Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why I (have to) run

When I first mentally committed to a fall half marathon, I was just excited about the better chances of cool race-day weather.

Then I did the math and saw how fast after RAGBRAI I'd need to start training. I wasn't daunted, but I wasn't exactly thrilled, either.

However, when August started happening, I realized what a boon the IMT's timing was.

First came trips to the Iowa State Fair:
Maple-bacon funnel cake and a fellow Truman grad. Not pictured: two other college friends; the orders of deep-fried Oreos and doughnuts that we split amongst us; the Bauder's peppermint ice cream bar that I snarfed by myself; or the two trips to Zombie Burger that I made with said friends.  
Bacon-wrapped riblet — the runner-up for best fair food, behind the ice cream bar — and beer. The fair square was already in my belly at that point.
My pants had hardly a reprieve, as Restaurant Week hit. I tried Hoq, Gramercy Tap, Baru 66, Trostel's Greenbriar and Proof, with a repeat visit to Cosi Cucina.

Some of my favorite eats from those visits:
Mussels and pork belly, in a delicious buttery broth packed with hunks of bread, at Proof. Like bacon but better. I wish I'd slurped up the broth.
Lemon semifreddo at Proof. So light I could've eaten 50 times this much.
Chicken and polenta, with a much fancier name and much more complex taste, at Baru 66. 
Floating island at Baru 66. Please come back to me.
Bacon-wrapped scallop at Greenbriar. I came for the lamb, which was excellent, but if there had been several more scallops for my entree, I would've been over the moon.
Not pictured but also absurdly good: the potato ravioli and cheesecake (voted Des Moines' best!) at Cosi Cucina.

And after that wound down, my sister paid me and the cat a birthday visit. The culinary/caloric high points of our long weekend were dinner at The Cheese Shop (splitting the tomato pesto mac 'n' cheese AND the ham and cheese royal toastie? yes please!) and a visit to Creme Cupcake dessert lounge.
Blueberry semifreddo. Can't feel guilty about dessert when it's this compact and light, right?

What a great way to keep my motivation up for running, especially as summer smacked us in the face. I had no grounds for skipping any workouts.

In a way, though I almost welcomed that heat and humidity. A girl can pretend it's sugar and not sweat that's coming out of her pores, right?

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