Monday, June 27, 2022

Weekly Roundup: Spam and Shipwreck


A weekly roundup: eats, workouts, watches, and reads.  In this week's edition my family came home from the wilds, I made vegan spam and I need to talk about it, hubs may have found a solution to our family dinner problem (no, it's not vegan spam), and I ran a one mile race...and a five mile race.

The biggest news item of the week is that everyone is home now!  For the past two weeks hubs and stepson #1 were out in the wilds on an epic Boy Scout hiking trip.  Stepson #2 spent last week with his mom and then spent this week on the staff of a Cub Scout camp, which was a very big deal.  Everyone had a good time and everyone is readjusting to sleeping indoors and having electricity, plumbing, and the internet at their disposal.


During my single girl time this week I mostly ate leftovers and only tried one new recipe.  I wasn't sure how Vegan Spam Musubi would taste, but I felt like I needed to find out.  I don't think that I've had "real" spam since I was a child, but I do have oddly endearing memories of it.  I'm pleased to tell you that vegan spam has an oddly endearing quality as well.

The final product was supposed to be a slice of spam on top of sushi rice wrapped in nori - you'll need to click over to the recipe source for the visual because I did not nail that part of the recipe.  I think the moral of the story is that anytime I try to wrap something in nori I am doomed to failure.  But the spam part of the recipe was a great success.  The only question was what in the world to do with it.

The next day it was lunchtime and I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat.  Out of all of the things that I could have had, I came up with the idea to slap some mayo, lettuce, and relish on bread and make myself a spamwich.

A few lunches later I am now fresh out of vegan spam.  I'm not sure if I'll ever make it again, but I feel like I've had a Life Experience.

The next food topic to discuss is that I am (still) sick to death of cooking family dinner.  I like cooking and I love sitting down with my family for a meal, but over the past few years I've come to loathe the experience of getting food on the table.  Same old same old: I have no frickin clue what these people want to eat, I have no frickin clue what I want to eat, we have to eat dinner very early to get everyone out the door so it's pretty stressful to get work wrapped up and get it done.  At a point when you're banging your head against a brick wall you've got to stop and let someone else have a turn.  I had talked to the hubs about passing the dinner torch once the Boy Scout trip was done, and the wheels are in motion.

The idea is that for the rest of the summer the four of us will rotate dinner responsibilities.  The cook gets to pick dinner, and hubs offered to step up to bat first.  With a dreamy look on his face, he said "I'll make Shipwreck."

On Sunday he set to work.  Shipwreck is a Boy Scout standard, and the way that hubs described it to the boys is "something that you would only eat if you were in a shipwreck."

The recipe:

It turns out that shipwreck is quite good and it makes your house smell amazing.  Let's be honest it's not the best looking dish you will ever see, but the taste makes up for it.  So here's an idea for anyone who has no frickin clue what they want to eat for dinner.

After this strong start I'm curious to see where dinners go from here. 


Truth time...the long awaited one mile race was this week.  It was clear a few weeks ago that I would not make my A goal of a sub 9 minute mile, so I adjusted the target to "see what ya got".

Recap of all of my running this week leading up to the race: total crap.

Recap of the race: the race was held on Friday night.  There were about 200 runners, mostly adults but there were a good number of kids as well.  The site was my old grad school campus.  The temp was 86 with an air quality warning, but this was one time when I had no cares about the weather since the race wasn't going to be long enough for it to matter. 

The race started on an uphill and my ears were filled with the sound of my own wheezing.  The sun was blazing down mercilessly and I immediately questioned my life decisions.

And then we turned a corner to a good stretch of downhill right through the center of campus and I got out of my head and into the race.  I wasn't looking at my watch, but there was a father and son duo within earshot and the kid was asking his dad for constant updates so at any given time I knew exactly what the distance was.  After the 0.75 mile mark I got ahead of them and that was when I got a peak at my wrist and saw that I was under a 10 minute pace which gave me the motivation to hold it there.  My watch shows this as my fastest mile since I reset my records every's my fastest mile of the month. 

Once I crossed the finish I was overcome by an epic coughing fit which I think was brought on by the air quality situation.  It was rough because I couldn't catch my breath and I also felt like I was going to throw up.  I kept it under control long enough to get my banana and then got out of there.

Twelve hours later I was back on the race scene for an 5 miler.  This time around I very much had a concern with the weather, since it was going to be much longer than a 10 minute effort.  I had a 17 ounce hand held bottle, and my A goal for the race was to drink all of the water before I crossed the finish line.

