Running and Food Rituals…

1492627_10151861202115885_1461504367_oI am very specific about the food I eat the day before a run and the morning of a run.

Dinner is always no later than 6:30pm. It is always protein, a complex carb, light fiber.

Typically I eat a chicken breast marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and rosemary with roasted sweet potatoes and the spinach salad I call my “crack salad.”

Recipes Here

Alternatively the salad might be tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, and green beans with cracked black pepper and lemon juice.

2 glasses of wine.

Minimum 1 quart of electrolyte water.

I’ve done a small bowl of pasta and I’ve done a 6oz steak, and they’ve been fine, but the above meal seems to work best for me. I digest it, it gives me energy, it keeps me sustained through the race.  Other meals have left me hungry at mile 9, dreaming of bacon and pancakes and mimosas.

The morning of a race, my food is VERY VERY specific.  I have a caffeinated GU, a banana, a cranberry & almond Kind Bar, a toasted sour dough english muffin w strawberry preserves and a diet coke. A BIG diet coke.  That DOES THE TRICK, if you know what I’m saying fellow runners.

This is a pre-race food ritual that has worked for me for years.

Now there is a problem. Tomorrow’s race is a half marathon at NIGHT. It starts at 7pm.

I don’t even know what to do with that food wise. I’m sitting here, with a BIG glass of The Black Shiraz (Trader Joe’s, $6.99, wonderful), thinking I need to bake the whole chicken in my refrigerator  and roast my famous sweet potato wedges TONIGHT so they are ready just to eat tomorrow.  (As a freelance writer who is currently SWAMPED with work, I do not ever take days off really, so I’ll be writing all day tomorrow as it if was a typical Wednesday.)

I feel like I need to eat the chicken-sweet potatoes-salad meal at 8am, like I eat dinner 10-12 hours before the start time of the race when it starts in the morning and then work backwards in my day. Have a salad for lunch. Have breakfast for dinner.

It’s so confusing!

I think I need to have more wine.  After all, I’ve got about 24 hours until my race!

What are your pre-race food rituals?