Hello beautiful readers!  (and yes, the title of this post is a reference to Rat Race)

For once in my life as a blogger I’m going to shut up and listen.

My 5km race is one week today, and I’m appealing to you lovely people for help.

First, I need some help with planning my diet. My meals the past month have NOT been healthy and or nutritious.  I would welcome any suggestions and/or links to recipes that would be easy to make and will really help prepare my body for the race.  I think I need some foods that will really help strengthen my muscles, and also help cleanse my system of all the junk I’ve been pouring into it for the past month.

Tonight’s menu – garlic bread with cheese, avocado salad (italian salad mix, avocado, strawberry, raspberry vinaigrette, sesame seeds), and oven baked turkey breasts.  I also just bought some whey protein powder for post workouts, so I’ll be able to start developing some lean muscle.  I’m a little concerned that I may have posterior compartment syndrome in my calves, they have grown quickly and are frequently sore.

Second, I need suggestions for my running playlist!!! My top songs right now are Judas by Lady Gaga, On the Floor by JLo and Pitbull, Blow by Ke$ha, Pjanoo by Eric Prydz and They by Jem.  The only problem is that the rest of my playlist I’ve listened to so many times that I get bored and want to listen to something new.  I like music with a fast moving beat, and I love anything from the 90s too.  Suggestions, please!!!

Third, any other tips, tricks, or ideas you can think of to help me be the strongest, fastest and best runner that I can be for Sunday. Stretches, exercises, anything you got, hit me with your best shot!  Is there something I should be eating the night before the race?  What about breakfast on the morning of the race?

I hit the gym for an hour today and felt pretty good.  When I was in my fourth year of university I was in the best shape of my life, taking a spin class followed by a yoga class (2 hours total) 3 times a week.  Now, I think I’m nearing that same level of fitness, but through running and weight lifting instead.  I think my muscle foundation this time around is much, much stronger, and overall I’m feeling better than I did then.  However, I’m still trying to target my muffin top (which lingers on, no matter how strong my legs and arms get!!)

Here are some stats about my health right now, which I’m hoping I can look back on in a couple of months and think, Ha!  I’m in waaaay better shape now:

Height: 6’0″

Weight:  150lbs

BMI:  20.8

Body fat percentage:  16.8%

Now, this is according to the little handheld doo-hicky that the Frenchman has in his bathroom.  17% body fat is actually below what is considered normal and healthy for women, so I am mildly concerned.  If anything, I should be even a little more concerned because just two or three weeks ago, I weighed only 145lbs.  I’ve had to start eating meat again, I was just becoming emaciated as a vegetarian, since I really didn’t know how to feed myself.  However, the amount of meat I eat has been hugely scaled back, and I will only buy it on sale.

An amazing thing about it being May and beautiful is that there are a whackload of festivals starting up.  Here in Toronto, we have Luminato, Pride, Caribana, Taste of the Danforth, Taste of Little Italy, and the list goes on.  Yesterday, we had a huge vegetarian potluck picnic in the middle of the Cherry Blossoms in High Park.  They’re not even at their peak yet, so if you live in Toronto and want a chance to see them, GO THIS WEEK!!!

Cherry Blossoms in High Park

ALSO:  ATTENTION TORONTO READERS!!! Ontario Place is offering FREE admission this summer.  Want some free entertainment for the day?  Bike/walk/take TTC down to Ontario Place!  (they didn’t pay me to do that).

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16 Responses to “It’s a race! I hope I win…”

  1. Country Girl says:

    I love cherry blossoms. I wish we had more around here. One of my favourite things to make is quinoa salad – I cook up some quinoa, add cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green onion, carrots, broccoli or whatever veggies suit your fancy, some feta cheese, tuna and whatever dressing you like (I usually do a light Italian).

    Best of luck with your race!

  2. Heather says:

    I follow this blog and recently she did a 10K run. She made some notes afterward; maybe they will be useful to you :) Here’s the link to the specific blog post.

    http://advicefromasinglegirl.blogspot.com/2011/05/before-i-forget.html

  3. Rafiki says:

    You can try Stronger by Kanye West. A lot people who work out seem to like it and it even got the top work out song for a magazine some time back. Recommend music is always so hard.

  4. SP says:

    I recommend being really focused on hydration for ~2 days before your race. Drink lots of water, and consider drinking carb infused beverages w/electrolytes (Gatorade, or whatever). Other than that, just try to eat healthy and don’t overdo it the night before the race. I don’t know if it is all in my head or what, but I feel like food/fuel in the day or two before a race made a huge difference when I paid attention to it vs. when I didn’t.

