Sunday, April 3, 2011

Adventures in Cooking and Stuff

I'm making my first attempt at cooking an artichoke for dinner tonight.  I'm not talking about canned hearts, but the whole damn thing.  I've never done this before and I've wanted to try for awhile so when I bought groceries online I bought an artichoke to try it out.  Yes, I did say that I bought groceries online.  I'm training for Ironman and I hate going grocery shopping so I figured it was a great time to try out the order online, pick-up later feature.  It was overall pretty awesome, and you should try it. I digress... 

So, where was I? Oh yes, I was just about to tell you about how I was assaulted by the artichoke which I was so excited to prepare for my delicious dinner feast.  I know very little about artichokes other than I find them absolutely delightful.  They're so deliciously buttery and my mouth is watering just thinking about eating them.  I've never touched a whole artichoke before it was cooked though, let alone cooked one myself so this has truly been a voyage into the wild blue green yonder.  Trimming the thing was quite entertaining.  First of all, did you know that artichokes have thorns?  Thorns!  I read this online and thought, no, really?   I had no idea artichokes had thorns.  I later found this to be true when I was trying to trim the artichoke and I got pricked. Hard.  The thorns look cute and harmless, but those suckers hurt!  Also, and I was not warned of this online, but the innards of this weird looking vegetable are also sharp!  What the heck?!  There's like a thousand little thorns inside it!  Well, I showed that artichoke who's boss and put it in a pot and steamed it.   It's still cooking so you'll have to ask how it tasted later.  

On to other happenings in the Fury household.  I finally got my new bike, and her name is Stella.  She's going to rock everyone's face off (including mine) when I finally get to ride her.  Unfortunately, I've been laid up with the flu this past week so she's been parked in the guest bedroom all sad and lonely.  She's beautiful, and the current love of my life.  Move over Mr. Fury! 

In racing news, I ran the Get Lucky Half-Marathon put on by Team Ortho a couple weeks ago with my friend SP (aka Asspounder).  He and I discussed our racing goals previous to this race and he really wanted to qualify for a corral spot for Chicago Marathon in October, and I really wanted to PR.  In order for him to get in the last corral before general entry he needed to race 1:50 or better, and to get the next best corral spot he had to race 1:45 or better.  Race morning we discussed what our plan was going to be, and we decided to go for the gold and try to cross the finish line before 1:45.  Hm...sounds like a challenge!  We didn't really warm-up before the race, which was pretty stupid considering our goal time, but we did take the first mile relatively easy at 8:25/mile.  We knew we would have to speed things up in order to finish sub-1:45, so we sped up to closer to 8:00 min miles until the turn around.  At that point, we knew we had to run sub 8:00s to finish with the 1:45 pace group.  Our plan at that point was to run 7:50s until we caught up to the pace group.  This plan is flawless*, right?  Well, it would have been more flawless if the 1:45 pacer was running a 1:45 pace, but as we later found out, the pacer crossed the finish line at 1:43ish and then cheered in his pace group. What?  Who does that?  Needless to say, we never caught up to the pace group, but it all worked out because SP and I crossed the finish line at 1:44:40.  He got his corral spot and I got my PR by 7 minutes.  Goodness, it feels good to PR and know that I'm not as slow as I thought I was in January.  After shedding a few layers of clothes and a major snow melt, it turns out I'm actually a half-way decent runner.  Thanks SP for pushing me because I really don't think I would have run that hard had it not been for you. 

In other really happy news, I found out two friends are planning on camping their way to CDA to cheer for BV, NH, and I.  I am so excited that we'll have an expanded cheer group out there, I can hardly contain myself!  I think this will be good for Mr. Fury also to have a couple other familiar faces out there during the race.  So, anyone else interested in going out to Coeur d'Alene to cheer us on?  

* I was starting to think that this was either going to be awesome or the greatest blow-up we've both experienced in racing.