What I Eat in a Day: Mid-Week Long Run Edition

Wednesdays are my mid-week long run days (currently at 7 miles) so I'm doing those before work to avoid the heat of the day (and so I can go to my knitting group). I thought this was a perfect time to do another what I eat in a day since I'm pretty set in my Wednesday schedule and I'm trying to get a larger amount of carbs in with what I'm eating after a run.

Meal 1

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Surprise, it's not oatmeal! I've been working through the strawberry waffles I made a couple of weeks ago for my breakfasts and this was the last one. How I'm warming them up is cooking them at 400º for 10 minutes on a wire rack which gets them nice and crispy.

I've been topping these waffles just with a tablespoon of peanut butter since they already had strawberries mixed in. This time, since I had strawberries that had to be used up, I chopped a cup of them up and heated them in a coffee cup for a minute. This made them into a nice syrup that melted the peanut butter even more on the waffle. Paired with a mug of coffee with foamed 1% milk on top and it's a great way to start off the day.

Meal 2

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My post-run smoothie has come already! I had a good seven miles (as you'll see on the week in review that comes out on Monday) and headed to the gym to get in my foam rolling and get ready for work. I made up a smoothie the night before since I didn't want to start it at 6 a.m. and make the neighbors mad.

As I mentioned before, I"m trying to get more carbs in post-run when I'm running in the morning. I was already getting in a good amount with the fruit in my smoothies but I was getting hungrier faster and thought more carbs could help. In addition to the banana and cup of frozen fruit, I threw in a cup of oatmeal right into the blender before mixing it up. And I feel like it really helped me at work. I didn't feel like I was ready to eat lunch right when I got into work at 10 a.m. which I have been the last couple of weeks.

Meal 3

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Since I am a creature of habit, I did have my lunch at around my normal 11 a.m. time. But no stomach rumbling as I heated it up like the past couple of weeks. What I had was leftovers from Sunday night's dinner that Mike made, baked ziti with creamy kale and sausage, which was just as delicious reheated.

Normally I'd have something else with my lunch like some fruit and greek yogurt but since I had the more carb heavy smoothie earlier I didn't feel like I needed anything else.

Meal 4

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Since I didn't have anything with my lunch, I did pack a mid-day snack. Usually I'll have this as my pre-workout for when I run after work but since I ran already I used it to keep my hunger down in the last couple of hours of work. I accidentally grabbed vanilla flavored greek yogurt when I went grocery shopping instead of plain so it's interesting having a favored yogurt again. I added blueberries on top (thank goodness for fruit being on sale now) and chocolate and caramel rice cakes on the side.

I'm seriously obsessed with rice cakes right now, to the point where I keep three different flavors in the house. They are the perfect little snack during the day to get in some more carbs but I can top them with whatever I want or add them into yogurt.

Meal 5

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What I had for my last two meals of the day was completely different than I had planned out. Normally, I go to knitting group on Wednesday nights and plan it out so I can have my iced vanilla latte there. But, with all the problems I've been having sleeping this week, I was feeling exhausted by the time I got done with work. I made a last minute decision to skip knitting group and relax at home in my pjs and knit.

So, I mixed up my last two meals so I can have a little treat for my last meal. Instead of the leftover pot roast and vegetables that I planned, I had my favorite easy breakfast for anytime meal: an egg white wrap with mozzarella cheese. Usually I have a spiralized potato on the side but we didn't have any left so I skipped it this time.

Meal 6

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Final meal of the night and one of my favorite sweet treats: Halo Top! It's a bit more expensive than regular ice cream but I can have an entire pint of it at once without feeling guilty. And it's super delicious, I love the different flavors and the flavor for me is just like regular ice cream. Just with less fat and more protein.

And that wraps up what I ate this past Wednesday. It was a pretty typical day to start out with but ended differently than my Wednesdays usually do. And that's just how I'm taking my marathon training. There's going to be days that I just don't feel like going out because my body is working super hard right now. And that's ok.

Running Past 13.1

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This past Sunday was a big mileage marker for me. It was my first run past 13.1-ish miles. And as I talked about in why I decided to run a marathon, it's a distance I never thought I'd run. And now I've done it and I'm going to be running even more miles past 13.1. I actually enjoyed running 14 miles. Yes, it was challenging. Yes, I was a gross sweaty mess afterwards. But I enjoyed running it. It's becoming more and more apparent that long distance running is what I enjoy. Getting out there for a couple of hours is what my body enjoys, even though I'm speeding through it.

I headed out at about 6:45 a.m. and got parked and started my run by about 7:15 a.m. One thing I'm going to think about it getting out there to run a little bit earlier. Yes, it means I'm going to get up earlier but the temperature rose about 10º while I was running and I finished it at 80º. Hence the giant salt crystals on my body. I know it's not going to be a whole lot better as we get more into summer in Minnesota but the less heat I'm running in the better. And it will still feel amazing on race day with a start in the 30s and finishing somewhere in the 60s.

