With the girls with Aunt Ellen for the day, I spent yesterday chained to my desk. A forgotten pleasure.

Friday Salad

I unlocked the chains long enough to make a big salad mess. A far-from-forgotten pleasure. A re-run I’ll happily enjoy day after day.

Before the girls came home last night I ran to the marathon expo with my running partner Shawn. Well, we didn’t really run, we drove. You never can tell so I figure I better clarify.

This year I took advantage of the sneaker recycling program they offer and brought my old sneakers to donate to this “Re-Runs” Program.


Those are the sneakers I ran the marathon in last year! I probably should have had them bronzed. Could be cool but then it would just be one more thing to dust.

Dropped Off Sneaks

Bahahaha who am I kidding I never dust.

This is the journey any pair of running sneakers of mine are destined to take:

First, they are born. Born to run.
Then, they run many miles and grow old. A new pair is born and they are free to retire for walks and visits to the playground.
Next, when a third generation is born, they graduate to lawn mowing.
Eventually, they are left to live in the garage due to grass stains and clipping stick-age. Spiders lay eggs in them and they are thrown out.

Thrown out, or in this case donated to needy people. Don’t ever say I don’t do my part for the community.

OK, just kidding. That pair never made it to the Land of Lawn Mowing and Spider Eggs. I tried to donate a lawn mowing pair but when I reached under the bench to grab them without looking I didn’t realize until it was too late that I grabbed two right shoes. (I have two of the exact same retired pair out there in Spider Valley.) I think a higher power intervened and was trying to tell me not to be an idiot. I tossed them and now have two left shoes in my garage that are being converted into spider condos.

This would be me posing with my tech shirt! WOOT one of the first 1500 to register and get a free tech shirt! Wow, a race shirt I’ll actually be able to run in – go figure. (Cotton is the enemy! Hisssss!)

Tech Shirt

Zak pointed out once that I always cock my head to the left when I’m getting my picture taken. Why do I do this? Someone tell me why!

A nice little message.

Run Happy

Actually, I prefer to Run Angry. WHY WOULD I RUN HAPPY?? TELL ME WHY! Don’t boss me around! Jerk.


I’ve been contemplating my mid-run fuel and have opted to go with Sport Beans because I’ve used them before. I like dried fruit or could make some of Brendan‘s fuel recipes, but I’m sticking with the “nothing new on race day” approach and going with what I know works.

I picked up these beans up at the expo. The watermelon are mine and the cherry are Shawn’s. He gave them to me so he wouldn’t forget them. Nice. So if we both bonk tomorrow it’ll be all on me. They’ll have gels on the course but the beans are easy to keep in your shorts pocket and pop a couple as needed. Less messy and that little bag fits perfectly in the inside pouch my running shorts too.

Sport Beans

I’ve never had the caffeinated sport beans though. So I guess that will be new on race day. Oops. I haven’t had a cup of coffee or any caffeine for that matter for the last two weeks. When I go a while without coffee I can really feel the effect of caffeine. Caffeine can definitely be a performance enhancer. I fully expect these to turn on the turbo boosters and allow me run like someone said “Free Larabars at the finish!”

So I’m going to segue now into a bout of seriousness and honesty. I know, I know. Humor me here.

In the past I would totally splurge on a fun dessert leading up to the race, like cake or ice cream for a pre-run treat/carbo load! Yes, even two nights early. It’s not that I feel like I “deserve” it, more like “I’m excited about a big event let’s do something fun!” And I totally felt that pre-race excitement/sugary instinct last night! But after reading Thrive (and I’ve still got a full review coming, I promise) I’ve come to understand that this is pretty far from what you might call a good idea.

Brendan writes that processed foods can actually hamper your performance. Refined sugars and carbs put stress on your system, and it takes a lot of energy and taxes the body to digest these foods. This is true no matter when you eat them, but going into a big race? The last thing I want to do is waste precious energy digesting food!

In the past I would totally think “oh, I’m running XX miles this week, I can totally have a piece of a cake. I’m carb loading!” A piece of cake is fine now and then and I certainly allow room for treats in my life, but I now fully realize that if there’s any time to focus on WHOLE foods that are easily assimilated into the body – the days leading up to a race or big event is definitely the time to do it. If it were a 5K I might be a little more lax, but considering I want to really perform well tomorrow I’m taking this very seriously.

Home after the expo I snacked my way through some carrots, banana chips and dried apples and then realized I better make something. I didn’t want to have to tell Zak we were having banana chips for dinner. I ended up going with the same black bean burgers I made on Tuesday. Another re-run but that’s how you know it was good! This time I wanted to add a little flour to the mix but I didn’t have any.

