Distance runners are an odd lot. This is clearly in evidence on the day preceding a marathon, when they become increasingly eccentric. A progressively peculiar nature and a strong craving for salt spurred my desire for chicken olive chili for breakfast. Odd? I hope not, I’ve been at this awhile, the pounding miles should hammer in some sagacity. For fledgling marathoners, I have a hearty congratulations and 3 important pieces of race day wisdom.
1) Make the race an event. You’d likely be running today anyway but you’ve made the effort to register. Have fun, as you are surrounded by hundreds (or thousands) of your new best friends. Take the time to meet people. Enjoy the hours you will spend with them. Most of all, laugh and smile. You can relax now because we all know you’re wacky for running a marathon. It’d just be easier to simply buy a new sweatshirt, some Gatorade, and a few bagels. You, however, are charmingly deranged enough to run a great distance for them.
2) In a partial contradiction of point #1, you will develop a visceral hatred for mile 20 through mile 26.1. That’s okay. Seek distractions and keep moving forward. Lean on those around you and offer encouragement to others. Know that the final 0.1 mile will more than make up for the previous 6.1. I like to think of beer, pizza, beer, giving Mrs. Chili 365 a very sweaty hug, and beer.
3) There is no better late race food than a potato chip HEAPED with coarse salt. Hence the inspiration for today’s chili breakfast. Forget carbo loading, I’m olive loading.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
½ C green olives, sliced
1 C mild salsa
1 t coriander
1 T chili powder
1) Fry chicken breasts in a pan until fully cooked.
2) Cut up chicken and return to the pan.
3) Add remaining ingredients.
4) Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
5) Serve with cooked rice. Originally I wanted a sandwich made with this chili. Bread has plenty of salt and it would likely have put this over the “saline” top. “Choose Rice”
The ITP was palpably unenthused about chili for breakfast. Fortunately, they soldiered through. It turns out none of the involuntary tasters are talkative in the early morning. As feedback I received grunts of, “ung, s’ good.” Happily, the Pirate stepped up and articulated a well-conceived response to my chili query, “I like this. It is just what a chili should be, not too spicy but not bland either.” I’d add this- Salty? Yes. Performance enhancing? Time will tell.