Sunday, April 06, 2008

Go grab some packaged food. Read the ingredients. I'll bet they include at least one of the following: eggs, nuts, sesame seeds, or a dairy product (milk, cheese, whey, casein, etc).

This is why feeding Daisy with her allergies is difficult. Desserts are the toughest though. Cookies, cakes, and of course ice creams, are filled with her allergens. For most of these items we've found good substitutes. We've found a vegan chocolate chip cookie that doesn't taste like dirt, Hank can make a pretty good egg and dairy-free cake, and we live near a top-notch ice cream shop that specializes in surprisingly good soy-based ice cream.

Despite all our efforts, there are still some foods that Daisy has never tried. Situated at the very top of her to-eat list is the almighty donut.

Good luck finding an egg-free donut out in the wild. I'm sure they exist in some hippie commune store in Oregon, where you pay by bartering with kharma, but we haven't been able to find any around here.

So, on Sunday morning, Hank and Daisy strapped on their aprons and set about to cook up some home-made egg-free dairy-free donuts. The process took many hours. There was mixing, and dough rising, and dough punching, and more dough rising, and uh dough begging, and then maybe some dough swearing. By the time they were done, they had made glazed donuts, powdered donuts, cinnamon donuts, and maple donuts. (They had also dirtied almost every single vessel and surface in the kitchen, but, hey, it's not like THEY do the dishes in this household).

I swear, I have never seen Daisy as excited about eating a food as she was about these donuts. She was DELIGHTED to try each kind. The day was filled with conversations like this.

Daisy: May I have a donut after my lunch?
Hank: Sure
Daisy: Oh, thank you, mommy! Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

I mean, it's not like we deprive her of sweets. Dessert is a staple in this house, but to see the unadulterated glee that she derived from baking and then eating donuts was something to behold.

Of course I wasn't around for any of the baking part of the day. Hank and I have a carefully constructed Good Parent / Bad Parent shtick that we do. Playing my role to a hilt, I ducked out of the house at around 7:00am on Sunday to go run in a race.

I haven't really run in a race in over a year, so I signed up for a local 10 miler. I wasn't very familiar with the course, although I had heard that it was somewhat hilly. I randomly decided in advance that my goal would be to complete the race in an hour and 10 minutes. That meant 7 minutes per mile.

I loaded up on caffeine and jostled my way to the front of the pack. I wasn't planning on winning the race, but I didn't want to get stuck behind the casual joggers.

The gun went off and I started my watch. I was running a bit faster than I probably should have, but the hills started after about 1/4 mile, so that slowed everyone down. I checked my watch at the first mile marker:

Mile 1 -- 7:14

14 seconds behind schedule. Considering the hills, that wasn't bad. I knew the 2nd mile would be hilly too, but after that hopefully I'd start making up some of those lost seconds.

Mile 2 -- 7:31

31 more seconds. Ok, no big deal. I had been told the course would flatten out soon.

Mile 3 -- 7:03

Hmmmph. Still losing time. I was 48 seconds behind schedule, which was a bit disheartening, but still doable. I was constantly computing and recomputing my required pace. I knew that I still had 7 miles left, so all I had to do was save 7 seconds on each of those miles by running 6:53s

Mile 4 -- 7:06

Doh! Dammit! It was still kind of rolly-hilly. I was now 54 seconds behind. Around this time we ran onto the Golden Gate Bridge, which is one of the most scenic places in the world. During a race, however, it's just a long boring slog with a gentle hill in the middle that seems to go on forever.

Mile 5 -- 7:07

This was a disappointing mile too. 7 more seconds down the drain. This was make-or-break time. I was at the halfway point and was 61 seconds behind schedule, so over the final five miles, I'd need to make up 61 seconds. That's only one minute, I told myself. All I'd need to do is run about a 6:48 pace. There was barely any uphill left. I knew I could do this.

Mile 6 -- 7:12

And that's the precise moment when I said, "An hour and 10 minutes? Eh."

