FIT6: Marathoner Tracy Green

FIT6: Marathoner Tracy Green

Every week, the Louisville Women’s Sports Network highlights a local woman by asking her six questions about her health and fitness routine. Sponsored by Baptist Health Sports Medicine, this week’s guest is Tracy Green. If there is a woman you’d like us to feature, email suggestions to ashli@louisvillewomensports.com.

tracy-mug1Tell Us a Little About Yourself

I am the director of communications and development for Oldham County Schools. To a large extent, I’m a “late bloomer” in terms of athletics. I played soccer for three years in high school and was a sprinter for the track team for two, but never a serious athlete. Running is really my first love. As a kid, I grew up on a 92-acre farm and I remember dashing up the gravel drive to my grandparent’s house and scampering along paths in the woods.

In 2006, I decided to start running again. I used the venerable couch-to-5k plan, which I recommend to anyone wanting to get started. I ran my first 5k that fall and beat my goal time of 30 minutes. I was hooked. I ran my first marathon in December 2007, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon — just 17 months after I started a run/walk program! I did qualify for Boston and had the privilege of running the Boston Marathon in 2008 and 2009.

I just completed my 10th marathon at Monumental in Indianapolis on Nov. 7, 2015. I’ve posted Boston-qualifying times at all 10, and nearly tied my personal best at Monumental, where I ran 3:10:19 for 26th female.

I am an active member of the Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center, where I enjoy yoga, Pilates, spin and core classes. In addition, I race for New Balance Louisville, a newer fitness store on the corner of Taylorsville and Hurstbourne. I also manage the racing team, which took the overall female team title at the 2015 Triple Crown and second place in the men’s team division.

Six Questions About Your Fitness & Health

1) What is your weekly training/exercise routine?

Depending on where I am at in race training, it varies between 25 and 55 miles per week of running. I try to get in about a minimum of an hour of exercise each day: running, obviously, but also cross-training with Pilates, power yoga, core and stretching classes and even just walking on rest days. I try to do yoga and Pilates three times a week.

20151107-MM4(2)2) How do you prepare for a workout?

Foam rolling! That said, I am a planner and I like to be organized. I do a lot of my runs early in the morning (5 a.m. with a headlamp!) and then cross-train in the evenings. I add all my workouts to the calendar on my phone — they’re color coded and I use emojis in the titles to easily identify the type of workout (sneakers for runs, barbells, etc.). For morning runs, I lay out my clothes in the bathroom the night before and put my keys and headlamp in my shoes. I don’t usually eat before those early runs because I basically wake up, roll into my clothes and out the door. I’ve even slept in my running clothes! I also pack my gym bag the night before.

3) What do you eat, drink or do for quick energy?

I love Honey Stinger Chews before workouts. They’re so good! It feels like a treat. Picky Bars are another favorite if I need something more substantial. I also drink quite a bit of unsweetened tea — iced or hot, black and green. I firmly believe a 10-15 minute walk outside does wonders for my energy and mood, as does exercise in general. The hardest part is overcoming the doldrums and getting out the door or into the gym.

4) What is your daily nutritional meal plan when training?

I try to maintain about a net 1,700 calorie intake daily, so the more I work out, the more I eat to keep that balanced. I’m petite, so that is a calorie amount that works for me. In addition to consulting with medical professionals, fitness trainers, and nutritionists, I highly recommend Matt Fitzgerald’s “Racing Weight” book for endurance athletes trying to both improve their body composition and their health in general. He also has an accompanying cookbook that helps you prepare meals even if your idea of cooking is the microwave!

Early in my last marathon training cycle I was feeling hungry all the time and I made some adjustments to my diet to worry less about calories and focus on eating good, real foods. Most mornings, I have half an almond butter sandwich on Brownberry Health Nut bread, and I alternate between different spreads to go with it. I needed a breakfast that had a little more “heft”; smoothies and such were only keeping me full until about 9:30 a.m. On days I ran 12 miles before work, I would have Hammer Recoverite immediately after, half a sandwich about an hour later, then the other half an hour or so after that. I used Hammer Recoverite on a consistent basis, which was a big success for me. This season, I used it after any run or cross-training session an hour or longer. I truly believe it helped me bounce back and be able to keep improving.

20150923-NBGNO5) What do you snack on between meals when training?

Let me be honest: I love food. I love food a little too much. I track my calories in a log on my phone because I have to keep myself accountable. Snacks are a big issue for me. When I get bored or stressed at work, I start thinking about snacks. My husband signed me up for a Graze.com subscription, which is great. Every other week, I get four, portion-controlled, healthy snacks in a cute box in the mail. I try to bring at least one serving of fruits or veggies and one serving of quality dairy (Greek yogurt or cottage cheese) as snacks to work each day.

Mostly, I try to avoid “empty” calories such as chips, crackers, etc., that don’t give me much value for the number of calories. But, I have a weakness for dark chocolate, especially York Peppermint Patties. I don’t deny myself anything. I just make sure to keep it balanced and in moderation.

6) What are your fitness & health goals?

I would like to pick up the men’s Boston qualifying time again. In 2010, I set my marathon PR and qualified under the men’s standard, which made for good bragging rights, especially while working at a running store. So getting under 3 hours and five minutes would be awesome. I’d also like to improve my speed and break 19 minutes in the 5k, 39 minutes in the 10k, and one hour and twenty-five minutes in the half-marathon. It is hard to hit all of those in one season, so I’ll be looking for ways to segment my training to improve speed and endurance somewhat separately.

I’ve also considered training for a fitness competition. It is also a big goal of mine to be a well-rounded and healthy athlete. Eating foods with names I can pronounce, having a varied diet, and trying new things as well as cross-training so that my whole body is strong and fit, which also makes me a better runner!