Friday, May 29, 2009

Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. is a documentary of sorts that will be released in June. In Minnesota it will be playing at the Lagoon Theatre in Minneapolis.

The movie details genetic engineering, cloning, environmental impacts and pesticides all involved in the processing of our food.

Anchor Eric Schlosser of Fast Food Nation tours many of the food processing facilities and apparently we will be quite shocked as what takes place.

One day as I was shopping at Walmart for cleaning supplies I walked through the meat section. I couldn't believe that chicken breasts were advertised as $5.99 for 3 pounds! I walked over to check out the breasts and saw that they were GIGANTIC! Each breast was just shy of a pound. Instead of becoming excited to find such a bargain I became afraid. What in the world happened to the chickens to make the breasts so large? What were they fed? What drugs were pumped into them to make them grow so large? Eeek.

For the past year I have been purchasing grass fed beef-purchasing a 1/4 and then a 1/2 from a local farmer. He sells me my chickens and eggs as well. I have been purchasing only organic fruits and vegetables, I bake my own bread out of local grains and planted my vegetable garden a few weeks ago. The Minneapolis Farmers Market opened yesterday, is open each Thursday. I can't wait to begin to shop there once summer vacation begins for me (only one more week)!

I am anxious to see this film, it will show the connection between food companies, government and health practitioners. Ought to be interesting.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers: Raspberry Strudel


The Daring Bakers: Raspberry Strudel


The Daring Bakers

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

I have never created a strudel before; all I could think of in comparison was the Toaster Strudel that I have in the past purchased the boys for breakfast. I don't buy those things anymore! They loved them..too much.

Last summer I picked a ton of raspberries, I still have a few gallon ziploc bags in the freezer. I decided to try a raspberry/almond strudel. Fabulous!

The dough was so simple to make. I couldn't believe how easily it rolled out. It really DID stretch to 3 foot x 2 foot. Amazing.

It took only minutes to put together - minus the 3 hours I let the dough rest while I was out coaching my runners last night.

I'll be taking it along with me tonight to dispense to hungry mouths.

Next time I'm going to try a blueberry strudel. I have a few bags of those in the freezer, too.

Preparation timeTotal: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes
15-20 min to make dough30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough10 min to fill and roll dough30 min to bake30 min to cool
Apple strudelfrom “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers
2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbsstrudel dough (recipe below)1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)
1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.
3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.
4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.
5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.
Strudel doughfrom “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers
1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour1/8 teaspoon salt7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1. Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.
2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).
3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can.Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.
4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled

Friday, May 22, 2009

Inspired.

This past Wednesday it was 97F with 40 mile per hour winds! It was crazy. A number of the county roads in Sherburne County were closed due to the low visibility. Dust, dirt and debris was blowing off of farm fields leaving a coating of dirt and dust in its wake. Our house is surrounded by trees. I had my windows open and came home to a layer of green pollen upon everything!

I had my women's group in Edina to coach Wednesday night. Our head coach had sent out an email to all participants that they should carry water and take it easy for our run.

We have three different levels in this group: newbees, wannabees and gottabees. The wannabees, whom I coach, were to run 45 minutes without stopping. We decided to take a new route, tiring of the laps around the usual lake. We decided to run out to Lake Cornelius; about a mile to Highway 100, via shaded neighborhoods, over the highway and then to Lake Cornelius. I was a great route. The park around Lake Cornelius was full of families picnicking, many people biking and running, a game of baseball..many Minnesotans out enjoying spring. Thank goodness!

