A hAngry Runner Girl

So those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, I am training for my first (trail) ultra-marathon, a 60k to be exact. Although this is my first ultra, this isn’t my first rodeo with extreme training regimens. I thrive on them. I know I am weird; you don’t have to tell me. It has as much to do with the mental accomplishment as it does with the physical one. Think of it like this, as a human species we have to eat to survive. Well my urge to train feels that strong. Some of you will now think I am crazier, but training is what keeps me in high spirits when my body is being stupid.

With the increased amount of training I am doing on the weekends, it has caused me to spend the days following my long runs in extreme hunger. Well, in all honesty I feel like I could eat my foot off most of the time as of late. I’m not someone who is normally a big eater, mostly because food has always made me kind of sick. I have spent the last few years really starting to understand what my body handles well and what it does not.  There has been a lot of trial and error when it comes to my diet, but through my pain you guys might be able to learn something. I want to go over some of my favorite foods, and what I have found fuels my body in the best way. Keep in mind, I normally think of food as fuel. Period. Not that I don’t like the food I eat, but I eat food for a purpose, and I don’t eat much food that doesn’t come from my kitchen. My food also usually has minimal ingredients. I would say a normal meal for me has 5 ingredients or less. I am not very fancy, but it gets the job done. Also, it is expensive to get really creative when you eat a lot of fresh produce, so it cuts cost when you try to use the same veggie for a couple days at a time.

I want to go through a normal work day and long runs/weekend days for me (I’m not going to put calories or serving sizes on the blog, because everyone is different and I don’t want you to think that we can all eat the same thing and look the same way).

Breakfast: I almost ALWAYS drink a protein shake. These include: Cashew milk (you can use any milk), ice, banana, spinach, protein powder, PB2 or nut butter, and glutamine.

               Training days: I always eat a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar before a long run. I have tried a lot of different things, and this settles well in my stomach. It is the perfect amount of carbs and fats for me. The carbs that come from fruits seem to sit better in my stomach than carbs from other sources.

Snack: I usually eat a bar. Either a Larabar or an Rx Bar, both of the chocolate flavored variety.

               Training days: I don’t usually snack on training days. I just eat big meals.

Lunch: I have been on a spaghetti squash kick lately. I will add different things every day, but I will eat a lot of volume. Usually it's squash, Daiya Cheese, lite spaghetti sauce, and ground turkey. It is super filling and pretty low in carbs. I eat a lot of carbs in the morning for breakfast and for snacks. Sometimes I will eat watermelon or fruit as a “dessert” after I eat.

               Training days: My lunches after training days are usually pretty huge (after a long run). I will normally be starving at this point in the day, having only eaten a Larabar, Gu's, and Nuun. Here is my usual: 1-1.5 serving of shredded hash browns, egg whites, veggies, lean ground turkey, cheese, and ketchup. I make a huge plate of this balanced meal as a “scramble” and go to town. I eat this a lot. Sometimes 2 times a day, depending on my level of motivation to cook. The scramble can easily be changed up to any variety of food you like, and you can omit the hash browns if you don’t have the extra carbs. Same goes for the cheese if you don’t have enough fat macros left for the day.

Dinner: Lately I have been really lazy when it comes to dinner because I have been getting home so late from work. I just don’t have the energy to care. I will eat just eat some cold chicken breast or ground turkey (because putting it into the microwave is too much effort), and some corn tortillas with PB2 in them. It gets the job done and I can get to bed quicker. I would say most of you have other people to cook for, so I advise you to put a little more effort into your food, but I don’t, so I won’t! Haha Sometimes I will also just drink a shake similar to my breakfast shake.

***I also have coconut milk icrecream in the freezer most of the time on standby, for my inevitable sweet tooth. I had to stop buying ANY nut-butter lately because I honestly have no self-control. Its just safer that way.

**You will notice that I eat a lot of the same meals, just in different variations sometimes. I have always done this, and it has never bothered me. I know some of you would go nuts, but I usually just stick to food I know won’t make me sick.

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I also want to talk about a different kind of hunger. I would consider myself a really hungry person, and I have been like this for as long as I can remember. I feel it like I feel the urge to train. I crave a certain kind of life. It has nothing to do with fame or money. This isn’t something I think about every once in a while, it pulses through my veins and fuels my purpose in life. I have felt for a very long time that God put me on this earth for one reason. It is to help people. The only way I feel happy is if I am empowering people to follow their dreams or reach goals that they had never even thought about. I’m not trying to sound righteous, I swear. I just wanted to share with you how I feel every day. I don’t feel happy unless I am doing that in some form or fashion. When people ask me where I will be in 5-10 years, I tell them I hate that question. I learned when I was 18 years old that I can’t plan things like that. I give them an honest answer; I just want to help empower people to be healthy. I honestly don’t know what that looks like a lot of the time. I just know that I will do what I can in the meantime, whatever that looks like. I look at life as something I need to live as full as I can while I can. Who knows if I will always be able to run? So, I will run as much as I can for as long as I can, and I will thank God for it every single day. We all have different definitions of living, and I respect that. But living to me is the feeling I get after I do something that is almost impossible. I get so emotional after a long run. Just for the simple fact that I am so thankful for it. I am thankful for that pain and for the ability to push through it and control it. It makes me feel so alive. I feel alive when I am at dinner with my whole family and we sit for hours laughing so much we cry. I look around the table and cant imagine how I got so lucky. I don't deserve so many people who would kill for me. The smallest things make me happy, and I don't ever want to lose that. I don't want to get so tired that I quit appreciating little things about life, like my favorite wax warmer smell, or when your sister cleans the kitchen for you, or even a shirt from Goodwill.

 This week I have noticed something about people. Bailey and I were running around the rec park and hardly anyone smiled at us, then we passed a lady that genuinely beamed at us. I swear it is magnetic, and it just made me want to hug her. The same thing happened when I was walking at work yesterday. I stopped the girl and told her how happy it made me that she was smiling so much. That is the smallest act we can do as humans. It doesn’t even take us using words, just smiling. I have seen hundreds of people over the last week at work and in life, and I don’t know if I will forget the faces of the two people who smiled. That tells you something about our world. It shouldn’t be that rare to see someone who is kind. So, I guess more than anything, I want to be that person in people’s lives. The one who is smiling. No matter how bad I feel or how tired I am, I can muster up a smile for you. I want to silently be your cheerleader for all of your hopes and dreams. I believe in you, I really do. So, if you are reading this. Get HUNGRY. Don’t settle for a life that isn’t fulfilling to you, and don’t settle for a life that is less than you deserve. You deserve the world. You deserve the world. I am 24 years old, and I am far from where I want to be in life, but I’m not going to wish my life away and wait for things to happen, I am going to do what I can while I can. Inspire those around you, be kind, be thankful, and never stop. Make a bucket list and be relentless in your pursuit for greatness. Everyone’s greatness has a different definition, but greatness all the same.

With so much love (and distance),


What kind of person will you be today?

Blaine MenkeComment