Happy New Year everyone! So, 2011 ended and 2012 has begun. I’m really not big on the passage of time. Which means that having a specific day to demarcate the beginning and end of a year just doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions as I make to-do lists for the year. Running the Boston Marathon is on that list. So, let’s do it!
On NYE morning I ran with the liver team. The mileage logged wound up being just around 12.5 miles which went really well. Ran with Ally and Meghan most of the way. I bailed on them Thursday night for running because I had to work late, which was fine because they were more or less hoping I would pull the plug as winter has started to finally settle in to Boston and it was freezing. There was a light drizzle when we started running and overall it was just a damp, damp day. Felt more like March than the end of December really. After the run I went to Panera with the rest of the team for bagels and coffee, although being tired was already catching up with me and I had a number of things to take care of for the day.
I had invited Lara and Peter over for an end of the year meal. The menu was Steak Frites a la Graham. As I’ve mentioned before when Achilles tendonitis first entered the picture, I really don’t eat a lot of red meat anymore. So, when I do, I want it to be good. I went to the Meat House and picked up a giant slab of meat seasoned classically with salt and pepper. That took care of the steak part. For the frites I opted to make my own take on poutine. Growing up in NJ, I was well acquainted with disco fries – waffle fries laden with brown gravy and mozzarella. This is the genetic ancestor of disco fries. I picked up some French fries, but rather than using cheese curd I opted to get real cheese. I selected one that seemed to fit the vibe I was going for called ‘drunken goat’ which is a hard chevre that gets treated in a red wine for about two days and imparts dark fruit flavors. For the gravy, I mixed in one of my favorite beers, La Fin Du Monde.
Before coming over, we all went to Lineage in Brookline to continue a tradition I started with my friend Lucy when I first moved to Boston, end of the year oysters and martinis. I may not like the end of the year, but it’s no reason to not treat one’s self. After that indulgence, came back to my apartment where I seared the meat for about five minutes on each side before putting it in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. While that was cooking, I prepared the poutine (made the fries, then spread gravy and cheese liberally and popped in the oven for five minutes) and paired with a side of Brussels sprouts sautéed with onion. All in all, a pretty fantastic NYE meal if I do say so myself. After the meal I head to a friend’s party to ring in the New Year.
On Saturday I also picked up a new pair of shoes – New Balance Minimus – I really want to pluralize this and say Minimi. I feel these are a midpoint between regular running shoes and hardcore minimalist shoes. They are really comfortable and very lightweight. They remind me of middle distance racing flats and are a slight return to the obnoxiously colored running shoes I had in high school.. Standing in them and walking around is a little strange. The way the sole is designed sort of angles your feet outward, which as soon as you start running in them makes sense, but has you standing rather pigeon toed. These shoes demand you make a mid foot strike. Though, with the nominal heel lift, you can withstand the occasional heel strike without being punished like you would with Vibrams. I ran around 3.5 miles today, stumbling across a small nature sanctuary buried in the heart of Brookline along the way. I plan on incorporating these shoes into my training just once a week. I’m trying to learn my lessons. But, sometimes they are hard sometimes when you’re having fun.
I also came to a conclusion Friday at work: I’ve decided to cancel my New Orleans ½ Marathon trip. I was son the verge of booking it all – -the race, the hotel, the flights – and then I factored in taxis and meals, and suddenly I could be renting a house on the Cape for a week. I really want to go to New Orleans, so maybe a long weekend excursion to just run a race isn’t the best idea. I do have something in the works for the fall…but, I won’t get ahead of myself here.
Song stuck in my head — Save it for a Rainy Day — The Jayhawks. I apologize in advance if there is a Mitt Romney ad. This is no way a representation of my political convictions.