Running: I ran the Des Moines Half Marathon (13.1 miles, for those counting (and I was)) in 1:58:01, which was waaay better than I’d expected (9-minute miles, yay!). I also nearly passed out immediately after finishing, so the pace wasn’t as easy as I’m ~sure~ I made it appear. I ran with our friend Roxi as a partner. We’d only ever run together once before, but I think it worked out pretty well. I pushed her and kept her going for the first 9 or 10 miles, and she pushed me to finish strong the last 3 or 4. I don’t think either of us would have done quite as well without the other there.
Amanda finished in 2:22:50, which means she shaved a good 17 minutes off her time from last year. I was able to get back to the finish line to watch her cross, and let me tell you: she had energy to spare. Rumor has it she’s going to spend the winter working on improving her speed and keeping her mileage up. She’s going to kick booty next year!
Hapkido: I’ve been very hit-or-miss on the hapkido front over the last few weeks. The weather’s change for the colder has reminded me all over again that my body doesn’t like the winter months: I’m getting achier and my joints more painful with every passing week. I’m hoping to make it tonight, but after my night-time adventure last night I’m feeling fairly sore. What adventure, you ask?
Night-Time Adventure: Not nearly as dirty as you might think. I had a dream last night, barely remembered now, where I was desperately reaching for something above my head, just out of reach. I leaped for it as hard as I could… and I guess I managed to leap in real life, too. I jumped up in bed with quite a bit of force, jammed my hand into the ceiling fan, and woke up when I landed on my knees next to the bed. I have a pretty good scrape and a bruise on my right knee, my right calf is sore from the leap, my right hand is sore from the fan, and my right hip is achy and inflexible from who-knows-what.
Brewing: I have 10 gallons fermenting at the moment: 5 gallons of a Brown Ale and 5 gallons of an American Amber (yay for 5 gallon batches!). The brown is a bastard of the brown ale world: part Northern England brown, part Southern England brown, and part American brown. I’m uncertain what the amber will be… it came out lighter than I was expecting, so we’ll have to see on that one. I’m also planning to brew 5 gallons of apfelwein sometime this week, and 5 gallons of Winter Ale this weekend.
We’re finishing up drinking our Blonde Ale (not bad after 5 weeks in the bottle), and we’ve made a good dent in the Pale Ale (too heavy for a good pale, will improve next time). I have a California Common that should be drinkable in a week, and an Irish Red the week after that. And the Bock is still sitting in bottles: every time I open it I re-declare it unready and/or unfit for consumption, so I decided last week to give it a month before I try it again.
I also bottled the mead last week, and found that it was to my liking. This recipe was sweet and spicy (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc), so it’s pretty perfect for late fall/early winter. It’s a shame I only made a 1 gallon batch. Though honey does get expensive pretty quickly, so perhaps that’s for the best.
Kegerator Build: I have 95% of my parts collected for my kegerator! I bumped up the number of taps I’ll be starting with to four, and I’m leaving room to expand to six taps at some point down the road. I discovered that the chest freezer I bought (used, off craigslist) will hold six 5 gallon kegs (30 gallons of beer… mmm…), so why not? I painted the freezer black last weekend, and this week I’ll be cutting/fitting boards for the wooden collar. My goal is to have it built and ready in the next 3 weeks or so, at which point the brown and amber should both be ready to go in and start carbonating.
Chickens: The ladies laid us 82 eggs in the month of October, which is a new high-water mark. I’m suspecting production will start to slow now that the days are colder and shorter, but I’m still proud of them for holding out this long. We’ve had 3-egg days for the last 5 days running. Go ladies!