Monday, October 27, 2008

Back from the midwest.

Right. So, instead of running I spent the last few days participating in the extreme sport known as Competitive Conference Eating. A fringe sport, for sure. But one in which the competition truly is fierce. Fierce, I tell you.

For those of you not familiar with this sport, here's a rundown:

First and foremost, it involves eating 3 full meals and 2 hearty snack meals a day. Meals -- both full and snack -- must be eaten regardless of hunger. Breakfast will include fresh fruit, yogurt, scones, coffee and juice, whether or not one actually likes juice. All breakfasts must include juice!

The first snack will include a banana smoothie, coffee, granola bars and fruit-n-cheese kabobs. This snack will be followed by lunch. On day 1 of the competition, lunch will consist of a turkey croissant, pasta salad, apple, angle food cake and a soda. On day 2, things heat up a bit. Lunch will consist of a dinner-like entree of chicken, rice and some sort of shredded vegetable, rolls and butter balls, all finished by a tangerine mousse topped with whipped cream and chocolate flakes.

The afternoon snack is where the competition starts to separate. Be warned: This is also where the competition begins to get a little mean. Sharp elbows are everywhere. Your fellow competitors would just as soon scald you with coffee than allow you to grab the last brownie. Hold your position, maintain your focus. The true competitors will pile their plates high with veggies and hummus, snickerdoodles, brownies and chunks of cheese and bread. They will eat it all.

Those with the strongest desire to win, however, will make their mark at dinner. Dinner must be a full meal. It must be hearty. It must involve more food than the competitors can possibly eat. It must look overwhelming when set in front of the competitors -- and yet the competitors must eat it. And they will. Picture: A large plate of BBQ brisket, with fries, coleslaw, veggie kabobs, pickles and bread. And wine. Yes, definitely wine. And picture: A starter salad, filet mignon, roasted vegetables and seared potatoes, rolls and butter balls, chocolate mousse and wine. Yes, definitely wine.

Many competitors will find themselves with a DNF at this point. It will just be too much for them. Those who have paced themselves and who have the strength of character to carry on, however, will move into the final leg of the competition, also known as Travel Day. There is only one rule for Travel Day: Consume junk food.

That's about it. Crossing the finish line feeling flaccid and engorged, listless and exhausted from your efforts means you probably made a pretty good showing. You finished, at the very least.

Yes, if you are wondering, I finished. No embarrassing DNF here. I can wear the Competitive Conference Eating t-shirt with pride. Unfortunately, I don't know where I placed, although I'm sure I was right up there and probably tops in my age group.

Will I compete again? I can't answer that right now. I'm just glad to home, without too many injuries.


Diana said...

Welcome back! Well, it sounds like you had a good rest from the stress of being healthy and you can come back with a clear head?

Was the trip worth while (dare I say fun...or fun-ish)?

Conferences are the worst for that. Always feel 100 pounds heavier and exhausted from trying to do too much (or maybe that's me because psych is like that).

Anonymous said...

ahhhh memories of conferences gone by.

at least made being home more of a WOO HOO than a ho hum for me....made me appreciate my routine :)

Marcy said...

LMAO! This post was cute! Making me hungry. Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

welcome back. Great post. I agree with Marcy, reading it has made me hungry!

Bridget said...

MMMMM. The food sounds really good. And at least there was fruit and a smoothie!!! YUMMY!!!
Now that you are back - it's back to your favorite - PB&J!

J said...

Fun post! The food sounds really yummy!

tfh said...

Welcome home! Laughing, especially about the juice. I never drink juice! Only in hotel conference rooms do I drink juice. Hope all the carbo-loading-- well, fine, the just plain loading-- leads to some good, energetic runs.

Aron said...

LOL my stomach is growling now :)

BeachRunner said...

ROFL. Great post. Welcome back! LOL at the juice bonanza. Did it come in those ridiculously small "juice" glasses too? Now unpack and get running.

ncrunner12 said...

Welcome back... I can't believe those guys actually do that to themselves, great post.

Julianne said...

LOL!! I am quite a professional at Competitive Conference Eating and actually, am considered one of the leaders. I totally agree with the wine, it's just not complete without it!

Very clever post young lady! And welcome back!

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