Because I will be essentially running all day on Saturday, I need to start thinking about what I'm going to cook for dinner for Friday evening. Pre-race meals are a very personal thing. Some runners don't put a lot of thought into what they eat while others are so particular that they won't even eat restaurant food. Again, I'm somewhere in between.
When it comes to making the wrong selection regarding pre-race meals, I always thought that worse case scenario would involve having a little, should we say, stomach disturbance. That can definitely put a damper on the race experience but not the end of the world. It wasn't until Black Warrior 50K this past February (Ami, if you are reading this, I'm not doing Black Warrior next year) that I had the absolute worst response to my pre-race meal by having extreme food poisoning all night long until an hour before the race. Somehow, I was able to still pull off the 25k but came in dead last.
So, what am I going to eat (or not eat) the night before Hot to Trot?
I'm not going to eat Asian food, Mexican food, beans, fish, too many vegetables, and rich creamy dishes such as an Alfredo sauce, for example. My favorite pre-race meal is a classic and been fool proof-spaghetti with a marinara/tomato based sauce and a side salad. If I'm home, Italian is the way I usually go. In general, however, anything that I cook at home is safe. It's the restaurant food that can be more difficult. In restaurants, I have eaten pizza, calzones, and grilled chicken sandwich and french fries, which all seem to sit well with me.
I remember the night before the Tupelo Marathon I had a pasta dish with grilled shrimp and swore the shrimp was bad. It had a terrible taste and basically made me nauseous afterwards. We were in Tupelo, MS so you can' t exactly expect the Italian food to be delicious. I ended up having a 7 minute PR at the marathon so clearly, the nasty shrimp was not an issue. That weekend I established a new rule for myself which is to eat in chain restaurants only when out of town-especially in places like Tupelo.