Since I started running again a few weeks ago I’ve been logging 20-35 miles per week (plus some yoga and cycling as cross-training). After 9 months of injury, my body definitely needs more TLC than it used to. I’m trying my best to get a good night’s sleep, use my foam roller vigilently, reduce my stress levels, and fuel myself properly.
The first thing my body wants when I wake up is really just water + coffee. However, I realize the importance of a pre-run snack (especially if the runs are longer than 30 minutes). For the past 3 weeks I’ve been experimenting with bigger breakfasts and I think it’s really been helping my energy levels during my runs.
I don’t normally count calories, but just for kicks I tallied up yesterday’s morning meal. The total was over 700 calories and it worked out wonderfully. I normally shy away from talking about body weight and calories on the blog because I feel like these issues are very personal. What works for me or your friend or your husband or co-worker might not work for you. That being said, if you’re a runner, do not be afraid to fuel your body well.
There is a popular women’s magazine website that contains a “daily calorie needs” calculator. I plugged in my stats and this is what I got:
To maintain a healthy weight of around XXX pounds and fuel your current “very active” activity level, you need to take in about 1994.32 calories a day.
Umm, this is ridiculous! It’s one thing to get that number if you’re a sendentary or moderately active adult, but I checked the “very active” box. My point is that online calculators, books, magazines, and the media perhaps intend well, but you must listen to your body. Experiment a bit! Eat a bigger breakfast. Break your lunch up into two parts. Have an earlier dinner. A later dinner. Find out what works for you. The important thing is to fuel your body and eat enough, regardless of what a nutritionist in a magazine or website tells you.
Ok, rant over! Onto the breakfast! Pre-run was coffee and 1/2 luna bar (100 calories).
After a few minutes for digestion, I headed out the door for a 5-miler. Luckily, my hamstring/IT band wasn’t giving me much trouble. However, I was tired from lack of sleep and my long walk the night before and my legs felt pretty stiff. I finished the run in about 46:00 (9:12 pace) and stretched myself out/foam rolled for a good 10 minutes. Wish I had time for more!
I sipped on a chocolate soy milk (150 cals) as I got ready for work.
Once I settled in at my desk I re-fueled with some Stonyfield strawberry yogurt (120 cals), big apple (100 cals), and a generous serving of pumpkin raisin crunch (250 cals). I felt pretty full immediately after eating, but was hungry for lunch at the normal time. I felt like this breakfast provided a good mix of whole grains, dairy, fruit, vitamins, and minerals.
Lunch was a veggie-packed salad, eaten on a bench in Central Park. The sun even peeked out for a bit!
romaine, shredded carrots, red onion, mushrooms
scoop of basil, apple, walnut, goat cheese salad
scoop of israeli cous-cous
chickpeas and white beans
feta and whole grain croutons
1 Tbs balsamic vinaigrette
Note: a lot of the heavy stuff (beans!) sunk to the bottom of the salad container.
Somethin’ Somethin’ for my sweet tooth
I was a bit stressed after work, so I treated myself to a pedicure. Ahh, so nice to have clean feet, pretty toes, and mini leg massage!
Later on it was time to meet up with a crew of Central Park track teammates at PopBurger in Midtown East.
This place definitely fits in to the neighborhood (the Museum of Art and Design and the MoMA are both just blocks away!). The downstairs features a take-out counter, modern lighting, and Andy Warhol soup can art work.
Our crew, however, headed to the upstairs lounge. We situated ourselves on the upholsterd sofas and perused a menu featuring burgers and cocktails. Luckily, the slider platter featured a vegetarian option – portobello burgers! These were delish – breaded portobello mushroom, lettuce, tomato, and cheese on a mini brioche bun. I had two of my mini burgers and shared the other one with Alma – perfect amount!
I also sampled a few of the onion rings – light and crispy! Mmm, fast food. Will it make us run fast?
After dinner, we headed downstairs for a little birthday celebration. The group was celebrating a bunch of September birthdays and Ani procured a bounty of Crumbs cupcakes for us to share.
The cupcakes were cut into bite size peices so that we could sample a bunch of flavors. I tried the Reese’s peanut butter cup, Cappuccino chocolate chip, and the Red Velvet. Soooo good. The peanut butter cup was definitely my favorite!
It was a very fun night, but I didn’t get home until nearly 11pm. I can’t wait to spend a quiet night at home – so much I need to catch up on!
Question: What’s your favorite thing to do when you have a whole night to yourself? I love to watch cheesy TV shows and bake cookies!
Amby Burfoot weighs in on the ideal weight for runners.
A 3-hour long yoga class benefiting breast cancer? A free tarot card reading? Martinis and golf? Take your pick, these fun events are all happening this weekend in the NYC area!