So yeah, it was like that. Without the glue sniffing…
Last fall I joined a team to run the Ragnar So Cal relay. Then I went all plant-based for a month and realized I liked eating this way and would keep it up. But I forgot about Ragnar.
Ragnar is a 200 ish mile relay run with teams of 12 split into 2 vans with each van holding 6 runners. Van 1 runs 1 leg each, Van 2 takes over, then you swap off until each runner has run 3 legs and you cross the finish line. I’ve done 2 of them before so I was prepared for the experience.
But not running on plants. Hmmm.
As I’d shared before, I’d committed to 30 days being plant-based and then privately decided I’d go for a full 90 days and see what that felt like. But when I made that decision, I forgot about this race. My bad. But I’m no quitter so I decided I’d figure it out and make it work. I mean, better, more accomplished runners have done it.
Luckily plant-based eating is great for runners because you get to eat carbs. Rice, pasta, potatoes, bread. Yum. Running 25 miles split up over 3 legs in a 24 hour period meant I also needed to plan for some muscle-repairing protein. My pal Stephanie was on my team and since she’s also a mostly plant-based runner we partnered up to plan our meals; making sure we had what we needed.
We packed oatmeal, almonds, Craisins, peanut butter, Larabars, thin slice Dave’s Killer Bread, cashew butter, cuties, fruit, and raw potatoes (I’ll get to those in a minute). The night before we left for the race I made soba noodles with peanut sauce, carrots and green onions and portioned it into 4 containers. This would be dinner, lunch or a post-run refueling snack. Oh and Pringles and dark chocolate covered-cherries. Just because.
The morning of the run I boiled potatoes, added season salt and threw them in a baggie. Potatoes are great for a quick carb pop before a run. And season salt is tasty.
The night before the run we had Mexican food. I had a margarita (because we weren’t planning to win this thing) and a bean and cheese burrito with rice. Usually I skip the rice, (not a fan of Mexican rice), but I knew I needed that energy so I ate up. Because I knew I didn’t need any “intestinal distress” I only had half the burrito. (That was a smart move as there wasn’t any bathrooms on my first leg, a 12.2 mile run.)
All in all, the plan went well. We were able to run each legs with the nutrition we’d brought. Oatmeal, nuts, Craisins for breakfast. Peanut butter on Dave’s Killer Bread was for post run. Nuts, fruit and Larabars for snacks and Pringles for “salt replenishment”. The potatoes were a hit and the peanut noodles were a refreshing and filling snack after one of the long legs.
I’m happy to say that I had energy and enough fuel in my belly for my runs. And I didn’t just run a few miles for each leg, I ran some long, challenging legs. The warmer temperature for both of my long runs were the biggest problem I face. But that’s a hydration issue vs. a food issue. So all in all, my plan worked. That’s a great feeling.
Listen, I know that many of you are not able to relate to the plant-based thing. And that’s ok. But don’t miss the important message here.
You can accomplish anything. You just need to decide what you want to do and then do it. You and only you hold the key for change.
Now go run!