Today I had lunch with friends at Annie’s Parlour, a burger and malt shop near the University of Minnesota. It happens that these are some of the same friends I started running with when I was in college.
Several of us took up running to improve our overall fitness. One had the idea of holding informal races at the university track. The point of the races was to keep everybody motivated to train.
Every two weeks we would meet at the track. After a few warm-up laps, we would time each other racing a mile on the track. After our race, we would walk a few blocks to Annie’s Parlour for a post-race dinner.
We continued this tradition for years. After we all graduated, we each went our separate ways. Occasionally, when enough of us were in the Twin Cities at the same time, we would have a reunion race. We always went to Annie’s afterwards.
The portions at Annie’s are huge. Burgers are 1/3 pound patties, and I usually had one with bacon and cheese. When you ordered a malt, you got the whole can, which was enough to refill your glass and still have some extra. Finally, an order of fries was a basket that several people could split. Even a half order of fries was enough for two people.
It was sort of comical that we would run one mile and then eat somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 calories at Annie’s, but we were in our twenties.
This weekend, our friend Rick was in town for a high school reunion. We didn’t have a race, but we still went to Annie’s. Later in the day, I’ll be having dinner with other friends who are in town for the Twin Cities Marathon.
I’ve been trying to lose some excess weight, and I’ve been making good progress. This morning I weighed in at 120 pounds. That’s the lowest my weight has been since February, but I’m still two pounds away from my goal. Today is a rest day, so it’s not the best time to be eating two restaurant meals, even if I am running a marathon tomorrow.
Accordingly, I scaled back my lunch as much as I could, while still enjoying myself. Deb and I split a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s made with three slices of bread and three types of cheese, so half a sandwich is a satisfying portion. We also split a malt. Five of us split an order of fries. I still didn’t walk away hungry.
Tonight I’m having dinner at Cossetta, an Italian restaurant in St. Paul. They also have large portions, so eating a reasonable sized meal will be a challenge. Hopefully I won’t undo several days of dieting with one day of dining out.