  5. I agree with SP. I used to run cross-country all through high school, and run 2-3x/week now. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I like eating simple healthy meals that include lots of veggies and maybe some fish in the days leading up to a big run. Also, eating a simple, light breakfast on the day of. I hate the feeling of being weighed down by my stomach when I run, so I never eat until I’m full probably about 24-36 hours before a big run. Eat smaller meals instead.

    Also I have no suggestions for music since it seems we have different running music taste, but my playlist includes White Stripes, a ton of Ryan Adams & Cardinals music, Mika, Michael Jackson, as well as Katy Perry. :)

  6. Hi @MoneyRabbit – stacking pennies is right about hydration and carbs in the days leading up to a race. Many runners will just carb up (pasta) just the night before…but the key is to build up a stockpile of energy over a period of days. That being said, it’s much more important for longer distances (1/2 marathon and marathon) than it would be for a 5K…but it wouldn’t hurt. Also, eat light the morning of – especially if this is a new experience for you and you’re not sure how running hard (5K should be at a pretty fast relative pace) will affect your digestive system. My wife just ran a 5K last weekend – not a normal activity for her – and ate a bowl of cereal and a banana about 90 minutes before. It didn’t cross the finish line with her.

    As for the race itself….again, if this is a new experience for you….you will be tempted to go pedal to the metal at the starting gun due to the excitement of the race and the people around you. Don’t do it. Start off at a comfortable pace, get in a rhythm and gradually speed up. The second half of the race should be faster than the first half. It feels SOO much better to end the race strong, then to putter out.

    And most importantly…have FUN! Don’t think of the race as the goal….think of it as the reward for your training!

    Good Luck, hoping you update us on how you did…

    • Money Rabbit says:

      Wow, thank you so much, this is very helpful. I’m so excited to do the race on the day of. I think I’ll be spending the night on a friend’s couch to be closer to the start line, I’ll bike over, and then get my groove on. I may bring a fanny pack with a camera, so maybe I can snap some photos of the race. Also, I’ll be running in my Vibrams, I’m curious if anyone else will be, maybe I can get some pics of other runners in them!

  7. Robyn says:

    I’m hoping the weather will hold out. I’ll be in Toronto this weekend with nothing to do on Saturday, so maybe a trip to high park is in order.

  8. Kay says:

    I haven’t run ever in my whole life.. so can’t comment on that. But just wanted to say, Good luck! you can do it!

  9. AshleyL says:

    Check out the Running room website they have a lot of great links and material for running races. LIvestrong website is good as well. It’s 5k- which don’t get me wrong is awesome- but its a lot shorter than 10k or 1/2 which would require preparation much further in advance.

    I have run a number of 5k/10k and doing training for a 1/2 and my best suggestion for 5k is don’t alter your diet too much. You want slow releasing carbs like whole wheat pasta the day or two before but no more than you would normally eat. You don’t want to alter your diet close to the race because you don’t want to run the risk of upsetting your stomach. Key will be consuming protein/hydration after the race to repair any muscle damage.

    5k is a nice challenge and should be a lot of fun. Good Luck

  10. Denise says:

    While I don’t know about food that is specifically good for pre-runs, I do eat fairly healthy and mostly vegetarian. Here are some pretty awesome, quick, cheap, vegetarian recipes:

    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/lively-up-yourself-lentil-soup-recipe.html
    http://www.food.com/recipe/deli-sandwich-vegetarian-style-127369 (though I cut down on the cheese by a lot)
    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/curried-bean-salad-recipe.html
    http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/03/baked-kale-chips/ (add a little lemon juice after it’s out of the oven)

  11. Kat says:

    Very creative graphic design. I love the turtle money going into the wallet and changing into rabbit money!
    -Kat
    What Rabbits Eat

  12. Janice says:

    Agreed with hydrating this week!! And try to get good amounts of sleep in the next few days.

    I just discovered M.I.A. a few months ago for long runs. Her lyrics are crass but what a great beat!

    Good luck :)

  13. Aldric says:

    I find Rodrigo y Gabriela (the “11:11″ album) to be really good to run to. Also Afro-Celt Soundsystem (Volume 3: Further in Time) has some great tracks.

    And re: eating meat again… FWIW (and you *know* I’m a carnivore), we now buy meat less often from good meat stores – I’m thinking Rowe Farms specifically – where you know it’s quality, grass fed, organic meat in preference to ‘on sale’ meat. Other than that, believe it or not, I eat a fair amount of tofu, pulses etc. Quality not quantity where meat’s concerned.

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