Travel Marts and Rest Stops
I started writing this post upon arriving in Virginia Thursday afternoon with every intention to finish it then. It got put on the backburner as many do during race weekends. However, the ride home today was another test mirroring the first below…
I know before even going into this whole post many will say that I just should have planned better and packed all my own snacks before leaving home. Sometimes time just alludes you and that part of the puzzle is left at home. Yesterday was one of those days.
I had spent the morning in a hurried rush to get everything packed for my trip south for the upcoming Spartan Race Super in Leesburg, Virginia. Prepping my race day bags have started to become almost automatic yet still I found myself scrambling to get everything together before taking off on the long car ride. I picked up Chris Davis from Spartan Race HQ and we were off to cross a half dozen states in a day.
Inevitabily we all need to stop along the way for a rest stop, refuel, and a snack. Had I been more prepared in my trip I would have packed away some food to ensure healthy snacks along the way. However, that was not the case and with a nine hour drive you have to eat along the way. We stopped on the NYS thruway which might have the worst rest stops in terms of nutrition. As we walked in NOTHING seemed to be on Chris’s diet and everything was soaked in grease. We managed to find some dingy looking salad filled with croutons and cheese and some pale cut up fruit. After taking in the whole situation Chris ended up with a Naked Smoothie, water, and trail mix. I ended up with a raw fruit bar, cheese-its, and nuts. But we moved on and continued to our destination.
Driving home today was a real test and it saddened me the experience. I desperately needed coffee, the less than four hours of sleep and almost twenty-one miles of racing was catching up to me fast. The sun was barely peaking over the horizon. We had left Virginia just after 5:00 AM and were somewhere in Pennsylvania already. My gas tank was nearing empty so coffee, rest stop breakfast, and fill-up were in order.
I pulled off the next exit and pulled into a no-name Exxon station that seemed to be popular with truckers. Chris and I walked into the rest stop and looked at our options, random tubular meat spun on the warmers, strange breakfast sandwiches were in those bright colored paper, everything looked like it had been there for a while and the truckers seemed to enjoy it. The coffee was hot and I grabbed a piece of carrot cake with and ingredient list I could understand made by a local shop. When in jam at a rest stop find the local bakers goods, at least you know it’s fresh. Who knows how long some of the stuff has been wrapped.
Chris came over to me and literally there was nothing in the place that really worked with his diet. Luckily a Subway was across the street, we stopped in there and he got an egg white breakfast sandwich with veggies, subtracting the bread and all other sauces and such.
It wasn’t until this trip and road tripping with Chris just how hard it really is to stick to clean eating on the road. It is completely doable but you have to look harder and be more patient. Normally road trips are my cheat time but with Chris I tried to be a little more strict, not a ton but a little. It definitely changes your view on eating and travel. Here’s to hoping in the future more fresh and nutritious options make their way into rest stops.