Alexi Pappas did not medal in the Rio Olympics, but she did set a new record in her event, the 10,000 meter race. She soared through the 6.2 mile course in 31:36:16, the best time in Greek history. The 26-year-old runner, who holds dual American/Greek citizenship, competed in college in Oregon. To maximize her chances of being able to complete in the Games, she qualified for the Greek Olympic Team.
This runner is not just an athlete. She is also a filmmaker, an actress and a poet. She appears in the movie Tracktown, which contains elements of her own life. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June.
She attributes her energy level and creativity to good food, meditation and lots of sleep.
She is all about protein. She uses beet powder, eats peanut butter on toast, and protein powder before all her big workouts and races. She has more protein with iron after training, and she eats red meat at least twice a week.
She makes meditation and sleep a priority:
I sleep at least nine hours every night, and then I nap for about an hour each day between training sessions. I meditate two times per day—once before morning practice and once after my afternoon nap. If I am going to cross train, I usually opt to take a nap instead. When I’m not running, I’m most often at home being quiet, eating, and often asleep.
She says running makes her feel beautiful:
I use sunscreen and facial moisturizers every day. My dad always taught me to use sunscreen, even in the dead of winter. I wear sunscreen when I train and makeup when I race—makeup makes me feel like I’m about to begin a performance. And running is a kind of performance!
I feel most beautiful right after a hard workout, when I take my dusty, sweaty hair down and drive my Jeep to a nearby creek for an ice bath. I shower twice a day because I run twice per day—I make sure to use plenty of moisturizer and sunscreen to keep my skin healthy! I try to use quality shampoos and leave-in conditioners. I also like to change it up and not always use the exact same product. A bit like changing my workouts, it’s important to keep my hair on edge!
She takes a multivitamin, calcium, iron, and a good probiotic supplement. She says the one thing she does first after a run is peel off her wet sports bra.
She also has an awe-inspiring mantra:
Run like a bravey, sleep like a baby, dream like a crazy, replace can’t with maybe, lady.
Clearly, it’s working for her.