Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Paleo on the Road

It is indeed Happy Hour when your
paleo-friendly apps are 1/2 off!
I celebrated Day 60 on the Paleo Diet on Monday!  It feels like quite the feat, considering that my last 3 days of were spent eating while traveling to San Jose for the San Jose RocknRoll Half marathon.  It was my first real experience of trying to stay paleo while not being able to cook and refusing to succumb to peer pressure to "just eat like a normal person".  I must have explained the basics of Paleo about 30 times this weekend, each time we ate with a new group of people.  My mom and I traveled with her running buddies, about 14 amazing women who were determined to live it up and run it out.

My race weekend started Friday evening, with a meal at The Counter with my family.  I'd reviewed this downtown San Diego restaurant just recently.  Before taking me to the airport, we decided to carb up at our favorite Paleo-friendly restaurant with sweet potato fries.  I also had a "burger in a bowl" for the iron.  It was going to help my body store and use oxygen more efficiently during my big race.

Not a pretty breakfast but
 it tastes good

Saturday morning, Mom and I woke up at 4 am to see my Daddy off on his 100-mile race.  He'd be running the Rio Del Lago 100 all of saturday and he'd planned to finish around the time we'd be getting up on Sunday morning to run our own race.  A Larabar and a banana continued the carb up while I shivered in the pre-dawn, waiting to see Daddy off at the start line.  (As a note: not ALL Larabars are paleo.  Stick to the ones that contain only dates, tree nuts, fruits, and coconut.  My favorites are Coconut Cream Pie, Lemon Bar, and Key Lime Pie)  We then headed home to pack for our own race.  I completed my carb up with an eggs, avocado and sweet potato breakfast.  That was the last time I was going to get to cook for myself before my race.

After arriving in San Jose (by the way, a car with 4 middle age and older women will need to stop at least 3 times to pee during a 2 hour road trip), we checked in, picked up our bibs and explored the expo.  One of the great things about Paleo is that you don't experience the drop in blood sugar that you did before when you were eating processed carbs and sugars.  So while everyone else was getting cranky, I was holding on pretty well.  We lunched at Baja Fresh, which isn't an ideal paleo choice.  But I made it work, ordering a Mango Chipotle Chicken Ensalada.  I suspect that the mango salsa and chipotle sauce contained sugar and possibly soy . . . but overall it was a paleo-ish choice.  I avoided eating the tortilla shell and asked for NO cotija cheese (even though I REALLY REALLY love cotija cheese).  For a pre-race lunch, the chicken salad option was probably the best choice.  It's heavy on fiber, high on water content and low on binding meats.  Red meat can take longer to move through your system, which may make you feel heavy on race morning.
Dinner was probably the most difficult to handle.  All of the group we were racing had arrived and there was much discussion on eating at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Italian restaurants are nearly impossible for Paleo people, I try to avoid them all together.  It's a lesson that "Gluten-free" does not equate to Paleo.  Luckily they couldn't take our group of 14 for at least 2 hours, so our group ended up breaking up into smaller ones and Mom and I headed to a 50s themed Diner called Peggy Sue's.  They are a counter Service, sit down restaurant.  They're menu was simple and easy to alter for the Paleo diet.  I had a spinach salad (that was of massive proportion) and a bunless bacon, pineapple burger.  Once again, loads of iron to help with oxygen use.  I am also a proponent of fiber on the day before the race.  It'll help you with that pre-race elimination that is oh so neccessary.  (I wondered how long it'd take me to mention poop on my blog).  Everyone's fiber needs are different.  It's important to experiment during the training cycle to see how much fiber you can take in to help you on race morning.

 I woke up on race morning feeling amazing.  I had nine hours of sleep, and maintained my paleo diet while traveling.  Mom and I ordered room service and split a meal.  I got the eggs and bacon, she got the tomato juice and english muffin.  It's nice to travel with a non-Grok!  After breakfast I was feeling even better!

My race review has already been posted.  I've had people ask about my IN-RACE nutrition and will explore that in my next post.  If you have any questions about pre-race nutrition or about staying paleo while on the road, please feel free to ask!


Race Day Ready and still Paleo!

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