Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grillin' and Chillin'

For a day that had only twenty-three hours in it, Sunday certainly turned out to be chock full of good stuff. I had such a good time in fact that I did not even miss those sixty minutes.

The morning dawned bright and truth be told a tad chilly. Gidg and I participated in the first-ever Miles for Music 20K race, which was held on a closed loop course through Johnson Park in Piscataway/Highland Park (I think the park actually is located in both towns). Both of us are training for our second attempt at the New Jersey Marathon, which is now fifty-eight days away. As we have been training neither of us has spent a lot of time running in the company of others, which made Sunday's event a real treat.

Although it was a first-time event and was at something of an unusual distance (I at least had never competed in a 20K race before) it was very well attended. There were 460 people who competed. And it was a field full of quite serious runners. There were thirty-three men in my age group (45-49). I ran a time with which I was thrilled - 1:46.52, which worked out to an 8:36 per mile pace. In my age group I finished twenty-ninth out of thirty-three. Overall, I finished in 269th place. The good news is that I was very happy with my time and the fact that at the end of 12.4 miles I felt very good. My effort in the marathon last May was hampered by brutal leg cramps. So far, so good this training season. And my running partner Gidg in spite of some illness issues that made it hard for her to inhale/exhale properly at certain points was able to bring it home in less than her target time, which made her feel good as well as she continues on down the road towards Marathon Sunday.

As much enjoyment as I derived from a good, hard run on Sunday morning the best part of the day was the afternoon/early evening. I am not a cook. Other than breakfast on Christmas morning I do exactly 0% of the food preparation in our home. It is horribly unfair of me inasmuch as I do significantly more than 50% of the food consumption.

While I do not like to cook, I love to grill. Having seen the forecast for Sunday I told Margaret on Friday evening that I was going to roll the grill out of the garage where it has been hibernating all winter and into its appointed place in the back yard. Sunday afternoon Rosie and I spent the better part of an hour and a half just relaxing in the sun as I grilled pork ribs that I had prepared Saturday evening. Having spent twelve hours soaking up the marinade, I am not lying when I tell you that the smells in our yard Sunday afternoon were mouth-watering. Happiness is ribs grilled slow and low.

I did my best to resist the temptation of eating them after I finished making them but before I brought them inside for dinner. Rosie? Not so much. Our unwritten compact when I am manning the grill is that she gets a sample of whatever is going to be served before we present it to the rest of the humans. I enjoy the company. She enjoys the food. Symbiosis in its most elementary form.

Last year we enjoyed good enough weather on weekends here in the State of Concrete Gardens that I think I spent just about every Saturday and Sunday in the back yard grilling something. But last year we did not kick off the grilling season until Mother's Day. This year we did so prior to St. Patrick's Day, which was a wonderful thing. I mean not to be greedy but if Mother Nature could put together another two dozen or so Sundays just like this one back to back (and belly to belly), it would be much appreciated. By me....

....and by Rosie.


-AK

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