Plan: SWIM 500s, 6x75p, 4x50d, 4x100, 4x125 - 5AM start
Reality: It snowed all night. School was delayed. Just before bed, I got an email from the YMCA about a delayed opening. I couldn’t get in the pool until 8AM. I started reorganizing my day in my head to see if I could fit everything in.
4AM start at the bakery. We closed for a cleaning day. Staff was scheduled as per usual but everyone had specific cleaning tasks. There is a space behind the dish sink where three years of unused items - cake pans, muffin pans, cookie cutters, salad spinners, blenders, coffee pots…have been piling up. I emptied the space and ridded the bakery of the clutter.
8AM swim at the Y. Thankfully, it was empty and I didn’t have to wait for a lane. I got in and out as quickly as I could so I could head back to rejoin the cleaning party.
11AM start packing for Vegas. I heard from the organizers at the conference where I am speaking about creating unique doughnut. There’s a very good chance I will not have access to a fryer. All the ingredients I told them I needed will be useless if I can’t actually fry a doughnut. I got to work making the doughnuts at the bakery. Once they were fried, I wrapped them tightly and packaged them in a plastic container. When I’m assembling a doughnut menu, I feel a little like a rockstar. I have my set list in front of me and check off all the hits as I go. When I finished gathering ingredients, I had 20 containers of glaze, sprinkles and treats and another 4 piping bags filled with chocolate, nutella and buttercreams. Everything was wrapped and triple packed to make sure there wouldn’t be any spills on the way across the country.
12:45PM start packing for Vegas. Brad and I had to leave the house at 1PM, 1:15 at the latest. I had yet to start packing my clothes. I spent 15 minutes searching for my chef’s coat, the one I only wear for special occasions, and 5 minutes packing for the rest of the week. Packing shorts for my run was the most exciting thing I’ve done in a while.
1:20PM leave for Brooklyn. Brad was picking up his daughter from her mother’s house (her school closed because of the snow threat) to take her to her track practice before our flight out of Newark.
1:30PM return to the bakery. I forgot to leave house keys for Lily who would be staying with my kids on Wednesday night. There was no other option but to turn around.
1:45PM leave for Brooklyn, again.
8:55PM leave for Vegas. After track practice, dinner with Olive and a trip back over the bridges, we made it to the flight. My giant box of doughnuts was successfully checked. The plane was empty. We had a whole row to ourselves as did most of the passengers. I queued up Michelle Obama’s audiobook and settled in for a six hour ride.
2:30AM arrive in Vegas. We jumped in a cab and headed to the hotel. There were no non-smoking rooms remaining…gross.
3:30AM lights out….well, not on the strip but definitely for us.
Plan: RUN 5x1K @ 7:00 pace
Reality: 7:30AM after tossing and turning for 4 hours, I got up and dressed to run. It was a perfect 50 degree, clear morning. Brad joined me as we headed down the Las Vegas strip. I felt groggy but good. When I started my first K, I thought I was putting in the effort to hit my pace. It was difficult but I knew I could hold it for 1000 meters, then I looked down and saw I was only at an 8:00 pace and there was no way I could run any faster. The second K was the same and we were thwarted by MC Etcher style road crossings requiring us to go up and down stair cases, in and out of casinos. We couldn’t get a good rhythm. I continued to move through the workout, dodging drunks and meth heads, waiving to other runners we passed along the way. My final K was the closest I got to hitting my pace and I was still 30 seconds off. Before my cool down was over, I was already plotting my redo next week.
9:00AM head to convention center. I opened my carefully constructed box of ingredients to see how it weathered the flight. I was horrified when I saw the love note from the TSA displayed prominently inside the box. They opened the package and rummaged through the containers. There were sprinkles strewn all through the box, glued to the sides with dripping, sticky glaze. FUCK!
I tried my best to reorganize and salvage as much as I could.
10:00AM check in to the Artisan Bakery Expo. I found my presentation area and unpacked my doughnut components. There was stadium seating for the attendees! Quite the spectacle. I caught up with a few fellow bakers who I haven’t seen since the last time we all taught together at the Bread Baker’s Guild ‘Wheatstalk’ conference in Providence last year.
