Last weekend I ran in the Whidbey Island 10K. There was also a Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and 1K for kids.
Matt and I turned this into a “race-cation” with our Hounds and our road trip lead us to Seattle for one night and the island in the Puget Sound the night before the race. On Saturday we picked up my packet at the small but well-organized and attended Race Expo and then set about to explore Whidbey Island. We took the Greyhounds for a couple of nice long walks through Windjammer Park along the Beach and explored Fort Casey State Park, an old artillery station established in the 1890s meant to protect our coast lines from a sea invasion.
Once the pups were sufficiently tuckered out and ready for a nap in the Prius, Matt and I explored the shops and cafes in historic downtown Coupeville, stopping for some lunch involving the local specialty – Penn Cove Mussels, and a wine tasting. I’ll stop here and review to the top 3 things I learned from this race:
- Do not eat anything unusual the day before the race! The Penn Cove Mussels did NOT sit well with me. Although I love trying new foods and local cuisine when traveling, after this trip I will not indulge until my race is done. I ended up getting food poisoning from lunch and proceeded to spend the evening emptying my stomach in our hotel bathroom. The dogs were very concerned and Matt went to the grocery store to pick up some bland foods for my dinner – the only thing I could keep down was chicken broth.
- Running on an empty stomach feels very different from running with “bad fuel” – Despite my illness Saturday night, I woke up Sunday feeling better and decided to try to run. I was able to eat a banana for breakfast and then hit the road. Surprisingly, I didn’t have any stomach issues, which is not uncommon for me with longer races, let alone when I was sick the day before. I did get pretty tired / fatigued around mile 4 when the hills started, and ended up having to walk up the second half of most hills I encountered. Despite this challenge – I managed to finish just one minute slower than my last 10K at 72 minutes and even got a cool down mile in so I could hit my 7 mile training plan for the day.
- Smaller races can have great bling and swag! This was a small race compared to the ones I’ve run in Portland and Seattle, but is was very well-organized. All participants got a medal and the post race party had some awesome treats: lots of fresh fruit, cheese, coconut water, chocolate milk, granola bars, and hot food – oatmeal with toppings like almonds and cranberries, pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausage. I stuck to the fruit but was able to grab a few snacks for both Matt and I to enjoy on the long drive home to Portland.
Despite the set back, it was still a fun road trip. I am eager to explore more islands in the Puget Sound, and possibly even take the dogs on a ferry ride to get there. Also, I plan to bring food from home for lunch and dinner the day before my next destination race.
Question for you: Do you enjoy race-cations? How do you fuel for races when on the road?
PS – I now have a Facebook page, where I’ll be linking my blog posts and sharing other health and fitness tips. Check it out!