I am not a good baker. I will admit that. I hate measuring. I don’t time things. I am imprecise. I am messy. But sometimes I just really like baking, and I figure that over the course of decades I will eventually learn enough of the science to get OK at the whole improvisation thing. (On the flip side, my improvisation works just fine for non-baking cooking. I make some pretty good stir fries and casseroles and soups.)
DC got its first Momofuku this past weekend, including a Milk Bar, which hubby and I happened to hit up on its opening night. We had been to the Milk Bar and the Momofuku in New York and were familiar with the offerings. (CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE MUSHROOM BUNS???) The last time we went in NYC, we had several cookies, and I wasn’t blown away with them. Good, but not the best cookies of my life. They are very chewy. Maybe too chewy? And I think the compost cookie tastes vaguely of trash… is that the point? (Definitely caused by the coffee grounds.) So this time I ordered “crack pie” soft serve with fudge. Enough said.
We also ordered a few cookies to go, because well, we had waited in line for two hours so we thought we ought to. One of our selections was the corn cookie, and it was my favorite of the bunch. It also reminded me that we had a giant tupperware of frozen corn in the freezer from our crop share this summer. Milk Bar uses a freeze-dried corn powder in many of its products, including the corn cookie, so I decided to dry some of our frozen corn and see what I could make. (Milk Bar does sell its corn powder, but I ain’t a cheater.)
After a marathon, it is totally understandable that your body needs a break. And you might find yourself really hungry and supersluggish for days after your race. That’s fine. Sleep in. Eat what your body is asking for.
But sometimes we go beyond that, and for days and even weeks after a race.
At some point, we need to say,
“OK body, time to look ahead, not behind.”
So how do we get back to “normal” after months of training (and eating accordingly), then carb loading, then running 26.2 miles, and then trying to recover from it all?
I am not a nutritionist. But I’ve been running for a while, and I’ve tried a lot of different things during my training, races, and recovery. Here are my best tips for marathon nutrition (or nutrition for any race or athletic event!), with links to some other reading that might be helpful.
A is for Alcohol. Yes, I abstain from alcohol during training and taper. Because I just don’t need it, and it’s not helping me improve my performance. That said, a cool beer to celebrate post-race or a glass of wine that evening can be a fabulous and well-deserved reward.
B is for (Chipotle) Burrito Bol and BGR (Veggie) Burger. These are my favorite post-long-run lunch options. They aren’t greasy and are the perfect portion size. Think you can go to brunch and eat whatever you want post-run? Think again. By the time you are done that OJ and halfway through that stack of pancakes, you’ve probably eaten about the number of calories you burned, but you haven’t had much protein, fiber, or other nutrients that will help you recover and keep you feeling full. I try to resist sugary and fried foods for my post-run meals.