Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Autumn Woods Classic 5K

Saturday I had the pleasure of joining several of my friends from work for the Autumn Woods Classic 5K, and annual fall race at the beautiful Elm Creek Park Reserve. The weather was a little better this year, and it was a crisp, cool, albeit slightly windy day. Very nice temperature for running. The fall colors were a little more vibrant, too. We had a lot of fun.

The crew, ready to run!
This race takes place in my neck of the woods. Long time readers might recall last year I ran to the packet pickup the night before the race. This year I changed things up a bit and ran to the race.

I left my home and hit the trails, timing it to meet up with my buddies a few minutes before the race. I ran the race, very likely looking like a complete tool - I mean, who carries two water bottles with them in a 5K? ;-) And when the race was done, I ran home. Ended up with nearly 21 miles for the morning.

The journey to and fro involved several great wildlife sightings - a few deer, wood ducks, catbird, trumpeter swans, and northern flickers. I also saw large flocks of Myrtle warblers, and white-throated sparrows, which are true signs that the migration south is in full swing.

I didn't run the race very hard (27:25 finishing time), as I was trying to conserve energy for the return trip! A couple of my friends set 5K personal bests, so that was really cool, and I was excited for them.

It was a great morning. Attendance looked like it was up quite a bit from last year, so quite a few folks were out enjoying the park and the race. We had a good time running in support of the Three Rivers Park District.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Accidental Marathon

Good grief - long time, no post!

I am here. I just haven't felt like I have had all that much to talk about. This weekend gave me something to talk about, however. 

I've been silently training for Surf The Murph again, and I needed to do a long run while I was visiting my folks on the North Shore this past weekend. My Dad dropped me off in town, and my plan was to run the back roads and trails to get back home.

I am happy to say I made it. But a wrong turn transformed my run into a 27 mile adventure through the Superior National Forest.

Below you can find some video and pictures from the run. Enjoy! (And, learn to preview your running routes if possible, and/or work on your map reading skills!)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

North Shore - July 2013

Last weekend I visited my family on the North Shore.  A couple of my aunts and uncles joined us as well.  Aside from the 4 1/2 inches of rain the night I arrived, we had great weather, and an excellent time was had by all.  I ran, hiked, ate extremely well, and did some touristy things.  A fun weekend!

In lieu of a long-winded post, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Stream crossing...in the driveway! This was after our 4 1/2 inches of rain.

Caribou Lake

The chapel at the Cathedral of the Pines camp

Grand Marais architecture

Yours truly on Pincushion Mountain overlooking Grand Marais

My aunt Ann an me at Sydney's Frozen Custard in Grand Marais

The delicious "Almond Joy Sydnami" at Sydney's Frozen Custard

Aunt Jean, Mom, and Aunt Ann at Pincushion

Atlantis Fritillary

A Harris' Checkerspot that really liked my running shoe!

The waterfalls all along the North Shore were roaring

Fireweed - when the top portion blooms, that means fall has arrived. :)

Sammy the Herring Gull, also serving as a North Shore weathervane

Great Spangled Fritillary


The wild strawberries were ripe, and were they ever delicious!

Canyon #6 at Superior National, looking fine as always

Yours truly in a field of daisies

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sambal Chicken Skewers

This weekend I made the July 2013 Bon Appetit magazine cover recipe, the Sambal Chicken Skewers.

It is a pretty simple recipe.  You have chunks of boneless, skinless chicken thighs threaded on skewers that are grilled and glazed with a sweet, tangy, spicy sauce.  There is a lot of love here.

I did things a little differently and marinated the chicken in perhaps a half cup of the sauce for a few hours, and then I simply reduced the rest of the sauce as indicated in the recipe.  Otherwise the amounts and the grilling processes were as described.

I grilled the skewers over a medium-high heat as directed, and the aroma was simply amazing.  This is one of the best smelling dishes that has ever come off of my grill. 

Bon Appetit's Sambal Chicken Skewers
And I can't even begin to describe how tasty this chicken was.  So good!

The recipe calls for what seems to be a shocking amount of sambal oelek (a thick, spicy chile paste/sauce) and sriracha chile sauce.  But for as much chile sauce as the recipe calls for, it really isn't that spicy.  The flavors are quite balanced - just a pleasant burn that is cut nicely by the sweetness of the brown sugar.  

I served the chicken along side of some fried rice and steamed broccoli.  It was a delightful summer meal.

Sambal Chicken, Fried Rice, and Broccoli - yum!
This recipe is going to be made over and over again.  The sauce seems like it would be quite versatile, so I could see using this with grilled pork or shrimp as well.  Really tasty stuff, and highly recommended.


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