Today’s topic: Run nutrition. What we eat before a long race.
So, this one time, the day before 2014 Thunder Road Marathon, Quinn and I decided to do shots of beet juice from Luna’s Living Kitchen called “Runner’s High.” We drank one shot that day and another the next morning during pre-race prep.
Then we did this other little thing called running a marathon. So let’s just say a lot was going on that day — and the beet juice was the furthest thing from either of our minds.
After the race, we all got together at Mellow Mushroom for post-race beers and pizza. After ordering food, I hobbled my way to the bathroom and took my first post-race pee (apologies if this is TMI).
Let’s just say I was a little shocked when I looked in the toilet after and saw that I had PINK PEE.
This was my third marathon; I’d never had pink pee before. Ohmigoshwhathappened? Commence freaking out. So what made this race different? “I did get a PR,” I thought. “Is it because I ran so fast that I started bleeding?” Everything hurt, to be honest; it was certainly possible.
I was more than a little disturbed, but I had a pizza to get back to, and so I ungracefully peeled myself up and back into my clothes and hobbled back to the table, diving into some carbs and forgetting all about it.
A little while later, Quinn made her own bathroom trip. She came over to my side of the table, horrified. “Did you pee yet?!” she asked me frantically.
“Yes!” I said. “I was going to ask you!”
And then, right as we started freaking out together (I thought I had hurt something “down there”; she thought she’d gotten her period), it occurred to us simultaneously: “Ohhhhh, right, we had beet juice.” Crisis averted.
So, other than the newly named Freakout Juice, what do I eat before a race? Well, I have to give credit to TrySports for this one (let’s take a moment of silence for them; may they RIP). Before running my first marathon, the TrySports at Blakeney was amazing. They helped me not only with the stuff they sell (shoes, clothes, fuel), but they also helped me with the stuff they don’t sell: food, timing of nutrition, etc. In fact, it was Joe Soehnlen who told me he thought I’d get a 4:30 marathon (I was hoping for anything around 5:30 or less). I didn’t believe him … and then I ran a 4:29. Wow, good job, Joe.
Joe also told me what to eat before a race. He suggested a plain bagel, peanut butter, and a banana.
I’ve now eaten that before every marathon and I’ve had good results with that. I like it because I can eat it anywhere (no having to cook anything in a hotel room), and it’s easy to find. I eat Thomas’ plain bagels and Jif Peanut Butter. I do NOT eat these brands regularly; I am usually all about Crazy Richards’. But Jif works for race day; it has sugars and such in it that make it easy to eat and I’m about to burn it all off anyway.
While we are on the subject, post-marathon tip for friends/family: Don’t sit at a restaurant table with high-top bar stools with no backs. Booth only! Mellow Mushroom’s high seating was quite the challenge after running for hours. This year, we get booths!
Make sure to check out Quinn’s blog here. Also, want to run Charlotte Marathon with us? Quinn is running the half, and I’ll probably torture myself with the full again (marathon #4!). If you want to run it, sign up here and use the code quinnrey.