Tag Archives: Running

What I Ate Wednesday: Fueling for a Half Marathon

Kyra's Favorite gluten free pizza pete's new haven a pizza washington dc | almost getting it together

Let me hop on my soap box for one second: I’m a basically life-long runner who has fallen into the “I can eat anything because I run” trap. You know why it’s a trap? Because you’ll gain weight. Sure, you just ran 13.1 miles so we’ll go with the high estimate and say you burned 1,300 calories. If you eat whatever you want for a week after you’re going to eat those 1,300 calories right back up and possibly more, especially if you’re eating a lot of junk.

Alternately, if you don’t fuel your body properly for a hard workout, like a half-marathon or a marathon, you won’t be able to compete at a high-level. Do you think Shalane Flanagan eats 1,200 calories the day before a race? Definitely not, she eats a lot more, and she’s able to run sub-six minute miles for 26+ miles. Food is fuel and you have to figure out what works for you (insert I’m not a nutritionist disclaimer).

I’ve been running half-marathons for over four years now, both when I was in college and thought I could eat whatever I wanted because I ran 13 miles and now when I have a vague clue of what to eat so my body works it’s best. Yes, have a big meal – especially if you ran a full marathon – but don’t think it gives you license to eat whatever crap you feel like a week before or prior because you won’t fuel properly, you won’t recover properly, and you’ll gain weight.

Okay, I’m done.

Nike Women’s Half-Marathon DC was the first race I’ve ran since going totally gluten-free. I think for the most part I fueled well, but this week on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning I’m going to focus on adding a little more sugar – more coconut water, some added honey, a little extra fruit – because my glucose stores definitely weren’t topped off because my legs were tired by mile four. Here is what I ate on Saturday to prep for the race.

Breakfast – Crockpot Oatmeal with Chocolate Nuttzo, Strawberries and Greek Yogurt

what i ate wednesday half-marathon oatmeal with peanut butter and yogurt | almost getting it together

Eaten out of tupperware, per usual, while I waited for my car to get brakes and new AC.

This is basically the same breakfast I eat every morning, except I added a little extra Nuttzo and too-much yogurt.

Lunch – Brown Rice Wrap with Turkey, Brie, Avocado, Spinach and Mustard

This is a recycled photo I took on a plane (more about that coming soon) but I basically eat this in some form or another (weekend lunch or weeknight dinner) 3-4 times a week. I eat the same foods all the time, remember?

Snack – Picky Bar

picky bar runners high | almost getting it together

Stock photo because I devoured it before remembering to photograph, per usual.

Last week I remembered I had exactly one gel and so during lunch, I ran over to REI to grab more. While I was there, I decided to grab a few more snack-y things since REI has THE BEST SNACKS. I grabbed a couple Picky Bars and had the “Runner’s High” (vanilla, hemp, blueberry) and not only was it insanely delicious, it was super satisfying.

Snack – Baked Sweet Potato with Cottage Cheese and Almond Butter

sweet potato with cottage cheese | almost getting it together

Recycled photo, ate it while driving so clearly wasn’t going to photograph it.

Again: same snack, different day. Carb loading without simple carbs is delicious.

Dinner – Olivita Salad with Grilled Chicken & Gluten-Free Pizza from Pete’s A-Pizza

Of course I Googled “Best gluten-free pizza DC” before I left. Pete’s A-Pizza was mentioned on a few lists so we checked it out and weren’t disappointed. I started with a salad with grilled chicken, as I always do before a race.

spinach olivada salad pete's new haven a pizza washington dc | almost getting it together

Spinach Olivada Salad from Pete’s A Pizza

Then I had “Kyra’s Pizza” (their GF-crust) with fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, artichokes, mushrooms, and arugula (which I don’t think made it on the pizza).

Kyra's Favorite gluten free pizza pete's new haven a pizza washington dc | almost getting it together

My ritual pre-race meal: pizza.

As I’m opt to do on Wednesdays, I’m linking up for What I Ate Wednesday.

Chat with me:
What was the best thing you ate last week?

Fit Tip Tuesday: Puma Faas 300 v3 Review

Puma Faas 300 v3 | almost getting it together

If I haven’t said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times – I’m a creature of habit. Once I find something that works, be it food or workout or running shoe, I don’t change it. I crave routine. It’s actually probably slightly OCD or neurotic or whatever. Also for someone who craves routine in her personal life, I also hate it after a while, which is why I feel the need to travel to ridiculous places.

Anyway, last month recently Puma reached out to see if I was interested in testing their new running shoe, the lightweight Faas 300 v3. I’m currently running in an Asics shoe that I’m not crazy about (the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10, the update to my beloved Wave Inspire 9, left a lot to be desired when I took it for a test run). When I thought about cheating on the Wave Inspire 9, the sales guy at Gingerbread Man Running (truly my favorite running shoe store, but it’s also an hour away whereas True Runner is just across town), actually had me test run in a Puma.

Puma Faas 300 v3 | almost getting it together

This is often how I can be spotted in my natural habitat. Oh, and on the weekends because I don’t care how I look.

I know what you’re asking – does Puma make running shoes? My friend Jessi recently asked the same question. I asked the same question. The answer is yes. Remember just a few short years ago when Mizuno wasn’t known for their running shoes? My running shoe guy told me Puma has really been making a push to better their running shoe assortment and that they were some of his best selling shoe. I was definitely interested in seeing what Pumas could do for a longer distance then around the block and back.

