Nothing new on race day.
That’s what they tell you starting from day one of marathon training, when you’ve only barely just learned to lace up your sneakers and tie a double knot without using the bunny ears method (although some of us still haven’t achieved that last part. No comment.)
And you repeat it to yourself before every long run, making sure you have the perfect flavor of powerade in your little water bottles and your favorite Gu gels safety pinned to your fuel belt.
Some may call us anal retentive, but there’s really nothing we can do about it.
It’s a Pavlovian response.
Positive reinforcement at it’s finest.
You have one good long run, and then you feel compelled to re-enact the exact sequence of events that led up to it before your next one.
You wear the exact same clothing. Eat all of the exact same food. Perform a series of stretches in the exact same order. Try to pee the exact same number of times.
Basically you become an obsessive compulsive psychopath. All the while telling yourself that this is good for your health. Um. Right.
Aside from all that, though, there is the cardinal rule, which is that carb-loading before a long run, and especially before race day, is really not the time, nor the place for rebellion.
No matter how cavalier you’re feeling. No matter how much you really really really want sushi or curry or to eat ice cream for dinner. Just.Don’t.Do.It. Your gag reflex will thank you on mile 15. I promise.
Then again, there are, of course, some of us who are more reckless with their intestines than others. Some of us who have broken every single one of those rules. And then some.
Some of us who start craving ricotta at 3pm the afternoon before an 18 mile run and bee-line straight to Whole Foods to get some of the fresh local good stuff even though dairy is a BIG pre-run no-no. Oops.
This week’s Gourmet Game Changing woman is Elizabeth David and when I saw her recipe for pasta with ricotta, I just couldn’t get it out of my head.
This is not that recipe. But it does have ricotta.
And roasted tomatoes and roasted figs and basically all that is good in this world.
Maybe not the night before you run for three hours. Unless you’re me, in which case your stomach is going to be a disaster no matter what you eat (nerves) and so…you might as well eat on the wild side.
For more Elizabeth David recipes, check out these blogs:
Val – More Than Burnt Toast
Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan – The Spice Garden
Claudia – A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather – girlichef
Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette – Healthy Living
April – Abby Sweets
Katie – Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary – One Perfect Bite
Kathleen –Bake Away with Me
Viola – The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue – The View from Great Island
Barbara – Movable Feasts
Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds
Amy – Beloved Green
Jeanette – Healthy Living
Linda – Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A – There and Back Again
Pasta with Ricotta, Roasted Tomatoes, Figs, and Arugula
Serves 4, an Eats Well With Others Original
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp rosemary-infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)
- 2 pints fresh figs (you can substitute with dried figs, but don’t roast them and reconstitute them in boiling water)
- 1/2 lb rigatoni
- 1 lb fresh ricotta
- 8 oz wild arugula
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil in a large bowl, along with about 1 tsp salt. Place on a large foil-covered baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, or until tomato skins are starting to crack and shrivel. Trim figs and cut in half lengthwise. Place them on a second foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Roast for 20 minutes.
- Cook rigatoni in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain. Toss with tomatoes, figs, ricotta, and arugula. Mix in balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.