The minutes before the gun goes off are some of the most excruciating.
It's like they're somehow passing both in slow motion and at warp speed, time simultaneously ebbing and flowing so that you're not really sure which way is up or down, past or future.
And while it seems like you have forever before you really have to commit to this act of insanity (putting one foot in front of the other for 13.1 miles - who does that?). Suddenly, without warning. It's time.
You can feel a change in the crowd as you and everyone else in your corral move, as a herd, forward.
Towards the start. Towards the beginning. Towards who-knows-what.
For a brief second, you think about jumping ship. Collecting your mother, brother, sister and roommate on your way out and saying, "hey, let's just go eat pancakes instead".
But then you're across that start line. And any chance you had for any kind of rational thought is over. You've entered another state of being.
It's just one foot in front of the other. No pain. Barely any thought.
Especially when you look down at your watch and know that, not only are you hitting your paces, but you're surpassing them. You're doing this.
On Sunday, I ran a half marathon in 1 hour, 56 minutes, and 44 seconds. Each mile was a sub 9-minute mile. There was even a sub 8 thrown into the mix (it was as I was running through Times Square and one of my coaches ran with me...nothing like some serious crowd support to get you moving).
And I fought for every one of them.
But that's what makes it feel so good in the end. Knowing that you took something that you thought was impossible. Pushing yourself harder than you could have imagined. And making it possible.
As you can guess, I've still got a little bit of that runner's high coursing through my veins. I can't help it.
Running makes me want to be better, stronger, healthier. It makes me want to get my spoon out of the peanut butter jar. Stop the mindless chocolate chip munching. And do everything I can to be the best that I can be. Because that feeling of accomplishment - of knowing that I took myself to my limits and then I took one step further. Is breathtaking. And I want it. All the time.
So let's start with this soup. It's full of all things good for you and yet still manages to be insanely flavorful. Spicy and satisfying. And the perfect healthy fare to fill your stomach up with after a good run, or just about any time that you want to feel like you're doing something really good for yourself. This was my recipe choice for the Food Matters Project and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. To see how everyone else liked the recipe, check here!
Curried Tomato Soup with Hard-Boiled Eggs
Serves 4, adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- pinch of sugar
- 2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- salt and black pepper
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 small cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped, for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Put the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile. Cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the curry powder, cumin, and sugar. Cook and stir until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the potatoes and carrot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for a minute or 2. Add the broth, coconut milk and tomatoes with their liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring once in a while, until the potatoes and carrots are soft, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower and adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently. Cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes more. Serve garnished with the hard-boiled eggs and cilantro.