We started with a four-mile "warm-up" on the Shelby Farms Greenline so I could reach my 10 miles for the day, and then we set off for this very muddy trail race. It's been raining for days, so the trail was a muddy mess. But all of the four races in the series have been pretty muddy, so I'm used to it now! I kind of like getting all dirty in my old running shoes.
Anyway, all that is to say that I've been fueling most of my Sunday long runs lately with oatmeal. Sometimes, I just make a bowl using regular old rolled oats and nut butter. But I recently found these Picky Oats from Picky Bars at Fleet Feet Sports. I LOVE Picky Bars (designed by pro-runner/legend Lauren Fleshman), so I figured I'd love these oats too.
And I do! They're designed for performance so they have just the right carb to protein ratio for pre-workout. Of course, I add even more nutrition and staying power with nut butter and fruit. I tried Game, Set, Matcha! Oats first. It has matcha green tea for energy, plus goji berries, pepitas, and cardamom. I topped the bowl with almond butter, hemp hearts, and strawberries. This fueled me through a 12-mile long run a few weeks ago. It kept me full but not too full. There's a sweet spot between full and hungry that I try to reach before my long runs because you don't want a growling tummy or a too-full tummy.
The next week, I had the Can't Beat Chocolate Oats with cacao, beet powder, chia, and almond before my 15-miler. This was a yummy blend that was super-chocolately with a light hint of earthiness from the beet powder (but the beet flavor wasn't overwhelming at all!). I topped this bowl with chopped almonds, strawberries, and tahini. I wish you could see the oats underneath. They were a lovely shade of red!
There's one more flavor — How Bout Dem Apples? — that I didn't see at my running shop, so I may have to order from the Picky Bars website! If you're looking to fuel a long, endurance workout, these Picky Oats are perfect. And the oats are all vegan! Some of the Picky Bars aren't (some contain honey), so be sure to read the labels on those.