12:15PM 15 minutes to show time. I whipped cream and cut the tips off my piping bags. The sound guy gave me a mic to wear. I had my set list in front of me. I was ready to go.
12:30PM presentation 1 of 3. Brad sat in the audience and took pictures and videos for me to share later. The kids were really excited to see what I was doing in Vegas. I talked about my doughnut style and walked the audience through simple ways to take basic ingredients and customize them. There were skilled bakers, amateur bakers, bakery owners, ingredient companies and people looking to open a bakery for the first time there to listen. Pretty much as broad a range as you can find at a bakery expo.
1:30PM break-down. I packed everything so that I wouldn’t have to bring anything back home. I hate checking luggage on a flight. My entire presentation was disposed of in 5 minutes - what wasn’t eaten by conference goers, that is.
1:45PM Pizza Expo. Brad and I ventured into uncharted territory. Parallel to the Artisan Baking Expo, Pizza Expo was in full tilt. I never knew there were so many different versions of pizza printed three piece suits until now. I ate as much cheese, cured meats and completed pizzas as my body could handle. It was a carb lovers dream come true.
3:00PM meet with Solveig. Tomorrow’s presentation is a collaboration with Solveig Tolfte about each of our experiences in opening a bakery. She owns Sun Street Breads in Minneapolis. Our bakeries are the same size, same age, same staffing, same philosophies yet totally different. We reviewed the powerpoint she put together, showcasing both our stories.
4:00PM break. Just enough time to get back to the hotel, shower, change, 15 minute nap and head out for round two.
5:00PM meeting with Steve. A couple years ago, I attended a brainstorming session for a large European ingredient company looking to expand their doughnut offerings. That’s where I met Steve. Turns out, he has a home just down the street from my great uncle in a very tiny town near where I grew up. He’s also a runner. In fact, he’s run at least a mile, every single day for the last 20 years. He’s 99th in the world on the list of longest running streaks, and he likes doughnuts. Brad and I joined Steve and the rest of the group from his company for dinner. We gorged ourselves on BBQ until we couldn’t eat one more bite, and we sure did try.
9:00pm bed. finally. sleep.
Plan: SWIM 2100
BIKE 55:00 workout
4:30am wake up. It’s pouring rain. I’m exhausted. I’m not going to run.
5:00am wake up. It’s pouring rain. I’m exhausted. I’m not going to run.
5:30am wake up. It’s pouring rain. I’m exhausted. I’m not going to run.
6:00am wake up. It’s pouring rain. I’m exhausted. I’m not going to run.
6:30am coffee. I really wish I’d brought my own. I used to travel with a whole set up. I thought it might be okay to trust the hotel coffee in Vegas. I was wrong.
7:00am breakfast. We walked downtown past most of the tall buildings and bright lights where the meth is seemingly more plentiful and there’s a little diner tucked away in the corner. After some eggs, home fries and a slice of ham as big as my head, we were on our way back to the convention center.
9:00am presentation 2 of 3. Solveig and I went through all the specifics of how we each came to open a bakery. It was super informative and we tried our best not to scare anyone off while still giving everyone a good idea of how much money and work it takes to keep it all going.
11:00am break. We headed back to the hotel where we had lunch and time for a 15 minute nap.
2:00pm back to the expo. Brad stayed back to go for a run while I worked my way back to the convention center for my final presentation.
3:00pm cruised by the Peroni booth at the pizza expo for a “sample”
3:15pm caught up with Amy of Amy’s Bread whom I haven’t seen in over a year. Of course we meet more often in other cities than in the one where we both reside.
3:30pm presentation 3 of 3. Tried to remember what I said earlier and what I still needed to say again.
5:30pm back to hotel to meet Brad, arrived with exactly 5 minutes to spare before we had to meet his cousin for dinner.
6:30pm dinner with cousin Barket. Brad’s dad sent an email to himself months ago, only it was the wrong email address. As luck would have it, someone responded. Turned out to be a long lost cousin who no one in Brad’s immediately family ever met, until tonight. We met up with Steve and his family for dinner and I somehow managed to stay awake.
