Last fall, I posted about making brownies and banana muffins for breakfast for the adorable Girls on the Run team I coached. Once the season ended, I continued my involvement with Girls on the Run D.C. by signing up to be a SoleMate, the adult fundraising wing of Girls on the Run. Although SoleMates can raise funds through any race, I joined the group training for the Rock N Roll USA Full and Half Marathons, taking place in D.C. . . . tomorrow!
Last night, we had our pre-race SoleMates dinner at Logan Tavern. Collectively, 75 of us raised over $39,000 (!) for 3rd to 8th grade girls in D.C. to participate in and benefit from the Girls on the Run program.
And like any good running group, we kept the wait staff busy refilling our water glasses and bread baskets at a rate I’m sure they rarely experience.
After starting with the salad, I ordered the grilled salmon, which is one of my favorite pre-race protein sources. But I was obviously not reading the menu very carefully because when the dish arrived, I noticed a glaring omission . . .
Where are the carbs?!
Generally, I think a lot of people go overboard with the “carb loading” concept (but here is an interesting study from an MD-PhD Harvard-MIT candidate who set out to formulate the perfect carb load required to avoid hitting the wall in a marathon), but pre-race meals are definitely not a time for a carb-free Atkins diet. Luckily, A had ordered the crab and shrimp mac ‘n’ cheese and had food envy when she saw my salmon. We brokered a deal and shared her carb-heavy and my protein-focused meals for the perfect balance between the two.
For dessert, I could not choose between chocolate cake and mango key lime pie, but our server said he favored the chocolate cake, so chocolate cake it was.
When it came to dessert, neither A nor K had food envy, as they both polished off their mango key lime pie before I could suggest a sharing agreement.
There are a lot of competing theories about pre-race meals, but most of them omit an underrated component — the company of your training partners who will indulge your preoccupation with deciding the perfect race outfit, figuring out what time and how you’ll be arriving at the race, and strategizing on how you will handle the unseasonably warm forecast.
Starting in November, our group met almost every Saturday morning for our long runs. Although I hadn’t planned on participating in every run, the SoleMate run quickly became the run I most looked forward to each week, and I found myself arranging my schedule around the Saturday runs whenever possible. The group formed a genuine camaraderie and bond through a sport that is easily individualistic and solitary. We commiserated about speed workouts and hill runs while also sharing the peaks and valleys of life beyond running. Although we won’t be running side by side in tomorrow’s race, I know our runs together will carry me through the toughest stretches, and I can’t wait to celebrate with them after the finish line!