Tag Archives: Bill’s Barbecue

The Father’s Day Workout

By Pete Williams

Pushing through Lake Maury

ALL OVER VIRGINIA – This has only a little to do with endurance sports and nothing to do with Florida. But I spent Father’s Day in Virginia and figured I’d eat, drink, train, – and now write – however I pleased.

I woke up in Newport News, where my cousin and her family live adjacent to the Mariners’ Museum Park, which is 550-acres of manicured trails and woods along Lake Maury. The 5-mile Noland Trail goes up and down hills, along the lake, and is quiet enough that I turned a corner at one point and came face to face with a doe, who remarkably didn’t move.

The trail includes 20 bridges and I decided in the spirit of obstacle race training, to find one obstacle per bridge – bench, picnic table, tree stump – and drop and do a set of 10 pushups and 10 dips. The 5-mile run, with 20 stops, took about 50 minutes.

My cousin and her husband have lived in this section of Newport News for 25 years and in that time it’s become an unlikely college town with the transformation of Christopher Newport from community college to major university. If you’re ever in the area, check out the Mariners’ Museum Park. I only wish I had brought a paddleboard as Lake Maury looked perfect for SUP.

Enjoying Spicy Rivanna at Burnley Vineyards

Next it was on to Richmond and Bill’s Barbecue for my “death row meal,” what I would choose for my last meal on Earth. This is not health food by any means, but training hard entitles you to at least one major cheat meal a week – especially on Father’s Day. Here’s mine:

2 minced pork barbecue sandwiches

1 large fries

1 large limeade (basically 32 ounces of sugar)

1 piece of chocolate pie

The Richmond Flying Squirrels Double-A baseball team was playing across the street and we might have stopped if The Diamond still was home to Triple-A Richmond Braves (RIP), who played there when we lived in Richmond in the late 1970s.

Instead we proceeded on course to Charlottesville, stopping in nearby Barboursville at Burnley Vineyards, our favorite winery. Virginia wine is very underrated. Thomas Jefferson started the U.S. wine industry in Virginia and the Commonwealth probably still would be the leader in U.S. wine production had the vines not been trampled during the Revolutionary War and again in the Civil War. By the time Virginia got caught up midway through the 20th Century, California had taken a commanding lead.

“Good wine,” Jefferson once said, “is a necessity of life for me.”

With a case of Burnley wine in the van, it was on to Jefferson’s University of Virginia, where the plan was to have the second workout of the day at the UVA Aquatic Center, where our sons would have swam laps around me. We arrived in time to see swim coach Mark Bernardino instructing swim campers on the pool deck, but got the open pool schedule mixed up and didn’t get to swim. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

Instead, we wrapped up the day with a picnic on The Lawn as a late June sunset fell over the Rotunda – a perfect end to a perfect Father’s Day.



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What’s Your ‘Death Row Meal?’

By Pete Williams

Go for the minced pork BBQ

All this talk about healthy eating can be, well, unhealthy. It’s good to be focused on eating properly, especially with the food industry working so hard to make us fat. It’s also impossible to perform well in endurance sports without proper nutrition strategies.

But the great thing about training and eating properly is enjoying your favorite foods without guilt. Many popular nutrition plans advocate a free/cheat day, which is a good thing.

Once or twice a year, I take that a step further by indulging in a “death row meal,” my last supper, the final feast, the bucket buffet, the last thing I’d eat on Earth were I heading out before breakfast.

I enjoyed my death row meal earlier this week at Bill’s Barbecue in Richmond, Va. It’s two minced pork barbecue sandwiches (sometimes three), fries, large limeade, and a slice of chocolate pie. It’s just an annual thing since we don’t have Bill’s BBQ in Florida.

The more you clean up your diet, the more a fatty meal makes you feel sleepy, bloated, and lethargic. That’s because you’re more in tune with how food makes you feel and fuels you for high performance.

That’s not the case with the death row meal.

It just tastes and feels great all around.

What’s your death row meal?

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