Fueling for 500 miles

I’ve been asked by several people, “What did you eat while you were running?”  So, this blog is dedicated to fueling for 500 miles.  To be honest, I’m not sure I did it the correct way.  In fact I’m sure there was much room for improvement for the amount of output I had.  I learned as I went. But, I felt good (all but two days where I ignorantly underfed myself) and I made it through injury free and able to workout two days after the run (I will post later about my recovery tools which also played a HUGE role).

I was so lucky in that I had top level chefs from True Nature Kitchen preparing my meals for me.  They would make them, vacuum seal them, freeze them and bring them to us in coolers.  We had a microwave in Big Blue that I would use for convenience sake, but typically would just throw them in a hot pot of boiling water.

The first two weeks looked something like this…

  • Wake up and almost immediately eat 2 hard boiled eggs and a banana
  • During the run I would eat pre-made baby food (sweet potatoes, turmeric, black pepper, chia) and drink my 100+ ounces of water with electrolyte replacement tabs in it.
  • Post-run I hammered a Coconut Rehydrate and a Gluten Free polenta muffin right away.
  • After Tory worked on my legs (and sometimes during) I would eat a pre-made meal.  These varied but always contained a clean source of lean, organic meat (turkey, chicken, salmon), rice or sweet potatoes (or another root veggie), greens (kale, broccoli or brussel sprouts).
  • Before bed I would try to eat a bit more, but was usually just force feeding.  I would either have a bit more of a heated up meal or some paleo granola with almond milk.
  • I would top the night off with water and my PurePharma 3 packet (magnesium, fish oil and vitamin D).

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At the half way point, I was at my mom’s house.  I knew I had lost a bit of weight, but wasn’t sure how much.  I was shocked to see that I was down 11 pounds.  Then, I got pretty nervous.  I still had 2 weeks to go and didn’t want to come out of this 20 pounds down!  So my food shifted a bit.  Due to lack of appetite, I was already force feeding, so I knew that I couldn’t stick to my strict clean eating diet only for higher calorie consumption.  I spoke with some ultra runners that suggested eating whatever sounded good (oreos, ice cream, pizza).  So…. then it began.

On top of the food I already listed above, I added in the following.  The energy it took to chew food was sometimes too much (I know how crazy that sounds), so True Nature kindly whipped up some amazing Chicken Soup.  I did find that something cold after the run was way more appetizing than something hot, so I had chicken curry salad at lunch and saved the heated meal for dinner.  I also started to allow some junk food in.  I ate things that I hadn’t eaten in 7 or 8 years.  I was craving salt and vinegar potato chips and peanut M&Ms on a regular basis, so they became a staple for quick calories without a lot of eating.  Throughout the last 2 weeks, I also had some ice cream bars, Doritos, gluten free cookies, chips and salsa and whatever sounded good at the time.  I also had good snacks; apple with almond butter, carrots and hummus, more polenta muffins.  Turns out my shift in eating the second half faired way better as I ended the run only down 13 pounds total (2 more pounds lost the second half).

I’m not sure of the amount of calories I was consuming each day.  I’ve never been a counter.  I just ate what sounded good or what people put in front of me.  I remained gluten free as I know my stomach can’t handle gluten and for the most part the majority of my food was nutrient dense and healthy.  On average, I was burning around 2500 calories a day on the run, which meant I would have to be consuming around 5000-6000 calories a day to maintain my weight.  IMPOSSIBLE!

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Now that the run is over, I am back to having the junk food out of my diet (with my necessary occasionally dark chocolate fix).  But, I can tell you that I learned a lot from the True Nature Kitchen staff on how and why certain foods should be in my diet.  Please read on to learn some yourself.

Here is a note from the chefs at True Nature Kitchen on their approach to my nourishment.  Without them I literally would have not made it.  I would have been trying to live on salami, carrots and any other easily accessible food that I could travel with.  Without their love, support and nourishing touch, Move Mountains would have been a totally different experience.  THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU!

“As we engaged in the monumental task of nourishing Jenny in her Moving of Mountains and her 500 mile run across Colorado, we took many aspects into account. We evaluated caloric intake, Jenny’s dietary guidelines, and the difficulty of eating while running. Also present for long endurance athletes are lack of apetitie and gastric distress. We also looked at rehydration, nutritionally supporting elements of muscle fatigue, inflammation as well as potential energy support and enhancement.

