Before heading out for a long run, we drink plenty of water, grab a bite to eat, fill our pockets and belts with fuel, and fill up our water bottles or hydration packs. We prepare, we pack, and we see to it that we don’t let our energy run low.
Fuel is extremely important for runners, and if we choose wisely we’ll supply our bodies with a steady stream of energy throughout our run. We carefully select our pre-run breakfast of a complex carb with a little protein – half of a banana and half of a toasted whole grain bagel spread with a tiny bit of almond butter is a favorite for me.
Once on the trail, we regularly check our watches or the mileage signs so we know when to pop open a GU or plop a few Honey Stingers into our mouths as we continue to keep our energy levels high by topping off our tank every 45 minutes or 5 miles. We dutifully drink our water and/or sports drink, making sure we’re well hydrated and our electrolytes are balanced.
What though, if we want to have a little fun along the way? What if we choose to let Mother Nature help compliment our carefully planned refueling stops? The Cruisers and I have been known to make unscheduled stops for little treats and surprises we’ve found along the trail, and I’m about to share some of those treats with you…
1. Mulberries – My trailside snacking started several years ago when Bill and I moved into our current home. As I’ve mentioned before, our neighborhood has 28 miles of meandering shaded running trails, and a few segments of those trails are lined with mulberry trees. I always make a point to run by these sections in early June when the mulberries are ripe, and always stop for a snack.
2. Wild Strawberries – I’m more likely to find wild strawberries along lonely country roads near where I grew up than along my regular running trails; however, I have been treated to a few near the western end of the W&OD Trail. Don’t blink or you’ll miss these tiny treats. Wild strawberries are smaller than a marble, bright red, and sweeter than any strawberry you’ve ever eaten!
4. Honeysuckle – A childhood favorite comes to life each summer at many spots along both my neighborhood trail and the W&OD Trail. You’ll first be drawn in by the delicious fragrance, and then you won’t be able to help yourself from plucking a yellow and white flower off the vine and sucking out the sweet nectar.
Growing up on a farm, I’ve been eating wild berries, nuts, and the occasional murel mushrooms all of my life. I know what’s safe to eat, but if I’m in the least bit of doubt, it doesn’t pass my lips. If you’re unsure about eating a berry or plant, don’t put yourself at risk; however, if you want to try some of these delicious trailside snacks I mentioned above, invite me to come along on your run!
Today’s post was inspired by my friend and client, Jessica. Thanks for the foundation from which to start!
- Have you ever stopped to eat something from a tree or vine during one of your runs?
- If you could find anything growing along the trail to serve as a treat, what would it be? ~ I would hope to find a mint chocolate chip ice cream tree!
- Are you racing this weekend?
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Today I’m joining the DC Trifecta’s Friday Five Linkup with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run! Please stop by these DC area bloggers’ blogs to say hello; and while you’re there, be sure to check out other bloggers who are also participating in the linkup.