I took them for a 7 mile run. I had worked out in them a little bit before – mainly just my morning strength workout – so they weren’t totally un-broken in. They were definitely light – I felt a lot faster in them. They are not necessarily made for longer distances – I would like to try racing a 5K in them soon to see how they are in a short, fast run.

I have been cross-training in the Faas 300 v3, which I enjoy because they are so light. I don’t even need my orthopedics (long story, if you’re ever bored I’ll tell you my whole injury story sometime) to feel supported in them when I’m doing strength training (note: my strength training is Nike Training Club workouts. I’m not doing Crossfit or anything crazy.) They are also definitely cute.

If you are a shorter distance runner or are looking for a cross-training shoe, I suggest giving them a try. Plus, it’s always good to get yourself out of your routine a little, right?

Plus, don’t forget about my NuttZo giveaway – you can enter through midnight on Thursday!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post, but Puma did provide me the Puma Faas 300 v3 to review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Chat with me:
Are you a person who is addicted to their routine? If you’re a runner… what shoe do you run in?

How to Have a Successful Long Run

First off – I’m not a trained running coach, a doctor and my last science class was AP Biology in high school, so the below is what works for me. It might not work for everyone. I’ve been running for 11 years now so I have figured out what works best for me – and I’m still figuring it out every day – but this is what I’ve used to run my past successful four half-marathons in 2013. Also I don’t know what kind of shape you’re in – I have the mentality I can do whatever I put my mind to (aside from being taller than 5’0”) so basically I’ve developed and honed the “crazy runner gene” over the past 11 years.

There was a time in my life where I was terrified to run more than 5 miles. I thought I couldn’t do it. Then one day I had a lot on my mind and went and ran five miles and it was over before I realized what happened. This was in high school – and I still remember it 6-7 8-9 (crap, I’m getting old) years later.

The biggest hurdle of increasing your mileage for the first time is the negative self-talk. I’ve discovered the biggest part of forcing myself to go out and run double-digits in single digit temperatures and piles of snow is telling myself I’m good at what I’m doing, that I’m enjoying it and I’m fully capable of whatever it is I’m trying to do. Once you tell yourself that you’ll leave all the negative self-talk for another time, you’re overcome the hardest (mental) part.

Increasing mileage safely is really important.  I add 1-2 miles to my long run each week when I’m increasing my mileage. It works for me, but I also run 1000+ miles a year (rough estimate, but probably close to accurate) so I have a good base. Be sure you have a good base – you can easily run 3-4 miles – before you try to run 5 or 6.

Okay now to the fun part – fueling! Eat a good breakfast. What works best for me I’ve discovered is oatmeal with nut butter and some banana. Be sure you didn’t get wasted the night before and drink a lot of water the day before and the morning of.


Nut butter – essential to long runs. Deliciousness courtesy of Angela.

I also take homemade energy bites or Larabars with me – maybe 100-200 calories worth – if I’m doing anything over 10 miles. If you’re starting out – take it with you for 6+ miles. Sometimes I’m more fatigued than others. Eat something when you’re starting to feel tired – I can tell that my legs feel heavy and I eat something and I get a pep back in my step.

almost getting it together national oatmeal day trail mix energy bites

Make my Trail Mix Energy Bites to take with you on your long run.

More important than food is water. I used to never take water with me, which was dumb. When I get dehydrated I start to get really negative. When I start to have negative thoughts, I drink more water – whatever, it might be all in my head but again these are tips that work for me. I have a little 10 oz Amphipod I use. On really hot days and really long runs (think over 12 miles) I either keep more water in my car and make my route stop by there to refill or stop and get water. (One time I stole a little Gatorade out of the machine from Sheetz when I was running near my grandparents house because I was DYING and they didn’t have a water spigot. I didn’t have any money with me. I still feel bad about it… kind of.)

Another important thing for keeping your attention in the run and not giving up and walking home is to have an interesting route. I love trail running because of my cross-country background so usually I do 90% of my runs on a trail. Sometimes if it’s snow covered or I need a change of scenery I go somewhere else.

Have a good playlist to listen to. I recently listened to Madonna’s MDMA Tour Live on Spotify ~1.25 times on a 15 mile run. It actually went by fast in my head because I was jamming out to all of Madonna’s classics. (And let’s be real – she’s great thinspiration fitspiration because she’s in great shape for being in her 50s. Say what you want about her arms being veiny – she’s able to werk it on stage still. You can’t do that without being fit.) I also recently discovered Podcasts and those keep my mind off the insane amount of time I’m spending in the snow, dodging ice and cars. I recommend The Dinner Party.

Finally – have a delicious meal to look forward to. Don’t go eat 1,000 calories in one meal and undo all the hard work you did, but eat something warm (if it’s winter out, duh) and nutritious. I love having a huge salad with some sort of treat – healthy muffin, kabocha, or my 10 Minute Gluten Free Pizza. I also have an almond milk latte after every long run. I don’t know why – it’s just my thing and I look forward to it so it helps me get through it.

Again – these are things that work for me. They may not work for everyone and don’t go trying something new on race day. Rookie mistake.

Chat with me:
Do you do long runs? What are your ways of coping with a long run (or super intense workout/bike ride/swim/whatever)?

I’m joining Lisa from The Skinny on Health for her Fit Tip Tuesday. Head to her blog to see more fit tips!

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