Goal set. Goal achieved. Mission accomplished. I have no idea what possessed me to think I could run 13.1 miles. But last week I actually did it! And when I finished, the only thing I wanted was to eat a big bowl of pasta loaded with all of my favorites. I call it my everything but the kitchen sink Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Cream and Bacon. But there’s really much more to it than that.
For some people running a half marathon is like a walk in the park. For others, just the thought of running around the block is enough to bring on night terrors. I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ve always considered myself a “runner.” But let me be clear – I use the term “runner” because it sounds so much better than “I’m a really slow jogger who rarely runs more than three miles.” But something got into me, and I came across a very succinct, very clear (very difficult) 8-week half marathon training program and thought why not? (Of course, now I can think of a million reasons why not, but those reasons evaded me at the time). So I tackled the program head on.
There were days I felt great, and there were days I thought I was crazy (like that time I had to run 8 miles up at the cabin at a 7,000 foot elevation in the 20 degree weather), there were days I wanted to quit, and there were even a couple of days I went on strike. But I persevered and slowly but surely my mileage and speed improved. I found myself thinking six miles was a “short” run, and I found myself (only momentarily) thinking I could actually push it and do a full marathon (not going to happen). I also found myself thinking about food. A lot! Pasta in particular.
I’m not sure what it is about pasta that just makes the world feel like a better place. Add rich cream, crispy bacon (a lot of it), tangy sun dried tomatoes, mellow shallots, some tender baby spinach, and a few other goodies and it’s like you died and went to heaven. I figured I deserved a little bit of heaven after running that final 13.1! (That, and an ice cold beer.) I still don’t know what stirred inside of me and motivated me to take on that 13.1 mile goal, but looking back, I’m proud and relieved I did it! I’ve earned my big bowl of Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes (and cream and bacon and shallots and spinach…. and that ice cold beer)!
P.S. I just came across this awesome micro perforated dishwasher safe stainless steel colander. I’m adding it to my wish list (perfect for all the pasta I make – even orzo won’t fall through the cracks!)