Even though no one thought it was possible (least of all me), I did it. I raised $3900(+!) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And so it is official. On October 18, I will be running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. Honestly, the fundraising was, for me, harder than the running. I had to get gutsy and place myself in uncomfortable situations. I had to hold fundraisers in bars and go up to random (drunk) people and convince them that they should buy a $10 wristband to get reduced priced drinks. I had to flirt with my gym's manager so that he would let me advertise for the aforesaid fundraiser on the gym's premises. All that being said, I am so glad I did this. At the least, it gave me the slightest amount of compassion for telemarketers. And at the most, it instilled in me a newfound sense of confidence - I can set goals and I can accomplish them, even when those goals take me far outside my comfort zone. So what is next? Well, I need to start planning for my next marathon of course!
All of this struggling to fundraise would not be worth it, however, if I didn't love running. The wind in my hair, the runner's high that hits you somewhere between mile 12 and mile 13 making you euphoric for the rest of the day (rhis high is also known as dehydration and salt imbalance, commonly accompanied by vague hallucinations), the knowledge that even if I sit on my butt for the rest of the day I have still done something with my time that is worthwhile. Yeah yeah yeah, all of this is great.
But the best part of training for a marathon? Is the food. I love the Larabar and scoop of peanut butter that I eat before I go out for a long run. And then I love the NY-style cinnamon raisin bagel smothered in peanut butter that I eat when I get home. And the carb loading. Oh how I love the carb loading. Any excuse to eat pasta for lunch and dinner multiple days a week works for me. But none of this is fun unless you can share it with other people and so before the half marathon that I raced a few weeks ago (when my college roommate was here), I invited some of my closest friends over to carb load with me.
You know how on St. Paddy's day everyone is Irish? Well the night before a race, everyone is a runner. Especially if, as friends of the runner, you need to get up at 5AM the next day and stand in the cold for hours just to see your friend cross the finish line.
Really, it was the least that I could do.
I first saw this recipe on Sidewalk Shoes, who found it on the Cooking Light website. There was no doubt in my mind that I would like it (I actually have never encountered a pasta that I didn't like) but as Sophie said when she walked into the kitchen as I was cooking, "Bacon makes everything better."
Linguine with Arugula, Roasted Peppers, and Bacon
Serves 4, adapted from Cooking Light via Sidewalk Shoes
1 lb whole wheat linguine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 red bell peppers
6 slices extra lean turkey bacon, diced into small pieces
1 lemon, juiced
5 cups arugula
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese to serve with
1. Turn on your broiler and roast the red peppers, turning as they roast so that all sides get equally charred. Place in a paper bag or closed plastic container for 10 minutes. The steam will force the skin to separate from the flesh, making them really easy for you to peel. Remove the seeds and stem and slice the peppers into strips.
2. Set up the water for the pasta and cook per package instructions.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add in the bacon slices and cook until crispy. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the roasted red peppers and cook for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Mix the lemon juice, arugula, and pasta together. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve with parmesan cheese for sprinkling.
I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by Ruth over at Once Upon A Feast.