It’s mile 8 of my “only 12” mile long run. As my running partner and I are turning the corner on completing this journey, I realize I’ve exhausted all of my stories for the week. We’ve delved into deeper, philosophical conversation. We’ve shared lots of laughs this run, and maybe even a few tears. We are way past the point of runner’s high. I’m questioning why drop back runs are so challenging. And then it strikes: hunger.
My oatmeal with peanut butter that I had for breakfast is long gone. There’s no food at the SAG’s for this short run. And my Sport Beans meant to replace expended glucose are just not cutting it anymore. I begin to fantasize about all of the food I will eat when I’m done with my run. “Wait?,” I ask myself. “What’s that smell?” Clearly, one of the houses we just passed has just prepared a breakfast of champions. Sigh.
This goes on periodically for 4 more miles as we run through the neighborhoods in the Fan, everyone finally waking up on a leisurely Sunday morning, even though we’ve been running since daylight broke. It gets a bit worse when we run through Carytown, an eclectic part of Richmond with lots of cool places to eat. I’m a bit envious of the brunchers waiting for tables. I spotted the new vegan bakery nearby. “Maybe I’ll go get breakfast after this run!,” I think to myself.
Between the amazing smells wafting into the streets from the numerous houses and multiple restaurants we have passed, I also take a mental inventory of what I have to eat at home, trying to visualize the fridge in my mind. None of those options I recall from my fridge seem especially appealing at the moment. But I know what I should NOT do: under no circumstances should I go to the grocery store, unfed, on my way home from my run. Nope.
With our run finished, I get to my car. I eat my protein bar, as unappealing as it is, although I did stash it in my car to satiate an immediate need for food. But my body craves salt, and this is a flavor that was definitely not fulfilled by my chocolate covered vegan protein bar. Sigh. I convince myself that since I’ve eaten something, it will be safe now to stop at the store. You know. Just in case. I’m sure my family needs something from the grocery. I text them.
I get a few affirming responses. With a game plan, I make it through the store. Somehow, my cart ends up loaded with all kinds of snacks. I don’t know how they got there, but it all seems good. They do come home with me. There may or may not be an open bag of potato chips already, my travel companion in the passenger’s seat.
Once home, I remember that I have leftovers from last night’s visit to the Thai restaurant as I put away the groceries that somehow cost way more than I’d planned. The salty goodness of Thai food sounds fantastic! The perpetual question: do I eat first, or shower first? The meal wins.
I shower. I nap. My rumbling, already empty stomach awakens me. I look at my Garmin and note the step count from this morning’s run and grocery trip. I get up and wander into the kitchen, searching for something to satisfy the rungires. And then I’m just a runner. Standing in the pantry. Asking it to provide an amazing snack. For some reason, the Ritz crackers are speaking to me. I take a sleeve, planning to eat just a few. Before I know it, I’ve had a snackcident. The entire sleeve is consumed. Sigh.
I go back to the kitchen. I decided to cook something delicious and somewhat healthy for dinner in a quest for redemption from my snackcident. And finally, after eating a home cooked meal, my rungries are mostly cured. Until my next long run…
This story is based on actual events that have occurred in real life. If you’re a runner, you know! I’m becoming reacquainted with these sensations as my mileage ramps up with training for half marathon races in the next 2 months.
Do you get ravenous during and after your long runs? What’s your favorite after run snack? My fellow Pink Nation coaches know I love my potato chips! I’d love to hear about your favorites!
Hoping this story provides a smidgen of comic relief in our uncertain world right now.
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.
5 thoughts on “A Case of the Rungries”
A welcome read Anne, that brings back three memories of food and running.
Many, many years ago when I was on the local junior college cross country team we went for a 20 mile run. Unfortunately I’d not had enough to eat for lunch and I bonked part way through. The run actually took us past my house where I stopped and refueled with a peanut butter and jam sandwich.
Even though I was refueled, it was pretty much a matter of gutting it out. Once you bonk, you’re pretty much screwed.
Later in life, I would meet my friend Ashleigh in San Francisco for Saturday morning runs. We started on the bayfront near downtown where there’s a large farmer’s market. We run along the bay to our turn around at the Golden Gate Bridge. The run was about 13 miles.
Back at the starting point we would cruise past all of the stalls and get a free breakfast of samples; everything from fruits and vegetables to samosas and cheese.
The last? Twenty years ago I was coaching high school cross country and we took the team to San Francisco for a Saturday run. The course took us, sort of, past the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory and shop where the kids veered off the course and stopped for free samples of chocolate.
Thank you again for your post. It brought back some delicious memories.
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Oh, wow! Ghiradelli chocolate for a mid-run snack sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing your rungry stories!
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Beats a Power Bar.
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Oh, indeed, it does!
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