Nutrition for Runners

When I started my running journey, I was a bit heavier than I am now. I weighed about 170 pounds back when I started. Today I weigh about 128. I am 5’7″. I feel that I am a pretty healthy weight now. 

How I lost weight:

I was some-what strict about counting my calories and macros on the app myfitness pal. I learned a lot about my eating habits and the nutritional value of food through using this app every day for 3 years. I went from 170 down to 130 within the first year then I maintained my weight from there. I have not used this app for calorie tracking in over 2.5 years.

Things that helped me lose weight:

1- Eating an entire plate full of salad before dinner every night. 

2- Learning healthy options at restaurants & avoiding eating out more than 1-2x a week

3- Sticking to the meals and snacks I had planned- I would log almost everything the day before and plan out my meals and snack. It will not help you to buy a bunch of fruits and veggies if you don’t prep and plan on eating them

4- Eating my “exercise calories” and NOT under-eating. Even when losing weight, I was eating close 2000 calories a day. Everyone is different, but I could never had survived mentally and physically (running) off eating less than 1700-1800 calories a day running my 30 miles a week back then

How to know how much you should eat?

Try an online calculator like this fill this out like your activity level before exercise

 then add additional calories for your exercise. IE, if you run 30 miles a week that is close to an additional 3000 calories a week of 4ooish a day. 

What Running 60+ miles a week @ 128 5’7″ looks like:

8:00am- post run breakfast 

Bagel, Peanut butter, banana, protein/recovery drink 

10am- morning snack

Protein Bar and pretzels/apple

noon- lunch

pasta, chicken, side salad

1:20pm- afternoon snack

trail mix

3:00pm- afternoon snack

beef jerky

5:30pm- dinner

grilled kabobs, dinner roll, side salad

7:30pm- bedtime snack

greek yogurt, berries, musli/granola

I eat roughly 2800 calories a day if I had to guess. If I am hungry, I eat. The hardest part about my eating now, is eating the most micro-nutrient dense foods. 

Some of my favorites:

-chia seeds & anything (hummus, shakes, mama-chia)

-La croix sparkling water (if you like pop- this will help you kick the habit!)

– pretzel chips

– beef jerky

 

 

 

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21.6 miles on a Friday Morning before work

I have not always been a runner. There was a time in my life when weekends didn’t mean “long run”. I remember the “good ol’ days” when Friday night through Sunday Evening meant RELAXING. As I am now gearing up for my 13th marathon in 2.5 years, I have NOT shared in the same amount of excitement when the weekends roll around as I used to.

Why? Because weekends mean LONG RUNS.

In chimes the majority of the human population with, “Why do you run long if you don’t want to? No one is forcing you!”

Simple response: I love running, but I also love being a lazy cow laying on the couch, drinking margaritas, and eating endless amounts of food.

 

Speaking of Margaritas, I was 2 deep last night with Jason on our “date” when I remembered I had my long run in the morning- shoot. Better cut me off at 2.

 

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People ask about my “fueling” a lot, so here it is: Last night I carbo loaded with 2 margaritas, chips & salsa, a chicken taco, and a cheese quesadilla. When I got home I chugged about 32 oz of water in an attempt to “hydrate” myself last min. I popped a melatonin pill and was asleep by 9:30.

4:00am alaram, drank a hiball energy water  and was running by 4:55am at my work gym treadmill.

Initially, my goal was “just” to run 2 hours and 40 min (20 miles at 8:00 pace). However, when I was walking to my building my legs felt like lead, and I thought to myself “I don’t think I can even run 8:30s today!”.

 

1-4     8:16, 8:09, 8:03, 7:55

I had to stop at this point to poop. 

5-10  8:00, 7:57 , 7:50, 7:41 (GU), 7:35, 7:30.

11-13    6:58,6:44, 6:53

14-15    7:40(GU), 7:35

16-18    6:58,6:44, 6:53 (GU)

18 – 20   7:30, 7:00

20-21.6 @ 6:38 or so.

21.6 miles in 2:40 or 7:24 per mile with

 

 

So to sum it up:

I like running.

Yes, I have lost my sanity.

but I can say my long run is already done for the weekend, can you? 😛 

 

Bonus:

“Advice” for running long distances on the treadmill:

First HOUR is the worst (lol), you sweating all over the place is normal, if you feel like you’re super hot & itchy you are doing it right, at the time you feel you are about to lose your mind just start zoning out, stare at the treadmill distance and do mental math, update your social media, watch youtube motivational videos, snapchat people, check e-mails, write e-mails, write posts for social media, text people good morning or something nice, listen to pandora, check your bank account. Do what you would do if you were just being a lazy coach potato? IDK. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, but there’s a lot worse things in the world 🙂

Goofy Challenge

1:41 half. wake up 24 hours later and run a 3:19 full [a 7.5 min PR]. what. the. heck. How is that even possible? I would have never imaged that the human body is capable of such a thing. Not many people attempt to race a full marathon the day after running a decent effort half marathon.
10929564_10203456426592711_7680670817336825636_nJason ran this entire race with me which means a lot. I met Jason (my husband) in September 2012. At the time, he was training for The Chicago Marathon. 3 weeks after meeting him, I decided, hey why not invite myself to chicago with him?! So that’s what I did. LOL. I was seriously INSPIRED. I had never ran a marathon. I didn’t think I had it in me. I didn’t really know anyone who has ran a marathon. He ran a 2:46 that day. 2:46. LIKE IT WAS NOTHING. All of his friends/teammates finished under 3 hours. If they didn’t break 3 it was viewed as a “poor performance”. I thought these guys were NUTS. My 5k PR was slower than they just ran 26.2 miles. I felt completely inadeqate compared to them, but something deep inside me wanted to try it.

fast forward 7 months, I cross the finish line of my first marathon. 4:09. I was embarrassed. It was the worst race performance to date. I felt ashamed of myself. I gave up and cried during the race. I have never been more pessimistic during a race. I was determined to finish, yes. HOWEVER, I was WAY too hard on myself. I took it way too seriously. At the time, I was so concerned with what other people thought. I was concerned with how my marathon time would compare with other people. All that disappeared real quick when I realized I SUCKED at running marathons.

When you have nothing to lose, you have everything to give. Or so I thought. In the peak of the summer heat in July, I got a crazy idea. What if I ran a marathon this weekend? It was a Thursday morning. I signed up later that day. Jason and I drove down to Iowa. Before the start of the race I remember telling him, I might finish around 4.4-5 hours… Maybe I won’t even finish, who knows. All I knew was that that weekend seemed like a good weekend to run a marathon. It really was! I took it nice and easy. This is my first and ONLY marathon that I negative split. 3:47. I could not believe myself. This was when my running spark was truly ignited. I realized it was all about the attitude and persistance.

May 2013- 4:09 [WI]

July 2013- 3:47 [IA]

October 2013- 3:45 [MN]

November 2013- 3:43 [NV]

March 2014- 3:27 [KS]

April 2014- 3:31 [MN]

May 2014- 3:58 split in 50k [4:53] [IA]

July 2014- 3:26 [IA]

January 2015- 3:19 [FL]

I am addicted to improvement plain and simple. Back to the story, this marathon means a lot to me because Jason ran by my side the ENTIRE time. 2 years ago, I would have never imaged that 7:30 pace would be something I would run for 26.2 miles. It opens my eyes to what could be next?

Could? No. What WILL be next.

I will break 3:10.

I will break 3:00

It’s happening. And it will happen within the next few years. I want to prove to my former smoker self that it IS possible. I CAN be an elite athlete. I might not be there yet, but I will be damned if I give up.