Packing for a half marathon away from home

What’s that I see?

It’s a sea of luon!


This coming Saturday I’ll be in Vancouver for the Lululemon SeaWheeze, and over the past couple of days I’ve started to think about what I’m going to pack. This is highly unusual for meΒ  – I’m the girl who was still throwing things into my suitcase 15 minutes before the airport shuttle came to get me to go to Italy at Christmas! But I suppose this time I’m just ridiculously over-the-top excited to see my bestie Lauren, my dad, and all the amazing stuff Vancouver has to offer (like sushi!!) So far, these are the items on my list:

  • Plane e-ticket
  • Race registration confirmation
  • Hotel confirmation
  • Photo ID (for race package pickup)
  • Shoes for the race: Asics GT-2170s
  • Skechers GOruns: My comfy shoes of choice for short runs and sightseeing
  • Workout gear for Friday
  • Race clothes for Saturday
  • T-shirt to wear over race shirt in case it’s cold pre-race – Lululemon is collecting all tossed clothing items during the race and donating them to the Salvation Army
  • Yoga clothes for Saturday (for the post-race yoga session)
  • Socks
  • The usual boring bits – undies, toiletries, pjs
  • Hair straightener
  • Clothes and shoes for going out for dinner and doing touristy things
  • Hoodies (apparently it’s a lot coooler in Vancouver than it is here!)
  • Water bottle
  • Band aids (just in case)
  • Advil (again, just in case!)
  • Bag to take to the race bag check
  • Camera and charger
  • iPhone, iPod, and charger
  • The SeaWheeze app (on my phone) – a guide to all tourist attractions, eats, drinks, and places to get my yoga on in Vancouver. It also provides info about the race itself, the schedule, the course, an a map of the area.
  • Deodorant – for everyone’s benefit, not just my own
  • Pre-race and post-race fuel – including plenty of Love Grown Foods granola and other treats!

Although I don’t plan to carry any food on me during the race, I do like to pack lots of snacks that I normally eat before and after my long runs. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been perfecting a nice, easy (and of course, tasty) protein bar recipe. One of the best pieces of running advice that I’ve ever been given is not to try anything new on race day, so I’ve been eating about half of a bar before my morning workouts. They seem to “agree” with me and make me feel strong when I run, so you better believe I’ll be taking some to Vancouver!

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast bars on cookie sheet

These Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars aren’t crazy-amped up with protein (9g per bar), but when combined with the fiber from the whole grain ingredients, they’re enough to keep me fueled through a long workout or full if I’m eating breakfast on the go.

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast bars on cookie sheet 2

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars

by Angela

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Keywords: bake snack breakfast low-fat high protein nut-free low-sodium soy-free vegetarian oats protein powder


Ingredients (8 bars)

  • 1/2 cup protein powder (I used vanilla flavoured whey protein)
  • 1/4 cup flour of choice (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup spelt flakes (or substitute another 1/2 cup rolled oats)
  • 1/3 cup spelt bran
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp honey or agave
  • 1/2 cup organic dried apples
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup grated apples (this works best if you peel the apple first)
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Line a 9×9″ baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper comes over the sides. (You’re going to lift it up later to easily remove the bars from the pan without making a mess.)

Mix all dry ingredients, including the dried apples in one bowl and all remaining wet ingredients in another.

Combine well by stirring with a spoon. The batter should be chunky (and it’ll taste really good so you might want to lick that spoon!)

Pour the batter into the lined baking pan and use another piece of parchment and either your hands or the back of a flipper to even off the surface.

Bake at 375F for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and lift the parchment paper ‘handles’ out. Allow the bars to cool for about 15 minutes, then slice into 8 even rectangles.

Chopped Apple Cinnamon Breakfast bars

Nutrition per bar: 172 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated), 17mg cholesterol, 20mg sodium, 24g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g sugar, 9g protein.

Click here to print the recipe.
Apple cinnamon breakfast bar with dried apples
While making these bars, I considered adding walnuts to make them even more delicious than they already were, but I tend to have ‘stomach problems’ if I eat foods with higher fat content before working out. If however, you plan to make these for breakfast, feel free to throw in about 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.

So tell me…

  • What’s your go-to pre-run and post-run fuel of choice?
  • My packing list… am I missing anything?

21 thoughts on “Packing for a half marathon away from home

  1. I laugh I have done one race ever
    a half at disney
    for me the best thing I brought was a black trash bag to wear pre-race.
    it was freeeeeeezing πŸ™‚

  2. fun to read your packing list, angela! i would just make sure to bring clothing for all temperatures…you just never know what race day will be like! so excited for you, for both the trip and the race!
    i like a glob of pb before a workout or run! unusual but it works for me!
    happy civic holiday monday (although stores are open so i am working!)!

    1. Great idea Cathy! I think I’ll be throwing a few more warmer outfits in, just in case. I’ve been watching the weather for Vancouver on my iPhone and it looks like 17 degrees is the temp all week at 7am…. I can handle that!

  3. Very excited for you. Looks like a great time in Vancouver up next. I would love to visit that city one day. When I traveled to Alaska last June I had all my marathon gear with me in my carry on. Just in case they lost my luggage. Those bars look yummy too. I will have to make those.

    1. That is SUCH a great trip Desiree! It’s so funny you mentioned it too because I was just reading an old issue of Runners World yesterday and it advised doing the same thing. How did your Alaska race go by the way? That’s one place I’d love to see too!

  4. Well, that answers my question on when you’re going! I was surprised to ready the word “packing” in my Google Reader and see your name beside it. In my head was I thinking, “Wait, this is the girl that waits until the very, very last minute to pack for anything!” haha glad you have a whole list going and everything… that’s totally what I do, 100%.

    1. Haha yep, I’ve even shocked myself with my packing promptness this time around!! I’m still playing the game of swapping clothes and shoes in and out…. when you’ve got size 9 feet, there’s only so many pairs of shoes that can fit!

  5. i’m off to vancouver (from kelowna, bc) on friday for seawheeze too! i haven’t started packing quite yet but glad to see that i’m not the only one who has detailed lists for travel races.
    vancouver is one of my favourite places to visit…. very friendly, easy to get around, and beautiful. i’m also looking forward to exploring it with a pack of running buddies.
    if you’re looking for yummy places to eat, my favourite (and relatively healthful and wallet wise) places to eat in van is la taqueria ( they have two locations, one very close to race festivities. mmm-mm-mexican food!
    can’t wait to read about your adventures at the race πŸ™‚ *shannon

  6. Good luck on the race! I am running in my first half marathon in October and I also have to travel to it and I am worried about getting out of “routine” before such a long run. I definitely will need to bring my usual pre-race food to be safe! If I run early in the morning I like to have half of a whole wheat bagel with almond or peanut butter. Then afterwards have a big bowl of oatmeal with a bunch of good stuff πŸ™‚

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