I ran along with my group, enjoying the hot sun and nice stiff breeze. I love to run in the heat, but not many of my group felt the same way. Every once in a while I'd duck under a sprinkler that was watering a thirsty lawn. As I came up to Highway 100 I looked back and checked on the final runners of my group. They were doing well, running along, enjoying the evening run. I stepped in with the final runner, making sure she was OK. She was, she was just not sure that she would be finished in 45 minutes, in time for our speaker. I told her it didn't matter how long it took us to go around the lake and get back to the school. Just enjoy the run, enjoy your surroundings, enjoy the beautiful lilacs in bloom, the tulips, the rhododendrons, the birds singing. Take pride in the fact that you will be running 45-60 minutes tonight without stopping. Your longest run ever! When I looked into her eyes I could see doubt. Take your mind off your watch, off being last, off of any negatives. Just think positively. Enjoy yourself. She ran along the lake, taking in beautiful nature. I told her some people don't like to talk while they are running; I was OK with that. If she felt like talking just let me know. We ran in silence.

45 minutes in and we had about 15 minutes to the end of the run. We meandered through the neighborhoods of Edina, making our way to the school. She said she could probably walk faster than her run. I told her that her run was just fine. She can run for an hour at 97F without stopping, she can run in any form of heat now! We reached our destination. I patted her on the back and told her to give herself a pat on the back. You did it! You ran an hour! When she looked into my eyes, I saw it there, I saw her pride-in herself! This inspires me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Cake Slice: Triple Layer Devil's Food


Mile High Devils Food Cake

Oh My God. This Cake. Fantastic!

Really. Moist, dark, rich, but still light and oh so good. Yes, I tried it. I brought the cake to a brunch I was invited to and after all of the oohing and ahhing and roll of eyes I had to try it. Yes. They were correct. Delicious.

I again increased the recipe by half to make a large 10" three layer cake. I doubled the frosting because in some of the Mile High recipies I've felt the frosting is skimped on. Not so in this recipe. Double frosting was more than enough for the cake. In fact I made cookies and sandwiched the frosting inbetween. They are still in the freezer and will go up to the lake this weekend.

Here's the recipe. I used the buttercream frosting.

TRY IT. YOU'LL LOVE IT!

Mile-High Devil’s Food Cake
From: Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
By Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne
Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake:
1 cup of unsweetened cocoa NOT DUTCHED PROCESSED
1 and ¼ cups of hot water
3 cups of light brown sugar; packed
2 and 2/3 cups cake flour*
1 and ½ teaspoons baking soda
teaspoon of salt
9 ounces of unsalted butter at room temperature [2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons]
3 large eggs
1 and ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
3/4cup of cold water
{*1 cup of cake flour is equal to ¾ cup of flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch}
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and grease the paper as well.
Place the cocoa in a medium bowl and add the hot water. Whisk until smooth and let it cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low blend to combine. Add the butter and the dissolved cocoa. Then raise the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and cold water until combined. Add this liquid to the batter in three additions scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Divide the batter among the three pans.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a cakes tester inserted into the almost comes out clean. There should be a few crumbs attached still. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes. Then invert and remove parchment paper and cool completely on a wire rack.
Bakers’ choice of: Brown Sugar 7-Minute Frosting or Brown Sugar Buttercream
Brown Sugar 7-Minute Frosting
6 egg whites
1 and ½ cups of brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup*
2 tablespoons of water
½ teaspoon of cream of tartar
{*corn syrup can be substituted with equal parts of treacle OR liquid glucose OR light colored honey}
Do not try to make this frosting on a rainy day or if you live in an extremely humid area. The humidity will make it impossible to work with the egg whites.
Place all the egg whites in a bowl and set them aside while you make the syrup.
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Boil until the syrup reaches 238 degrees F (softball stage) on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from heat.
Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites in the bowl and beat just to combine. With the mixer on medium speed gradually add the syrup in a thin stream taking care not to hit the beaters. Beat until fairly stiff peaks form but the frosting is still spreadable. If the frosting is too stiff it will be hard to work with. Use immediately.
Brown Sugar Buttercream
5 egg whites
1 and ¼ cups of packed brown sugar
¼ cup of water
1 pound of unsalted butter (16 ounces) at room temperature
Place all the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer; set aside.
In a heavy medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then bring to a boil without stirring and cook until the syrup reaches 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Begin beating the egg whites on medium low speed. Slowly pour in the syrup making sure not to hit the beater. Increase the mixer speed to medium high and beat until the meringue has cooled to body temperature.
With the mixer on med-low add 1-2 tablespoons of butter at a time. When all the butter has been added increase the mixer’s speed to medium and beat until the mixture looks curdled or separated. Continue to beat until the icing comes together again looking like soft smooth whipped butter.
Assembling the cake:
Place one layer flat side down and cover it with 2/3 cup of the frosting. Top with second layer and repeat process. Top with third layer and frost the sides of the cake.
Bakers Notes:
A cake topped with the meringue frosting is the best the day it’s made. It does not do well in the fridge.
If you choose the buttercream frosting you can keep it in the fridge for 3 days. Make sure to allow the cake to come to room temperature for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Otherwise the frosting will be hard and heavy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dories Key Lime Pie

