Tomorrow’s the Lincoln Half-Marathon and I think I’m getting the day-before-a-race routine down a little bit better. Back in high school, before cross-country or track meets, my stomach would get all tied up in knots and I’d worry about my ability to perform.
Now, I focus on the positives, such as how well I’ve trained, how fun the crowd will be and what a sense of accomplishment I’ll have.
I think this all ties back to one conclusion that my best friend/running buddy Katelyn and I have come to: We are runners not racers.
Instead of stressing about times and beating people, I just get excited to challenge my own body. Rather than having knots in my stomach, I just have a feeling of calm — and delicious food.
Take for example, a banana split for breakfast.
With the race tomorrow, I decided to take today off from running. Still, I did do some “running” around town to take care of a few errands.
Storage space for the furniture that Dan and I are hauling back from Lincoln? Check.
Donations at Goodwill so that we can later fit that stuff in the apartment? Check.
Some sandwiches for dinner on the road? Check.
Then I was back home for one final task: packing.
I’ve found that the best strategy with packing for races away from home, is to lay it all out before putting anything into a suitcase.
That way, I can see exactly what elements of the outfit I do and do not have. This race is supposed to start off chilly, so I’m bringing a windbreaker as well as a t-shirt and tank top. I’ll decide between the t-shirt and tank tomorrow.
By setting things out, I can also see what extras I need.
I have a Vitamin Water to dilute with water, a few shot bloks, gum, bobby pins, my watch and Claratin — and, as I’m writing this, I’m making a mental note to grab and charge my iPod.
Now it’s all good to be packed!
With all the need-to-dos out of the way, I spared some time to make travel snacks.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Hand Pies
Adapted from “The Family Kitchen.”
- 1 C whole-wheat flour
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1 T sugar
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 C cold buttery spread, diced
- 1/4 C canola oil
- 1/3 C ice-cold water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)
- Peanut butter
- All-fruit spread
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flours, sugar and salt. Using two forks, cut in butter and canola oil until the flour is crumbly. Then knead in the ice cold water until all the flour is combined.
- Form the dough into a firm ball and set aside for 10 minutes. Then lightly flour a working board and roll the dough into a large square, 1/8″ thick. Cut dough into about 18 squares and make 9 pairs with the rectangles.
- With one half of the rectangles, spread a little peanut butter, leaving a little perimeter of dough. Repeat with other halves, but with fruit spread. Sandwich the peanut butter halves with the jam halves. Using the tip of a fork, crimp the edges on both sides of the pastries.
- Place the pastries on a baking sheet and glaze with the whisked egg, which adds sheen.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven for 14-18 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool on a rack.
Whereas Pop Tarts used to get my stomach in knots with all the sugar and foreign ingredients, these are simply perfect.
They also pair quite well with a smoothie for lunch.
Now my bags are packed, sandwiches are ready to go and I’m just waiting for Dan so we can hit the road!
See you after my third half-marathon!
Questions: How do you avoid keeping your stomach from getting tied up in knots? Do you have a pre-race packing strategy?