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.


Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) December 27, 2009 at 9:29 pm

So fun reading this post from a year ago! (hey better late in commenting than never, right?). Interesting to see how your workouts have changed over the year. And really how CDs routine is about the same! Such a stud, seriously!

zestycook December 17, 2008 at 8:26 pm

WOW – Congrats Chris! Great pace. Heather that was a great post – I read every word. So great to learn more about you.


MizFit December 17, 2008 at 5:19 am

got an email from motorola saying how kind they thought YOU WERE.

how appreciative.

wanted to pass that on…

Heather Eats Almond Butter December 17, 2008 at 6:28 am

Mizfit, love my headphones!!!

glidingcalm December 16, 2008 at 9:01 pm

i loved reading about your running experiences! sometimes I read the blogs of so many runners and feel guilty or jealous that I can’t run as far or fast. It’s neat to hear from someone that has “been there done that”. Thank you!!!

catms916 December 16, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Wow your husband is one fast dude! Thanks for sharing more about yourself and your running history. I’ve actually never tried a marathon and my next goal is a half marathon, so I really enjoyed that essay as well! 🙂

MizFit December 16, 2008 at 5:59 am

uh to clarify: in what he eats 🙂 not in a weird polygamy way…

MizFit December 16, 2008 at 5:59 am

giggling that your chris? is my husband.

Sammie December 16, 2008 at 5:37 am

Thanks for sharing that great essay. I need to get back to doing interval training. I am guilty of the LONG running sessions. I think a change may be in order – hey it’s almost a new year, right.

FollowMyWeigh December 16, 2008 at 12:18 am

I like your perspective on the intensive cardio! 20 half marathons?? O_O

I think it WOULD be cool to do a marathon one day. just for the sake of it 🙂

Melissa S. December 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm

I’m totally a cardio junkie; i hate lifting and strength training! but i don’t know if my body is up for that long of a race. i tried once and i didn’t succeed and only ran 1/2 of it, and even that killed me with the problems i was already having! one day, one day…i might try again; we’ll see!

thanks for sharing more info about you too!

Gina December 15, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I am the complete opposite of cardio junkie. I work out all the time, but it’s only maybe 30% cardio.

I lift weights. A lot. And I lift heavy weights. I love being in the gym, and I love lifting. Its intense enough that I have people ask me what I am training for all the time…and they’re always surprised when I tell them I’m not training for anything, and I just like lifting. Oh, and I like the way I look from lifting.

I do run, twice a week. And I bike once. In the summer I switch. I’m planning on doing a cut this spring, so I will do more cardio, bleh. I’m hoping to do a 10K in the spring. I’m not a natural runner, that’s about all I can do without my hips hurting. I give such props to people who can run marathons!!! Congrats to your husband, sounds like he did fantastic!

Sounds like you had a great day 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter December 15, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Hey Gina. I love that you are a strength training junkie…and vegan. That’s rare in the food blog world!

Erica December 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm

CONGRATS to the hub! That is incredible! I love the breakfast was starbucks and m & ms….this is like my dream breakfast hahahah. Hope you had a wonderful Monday!

Illuminati December 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Good for you for working out while away from home. I usually use that as an excuse.

polly December 15, 2008 at 2:41 pm

hi Heather!

I loved your post. I too, have a similar experience. I was an aerobic instructor, avid runner and full blown cardio junkie. I wasn’t competetive, but ran many races for fun and some half marathons, etc. My body was breaking down… I was injured often and would run even if it was freezing and my ankle hurt. That was sillyness! I ate massive amounts of carbs (i.e. lived on cereal, papa johns breadsticks, bread, etc) and wondered why I never felt that great.

