Sports Editor John DeLapp is training for his first 5K race, The Daily News Press Run, on Sept. 14, 2013.

I have discovered that preparing for a run takes a little more presence of mind than making sure my shoes are tied. It requires a bit of planning, too.

Take the other day, for example.

I got out of work and decided to run as soon as I got home. Problem was, I hadn't eaten dinner and lunch was many hours in the past, so I needed a snack.

Now, a good snack would have been to get carbohydrates from a piece of fruit or some crackers and then get a little protein from a schmear of peanut butter or a slice of cheese.

What is not a good snack is a leftover meatball the size of a child's fist, no matter how good it tastes.

Here's why: A meatball of that size will not reach your stomach before you run. Instead, it will lodge somewhere between your heart and sternum and then it will grow, eventually becoming the size of a softball while having the mass of a shot put.

The meatball will also stop your lungs from fully expanding, so you'll be running on half rations of oxygen.

Trust me, it's not a pleasant way to conduct a workout.

There are two things I should have done differently.

First, I would have had a nice mid-afternoon snack. Preferably two hours before I planned on running.

Second, it would have been sensible. Nothing big, just some easy-to-digest carbs that will not feel the urge to threaten the functions of any major organs.

It sounds simple and it is. But simple does not mean easy.

I know some time in the future I will again face the meatball versus apple question. Hopefully, it will be after my run.

(2) comments

Gary Miller

Fast fix.
Don't run.

Shelly Pearl

Your thoughts are a good solution.

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