A Fond Farewell and A New Beginning (?)

Made my way over to Fleet Feet in Portland today for a new pair of running shoes. I’m figuring that the hip and feet sourness I’ve been experiencing is due to fatigued shoes. Maybe not, but armed with a birthday Visa card from my sister, I took the plunge on a new pair.

Before digressing into the benefits of a new pair of running shoes, it is fitting to bid farewell:

These Hoka Bondi 5’s were purchased at the Expo for the San Francisco Marathon. No, I did not run that race, but they carried me through training for and the 2016 Maine Marathon. After a long layoff, they put in a last 100 miles, or so, to put me on the road to Redemption. I thank them for that and hope my new Bondi 6’s carry me forward.

See you on the road!

-Mike

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Rest Days Work!!!

Leave me alone, it’s a Rest Day!…

The streak was broken, but after 2 rest days my running was much improved…

Just over 10:00 pace for a 5K and the hip is feeling good. Beautiful day running along Portland Harbor.

See you on the road!

-Mike

The Montreal Bagel Challenge – Fairmount vs. St. Viateur Bagels

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Another Montreal post (just a few more to do the trip justice).  So, Katie determined that the two ultimate stops for bagels in Montreal were Fairmount Bagel (the original I remember from our last trip) and St. Viateur Bagel (our son, Joe’s favorite from his summer of 2018 in Montreal).

BTW, Katie is a local legend with her bagel creations (Bootleg Bagels)…

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If you have not had them, Montreal-style bagels are smaller and much sweeter than NYC-style bagels.  Katie stated that this is due to Montreal bakers adding sugar to the dough.  However, it seemed that a lot of food in Quebec seemed to be a bit sweeter, especially the produce.  Maybe it’s something to do with the province’s farming techniques.  I don’t, probably Katie is right since she is far more the expert on baking.

That morning, we set out on our bikes from the hotel and made our way to the bagel Meccas of Montreal, Fairmount and St. Viateur.  We decided to keep our orders small, a plain (the true test), a sesame (seems to be the favorite in Montreal), and an everything (in Montreal the tradition is to use Montreal Steak Seasoning on the everything bagels).  Katie definitely had the look of excitement waiting in line at Fairmount…

We also got quite the kick out of the pay phone.

Once we had our haul we rode out to the park at the base of Mont Royal and conducted the Bagel Challenge.  the challenge simply was us doing a blind taste test to determine where the bagel was from and which we preferred.  We both were spot on.  What gave it away for me was that the sweet smell that permeated St. Viateur.  Their bagels were much sweeter and chewier, while the brick oven baking stood out with Fairmount’s.  In both cases they were fantastic!  In fact, I’m a Montreal-style convert.  It seems NYC bagels are a unicorn these days based on our trip to NYC in July.  There is such a variety there, that none of them seem distinct to the City.  When in Quebec, Montreal-style seems to always be the type.

If I had to choose though, I would go with St. Viateur.  I just loved the texture and that extra sweetness was bagel Heaven.  In either case, you can’t go wrong.

On se voit sur la route!

-Mike

 

The Streak Is Over

14 straight days and 55 miles, but I had to call an end to my consecutive day running streak. Ultimately it came down to diminishing returns and a sore hip.

Here’s an interesting read on one Runner’s streak:

https://www.nomeatathlete.com/50-lessons-running-streak/

And here’s why I’ll stick to regular rest days going forward:

https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20864022/why-rest-days-are-important/

We did manage to have a nice lunch at a new Sebago Brewing Company in Gorham.I splurged and went for a lobster roll. It tasted very fresh and (most importantly I think) the bun was perfectly griddled with butter. Katie raves about the mashed potato pizza she had. Nice atmosphere and I liked the decor. They offer free brewery tours, but work was calling.

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Have a great weekend and see you on the road!

-Mike

Walk on Water Run – The Rockland Breakwater

Check out this run…

No, I did not channel my inner Jesus and run on water. Although, Jesus probably had a better pace than I did for this run. Katie had a overnight management meeting at the Samoset Resort in Rockport and I was able to join her for the evening.

We have wonderful memories of the Samoset. It was here that we had our wedding reception 25 years ago, which has been the best day of my life. It was a wonderful day and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

In high school, I also spent a summer bussing tables here. It was fun to drive part of the route I biked to work here since my house was only a few miles away.

