I am driving down to the Moab Five Mile Race and I ask my too kind and loving wife if she brought my breakfast burrito.
The incongruous nature of my actions; eating a breakfast burrito and running, seems odd and I don’t know if it is because I have matured as a human being or if I have lowered my standards as an athlete.
When did it become a good idea to think that a burrito with Tabasco sauce is a perfectly good pre-race meal? Sorta like thinking that beer is a good source of grains.
I have read hundreds of books about running, optimizing performance, pounding pasta for the perfect pre-race primer, keeping hydrated and 10 reasons why Goo, which has the texture of Vaseline and tastes like lard, is your friend during long runs.
So, I am a little hesitant when I splash Tabasco Sauce on my breakfast burrito and start eating it half an hour before my race starts.
Don’t get me wrong. I love breakfast burritos. Besides eating breakfast at my mom’s, a breakfast burrito with Tabasco sauce is pretty much at the base of my food pyramid, next to Almond M&Ms and Pepsi.
As Billy-Bob says, on one hand you need food to run, and on the other hand…well, nothing…there can’t be any good reason that one would think that a breakfast burrito is a good pre-race meal.
Sure, a breakfast burrito is great when you work in the oil field or if you are cutting trees for the Forest Service. Nothing tastes better than a toasty warm burrito pulled off the old engine manifold when you arrive at the work site. But, last time I read Runner’s Guide to Eating, I can’t recall breakfast burritos ever mentioned.
We, Daniel and I, hop on the bus for the ride to the start line and it sure seems like we have been driving for a long time. I wonder who the idiot was that paid $75 to be driven out of town, dropped off on the side of the road and told to run back.
Oh yah, it was me. Most taxi rides, plane rides, and bus rides go somewhere; this ride ends in the middle of the road halfway up the canyon along the Colorado River, a beautiful place, but nothing except a mile marker.
My stomach, or what’s left of it gurgles; hmmmm…that doesn’t sound like a good pre-race noise. Maybe I should do a few stretches; but I haven’t done stretches in 30 years so it seems like too little too late. I used to be six foot two inches tall. Let that be a warning to all you non-stretchers.
Daniel is sitting beside me on the bus and I am trying to elucidate his mind with all of my running experience and giving him little tips that will help with his race performance. He is trying to listen to his iPod and ignore me. It doesn’t stop me from talking. Oh my, I think the burrito is starting to heat up like a Japanese nuclear reactor. I coyly adjust myself on my seat.
The race starts and for the first half mile, I am all smiles and chatty as a Relief Society meeting. I am running down the road with 763 other people and now starting to think that maybe I am the only one that ate a breakfast burrito with Tabasco sauce as a pre-race meal.
It seems that my performance is starting to sputter as much as I am and I am wondering whether a breakfast burrito is really the breakfast of champions. I remember Bruce Jenner on the Wheaties box, but I can’t really remember anyone endorsing the Burrito Supreme from Taco Bell for enhanced physical performance except perhaps Rulon Gardner (Greco-Roman wrestler from Idaho now on The Biggest Loser).
I can’t breathe, I run slow, I can’t stretch, everyone is passing me by and offering words of encouragement like “Are you okay?” “Should we call someone?”. “No I grunt, must have been something I ate.” I finished the race without stopping or being checked by a paramedic; another successful race.
Daniel took third overall, Jeff Hunt got an age group medal, Pat Garcia finished and was his usual happy self. The biggest hero is 69 year young Margaret Garcia of La Sal, who ran the race and deserves a CaveMan Award for her efforts. I hope someday I grow up and if I do I want to be like Margaret; not like Rulon.