Mental Race Prep and Baked Oatmeal

Thursday workout: 45 min bike, easy

Because I have spent the past two weeks wondering if I’d even be able to do the half ironman on Saturday, I haven’t spent very much time thinking about actually doing the half ironman on Saturday. Now that I’ve decided to do the race, I feel like I’m playing catch up in my mental preparation.

I came across a few DC-area triathlete bloggers who are also doing the Kinetic Half this weekend, and a couple of them had posted their goals for the race, including goal times and, in some cases, even goal age group places.

Since this is my first half ironman, I already had little idea what to expect for my finish time. Sure, I can try and calculate to some degree based on previous times, but I’ve never done an open water swim or bike this long, or a half marathon after about four hours of physical activity!!

The one thing I was hoping for was a good half marathon time, since the run is my strongest leg and I have been doing a lot of other races and speed workouts and have seen my running times improve a bit. But now with the injury, I really have no idea what to expect on Saturday.

In order to start getting my mind focused on the race, last night I wrote out my nutrition plan for during the race, because I figured that is one thing I can control on Saturday. I wrote out what I wanted to eat/drink during each phase of the triathlon, and therefore what I would need for the race, what I already had at home, and what I needed to buy.

I had to reread my plan several times, because it seems like SO much food! But then again, I don’t usually eat nearly as much in training as I do on race day, and this will be my first time doing a race that will last approximately SIX HOURS.

Yeah, I haven’t exactly figured out where all those energy bites are going yet. Thank goodness for my Bento box and a lot of pockets in my tri top!

I’ve decided I am spending way too much money on endurance fuel products, and want to start experimenting more with homemade stuff, like my homemade energy bars I made this week. But since the half iron is on Saturday and I’ve been training with the store-bought stuff, I’m going to stick with what I know for Saturday.

The big thing I will be doing differently for this race is using Nuun tablets (sodium and electrolytes), because I’ve read a lot lately about how athletes in longer endurance events have the biggest problem getting enough salt. I plan to carry two water bottles with a half water/half sports drink (for calories) and a Nuun tablet (for sodium/electrolytes). I’m also hoping to be able to find Eric at some point and get another two bottles somewhere around the halfway point.

I also cleaned my bike today (and boy did she need it, I am embarassed to say that I have not cleaned her since the Rumpus in Bumpass Sprint Tri and she was disgusting!).

And I am continuing to take care of my foot, by icing it twice a day and staying on my anti-inflammatory medicine. The cat finds the whole icing thing quite intriguing.

I decided to ice both feet since they were both kind of hurting in general from being on them all morning running errands and standing in line, etc. Next time I’m just going to wear my running shoes out when I run errands, I don’t care if white running sneakers look ridiculous with skinny jeans!:)

Also, I am trying to keep my nutrition on point this week. Lunch today was an awesome salad using some leftover teriyaki chicken from last night, a hard boiled egg, strawberries, chai seeds, almond slivers, and poppy seed dressing.

Sooooo good! While making my race nutrition plan, cleaning my bike, and taking care of myself this week may seem like somewhat minor things, they are helping me re-focus on completing this race, and I’m already feeling like I’m in a much better place mentally than I was earlier this week.

For breakfast I had some baked oatmeal that I made using my mother-in-law’s recipe! This oatmeal is great because you can make a big batch of it and eat it all week.

Baked Oatmeal
3 cups of rolled/old fashioned oats
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of butter (melted)
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used 1/8 brown sugar, 1/8 stevia)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup milk (I used skim)
2 teaspoons baking powder
Cinnamon to taste (I used a ton:)
Add-ins as desired: I suggest raisins or dried cranberries (I used about 1/3 cup dried cranberries for this batch:).

Directions: Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well mixed. Pour into a greased 8×8″ baking pan (or you can double the recipe and use a 13×8″ pan if you’re feeding a big family!). The oatmeal is best if you make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight, and bake the next day. If you don’t have time to do this, let the ingredients sit for at least 15 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.