Steve doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. He doesn't give most of my bakery items a second look. He does, however, request Key Lime or Lemon Meringue Pie for each of his birthdays. Today is the big 45. Yikes! I'm quickly following behind him.

This pie is from Dorie Greenspan. All of her recipes are fantastic and this one is no exception. It came together easily, baked up in 12 minutes flat and was oohed and ahhhed over.

I doubled the recipe and baked in a deep dish 10" pie pan.

Graham Cracker Crust
3 C Chopped Graham Crackers
2 sticks butter, melted
1/4 c sugar

Mix and press into pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350.

Beat 4 egg yolks, add juice of 6 key limes, 1 can condensed milk. Beat well.

Boil 1 cup heavy whipping cream with 1 cup coconut until cream is reduced by half.

Place coconut mixture into baked crust, add egg mixture. Bake 12 minutes as 350. Freeze one hour.

You could use meringue but I used heavy whipping cream to top the pie. Whalla. Easy Peasy!

Key Lime Pie: Steve's Happy Birthday


Monday, May 18, 2009

Spring Superior 50K Race Report

The Superior Hiking Trail is a very special place to me. I tend to go up to run along the trail at least half a dozen times each year; sometimes even more than that.

This year Steve decided to stay home to paint the house, Tyler decided to stay with him so it was only Troy and I going up to Lutsen for the weekend. In all honesty, if Troy had decided not to go along with me, I may have decided not to go at all.

I'm finding that I'm just not at all psyched up like I have been in the past about races. I've been running ultras for 6 years; in that 6 years I've run over 60 of them. In the beginning I was running races to see if I could..could I really run the distance .. be it 50K, 50M, 100K or 100M? I really didn't know if I could and that was what brought me to the race start. I was thrilled beyond belief when I could actually finish a 50 miler and not be dead last..that took a few years!

I had never left home for a full weekend before I began racing, this was new and exciting for me too. I met a ton of new, wonderful people, I began to finish at faster times and even began to place .. and win. It was all so crazy and exciting.

This past year I've found that I just don't enjoy it as much as I did before. I don't feel the need to prove anything to myself anymore. It's never been about competing or proving anything to anyone else; it's been all about me.

Last year I wanted to do a family vacation out to Colorado while I ran Leadville. It was fabulous; then I wanted to run Javelina solo. It was marvelous. This year I don't really know what I want to do..

Troy and I left for Lutsen on Friday. We hiked Temperance for a few hours and enjoyed it fully. Troy showed me the bracket fungi with the spore deposits. WHAT? It was a lot of fun, he gave me a science lesson. We made our way to Lusten in time for packet pickup and swimming before crawling into bed.

Saturday morning the race began at 7. Maria told me the wind chill was 22F. There was snow on the ground! After a few hugs and hellos we were on our way.

I decided to run without my iPod. I wanted to listen to myself. I decided to run a full minute slower per mile than last year, I wanted to take care of my torn vastus medialis. I told myself no Advil, slow down if it hurts and feel what is going on there. I wanted to talk to myself, to listen to myself. Was I enjoying the race? Feel the emotions.