I remembered a comment left by Shawna from Balancing Me on my Tofu Cakes post from Thursday. Shawna reminded me that you can make your own oat flour by processed some rolled oats.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Oat flour

In the bowl: 1 15 oz can of (rinsed, drained, mashed) black beans, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup chopped (in my mini chopper) sun dried tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped sunflower seeds.


In the pan dusted with a Misto‘d with a little olive oil, it’s already getting a thumbs up because I know how good it’s going to be!

Thumbs Up

On a toasted Ezekiel bun with mustard, spinach and a pickle. The oat flour definitely made this even sturdier than the one on Tuesday. Zak and I agreed that these were the best home made veggie burgers yet!

Black Bean Burger Kiss It Goodbye

Oh yes you can totally kiss that sucker good bye.

Zak went out to lunch yesterday with his coworkers and brought fortune cookies home for the girls, and even one for me. I found meaning in my fortune.


So I lied, I guess I did eat some processed grains and sugar yesterday! Crap I’m such a hypocrite.

This morning after I dreamed of becoming somebody, I awakened to make my vegetables become something. Juice.

Red Juice

The usual crowd: Romaine Jackson, Coolio Cucumber, Sir Beet Feet, Apple of My Eye, Ginger Rogers and Lemon Lemone.

Later this morning, the re-run I’ve been waiting 24 hours for… Chocolate Banana Fruit Cereal.

My two bananas, diced and coated in ground flax and cocoa powder.

Breaded Bananas

The exact same breakfast I had yesterday.

Fruit Cereal Re-Run

On any other day I would have just skipped posting about the meals from yesterday, but I thought I would share my new Thrive-inspired approach to fueling for a big event. Veggies! Healthy Fats! Fruit! More veggies! We’ll see how it goes.

The race starts tomorrow at 7:45AM. My goal is to come in under 2 hours. A time of 1:59:59 means an average pace of 9:08/mile. I hope to run much faster than that but I’m glad to have a minimum pace in my mind.

In a perfect race day world, I would love to come in under 1:50. A time of 1:49:59 means an average pace of 8:23. I believe I’ll be able to finish in less than 2 hours, but less than 1:50? I’m not so sure.

The whole fam is heading over to Shawn’s house tonight for dinner and to finalize our race day approach. It will be another day of re-runs. Veggie burger for lunch, a huge salad for dinner. No pre-race pasta ritual for this chicka! Not this time. I’ll be on the Veggie Highway.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a full race report! Send me all the fast mama vibes you’ve got, I’ll take everything I can get!


25 Responses

  1. I am so geeked about your run Alison! I hope it goes AMAZING for you! I have a few questions about those sport beans. I’m doing a half in October, and i’m looking for fueling ideas. are these something that you would pop like during the race or something you eat before? What does your breakfast look like the morning of?

    Good luck tomorrow girl and i can’t wait to hear all about it! 🙂 YOU are gonna do OUTSTANDING! 🙂

    • Thanks Lizzy!! I actually wrote this post with you in mind because I know you were asking about how I planned to fuel! 😉

      I will eat the Sport Beans during the run. Probably around the 6 or 7 mile mark – about 50 to 60 minutes in.

      I haven’t decided yet on breakfast, I’m still thinking it through. Maybe green juice early on. Maybe a cup of coffee or two. Some healthy fats for sure but I’m still thinking about how close to the start time I’m going to go. Whatever I end up doing I’ll post about with my recap tomorrow and hopefully it will help you figure out what you’re going to do in October!

      Thanks for your support honey! Can’t wait to cheer you on too.

  2. I must make that breakfast soon!! I hope it’ll be just as good with plain almond milk. Good luck tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. The black bean burger looks great. So easy to make, I’m going to make these this week. Better then those icky soy store bought frozen kind!!

    Good luck on your run tomorrow. I think you are heading in the right direction and your goals will come easier to you then you think!

  4. Gooooooooooooood luck!!!!! Can’t wait to read the recap!

  5. Good luck with your race! Don’t think about it too much and you might just surprise yourself 🙂 I can’t tell you why you cock your head to the side but you have some serious calf muscles going on! Just thought I’d let you know. Haha. And I have a like a million and a half shoes I need to donate somewhere. They’re just sitting in my closet taking up room and my boyfriend is starting to complain. Eeek! A little too sentimental I guess.