9:30pm bed, no run, no bike, no swim, just bed.
Plan: RUN 4mi tempo
3:45am alarm goes off. Hastily finish packing and head out to catch a cab. Hotel casino and lobby were packed with people still up from last night.
6:00am heading down the runway.
Carolyn texts: ‘Pink pussy doughnuts for International Women’s Day?”
I respond: “Can we do something different? Maybe everyone can pick a woman who inspires them and match her with a doughnut??? What if we put RBG’s dissent collar on a chocolate doughnut?”
6:15am plane takes off, I switch to airplane mode and listen to the end of Michelle Obama’s autobiography followed by David Sedaris’s newest, Calypso.
2:00pm plane lands after 40 minutes of the worst turbulence I’ve been through on a descent.
2:01pm I take my phone off airplane mode to see a million messages about lady doughnuts…Lisa Simpson, Julia Child, Serena Williams, Frida, Tina Fey, Kathrine Switzer
2:40pm I arrive at the bakery and head to the office to resolve the rest of the doughnuts…Ellen, Michelle Obama, Amy Scherber.
3:15pm the kids arrive home from school. I tell them about the doughnuts, Josie says we have to include Malala.
3:30pm the kids and I start prepping the glazes, fillings and doughs for our International Women’s Day doughnuts. Jessie made special tags for all of them. I post a sneak peak on IG.
8:00pm we head home from the bakery and everyone goes straight to bed.
Plan: GRIIT @ Architect
3:00am BAKE I go to the bakery and meet Carolyn at the door. I had to mix the semolina raisin fennel dough for the Amy Scherber doughnut and I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to come together. I candied fennel seeds and made a glaze with them yesterday. The dough was a brioche that included plumped raisins soaked in fennel juice. Once it was finished, I put it aside to rest while I worked on the rest of the doughnut menu.
7:00am I rushed to finish the the first tray of RBG collars before the kids had to get ready for school. The flowers for the Malala doughnuts hadn’t arrived yet. I piped a pink buttercream flower on her pistachio doughnut so I could take a quick picture. I lined up all the finish doughnuts with the tags Jessie made and took a photo which I immediately posted on IG & FB.
7:05am got the kids breakfast, made sure they had clean clothes on and found them socks that sorta matched.
7:45am sent kids to the bus stop and I went back to the bakery to finish more doughnuts.
8:00am the doughnuts were already selling out. I elected to steal doughnuts from an evening order to make more special lady doughnuts. I would have to mix more doughnut dough for the order but I didn’t need to have them ready until 6pm. Between doughnuts, I made Irish Soda Bread.
10:00am shape sourdough for Saturday & braid challah
11:30am break for a 15 minute nap!
12:30pm mix doughnut dough for evening order
1:30pm shape doughnuts, eek out a couple extra trays to restock the retail supply which is quickly dwindling away
3:00pm fry doughnuts
3:30pm kids arrive from school. Josie helps fry and glaze doughnuts, the boys help make sugar cookies.
4:00pm done! Kids and I go to Anne’s for pizza and a comfy couch to sit on for the rest of the evening.
Plan: RUN 1:20 minutes
Reality: I met Anne at 5:30am to begin my run. I thought I would be able to get 7 or 8 miles in over the 80 minutes I was allotted. I was shocked when I saw I was at 7.5 and I still had 15 more minutes left. That’s when I decided I was going to stick with it until I saw double digits on my watch. I haven’t run 10 miles since August. I made it back to the bakery in 1 hour and 28 minutes with 10.1 miles done! Going into the run I felt like a failure. My whole week has been a mess…botched workouts, skipped days…I hadn’t completed a single activity as planned. Completing my first double digit run in 8 months made everything better. I felt like I could have run forever this morning and when the run was over, I finally regained a sense of accomplishment.
It’s funny, looking back, I accomplished so much this week…presenting 3 seminars in Las Vegas, creating a viral doughnut menu honoring women I admire, keeping the kids fed, dressed and (most of) their homework complete but all I can focus on are the workouts I missed, the things I didn’t get to do.