I started out in the back of the pack. I picked my way along the trail. Not many of the leaves were out yet, the winds, oh my gosh, they were loud and raw; heavy steady winds. I could hear trees breaking off in the woods, I was hoping one wouldn't break on me.

As I began to pick myself all the trail I began to think. Was I enjoying this? Well, I was enjoying running in the woods. Was I enjoying the race? Mmmmm..not so much. I could run through the SHT without a race. Gretchen and Mike put on a fabulous race, and my feelings have nothing to do with the race itself. I'm using the word 'race' as generic, as in any 'race'. I just don't need all of the hype anymore. I can run by myself; I don't need a race to get out and do a 50K, or 50M or whatever distance. I thought I might like to be with Troy, hiking another section of the trail instead.

As Carl passed me I began to explain to him what I was feeling. I told him I was tired of being away a weekend each month, I told him Troy had a baseball game during FANS and I might rather go to the baseball tournament this year. He told me the race marked his 40th ultra since 1989. Maybe I have been running too many of these things!?

Pretty soon I began to fall. I wasn't picking up my feet high enough to get over all of the roots and rocks. I went down over a dozen times. Two times Maria was with me when I fell;how embarrassing! I told her I was looking at a beaver dam..right.

I felt great physically. My leg never gave me pain, I didn't need Advil. The Hammerheed and Hammergel on the course was all that I needed. The volunteers were wonderful. It was so cold out, and there they were, serving us faithfully.

At the half way point my time was 3:11. I had stuck to my plan, I would finish in 630 or so, exactly a minute per mile longer than last year.

The second half of the race was wonderful. I ran solo most of the way, running into Steve Quick for a bit and then seeing Jeffrey and Lynette along the course.

The day warmed up a bit, into the 40s-clear and windy. Oh, the wind. It was howling. The trail was beautiful as always. I love that trail.

I realized what I would like to do is run the trail point to point, slow and easy. I could take 10 days, and run 30 miles each day. That's what I'll be planning..either this July or next. Now THAT sounds like fun :)

The finish brought me in at 630-feeling happy and strong. I placed 4th among the women. No pain. Leg felt strong.

After catching up with friends at the award ceremony and having my hair braided by Debbie, Troy and I headed off to hike Artists Point in Grand Marais. After an hour of scrambling over the rocks we headed back to Lutsen for hottubbing and swimming. That was what was so much fun, spending the time with Troy.

Sunday we were up early and well rested, off we went to hike the Split Rock River Loop. Troy hadn't seen the waterfalls upon this section and was quite taken with the sights. I loved seeing the trail through his eyes.

Spending time with Troy made this one special weekend..and the race, that was secondary. I feel a shift taking place within me. It's whisper is beginning to get louder and more clear.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spring has Sprung!


Happy Mother's Day

A big Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mom's out there. Mom's of children, mom's of dogs, mom's of cats..whomever you are a Mom too!

I began to celebrate Mom's Day last night. We went to Pittsburgh Blue for dinner. I love this restaurant. This was the first time the four of us went together and the first time that ALL of us agreed that we liked everything about the restaurant. We all loved the meal, the service, the ambiance, everything. It was fabulous. I had a pound of Alaskan King Crab Legs which Tara, our waitress, cracked for me. Marvelous. I also had about a pound of perfectly steamed broccoli and Tyler and I shared a wedge salad. Good eating.

Today I woke early to get in a long run on the trail. The foresters had a controlled burn out at Blue Hill Trail on Monday so the trail is still in pretty rough shape. Lots of ash blowing around and there are still some smoldering logs. Luckily Topaz doesn't seem to singe his paws at all. We've been out there since they reopened Friday and he barrels right through so I guess he hasn't stepped upon a hot spot. The scenery is pretty ugly, though. All charred and no greenery. It doesn't look like spring anymore. Next week I'm sure greenery will begin to show up again.

