We’re several hours away from beginning an overnight adventure, heading to the state capital for a pair of road races. Assuming the weather holds, I’ll be running a Half Marathon; she’s entered in the accompanying 5K. I’d love to be there to cheer for her finish, but–since the races start at the same hour–she’ll be finished while I’m only about a third of the way through the course. (I owe her one. Okay, I owe her many.)
The plan is for me to pick her up at the train station after work so we can start our journey right away. It’s a holiday weekend, so the traffic is bound to be thick. After we arrive and check into our hotel, we’ve got to get to the race registration station to pick up our number bibs for tomorrow morning. I’d love for us to have a festive dinner at a nice restaurant, but by the time we’re settled, it’ll be late evening, and we’ll be prone to grumpiness or indecisiveness or ordering pizza from whatever place will deliver to our hotel.
Instead, I plan to pack a dine-en-route picnic. I’ll stop at the deli after work and find sandwich fixings: roast beef and something else that looks good (Virginia ham, perhaps, or a Buffalo-spiced turkey. (Of course, they’ll be cut in half so we can share.) Provolone cheese, a little muenster. There’s very fresh lettuce in the crisper, and an assortment of mustards and mayonnaise and horseradish sauce. Slicing tomatoes are out of season, but that’s probably just as well, as they’d make for very sloppy sandwiches even if I try to wrap them carefully–and I know it won’t be as neatly as she’d do. The object, of course, is to stave off hunger, have something wonderful to eat, and not reach our destination looking like we used our laps for the prep table.
Accompaniments: a baggie of grape tomatoes and sliced red peppers. The best chips I can find. A ginger ale for her, a seltzer for me. There’ll be some chocolate, too, in case we decide not to wait for our destination to source dessert. And moist towelettes.
I will also pack some of her excellent tea and our house-blend coffee for making in our room at the crack of dawn, along with peanut butter and bagels for just-in-case breakfast, and bananas for post-run potassium.
Travel music and fun podcasts on the iPhone. Plastic bags to stow wet running gear. Clothes, of course, but those are already packed.
I still dread the likelihood of a long run on a rainy morning, but the trip and the company will be excellent. Our first grand adventure, long ago, was a road trip to see a musical I’d written. Every trip since has been as much fun, and this one should be no exception.