Have I mentioned that I'm running a half marathon tomorrow? I have? Oh, good.
I've made quite a bit of progress in my running in the last year or so, mainly since joining my local running club, but organised races still scare me. My last one was the Bath half in 2010, where I'd trained for 2:30 but crashed and burned at mile 9 (for some inexplicable reason, the trainers I'd worn for months with no problems whatsoever suddenly gave me blisters) and ended up with 2:35. That shows how far I've come since, of course, because my target for tomorrow is (whisper it) to finish in under two hours, but the idea of an organised race still takes me out of my comfort zone.
One of the things I'm most worried about (now I'm reasonably certain the weather's going to be nice and cool rather than stupidly hot like last weekend) is eating. I'm not one of those people who can get up, have a bite of toast and go and run 10 miles. I need to eat properly before a long run. Usually, I get up an hour before my run and have a bowl of porridge, and then I'll have a banana or a nakd bar about half an hour later. That seems to see me through anything up to 12 or 13 miles, so it's perfect for a half marathon. But of course tomorrow, I'll be getting a lift to Reading at 7am, and I won't actually be running until 10am. So what to do? The number one rule of running is that you don't try anything new on race day, so I wanted to find some way of being able to eat porridge and banana while standing around in the race village waiting for the start.
Then my sporting guru friend Nic suggested baked oatmeal, which sounded perfect, and coincidentally just a couple of hours later this recipe for strawberry and banana cream baked oatmeal popped up on my Google Reader, so I definitely had to give it a go. I made some last night, so I could try it this morning and make sure I liked it, and I had it for breakfast this morning.
How Sweet It Is but obviously I used raspberries instead of strawberries, and I used my usual porridge mix of oats and millet flakes. I also wanted to make it a bit healthier, so I just used almond milk for all of the liquid and I didn't add any sugar as I thought it'd be sweet enough with the banana and raspberries. First of all I tried a piece cold, as that's how I'll be eating it tomorrow, and it was lovely - like an oaty banana flapjack with bursts of raspberry every now and then. Yum yum! Then I warmed some up in the microwave and had it as the original recipe suggested, with extra raspberries and cold almond milk. It was amazing - it feels really naughty and decadent, like eating cake or flapjacks for breakfast, but in fact it's ridiculously healthy! I have a feeling it's going to become my new favourite breakfast, as it'd be so easy to make a batch on a Sunday and take it to work during the week.
Fingers crossed it'll fuel a good run tomorrow! I'm off to stretch my hamstrings...