Time for a short and silly post.
One of my favorite foods is mashed potatoes. I mean, I love ALL potatoes, but the mashed kind are particularly awesome. At Thanksgiving, at least one third of my plate will be a pile of mashed potatoes. And I save them to eat last because I want my last taste memory of the meal to be my favorite.
So a month ago I did the Pikes Peak Ascent. (Maybe I should write a blog post about that or something…) It was really hard not because of the distance or the altitude or inadequate training but because of my stomach. I had soooo many nerves before the race that I didn’t eat enough breakfast. And then during the race I was trying to eat but it was too late. My stomach wouldn’t accept the calories it so desperately needed. So I was weak, in pain, and delirious by the time I reached the summit – and got my seriously awesome medal.
After the race, I was reviewing the race with my friends (as always happens after races) and we got to talking about nutrition – not just during races but also during things like long hikes. Energy gels are okay and have their place I guess, except that the texture is like having a mouth full of glue and they’re disgustingly sickeningly sweet. But, they ARE designed to be able to be easy to digest in the midst of strenuous exercise and you don’t have to try to chew, so we suffer through them.
And then a light bulb came on. Mashed potatoes. I mean, I’m no nutrition expert, but they’re full of carbs and calories. Add a bit of salt to replace electrolytes. A little bit of milk makes them tasty and provides a small amount of protein. Fairly bland so easy on the stomach. No chewing. Jam them in one of those squeezable food pouches, and presto: on the go fuel for a long run. (Did you know potatoes are also a great source of vitamin C and have more potassium than bananas?)
I have a running shirt with HUGE pockets in the back – it’s sooo fantastic!!! So as part of my marathon training, I conducted an experiment and stuffed some potatoes in the back when I had to do my 16-mile run. And the potatoes worked AMAZINGLY for me, guys. Easy to eat, my stomach accepted them with no problem, and they’re delicious. 🙂 I took them on the 18-mile run and again on the 20-mile run.
But now I face a dilemma. My marathon is out of state. I’m staying in a hotel with no access to a kitchen and who knows where the nearest grocery store will be. So. Think I can boil potatoes in a hot pot and mash them in a blender? Think I can put a hot pot and a blender and potatoes in my checked luggage? That should confuse the security screeners…
#youknowyourearunnerwhen you think about these things…