Red Bull 400 Greens & Grains Pesto Energy Bowl
Recently I crossed another fitness challenge off my bucket list by competing in the Red Bull 400! It’s touted as the world’s highest 400-meter race that happens at several locations around the world, but in the US, it’s only held in Olympic Park in Park City, Utah.
Essentially, it’s a 400m race UP a ski slope. It sounds easy enough until you see the pics and videos online and read anecdotes from Olympic level athletes about how difficult and physically exhausting the race is.
At the top of 2018 I made a promise to myself that I would start doing more activities – races, travel, trying/cooking different cuisines, etc – that challenged and stretched me in new, inspiring ways. So, I signed up for the race months in advance AND booked my flight to Utah so I wouldn’t back out by conveniently finding something else to do that weekend.
Leading up to the race I did some light training, mainly working on my muscular endurance since the race is uphill and requires a lot of leg strength. I also performed a lot more interval and circuit training to work on my explosiveness and recovery time. While the training helped, nothing really prepared me for the dramatic change in elevation. The race was at 7000-feet above sea level, and coming from a Texan who lives at sea level, I had trouble catching my breath just walking across a parking lot.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to do the race alone – a buddy of mine from Dallas, Matt, lives close to Park City, Utah so he showed some real southern hospitality by doing the race with me.
Pictured: my buddy, Matt, and me.
When it came time for the race, I was at MAX effort. Even though I told myself that I only wanted to compete the race, secretly I was trying to finish in the top 20 of my individual heat of 70 men.
It kicked my butt. Hard. I pretty much collapsed as soon as I literally crawled across the finished line at the top. I set a goal to do it in 7 minutes. I fell short by 20 seconds!
Pictured here with some of Utah’s finest – the PCFD that helped me recover after the race with oxygen, banana, water…and most importantly, a ride in the cart back down the ski jump.
Oxygen mask in hand but we finished the race!
But I persevered and got it done and learned a LOT of valuable lessons along the way.
One of them was this idea of “Type 2 Fun” that I heard about from ultrarunner and Red Bull athlete, Dylan Bowman.
Red Bull athlete and Ultrarunner, Dylan Bowman
I sat down for an interview with him to learn more about his training as a competitor that runs 50 – 100 mile races (at one time). He advised to look at competitions such as the Red Bull 400 (and life in general) as just another type of fun. It’s fun that you will enjoy in retrospect or hindsight. This is what Dylan calls Type-2 Fun.
The intense physical demands of a race may not seem fun in the moment; but when you begin to think about how accomplished you will feel after the race having gone through it all, then the experience is much more enjoyable and you derive energy, inspiration and motivation from the experience. Simply put – your fun is just slightly delayed but it is “on the way!” What an incredible way to look at challenges, both physical and figurative, in life.
Dylan gifting me my own Red Bull swag and jersey for the race. By far one of the coolest gifts I’ve received – who wouldn’t want to dress up like an athlete?
While in Park City I ate at this amazing restaurant called, Five5eeds (Five Seeds) where ALL of the food was amazing.
Pictured with the owner of Five5eeds
Avocado smoothie bowl
Epic avocado toast
Beautiful chia seed pudding with coconut milk and coconut yogurt
But it was their grains bowl that quickly captured the attention of my tastebuds.
In my sit-down interview with Dylan, he mentioned that his diet is largely vegetarian and that one of his go-to power meals is a greens and grains bowl. So, I got inspired to make a similar, energizing recipe with a vegan pesto sauce.
Red Bull 400 Greens & Grains Pesto Energy Bowl
- Prepare wild rice and quinoa according to the instructions given on the packages and set aside to cool.
- Set a nonstick skillet on high heat. Once the skillet is hot, toss in the edamame and sear on both sides for 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place all the ingredients for the pesto into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and season to taste with sea salt & pepper.
- Add the salad ingredients to a bowl along with some of the sauce and toss to coat.
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