Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My second marathon (Frankfurt), post-race in Milan and pumpkin bread recipe

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of my time in Europe leading up to the Frankfurt Marathon in 2002. I did actually do some training in the last month - but, it was mostly on a stationary bike because I messed up my knee falling off a motor scooter in Italy. I had put in quite a bit of training that summer - and it was the same year as my first marathon in LA. So, I had some "hay in the barn." However, I felt some fear on the starting line. I worried about finishing more than getting a PR.

But, there were about 6-8 of my fellow exchange students who had taken the 45 minute train ride from Mannheim to watch (more support than I was used to at home) - so, the pressure was on to not completely embarrass myself. The weather was on my side - it was in the 50's and about mid-way through the race started to gently rain. The course was pancake flat. And as the miles started to flow by, my knee didn't hurt, I started passing people and gained confidence. I did look at my watch - but, I was much more focused on how my body felt, my breathing, and going after runners in front of me. The result? A better than six minute PR which still stands today.

The next day we got on a plane for Milan. Most of my friends were Norwegian - and their Rosenberg team was playing Inter-Milano in a Champions League game. They all had a good laugh as I had to walk downstairs backwards - but, it was worth it to see one of the great stadiums in European football. I knew that European soccer fans were rabid - but, I didn't quite understand until I arrived in the visitors section at San Siro.

All the visitors were forced to sit behind one of the goals (pic above with my friend Kjetil - pronounced like it's spelled). On either side of us were 20 foot high fences - so that the Inter fans couldn't get at us should Rosenberg actually have the balls to attempt to win the game.
After Inter's first goal (luckily for us they scored a lot that day) I saw what looked like small fires breaking out in the stadium. Apparently the fans wave road flares in celebration. Also, as the game went on there was a growing presence of police dressed in riot gear in our section. I was ready to get out of there when the game ended. But, they forced us to stay in our seats for 30 minutes until the entire stadium was empty. They walked us back to the buses and we got a police escort back to our hotel. Yankees/Sox ain't nothin'.
As a reward for all those who read through my ramblings below is my family recipe for pumpkin bread, which was a success at Arjun, Melissa, and Brennan's Thanksgiving on Saturday.
3 cups white granulated sugar
4 eggs
2/3 c. water
3 1/3 c. flour
1 c. cooking oil
2 c. pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix as add ingredients. You'll need a fairly large mixing bowl.

Grease baking pans heavily. Makes enough for two loaves. Fill each pan about half way. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes until cooked through the center (use toothpicks to test for doneness).


alyssa said...

yayyy! thanks for the recipe, that bread was the cat's pajamas. I shall try it soon now that I am domestic.

Arjun Majumdar said...

blog rewards... i like the concept

Alex said...

I like to use my toothpick to test for doneness.

RM said...

MF'ing pumpkin bread son!

alyssa - you are not domestic.

arjun - blog rewards IS a great concept

ben - "hay in the barn"? is that like when i say "money in the bank"?

Ben said...

ryan - i think those two are different. "Money in the bank" is something that's a sure thing - like someone not making it to the starting line in Miami. "Hay in the barn" is when you've done all the work - you don't need to stuff more hay in the barn - you just need to wait until it's time to take the hay out of the barn (race day). And who knows - maybe there will be a diamond in the haystack!

RM said...

I think they sound pretty interchangeable.

Money in the bank refers to amassing time - for instance if I want to run 6 minute pace for the half in Miami, I should go out at 5:30 pace. Therefore I have money in the bank from which to withdraw when I start to slow down and finish the race at 6:30 pace. But it all evens out.

Sometimes it doesn't.

Ben said...

ok - then they are closer than what i was thinking. But, i think they are still different, hay in the barn has to do with tapering - not feeling like you have to do some crazy workout the week before the race - whereas money in the bank is about the actual race.

RM said...

Ahh I understand now.

Money in the bank is also a great rap jam.

alyssa said...

When I sang "money in the bank" it came out to the tune of "put it in your mouth."

I guess that's just food for thought?

Ben said...

that's the kind of comments i was counting on from alyssa!