Enter yoga. 🙂 I began practicing yoga, and eventually took away a day of running for everyday I did yoga until… I was running once a week and doing yoga the rest. I now only do yoga (I teach!) and love it. I never would have dreamed 5 years ago that my life would be this different, with no worrying about the weather, my mileage, my cardio and my carbs! I crave totally diffent things now. I need protein and nuts (fat?!! Who woulda thought 😉 and and lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I still eat some whole grains of course, but I just eat cleaner and feel amazing. I lost 5 pounds and am stronger than ever and leaner and not injured and overall a better mommy and wife. I am no longer slave to my gym shoes! Now any cardio I do is just real life stuff. Walks with my hubby, a bike ride, and just being overall an active girl. (walk to the store whenever we can, etc)

Not that yoga is for everybody and by all means everybody should do what they love, I just am so much happier now! … and I have muscles! 🙂

Happy day, Heather! p.s…. I ADORE ALMOND BUTTER!!!!!

Heather Eats Almond Butter December 15, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Hi Polly. Really enjoyed your comment! I was doing yoga regularly, but then my favorite instructor left the Y, and I haven’t been back since. It really helped with my arm strength. I know there are other good instructors out there, and I simply need to find one. Thanks for the reminder! What is your favorite yoga studio? Maybe I’ll try it!

Meghann December 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm

I just discovered your blog. I loved this post, it gave me so much to think about. I know I need to add other work outs to my routine but right now running is so addicting. I need do so short bursts of intense exercise like you, I will start reading for the inspiration I need. Keep up the good work!

Heather Eats Almond Butter December 15, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Thanks for reading Meghann! Yes, I was totally addicted to running. There truly is a “runner’s high”. I still love a good 5 mile trail run, but I am feeling so much better these days with less cardio.

Maggie December 15, 2008 at 1:33 pm

I like hearing more about your history!

Congrats to Chris – that is fantastic.

In re to your comment – I adore yoga too 🙂 Chaturangas are the best.

eatingbender December 15, 2008 at 10:43 am

Wow, congrats to Chris! That is an incredible time.

I don’t think my body was meant to run 26.2 miles, either. BUT I do have to say I’m a bit of a cardio junkie – I get through it by reading a lot of magazines! However, my goal is to become more focused on strength training and develop weekly plans that I can stick to. I feel as though once I actually write everything down, I will be much more motivated to get off of the elliptical and into the weight room. Thanks for sharing your point of view!

Heather Eats Almond Butter December 15, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Eatingbender, it’s so easy to stick with cardio. I enjoyed it for so long and totally feared the weight machines at the gym. Still enjoy some cardio, but I try to keep it short. Strength training is challenging my body in ways I never thought possible. I should probably hire a trainer to make sure my form is correct, but I’m enjoying it so much more than I thought possible, and I’m seeing major changes in my body. Love it. Good luck with your weekly plans!

carolinebee December 15, 2008 at 9:44 am

Really interesting points, thanks! I don’t run marathons, but I definitely pump up the cardio on some occasions…but I realize that just because our bodies *can* do something, doesn’t mean I need to push mine to (or past) the limit 😀

Heather Eats Almond Butter December 15, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Well said Carolinebee! I need to remind myself of this often.

Rebecca December 15, 2008 at 8:18 am

Your workout sounds a little like Crossfit – which is what Mike does (although he runs too and occasioanly plays ice hockey). You guys are amazing. I am up at 6am – could go to the gym – but instead I’m here checking my email, the weather, playing sudoku, etc. I’ll get back on the horse again though – I’m already planning to do a couple runs in the summer and a half marathon, so I HAVE to!

By the way, Chris’ post marathon snack – did it include the hat? 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter December 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Becca, love Crossfit! I need to do more of it – such an amazing workout. HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend!

VeggieGirl December 15, 2008 at 7:56 am

Great workout; and thank you for sharing more about yourself!! 🙂

I’m a bit of a cardio junkie with dance; but right now, I’m focused on yoga and strength-training.

Heather Eats Almond Butter December 15, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Hey VeggieGirl. Love myself some zumba, and yoga really helps strengthen my arms…all those Chaturangas. I need to do more!

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