So I decided to try a new pizza dough recipe. This was made mostly out of necessity since I hadn’t made the dough the night ahead. I have been using the overnight slow no-knead method for years and it produces a night sour-like dough that D likes. I also haven’t used my new stand mixer for pizza dough and figured this would be a good time to try it out. I tweaked the original recipe a little. I had seen this recipe on one of my FB groups and it looked good – it’s a Martha Stewart recipe (https://www.marthastewart.com/332275/basic-pizza-dough).
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
(eyeballed) 1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
4 cups AP flour
1.5 cups of warm water
In the bowl I added the warm water with the sugar and yeast and let it bloom for about 5 minutes.
To the bowl I then added the AP flour, salt and olive oil.
Using my stand mixer, I mixed the dough for ~10 minutes (on the low or #2 setting)
This produced a cohesive smooth dough that I placed in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled (~1.5-2 hours) – this was a very active dough that more than doubled
I punched the dough down and then divided it into 4 equal pieces and formed 2 into balls for the pizza (I saved the other half to make bread another day).
After about 2-3 hours I formed the pizza into a large disc for baking.
What I liked about this recipe is that it provided for a dough with good strength to it when working it. The one I had been making was a little more delicate and harder to stretch into a nice round shape like the above. Overall I thought it was a little light on salt and didn’t create the same depth of flavor as the overnight dough but it works if you have less time.
Last month I tried a new pizza dough recipe. A few months before that, I had read in Men’s Health about an easy pizza dough that did not require hours of preparation (I had been using a no-knead dough recipe that required an 18 hour rise (more details below). I am always looking for both more efficient and tasty recipes for pizza dough. My wife enjoys the one I had been making but I am all for tweaking and improving so I decided to try this new (to me) recipe. I was fairly certain I had left the magazine in a spot in my treadmill room but lo and behold it wasn’t there. I resorted to trying to google the same recipe and don’t know if it was the exact one I had read about initially but I went with it.
Quicker pizza dough ingredients:
6 cups AP flour
2 1/4 cups room temperature water (recipe called for cold water)
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp kosher salt
Add 3 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp yeast to 2 1/4 cups of water in a large bowl and combine
In a separate bowl, mix remaining 3 cups of flour with the salt.
I then added in the flour mix to the flour-water combination (from step 1) and kneaded it within the bowl for about 5 minutes.
I let the dough rest – covered – for 30 minutes.
The dough was separated into 4 (relatively) parts and 3 of them saved in saran wrap and frozen for later use.
I split the dough into 2 balls and made pizzas from them.
Since my marathon recap post was kind of long, I decided to separate out the actual weekend part of marathon weekend. We decided to stay in Carmel because of the locations of the bus pickups to take us to the marathon start. Right in the heart of downtown Carmel was one of the pickup spots. Luckily there are a ton of small hotels, inns, and B&Bs in Carmel. Rather than leaving the dog in a boarding place in Sac, I found a place that allows pets (Carmel is historically and well-known as an extremely dog friendly place).
We made a pit stop in Fairfield to get some lunch on our way down on Friday. The wife found a sandwich spot called Joe’s Buffet . They made a tasty sandwich – I had a combo of pastrami and corned beef.
Once we reached Monterey and stopped to do my packet pickup, we swung by PeterB’s brewpub (right behind the expo area at Portola Hotel). I had the Belly Up Blonde since I wanted to keep it light.
Prior to our trip, I had done some research on dog-friendly restaurants in Carmel. A ton of places have outdoor sitting and allow dogs in their patio areas since so many people have dogs (either visiting or living there). The Inn that we stayed at also provided us with a list of some of the nearby dog friendly restaurants. Our living quarters for the weekend was the Svendsgaard’s Inn. This place ended up being only about 4-5 blocks from the bus pickup. The accomodations were nice and it was a small quaint little place. They had a small grassy area in a courtyard with poop bags available.
That first night in Carmel (I still don’t understand how the official city name is Carmel-By-The-Sea…such a mouthful), we walked over to Bistro Beaujolais for dinner.
Billed as a French restaurant, we ordered with this in mind. I had the French Onion soup, escargots, and sand dabs. My wife had a lemon chicken soup and the Steak Frites. The last time I was in the Monterey area is when I learned about Sand Dabs. I guess they’re a local fish that is wildly popular and served at pretty much every restaurant (doesn’t even matter if it is American, European, Mediterranean, etc). I was surprised and pleased to see that they had a Michigan beer and ordered the Founders Porter.
Another week down, another 100+ mile month. This is the first time I’ve ever done this much mileage two months in a row. I’ve never had more than one 100+ mile month in a year prior to this year. I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to do this high mileage while avoiding any major injuries. I’ve had a few days of some soreness in my right knee and also left calf, but overall nothing that doesn’t go away after a day of rest. So I’m pretty happy with how my training is going thus far.
Now for the not so great news. My longest run (20 miles) was set for this past Friday. Of course Friday was the one day we were supposed to get rain for most of the day. I also altered my plan during the early part of the week and ran Tues-Wed instead of Mon-Wed. Seemed to work out okay.
Here’s a summary of last week’s running.
( ) = # of miles on my plan
Tuesday – 2.5 (3)
Wednesday – 4.5 (9)
Friday – 16.07 (20)
Saturday – 3.2 (4)
Sunday – 3.0 (3) – treadmill, walking.
