Tomorrow's 16 mile Kingston Breakfast Run is the last big run before the marathon. It's 3 weeks tomorrow!!! Where oh where has the time gone?!
Tomorrow's run will be a bit different for a few reasons. Firstly, it's the longest race I have ever done, so will be excellent practice. The second difference is that iPods, personal stereos and mp3s are not permitted. I think the word "prohibited" was the word used (!) - which has got me into a little panic because I never run without music. I rely on my power songs to get me out of a slump. I'm a bit worried about having to rely on my own motivation! Perhaps I'll have to sing to myself instead. Having said that, I did all my training for my triathlons without music - I didn't get an iPod until 2007. So I'm sure I'll be fine and am panicking over nothing!! If anything it will allow me to soak up the atmosphere even more and appreciate what is going on around me better than I normally would. I know it is a subject that divides runners a bit - the use of iPods, etc. In fact, many have recommended not using one at the marathon because the atmosphere and crowd support is so wonderful you don't need it. I'm still in two minds, and I guess I'll see how tomorrow goes.
Thirdly, I am powering up a bit differently! The carb load meal for the last two half marathons has been risotto, which frankly I am now fed up to the back teeth with. So tonight I've decided to go with an old favourite, dhal, on a baked potato. Tomorrow's fuel will be a smoothie with banana and protein powder, Lucozade bars, liquorice and sports beans. The way I see it, there's still time to experiment before the big day and see what food combos work best.
If it turns out terrible, I'll come back tomorrow and rename this post dhal-saster. But I don't think it will ;)
This dhal is absolutely delicious, costs next to nothing to make, super easy and full of lentil protein power!!
Carrot and spinach dhal
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or "zoomed"
1 large piece ginger (about 3cm), finely chopped
2-3 teaspoons turmeric
2-3 tablespoons of your favourite curry paste (I like tikka masala)
3 carrots, diced
2 cups red lentils (approx 300g)
400g spinach (or as much as you like)
Lemon juice, to taste
Salt, to taste
Put a bit of oil (or cooking spray) in a stock pot or cast iron casserole dish and place over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes. Add the carrots, turmeric and curry paste (you could add finely diced chilli instead of curry paste) and cook for another minute.
Add the lentils and stir to combine. Then cover with water and simmer until it is cooked - about 30 minutes. Come back and check it a few times, adding more water if it has got too dry.
Add the spinach and stir it through thoroughly, cooking for a minute or two until it has wilted sufficiently.
Add salt if it needs it, put in serving bowls and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over it if you like. You can serve this with a baked potato, or the more traditional accompaniment is rice. And maybe naan bread :) A dollop of natural yoghurt on the top is also yummy, if you have it handy.
Total comfort food. And (hopefully) fuel for champions! :D
See you tomorrow with my race report!