The race was downtown which helped a lot with the weather, since the tall buildings made for a lot of shade.  The air quality warning was still in effect (I have no idea what if anything that means for running but since it was a thing I'm claiming it for my handicap) but overall things were much better than I would have expected.  I held up pretty strong for the first 3 miles before I had to start taking walk breaks to manage the heat.  It was no world record but I'll take it.

Where do we go from here?  Ima keep after the speed work and I want to get in more fast miles.

Watching and Reading

Nothing to report!


  1. Congratulations on your two races, Birchie!
    You did very well in both: you kept up the speed on that mile and you bravely endured the heat in the 5-miler.
    I wonder why the organizers thought it was a good idea to start the mile race with an uphill? It's hard to make up the lost speed on the downhill. Hopefully, next time you get to do it on a flat course.
    And yes, keep up the speed work! You WILL get the sub-9 if you keep at it!

    1. The race started uphill but the rest of the course was downhill so I'll take it.

  2. I have a lot to say.
    1) vegan spam. I don't think I have ever had actual spam, and I probably won't have vegan spam, but I admire your courage.
    2) shipwreck. I have PTSD from this recipe and photo. My mom used to make this all the time and I hated it so much, and I am from a family where we had to clean our plates to leave the table and ahhhhhhhhh shipwreck.
    3) great job on the races!!

    1. Oh no sorry for bringing up the past trauma! I was raised in the clean plate club as well so yes I know exactly how you feel. So many awful memories for so little reason.

  3. WOO! Great work on the races! The conditions seem really less than ideal, and you did so well!

    I have never felt the urge to eat spam, vegan or otherwise, but I loved reading about your adventure. And YAY for getting your husband on board with swapping out the cooking duties! I FEEL YOU about the mind-numbing, soul-crushing slog that is making dinner every night. So I hope this change is really helpful! Food should be fun!

    1. I don't want to give any spoilers for next week's post but THEY NAILED IT!!! I should have done this years ago.

  4. I mostly read your race recaps for banana counts.

    I'm quite excited to hear about this rotating dinner and what results you get. That is one large benefit of having children old enough to cook!

    1. Oops! I did not give an accurate banana count. 1 per race.

  5. You know, I wish you posted more often! I get why you don't (you have a job, etc.) but your posts are always fun and interesting. We also have the dreaded dinner dilemma, and have partially solved it by making dinners as lame as possible (like pasta with sauce from a jar and some broccoli florets thrown into the pasta water for the last few minutes- that's what we had tonight.) I'll be interested to hear how your new schedule goes.
    As soon as I looked at that recipe for vegan spam, I knew it would be amazing in a sandwich. I think I'm going to have to make some!
    Congrats on both your races. I've never done a mile race, but now I want to! I think to do it really well it would be a special skill- like knowing how much to push, and when- but it would be an interesting experience.

    1. Jenny that's exactly how I feel about your blog!!! And you post 3 times a week;-) Yes the job puts a crimp in my posting time but the other part of it is that writing is really hard for me. It takes me forever to figure out what to say and how to say it. And yes I used to be a technical writer.

      I definitely recommend a one mile race! I just found a brewery in my area that does one mile challenge races so I may get in on that.

  6. Congrats on the sub-10 mile!! That had to feel like a great accomplishment given the struggles of recent with the heat, etc. I've done two 1-mile races (you may recall, LOL)...and the second time was when I really laid it all out there and set a substantial 1-mile PR. Let me tell you...the coughing was insane for several hours following, and this was not an especially warm evening. All that heavy breathing, even "just" for a mile, really did a number on my lungs.

    1. That's exactly how it was for me! I was coughing for the rest of the night. So crazy!

  7. That is so cool that you raced a mile. That takes guts. It's too bad about the air quality. I think it's so cool you are working on speed!

    1. It was really fun. I found out that a local brewery has a one mile race challenge a couple of times a year, so I'll have another shot at it in October. And of course I could/should be doing more mile challenges on my own.

  8. As per usual, thank you for the vegan recipe idea! I have never had spam but I think this sounds good even without framing it as "vegan spam". I'm always looking for tofu marinades/rubs/etc. so hope to give this a try someday soon. :)
    And I also love reading your posts and wish you were able to post more often (says the person who posts every couple of weeks... sorry... )