Monday, June 8, 2020

What I Ate Before My Virtual Half-Marathon!

Two weekends ago, Paul and I ran the Marathon Training Academy Social Distancing Race. Runners could choose their own distance, and we opted for a half-marathon. You can read about our virtual race here in last week's post. I'd planned to post my pre-race meals in a follow-up post the next day and forgot, so here's a late recap of what I ate the day before.

I'm a super-nerd about workout nutrition — carb-loading, endurance snacks, protein refueling. Love all that stuff! And I have a pretty tried-and-true pre-race day regimen that's been working for me for the past few years of half-marathons, full marathons, and even a 50K. That always starts with a smoothie! Smoothies are, in my opinion, the healthiest thing on the planet. You can fit your daily fruit, greens, flax, nuts, superfoods, whatever into one drink!

I used to make beautiful smoothies, all garnished up with fresh fruit and homemade coconut whip. But now I just make giant, not-so-pretty smoothies. Once you add greens and protein powder, you're more than likely going to end up with brownish drink that's not so hot to look at. This one had strawberries, banana, walnuts, flax, spinach, and Complement Protein. That's a pretty typical smoothie combo for me.

Lunch on pre-race day is always a big-ass salad. If you're having a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch, you've pretty much checked all the important-to-eat-daily food boxes! This has romaine, carrots, red cabbage, beets, tomatoes, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, avocado-lime dressing, and toasted sesame seeds (they taste just like bacon bits!).

And dinner on pre-race day is generally a big plate of carbs! The pre-race pasta party is a time-honored tradition, but lot has been written about whether or not carb-loading the day before a race really helps. I don't have science to back me up, but I've been able to conquer many miles on pasta fuel. So I believe in it! When I was in high school, I found an old tee at the Salvation Army thrift store that said "I Run on Pasta Power," and I wore it all the time. I wasn't even a runner then! 

This pasta is topped with marinara, chickpeas, and mushrooms (from a can! Hey, it's a pandemic!). I had a big chunk of crusty white bread on the side. I try to stick with whole grains most of the time, but before a race, I reach for white bread, which breaks down as fuel faster. I also eat white bread bagels on race morning.

After we finished our very hot virtual run through Midtown and downtown Memphis, we celebrated with pizza and beer at a socially distanced backyard party. The next morning, I treated myself to a big ole plate of tofu scramble with a whole wheat English muffin.

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