Posts Tagged by bananas

Long Branch Half Marathon Expo and Pre-Race Shenanigans

I signed up for the Long Branch Half Marathon only a few weeks ago because  had been looking for a flat, fast course where I could improve my time and this seemed perfect!  I grew up in this area and my dad still lives there, so I had a place to stay and I was fairly familiar with the course.  The finish line was also very special to me because it was right where B and I got married.  So with little training and my fingers crossed, I signed up for my 5th half marathon!

The race was on Sunday, May 5th so B and I drove the 2 hours to the Shore on Saturday morning so I get to packet pick-up.  The race expo was held at Monmouth Race Track, which was also the starting area for the race.  The funny thing about this day was that the track was showing the live simulcast of the Kentucky Derby and the windows were open to take bets.  Needless to say the crowd was an interesting mix of athletes and well, non-athletes… 01 LB Half_Monmoth ParkI had been to Monmouth Park many times in my youth as I used to love to watch the horses, but I guess I blocked out how small and dark it is in there.  Kind of seedy… 02 LB Half_Expo1The expo had a good mix of vendors, but the area was very crowded so I just headed straight towards packet pick-up. 03 LB Half_Expo2 As usual, I forgot to bring my waiver so I had to look up my bib number.  Unlike Disney where you do this yourself on a computer, here they had a booth where someone did that for you.  It was all very easy.  I then headed to pick up my bib, get my spectator parking pass and my shirt. 04 LB Half_Packet Pickup 05 LB Half_Race BibThe whole process took less than 10 minutes.  It was very well organized and a hassle free experience!  We didn’t stay long because we were famished so I did a quick browse of the merch and took off.

We met my friend Stephen on the Asbury Park boardwalk for lunch.  Considering all of the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, I was surprised to see that the boardwalk and some of the business were open.  A good portion of the boardwalk had recently been replaced and you could even smell the new wood. 07 LB Half_Asbury BoardwalkI had wanted to get tacos at Pop’s Garage, but sadly that hadn’t reopened yet.  So we went to a wonderful Italian restaurant called Stella Marina.  YUM!  I was so hungry that I forgot to take pictures, but I had a wonderful roast pork panini with arugula salad…perfect pre-race lunch!  I definitely want to return here for a nice dinner one day.  Oh and check out these awesome chandeliers! 08 LB Half_BottlesAfter lunch we made a quick stop at the grocery store for my morning supplies of bagels and bananas and then headed to my Dad’s to relax a bit.  We all love to cook so everyone had a hand in dinner.  We put together a healthy, pre-race meal of grilled BBQ chicken, roasted potatoes & cauliflower, tomato salad and avocado.  YUM!!! 09 LB Half_PreRace MealAfter dinner we watched Silver Linings Playbook (which was one of the best films I’ve seen in a very long time!) and I headed to bed around 11.  That 4:30 am alarm was about to come way too soon!

Full race recap coming up!

Friday Feast: Marathon Nutrition Plan

My race nutrition for the WDW Marathon has been in the back of my mind for some time now, but I hadn’t really sat down and laid it out.  Earlier this week, my CrossFit coach was asking me how my shin splints were doing and I told him about the upcoming marathon, which prompted him to immediately ask about my nutrition plan.  Since I hadn’t planned it all out yet, he told me to have it to him by the end of this week.  Yikes…ok, I guess I better get going.

You mean I can't just eat pizza during a marathon like this dude????

You mean I can’t just eat pizza during a marathon like this dude????
Photo Source: Fun Running Ryan

I started by doing some research.  I found this article on the 4 Steps to Perfect Marathon Fueling to help calculate how many calories I will need to consume per hour to help maintain my energy and prevent muscle fatigue.  I determined that I would need 164 calories/hour if I was to maintain a 13 minute/mile pace.  I figure that’s a good baseline, so I started putting my plan together with that in mind.

