The Runner Diaries — Marnie Kunz

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Inspired by Refinery29’s Money Diaries and The Cut’s Sex Diaries, welcome to The Runner Diaries, where we’re sharing a behind-the-scenes look into a week of training with runners of varying ages, paces and GPS coordinates.

This week, we have 36-year-old Marnie Kunz — a run coach, social media marketer/consultant, and founder of Runstreet, a running and event company based in New York City. Below, Kunz documents her days that pack in all of the responsibilities of running a business, training clients and leading group runs throughout the city.

THE RUNDOWN:

Name: Marnie Kunz
Location: New York, NY
Age: 36
Training For: North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain — easing back into speed work, always working on strength!
Occupation: Founder of Runstreet street art runs, running coach
Goal race? To lower my mile time to below 6 minutes.
Following a training plan? No
Part of any running communities, clubs or training programs? Team Runstreet, Run4AllWomen, ConBody, Milk $$ Run Club
How long you’ve been ‘a runner:’ Over 20 years — since I first joined my school’s cross country team looking for a sport with no tryouts. I began running in the days of clunky, not cool running shoes, baggy t-shirts and pants with elastic on the bottom! hahaha
Goal weekly mileage: To enjoy 😉

RUNNER’S STATEMENT:

Much of my week consists of event planning and social media for my company Runstreet, which offers street art running tours and events in NYC and other U.S. cities. I usually lead one big art run a week as well as private ones. The art runs move at a 10-minute mile pace on average — very relaxed — with stops for photos. I also train clients and manage social media for other fitness brands. My schedule is often so packed that I work from the moment I wake up, to the time I go to sleep, with my stress relief/me time and social time centering on my runs and strength training. So at this stage in my life, I run for work and also run for fun and personal fulfillment.

I enjoy mixing up my routine to keep things interesting, and continue to work on strength training. Since I work so much and lead art runs most weekends, I don’t race as often as I used to, but I do enjoy doing speed workouts for the thrill and challenge. When it comes down to it, I enjoy working out and running for the adventures and adrenaline rush. When I set goals, I like to set functional training goals like being able to do 10 pull-ups or being able to run a mile in under 6 minutes. I try to enjoy the chase in the pursuit of these goals as well as spread the joy of running to others through my art runs.

Saturday — Day One

5:04am —  Wake up, thanks fourth alarm(!)

Breakfast is key to getting me going in the morning. I make two “eggs in the basket” almost everyday. To do this, I make a hole in the center of two pieces of bread, crack an egg in the middle of each, cook in a frying pan and flip. Today, I also make a protein shake with two bananas, peanut butter, and vegan chocolate protein powder. I add water and mango yogurt to the shake, blend it, pour it and put chia seeds on top. I love chia for energy, especially since I don’t drink coffee!

6am — I leave my apartment to  go lead Run4AllWomen Art Run. Run4AllWomen was started by Harlem Run founder Alison Desir, and to date has raised over $100k for Planned Parenthood. The original run was from NYC to D.C. to attend the Women’s March while raising money for Planned Parenthood, which, along with other women’s health care programs, has been under attack [under the current administration]. I am friends with Alison and felt called to join her amazing relay, which included four main women, and others who joined to run legs along the way as a way to stand up for women’s rights and demonstrate our strength through running.

The Run4AllWomen summit this weekend intends to train Run4AllWomen ambassadors from around the country to organize their own events to raise funds for Planned Parenthood (each year will be a different cause related to women’s issues).

Run4AllWomen Street Art Run
Photo by Marques Jackson

7am — I lead the Run4AllWomen 10K Art Run. We run 6.2 miles at a relaxed, 10-minute mile pace, with stops. So inspiring!! This particular run begins earlier than our usual art runs, and we take over the quiet streets.

9am — I’m ready for second breakfast and scarf down some fresh fruit at Run4AllWomen summit.

