Sugar High Mileage

by HEAB on December 15, 2008

Saturday morning.  5:30 AM.  Chris and I had set both of our cell phone alarms and ordered a wake-up call to make sure all our bases were covered.  After stumbling out of bed to grab the phone, I threw on my workout clothes and headed to our hotel’s fitness center…well, after I stopped at the coffee bar in the lobby first. :)

My early morning workout consisted of the following:

10 minutes on the treadmill.  I warmed up for 2 minutes at 4 mph, and then cranked the incline up to 8%.  I increased the speed every minute until I was running 6 mph.

Jumped off the treadmill and did 4 sets of bicep curls, 4 sets of tricep dips, and 80 crunches on the incline bench.

To end my workout, I ran up and down the stairwell of our 10-floor  hotel 3 times.  Whew.

Total time: 45 minutes

Afterwards, I snagged some goodies from the breakfast bar topped off with some almond butter from home.  Thank you Barney Butter individual serving packets!

Scrambled Eggs, Cottage Cheese, and Banana with Almond Butter Plus More Coffee

Scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, and banana with almond butter plus more coffee

Chris woke up and ate this:

"You went to Starbucks without me?"

Me in whiney voice: "You went to Starbucks without me?"

Then he jogged 10 minutes to warm up and finished his workout with a 26.2 mile run during which he snacked on this:

He had all the sports drink, and only 2 of the candies.  No Gu needed.

He had all the sports drink, and only 2 of the candies. No Gu needed.

Total workout time: 10 minute warm-up followed by a 2:32 marathon.  Whew – the boy is fast!

Chris’s post-race snack:

Gotta replenish those glycogen stores!

Gotta replenish those glycogen stores!

Heather’s post-race snack:

Skinny, non-fat cinnamon dulce latte.  Mmmm.

Skinny, non-fat cinnamon dolce latte. Mmmm. Way too much caffeine today! Should have ordered decaf.

I am in awe of my husband’s running abilities.  His dedication to the sport inspires me everyday to push my body to be the strongest it can be…and also because I like to beat him in arm wrestling!  Compared to most runners, Chris eats fewer carbs, and he normally stays away from refined foods.  However, in order to sustain a 5-6 minute mile pace for over 2 hours, he has to have simple carbs, i.e. sports drinks, hard candies, energy gels, etc.  Otherwise, he would totally bonk.

Let me confess.  I used to be a cardio junkie, but after 20 half marathons, one full marathon, and one 50K (31 mile race…on a trail in the mountains…in the cold rain…very bad idea!), I am so over spending hours of my life running or at the gym.  Do you think our bodies were meant to run 26.2 miles?  Mine was not, but I kept beating myself up for years out on the roads.  Things changed after a back injury last year prevented me from running.  I began doing shorter workouts with bursts of intense cardio and more strength training.  My arm and leg muscles started to show some definition.  No amount of running ever did that!  I began to feel so much better, and workouts like this have really helped boost my metabolism!  Plus, I’m not spending the majority of my mornings and weekends exercising.  Now I can spend that time doing other things…like blogging. :)

More importantly, my body doesn’t require all those carbs anymore.   After losing weight, I usually stayed away from white flour but treated myself more often than necessary in order to fuel my runs, “5 pieces of veggie pizza isn’t so bad, right?  It has broccoli.”  Ice-cream was a major problem as well, and the guilt of overeating it would simply dissipate with a 16 mile run early the next day.  Not a good cycle!  Now, I’m definitely by no means a low-carber!  I eat my whole grains, but I do watch my intake…I think I will always fear the bagel!  As long as I keep my workouts short and intense, I get through them just fine without 32 ounces of Gatorade, aka sugar water.

I’ll be honest.  If I was as fast as Chris, I would probably still be filling my running log with miles and miles, but I’m not, and  no amount of training will ever get me there.  Therefore, I’m going to honor my body and workout so that I can be strong and healthy, not so that I can eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.


So proud of you CD - first marathon and 7th place overall! Also, quite proud of myself for not screwing up my water bottle duties :)

Any cardio junkies out there?  What does it take to get you through a workout?  Check out Mark Sisson’s essay on the subject.   I know it made me examine how I fuel my body and why.