Let’s start with my pre-race food.  I’m planning on being on a bus by 3:30 am.  My alarm will be set for 2:30 am at which time I will have a big glass of water and some green tea while I get dressed, then prep a gluten-free/egg-free english muffin with almond butter to eat on the bus.  I’ll also be bringing a banana to have on my walk over to the corrals around 4:30 am along with a few cups of water from the holding area.  GuRight now, I’m starting in corral G (boooooo!) which takes off at 6:17 am, but I’m hoping to get this changed at the expo…we’ll see.  Whatever time I end up starting, I will take a Gu (chocolate outrage ftw!) 15 minutes prior.

My plan is to have a Gu every 3.5 miles with water.  I’ll also be combining a glass of Powerade and water at various waterstations (roughly about 3 miles apart).  Fuel BeltI will be carrying a fuel belt with 2-10.5 oz. bottles of water to supplement hydration between water stops.  The marathon also has various food stations along the course where bananas and candy are available and I will definitely be taking advantage of those.  I’ve never actually eaten a banana while running before, so hopefully it will settle well.  B will be meeting me at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex around 10 am, which should be around mile 17 to bring me some salted crackers, refill my water bottles and possibly give me a nice clean shirt 🙂  Best hubs around!

Here is my mile by mile plan for fuel:

  • Mile 3: 50/50 Water & Powerade
  • Mile 3.5: Gu
  • Mile 6.25: 50/50
  • Mile 7: Gu
  • Mile 9.5: 50/50
  • Mile 10.5: Gu
  • Mile 11.5: Banana
  • Mile 13: 50/50
  • Mile 14: Gu
  • Mile 16.5: 50/50
  • Mile 17.5: Gu
  • Mile 18.3: Banana & Salted Crackers
  • Mile 20.5: 50/50
  • Mile 21: Gu
  • Mile 24: 50/50
  • Mile 24.5: Gu
  • Mile 25: 50/50

Yowza…that’s a lot!  I’m going to have to carry a cheat sheet with me.  Now onto post-race meals.  Immediately following the race, I will grab another banana, water and Powerade to have immediately.  I’m also planning on having B bring another english muffin with almond butter to the finish line with some crackers in the hopes I will be able to keep that down.

After an ice bath and a nap, I’m sure a beer (screw the gluten!) and some fish and chips will be in order from Raglan Road during the cool down party.  Yum!

Raglan Road Fish & Chips

Raglan Road Fish & Chips

So now I look to all of you experienced marathoners out there…what do you think of this plan?  Am I on the right track?  Am I forgetting anything?

If you have a specific marathon nutrition plan, please share in the comments below!

Friday Feast: Tower of Terror 10-Miler Post Race Snacks

Are you sick of hearing about the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler yet??  No?  Good!

After the finish line at runDisney races, runners enter an area full of food and drinks.  Generally there is water, Powerade, bananas galore and a box of snacks.  Each race seems to have something different.  We had hummus in the post-race snacks at the Princess Half Marathon.  Here’s what we got at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler:

This was an interesting and more robust box than the Princess I thought.  Here we have:

  • Dried fruit & nut mix
  • Multi-Grain Crackers (love these!)
  • White cheddar cheese spread (??)
  • Snap Infusion tart candies
  • Cliff Bar
  • Almond Roca chocolate toffee
  • Wet-nap (nice addition!)

There were a lot of sweet options in this box!  Cliff Bars don’t sit well with me so I didn’t try this, but I can imagine that it was a sweet chocolate as most protein bars are.  Then there was the Almond Roca, which is chocolate toffee covered in almonds…this was super good!  I’m a big toffee fan, so a win for me.  I guess the Snap Infusion tart candies weren’t actually sweet, but they are a “supercandy” as stated on their website.  I don’t love tart candies, or any similar hard candy for that matter (strange I know!), so these didn’t do much for me.

The dried fruit & nut mix was the same brand from the Princess Half, which I didn’t love because I think the fruit is too sweet and the nuts too salty.  But again, I picked out the almonds and was happy with that.  Lastly, we have the crackers and cheese spread.  I LOVE the multi-grain crackers and always wish the bag was bigger, but I was skeptical of the cheese.  Unrefrigerated dairy products always skeeve me out a bit.  B was brave enough to try it and wasn’t a fan, calling it a “low quality Laughing Cow cheese.”  Hmmmm….