We ran 15 on Saturday and 20 today. I'm feeling good and strong. My energy levels have remained high so I am getting in good long runs and kick ass weight lifting sessions.

I was able to get out into my perennial gardens today. My gosh, the winter didn't deter the crab grass and dandelions that is for sure. You'd think I planted a sod garden with all of the grass I have growing. At first I felt all negative about going out there weeding. Soon enough I reminded myself that the reason I began this garden was because I enjoyed working in the soil, the peace and quiet, spending time by myself. That turned my negative thoughts around. I began to enjoy my work in the garden, reminding myself that I didn't have to weed it all in one afternoon, enjoy the time to myself, enjoy the time spent reflecting. I certainly did. It was medicinal.

Next Saturday is the Superior 50K. I'm going to take it nice and easy. One, I haven't run that distance since I tore my vastus medialis. Two, it's the Superior Hiking Trail. I'm just going to enjoy the day, no racing, take in the scenery and enjoy myself while running the 50K. Good stuff!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Refueled

Boy, what a difference a week of good solid nutrition can make on the energy system! Duh. My runs are simply strong and enjoyable again. Lifting is solid and making gains. I'm not craving anything, I'm not hungry, I'm not crabby. Feeling great mentally and physically, it's a great place to be.

I ran a 15 on Saturday and 20 on Sunday without any saran wrap walls; it was all good and well fueled. A good place to be.

Except for the scale. But what am I going to do? Starve myself so that I can't run an easy five miles with Topaz, can't build muscle and am a bitch in general .. oh, but I can fit into a size 4 jeans? No thanks. I want to be able to run 100s and feel good, I want to compete in the bodybuilding show in October and it takes energy consumption. I don't know if I can do both, but I am going to do this bodybuilding show. I do worry that with all of the running I won't be able to build the physique that I want to build. This year will be a year to learn; a mix of running and bodybuilding, maybe next year I'll go all bodybuilding-to be determined.

By rereading my Precision Nutrition v1/2 and I have ordered v3, it just hasn't yet arrived, I am again putting good solid nutrition in place, eating just below the caloric needs necessary to build mass, maintain low body fat and continue with the ultra running. I'll check each week to make sure my outcome is consistent with my goals and tweak as necessary.

This is all a work in progress, today it feels good !

Today I begin to coach another session of Beginning Runners in Big Lake. We'll be meeting at 630; if you are interested be sure to contact me.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Energy Crisis

This past week I have been incredibly low on energy; the past two or three weeks, actually. I am afraid I brought it on myself by participating in The Biggest Loser challenge at work. I became so focused on the Friday weigh in that I cut my calories too much, lost weight, wreaked havoc on my workouts all for an 8 pound loss that really wasn't necessary. How foolish of me.



The past year I have been eating a low calorie diet consisting mainly of lean protein and veggies with a fruit added in once a day. I had cut out the oats most mornings as well. In hindsight, not such a great idea.



My sessions in the gym have been great but the long runs, not so much. Think of trying to run through a Saran Wrap wall. That is how many of my long runs have felt, as they have for quite some time, but I've just become used to it.



After renewing my contacts at Precision Nutrition and speaking with many of professionals there I have come to the decision that enough is enough..I began to add in the 1/2 cups of oats along with my egg whites each morning, post treadmill run. I've increased my total calories by a few hundred each day, including the oats and making up the rest with a nutritional post workout (2nd workout) shake with protein and carbohydrates.



I am about ready to say "uncle" on training for long distances and a bodybuilding competition simultaneously. I am +almost+ beginning to see why I know of zero ultrarunners who body build as well. The two sports may in fact be conflicting (duh) but I had to give it a try and will continue to do so..for a while. Until I do say uncle.

The thought of being a newbie on the bodybuilding scene is so exciting, I love to learn something that I really know nothing about. Not that I know everything about ultrarunning; I certainly do not, but it is something that I have practiced for quite some time.



