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Week 3: Running Food (I hate Oatmeal!)

Pat Dooris

by Pat Dooris

Bio | Email | Follow: @PatDoorisKGW

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:58 AM

Could you run a Half Marathon? For lifelong runners, the answer is probably "sure" or "done that." But not for KGW-TV Reporter Pat Dooris.The self-confessed NON-runner had never done more than a 5K until a year ago, and had never been a "runner" as an adult.But in April, he was inspired to tackled the challenge of trying to run a Half Marathon.He's signed up for the Foot Traffic Flat Fast Half, a 13.1 mile run around Portland's Sauvie Island over the July 4 holiday, and has also joined a 13-week training program with others who share his goal.He's going to be blogging each week about his experience, and - hopefully - his transformation into a Half Marathoner.Your tips and experiences are welcome in our COMMENTS section.

Running Food

I hate oatmeal.

It takes me to a bad place.

As a child, I remember being forced to eat oatmeal day after day after torturous day. Its not that my folks were mean—everyone else in the house enjoyed the stuff, best as I can recall.

But I hated it.

oatmealThe slippery texture and the look of the food in my bowl reminded me way too much of vomit. Even when my mom smothered the stuff with brown sugar or stirred in raisins---I struggled to not gag each morning. Money was tight so I did not have the option of a fun, cold cereal like Fruit loops.

It was choke down oatmeal or go hungry.

So I ate it.

But I vowed, as soon as I was old enough to buy my own breakfast food, I would never, ever, under any circumstances ever eat oatmeal again. I kept the vow for 27 years.

Even when I married Jackie, who grew up loving oatmeal, I refused to sample it. When she fed it to our children, I bit my tongue and turned my back and ate anything else for breakfast. It was a victory of self control not to grab their bowls and save them from the horrible ordeal I’d experienced as a child.

And then I met running guru Jeff Galloway, who convinced me I could run a half marathon.

Now that I’m training, I’m asking co-workers who run what they eat before a good long workout. Guess what they said? Oatmeal.

KGW Webmaster Frank Mungeam told me it had just the right mix of carbs and energy to qualify as the perfect pre-run food. I told him I preferred peanut buttered toast with a topping of blackberry jam. It has a bit of protein, some carbs and sugar to get you moving. Best of all it tastes great and does not look like vomit.

“No!” he said. “You must eat carbs not protein!”

Frank explained that your blood system can do one of two things. It can get powered up by carbs and carry oxygen to your vital organs as you run or it can instead go to your gut to help digest proteins.

The more proteins---the less good work your blood can do during a run.

Jackie made me a bowl of oatmeal the other morning before a work out run.

She lovingly stirred in brown sugar, crazins and shaved almonds and poured a bit of milk over the top.

The first bite scalded my tongue. The second brought me the taste of the lovely ingredients followed by the slippery texture of vomit.

I still hate oatmeal. But I used to hate to run too.

Maybe I’ll get over both issues at the same time. What do you like to eat before and after your workouts?