I mean, really, what's so special about an hour and 10 minutes? Nothing! Is it THAT much better than an hour and 11 minutes or 12 minutes? Nope. For the first time in the race, I didn't compute what I needed to run to break 1:10.

Mile 7 -- 6:56

Hey! It's too goddamn little too goddamn late, but at least it was a sub 7:00. I still didn't bother to recompute my pace, knowing it would just dishearten me. I just focused on taking advantage of the downhill (and trying to catch the woman who just sped past me)

Mile 8 -- 6:34

Whoa! Dang! That downhill really helped! Unfortunately, the downhill was over and I was still 43 seconds behind schedule. It seemed unlikely that I'd make up enough time over the next two miles, which were going to be completely flat. Screw 1:10. I was getting kind of tired. Running will do that to you.

Mile 9 -- 4:59

What. The. Hell. I have NEVER in my life run a 5 minute mile. This was not a case of me reaching deep down and finding untapped speed, this was absolutely a case of the race coordinators making an tremendously bad mistake at marking the miles. There was ZERO chance that I had run a 5 minute mile or even a 6 minute mile. I figured they were off by about 1/4 mile, which is the biggest mistake I've ever seen in mile marking in a race. The only question in my mind was wondering where the missing 1/4 mile was. I hoped it was in the previous 8 miles and not in the remaining one.

Regardless, I had virtually no data about my pace at this point. I was running blind. It was really disconcerting.

I kept my eyes peeled for the finish line. After over 7 minutes of running, I spotted it. It looked to be just over a minute away. I checked my watch for the total time so far: 1 hour and 9 minutes.


I wanted the finish line to either be easily accessible in my remaining minute or way too far away to even consider sprinting, but, noooooo, it had to be within lung-busting difference. So, I ran as fast as my little programmer legs would carry me and crossed the finish line in.....

1 hour, 9 minutes, and 57 seconds.

That last "mile" had taken me 8:16, despite the fact that I'm pretty sure it was my fastest mile. I couldn't believe that I had somehow stumbled my way to achieving my randomly chosen goal. It was surely a case of a whole bunch of wrongs all canceling each other out.

When I got home, I rewarded myself with a home-made donut.


The Casual Perfectionist said...

I'll be the first to admit that I don't like running, and I avoid it at all costs. I'm good at it while being chased (long story), and that's all that matters...

That being said, I loved this post! By the end, I was holding my breath and hoping you'd reach your goal.

Mmmmm. Donuts. :)

Mike said...

You loved this post? I think you accidentally commented on the wrong blog. This post is unlovable.

Sue said...

Do you actually enjoy running? Or do you do it cause it's good for you? I hardly ever enjoy it. That's why I make sure to stay under 3miles.

The Casual Perfectionist said...

Unlovable? What's not to love about homemade donuts? Just because there was a little bit about running mixed in, doesn't make the whole post unlovable. That and the fact that you reached your goal made it entertaining. :)

The 4th Sister said...

My Grandson could not have eggs....I take 1 box cake mix and add 1 can of soda....beat as usual and pour in cup cake pans.... it works great....for a chocolate cake I use root beer....for a yellow cake I use really works... diet soda works just the same...

Mike said...

Sue, with very few exceptions I hate running. I find that I crave the physical competition of races and I enjoy an occasional dozen seconds here and there during a run.

However, it's good exercise and I find myself strangely compelled to run. It's weird.

Casual Perfectionist, alright, I'll accept your compliment. Thank you.

4th sis, soda, eh? That's interesting. My wife uses some weird egg replacer powder that's hard to find. Chemically it does the same binding as eggs, but it does often make the consistency of cakey items kind of gummy.

Avery Gray said...

Yay! You did it!

You guys should take a trip to Eugene, Oregon. Stock up on all your hippified needs. I think they have some spring sales going on--40% less kharma. That's a sweet deal.

Mike said...

Avery, oooh, that is a good deal. I'm going to stock up on patchouli.