Archive for February 2008


Same Race. New Beer!

February 28th, 2008 — 3:36pm

This upcoming weekend, I am running what has quite possibly become my all-time favorite race. It’s the Point Bock Run, a 5-mile fun run in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, at the Stevens Point Brewery. This is seriously the cheapest race that I do each year, and I’m always impressed with the incredible bang for my buck. Pre-registration is $15, which includes a long-sleeve t-shirt, a professionally chip-timed race, and a festive post-race party complete with music, snacks, door prizes, and all-you can drink Point Einbock Beer and Point Special Root Beer. What a steal! This will be my third year running in the Point Bock Run. I can’t wait for Saturday’s race and fun!

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The Underappreciated Crepe Returns!

February 27th, 2008 — 5:55am



This morning Karen and I took a break from our usual breakfast routine—Einstein’s on State Street (a bagel of some variety and a a small coffee for me. A plain cinnamon raisin bagel and a 32 ounce Diet Coke for Karen. At least I can proudly say that I switch up the bagels and “smears” every now and then.)

Feeling usually adventurous at 6:30am this morning, we decided to try Bradbury’s, a new coffee shop and creperie on North Hamilton Street, near the capitol. With a name like Bradburys and a location off the capitol square, I was expecting something more pretentious and pricey. Luckily, it was anything but that. The place was quaint and friendly, and offered a great indie vibe with its fresh ingredients from local farmers, handmade pottery, and the soothing music of Sufjan Stevens from a boom box. This was my kind of place.

The very small menu offers espresso, coffee, tea, crepes, and scones, but they seem to do it all well. The crepes are available in both sweet and savory. Wanting to experience both ends of the spectrum, we shared two crepes—the ham and brie and the featured crepe, which was delectable combination of yogurt, honey, and walnuts on a buckwheat crepe. The ham and brie crepe, a usual suspect on the menu, features fountain prairie farm ham, brie, west star farm winter spinach, and a hint of maple syrup. I also enjoyed a delicious (and beautiful) Americano.

Bottom line—I love this little place. I most certainly will be back for more. Finally, someone has brought the underappreciated crepe back to Madison. And Bradbury’s does it with style and grace.

3 comments » | Restaurant Reviews

Biking Like a Viking

February 26th, 2008 — 12:29pm

I love it when I have to enter lotteries and pay obscene registration fees to feed my need for endurance sports. Just recently, I found out that I secured a lottery spot in the Sixth Annual Horribly Hilly Hundreds Bike Ride. For one full early-summer day, I get to “weave in and out of valleys untouched by the glacial activity that left most of the upper Midwest flat.” The Southwestern Wisconsin course features 10,000+ feet of climbing over a distance of 200 kilometers (that’s 124.2 miles). The course definitely delivers on its promise of “horribly hilly”. In fact, the organizers call it “the toughest one day Challenge in the Midwest.” And if that’s not great training for September’s Ironman Wisconsin race, then I’m not sure what is.

Apparently this type of threat/promise drives a crowd. Particularly the crazy bunch of people who associate themselves with this sort of activity. This year’s registration filled in less than an hour. I entered the lottery for a chance at one of 300 additional spots. Both Karen and I scored spots for this year’s ride, which will take place on Saturday, June 14. This will by my fourth year riding in the HHH. The best part is reaching the finish line. But getting there is no easy feat. It’s perched at the highest point in Southern Wisconsin (1,716 ft.) at Blue Mound State Park. There, riders are rewarded with the infamous Viking Goulash and Culver’s custard. And there’s nothing like goulash and custard to replenish the glycogen tanks.

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Happy Birthday, Anne!

February 25th, 2008 — 8:35pm
This past Saturday night, we celebrated Anne’s 27th birthday at Shogun, a Japanese restaurant in Rockford. Anne had a whole crew of family and friends there, and we had a great time enjoying sushi and other culinary delights.

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More Pics from SL

February 22nd, 2008 — 2:32pm
Mmm…Katy, Erin, and Kristin chewin‘ on Gus’ Pretzels (a family-owned and operated business and St. Louis landmark)

Brewery Tour at Anheuser-Busch, obviously another SL Landmark. Katy sneaked more than her allotment of beer in the sample room.

1 comment » | Vacation and Travel

Spirit of the Marathon

February 22nd, 2008 — 12:49pm

Last night, I finally had the opportunity to see the film “Spirit of the Marathon” at Point Cinema. I had wanted to see the much-hyped film on January 24, for its nationwide debut. However, when we got to the theater, tickets were already sold out. This time we were a little smarter and purchased tickets ahead of time for the “encore screening,” which showed at 250 theaters across the country last night. The screening at Point was again sold out, packed with Madison athletes and supporters. Following is a brief synopsis of the film.

“The first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed on four continents, the movie brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries. As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepared for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports movie, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike.”