11:30am — I eat more food at the summit, including orzo salad and fresh veggies, yum! I accidentally eat gluten-free bread, which does not go down well ;/

Noon — I break out my lemon protein cookie I got at the gym. I try to keep snack bars or protein cookies with me at all times because I feel like I’m hungry every two hours!

Photo by Jonathan Martinez
Summit portrait photo by Jonathan Martinez

4pm — I arrive home and pass out. My stomach feels messed up and tired from only a few hours of sleep last night. I eat a Luna protein bar I find in my bag and drink some chocolate almond milk.

8pm — I wake up, feeling refreshed, and order Greek food (the perks of living in Queens, the best food!!) and scarf down spinach pie, Greek salad and lemon potatoes. I am a pescetarian and love the vegetarian platter from this Greek restaurant in Astoria.

I love food and my eating philosophy is about balance. I try to eat healthy, but I also don’t worry if I eat something “unhealthy” as I figure that overall, I am pretty healthy and work out a lot, so need plenty of calories. I went through a phase of being very restrictive with my diet and strict with my mileage in college and realized I was very unhappy (or because I was going through a very difficult time, I focused so strictly on minute things I could control like calories and miles). Since then I have learned to keep a balance. When I lived in the South as a reporter (sometimes doing restaurant reviews;) I learned how to enjoy food more, and I have a better, more open perspective. I became a vegetarian when I was in elementary school after I did lots of research for a project on animal rights and factory farms, and have stayed one ever since (with a few slip ups), except for the fact that I began eating seafood about 10 years ago — mainly salmon and other fish for protein and variety.

I call my parents while stuffing my face.

8:30-10pm — Time for work! I work on social media efforts for several brands I represent, answer and send emails, map out art run routes and plan for art runs the next day.

10-11 pm — get lost in texts and working on Instagram

Midnight — Go to bed.

Sunday — Day Two

7:12am — I wake up after three alarms and two snoozes (I know, I’m such a morning person)

7:15am — I have an egg in the basket, protein shake with mango yogurt, strawberries, chocolate protein powder, banana, water.

9:30am — Arrive in downtown Brooklyn for art run with honeygrow.  For my art run events, I lead a tour of street art that I map out and research in specified neighborhoods. For this art run, we are in downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO, and we are hosted by honeygrow, an awesome, fresh eatery that started in Philly and just opened a location in Brooklyn.

10am — We run 4.2 miles at relaxed pace for the art run. Our amazing Runstreet photographer, Marques Jackson, takes beautiful shots of the run.

RunstreetXHoneygrow - Art Run-32

11:15 am — Have fresh juice — beet & watermelon! — at honeygrow. Yum! I try to drink fresh juice mixes when I can because I don’t think I eat enough fruits and vegetables.

11:30 am — Lunch with friends: I have noodles with garlic shrimp and veggies at honeygrow. I love their food :D.

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Noon — Walk around Brooklyn with a friend, and check out all the places that have opened since I lived there a few years ago. It changes so fast.

2pm — I head to the gym for strength training. I get hungry (as always!) in the middle of weightlifting and eat a chocolate chia bar I find in my bag. I am at the gym for two hours,  which is longer than normal, but I take the extra time to stretch, using new foam rolling techniques I learned. I focus on my legs, core and glutes. I try to strength train at least 3 times a week to help prevent injuries and work muscles that will make me a more balanced runner. For example, I do lateral moves such as side lunges because you don’t work those muscles while running.

I like to feel well-balanced — like I would be ready in case an apocalypse hit (or, you know, just be prepared for a Spartan race!). I don’t always know what time I’ll do strength training but I often pack my gym clothes in my backpack and get in the workout during the day or at night.

4pm — I leave the gym and scoop up an almond butter smoothie with hemp protein powder on the way to the subway. I feel so healthy; two fresh juices in one day! I think writing down my food to share publicly is making me eat better!

