Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's

After a New Year’s Eve that was all about eating, I spent New Year’s Day running a five mile race. Yes that's my ass poking out at you. New Year’s Eve turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever had. It came together at the last minute with both J and I coming back early this week and West Coast Rebecca coming back Monday. By Wednesday afternoon we finally made plans to go to Maverick for dinner, Marga Gomez for fun, and Bar Bambino, where WCR’s girlfriend is the wine manager. The great part about the evening was everything was within walking distance of each other.

First comes the eating. Maverick had an awesome menu that was totally friendly to the diabetics. The only change I had to ask for was to replace the flourless chocolate cake with a fruit and cheese plate. Even better was that WCR doesn’t eat meat (she eats fish) and they happily accommodated her as well. We started off with a glass of prosecco and an oyster with a potato-leek puree and caviar. I always say I’m not an oyster fan and I eat a great one and love it. I should just admit I like oysters. This was pure decadence and it went well with the prosecco. Our next course was the ubiquitous beet, goat cheese and walnut salad. But you know there’s a reason why this is sweeping the nation, it’s DAMN tasty. The sweetness of the beets marries well with the earthiness of the walnuts and the freshness of the salad. After the salad course came the fish course which was a perfectly cooked piece of Alaska cod and beet ravioli that were tender and delicate. In between the fish course and the meat course came a palate cleanser of citron granite in champagne. The meat course was a completely decadent beef brisket in a red wine reduction and roasted potatoes. The meal ended with a great Portuguese Madera wine and my fruit and cheese plate. The wonderful things about the meal was that it was really great in terms of the carb portions. Along with the wine that was part of the meal J, WCR, and I split a nice Italian white.

In between our dinner and second dinner, we saw Marga Gomez’ New Year’s Eve spectacular. She’s an awesome Cuban, lesbian comic and the highlight of her show was ripping apart Katy Perry’s I Kissed a Girl and saying that Jill Sobule’s version is the one and only. I totally heart Marga Gomez.

After the show, we went to Bar Bambino where we ordered the salumi and cheese platter, a LARGE one. We love Bar Bambino, even if we didn’t know the wine manager. I always forget their portions are spectacular (their crostini should be named GIANT crostini). We had five kinds of meats, three prosciutto and two salumis and five cheese with persimmons, and toasted hazelnuts. J and WCR had some Italian sparkling wine while I stuck to sparkling water (running the next day). For those of you coming to SF, PLEASE go to Bar Bambino. They cure their meats themselves and their cheese procurer gets cheese made from his family’s farm. We had a great time ringing in the New Year with the staff (and Jason, the chef is totally up your alley).

The next morning, I got up early to eat breakfast and prepare for the race. I tasked J with putting together a killer running mix for me as J is awesome at such things. It was a cold but sunny morning and the race was right on the Berkeley marina, which meant we were running right along the water with e view of Alcatraz, Sausilito, and the city. While I was running at a nine and a half minute mile pace on the treadmill, my goal was to run a ten minute mile pace since running outdoors involved hard asphalt, inclines and uneven ground. In the end, I ran 5 miles in 46 minutes and 24 seconds for a 9 minute 28 second pace! Woo hoo! The great thing was that I paced myself well. I gained speed as the race went on and ended up passing five people and not getting passed myself. It was a good gauge of how far I’ve come fitness-wise. Having a long run of 6.5 miles in training meant that I had a lot of energy and after the race felt like I could have run another few miles. This looks good for what I can do in May for the Bay to Breakers.

Here’s one thing I like about exercise – it’s a tangible outcome and process that is completely in your control. If you run regularly, you will run faster and farther. If you lift regularly, you can life more. If you practice a sport more, you will get better. In a world of chaos, this is a great source of control.

No comments: