What I eat

I was recently asked about diet and nutrition; specifically what I eat to maintain or improve performance.

Before I answer the question, here are my stats.

  • 36 years old
  • 5′ 6″
  • 127 lbs.
  • Average 40 miles a week 
  • Primary run of choice – long and hilly; distance over speed
  • Marathon PR – 2007 Silicon Valley 3:52 (8:51 pace)
  • Half Marathon PR – 2007 Rock N Roll Half 1:45 (8:01 pace)
  • 10 Mile PR – 2006 Cabbage Patch Ten 1:16 (7:37 pace)
  • Short distance PR – 2008 Pat’s Run 4.2 Miles 30:11 (7:11 pace)

On the one hand I don’t pay much attention to what I eat. On the other hand I am very aware of my health, weight, and shape.  If I reach 130 lbs. I cut back.  If I fall to 125 lbs. I eat more. 

I am a simple eater in that I don’t actually like all that much. I don’t eat meat; it doesn’t interest me.  In fact, I have been a pretty steady vegetarian for over 15 years. — Full disclosure, I sneak bacon on Sunday morning when I cook it for my family. I am only human. —  I almost never eat fried food or fast food. It grosses me out, which I think helps me maintain a healthy diet.  I never proactively try to balance protein with carbs with anything else.  I just sort of eat what I eat.  I also bake, a lot.  And I eat what I bake. 

So here goes my normal weekly diet. Lots of granola cereal with soy milk.  I can eat it for breakfast and dinner. Usually sushi a couple times a week.  Tons of fruit.  I probably average 3-4 pieces a day.  Raw vegetables multiple times a week.  I love baby carrots and snack on them all the time. Avocados and tomatoes are also snacks of choice, as is a cup of yogurt. Usually two eggplant sandwiches a week.  I always enjoy pizza night.  I often make the pizza myself and it is always vegetarian. I love cheese and probably eat it every day. And to that end, I could live off of jalapeno cheese bread from Safeway. Oh and I eat veggie omelets at least twice a week.  

I drink a ton of water, too much coffee, a little diet Coke and a glass of wine or beer a couple times a week.

I complement all of this with a nibble of pie or cake and some cookies, usually all homemade by little ol’ me.  

That’s honestly about it. What about the pasta you might ask?  I don’t actually like pasta that much.  Blasphemy for a runner, I know.  But true.

So as you can see, I am not one to advise on diet for performance.  The one thing I live by for running is a bagel with honey about an hour before a marathon.  I also have my racing nutrition down pretty well.  I have a good idea of when to drink water vs. sports drink, when to eat GU, when to open the Power Bar, and what not to do.  

I guess I don’t pay attention unless I am racing, then I know exactly what I am doing.


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