5pm — I get groceries, come home and eat spicy vegetarian chilli with some grated queso blanco and fresh mushrooms. I wash it down with some chocolate almond milk.

6pm — Work on social media and catch up with phone calls, invoices, etc for the next few hours.

9pm — I take a work break and watch a movie.

Midnight-2am — More work: I catch up on emails, social media work, and some writing. I text my mom that I am, in fact, alive, but forgot to text back at 10pm when she texted me.

I am naturally a night owl and often remember everything I need to still do at night. I try to get as much done as I can before I pass out. Given the choice, I’d always rather work at night than in the early morning. So I often get a lot done at night. It works because I have less distractions and can’t run around everywhere, like I could during the day.

Monday — Day Three

9am — Wake up. I slept in, hooray!

9:30am — Make breakfast: Egg in the basket and a peanut butter banana chocolate protein shake.

10am — I make some phone calls for social media consulting work, reply to emails, and work for several hours.

Noon — I take a bath to relax my tired muscles. My legs feel tired from the weekend events, and my left knee is hurting a little. I’ve had IT band issues before but I have an awesome physical therapist now, so when I feel a twinge, I take a rest day. If it doesn’t go away with a rest day, I go to my PT, Kathleen at NY Custom PT.

I end up replying to more emails in bathtub… ah, you get no days off with your own business!

1pm — Business calls!

2:30pm — I meet a friend at Astoria Seafood for lunch. I eat stuffed salmon, Greek salad, lemon potatoes, seafood and rice… drool. The best seafood place I’ve been to. I love the casual, loud, neighborhood feel, the diversity that is so common in Queens, and the fresh, light Greek style seasonings with olive oil and lemon that let the flavors of the food come out.

4pm — More business talks and planning with Marques, our Runstreet photographer. I also talk to my parents, my unofficial business advisors 😉

6pm — Dinner! Pasta with chickpeas, lemon juice and olive oil for dinner. I’m always still hungry after pasta, so try to add protein like the chick peas.

7pm — I have some chocolate almond milk… I’m drinking it like water!

I’m usually wiped out after the weekend, so take a rest day on Mondays. Also, with my knee twinge I figure it’s a good idea. I went hard with the weights yesterday and spent lots of time on my feet at weekend art runs.

7-11 pm — I work on social media and respond to emails and texts (now almost half of business seems to be done by texts. There’s so much to keep up with!).

Midnight — Sleep!

Tuesday — Day Four

7am — Wake up… but hit snooze for a record 45 minutes!! Quickly make peanut butter banana protein shake with chia seeds

8:30am — Run 3 miles to meet a training client. I have recently starting doing run commutes because then I get in my run early, and also have a much more relaxed experience than rush hour on the train — especially now that the weather is nice. I’m always in a good mood after a morning run. I need a good running backpack though. Mine flops around and is not made for running.

IMG_1835
Photo by Marques Jackson

9-10am — Training goes awesome — I’m training a client one-on-one and she is doing very well and kicking ass! We do running mixed with strength training — my favorites! I often coach runners who want to “get fit,” and I like to incorporate strength training as a complement to running and a way to boost metabolism. That way clients can see and feel results quicker.

10am — I head out to business meeting in Long Island City, Queens. I grab a smoothie on the way: fresh spicy watermelon juice. I eat protein Luna bar on train.

11am – Business meeting with potential sponsor — in running clothes, the best kind of business attire!

Noon — I head to lead a private art run in the Lower East Side.

1pm — I run 4 miles for a private art run. A private art run is a one-on-one or small group running tour of a specific New York City neighborhood. I get tourists from all over the world who book private art runs. It’s a really fun way to meet people while doing what I love and educating people on NYC street art — while talking about running. Our Runstreet photographer comes on this art run too, as the client booked him for the run. We all have so much fun. It’s a beautiful, sunny day in NYC and our runner is so friendly and open to learning.

