In between the thoughts of “Are lungs supposed to not work like this?” “I really should have more Michael Jackson on my iPod.” and “Wait, I’ve never run a mile all at once before. So why am I in the middle of attempting to run 3.1 of them?”, I had a revelation. So you have a lioness ok? She has two sons. She names one of them Mufasa and the other one Scar. What the heck was going through her head that she thought she wasn’t going to run into problems down the road? Exactly. I really should exercise more often because with enough thoughts like that, I could-dare I say it-rule the world.
Let me give you a little bit of my background story. Life was never easy for me. I was born a poor…wait, not that. A few years ago I was a bit of a chunky monkey. Those awkward beginning teenage years weren’t good to me. And that’s an understatement. As I grew out of them (although I’m still not quite out yet), I went back down to normal size, but continued to exercise even less than I already did. So I was exercising less than not exercising at all. Wrap your mind around that. Anyway, a little while back I decided I should probably get in shape, because, you know, I hear it’s good for you and stuff. I’ve already gone through every exercise-type activity from volleyball to pointe, so I thought that maybe I should start running. Since I don’t really like people, but I am super competitive, I figured it would be good for me. Then about 5 different people recommended I should start running. It was creepy. It’s like when you learn a new word, like nuncheon, and then every other word out of everyone’s mouth is nuncheon. And yes, nuncheon is a real word. You will now hear it all the time. Or…not.
I decided that if I actually signed up for a 5K, it would convince me to train. And then I didn’t train at all. As of last Wednesday I could only run 3 minutes until I was on the brink of death. I was kind of (kind of?!) having second thoughts about running 3.1 miles. I decided if I could finish it in 50 minutes I’d be happy, and I figured I’d be walking most of it. Last night I probably should have gotten pre-race jitters, but instead as I ate my peanut butter and jelly at almost 11pm all I could think is how I am so dumb for doing this. So I guilt-tripped my aunt into running the race with me, which was great because the friend I was going to do it with couldn’t make it, and it would have been so depressing to awkwardly run/trip over myself across the finish line and there was no one there for me. Sniffle.
(This post is getting long. Bear with me, because the story gets better. Maybe?) So this morning I woke up at 5, ate another peanut butter and jelly, and then attempted to painfully put in my contacts multiple times when they were flipped the wrong way. I think I was a little tired. When my aunt and I got to the race, we pinned our number bib thing to our shirts (I was representing the UK with my England shirt, and she was wearing a Baghdad shirt. We’re so cultured.), and joined the pack of runners. Group of runners? Gaggle? Apparently the gun that signals the start of the race went off, but none of us heard it. The guy next to me said to me “Uh, I guess we start running now?” So I started running. I had read enough articles to know that that you should always start off slow, you shouldn’t wear the race shirt during the race unless you want to look like a dork, and that seasoned marathon runners laugh at the fact that there are water stations at 5Ks. Hmmm. I was timing myself and I looked at my watch and I was still running after 8 minutes. And then I saw the 1 mile marker and saw I had just run a 10:17 mile. I stopped and kind of gawked at the sign and marveled at the fact I just ran a mile without stopping…and someone ran into me. It was nice to get the first awkward moment of my day over before 8am. The second awkward moment quickly followed when I saw the photographer taking pictures of the runners. I tried to pull a Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy and smiled at the camera. And smiled can be interpreted many different ways. One way is that I probably looked like I was going to hurl.
Long story short, I finished the race with a time of 36:38 and came in 123rd of 231. I was really shocked. Almost to the point of crying shocked, and I’m not an unnecessarily emotional person, in case you were wondering. So I ate my complimentary bagel, drank an amazing orange energy drink, looked at my time, and my aunt and I left. Then when I got home I got an email from the race director. He said that I finished 2nd in the 19 and under category. All I could think is wait, I…ran…me finish race…finished before other human beings…huh? The top three finishers in each age category got an award and we had left JUST before the award ceremony. So we drove back so I could get the award and they didn’t have my award. So I’m getting it mailed to me. And then I found five dollars.
I was on serious I-just-ran-my-first-race-and-I-actually-did-well high, and then I crashed. Multiple times. Unfortunately my sister and aunt wanted to go to the mall and I went with them and almost fell asleep at H&M and Macy’s. Moral of the story is 5Ks really aren’t as hard as I thought they were, I’m already looking at other 5Ks I want to run this summer, and never stop to stare at the sign that says you just ran a mile. Apparently it’s not what cool people do.
And yes, I made cherry pie. But the story behind it is not nearly as interesting as my 5K story…or is it? Tune in next week/post to hear my story about me eating this pie for breakfast. You’re excited already.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup shortening, chilled
1/2 cup cold water
1 pinch salt
2 cups pitted sour cherries
1 1/4 cups white sugar
10 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Cut the shortening into the flour and salt with the whisking blades of a stand mixer until the crumbs are pea-sized. Mix in cold water by hand just until the dough holds together. Divide the dough in half and form it into two disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled through, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Roll out one disk of dough into a 11-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie pan with pastry. Refrigerate until needed. Roll out the dough for the top crust, transfer it to a plate or baking sheet, and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Place the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium-sized non-aluminum saucepan. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes, or until the sugar draws out the cherries’ juices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat; simmer for 1 minute, or until the juices thicken and become translucent. Remove pan from heat, and stir in butter and almond extract. Allow the filling to cool to lukewarm.
Pour the filling into the pie shell. Cover with top crust, crimp the edges to seal, and cut vents for steam.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degree C) oven on the baking tray for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool for several hours before slicing.