT temps yesterday.  Today, however, I can feel the acid in my legs.  Le sigh.

This weekend a 6 mile taper run, then Cheshire Half Marathon the following Sunday.

Started reading Chi Marathon (book I bought NBBW but she hasn't picked it up - kinda like the bowling ball Homer gave to Marge).  So far I like the concepts (train hard -> train smart, force your body -> listen to your body).  I'm sure I'll do another post on it as I get through it)...

Will it ever end?

We've gotten nailed by blizzards the last four Mondays (min 5, max 12").  So even though my half-marathon training has been impacted - not doing early week runs (hate running on a treadmill), we've still been able to get in the Saturday morning long-runs.

Today was our taper (only 5 miles) before next weekend's Half -  a cold run at 8F - but no wind.  I'm really sore from all of the snow-blowing and shovelling.  And we're forecasting to get 8 more inches this evening.

The folks at Hyannis hosting the Half Marathon sent out a notice that it might be cancelled/rescheduled as they already have a bunch of snow on the ground, are getting more today, and are forecasting to get more next weekend - no place for parking, streets difficult to run, safety concerns for volunteers/runners...

Why Esquimaux don’t run

As part of our winter half-marathon training program, we went out this morning and did 7 miles (a taper week) but at 9F.  Luckily there was no wind.

I wore The Marmot over my usual layer of Icebreaker wool base layer, and a thicker head band.   Still the last mile I started to get cold, and having to stop a couple times for traffic lights, by the time I got back to the running store, my sweaty clothes were freezing and I was quite chilled.

I've been home for about an hour now, and I'm still cold (i.e. give me a break if Ode To Turning Fifty is not necessarily PSA Award materiel).

I heard/read a Norwegian's saying that you can't have bad weather, but you can have bad clothing.


Frost Bite Falls

Did the Moustache Run this morning - a balmy half-marathon that starts and ends by the Nicollet Island Pavillion.   There was a good turnout today and it sounds like good weather (compared to what they've had around here for a while).

My time wasn't great (really struggled with the last two miles, had to walk a couple of times), but I was able to keep moving enough to not have my sweat freeze on me.

It was a different (hillier) coarse than last year, going over to run along the UofM for a ways, then back over to the River road.

The riverfront area is very nice - they've done a lot of improvements/parks, walkways, especially by the new Guthrie.  Nice view of St. Anthony falls at the beginning of the race.

There was a dude in the moustache competition who dressed up as, and had the same stache as Rollie Fingers.  First place winner was a guy who invented a new moustache - called it the long-horn.

We went over to The Bulldog, N.E. afterwards for burgers+Surly's.  This place has become our Minny version of Plan B.

8 at Eight at 28

Got out for a cool run this morning with my running group.  Funny how during the week I try to get every minute of sleep I can in the morning, but on Saturday I'm up and at 'em for the long run in any temperature (28F this morning) and any weather.

Will be doing the Moustache Run in Mpls over the Thanksgiving weekend - did it last year and really enjoyed it.


Don’t Tread on Me

A slow, sluggish run this morning with my Fleet Feet training group.  We did 8 miles, and it was cold outside, but I fell way behind.

At the end, I was looking at my running shoes (Brooks Ghost) and realized my tread on the outer right side of both shoes had worn down considerably. I got the last pair back in Sept - surprised they had worn down so much but I have been piling on the miles.

I bought a new pair (same model), and trying them on I could tell the immediate difference.  Looking forward to the next run (and the extra hour of morning sun we'll get with daylight savings Fall Back).

Here's an interesting article on what it will take for a human to break the 2-hour marathon record (Spoiler - it's not EPO).


Mohonk Mountain

Nice 8 mile scramble through the trails around the Mohonk Mountain Preserve trails this morning - lots of cliff climbers out there today.

Plenty of color still in the Hudson Valley, but enough of the leaves are down so you can see the geological structures of this area. - awesome.  Some spa-time at Mohonk, and Osso-bucco/Nebbiolo for dinner - not bad.

Just finished (from the Mohonk library) the book The Long Run by Matt Long - incredible account on how a NYC fireman/Ironman got nailed by a bus, destroying most of his interior - and after being  stitched back together, had the verve to run the NYC Marathon, as well as finishing IronMan at Lake Placid.  Wow.


When it rains, it rains.

Ran the Hartford Half this last Saturday.

As usual, pre-race prep requires loading up on Body Glide and nip-protectors.

It was cold (50F) and pouring rain throughout the entire race.  The nip-protectors did their job, the Body Glide did not.  Shoes and socks got drenched, and multiple blisters ensued.  Chafing galore.  Natch.

On Sunday, got in a relaxing mile swim, and was thinking of doing a bike ride, but I don't think I could have gotten into the saddle.

Season change

Nice to be running in the cooler temps...

We did a 9 mile slog in heat/humidity only 3 weeks ago and I must have stopped to walk a dozen times, gasping like an amphibian washed upon some distant shore, sweating like a Gatorade ad.

Last week we polished off an easy 12 with the cooler temps.  Today was also cool and an easy 9 (taper) for the upcoming Hartford Half in two weeks.

It's really different running with other people - get into a good conversation and you don't notice the miles fly by.