Just Add Water Cereal – Brilliant Race Day Food

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I’m starting to plan my packing for the Disneyland Avengers Half (I know I don’t leave until mid November but I’m excited!). And one of the things on my list to buy over the next couple of weeks is a cereal bowl. See Disney races are not for bed lovers – you have to be at the event start about 4.30am. At that point I am not messing about with breakfast. I’m having enough trouble ensuring I’m wearing shoes and shorts. As such I don’t eat before I leave the room, instead I pack my cereal, a bowl, spoon and some yogurt or milk and eat my breakfast while I’m waiting to head to the corral.

However, the other day I was at the Lunch! show which previews all the new convenience food trends and one thing I saw at a couple of stands were cereal pots or packets that contain their own powdered milk – all you need to do is add some water and stir. This sounded like a genius idea – and perfect for race days. I grabbed a couple of samples and this morning got to taste my first one. Mornflake Superfast Raisin, Honey and Almond Granola.

First glance looked great – big clusters of cereal and absolutely masses of fruit – all a little bit creamy looking. As directed I added a splash of water and BEHOLD, there was milk (I’m aware at this point, I should have photographed it, but I’m too busy thinking ‘food’ to think ‘photography’). I had a few mouthfuls just to see what it tasted like – and I can confirm, it’s pretty good. And, as I’d suspected, it’s an absolutely brilliant thing to pack for races. I have explained how the ‘trains have stopped play‘ from my house as they no longer run before 8am on a Sunday from here, so now if I want to do a Sunday run I have to stay in a hotel. This means packing some kind of breakfast food to take with me. However as I must stay in cheap hotels – with no fridges or mini bars, milk doesn’t travel well. These would be the perfect solution. (That reminds me, I’ve got to tell you all about the Run to The Beat 10km and my night in the pre-race hotel at some point too).

But would it fuel my run  – yes, yes it would. The portion contains 218 calories – and while it looked smaller in the pot than the normal mountain of granola I pour myself – it was deceptively satisfying. Today was kind of a long run day – I admit I was supposed to do 17km, but I just couldn’t face it, so instead I decided to run 12km as fast as I can and try and beat my time from a couple of months ago. Fuelled by my cereally clusters I managed it – knocking off a whopping four minutes and having my first really enjoyable run in ages. Woop, woop – yay me. (Yes, this is a complete excuse to use the cheerleader picture below).  But before you go cereal shopping for them yourself, read on….I need advice.



Despite my internal pom pom waving, skipping my 17km run does mean I’m a teeny bit more behind in my Avengers training than I should be. Fact is my running motivation has left the building. I know why. You may remember some time ago I announced that my plan was to run Bournemouth half marathon at the beginning of October and try and do a good time, then cruise a bit for Disney. As such I started training about 22 weeks ago now. The project that cannot be named however put pay to me running Bournemouth, I’d done my long runs, but my weekday runs had been virtually non existent. I just wasn’t confident by the time race day came. I knew I’d get round but I was looking at a time close to 3 hours (compared to my normal 2.20-2.40) – and it wasn’t a slow field. I was worried it would knock my confidence – and frankly, it landed on my first weekend off for nearly eight weeks and  I was shattered. I traveled down there to the coast on the Thursday, but made the decision on the Friday evening to not run – and the fact that I didn’t feel any guilt told me that I’d made the right choice  (see, this is what happens when I stop posting, you miss all this drama).

However the knock on effect of all this is that by now I’m really, really bored with all my running routes – and I’ve discovered that if I don’t have a good route planned, I find it really hard to sustain myself for the 100+ minutes I need to be out there for to get the miles in and do my three or four hour long runs in the week in the same area. so yet again, the weekday runs are slipping off the schedule – and my long run is not the experience of joy and happiness it should be. It’s not a disaster I’ve got three weeks left to step things up a bit during the week, and one 18km run left to do. I know I’ll get round Avengers, my 15km runs are fine so, 16.5km (10 miles) will be a doddle on the day with the adrenaline and stuff to look at – but it would be nice to not completely loathe the last three miles. So anyone got any advice to keep me motivated at the point when I’m supposed to be running about four or five hours a week – but can barely drag my butt out for 2.5? I’ve already got a list of new songs for my playlist, but I’ll take any other tips and tricks to get me out there?


  1. Lynne

    When I don’t want to go out I tell myself how much I will regret it when I get to those last three miles and they really hurt & I make myself remember how much they hurt! I then imagine the feeling of getting through them relatively easily and knowing it’s because I put in the work now.

  2. healthehelen

    Yes, that’s what’s been dragging me out there for the last few runs. Evil lazy gremlin on my shoulder keeps piping up though going ‘ah, loads of people walk in Disney races, you can walk the last three if need be that’ll be easy. Do some more work instead’. I need to silence lazy gremlin!

  3. hannilou1

    Have you seen “The Blerch” cartoons by The Oatmeal? Look him up, it’s hilarious and might help get you out the door.

    I switched to running with podcasts quite a while ago and now never listen to music. I find they help the miles go by, especially if it’s a comedy one so you’re giggling to yourself rather than thinking about your legs.

    It’s a shame you missed Bournemouth. It was a great day, and perfect weather considering the rain the day before and after!


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