While Katie was at dinner, I had the opportunity to set out for a run. My running miracle was actually on the Rockland Breakwater. A very cool destination, but running it definitely channeled some OCD since I had to avoid the crack(s), so I wouldn’t break this runner’s back.

The Breakwater is 7/8 of a mile long, so it was a good addition of distance to my run. I shut down the music from my headphones and enjoyed the ocean sounds as I navigated the stones, which was pretty amazing being the only person navigating the Breakwater at the time. Once I reached the lighthouse, I paused to take in the scenery of Rockland Harbor and the surrounding coast.

On the way back, I got lost meandered around the resort golf course. It was beautiful taking in the ocean view on a typical overcast and foggy mid coast evening. As I told Katie when I saw her later, the Mid Coast definitely feels more Maine than back home in Portland.

See you on the road!

-Mike

Bike for Breakfast? Time for a Sip of Europe.

Somehow a Sip of Europe has been in Portland for three years with us knowing. It was my charge to find a new breakfast spot for the morning and I came upon this spot through some online research during the evening while at work.  Sip of Europe specializes in crepes, so while I’ve been failing at trying a Keto Diet, Katie suggested that I could just dump the ingredients out of the crepe and enjoy.  Once I saw the crepes (and an another item), I was like, “Screw that!”

We hopped on our bikes and ventured forth for a Bike for Breakfast:

I just love those green rims on my Fixie!

On our ride to breakfast, we were passed by a parade of antique cars, which was cool to see (the pic doesn’t do it justice).

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I’ve probably gone by Sip of Europe dozens of times the past three years and have not noticed it.  Not surprised since the signage does not exactly shout out to you.

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The other thing is that I’m not a pancake person.  Give me three slices of French Toast and I’m in breakfast heaven.  I suppose that crepes are not pancakes, but Sip of Europe was enough to make me a convert!  First though, I have to address the opener which was this beautiful pitcher of Mimosa’s made and served by the owner herself, Yulia.

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The mimosa had nice flavor and the addition of lemon gave it a nice tartness.  I’d usually go for a Bloody Mary for breakfast, but will definitely repeat this on our next visit.  One side note is that Yulia and Katie did scold me after my initial order for Margaritas.  Not sure where that brain cramp came in.

So…about the menu.  Not the actual offerings (which you will see, are fantastic), but the printed menu itself. It had the feel of a dumpling restaurant in Boston’s or NYC’s Chinatown.  Maybe I’m off here, but take a look:

No doubt that the description were perfect of the offerings.  I guess the pictures threw me off.  They were unexpected, and the first I’ve seen for breakfast, but they did represent the product well.

So, on to the main event.  Not realizing that the $19.99 for two special (three crepes and 2 drinks) was only available Tuesday-Friday earning me another scolding from Yulia, we ordered two savory (the Hawaiian and Mustard of Ham -with goat cheese replacement with Yulia’s permission-) and one sweet (the Baklava).  It was a bit of a wait as Yulia served two regulars, but no doubt we were very satisfied as the crepes came out one by one:

Top left is the ham and cheese.  The ham was top shelf (I’m guessing Boar’s Head) and with the addition of the balsamic glaze on the side it was a taste explosion.  Next came the Hawaiian which was fantastic with the only drawback being that the pesto drowned out the pineapple flavor some.  Finally, the Baklava crepe was otherworldly as a sweet end to our feast. We ended up taking some of our treats home in to-go containers, but I’m sure they did not make it to the afternoon before being devoured in a second round.

A pleasant surprise was that our total bill came to $37.00.  I thought this a great deal for a very satisfying meal with the pitcher of Mimosas despite a another minor scolding (joking?) from Yulia about drinking and driving biking.

We will return to Sip of Europe and hope to bring friends.  Next time I will be sure to read the fine print on the Specials Board.

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BTW, starting week 3 of C25K today!

See you on the road!

-Mike

Bowling Not Running

I have to say it, 33 Elmwood bowled me over was AWESOME!  Yes, this a running-eating blog, and yes, we did not run there, but we will set PRs going there a second time.  Great food, great adult beverages, and a fun time on the lanes.  Not to mention that the lane was super cheap ($15 for one hour with shoes included) for a Wednesday night.  I did manage a Bowling PR of 150 too.  We gathered with our four offspring to celebrate Frank’s 18th(!) birthday.  A $10 bottle of Presecco  paired nice with a Fried Green Tomato sandwich and the pizza was great!