Weekly Total – 29.27 miles (39)
I woke up on Friday and wasn’t really feeling all that motivated. The weather wasn’t helping matters that much. Normally I’ve been starting my long runs around 9 am so that takes me anywhere to 12 or 1 pm usually for anything over 16 miles. The morning started kinda hazy with a very fine mist sprinkles while I was having breakfast and coffee. I continued to kinda of mozy around and get myself psyched up to go on my long run. I stepped out of the door around 9:30 into some light rain but with some decent winds that were quite chilling.
Luckily for me I have a loop in my neighborhood that is almost exactly 1 mile (slightly over 1 mile) from my house. With the way the weather was, I decided I’d just run this 1 mile loop for as long as I could so that I had somewhere to take shelter if the rain got really bad. I also like it because that means I have bathroom access (not just at my house but there’s a park about 1/2 mile into the loop as well). The only downside with loop running is that it can get boring and you want a new view of things. I made it to 3 miles and then took off on another path to do 2.5 additional miles. My tummy had not been feeling the greatest before I started running and I ended up having to make a pit stop at the house. Soon I started to bargain with myself. I told myself I could stay out in the cold rain for 10 miles and then do the last 10 miles on the treadmill. I also didn’t want to spend too much time on the dreadmill because it too can also be boring for too long.
I knew it was also good for me to be out in the rain because it is a possibility for my race in about 6 weeks. I need to learn to run in different types of temperature and weather. This year has been especially wet in California so who knows if it may be raining on race day.
I ended up making it to 8.75 miles out in the rain when I called it quits (had to make another pit stop) and switched over to the treadmill. I started my run there and soon realized I’d rather be out in the rain. I made it about 3.25 miles on the treadmill and then decided to go out into the rain again (the rain was heavier than it was during my first 8 miles). I pushed and persevered and hit 4 miles (I had told myself that 4 miles was my minimum up to the 8 miles to complete the 20 miles). I had recently read that one theory for marathon long run training is not to exceed 3 hours because beyond that the benefits do not outweigh the risks (i.e. injury). So that’s where I came up with 4 miles minimum on my 3rd leg to have a final of 16 miles.
So the end result was just a tad over 16 miles. I’m happy with it, especially given my lack of motivation and the rain.
No pictures on my runs this week with the rains.
Sunday morning I woke up with a lot of sneezing and a constantly dripping right nose. I do have pretty bad allergies in the springtime but this felt more like maybe I was getting sick. Even though I thought maybe I was getting sick I still wanted to get some miles in. So I compromised with myself and did 3 miles of walking on the treadmill (~3.5 mph so I still broke a sweat).
Overall I’m still happy with my training thus far and hope to keep it up and be ready for the race in Big Sur.
We also went to a pizza joint we used to go to a lot (Hot Italian). Since I’ve been making pizza myself we haven’t gone in awhile. I do like their cocktails though, and Saturday was decently warm so I had a Negroni.
Week 9 had some highs and a lot of lows. As you’ll see below, I ended up only doing 2 runs the entire week. For my scheduled Tuesday and Thursday runs I can blame work for not getting them in. Normally I get off work around 6 but due to various circumstances on both those days I had to stay late and was just too tired to get a run in when I got home. I’m not sweating it too much.
The high of the week was actually hitting the 18 mile distance and feeling somewhat okay afterwards. I keep telling myself that for the actual race I’ll be doing an additional 8.2 miles so I better feel “okay” after an 18-miler.
Here’s a summary of last week’s running.
( ) = # of miles on my plan
Tuesday – 0.00 (3)
Thursday – 0.00 (8) – in reality, 8 miles was a bit ambitious considering 18 the following day.
Friday – 18 (18)
Saturday – 4.05 (5)
Sunday – 0.00 (4)
Weekly Total – 22.05 miles (37)
My long run was taken along the American River Trail again. This time I went further and traversed the bridge past William Pond Park. I ran over this bridge when I did the Run The Parkway Half. There were tons of Canadian Geese out. They were just all over the place.
It is amazing how quickly the water level drops after no rain for a few weeks. Not sure when we’re going to get more rain but I feel like we need some more over the next 1-2 months to feel okay with being out of the drought.
My last run I ran past this tree with these bright vibrant yellow flowers. Now, 2 weeks later the flowers are still there but they appear so much more dull.
So I crossed the bridge and explored some new territory. I stopped at a bathroom/water fountain area that was cool but a bit isolated. I pictured a horror movie where I was being chased by some masked villain. Luckily this was only about a 1/4 mile detour.
Even though my 18 miler was slower than my 16 miler, I think it is good progress. It is amazing how I slowed so much on the 18 miler even though for the 16 miler, I had put in some tough fast hill miles the night before the 16 miler. Strange how the body works.
Sunday I woke up in a funk and just wasn’t feeling it (it = life).
So rather than get a run in that may have helped my mood, I went out to dinner for some cocktails and pizza. I had the notion of doing a few night miles after dinner but when I ordered that second cocktail, I knew that running was out of the question. I also had a baking fail. I decided to make some bread but was too cocky and didn’t check the temperature of the bread when I finished and of course the center of the loaf wasn’t cooked. It was just gummy paste. Fail. But at least the cocktail and pizza look delish!