Note: Refrigerate any leftovers because of the eggs/milk.

I suggest serving the oatmeal warm, with some milk and fresh fruit on top, yum!

What do you do to get yourself mentally prepared for a big race/test/meeting/interview/event/etc?


About Erin @ untilyoutri

Runner, triathlete, food lover, and happy blogger!
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9 Responses to Mental Race Prep and Baked Oatmeal

  1. Great post. How do you calculate the nutrition you need for your events? I am always interested in hearing how different people go about this. Listening to your gut vs. actually calculating out the math? Looking forward to hearing how it goes on Saturday!
    The baked oats look great – will have to try it out. By the way, last night I added cocoa to my overnight oats (I took that idea from your post a few days ago) So yum. Thanks!

    • Hi, Kate! That’s awesome that you added the cocoa powder! I love it, it makes breakfast seem more indulgent without adding any extra sugar or a lot of calories:). I need to go back to doing some overnight oats again, they are awesome!

      As far as the nutrition, I’ve learned the hard way that, for me, I can’t listen to my gut. I don’t really get hungry when I’m working out (I go straight from feeling fine/not hungry to being sick/weak/dizzy/whatever). Or if I do actually get hungry, it’s already too late at that point. Instead, I have figured out a general idea of what’s good for me by looking at the “recommendations” out there and then playing around within that range on a few of my longer training workouts (not every one, because most workouts I don’t fuel nearly as much as I would a race:). My stomach is more sensitive to what I eat or how hot it is (my body hates the heat, unfortunately) than how much I eat (stuffing my face with 2,000 calories at once excluded, of course;), so I also tend to stick to the products I have used during training, and just up the amounts/frequency a bit. Haha, sorry, that was a long explanation, but I love talking about this stuff (probably why I started a blog;).

      • Thanks Erin! Haha, I’m totally the same way and can talk about running/nutrition all day. I hear you about learning the hard way – however I have been typically “listening to my body” but now that I’ve been increasing distance & speed, I’m afraid I should probably be more scientific about this. I have a lot of products that I love – I think it’s just a matter of figuring out how much and when. I’m the same way with the heat, I actually have to force myself to fuel up when it’s hot out, yuck. Anyways, I guess its just a matter of experimenting and knowing what’s right for you. Love your blog, keep ’em coming 🙂 And GOOD LUCK tomorrow!

  2. feerlessfood says:

    You’re going to do great at the race! That was my first half ironman ever last year and it’s a lot of fun although I don’t remember anything but the run. It was a 3 loop course. Make sure you are eating plenty tomorrow and I hope you’ve been carbing up! Make your breakfast and lunch the heaviest on the carbs since that way your body will have time to store that to use on Saturday morning.

    Make sure to focus on getting some solid food (like the Clif Bar) midway on the bike so you will have some time to digest it before the run, as well give your body a little shot of protein which will help in ways the carbs can’t.

    Most of all, have fun! I can’t wait to hear how you do! And snag me a shirt ; ) I lost my Patriots half shirt about a month ago and I’m so bummed. Literally, somehow I lost it between my car and my apartment which is all of about 200 yards?

  3. Patty says:

    Hey Erin, You are going to do GREAT in your half ironman!! Sounds like you are well prepared both mentally & physically….& foodally. I’ll be thinking of ya! Let me know how it goes. Loved the pic of Oscar looking at your iced feet. He is so cute! Tell him Jelly says “MEOW” (that’s hello in cat speak).

  4. 321delish says:

    I will totally be there in spirit on Saturday!

    Also- You need to teach me about fueling during these long races. I haven’t started to train with food yet…so definitely need some tips!


    • Well, I am definitely not an expert, but I am more than happy to answer any questions you have! I might try and do a nutrition post next week, since you’re not the only one that has asked about nutrition:). And I’ll be there in spirit Sunday (or hopefully not actually there if they haven’t peeled me off the course yet;). Good luck and have fun!

  5. Pingback: Awesomesauce Pizza and Race Prep II | You Don't Know Until You Tri!

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