"It'll be something big and something good."
That's how Jennie Finch describes her last meal -- the caloric monster she'll eat the night before the New York City marathon in November. The former softball pitcher and Olympic gold medalist is still finding outlets for her competitive side a year into retirement.
This spring Finch completed a half marathon while 20 weeks pregnant.
"I hurt for a week afterwards since I didn't train for it," she says. "But I ran the whole thing and that was my goal."
Now she's less than three months removed from the birth of her second son, Diesel, and has been hard core training for three weeks. At least the running part of it. Most first time marathoners would be on a strict diet, but not Finch.
"I'm all about balance," she says. "Never too much of anything, and a little of anything won't hurt."
She's the type of person who works out because she enjoys eating so much. Having grown up in California, Finch is a big fan of Mexican food. Her mom's lasagna is up there among her favorites. And then there are all the southern delights that come from living in her husband’s home state of Louisiana. She describes her self-control at a recent shrimp fry as "not that good."
But Finch isn't one to regret or dwell on anything. Her Twitter account is full of references to food. There are pictures of room service and a cake featuring her old uniform number made entirely of cupcakes. Even a tweet about the time her willpower was dominated by Oreos.
"We all have our struggles, I guess," she says. "But nothing is off limits. There’s no time for limits."
Time, these days, is her motivation. Outside of her personal goal to run a full marathon, Finch will be raising money for charity. She will start last and Timex will donate $1 to the New York Road Runners Youth Program for every person she passes.
It's too early in her training to speculate how many people she’ll pass, but she has a rough idea.
"Amani Toomer had the same sponsorship from Timex last year and he passed over 25,000 people," she says. "I'm a little competitive, so I'll be going for that."
As for her last meal before the big race, she hasn't given it a ton of thought. Maybe pasta. Not knowing much about the New York restaurant scene she might outsource the decision entirely.
"Maybe I'll put up a poll on Twitter," she says.
And hopefully a picture too.
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