Cheese Spread

These boxes are great snacks, but after a long race I’m definitely looking for some more sustenance…like this:

The Real Post Race Goodness!

Yes, I know we will never get this after a race, so I greatly appreciate the food that is provided.  This is where the Disney difference comes in because snack boxes like this are not common in most local races.  So even though I might not love everything, good effort!

What did you think of the post race snacks?  What would you like to see in the boxes going forward?

Friday Feast: Banana “Ice Cream”

I recently found this recipe on Pinterest for Soft-Serve Banana Ice Cream and I was instantly intrigued.

Basically this recipe isn’t ice cream at all, but it is just as good!  All you do is take frozen bananas and whip them up in a food processer for about 5 minutes.  Voila…soft serve ice cream!

Now mine didn’t come out looking like the photo above, but it was still delicious and creamy.  Oh and the best part…it’s fat free, cholesterol free, and has no added sugar!  It is the perfect cold dessert to cure that summer ice cream craving completely guilt free!  Quick tip: peel the bananas and put them in a freezer bag before freezing.  They are difficult to peel once frozen.

So after making it with just bananas, I wanted to plus it up a bit, so I added some frozen peaches.  Super YUM!  It added a little additional tartness that I loved.  This is my new favorite.  Next up, I’m going to try blueberries, then maybe mangos!

Banana Peach “Ice Cream” in the Processor

Looks just like soft serve!

Yes, I know you are thinking that this is too good to be true, but it’s not.  So instead of throwing out those overripe bananas, pop them in the freezer and in a few hours you’ll have this great treat!  You can thank me later 🙂

What else would you add to this “ice cream”? 

Friday Feast: Disney Post-Race Snacks

This is the first of my new Friday Feast series!  Every Friday I will be bringing you a food related topic, since food is one of my passions.  Here you’ll find restaurant reviews, sports nutrition, healthy recipes, and more!  I hope you enjoy!   

After both the Tangled Royal Family 5K and the Princess Half Marathon we were given a box of snacks.  It was funny to get a box that said “Your 13.1 mile royal quest was an inspiration to the entire kingdom” after finishing the 5K, but I guess Disney got a deal on the boxes. 😉

This was an interesting box of snacks and not exactly what I was expecting.  Let’s take a look inside, shall we?

Here we have some multi-seed crackers, hummus dip, dry roasted edamame, dried fruit & nut mix, and a small piece of dark chocolate.  Strange right?  In prior Disney races, I’ve received a bag with a bagel, a banana, some fruit chews and other more substantial goodies.  This was definitely lacking.

I really enjoyed the crackers, which were very flavorful and just salty enough.  I also liked the chocolate, but that’s kind of a no-brainer.  The rest of the box left something to be desired.  The hummus, which I tried on the crackers, had a very powerful sesame taste that I was not fond of.  Plus, when food items that are supposed to be refrigerated aren’t, it grosses me out a bit.  Edamame is not my favorite thing in the world in the first place and these were so hard they could break a tooth.  Not so good.  And last was the dried fruit and nut mix.  This was just alright.  I ended up just picking the almonds out of the bag because the raisins were insanely sweet and the peanuts were overly salty.

In the finish line tents, there were also piles of bananas (I took 3), fruit chews and Luna bars.  The Luna bar flavors were really good: Peanut Butter Cookie and Caramel Nut Brownie.  Yum!  I grabbed 2 of these, which were much more substantial than what was in the box.

I really missed the bagels and more hearty foods for after a race, especially a half marathon.  I really like the box idea as it’s much easier to transport, but it just needs to be packed better.  More carbs are needed with a good mix of protein, like peanut or almond butter.  The addition of dark chocolate was nice though, so I hope they keep that!

If you ran a race during Princess weekend, what did you think of the post race snacks?  What you will like them to offer in the future?