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Yesterday, as I glanced at the training calendar so carefully and blatantly placed on our kitchen closet door, I eyeballed the 70 + mile weeks that include back to back long runs and thought to myself “this is going to get expensive.”
I wasn’t concerned about the number of hours of my week that will now be dedicated solely to running. I wasn’t even scared of the pain that will come with a back to back 30/20 mile long runs (a couple of them, actually) at the end of 75 mile total weeks once I reach peak (OK, maybe I am a little nervous about that one). No, I see those numbers and all I can think about is how much food Geoff and I are going to need to eat to sustain that sort of activity. Because as we finish of the first month of building our base mileage and ease into longer and longer weekly miles, neither one of us can stop eating.
We’re rungry, all of the time.
Nutrition and I have an…interesting history. If you’ve been here since the beginning (can you believe I’ve been rambling on for nearly six and a half years now?) you might remember that I’ve struggled with a serious sweet tooth (or junk food addiction, take your pic) in the past. Namely: the evils of Mountain Dew. Oh how I DO NOT miss that stuff.
Then I switched to a 100% plant based diet (i.e.: vegetarian). I struggled at first, with eating a ton of starchy carbohydrates in place of my normal “meat” protein, but finally got that down as well. Even as an athlete. I’ve written numerous times on this blog about the trials and tribulations of being a vegetarian athlete. I’ve noted how it’s absolutely NOT impossible to “get enough protein”, as so often touted by the meat loving crowd.
But now, NOW that I’ve got everything under control, I’ve thrown another wrench into my nutrition engine:
Ultra marathon training.
This isn’t going to be a post where I tell you what the plan is, because I haven’t gotten it figured out yet. My gut instinct (literally, haha) is that I need to make sure I’m taking in enough protein AND fat, to help fuel, sustain, and recover. Instead of reaching for what my body is craving.
And that is potato chips and Coca-Cola.
I don’t even LIKE those things, but that is what my body has been screaming for post long run. And no, incase you are wondering, I have NOT been refueling with that junk. I just want them. All of the time. It’s crazy. I can’t remember having an appetite this relentless and insatiable ever in my entire life, not even during pregnancy.
The obvious answer is to just listen to my body. However, while weight loss is certainly NOT on my radar, I’d prefer that weight gain wasn’t there either. I’ve written articles about how common running and weight gain can be, and don’t want to fall into that trap myself.
So what say you, fine running community of the internet? Have any great resources for me (keeping in mind, we don’t eat meat. Or fish, since that seems to always be the second question). Ultra runners, how did you deal with the increased appetite, and does it ever settle down? Or am I going to need a third job to pay for all the food I am going to eat? Fitness is my specialty. Nutrition certainly isn’t a foreign topic, but is not what I would consider myself an expert in.
Hungry, Hungry, Heather