Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
I went through this period for about two months where I thought I would get faster if I got up at 5 a.m. to work out. I’m so totally hard-core because I’m up before the sun, and now I can do another workout later and not even be tired. WRONG. That naïve assumption aside, I’m going back to my two-month insanity just for one day on Sunday, using the notorious Double Peaks climb as one of my last big hill runs before Women’s Running Nashville Half on Sept. 27.
Rising around 5 a.m., I’ve been promised bacon if I joined my mom and her run group for a “sunrise run” up to the top of Double Peaks, a slow, grueling climb in northeast San Diego County. “We can just knock on the door of the park manager and ask him for some,” they all laughed. It was almost as if they didn’t think I was serious. No—I will really only rise that early, on a SUNDAY, if the gateway meat is wating for me. But I digress; we will start together and finish in the same spot, 1,000 feet up from the beginning. (For those mountain goats living at elevation year-round, this is a climb for us sea-level creatures.) There will be road, trail, crazy runners, slow walkers, cyclists and probably a chance of really face planting. But it’s all in the name of a good run to beat the heat.
I ask myself, how does one fuel for such a journey? Obviously a 5-mile round-trip doesn’t call for a perfectly laid-out plan, but I still want some protein hanging off my muscles when I start. Here are my go-tos:
- Gluten-free toast with almond butter. Banana slices optional but highly encouraged.
- Sidenote: I just got this really yummy peanut butter with coconut the other day, so tune in next week to see if that’s my chosen replacement (see photo).
- Water. Duh. One water bottle’s worth before we start. These dog days of summer start early.
- Nut Butters. Wait, what? Yes, I’m talking about the horrible-for-you snack that you eat when you’re 10 years old. It’s a superstition of mine and has been for years. If you eat ’em, you will rock the world.
That’s for pre-quad busting. For after, well, there’s bacon. Then there’s a pre-wedding brunch with 5 of my craziest girlfriends, which probably means mimosas. Which brings me to my point: Always practice your pre- and during-race fuel before the big day. The things listed above are my normal grabs—I know they work for me. And I’m only drinking mimosas to practice my post-race fueling; if they are at the finish line in Nashville, they will be at the finish line of this climb.
If I make it back to the office next week, I look forward to updating you all on Wednesday.
Follow along every Wednesday and Friday leading up to #WRSNashville to see what other mischief Caitlyn gets into during her runs—and don’t forget to follow @runwrs on Instagram and Twitter for race-day announcements!
Register for the 5K or half marathon at womensrunning.com/Nashville before the price increases on August 31. Save an extra $15* with online code RUNWITHCAIT. If you have training questions for your own half marathon, tweet @caitpilk!
*Code valid for half marathon only