Birthday Burgers Invited.

Just keep running, just keep running. 

Ok, so as I mentioned on Monday, I’m running the Boston Marathon, which happens to fall on my birthday! (feel free to meet me at the finish line with a cheeseburger and fries…just put the candle in the bun.) I find myself desirous of as much running-related media as I can get my hands on. Books, movies, periodicals, parody twitters. All of it.


Mostly, I’ve been going GAGA over novels about or containing themes of running. I buy them on audible, and shove them in my ear holes and listen to them for 10-20 miles at a stretch. The most recent book that I listened to was….

Oh mylanta, did I love this book. The ONLY reason I gave it four, and not five stars on Goodreads was because I felt the ending a bit abrupt. YOU WENT FOR IT AND I’M NOT CERTAIN IF YOU GOT THERE. It gave me a little steaming rage. Just a hint.

This book is thirty five years young, but you could replace the references to Vietnam with references to Iraq or Afghanistan, and it would feel completely contemporary. There is even an entire bit devoted to barefoot running.

creepiest .gif ever?

This book follows one runner, Quenton Cassidy, and his hardcore training regimen in a Florida university. He’s what is referred to as a “miler:” a runner who runs one and two mile races. (<4 min/mile. FOUR) During his tenure at uni, just as his star is rising, his school begins to place severe restrictions on the athletes with which the athletes take umbrage. Because Cass(idy) is pre-law, he is chosen by the congregate of athletes to pen the petition against Dolores Umbridge the athletic director and serve as figurehead of the rebellion.

The good-old-boys powers that be, in a period of insanity, choose to remove their mile champion, Cass from the athletic program, in hopes of quashing the movement. Cass’ friend, and gold-medalist, Bruce Denton appeals to his friend to use this as an opportunity to better himself as a runner, by retreating from society into a near-ascetic lifestyle devoted to running as a cenobite may be with his Bible. He becomes the run. It’s amazing.

The book is as quickly paced as one of Cassidy’s races, and I found myself rewinding parts of the book just to hear the final moments of a race, or a particularly brutal training session. When the book met its end, I wanted to roar with triumph and horror, as I couldn’t believe it had just ended. Where was my satisfying epilogue? Where were my closing remarks? GAH!

Also, I’m really used to romance novels, so some part of my hindbrain must’ve been waiting for Cassidy to find out he was pregnant with the girl of his dreams’ baby, or something.

I’m going to try to read one running focused novel per week leading up to Boston. I imagine that others with conterminous goals may want to join in with my running reads. (way better than runner’s runs if you ask me.)

Next up? Obviously the sequel, Again to Carthage *Provided it shows up in the next day or two, otherwise, it’s Strides: Running Through History With an Unlikely Athlete. by Benjamin Cheever. The title smacks of academia, so I’m obviously quite interested. I just cannot resist a colon–of the grammatical sort–not the poo sort. Again, I’m a runner, I try to avoid colon-related incidents.

Now? Now we fuel our run. When I am in peak form, I crave salty-sweet more than what I’d ever think possible. Multiple long-runs in a given period of time is like having non-bitchy PMS–all the cravings and needing to re-arrange your schedule, with none of the bloating and inevitable crimson tide. Unless you bite pavement.

 The strange thing is that when I’m running, junk food doesn’t really cut it for me. For some reason, it’s like my body knows it is crap, or something. weird. I crave veg and cheese like nobody’s business when I hit 50 miles in a week. Ok, and cheeseburgers. But this week, I was eyeing my gigantic bag of baby carrots, thinking to myself, “hmmm, how can I make these not boring?” So I racked my brain and came up with a delicious solution:

Sambal and Honey Five-Spice Glazed Carrots.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with sambal, it’s a chili-garlic sauce that has a bit more bite than sriracha, but a sweeter, tangier, aftertaste. It combines perfectly with the thyme and five spice I used in the honey-butter glaze, to make some crazy good carrots.

Sambal and Honey Five-Spice Glazed Carrots Sambal and Honey Five-Spice Glazed Carrots Sambal and Honey Five-Spice Glazed Carrots Sambal and Honey Five-Spice Glazed Carrots

Sambal and Honey Five-Spice Glazed Carrots

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: roast appetizer side snack


  • one pound baby carrots, halved
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp sambal, aka chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, stems removed


preheat the oven to 375F

melt the butter in the microwave in a ceramic bowl

stir in remaining ingredients, save the carrots

pour over carrots on a baking sheet, toss

bake for 15-20 minutes, or until soft.

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4 thoughts on “Birthday Burgers Invited.

  1. I really love roasted carrots and for some reason never make them. I also love sambal. Really, I love anything that will set my ass on fire... not literally. Thought it's happened once of twice when I got a little carried away with the Thai food at a local restaurant. They aren't kidding when they make it "Thai hot." TMI?

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