Third time’s the charm…?

I’ve mentioned this before, but there’s a running club that meets here in downtown Raleigh on Monday nights.  It’s really less of a club and more of a crazy mob of people.  Like, 300-people crazy.  I’d been a couple of times and – to be honest – had a hard time finding a group to match up with.  (Because…announcing a pace group for those who want to run “seven to nine minute miles” isn’t that helpful?  I don’t know…it had just been hard for me to gel with the people there.)

Tonight, I decided to give it another try.

I’m glad that I did.

As the chaotic mob was leaving the bar to start the run, I spotted a small cluster of folks who appeared to be chatting amiably and logging 8-minute miles.  I caught up with them and, trying my hardest to not be a creeper, began to tag along.

And then they started talking about the race on Sunday.  As it turns out?  I’d managed to find the first and second female finishers from Sunday’s race, among others.  And they were good, nice, friendly people.  Who invited me to their club’s track workout tomorrow night.

Um…yes, okay. 🙂

The only slightly embarrassing part of the evening?  When we finished up and regrouped with the rest of their team, and after meeting everyone, someone asked me if I’d been in costume at the race.  I said that I hadn’t, but had been wearing an orange shirt (represent!) and black shorts.

“Oh!” one guy exclaimed.  “You’re that girl who was running laps around the shopping center after the race!”

Great.  Apparently my reputation precedes me.

Today’s EAT: Do you crave delicious homemade mac and cheese, but you’re also lazy?

No worries.  Just take a box of standard mac, prepared according to directions, and add a (cooked) meat and veggie of your choice.  Dump it into a small casserole dish and top it with panko and parm.  Fauxmade mac and cheese – done.

I did mine up with a couple of mushroom-Asiago chicken sausages from Fresh Market and half a jar of TJ’s roasted red peppers.  It was fab.  And now I have mac and cheese for tomorrow’s lunch too.  Win-win!

And the best part?  This whole dish of food (3-4 servings) cost, like $6 in ingredients.  It may not be health food, exactly, but it’s a reasonable compromise for a cheap and easy dinner!

Today’s DRINK: This Il Valore Sangiovese is sort of…the kind of wine that makes you smack your lips a bit.

And that’s not really a compliment, unfortunately.  This one might go in the cooking-wine pile.

Today’s RUN: A cool 5.85 miles in just under 48 minutes for 8:12 pace.  Good enough for a Monday night!

Today’s QUESTION: What would you put in your mac and cheese to jazz it up? I have a feeling I’ll be making a dish like this again in the future, so I could use some ideas!

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15 responses to “Third time’s the charm…?

  1. Sounds like a fun running club!
    Good question about the mac and cheese, I always love peas so I would probably throw those in. Maybe some broccoli and tomatoes, too. Mmmm…mac and cheese…

  2. ohh yayyy for making new running friends, even if you’re *that* girl running extra laps. they’ll respect you more for it… right? 🙂

    love the jazzed up mac! you are, as always, super creative in the kitchen, even with a box of macaroni. i dig. i would add some jalapeno peppers, sharp cheddar, corn and cilantro to make it all south western and stuff. mmmm.

  3. I’ve always been boring (or weird) and just add tuna to my mac and cheese. I’ll bet bacon, mushrooms and sauted peppers would also be good… Glad you had fun at your run club tonight 🙂

  4. “Fauxmade” — that’s great! I love tricked-out mac&cheese. I make mine Mexi-themed with black beans, salsa, avocado, cheddar, pepper jack, feta, and LOTS of crushed tortilla chips on top. See: ‘carbs with a side of carbs.’ (Alternatively: ‘cheese with a side of cheese.’)

    Your running group seems awesome. That kind of thing is so intimidating at first! Way to take the plunge — sounds like it has the potential to be a lot of fun.

  5. It’s only 7:30a but I totally want mac ‘n cheese right now!

    I’ve been making it a lot lately… So far I’ve done a “fiesta” mac ‘n cheese not that long ago with sauteed onions and peppers and taco seasoning… and a bbq chicken with some shredded chicken, bbq sauce and my favorite, gouda. Or you can always just throw hot sauce in it for a buffalo style!

  6. That’s cool that you may have found your “niche” running group. Still haven’t gotten up early enough to make it to a meeting for the one that I’ve been considering… bleh.

    I’d totally put bacon in my mac and cheese. Had it that way once at a burger place here… seriously that I was in heaven.

    I really do believe bacon can be put into anything.

  7. Frank’s hot sauce and onion in mac and cheese…yum!

    That’s so great you clicked with the running group this time around. 300+ people…I can’t even imagine, that’s a TON! The 8:12 min/miles is impressive, too! 🙂

  8. Glad you liked the Nog run last night. I was going to join the group, but the thought of making my 200# body run on sidewalks makes me cringe. Have a great day!

  9. oh yaay for new running buddies! that’s great. mmm, carbs. that mac n’ cheese looks delicious. I rarely make mac n’ cheese, for some reason, but I like just mixing fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. Does that count?

  10. Haha love that they recognized you as the girl running laps around the shopping center. Sounds like a fun track club! Hmm maybe those addicting French’s onion things that go on green bean casserole? I bet that’d be good.

  11. I just bought some Annie’s to do the same thing. I will probably add broccoli and add gratuitous amounts of my own extra cheese.

    Yay new running friends!

  12. Awesome that the running club worked out for you this time. I need to start going back to mine. I haven’t been since mid-July, a few weeks before the foot incident.

    I would put Canadian bacon and pineapple bits in my mac ‘n cheese. I’m really just on a Hawaiian pizza kick.

  13. i need something like that here! sounds like a total blast! it’s awesome that you were known to the group before you got there 😉

  14. I’d add real cheese since there’s not any in that blue box, tomatoes and green chiles. And a nice syrah.

  15. Reppin’ the Orange. Show them how we do in 212!!!

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