I’ve always enjoyed reading others’ “What I Ate Wednesday” type posts. Perhaps this interest stems from my fascination with food: the choices that people make; their attitudes towards what they eat; how food makes them feel; where and with whom they enjoy it; and how they use the energy provided by it for good. As a food blogger, recipe developer, and bona fide foodie, I admit that I have an above average interest in food. Not an obsession with it, mind you, but a genuine fascination.
So here I am, writing my first What I Ate Wednesday post. The food described below is what I ate the day before and the day of the Ottawa Marathon. As many of you know, I ran my first marathon in a time of 3:25 in October 2018. Unfortunately, due to heat and muscle cramping, I made the decision to bow out of the Ottawa Marathon at the 38 km mark. Much of it, I believe, had to do with my lack of a mid-race fueling strategy. While I have become adept at pre-race fueling, I have not put nearly as much thought into mid-race nutrition. In my fall marathon, every aid station provided Gatorade, and Endurance Tap energy gel was handed out approximately every 10 km. On the contrary, the Ottawa Marathon handed out highly diluted Nuun for hydration, and very limited amounts of energy chews at the 14 km and 28 km marks. If I ever run the Ottawa Marathon again, I am going to have to carry my own fuel with me because diluted Nuun and one energy chew is not enough to carry a person through 42.2 km of running, no matter how well you fueled prior to the race. Looking back, it’s no wonder that I bonked.
Without further ado, this is what I ate the day before and the day of the race.
6:00 a.m. Alarm goes off. I work a retail job, which means working at least one weekend day is the norm. I hop out of bed, feeling pretty energetic thanks to my taper week, drink a glass of water, and eat half a grapefruit (I start every day with some citrus fruit- it wakes me right up and the dose of vitamin C doesn’t hurt, either).
Next, I make this Better than Bulletproof Coffee. I don’t do well with straight black coffee on a relatively empty stomach, and this drink provides some healthy fat and superfoods along with the caffeine. Plus, I love the layer of latte foam on top. I enjoy the peace of early weekend mornings. I enjoy my coffee on the window seat while doing some reading and jotting down some blog post ideas.
I decide that it’s such a beautiful morning, I will enjoy my breakfast outdoors on my way to work. I pack up my things and head out the door.
It is one of the most beautiful mornings to enjoy breakfast and people watch by the Rideau Canal locks. I value this alone time in the morning so much.
Lunch is actually eaten at work, but I had taken a much prettier photo of this Greek Pasta Salad a couple of days earlier. The recipe is coming soon to the blog! It’s a basic pasta salad made vegan with tofu ‘feta.’ It’s packed with protein and carbs, and is the perfect pre-marathon lunch. I don’t get much time to eat lunch at work, so I inhale this along with some Mary’s crackers, hummus, and an apple.
By the time 6 o’clock rolls around and I’m off work, I realize how hungry I am. On the bus home, I drink this vegan chocolate almond milk protein drink from Greenhouse Juice and eat a Bobo’s bar. I don’t normally like to buy things in packaging because I am trying my best to be zero waste, but I was in a pinch and had been wanting to try Bobo’s bars for awhile. I’m going to work on creating a copycat recipe for the blog!
I take in some of the 10 km race before returning home. I’m feeling tired from the day, but pumped to run in the morning!
Dinner is a pizza bagel with a few kalamata olives on the side and a simple kale salad topped with my sunflower pamesan. I don’t think I’d made a pizza bagel in years, but it certainly hits the spot. To make, simply spread some pizza sauce on two bagel haves and top with grated goat/sheep/vegan cheese and whatever other toppings you like, then bake at 400 F for 7 minutes and broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese.
I eat this while watching a couple of episodes of The Office, then call it an ‘early’ night (which, for me, is still around 11 p.m.). My alarm is set for 4 a.m. to allow for plenty of time to get myself to marathon start line for 7 a.m.
The only saving grace of my alarm going off at 4 a.m. is that it’s already starting to get a bit light outside. Although I’m not in the least bit hungry (a combination of nerves and having eaten relatively late the night before), I know that having a small breakfast is necessary given the distance that I’m about to run.
I start with water and grapefruit before moving on to another Better than Bulletproof Coffee and a sprouted grain bagel with Chocolate Almond Butter and banana on one half, and peanut butter and banana on the other half.
I head out the door at around 6 a.m. (I live about 3 km away from the start line, which is the perfect distance for a warm-up). It’s already feeling hot and humid, which doesn’t bode well for my race. I have a strong preference for cool temperatures, and have never performed well in humidity despite having spent most of my summers in muggy Ottawa. I’m a winter baby through and through.
After dropping out at 38 km, I gather myself and walk back to the finish to wait for my friend Nat, who ran the half-marathon. We meet up and walk to The Green Door restaurant for lunch. We pile our plates high with salads, sauces, lentil meatballs, and more. I also grab a watermelon kombucha- I’m SO thirsty. I don’t think food has ever tasted better. For dessert, we each get a slice of the vegan chocolate peanut butter pie.
I head home and take a nap. I love cooking, but I’m absolutely gonzoed (that’s a word, right?) from day. We decide to grab dinner at Pure Kitchen instead. Beer has never gone down so smoothly or quickly. Pictured is the Dominion City Sunsplit IPA. We share a plate of the cauliflower wings and I order the falafel wrap with a side kale Caesar.
After a wander around downtown, we head home and call it an early night. Despite falling short of my marathon goal, I go to bed with a full, happy heart.
I will leave you with a quote that speaks to the wholeness in simplicity that I have been finding recently:
Busy, normal people: the world is here.
Can you hear it wailing, crying, whispering
Listen: the world is here.
Do you hear it,
Praying and sighing and groaning for wholeness
Sighing and whispering: wholeness,
–From An African Call for Life
I hope you all have had a good first half of the week. I will be back on Friday with a Buffalo Chickpea Burger recipe that would make a marvelous meal for your weekend festivities.