Paying my bets, or how does gnocchi sound?

24 04 2009

I’m not writing about travel today, but I am going to get to food.  I’m paying off a bet this Saturday night, and I’m actually looking forward to it.  A few weeks ago some friends and I competed in a 10k challenge, taking place during the 32nd running of the Capitol 10,000 in Austin.  It was a boys vs. girls throwdown.  Only four guys stepped up to the plate to compete, while eight girls came ready to run.  The total time of the boys would be compared to the total time of the four fastest girls, and the losing team would have to make dinner for the winning team. 

I’m always up for a challenge…I’m a competitor on many levels.  Just last night I got into it with Chris trying to name the three different types of rocks (for some reason I was convinced a “conglomerate” was a “type” of rock, but alas, I was wrong on that one).  I played volleyball in high school and college.  I absolutely LOVE games.  Trivia Pursuit?  I’m down.  Rock Star?  I’m on drums.  42?  I’ll shake.  So when the idea of a boys vs. girls challenge was thrown out there, I was definitely up for it.  For the most part, the attitude of the girls was just to have fun, it’s not about winning (I had to suppress my inner competitor to agree with that one).  Besides, we girls knew going into the contest it would be tough.  One of the participating boys (the guy who’s idea this whole thing was in the first place, actually, hmmmm….) runs 6 minute miles and recently qualified for the Boston Marathon.  Another of the boys averages about 7.5 minutes miles, and Chris can do around 8 minute miles.  Me?  I run 9ish minute miles, which, by the way, I happen to think is really fast.  The other seven girls who ran the challenge all run about the same.  We’re consistent, if nothing else.  Our only hope was that my brother-in-law, the one remaining member of the guys’ team, would be so slow, we might have a chance.

The morning of the race was pretty chilly for March.  I think it was actually in the 30s (though highs would probably reach the 60s).  Chris and I got up, dressed, and drove around the corner to pick up my brother-in-law, who was covered from head to toe…running pants, long sleeve shirt under a t-shirt, hat, gloves…I start thinking, okay, we may have a chance.  He’s going to get so hot, he’ll have to walk…right?  Well, no such luck.  He did get hot, and he did not run all that fast, but run he did, and he finished in plenty of time for the boys to pull off the easy victory.

The day after the race, the results circulated: 

Boys’ total time — 3:21:36

Girls’ total time — 3:51:25

Almost a half hour slower!  Next year I’m going to suggest doing it the way certain Olympic events are judged…toss out the fastest and slowest times and use what’s left.  Maybe that will help.

Anyway, all this is a lead in to what I think should be a delicious feast tomorrow night.  A few of the girls and I met for lunch earlier this week and planned the menu.  I’m making potato gnocchi with a basil pesto and homemade baguettes.  Amanda is bringing a huge salad, Carrie is doing steaks and dessert (we’re thinking something along the lines of a tres leches but with more of an Italian feel), and Mary is preparing an antipasti plate to munch on while we finish up dinner.  And everyone (boys included) is to bring a bottle of wine.  A simple, classic Italian dinner that I think is going to be delicious and sure to please everyone.  Besides, I’m *really* excited to get to use my ricer again…