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Sometimes a long run is more than a long run. It’s social hour (well, three hours) and therapy, emotional recalibration and guided tour of one’s own backyard. This morning it was all these things and more. Twenty-two miles seems like a daunting distance and, no matter how much experience you have, it is. This morning’s training run was helped out by great weather (clear/40s) and, as always, endless discussion. As it usually does, the topic of nutrition came up. I was pleased to learn that my friend Yetik, who occasionally comments at Eating Plants, has reached the point of becoming vegan. Perhaps not incidentally, he looked and ran better than I’ve seen in at least a year. He’s big on almond butter.
The danger of the long distance run is that it can waste you for the rest of the day. The way to prevent this, I have learned, is through nutrient dense pre-and post-run meals. Fifteen minutes before a run I’ll eat a banana with a piece of wheat toast covered in avocado and a dusting of nutritional yeast. This morning I should have eaten a little more as I started to feel incredibly hungry at mile 20, so hungry that a slice of pizza sitting in the middle of the street looked really appetizing. After the run, I had the meal pictured above—a meal that I’m immodestly deeming the best recovery bowl of food ever: quinoa, amaranth, blueberries, flaxseed, nutritional yeast, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Delicious. Nutrient dense. Restorative.
A lot of runners are addicted to gels and goos and power bars and such things*, but I’d gently suggest that real food can deliver as much, if not more, in terms of preparation for and recovery from one of the most satisfying and natural things a human can do: move through space, talk, breath, and enjoy the world around us.
* Ward, no offense intended here.