Knowing that Jenny’s background in CrossFit incorporated a lot of Paleo and Primal food preferences, however Jenny felt it was important to not be too confined by any specific modality and prepare foods that met her needs.

With these conditions in mind we set out to supply foods already in our True Nature Kitchen and engage some development for products that would support her monumental efforts. Below are some key ingredients that we work with in our foods.”

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True Nature uses all organic ingredients.

Raw Coconut Meat and Coconut Oil –

Benefits of Coconut Meat

About MCT Oil (Coconut Oil)

  • Immediate source of fuel from intestines to liver
  • MCT converts to ketone bodies that may potentially be replacement energy for the brain
  • MCT contain vitamins A and E, and polyphenols and phytosterols, all work together to decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol
Chia Seeds

Benefits of Chia Seeds

What is Chia

  • Provide body with massive amount of nutrients and antioxidants
  • May be a good source to “carb load” without the sugars as most of the carbs are fibers
Pinole

Fuel Your run with Pinole

Turmeric and Black Pepper

Benefits of Turmeric and Black Pepper

Q &A about Turmeric

  • A powerful source of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial agents
  • Black pepper (piperine) enhances the bioavailability of turmeric (Curcumin)
  • Piperine in black pepper can trigger TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1) in the body, which triggers reduction of pain.
Maca

Benefits of Maca

  • Rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E and calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.
  • May increase energy levels and stamina
  • Supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells
Himalayan Salt

Benefits of Himalayan Salt

  • Controls water levels in the body for proper functioning
  • Promotes pH balance in cells
  • Aides in vascular health and respiratory function
  • Reduces cramps and enhances bone health
Bamboo Salt

What is bamboo salt?

  • Contains more than 70 minerals
  • Among these minerals are… calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, and potassium, zinc.
  • Alkaline Salt (all other salts are acidic)
Terramin Clay

What is Terramin Clay?

  • Naturally supplements with more than 50 micro, macro and trace mineral nutrients
  • Removes toxins, heavy metals and cleanses digestive tract
Dandelion Root

Benefits of Dandelion and Dandelion Root

  • Digestive Aide
  • Helps Kidneys clear out waste, salt and excess water
  • Improves liver function by removing toxins and reestablishing hydration and electrolyte balance
  • Contains phytonutrients and essential fatty acids to lower inflammation
Other Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes, Green Apples, Organic Brown Rice, Figs, Kale /Lacinato, Spinach, Local and Organic Proteins, Local Organic Eggs

 

True Nature Prepared Products that nourished Moving Mountains

Coconut Re-hydrate – which will hopefully be available soon at True Nature Kitchen

Gluten Free Muffins – my goal is to get the dry ingredients of these for sale because they are killer!

Chia Cherry Power Bars

Barefoot Korima ROAD POWER PACKS (baby foods) – also my goal to get these available.  They are great for endurance athletes but also good for CrossFit athletes between multiple workouts in a day

Dandelion Chai – SOOOOO good for you and SOOOO good tasting!

True Nature Prana Burst

True JUN – probiotic drink (also possibly available soon at True Nature Kitchen)

Fortified Chicken Bone Broth and Soup

Packaged Meals

Roasted Salmon, Roasted Lamb, Chia Pinole Meatloaf, Roasted Skirt Steak, Roasted Tamari Chicken Thighs, Whole Roasted Chicken

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Day 15: Half Way Point

Day 15, Saturday, October 3rd

Willits to Carbondale

 

Dedicated To:

Tabitha Johnson, Cleveland, OH

Jeffery Sullivan, Boston, MA

Ciera Moyer, Calimesa, CA

 

My body was full of excitement for several reasons this morning. 1- I awoke in a familiar place (mom’s house). 2- I knew I got to run with friends today. 3- It was the start of the big promotional event at Sopris CrossFit (my Colorado home gym) 4- It was the shortest day of the entire run! 5- The next day was a “rest” day.