2:15pm – I catch up with Marques (our Runstreet photographer) for lunch after our run. Marques is always full of witty jokes and animated tales, so it’s great to hang out. My food always weighs twice as much as Marques’ at Whole Foods (lol). I try the boxed water (so thirsty, tastes incredible, and it also saves the earth!) and get fresh watermelon. Fromt he hot food bar I grab hoka fish, some kind of oily noodles, amazing stuffed eggplant, and falafel hummus that tastes great…I always try new dishes at the hot food bar and want everything. It’s all good this time, except the noodles.

3:30pm — Walk around (and inevitably find lots of art!) with Marques, then head home to work on proposals.

6pm — Snack…or dinner? I haev a peanut butter sandwich.

8:30pm — After doing some work, my roommate suggests going to the LIC waterfront for a workout. We both want to get stronger, so I’m in. We focus on bars and upper body. Bar work is a fun challenge. We do different kinds of pullups, chinups, pushups, dips, and ab work while listening to his favorite motivational videos. I have to put the incredible view on my Instagram story (Instagram is my main social media go-to).

10pm — I cook a Spanish omelette when we get home. My roommate teaches me how (he’s from Spain). We use 4 eggs each, plus mushrooms and cheese and tomatoes. We also have toast, and a glass of Spanish wine.

Wednesday — Day Five

9am — Egg in the basket with kale in the middle (I need to eat more greens) and some  chocolate almond milk with chocolate protein added.

9:30am — It’s a work from home day and I take advantage of it to rest and ice my sore knees. I haven’t had knee pain in a while but I try to keep my mileage low if I’m not training for something so that I am able to lead art runs and events as needed.

10am —Prepare for some upcoming Runstreet events and meetings.

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Noon — I snack on a Luna chocolate protein bar and protein cookie (I think I am addicted to these protein cookies from my gym!!). Sometimes I space out while working from home and don’t eat a “real meal” until I finish what I’m working on.

12:30-5:30pm — More work. Sometimes I get a little lonely working from home, but today my friend stops by to visit.

5:30 — My friend arrives. We swap running stories and eat Greek food for the next two hours. I have Greek spinach pie, lemon potatoes, Greek salad from the same place I ordered from over the weekend. I tell her she has to try it.

7:30 — Back to work! I work on some social media initiatives.

9pm — Another bar workout with Alvaro, my roommate, by the LIC waterfront. Our arms and shoulders are a little sore from yesterday, but we’re excited to go back to the bars. There are pullup bars and parallel bars for dips. I also add lunges, squats and abs to the workout. We make some friends at the park, too (Alvaro is the friendliest, most enthusiastic person you’ll ever meet).

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10:30pm — I make hummus and pair it with a whole bag of pita chips — plus yogurt, a banana, and fresh OJ.

11pm — Work on social media for an hour until bed.

Thursday — Day Six

7am — I wake up and meditate for a bit. I’m running behind, so I grab a peanut butter and banana sandwich .

8:30am — 3-mile run commute to meet a training client. Today my left knee feels better but the right is a little tight. I’m happy I’m going to physical therapy today — I haven’t been in months and I miss my PT. She also is a miracle worker.

9am — One-on-one training session with a client. She’s awesome. We have great conversation, plus she crushes the workout.

10:15am — I head to the gym for strength training. I focus on my glutes, lateral movements, and core work.

11:30am — I eat a protein cookie and have some muscle milk at the gym because it’s tempting and I’m starving.

Noon — I have Physical Therapy at Custom Performance Physical Therapy. I have a little tightness in right IT band, Kathleen (my PT) says, and a lot of tightness/slight strain in my left tendon right below my knee, on my left side. She does a lot of deep tissue (ow!) massage and uses a new tool to work on it. She also tells me I am not using good running shoes for me and to go back to the kind I had previously. I happen to have a gift card for New Balance (which is what I had previously) so I head to the store after our session, because there’s a street race I want to do tomorrow.

