“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.
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.
Honey Oat Quick Bread—courtesy of Eating Well magazine…this is the one rare recipe where I follow it exactly. Love it!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Banana Bran Muffin—courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill, with a few variations
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!! Wish me luck!