It was not hot chocolate weather. 70 degrees and overcast. Runners wore an array of outfits from tank tops to t-shirts, capri tights to shorts. When I went up to receive my post-race “Finisher Mug”- filled with hot chocolate, melted chocolate, pretzels, a banana and Rice Krispy treat- it was the last thing I wanted to eat.
The Hot Chocolate 15k was this weekend in Atlanta. This was my first 15k race (and longest distance this season) so I was really uncertain of how to pace myself. I made a mistake in my race-week preparation… I focused more on trying to figure out a pace and forgot that nutrition is important as well! I tapered by doing a light run on Friday evening (just 3 miles) and I was debating doing another easy run Saturday or doing yoga, but instead I biked to do my errands. Nothing intense. I relaxed that evening, reading my newest obsession- The Hunger Games. My body felt ready to run.
My nutrition, on the other hand, was off. I forgot to take in more carbs than usual in the last few days leading up to the race. I haven’t been eating a heavy carb diet to begin with, but my Saturday meals consisted of no starch carbs. I sort of ate Paleo- lots of vegetables but probably not enough meat. For breakfast I had lots of fruit, lunch I had a salad with turkey and a sweet potato.
Dinner is probably where I messed it up. Not the meal, which was delish (recipe at the end) but with what I chose. Roasted cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, apple and chickpeas over quinoa-topped with an egg. I wanted to get a lot of protein and some good grains, but I think I ate too many vegetables, and ones that pack a lot of fiber at that! Lets just say I had an unnerving night, feeling overly full. I didn’t sleep great. It probably didn’t help that I wanted to get a sweet taste in my mouth and ate some chocolate right before bed.
On race morning my biggest nerves come from worrying if I’ll be able to go to the bathroom. If you’re an athlete, you know the feeling. Does it come at the start line? On the way to the race? Mid-race? Luckily my fear was subsided, which gave me false confidence in the amount of food I ate. I’ve been training on my shorter runs with just water in the tank because my stomach hasn’t been kind to me. For breakfast race morning, however, I ate a banana, handful of pecans and raisins and a natural fig bar (like Fig Newtons, but healthier.) I’m sure this would’ve been fine 3-4 hours before, but I ate just barely 2 hours before the start. Around mile 2 throughout the rest of the race, I dealt with a heavy stomach and some cramps.
I’ll pause here to give you my quinoa recipe. The rest of the post will be up later in the week so stay tuned on part 2- Why things went wrong but I got my goal time.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
Cook quinoa in rice cooker for 20 mins.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop up a variety of vegetables and lay on a roasting pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, then drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on top. Roast for 20 mins.
Fry up an egg and serve it over top! (Just don’t eat right before a race haha!)