You can feel the energy in the air. The starting line is packed, people are jumping up and down for some reason I still can’t figure out, and the crowd is a walking advertisement for every running gear brand there is. It is the start of a race.
This Sunday PhillyBoy and I, along with many of our friends, will be running in the Philadelphia Half Marathon. Some of you might remember the accident of 2008, where I got tripped during the first five minutes of a half marathon in R.I. that we had trained for for 12 long weeks. We never finished that one, but we plan on finishing this one. The training this time has gone much smoother, and I think it is because we are not only eating even better, but we have been exercising consistently since that last training plan in spring of 2008. The easiness of training combined with our inherent craziness leads us to my point: We are hosting a post-race after party.
We know that it might be a little crazy to run a half marathon and then have 30-60 people over to celebrate, but we are doing it anyway. Like any party we host, the trick is to prepare as much ahead of time as possible. For this party I am actually not doing much cooking but am relying mostly on simplicity and the help of a few friends. We tried to focus on the foods that our fellow runners (or special guests) might want to eat after running 13.1 or 26.2 miles.
This race is really just the appetizer though, as the entree is the Disney Half Marathon we will be running in January for the Rally Foundation. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated in support of the cause. Please find our site here that explains the Rally Foundation’s mission and our donation goals better. I thank you all in advance for your help in reaching our donation goal of $1200!
Back to the food.. PhillyBoy sent out the Evite for the after party and I am in charge of getting the house ready. He did a much better job than me as he even wrote a poem for the Evite, and I have yet to scrub the floors and wash and put away heaps of laundry.
Here is the poem:
For months we’ve been training, we have all our gear,
And now the big race is finally here!
We’re bundling up – its gonna be chilly,
As we run thirteen miles through the city of Philly!
The runners will all be tired and sweaty,
Whether you’re running or watching we’ll have the food ready!
We’ll have fruits and veggies for those who eat light,
Meatballs and pizza for those who eat RIGHT!
If you wanna clean off because you feel kind of smelly,
Just bring towels and shower here before you fill up your belly!
So please let us know if you’ll be at our place,
To have fun and see friends at the end of the race!!
Here is the simple and easy menu we have created so that we can refuel properly without any work that day:
Menu: Philadelphia Half Marathon After Party:
Round 1 (early in the day, around 10):
Bagel Buffet: assorted bagels, peanut butter, cream cheese, butter, jam
Fruit Salad: bananas, apples, grapes, pears and whatever fruits we find that look good
Sliced oranges, childhood sports way (in wedges)
Bowls of assorted nuts
Round 2 (around 11 or 12 and later):
Party pizza (known as pizza strips for the Rhode Islanders, tomato pie for the Philly folks- Thanks Gina!)
PhillyBoy’s meatball subs
Soft pretzels (Any volunteers to bring these are welcome!!!)
Vegetable tray with hummus (brought by a fellow runner)
Pasta with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and fresh feta (recipe to come soon)
Something sweet (brought by a fellow runner)
Coffee & tea service
Soda & Beer?
*Thank you to all of our friends for help in putting together this party!
The shopping list:
24 assorted bagels (plain, whole wheat, blueberry, rye, sesame, etc.)
Freshly ground peanut butter
2 regular sized or one large size container cream cheese
1 stick butter
2 jars gourmet jam
6 apples (at least)
2 bags grapes (1 for salad and 1 in case we need more fruit)
2 other kinds fruit (ideas: kiwi, mango, etc.)
1 bag oranges (approximately 10-12)
2 small containers nuts
Meatball ingredients (milk, eggs, beef, veal, pork, bread crumbs, parmigiano, 1 onion)
1 lb provolone cheese, sliced
2 large baguettes, one whole wheat, one white OR two bags small rolls
Stoneground mustard for the soft pretzels
2 boxes pasta (1 lb each)
1 jar sundried tomatoes
2 cans artichoke hearts
1-2 cups pitted kalamata olives
Milk, Splenda, small cream
2 cases bottled water
2 cases seltzer
3 cases soda
1 gallon orange juice
Styrofoam cups for coffee
Clear plastic cups for drinks
Ice (ask someone to bring)
Here is the plan:
-Ask my mother in law if she can bring a cooler for us to borrow?
-Do all laundry and normal house cleaning
-Extend table to full length (It has leaves) + put on long tablecloth
-Test pasta recipe as dinner
-Deep clean the bathrooms
-Organize guest room a bit better
-Find a very large bowl for fruit salad and select other serving vessels as well
-(Possible event with Leslie)
-Go to Super Fresh (drinks, disposable items, pasta, cream cheese, Splenda)
-Set up disposables on table
-Go to Whole Foods for all remaining shopping list items
-Set out teas
-PhillyBoy make meatballs
-Prepare meatball rolls (splitting in half)
-Slice bagels and cut in half (for smaller portions)
-Make pasta dish (to be served cold)
-Make fruit salad
-Quarter the oranges
-Move toaster oven to bagel buffet area
-Do nothing before the race except focus on the race.
Sunday post-race, Round 1:
-Set out bagel buffet, fruit salad, oranges, nuts
-Make big batch of coffee
-Pour orange juice into pretty glass pitcher & put canned/bottled drinks in cooler with ice
-Put on kettle for tea
Sunday post-race, Round 2:
-Set meatball pot to simmer
-Put out pasta and anything else that anyone brought
Note: While I assign a specific day to each task to make it more manageable, I often do many tasks in a frenzy one night and then take the following night off. It all depends on how busy my workday is or how tired or energetic I feel. The point is to split up a big preparation into smaller tasks that can be done without interrupting daily life too much the week before an event.
I can’t believe the Philadelphia Half Marathon is already here!! I am really excited but also nervous! Sunday is only a few days away!!!!! So stoked!