Day in the Life: Rachael Steil

This is the first in a series of guest posts featuring many women from the Strong Runner Chick community. Here at Strong Runner Chicks we welcome individuals of all walks of life. To highlight this we asked our community to send us Days in their Lives. 

Today Rachael Steil showcases a day in her life. Rachael is a former collegiate runner and author of Running in Silence: My Drive for Perfection and the Eating Disorder That Fed It a book documenting her experience with an eating disorder. It was released in the fall of 2016. 

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I started running when I was five years old and was OBSESSED with it, so of course when I entered college, I expected to run competitively for the rest of my life. But lo and behold, ever since developing an eating disorder and sustaining a kneecap fracture as a collegiate runner, post-collegiate life didn’t result in me continually competing in races every weekend and running 60 miles a week.
Ironically, these circumstances put me in a better place than I ever would have expected–a life with just a bit of running, and a lot more Rachael. Fully recovered from an eating disorder, and now an author (Running in Silence), eating disorder/mental health speaker, and cross country coach, my days are filled with PLENTY of different activities with a healthier, happier mindset.

​I usually wake up around 6:30am to do some physical therapy for my knee since it still gives me problems after two surgeries to repair the fracture. I usually fit in some strength training as well, which may include some arm weight lifting, glute/hamstring/quad strength, core, and/or yoga.

Some days (like today) I opt to go for a 3-mile run or have a 45-minute aquajog session with a friend, but this happens maybe once or twice a week. I merely exercise because it feels good, it’s a fun way to catch up with my friends, and I want to feel strong. Naturally, since exercising less, my body doesn’t desire as much food as it did when I was running 60 miles a week. I trust my body’s hunger and my weight has found its happy spot again!
I eat breakfast either before or after I workout, depending on how hungry I am when I wake up. My breakfast may be as small as one energy bar or as large as 3-4 eggs, vegetables, and a whole wheat tortilla or quinoa. I eat exactly what sounds good, making sure to fill myself up with nutrient-dense foods but never denying myself even a bit of dark chocolate in the morning!
After breakfast and working out, I head to my job as an Administrative Assistant at an Investment Management, which is vastly different from my work as an author/speaker/coach, but it’s what pays the bills (and I enjoy it–it’s a good challenge and adds variety!). For lunch I usually eat a sandwich–whole wheat bread, provolone cheese, lettuce, cucumbers, olives, pickles, and chicken breast.
From the investment management, I drive to my hometown to coach cross country. The young women are a blessing to coach, and I love being able to impart my wisdom from 20 years of running experience–the ups and downs–to help them be and feel their best!
When I finally get home, I enjoy dinner with my boyfriend. We may end up eating whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce, vegetables, and chicken, put together a stir fry, eat leftovers from a recent crockpot meal creation, go to a restaurant with my parents, or order pizza from our favorite pizza hot spot (tons of vegetables, WHOLE WHEAT CRUST!! and chicken). Today we ended up with this magical creation from the crockpot:
With any extra time I have in the evening, I work on Running in Silence work (marketing, writing blog posts for www.runninginsilence.com, answering emails, etc), film, edit, or upload a video for my YouTube channel, prepare for an upcoming presentation, and/or work on the second (sequel?) book. It’s a lot of work in the author/speaker world but I enjoy it! It gives me a great sense of purpose and plenty of goals to shoot for.
I try to get to bed at a reasonable time, but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. Between finishing up book work, reading before bed (reading is homework for a writer!), meeting friends or hanging out with the boyfriend, my life is busy but I emphasize PRODUCTIVITY as WELL as relaxation! Striving for balance reflects in my food as well, which means I often end the night with my favorite dessert–marshmallows and dark chocolate:
If anyone has any questions for me about life as a post-collegiate runner (and maybe someone recovered from an eating disorder?), please don’t hesitate to reach out! My email is runninginsilence@gmail.com and you can follow me on Instagram at @RunninginSilence
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