Eating Your Way to a Marathon

OK. Before we talk food, let’s talk about my body. I am so sore. Let's just be honest with each other for a quick second, raise your hand if you are reading Tara’s posts and not doing the workouts?

Yeah, that stopped yesterday.

Yeah, that stopped yesterday.

So yesterday I went on an easy 4 mile recovery run with my work’s running group and then skipped the gym and went home. As I was waiting for seamless to bring me dinner (city life, so lazy) I thought “Kelly you big hypocrite why don’t you do “Workout Wednesday” since you ditched going to the gym for strength training.” And then I thought, “you know what Kelly, you are so right. Let’s do it.”

Holy Cow.  

So I didn’t even do the full “Workout Wednesday.” I went plank, squats, push-ups (ATTEMPTED PUSHUPS. SO EMBARRASSING), split leg squats, and then I tried reverse situps but after three instead did the ones where you put your legs in the air and just kind of struggled through those while my roomate’s cat Portobello watched me with judgment and disdain.

Accurate. Pretty much how I felt.

Accurate. Pretty much how I felt.

After one round I texted Tara “OMG I’m trying to do today’s workout. I’m dying.” Tara’s response, “YAAAAAS!!!” (Typical trainer.) I powered through one more round. Halfway through, the UPS man came to deliver some Easter presents from my amazing Grandmama and Poppy, SEES CANDY, and I was sweaty and out of breath and he goes 'instense workout?' and I go...

Not even kidding, that happened. It made it all worth it.

Not even kidding, that happened. It made it all worth it.

I didn’t even make it to 3 rounds (I would like to point out here that my food came after I finished round 2 and I didn’t want my food to get cold. Ok fine,  I don’t think I could have done 3 rounds. I’m pathetic. BUT SOON I WILL BE INCREDIBLE HULK STRONG!) SO today this is pretty much how my body feels.

Pretty much. Amy you just understand me.

Pretty much. Amy you just understand me.

I am really, really, really, really, really sore. Lesson learned, Tara 1 Kelly 0 and if you aren’t doing those exercises I highly recommend getting on it. Because that sweet smell of defeat only lasts so long. Soon I will be doing those pushups with dogs on my back or clapping in between like its N.B.D. As for tonight, I have a hot date with a foam roller. Thanks Tara.

Now, let’s talk food! I was talking to my best friend and marathon fundraising extraordinaire Irene last night while I was huffing and puffing my way through “Workout Wednesday.”  She’s 7 weeks from running the Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon and she told me she fainted during her last long run. She went to the doctor to get checked out and it turns out she’s slightly anemic.

Similarly when I was training for my marathon last year I fainted in a restaurant and walked away with a concussion because my big head broke my fall. Why did I faint? Great question, I fainted because my glucose levels were low because I wasn’t eating enough. (It was ridiculously embarrassing and extremely scary. When I came to I was on the floor of a restaurant and a man was screaming in my face “I’m a nurse and you’re having a seizure! Then in rushed a bunch of ridiculously handsome EMT’s who wheeled my embarrassed tooshy away.) So yeah, that happened.

Just your typical hospital visit after I fainted....

Just your typical hospital visit after I fainted....

Before you even begin training you should get a yearly physical. (Don’t you roll your eyes at me, I’m serious!) Even if you are the poster child of health it is really important to have a doctor give you the thorough once over and run some tests.  It is exceedingly common for runners to be slightly anemic and you can avoid any fall out (pun intended) by seeing your doctor first. Just schedule the appointment and tell them what you are training for. It’s like ripping off a band aid. Better safe than sorry.

Now eating! If this whole running thing is new for you or you’re like me and just can’t deal when an articles all “60-70% of your calories should be from complex carbs” then download a food tracker. I got into this in college when I took an introductory course on nutrition. We weren’t counting calories but tracking the amount of vitamins and nutrients we were taking in at every meal. I like MyNetDiaryPro because you program your height, weight, age, weekly activity projection and it will show you if you are getting enough or too much iron, protein, vitamins and minerals etc. You also have the ability to over-ride plans to customize them. MyNetDiaryPro also has a huge database and a bar code scanner so if your lazy and care enough to invest but not enough to do math, it’s a match made in lazy marathon runner heaven.

Two marathon training eating tips:

1. A little tidbit I learned as I trained for my last marathon is that you should be eating small meals every 3-4 hours instead of 3 times a day. (Good foods to eat more of while you train that are nutrient rich and iron dense: Leafy greens, dried fruit (sans sugar), eggs, beans, lean meats or even iron supplements.) Eating every 3-4 hours helps regulate your glucose levels and keeps you fueled throughout your maintenance runs and training plan. This way you don’t faint in an LA restaurant while hot EMTs shake their heads at you in disappointment. (Scarred for life? Yes. Yes I am.)

2. Post Run Refueling: My favorite treat is the post run chocolate milk. I love chocolate milk. After a workout it’s important to get a small 100-300 calorie snack that’s 80/20 simple carbs to protein. I choose chocolate milk because it’s delicious but you can also go for a small turkey and cheese sandwich (on that delicious whole wheat bread), a smoothie, some nuts, whatever floats your boat. Just grab a delicious snack treasure within that 30 minute window post workout.

Taken on Sunday after my long run. So excited for some choco milk.  (note the sunburn. REAL cute.)

Taken on Sunday after my long run. So excited for some choco milk.  (note the sunburn. REAL cute.)

There we have it folks, some eating tips. What about you? Any eating and fueling tips and tricks you’ve found along the way? Any scarring stories of under fueling?  Email me RunSelfieRepeat@gmail.com and KEEP THOSE RUNNING SELFIES COMING! #RunSelfieRepeat

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.