Pre-Race Nerves

“Maybe I should think about the race a little more and you should think about it a little less,” my dad half-jokingly told me as I admitted that I was experiencing pre race nerves.  My dad is cool as a cucumber for tomorrow’s run.  I, on the other hand, haven’t felt this nervous since my freshman year of college before hiking for 12 days in the Adirondacks.  My stomach is full of grasshoppers (not butterflies, that’s just too nice a word,) and my mind is running a million miles per minute.  I hope I can capture some of this held up energy tomorrow morning for the race. ;)

So…what’s a girl to do with pre-race nerves?

Well, first I googled everything I possibly could on pre-race nerves, of course.  Some stuff made sense, like: “Don’t feel the need to carbo-load the night before,” and “Lay out your running clothes the night before.”  And some stuff was silly, “Don’t eat the morning of the race.”  Just goes to show you that sometimes it comes down to a little common sense.  My favorite advice was: “Don’t call it a race, call it a ‘fun run.’”  This is especially true for newbies like myself. ;)

The second thing I did was to admit my pre-race nerves.  No sense in dealing with this type of thing all by myself!!  With my dad’s cool nature, he had a way of calming me down by simply stating that he plans on starting off slow and seeing how feels from there on after the second mile.  I guess that will be my plan then, too.  I’ll just enjoy it.  A first race is something to remember. :D 

The third thing I did, was bake.  A lot.  I had random thoughts running through my head, “did I eat enough today?” “did I have too many rest days this week?”  “not enough rest days?”  Gah…I needed to take my mind off of it.  And since nobody was around this afternoon to smack some sense into me, demanding that I calm down immediately, I just…baked. 

First I made a honey oat quick bread.  This is one of my favorites because A) it doesn’t require rising–I’m impatient, B) it’s addicting, but in a good way. ;)

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Honey Oat Quick Breadcourtesy of Eating Well magazine…this is the one rare recipe where I follow it exactly.  Love it!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, or quick-cooking (not instant) oats, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour, or white whole-wheat flour (see Tip)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 8 ounces (scant 1 cup) nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup clover honey, or other mild honey
  • 3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat milk

Preparation

  1. Position rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°F. Generously coat a 9-by-5-inch (or similar size) loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon oats in the pan. Tip the pan back and forth to coat the sides and bottom with oats.
  2. Thoroughly stir together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, beat the remaining 1 cup oats, yogurt, egg, oil and honey in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in milk. Gently stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture just until thoroughly incorporated but not overmixed (excess mixing can cause toughening). Immediately scrape the batter into the pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon oats over the top.
  3. Bake the loaf until well browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. (It’s normal for the top to crack.) Let stand in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around and under the loaf to loosen it and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool until barely warm, about 45 minutes

 

Then I made a hummus that came out looking more like egg salad.  So I resorted to calling it chunky hummus, and decided that I liked it this way.  I can just tell people I meant for it to be chunky and thick. ;)  No, actually, this is the result of a very old blender and a can of chickpeas, a garlic clove, 3 T. lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, and parsley.  It was really delicious, and I did actually end up liking the chunk factor. 

101_8843

Still feeling the grasshoppers in my stomach, I went back to the kitchen for more baking.  I found a recipe for bran muffins on the back of a Bob’s Red Mill wheat bran bag that sounded nice.  I didn’t have the required applesauce, but I figured mashed bananas would do just fine.

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Banana Bran Muffin—courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill, with a few variations

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup wheat bran 
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. baking powder 
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup Milk 
1/2 cup honey
3/4-1 c. mashed, very ripe bananas (I used about 3 total)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Eggs, beaten 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine wheat bran, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in nuts and raisins. In a separate bowl, blend applesauce, milk, molasses, oil and egg. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Spoon into greased muffin tin (or paper muffin cups) and bake for 15-20 minutes. Makes 12 marvelous muffins.

Taste verdict?  To be announced tomorrow… ;) 

Tomorrow I’ll have a nice, full recap of the race.  My mom volunteered to be the photographer, so hopefully there will be some nice shots.  As long as I’m not lying on the side of the road somewhere…although that might make for an interesting post. ;)

Okay, off to enjoy a campfire and hopefully get my mind off of tomorrow’s race!! :D  Wish me luck!

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13 thoughts on “Pre-Race Nerves

  1. GOOD LUCK!! You’ll do just fine – you totally have your head screwed on and I know you will breeze through it and enjoy every minute once you get started. I am terrible with pre-race nerves myself. You would think that something I enjoy so much could only be 100% enjoyable but no, I definitely work myself into a tizzy about it! I don’t think us worriers/nervous people can get away from the fact that we’ll worry a bit but I just remind myself that once I’m out there I will likely enjoy it no matter what – even if I don’t have a perfect race, I will have given it a go!!

    Can’t wait for the re-cap – I know you’re going to have a brilliant time!

  2. Well I know the race is over now and I am sure you did great!!! And, that you are most likely addicted to racing like me now. =) They are so fun and motivating. Laura

    http://www.findingahealthybalance.wordpress.com

    P.S. I am so making that Honey Oat Bread next weekend! I just finished our Apple Crisp recipe and me and the hubby are about to dig into it………yummy!

  3. OMG, lots of baked goodies! Thanks for sharing the recipes.
    Good luck good luck! Woohoo, can’t wait for race recap. You’ll do great for sure. :D

  4. Good luck girly! When I first started racing I would feel totally nervous too. Then I just told myself “Just pretend this is any other run on any other day at home. No big deal.” Can’t wait for the race recap – you’re gonna do great!

  5. I love to bake to relieve stress! during the school year I go a little bake crazy lol!

    Good luck tomorrow Sarah! I know you’ll do awesome! I can’t wait for the recap!

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