  6. I’m so excited for you!!! You’re going to kick arse. I’m sensing a 1:50 time, just so you know 🙂 I would totally make a sign that said that and stand at the 10 mile marker, screaming at you as you run by that there are LaraBars at the finish line. PB & J ones at that. Totally.

    Can’t wait to read the recap!!! I think I might want to try that black bean burger in my near future! i.e. tonight.


  7. i dunno why you cock your head but i would continue doing it because you look really really really cute in that picture!! love sport beans…although i have not had those 2 flavors or the caffeine. I too would run like the wind if someone yelled “FREE LARABARS!!!” hahaha well anywayss…..good luck tomorrow! kick some bootayyyy alison!

  8. I really enjoy reading your thoughts on Thrive. The fueling philosophy before a big event makes a lot of sense to me… I really need to look for the book! 🙂

    I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow! I know you’ll do great! Can’t wait to read the recap! 🙂

  9. mmmm that veggie burger recipe sounds terrific! good luck on the race tomorrow – yay!

  10. That salad and burger look awesome. Best of luck in your race – I’m sure you’ll do fantastic!


  11. Love the sport beans for mid-race, I’ve only used clif shots but might need to try those!
    Turkey burgers look great!
    Good luck tomorrow, thanks for sharing your pre-race stuff, nice to know!

  12. Good luck tomorrow!! 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how it goes. If you do better than expected I bet it’s because of Coolio Cucumber. (haha)

  13. I love those little sports beans! I wonder if the caffeine makes any difference, because I have never had them with caffeine in there either! Kick some butt tomorrow!!!! You are a speed deamonnn!!! Go for it! Can’t wait to hear your race report!!!!! 🙂 I’ll be thinking about ya!

  14. Have a great run tomorrow! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    Okay, so now that I wrote that I see that someone else wrote the exact same thing.

    Now, go kick some ass and have fun doing! Is that better?

  15. Thrive has so much great information. I learned a lot from that book!

  16. Ezekiel buns…..hmmm, I’ll have to look for those. I thought there was only Ezekiel bread.

  17. I hope the race was well (I am assuming it was this morning?) I feel so bad, because I totally meant to post something supportive and encouraging, and then I forgot I owned a computer, and now my reader is backed up, and I just remembered you were racing today. 😦

    Anyway I KNOW YOU ROCKED IT! Especially with your Thrive fuel, I love watching how you are implementing his theories into your diet. His book makes SO much sense, I just have had a hard time doing it myself. KUDOS to you hot mama!

  18. Sounds like that Thrive book has a lot of amazing info! It’s so true that the day’s leading up to a race are the most important rest wise and food wise. I do usually treat myself to something after a race though! Oh, and when I take pictures, I always tilt my head too. I think it has something to do with knowing your angles. It is more flattering to tilt your head down then up, or straight forward. And I totally know that from watching America’s Next Top Model! 🙂 Can’t wait for a race report! I bet you rocked it, especially with all your healthy eating and what not!

  19. Good luck on your race, I’m a runner and a yogi and so I wish you all the best on your run!

    Your brekkie nannas coated in chocolate look divine. I need to get on that…pronto!

    And your sundried tomato, oat n bean burgers look really good. I have had such meh blech nothing special results when I make them, I am hesitant to try again, but yours look really good. Mine are always kinda…bland. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I just got Brendan’s book, havent cracked it yet, but I am enjoying your commentary.

    Take care 🙂

  20. hahah i love the photo of you kissing your burger goodbye! awesome. that reruns thing sounds like a great program. GOOD LUCK ON THE RUN!

  21. I can’t wait to hear how it all goes! And your easy on the digestion philosophy sounds PERFECT!

    I think I am going to make some tofu cakes tonight for some week’s lunches.


    GOOD LUCK!!!

  22. I had the same approach, following the Thrive guidelines, going into my half today. It worked out pretty well – I finished in 2:05. Not under 2 hours like I wanted, but I’m still happy for my first. It was a tough course. The ‘Direct Fuel Bites’ worked awesome for me this time, btw. I usually use sport beans as well, but it was nice to have a natural substitute.

    I’m also going to be making your bean burgers right this second for a nice recovery meal. Thanks for the awesome recipe! Hope your race went great today.

  23. I’m catching up on your posts from the weekend….. I’m dying to find out how you did…. I’m ending this comment and clicking your next post……

  24. YUM!!! This burger looks awesome! Thanks for the shoutout, too 🙂

    Also catching up after the weekend. Can’t wait to read about your race!

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