I loved the film. It totally captures the spirit and emotion of the marathon, and appeals to runners of all ages and abilities. I found myself with tears in my eyes several times throughout the screening as professional athletes and beginners alike shared their stories of struggle and triumph. I also enjoyed learning more about the origins and history of the marathon, from the story of Pheidippides, the hero of Ancient Greece who inspired the modern sporting event, to Katherine Switzer, the first female to run the Boston Marathon with a race number in 1967. (The race director at the time, Jock Semple, who was known for his violent temper, attempted to rip her off the course and screamed “Get the hell out of my race and give me that race number.” That was until her 235-pound boyfriend gave him a slug, which sent him flying through the air. Ha.)

If you have the opportunity to see this film, I would definitely recommend it. It was a well-researched and very inspirational piece that brought together so many wonderful stories from the marathon community into a cohesive and entertaining film.

1 comment » | Racing and Training

Tapas and Aphrodisiacs

February 20th, 2008 — 4:54pm
Erin and Mars
Erin, Katy, and Kristin (aka Soupe, Mish, and Krit)
(Mars and Erin…we love Mars)

I had a great time in St. Louis over the weekend. It was wonderful to catch up with Katy and Erin, see Erin’s new house (which is beautiful!), and explore St. Louis (I was impressed, despite the erratic weather and overall winter freeze.)

On Saturday, we spent most of the day exploring the area by Washington University. Erin, Katy, and I did a quick drive through campus, which was gorgeous as expected, with many beautiful buildings which definitely exuded an Ivy League atmosphere. We then shopped around the University district and picked up slices of pizza for lunch.

That night, we had dinner at Mosaic, which is a great modern fusion tapas restaurant in downtown St. Louis. We definitely sampled much of the menu including the flight of soup and a cheese plate, as well as several hot tapas including the Herb Gnocchi, Truffled Frites, and the Moroccan Tenderloin Kebobs. All were mouth watering and delicious.

After dinner, we headed to a hip part of town called Lafayette Square, where we enjoyed a beer at a local pub while we waited for a table at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar. (Did I mention it was pouring rain all night?) The Chocolate Bar is a restaurant and bar that specializes in fine desserts, cheeses, and aphrodisiacs. Of course, there was quite a wait since it was the weekend following Valentine’s Day.

Eventually, we secured a table on the insulated back deck, where we enjoyed the soothing pitter patter of the rain, great conversation, and drinks. Again, we heavily sampled the menu. (I found over the weekend that eating is what we do best.) We each tried one of the many varieties of chocolate martinis. I opted for the Chocolate Bar Signature Martini (hot), which was delicious. For dessert, we chose the Bailey’s Chocolate Brownie (a thick fudge brownie served warm, topped with Bailey’s Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce) and the Crème Brulee. We did not try the sorbet. Sorry, Mars. So that was Saturday in St. Louis (in a nutshell). Sunday is up next.

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Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

February 19th, 2008 — 2:28pm

On Monday night, I attended a lecture by Chuck Klosterman at the Wisconsin Union Theater. While I’ve certainly heard of Klosterman, a journalist who is best known for his work on pop culture and his best-selling collection of pop culture esssays, entiteld “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto,” I don’t really know him. Turns out I never will.

During the lecture, Klosterman described that, “I’ve never met anyone I’ve interviewed—I’ve only interviewed them. I don’t know what they’re really like. They were in the position of basically marketing themselves or marketing a product. I was in the position of being a reporter who was having a conversation…Those just aren’t organic relationships.”

So I’d like to preface my thoughts and observations by saying that I will clearly never really know Klosterman. That being said, I thought Klosterman was a genius on all things related to pop culture and sports (which seems like an unlikely combo to me). He was also very exciteable (often flailing his arms mid-sentence), down to earth, and unbelievably hilarious. He took many questions from the audience, and spoke on several topics ranging from his favorite Wilco album (“Being There”) to his thoughts on the demise of Brittany Spears. All of his answers were intelligent, thought provoking, and backed up with great examples and explanations. This was a great lecture, and I will definitely be reading more of Klosterman’s work in the future.

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VOTE

February 19th, 2008 — 10:07am

2 comments » | Uncategorized

SL Roadtrip

February 16th, 2008 — 9:19pm

I’m spending the weekend in St. Louis with two of my closest friends from high school, Erin and Katy. Erin (and her fabulous boyfriend, Mars) recently moved to St. Louis (from Montana), and we’re very excited to have her back in the Midwest, if only temporarily. Katy and I made the long road trip on Friday afternoon (which included a stop at Beef…obviously), and we’ll be in SL through Monday. We’re having a great time exploring town and catching up on much needed girl time. Anne, Beth, and Christie, we wish you were here! More pictures and stories on the way.

1 comment » | Vacation and Travel

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