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




LA Marathon Recap

Friday- Travel day!

I took a half day from work to catch our 4:30pm flight from Minneapolis to LAX airport. Finally after getting our rental car & checking into our hotel in little Toyko at 11:30pm, we were able to get some food down the street at some place called “Mr. Pizza”.  At this point, we were both tired from traveling & up way past our bed time!

Saturday- Olympic Trials

I woke up in a much better mood. We had a pretty fun day ahead of us. 

7:15am- stand in the line at the expo for 45 min until it opens

8:00-9:30– LA Marathon expo & bib pickup!

9:30-1:30– watch the Olympic Trials 

The Olympic Trials were amazing. Jason & I bought VIP tickets which included access to a premium seating at the start/finish line, a tent area to stay out of the sun, bathrooms, free water bottles, mimosas, a buffet for lunch and breakfast… It was pretty sweet 🙂 I definitely recommend doing this if you ever watch the trials. 12705374_10205737165609761_4321484497820188671_n.jpg11230592_10205757997930556_5274922576794038916_n.jpg

That is how I got all these sweet up-close photos like this:


As the Trials went on, it became VERY clear that the heat and sun were taking a toll on many of the athletes. We must have seen 4 dozen runners drop out of the trials. I was hot and uncomfortable just standing outside. As I watched the runners, I re-assessed my goals for the LA Marathon the next day. I was reminded of how heat and sun will take it’s toll on you especially during a 26.2 mile race. 

Sunday- Race day

Despite running 12 marathons/ultras before, I was still kinda nervous. It’s funny how that works 🙂

I was mentally ready for the heat. I accepted that it would be a huge factor in the race for me. I was mentally ready for a non-PR day. I was ready to “enjoy it” and give it my best effort. I was at peace with it. 

4am- wake up

5:00 -walked 1 mile to Union Station 

5:30am– shuttle from Union Station to Dodger field/the start

On the shuttle, I remember telling Jason,

I will probably go out in a 1:38-1:39 then come back with a 1:48 and just sneak under 3:30“. 

He was quite about his goals, so I knew that meant he was going to try for a PR.

6:30am- get in line for race


6:55 am- the start

1 Mile- 7:13 

This mile was directly downhill

2 Mile- 7:10

Again, a HUGE downhill. But I knew I needed to slow my roll

3 Mile- 7:29

I started trying to find shade on the course. I was actively trying to slow down. I was not getting passed by A LOT of people.

4 Mile- 7:36

I tried to continue to mentally tell make myself  SLOW down. This is not fun- it meant getting passed by a LOT of people. This was hard for me to do because I felt really great, but I knew I needed to be smarter.

5 Mile- 7:52

There was a big uphill section here, but I felt like I was finally running around the correct pace.

 I was trying to find as much shade as possible. I was dumping water on my head at every water stop as well as drinking as every water stop


6 Mile- 7:45 *Gu

After taking my gu, for the first time in the entire race, I began to feel good about the pace & comfort of my run. I felt like I was getting into the groove, but I could tell it was also getting hotter by the second.

7 Mile- 7:21

Probably a sugar rush from the Gu & the crowds for the first time in a few miles. I took a few selfies and gave a few high fives.

8 Mile- 7:24

At 8 miles I was at exactly 1 hour. 7:30 average. I felt okay with that. 

9 Mile- 7:35

10 Mile- 7:17

At this point, I was starting to have thoughts like, “maybe you could still PR.. Maybe you could just go for it? What do you have to lose?”. I stopped looking at my watch and focused on keeping the pace moderately comfortable, staying in the shade, and staying hydrated.

11 Mile- 7:14

12 Mile- 7:16 * Gu

13 Mile- 7:37

Half 1:38-1:39 ish 

They say you should always “re-evaluate” at half way. I decided that a PR was officially 100% out of the question. I was just going to maintain my effort and hope for the best

14 Mile= 7:37

15 Mile- 6:55 (MEGA huge downhill)

16 mile- 7:20 (downhill)

Hit 16 miles in exactly 2 hours. 8mph 7:30 pace exactly again. 

17 mile – 7:55 * Gu

The Gu basically had 0 effect on how I felt. I knew the last 9 miles would be a grind.

18 Mile- 7:53

19 Mile- 7:58

At 19.5 I was completely exposed to the sun. From 14-19, I was passing a lot of people, but I was starting to feel REALLY crappy. I told myself to be grateful that I even have the ability to run 26.2 miles 

20 Mile- 8:05

21 Mile- 8:34

I remember getting passed by like 20 people at once somewhere in this section. I thought my calfs were going to explode. I didn’t even feel like I was moving any more.

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22 Mile – 8:23

23 Mile – 8:40

I knew my pace was slipping a lot. There were times when my watch said I was going 9:xx pace. I never like seeing that. 

