Have I ever mentioned that carb loading is the reason I got into running? No, I haven't. Well it really isn't, but I pretend because it's my favorite time of race season. When I am not trying to cut weight, I will bulk up the carbs steadily three days before a race. BUT since I let myself climb on the scale, I scaled back the days allotted for carbing out pac man style.
I started loading Thursday night when I found myself eating pretzels with mustard in bed. It was all down hill from there, which is something I wish I could say about Hospital Hill. I think carb-loading is a delicate practice, especially if you are prone to GI issues that comes with runner. It can be really beneficial and give you the necessary energy to get your through the most grueling course of your life. OR it can give you an excuse to binge on anything bad for you and result in the worst runners gut of your life. OR both, but hopefully not at the same time. Unfortunately, in my case it's usually the latter.
I know that you guys are very aware that I struggle with balance, especially when it comes to food. Trying to find balance in something that is named "loading" seems completely contrary to the point though. However, you do have to approach this with caution and reasonableness. It's not a warrant to eat every carbalicious thing out there. It's not a warrant to park at the pasta buffet with a fork.
But park at a buffet is essentially what I did. Friday night, I met the lovely Megan B. and her friend Lori at Sweet Tomatoes for our pre-race dinner routine. Next to the finish line, the our pre-race dinners rank as my second favorite part of a race weekend. I love reminiscing about past races and describing the treachery we put ourselves through for mere bragging rights. I also love being able to eat with people who fully understand a runners appetite. A guilt-judgey-free meal. It's amazing. Sadly, this pre-race dinner was kinda a let down-not because of conversation, but because of food. Sweet Tomatoes just didn't live up to expectations. I had some salad, and tried various pastas-none of which were good. I ended up eating a whole loaf of foccacia bread and some frozen yogurt.
Earlier that day I had picked up our packets for the race, and we went over the course map. We talked about all the hills they would experience since Megan and Lori were running the 10k course. We talked about the heat, the crowds, the road kill on the course. All the while, I kept glancing at my left wrist.
Why yes, I did snap a picture of our race stuff in the bathroom stall!
My half marathon PR is 2:04, over a year ago. It's reasonable to shave four minutes in a year, but I knew that lay ahead of me at Hospital Hill. I knew it is hands down the most difficult course in the KC-area, yes-it is worse than the W&R. A little knot in my stomach formed, but I wanted to go for it anyway.
DO YOU PRACTICE CARB LOADING?
HOW DO YOU APPROACH IT?