{WIAW} 70.3 weekend

It’s What I Ate Wednesday, where I show you all the paleo-primal food I eat in a day. This past weekend was Pat’s big triathlon, and we were on the road, so today’s post will show you how we do primal, on the road and for races. No link ups, no ‘blog parties,’ just real food. And racing.

Pat was competing in his first 70.3 triathlon, a half ironman distance, although not put on by Ironman. It was the Aberfeldy Middle Distance triathlon, which was also the Scottish National Middle Distance Championships.

Race weekend actually began Saturday, the day before the race, at home. Pat wanted his pre-race meals to be the same as what he would eat at home, so we took our own food for Saturday night’s dinner, and breakfast and lunch Sunday.This involved some cooking of chicken breast, boiling of organic white potatoes from our garden, making of multiple salads, and packing all sorts of primal essentials, like supplements, our espresso maker, coconut oil and my xylitol, (because I like sweet coffee). All non-perishables were packed in a cooler with ice packs. We then hit the road to Aberfeldy, in the middle of Scotland.

When we arrived, Pat picked up his race pack, and we attended the mandatory pre-race briefing. I was effectively Pat’s ‘sherpa’ wife for the weekend, and went to the race briefing as an extra set of ears, just in case. Then, it was off to our B & B for pre-packed dinners and an early bed. I went for an 8 mile run around the B & B, which coincidentally was also part of the half marathon route the following morning. When I got back, I ate a salad of chicken breast (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic granules and paprika), with organic Swiss Chard from our garden, cucumber, tomato, snap peas, pepper and avocado; tossed in Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar.

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I also enjoyed a delicious, but melted, fat bomb. And a cup of peppermint tea. Both not pictured.

Sunday morning arrived quickly. The alarm was set for 5 am for a7:20 am swim start on Loch Tay. The swim, which was supposed to be 1.2 miles, was changed to only 750m. Race organisers shortened it due to the water temperature being quite cold (at 12’C), despite mandatory wetsuits.

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It was also quite cold outside, despite me wearing my microdown jacket…. in the middle of August. Scottish summers are totally different, unfortunately.


Pat’s swim started, and then shortly after, he was out of the water, through transition 1 and on the road for 56 miles of hills and mountains. I also got on the road: back to our B & B for my 8:30 am breakfast order.

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Up until I ate breakfast, I had been fasting. I drank a litre of water between waking up and eating breakfast. I don’t typically fast, but 5 am was just too early to eat. On the way back, I stopped at the Co-op to get some ice for our cooler and essentials for the week. I also bought three warm Portuguese custard pastries for us. I know they’re not primal, and we practice about 90/10, but there are times when we have a non-primal food. Like these tarts, because they are good. I had mine with my breakfast.

Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, fried mushrooms and baked tomatoes, courtesy of our B & B.

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Pat had also made me a bulletproof espresso earlier, which I let sit in our room until breakfast time. I would’ve loved to have had prior to leaving for the swim, but coffee and I don’t do well, unless I eat food with it. Otherwise, I get a sickly feeling. My bulletproof espresso was about 3 shots espresso, 1 tbsp Kerrygold butter, 2 tbsp coconut oil and 2 tsp xylitol for sweetness. I asked the staff to heat it up in the microwave, which they did.

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Cycling 56 miles takes over three hours, so I had some time to kill at the B & B. In our room, I ate my usual fruit (blueberries, kiwi, nectarine) + coconut cream + lazy nutter bomb – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews and peanut butter. Nutter Bombs need to be refrigerated, and I wasn’t going to take one to Aberfeldy.

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I made it in time to see Pat coming off the bike…..

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… and coming out for the run.

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I knew I had under two hours to kill, so I made my way into the town centre, to Delight Deli to see what kind of paleo goods I could find. Pat’s aunt and uncle drove out to Aberfeldy to see Pat race, and they met me in the deli. I scored some pretty fantastic paleo ingredients, all for a very reasonable price, including a 500g jar of mild coconut oil for £5! (usually it’s well over £5).

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L to R: yellow courgette, smoked mackerel, Harissa paste, apple cider vinegar, smoked sea salt, organic Aberdeen Angus minced steak, mild coconut oil.

The three of us made it back to T2 and the finish, to see the first runners coming in. We chatted for a while, until we saw Pat, racing to the finish of his first 70.3.

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He said he wasn’t going to race the guy to the finish until someone in the crowd shouted “Get him!” So he did.

Pat finished his first middle distance tri in 5:12:22. He anticipated a time closer to six hours, while I said no more than 5.5 hours. Clearly, Pat was proud of his efforts. So was I.

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After the race, Pat stretched and took in water. He ate a bit of white potatoes and a chicken breast as his initial recovery food, 30 minutes after the race had finished, but didn’t feel like he had any appetite at all. He also enjoyed a pint of non-alchoholic beer, served up to all competitors at the finish. I ate some roasted almonds, and had a Medjool date dipped in almond butter. My favourite.

We then headed to the Watermill to meet up with Pat’s aunt and uncle for lunch. I enjoyed a sandwich-turned-salad of lemon chicken and beet(root) coleslaw, as per the menu. While it’s going to take a very long time for Scotland, never mind the UK, to rid themselves of their bread obssession, it’s very encouraging to see increasingly more restaurants offering alternatives to sandwiches and burgers with bread. Basically, paleo-fied.

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It was the time to hit the road and head home. Pat ate a whole bunch of food in the car: the rest of the potatoes and chicken, two Portuguese custard tarts, roasted almonds, an avocado and a banana. I got home to do some weekly meal prep. When we got home, I quickly spiralised some courgette to go with leftover Chicken Cacciatore we had in the fridge. I also cooked up a fritata for my weekly breakfast (Pat’s after-work snack), baked some sweet potatoes and roasted a bunch of vegetables for lunches. I’m actually very sick of salad just now, especially having two while we were away. Pat ate my second salad that I had prepped for the weekend as part of his dinner. I just had my courgetti and Chicken, topped with parmesan cheese, and a baked sweet potato.

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For dessert, a fat bomb, again not pictured. Sorry.

This race weekend has been a long time coming, and I now can’t believe it’s over! I had been very concerned about what I would do during the 5+ hours Pat would be racing, but from my perspective, things went quickly! Pat is looking forward to his next triathlon, and I’m looking forward to watching it!. He is also recovering well from this one.

What did you eat today?

What are some of your pre-race, post-race meals?


6 thoughts on “{WIAW} 70.3 weekend

  1. Well done to Pat! I think that’s an impressive result, mind you I think taking part and finishing is impressive.
    Great run down on the food you took on the road and how you did it. We are often challenged with what we can put in our cooler bags as we don’t have a freezer for cool packs so sometimes we’ll put the cooler bag in the fridge overnight as well as the food. If we are lucky while on the road we might be able to pick up a carton of Nobo, it’s a wonder sugar & dairy free ice cream made in Ireland that stays cold for a long time so it can act as both a freezer pack and dessert 🙂

    • Thanks Miriam! I’ll pass on your congrats to him.

      I’ve never heard of NOBO and wish I knew about ti when we were in Ireland! I would’ve totally bought it. You would also use bags of ice to keep things cold; that’s what I do when I have no access to a freezer. Just make sure everything is water tight.

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