Of course the scale hasn't been kind but I just can't worry about that now. I'm eating healthy foods: lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and am practicing nutritional bracketing and timed carbohydrates, total calories just below my energy needs. My workouts finally felt good today as I ran a faster 15 miles on road at 4AM with Topaz before clean up day duties. I'll hit the gym after Grand March for Prom this afternoon.

I have probably really messed with my hormones and biochemistry this past year and I imagine my body thinks I have been starving it. All I can do now is try to get it going again with eating more energy which will hopefully result in iron blasting muscle growing workouts and good long runs again. We'll see. A work in progress :)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Headbanged

Last night Tyler and I along with 5 of his friends went to the Myth to enjoy 5 hours of Heavy Metal.

The Myth is a great venue for concerts as it is offers an intimate close up viewing of the bands no matter where you are standing. The shows are usually general admission-the audience member is able to stand on the floor, view from a few steps up from the floor or the balcony. There is an open bar for the 21 and older as well as Jagermeister chicks strutting their stuff and selling shots.

Municipal Waste opened the show asking "Do you like to thrash?" A loud YES YES YES. I had only listened to one of their CDs prior. They are a band that reminds me of punk, singing songs about getting loaded. The crowd chanted with them "Municipal Waste is Gonna +Uck You Up, Municipal Waste is Gonna +Uck You Up. My head is bobbing as I replay the song and scene in my mind.

Next up was God Forbid, which really didn't do too much for me. Their vocalist was hard to hear, I could hear loud bass but not much else. They didn't move around too much either, seemed rather low energy. The crowed seemed to groove to their song The End Of The World.

There was about a 10 minute wait between shows while tearing down and setting up. Children of Bodom was next; who I have seen before..I believe with Megadeth. They are OK, but I don't think they rock the house. They are a band from Finland named after a lake in Finland said to be a site of a gruesome multiple homicide. Whatever. The singer had a broken shoulder..but was still able to play a mean guitar and rip out his lyrics.

As I Lay Dying played next. This is the band I enjoyed most out of the whole lot. They looked like rockers, playing slick choreographed headbanging music. They were full of energy, jumping high into the air, wearing black pants, sleeveless black tshirts, lean with muscle. Oh yeah.

After a 15 minute wait the headliner arrived. Lamb Of God. They had the audience chomping at the bit, worked into a frenzy before they stepped out on stage. LOG has become immensely popular among headbangers, they have come from the underground to form their own 'mainstream'.

If you are of the 40 something older crowd and thought that Ozzy or Metallica was Heavy Metal, I guess that was old Heavy Metal. This is the new Heavy Metal; something that has filled the gap between punk rock and older heavy metal. It's not quite Death Metal, but close enough for me.

This whole scene was amazing to watch. I didn't go into the circle pit. Tyler did. I stayed on the edge, in the swell of the headbanging crowd. Many times I was grabbed by the waist and lifted off of the floor by the huge man in back of me. I held onto the railing so that I wouldn't be eaten by the circle pit.

The ratio of men to women must have been 20:1. I was indeed the oldest female present, but I was OK with that. There were a few men my age, but most were much younger and of the head shaved, face pierced, huge sort.

The body surfing was amazing. I watched people jump from the railing and swan dive into the crowd, allowing themselves to be hurled toward the stage where a well muscled bouncer would stretch out his arms and remove the person from the front row. It was incredible. The surfer would then go to the back of the crowd and repeat the process. Wow.

Incredible. I'm so glad I asked Tyler if he'd like to go to the concert. I probably wouldn't have have gone alone. We have tickets for Metallica on October 13. Rock On.

We arrived home at 1 AM and I was up for the treadmill at 430. Tyler's wake up call was at 615. Morning arrived quickly. Today we are both sporting our concert tshirts at school.

This weekend is busy. Working at clean up day, Tyler's prom and a Twins game. Running and lifting and a trip to Costco and Trader Joes. I think I'll take a nap this afternoon :)