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My Legs felt like lead, then I could feel that we were now shifting to the downhill section- the final part of the course. It was tough to get the legs turning, I tried.

24 Mile- 8:35

 I set a new goal for myself to break 3:25

25 Mile- 8:01

Instead of 3:25, I wanted 3:23

26 Mile- 7:54

Last .38 miles @ 7:39 avg



87 /9,122 women

729/20,623 Overall

11th in the 20-24 Age Division

No matter how many marathons you finish, you are SO freaking happy when you cross that finish line. I don’t think I have ever been more talkative & grateful to the volunteers. I was almost in tears I was so happy to be DONE.


I felt like I had really accomplished something when I finished. I never once felt “great” during the race, but I never once thought about quitting. I was completely in control of the “mental demons”. I felt really refreshed knowing that I kept a positive attitude.

Once I finished, I saw our Lifetime group and Jason. The group from Minnesota we were with- Some people were over 30 min off their PRs- others had dropped out. I am going to attribute it to: HEAT, SUN & HILLS. This is not an easy course by any means, but it was also not the hardest I have done 🙂 Although it’s never fun to run 9 min off your PR (3:14), I still feel great about the race. 

Since May 2013:

-13 Marathons/Ultra Marathons

(4:09, 3:47, 3:45, 3:43, 3:27, 3:31, 3:59, 3:26, 3:19, 3:20, 3:14, 3:24, 3:23)

-8 Boston Qualifying Marathon Times in 7 different states

  • – 8 Different States (MN, WI, IA, MA, FL, CA, KS, NV)

2011-2014 My journey into competitive running

Let me tell you about my journey…

January 2011– I was 19 years old. Weighed about 155. Smoked. I attempted to workout 3x a week for 20 min. I was sick and tired of feeling like crap all the time, but I felt “out of control” and didn’t know how to fix the problems in front of me.


September 2011: Over the summer/spring of 2011, I decided I needed to really commit to losing weight if I wanted to see results. I lost over 25 pounds, ran my first 5k, then I joined my college’s cross country team without EVER running on any team in my life.

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I could NEVER have predicted this. I had people/friends LAUGH in my face when I told them that I was joining the cross country team.At this point in my life, I had built up enough confidence to realize that I would not fail at this. I was going to be the best runner/athlete I could be. At the time, I set of goal of running 7:30 pace for 3.1 miles. 

PRs set in track & cross country:

October 2011- 22:20 5k     April 2012- 5:12 1500

Spring/summer 2012: I continued to run and want to set goals as a runner. Without ever running over 13 miles, I signed up for a 30k (18.65 miles) and finished with an overall pace of 8:10 per mile. I got my mom to run her first ever 5k (31:30), and I finally broke 22 in a 5k with a time of 20:59!!!


Fall 2012: Went from the highest of highs, to a INJURY. I was knocked out of running for about 4 months due to plantar fac. I also started working full time while still in school full time. It was hard to stay focused on running/recovery during this time period because I thought I would never fully recover from my injury. I lost a LOT of fitness and gained almost all the weight I had previously lost BACK. It was a hard time for me.

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Spring 2013: From the ashes we rise again. I was able to train and run my first marathon injury free  finishing in a 4:09. I raced my first 5k in over a year in 21:20 (21 seconds off my PR). Things were looking up. I graduated college and got hired at my current job. Things in life were starting to slow down, and I was going to reap the benefits of my hard work in months to come.


Summer/Spring 2013: This period was essentially a whirlwind of racing. Because I was injured/poor for so long, I was finally able to sign up and run ALL the races I wanted to!

Ending 2013 with these PRs:

5k- 19:56, 10k- 43:20, 1/2- 1:41, full- 3:43

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Afton Trail 25k


Grandma’s half 1:41 and Jason 1:14

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University of Okoboji Marathon 3:47


Torchlight 5k 20:55


Rock n roll vegas marathon 3:43 & 3:03 for Jason

Spring 2014: I buckled down with speed work over the winter and did;t race for 4 months. I qualified for Boston 2x in 4 weeks with a 3:27 and a 3:31. I ran several sub 20 5ks. I ran a 1:35 and 1:33 half


Wicked Marathon Kansas 3:27


Brained run for the Lakes 3:31


Lola’s 5k 19:54

SUMMER/FALL 2014: I ran my first Ultra, won my first marathon with a 3:26 PR, Ran a sub 19 5k and a 40:50 10k. I got injured in July 2014 and recovered in October 2014




2015 has brought me a 3:19 marathon PR during the Goofy challenge at disney. I am currently training for the Boston Marathon 2015. I hope to set another PR there. If not, it is all apart of the journey.

Cheers to training

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.