Food, glorious food! It’s definitely one of my most favourite things in the world – I just love to eat! One of the great things about stepping up my training for the ultra is that I need more fuel, and therefore get to eat more. At first I found myself stressing about what I was eating, how much I was eating and generally feeling guilty about all of it (as is stupidly standard). This past weekend though I decided to try this ‘revolutionary’ new thing where I just eat and don’t worry about any of it. I run and train enough that it’s more important that I’m eating enough.
When I started researching ultra-marathon running, I noticed that a large majority of the articles advocated losing weight so that you would be ‘as light as possible’, and therefore faster. A month into training, I now see that this makes no sense whatsoever. Training for an ultra-marathon (or any sort of intense training) requires you to spend more time exercising, and your body needs the fuel to see you through it. You will naturally be hungry, and trying to suppress those feelings to lose weight will not only make you grumpy and tired, but will also mean that you won’t progress as you may like to. You need energy to run, and energy comes from food. Eat!
As an experiment to see just how much I eat in a day now, and to show that no, it’s definitely not all ‘healthy’, I tracked a day of eating. You could probably analyse it and see many places for improvement, but that is not the point of this exercise. Instead, I just want to show what my version of ‘normal’ is now that I’m training more than I have in my life.
The day described here is from Friday, 9th February 2018. On this day I trained upper body at the gym for an hour or so, but otherwise had a rest day. I had class from 1:00-2:30pm and again from 4:20-7:30pm. The next day I planned to do a long-run of 3hrs, and so needed to make sure I was fuelled up for that.
9am, breakfast: I tend to have the exact same breakfast every day: oats cooked with fruit (half an apple today), and then some milk and honey added afterwards. It tastes great and I feel like it gives me enough energy to get through the morning. I also like to drink black tea in the morning, but today we’d run out of tea bags, so I had cinnamon tea instead.
11:15am, post-gym: After working out at the gym for an hour I’m starving and need to go grocery shopping. To avoid buying everything in the supermarket I stop off at the boulangerie for a donut and a croissant. Nomnomnom. On return from the store I make a cup of vanilla black tea from our newly replenished stock.
12:15pm, lunch: I haven’t left much time before I need to leave for class, so cook a quick omelette. It’s super quick to chop up the tomato, capsicum and eggplant and fry it all up with some butter. Crack in two eggs and mix in some cheese – yum. While cooking I snack on bread with hummus and some lettuce leaves, and then eat the omelette with some more fresh baguette.
12:34pm: On my way out the door I grab a chocolate heart. My parents sent these and they are delicious ❤
2pm, during class: Halfway through my first class of the day I see that one of the other students has got himself a coffee, and think that this is a great idea. I’ve been avoiding drinking caffeinated coffee this year, but I’m going to a French movie tonight & need to stay up late, so it’s a case where caffeine will probably help. I pay my 40c to the vending machine and am returned a vanilla coffee. Definitely sugary, but also very yum.
3:00pm, between classes: I meet up with my friend Genieve and we go to a nearby café to study and chat. She chooses a hot chocolate but given that I’ve just had a coffee, I get a ‘tarte tomate chèvre’ instead. The pastry is thin and the tomatoes are delicious, I’m very happy. As we leave the café/patisserie, we pick up some treats. I choose a ‘sable vanille chocolate’ which turns out to be a thick biscuit in layers. It’s a bit too much biscuit, so I eat it slowly over the first hour of class.
6:35pm: We have a short break and a classmate passes around some French biscuits. I can’t resist.
8:30pm, dinner: I saw that today is National Pizza Day (in the US, but that doesn’t matter) and so Sye and I agree that it’s only right to eat pizza before our movie. I choose a vegetarian option with capsicum, tomatoes and heavenly amounts of cheese, which I wolf down with a glass of red wine. Unfortunately our time gets a bit rushed when we realise the movie is about to start, but still make it in time for the screening.
11:45pm, at home: Despite the late hour it doesn’t feel right to go straight to bed, so we make tea and chat a bit longer. I drink a peach tea and enjoy another chocolate heart with it. Nightly tea has become a tradition, and I really enjoy how soothing it is before falling into bed.