Four of my good friends from Chico flew in the night before and stayed in Breckenridge. They wanted to run with me today but it’s a 2 hour drive over for them….which meant we got to start a bit later than normal and sleep in. However, like clockwork, 6:30 hit and I was awake in a house full of silent sleepers so I busted out the computer and started blogging. Around 8:30, Michelle Kinney came over from across the street (where she was staying with some good friends of mine). We ate a little breakfast and just as I finished taping my toes for the run that day, my friends came to the front step. Bret Crowe, Jenn Schultz, Kayla Bentley and Casey Annal… familiar faces with huge smiles and open arms… I knew this was going to be a great day!

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We all took off in Big Blue toward Willits to the spot where I had finished the day before in a malnourished/delirious state. I didn’t even recognize the spot when we got there… I really was out of it yesterday. After a few pictures, we took off on the run (well 2 people on bikes). I STRONGLY suggested to my Chico friends to trade off and on with the bike so that they didn’t risk getting altitude sickness. It worked well. The six of us chatted it up the entire time as miles just whizzed by. I pointed out to them where I worked as a groundskeeper in the summers during college, where the backside of our local ski hill was, where the best view of Mt Sopris is. I told them stories of my friends growing up and asked them about how things were back in Chico. As we were running along the Roarking Fork River, Michelle and I got to chatting about her learning how to fly fish (a goal of mine). Then all of a sudden we were just over 6 miles into the 7.5 mile run when we hit the town of Carbondale. Rather than staying on the Rio Grande Trail, we ran right down Main Street where I got to point out the good restaurants, the cute shops, and all the small town things. Marcus followed us down the sidewalk with the drone as we passed people either giving us funny looks or cheering us on.

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As we turned right off of Main Street, we took a quick pit stop at Sopris CrossFit where I was so honored to introduce my good friends from home to my good friends from Chico. The Sopris crew was busily cleaning the gym and setting up all the gear for the silent auction they put together for Move Mountains. So after some quick hugs, we were back on the run. And then it happened… the last steps of the day, I hit the half way point with 5 good friends, Marcus, Tory, Vaughn, my mom and Dario all there. 250 miles!!!! I honestly couldn’t believe it… in some ways it felt like we had been on the road for so long, but in others it felt like we just started.

I had the crew with me look back toward Carbondale at the mountain that has given me inspiration in so many ways my entire life. Mount Sopris, the massive peak that sits just outside of Carbondale, is the emblem for my run. It’s the mountain in my logo and the representation of home that I have worn around my neck since the day I left for college over 15 years ago. It has dangled by my heart from my chain for so many years as a sign that I will always return to the valley. That this area has been, and always will be, home. Sharing it with so many people that I love, at such a monumental point in my voyage, is a memory that I will hold with me forever.

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Post-run we went to True Nature Healing Arts Center and I was able to share another amazing piece of Carbondale with my friends. The reflexology path is one of few registered paths in the world. It’s a pattern of strategically placed river rocks and geodes that each have a purpose and direction to help heal the body from the feet up. Needless to say my feet are pretty beat up, so there was a lot of healing to be done. I could have stayed there for hours. But we had to split ways for a bit… I headed to the radio station with Tory, Marcus, and Michelle were we met Dave and his beloved girlfriend who was hosting the KDNK radio show that day. She interviewed Tory and I about our journey with Move Mountains and gave us the opportunity to share with a crowd we may not otherwise have been able to touch. Thank you!

From there, I headed back to my mom’s house with the intention of resting but instead a much better thing happened. My long time childhood friend, Lindsey Spaulding (now Ellsworth) showed up with her family (husband Damian, 5 year old Cooper and 4 month old Kalli). Right behind them was Kevin Ogar…an acquaintance through CrossFit (now turned friend). He also was volunteering his one weekend off during the month to come be a part of Move Mountains. We got to catch up, share stories and then of course take the kids and the dogs to the park for their playtime. Not “resting” but very relaxing and a good change of pace from the go, go, go.

When Lindsey and her family had to go, I had enough time to shower before heading to the amazing event put on by Sopris CrossFit. I can’t wait to tell you all about it in the next blog!!!

 

Lesson Learned: I am a very lucky girl… I have amazing friends in my life.