Taper time! If you're an endurance athlete, you are well aware of what I'm talking about. It is the point in your busy, packed, hard training schedule where you begin to slow down on your workouts, you rest, you hydrate, and you are getting ready for the BIG DAY. This week is all about putting all the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle and you are hoping so hard they come together at the end.
My big day this year? It is this weekend. Twenty weeks ago, I decided to train for the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. with my ever favorite training group, Team in Training. I can't believe it is actually here. I've been focusing on this race for twenty, 2-0, 20 weeks! Holy cow. And it all leads up to this Sunday where I get to run victoriously through the streets of D.C. How cool is that?!
And I know, I've done this before and all, but that doesn't mean I still don't get pre-race jitters. I'm kinda nervous. But I'm also kinda pumped! I just want it to be here mostly. Let's do this thing already...twenty weeks is a long time to wait.
But back to Taper Time. You love it or you hate it. There is rarely a middle to this relationship. Though, I like to say I actually do fall somewhere in the middle. Because I LOVE the fact that my body can rest and I get a little extra time on my hands instead of working out late in the evenings. Its funny how just as busy my week gets without workouts scheduled in and it always gets me thinking...how did I have time for all that training?? And the part I hate is the fact that my mind kinda goes crazy around this point. Usually this week specifically. That's what I call the "Taper Maddness."
For example, my Monday brain this week was all like...
"You've been trying to pack for a week. Why is packing harder for this than it was for Italy? You don't need four pairs of shoes for 5 days. Yes, you do need 4 scarves. Let's check the weather again (8:00am). OK, looks like rain, I'll pack my rain jacket. Let's check the weather again (10:00am). Ok, now it says 75 and sunny, we are good. No more rain jacket needed. It might be hot? Should I pack shorts instead/too? Sun block, don't forget the sunblock. What is for dinner tonight? Oh its raining. I don't really want to cook now. I need to do more laundry. Let me go clean the bathroom. I need to rain proof my boots. Shopping! I need to go shopping. Ugh, I'm hungry. And now I need to drink more water. Need to go to the bathroom now. Back to packing. Should I trim my toe nails again (trimmed Sunday). More water. More bathroom breaks. Is it still raining? I should to go for one more run before I pack my shoes. I don't want to run in the rain because I don't want my shoes getting wet because I need to pack them. More water. More bathroom....AH."
Literally. Looped craziness. My whole mind to stuck on this week. On this Sunday. Why? I'm not going to win. I am going to finish. I need to calm to frick down.... yep that's all my internal chatter. Does this happen to other people?
Also, in my crazy mind loop involves me planning for food and entertainment for my travel day. Because, duh.
I fly out this week and it is a 5 hour trip, which doesn't include the train ride to the airport. So I'm gonna need food, books, and movies. I've been making this popcorn throughout the month because we watch a lot of scary movies in October, and what is a movie night with popcorn. I really love this stuff to snack on, so I am going to make an extra batch this week for the plane!
I love the turmeric color of this popcorn. It is golden popcorn! The only thing that sucks about this spice is that is stains ev-ery-thing. Everything. My nails, hands, and inevitably, some part of my clothes. I found it on one of my couch pillows yesterday. But I can't stop using it. When I take this on the plane though, I'm going to be prepared with a handy wet wipe - preparation is KEY. Just like training for a marathon.
Also, planning snacks takes my mind off the weather. So let's get our snack on.
Serves 2 - though I usually eat it all and it easily can be doubled
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil,
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast (can be found at Whole Foods or in the bulk section of grocery stores)
- popcorn salt
- If you have a air popper, pop the corn as instructed.
- While the corn is popping, melt the coconut oil or ghee (not needed if using olive oil obviously).
- As the corn is popping, toss with the oil of your choice
- Sprinkle the turmeric, nutritional yeast, and salt and toss again to combine. I like to get my hands in there and toss it really well. Add more salt to to suit your taste.
For the stove top method, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 3-4 kernels first and allow them to pop. When they pop, add the rest of the kernels, cover with the lid and remove from the heat for apx 30 seconds. Then add it back to the heat and allow all the corn to POP. As it pops, gently shake the pan (don't remove the lid!) and when you hear the popping slow down, you are done! Remove from the heat, toss with the toppings and you are done.
Cheers friends and enjoy your snackies!