Carb-loading: how soon should you begin?

I’m training with Larissa for the 197-mile Hood-to-Coast relay; our team starts running at 8:45 a.m. on Friday. Yes! This Friday. I’m terrified and exhilirated at once. And I have a question for you:

When do you start carbo-loading? And what should I be eating, and drinking, 30-48 hours before I start my 18.3 miles of torture?

I’ve been terrible, thus far, flitting from a late-night snack of marshmallow creme and peanut butter to a lunch of fried chicken and mashed potatoes to a healthful dinner of pasta, tomato sauce, cheese and spinach. Now chocolate chip cookies are baking in the oven (for the team, naturally) and I’m thinking, ye gods, this has got to be the wrong stuff.

Cool Running advises that I should stay away from beans, bran cereal, lettuce and broccoli; BBC Sport says I should be loading up on carbohydrates today (and yesterday, too, thank goodness for pasta with pesto last night). With two days to go before a major race, what would you be eating?

Author by Sarah Gilbert