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For this run, I didn't listen to an audiobook. Instead, I worked my way through my backlog of podcasts since I had just over 3 hours in my queue. I think it made a huge difference to be listening to different things throughout my run rather than the non-fiction audiobook I've been listening to. I'm going to try an audiobook on an upcoming long run but it will probably be the next book in the Outlander series which will still mix it up with different POVs changing throughout my run.

I think what also helped with this run is that I was running a new-ish place. I ran along the river from St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis (and back), which I haven't done in one shot before. I've done parts of this route with different races but I didn't really remember running them. I love running along the river and it was gorgeous running in downtown Minneapolis. It also helped that I got in a lot of people watching in downtown since there was always people around me.

I did get a little lost on this run. Well, not lost since I knew where I was in a general sense but lost because I ended up going down a path that didn't lead where I though it was going to go. I ended up on Nicollet Island instead of running along the river so I didn't get to run across the Stone Arch Bridge like I planned. Next long run I'll be switching up my route so I'm going to the opposite way.

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Originally, I had planned on heading to the gym to foam roll before heading home but I nixed that idea at about the halfway point. I was way too gross to go anywhere in public plus I knew I would just want to get home after I was done. I drank probably about 18oz of water along the run and had a Gu but mentally I was done. I had packed a smoothie and water in a cooler for post-run (best idea I've ever had) so I just chugged down my smoothie on the drive home.

I foam rolled as usual, with Vinnie circling me wanting to sniff but not wanting to get that close, and then hopped into a cold bath. With my running clothes still on. And Vinnie decided to join me since I left the bathroom door open. But it felt really good after my run once I got over the initial shock of the temperature.

I'm really excited to see how my future long runs go since I'm just adding on mileage, both weekly and to my long runs. So far, I'm not feeling too sore the days after it but I'm sure that will change as I keep on adding more. I'm hoping my sleep gets a little bit more regular too. I napped for about two hours after my long run and ended up going to bed at my regular time, but woke up at 2 a.m. and couldn't fall back asleep quickly.

How did your first runs longer than 13.1 miles go? Any tips for me?

How I Meal Plan

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I've written in the past that I meal plan to make it easier on myself during training cycles so I figured I should write-up how I meal plan. This is what is currently working for me based on my marathon training schedule and is flexible enough to change based on how the upcoming weeks look.

Once a Month: Plan Out Upcoming Meals

We do one big grocery shopping trip every four or five weeks (depending on if we spend time away and aren't cooking as much) to buy non-perishables for the upcoming weeks plus everything we'd need for the next week's meals. To prepare for this, I plan out upcoming meals on Google Calendar so I don't have to worry each week about what we are making. Plus, it's easy to move meals around when something else comes up and I can see at a glance what's coming up.

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I keep all my recipes in Evernote to make it easy to search through and plan out what meals we'll have for the upcoming weeks. It's also easy to add in new recipes using the Web Clipper extension and share out recipes with Mike when he's the one cooking. I use the Notebook feature to divide recipes by type and then when I pick out what we'll be cooking I tag it with the date of when I do a big grocery shopping trip. Easy to find what I'll be cooking either to make a grocery shopping list or cook the meal! If you aren't already using Evernote and want to try it out, I have a referral link that will get you a free trial of the Premium version.

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I pick out all the meals that look interesting (and that we haven't had in a while which is another place tagging recipes with a date comes in useful) first and then I plan when we are going to have them. Right now, we are cooking dinner on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays based on our work schedules and my training schedule.

I put the dishes that take longer to prepare or cook on the weekend, when Mike and I have more to devote to these meals. Tuesdays are Mike's day to work late so I plan on having something either in the pressure or slow cooker this day so I don't need to be as hands on since I'm running and taking care of Vinnie. Thursdays I still have a run but Mike is home so he'll usually start dinner while I'm doing my mobility and it's usually something easier that doesn't need to cook for more than 30 minutes.

Once a Month: Big Grocery Shopping Trip

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Once we have a meal plan ready, I go back through the recipes to create a shopping list for a big shopping trip. This one I divide out items by area in the store to make it easier to grab things (especially since we visit two stores to get the best deals while shopping).

What goes onto this list is everything for upcoming weeks that can be frozen or is canned/in a jar plus all the ingredients for the upcoming week's meals. We have staples that we get on almost every shopping trip (eggs, milk, yogurt, fruit/vegetable on sale) that round out our other meals for the week.

I eat breakfast at home every morning while Mike usually gets something at work and makes breakfast at home on the weekends. We eat leftovers or make simple wraps/sandwiches for lunches and dinners (if it's not a day we're cooking).

Weekly: Smaller Grocery Shopping Trip

Since we do one big grocery shopping trip, our weekly trips tend to be quicker and just replenishing our staples plus the perishable foods for the upcoming week. Depending on what is coming up for the week we can sometimes just go to Aldi to get everything but usually we go to Aldi and either Cub or Target (depending on whether we need paper/laundry products). Right now, I'm doing grocery shopping on Saturdays (after my run) and usually make it to Aldi right when they open so I can get in and out quickly.

Do you meal plan?