The leaves are just beginning to appear on the trees, I am woken early each morning by the cacophony of birds newly returned to town, and my blood is already 22% rosé, which can mean only one thing - it's time for everyone to start running marathons. You think I'm joking?
Each spring, mommies emerge from their winter hibernation, shed their yoga pants, squeeze themselves into running tights and hit the road. I never understood this phenomenon, indeed I used to boast that I never ran unless being chased, but then I had kids. Running long distances requires dedication, perseverance, decent shoes, and a great deal of time - time ALONE. You see where I'm going?
Making the commitment to train for even a half-marathon enables you to strap on your sneakers, pop in your headphones, and blast Cher for an hour or two - or three if you are really really slow - and nobody is going to complain! Personally I have run a full marathon, three half-marathons, and this Sunday I'm running another half. Judging from the pain in my glutes (I can call them that because, as I said, I'm a marathon runner) this might be my last. So I'm going to go out with a bang, and am serving up the perfect post-race repast.
Mother of a Meatball for Marathon Moms
You will need:
Garlic, thinly sliced
Crushed Red Pepper
First of all, get yourself some meatballs the day before your race. You can make them yourself, buy them ready made, who gives a shit, you're running a marathon. You're going to be really tired tomorrow, and you're not going to want to be cooking, so in addition to packing your race gear, you're making one hell of a sandwich, whose image and aroma you can think about on those long miles instead of thinking about how much your feet hurt from kicking so much ass.
Prepare the meatballs. I like to get vegetarian meatballs and brown them in some olive oil. You are a big girl, you can decide what kind of balls you like. Into a sauce pan, pour a few glugs of olive oil. When it's heated, add the garlic. I like to add four cloves because I'm like that. Don't cook it for too long, and add a half teaspoon of fennel seed which you've used your massive muscles to grind in your mortar and pestle. Also add a teaspoon of oregano, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Then pour in a can of tomato sauce. Let this all simmer for about thirty minutes, then add a pinch of sugar. Pour this on top of the meatballs. In the morning, slice up your ciabatta, drizzle on some olive oil, and put the meatballs and sauce in the slow cooker to warm.
After the race, don't even stop to shower, unless you've soiled yourself, in which case by all means, shower, but leave on your medal so that everyone can see what a champion you are. Dump as many meatballs as you can fit into the ciabatta roll, top with a fistful of Parmesan, and enjoy with a cold beer, before registering for your next race. You deserve it.