Monday, October 3, 2011

fermenting begins, b is for..., and the pace picks up but i don't chuck

Had a great Critical Mass ride on Friday night; I am amazed at the difference that raising my seat and putting on padded bike shorts makes in my comfort and stamina levels for that ride.  Good stuff.  

Picked up a kombucha "mother mushroom" from a friend while I was at JPUSA this weekend.  The mother mushroom is also known as a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) or as a kombucha patty.  It's not at all like what I thought it would be; it is amberish in color and has the consistency of soft rubber - it can be picked up with clean hands and it's not all ooshy-gooshy gooey like I expected it to be.  So now I have it floating in a batch of sweetened tea (the sugar is to feed to the yeast, not to my body) and covered with a towel on my counter, which receives no sunlight (sunlight is very bad for the SCOBY).    It will rest there for roughly a week, doing its fermenting thing.  Then I will pour it into smaller containers with a bit of pure juice in them, cap them tightly, and let them do a few more days of fermenting (this is the "double fermentation" method of making kombucha).  After that it can be refrigerated and is fizzy, sour/sweet and ready to drink.  

A friend was quizzing me this weekend on what's so good about be honest, I don't have all the details on that.  I know it is probiotic.  I know there are people at my former home who have strong testimonies of miracle cures they've personally experienced from drinking it regularly.  I read the label on my store-bought raw organic has a ton of "B" vitamins in it, which means it's probably giving me energy and preventing bitchiness (don't forget the slogan...B is for bitch, which is what I'm less likely to be if I take my B vitamins...)

In other news, this morning it was time for another upgrade on the run schedule.  I had it mentally together enough before I left that I remembered to check the tiny book.  Intervals for this week are:

3 minutes slower jog
7 minutes faster run
(complete 3 such rounds)

...with of course the 5ish minute warmup and 5ish minute cool down walks before and after.  I almost couldn't summon the courage to try it, mostly because lazy me noted that this is a lifetime change and if I keep moving forward so quickly, next thing I know I'll be running faster 30 uninterrupted minutes...a notion that makes me quite queasy if I consider it very long at all.  Still, since last Monday's advance was so shockingly easy, I decided to be brave and just do it.

YOWZA.  I did okay the first round...I mean, I seriously and truly thought I was gonna hurl in minute 7 of the faster running, and it took me 2.5 of my 3 slower minutes to get my breath back to where I didn't feel ready to collapse...but I did it.  Early in the faster part of the 2nd round, I stepped on a very large stick in the black, black dark and twisted my ankle pretty good.  I kept moving, which I determined later must've been a good thing...the pain passed and I don't feel it at all now.  I was only able to run 6 minutes 20 seconds of the 2nd 7-minute faster run....I was pushing for all I was worth, but that part was on a (gentle) uphill climb and all the starch just kinda went out of knees went wobbly and I had to slow down.  So I let myself have the 3 minutes of slower running PLUS the remaining 40 seconds that I hadn't been able to go faster before I made myself pick it up again.  The third round was much easier...all my joints had loosened up and I was in a better breathing spot.  

I had a few minutes of extra time at the end of the run because I was having one hell of a time keeping count in my head when it came to figuring out what my half-way point was for turning around.  So I used the extra 3 minutes at the end of the run to do:  1 minute of slower jogging and then 2 minutes of faster running.  

I'm pretty much in awe that I did all that.  Half an hour later, my face was STILL red like a tomato...I really got my pulse going pretty hard, I guess.

Feels like progress to me.  Happy Monday, all!

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