Baby food and random sandwiches

So apparently I am becoming one of those runners now.

The runners that purchase baby food sachets, study protein content in meals and have a whole cupboard dedicated to Jelly babies, bars and energy gels.



Last week I even picked up a tube(?) of baby food on my weekly shop as a method of attempting to get more calories in on a run.

Ella's kitchen baby food


It took me a while to choose a suitable flavour.  I didn’t want to go too sweet, as that’s what gels are for!  I was surprised at how few calories were in the tube though.  (78 calories)  I’m going to need several of these to get me through an ultra if I find this is what works for me!

I would love to complete the Grim Reaper 70 in August (just one week before my wedding!)  Check out the beautiful medal from last year…Club colours too!

Grim Reaper medal

…but I know that if I am to even consider entering my main focus for upcoming long runs needs to be nutrition, after that being the area I flopped in at the Lightning Conti run last month.

Last year I was entered for the 40 miles, but withdrew when I won my place on Operation Ultra with Women’s Running.  For a while I’ve been ummming and ahhhhing about the 70 miles – there’s a 26 hour time limit, so as long as I can get the calories in to keep me going, I should be capable of coming in under the cut off point.  I actually feel kind of committed to the 70 now after my Facebook comment made an appearance on last week’s Marathon Talk.  (Check out around 7-8minutes in to the show.)

Therefore, when the weather was lovely on Monday I decided to head out for a long run and practice my nutrition on the way.  I vaguely had the idea of running for about three hours in my head – but along a new off-road route, and I wouldn’t be bothered if I ended up walking parts of it.  I planned on just taking it easy and feeling comfortable the entire time.  Time on feet and eating on route was what it was all about!

I packed up a salted mashed potato and cheese sandwich for my trip.  The first time I’ve tried what felt like a picnic on a run before.  It sounds rather random, but in actual fact, tasted rather nice!  It’s supposed to be a good mix of carbs, protein and salt.Cheese and mashed potato sandwich

Mistake #1: Making the mashed potato five minutes before heading out on the run.
I put it into my Camelbak and could already feel the warmth of the sandwich pressing into my back.  Not great on a hot day.

Mistake #2: Wrapping it in tin foil.
I’m going to try cling film next time as by mile 5 my sandwich had just become a big squishy, warm mess which had leaked out onto the purse in the bottom of my bag.  I guess the constant movement in my bag had caused the foil to rub and grow holes because it definitely didn’t resemble the neatly packed sandwich I’d placed in my bag an hour earlier!

Tin foil sandwich

Mistake #3: Eating the sandwich just because I knew I had to.
Something I am frequently guilty of with food at home.  I know I have to have lunch / tea at some point so eat it to ‘get it out of the way’ so I can get on with the day, not necessarily because I need to at that point, or was hungry.  I ended up eating half of the sandwich at mile 4 and finishing it off by 6.5.

Cheese and mashed potato sandwich in tin foilAll in all, I had no problems with the sandwich in my belly.  I tend to prefer to run before I eat, as I have had bad cramps in the past.  But ultras are obviously run so much slower that I guess small mouthfuls of food should affect me less.  This is a sandwich I will pack up again on my next long run!

Do you have any random sandwich choices?  As I type this on my lunch break, I just realised my lunch of last night’s left over dinner in a sandwich was probably rather random for some…a prawn korma and rice sandwich.  I’ve never seen it in a pre-packaged box at Tesco anyway!


20 thoughts on “Baby food and random sandwiches

  1. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of reading food blogs and HLBs, it’s that I think you can put just about anything in a sandwich 😉 I haven’t eaten a sandwich in…years, maybe? I was very boring when I did though: as a kid I’d always as for peanut butter or cheese, and I wouldn’t eat anything else (well, I always wanted chocolate spread/Nutella but thankfully my Mum never bought it because it was so unhealthy!)

    I really, really wanted a go at the Grim Reaper 40 (just LOOK at that medal!) but I’m not as hardcore as you and I can’t even fathom the 70. With the state of my leg I’d have to walk a lot and it’s just a case of whether my fragile ego can take that or not…heck, I’m not sure I’d even finish at this stage!

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    1. Jemma just reminded me of my cheese and tomato ketchup obsession when I was younger, but I would always have open peanut butter sandwiches. For some reason I could never have those with two slices of bread?!
      The Grim Reaper medal is amazing, and I’m pretty sure the main reason so many of our club signed up last year! The time limit is 26 hours whether you run the 40, 70 or 100 (mental!) miles. I’m pretty sure that 40 miles is walkable in that time, and I know several people who plan on walking large portions of the race. The last runner last year took nearly 15 hours. You ran 35 miles at S+S last year in just over 5 1/2 hours, giving you plenty of time for those last 5 miles! I think I know the running-you well enough now to know that you would finish the race no matter what! 😛 The thing I quite liked about the Conti run last month as it was also run in laps was that people were all running different distances. You couldn’t judge where you were based on the people around you at all, and I think that makes it a little easier on the ego.

  2. I was wondering where this baby food thing was going but it sounds like a brilliant idea. In fact, I’m definitely going to look into it for my next marathon. I detest gels and the idea of real food is so much more appealing (if it is only baby food – it’s made from real food, rather than chemicals and sweeteners).
    A mashed potato and cheese sandwich?? This sounds mental! Personally I couldn’t think of anything worse but that’s mainly because I’m not a fan of potato or melted cheese – but sandwiches in general are fine. During university every single day (unless I went out for lunch) I would have a ham, lettuce and onion sandwich. Sounds relatively normal, right? But I would have a side portion of lettuce with it and the rest of the (raw) onion on the plate too. My friends thought it was hilarious. I was literally eating an entire raw onion every single day. But I loved it! I still love raw onion…but now I’m more likely to have a mahoosive salad as I can really cram in tons of different veg and toppings.

    1. Haha! Baby food all for me! I much prefer the idea of real food to gels too. The pouch makes it easy to carry…not sure what I would store it in if I made it myself?!
      Love that you had the exact same sandwich and side every single day at uni! I really can’t remember what I used to eat at University, but it was pretty rubbish – irregular, too little and very few foods that were good for me. I’m much more balanced now.

    1. How did you find the eating on route? The more variety you give yourself, I think the more likely you are to find something you fancy on the way!

    1. I agree. I don’t think my Mum ever even bothered trying to feed me it and just mashed up her own food for me. That’s probably what I’ll do with my own kids, but for ultras…ideal way of getting some extra calories in! :)

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