[ wait for it ]
after the race it was time to head off for a fun birthday day in madison, wisconsin. we started at the awesome dane county farmer’s market which is on the capitol square so we got to peruse the approximately 300 vendors and go in the capitol and hit the observation deck which offers an excellent view of the city.
the perfect time for a gratuitous ( and rare ) family portrait!
the rotunda in the capitol building is pretty awesome. odin thought it was mighty impressive. i wish i could have figured out a way to take a better picture. i tried to take a panorama of the entire thing but it wouldn’t stitch together nicely, so you only get to see a small bit 🙂
i’d be lying if i said at this point odin wasn’t really ready to head out and see something other than statues and elaborate rotundas. see that smile? it’s a carefully crafted fake 🙂
so, off to the madison children’s museum we went because while i might be getting old, i’m not too old to hang out with odin at a children’s museum where they have fun stuff like a giant hampster wheel that generates electricity for lights!
and some sort of crazy facial real time facial recognition exhibit…
and pinball, which take a lot of concentration especially when your poppi is taking pictures from funny angles…
and a green rooftop with a chicken coop with a great quote from frank lloyd wright that i might have to steal and put on our own chicken coop for The Girls…
they even had little chicks to pet. of course, odin has lots of practice calming baby chickens and grown hens thanks to tending to The Girls…
the baby chick was so content it eventually fell asleep in odin’s hands! the museum staff ladies were super impressed with his Chicken Calming Powers.
then, alas, it was time to go and we headed to a photography exhibit at madison museum of contemporary art but there was no cameras allowed. at a photography exhibit! boo!
after the exhibit we went to pizza brutta for some of the best pizza in madison. i had the prosciutto with asiago cheese and arugula. highly recommended! kris and odin are more traditional in their pizza tastes and had pepperoni. odin said it was the best pizza he’d ever had which is very high praise indeed.
for some reason, i felt compelled to take a picture of the table sign instead of the food because i liked the colors, fonts, shadows and lines?!
and to cap off The Best Birthday, we went to chocolate shoppe ice cream for a scoop of butter pecan ice cream before heading home very full and very content.
’twas a fine day. odin said it was the best birthday he’d been to even though it wasn’t his birthday 🙂
in addition to getting me some clams to celebrate my first birthday after running over 2,400 miles and losing 110 pounds ( i lost 4 more since writing that post ), kris organized a surprise trip to madison so i could run in the 10K “bratfest” which is the first race i’ve ran since running in the chicago marathon last october.
i’ve slowed down running over the past few months and have “only” been averaging 10-20 miles a week so i thought i’d take it easy and enjoy myself. the way i see it, it’s a “personal best” just to get up at 6:30a.m. on my birthday to make sure i register for the race on time and i didn’t need to go and try to break any personal records. but, hey, the best laid plans and all that. i felt so good running that it almost didn’t feel like i was pushing very hard to run a faster 10K than i’ve ever run before.
What an awesome way to start my birthday.Crushed personal record & ran 8’45” miles. Could have run faster.Next up,madison farmer’s market!
— Eric C. Snowdeal III (@snowdeal) May 25, 2013
i ran the first 5K at around 9 minute miles which is, in and of itself, a record setting pace for my former clydesdale self. but when it became clear that i was going to have plenty of gas in the tank i picked up the pace and ran the second 5K at an 8’30” pace to finish with an 8’45” average time per mile. i probably could have even pushed it a bit and harder if i paced myself better over the entire race and hit just over 8 minute miles. and the great part? i felt awesome at the end. i’m pretty sure i could have kept an 8’30” pace through a half marathon.
i couldn’t be happier that after a year i’m still kicking 30 year old me’s ass ( and running almost 2 minutes per mile faster than i was just a year ago when i wrote that post ).
it’ll be interesting a year from now to see if i can shave another minute off my times and get close to a 7’30” per mile pace which is about a 3 hour and 16 minute marathon pace and close to what i’d need to run for a boston marathon qualifying time. i’m not saying i’m going to be able to keep that pace through a marathon but who knows!
i do think running a race on or very close to my birthday is going to be a new tradition. next year i might give the spring madison half marathon a whirl.
the super bestest part was having kris and odin standing right by the finish line so odin could give me a high-five before i crossed the line 🙂
and so, looking for an adventure ( and needing to do some shopping in A Big City ), we trekked to madison. we thought it would be fun to have lunch somewhere that served cuisine a bit more exotic than the typical fare to be round in rural southwest wisconsin and not knowing the madison restaurant scene nearly as well as i should, i put out a call on the social intertubes for a thai food recommendation.
bahn thai received the most number of votes so we decided to give it a try and were pleasantly surprised to see that it was next door to westfield comics which gave us the perfect opportunity to introduce odin to the wonders of a Comic Book Store. not having been in a comics shop in A Very Long Time, i was quickly reminded that the age appropriate pickings for an almost seven year old are slim ( thankfully odin didn’t stumble upon the new issue of heavy metal ), but we had a great time sitting on the floor and flipping through what selection they did have.
odin eventually settled on a copy of a batman comic which made for a great way to pass the time while we waited for our food after we meandered over to the restaurant ( as an aside, i think odin could develop a great love of comics and we’re looking for recommendations – some folks have already recommended the muppet show comic book and the secret science alliance ).
the food arrived quickly and bahn thai served good, but not great fare. the pork pad thai was a little sweet for my taste, but the fried rice and chicken satay were excellent. definitely worth more trips to explore the menu.
sa-bai got the second most number of votes on email, fb and twitter. vietenne palace and one for sala thai both got votes and look interesting from the yelp reviews. so we have plenty of thai options the next time we visit madison!
we’re certainly looking forward to hitting “madtown” more often. i can’t believe we’ve only visited a few times over the past few years.