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Recovery Boots at NY Custom Physical Therapy

1:30pm — I get new running shoes at NYRR Run Center/New Balance store, and have a great fitting experience. This is a cool place. I talk to my salesperson a lot about running and he’s interested in Runstreet. Awesome! I leave happy and with new kicks. I have bounced around with brands and tried a lot of shoes companies send me, but ultimately I trust my PT’s judgment so I’m glad I got these.

2 pm — I take the train home and then back to midtown to work. I used to bartend and still do it once a week as a break from running and to socialize 🙂

4pm-11 pm — Work for hours, with break for Mexican vegetarian bowl with brown rice, guacamole and chips. I eat lots of chips. Why is there never enough guac and extra chips? Lol.

11 pm-midnight — I take a Lyft home. Traffic is terrible on the Queensboro Bridge because of nighttime construction.

Midnight-1 am — Work on finishing a proposal. I’m happy I can sleep in tomorrow!

Friday — Day Seven

8:30am — Ah! I wake up early even though I went to bed late! I should meditate, but immediately start catching up with Instagram posts, social media and finishing my proposal.

9am — I have an egg in the basket with avocado in middle, and have chocolate protein powder in my drink. (My blender is broken, ahh!). I also have a banana.

9am -10 am — Finish my proposal and work on social media.

10 am -11 am — I take a shower, get dressed, listen to music and dance around because it’s Friday! I try not to schedule too much on Fridays to allow time to prepare last minute details for weekend art runs and events.

Noon — Get to my scheduled hair cut. I feel like I am always at the salon managing my red hair upkeep lol. I know everyone, and love it there. I get fresh pineapple, strawberry juice on way to salon. Feeling zen!

1pm — I head over to check out the new ConBody location (a fitness studio I do social media for) at Saks Fifth Avenue.

1:30pm — I meet with Coss, the ConBody founder. We eat lunch at Saks because it’s pouring so hard outside. The new space looks awesome! It will open next week. Lunch is nachos and food from hot food bar: pasta and grilled veggies.

2:30pm — I leave Saks and head to Best Buy to get a new running speaker for our Hip Hop art run tomorrow. We have a collaborative playlist I sent out to everyone, so I’m excited to check it out and have new sound system on the run.

3 \pm — Hungry again, so I get an avocado mozzarella tomato sandwich on my way to subway.

3pm — I begin a ridiculous commute home, due to flooding at the 59/Lex train station. The trains I take to Queens are all not running to Queens at all. I finally walk to the bus. The trip takes 90 minutes. Usually I am only 20 minutes from Midtown!

My tendon that my PT massaged under my left knee is sore today from all the work on it. I decide not to race in the urban running event tonight, as I don’t want to be injured for the art run tomorrow. Instead, I take a rest day.

4:30pm — I catch up on phone calls and laundry. I accidentally wash all my cash, after looking for it for half an hour haha. I hang up the singles to dry…

6pm — Eat Luna protein bar. Catch up on emails, Facebook.

8pm — Alvaro comes home, we catch up. I make a tuna melt.

9pm-midnight — I study the art run map I created for tomorrow and reply to any questions from people attending the run via email and text.

12:45am — I finish my Runner Diaries and am off to bed! I have a ConBody photo shot in the morning before my art run.

A Look Back — Thoughts On The Week

I realized I eat out too much, and I need to be more proactive with my own running training. Although I train others, I can still make time to work on my own speed, etc. I also realized I rarely take a break from working! I wake up and fall asleep working on my phone. I’m going to try to schedule more time for myself and fun time, as well as short, intense workouts for my speed:).

About Marnie Kunz

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Marnie Kunz is an NYC-based, RRCA-certified running coach and social media marketer and brand manager. She is the founder of Runstreet, a running and fitness events group that offers NYC street art running tours and fun runs, running classes and bootcamps, and virtual run coaching.

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1 comments on “The Runner Diaries — Marnie Kunz”

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