Last weekend I took part in the Roller Sports Canada National Championship in the Masters Women category. My performance was within my expectation and it was a nice change to get back in the rhythm of racing once more. My speed is not back yet but race photos provide solid evidence that I made improvement with my form. I skated well in the distance races (5km and 10km points) leveraging my race experience and endurance training. My coach prepared me well to handle those conditions with gruelling training program that I dreaded. An old friend came over to me after my 10km points race to welcome me back to the racing scene. He said he thought I would not be fit after such a long break but I proved him wrong. I guess I owe my coach a big thank you.
The unique challenge about nationals is that we all hang out at the track all day long for the whole weekend. There are lots of down time in between races but I need conserve energy. Racing in blazing heat under the relentless sun quickly zaps energy out of anyone. Last weekend I sat under the shade as much as possible and stayed hydrated. I also packed myself a bento with breakfast and lunch to fuel me throughout the day.
Friday night I did most of my prep work. First I prepared two mason jars filled with apple cinnamon overnight oats. With Greek yogurt, chia seeds, unsweetened apple sauce, cinnamon, and milk, the oats plumped and softened in the fridge. It was easy to digest with mix of carbs and protein. You can find the recipe at The Yummy Life. I also packed fresh cherries on both days. The refreshing and sweet fruit was a treat in last weekend’s mucky weather. I threw in a honey cake from Blackbird Baking Co. as a treat on Saturday for good measure. It was my favourite from their line ups of cakes and pastries.
I prepared two different grain salads. The first one was Asparagus Farro with Serrano Ham, Pistachios, and Pickled Shallot in white wine vinaigrette. The second one was Quinoa Farro with Pickled Fennel, French Lentils, Dill, and Crumbled Feta. The asparagus salad was inspired by the classic combination of asparagus, ham, and eggs. The nutty farro added bulk and made the salad filling. With wedges of hardboiled egg, I made sure there was enough protein to keep me satiated too.
The quinoa farro salad required a bit more work with two different grains and French green lentils all cooked separately. However, most of the work was hands off and the interesting mix of texture was worth the extra effort. I happened to have a treasured jar of pickled fennel from Sydney’s Cornersmith. I used the fennel in the salad and the pickle liquid in the walnut oil vinaigrette. With plenty of fresh dill and savoury feta cheese, the salad was my reward on a long day of racing. Love food52 for the inspiration!
I stored my bento in a lunch size cooler with bottles of frozen water to keep everything cool throughout the day. It was simple yet practical. Certainly much less work than my original plan of an elaborate picnic! On racing weekends, food takes a backseat now that I am healthy enough to compete.