Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sweet and Salty and Other Ponderings While On the Treadmill for a Long Time

Last night, I ran 12.5 miles on the treadmill at the Y.  Had I envisioned that type of run for this week?  Short answer--no, I had not.  That is okay, however.  I have had to come to grips with the fact that with a very busy job there will be times when I am up late at night.  And when I have to be completely "on" the next morning at work, I better get the right amount of sleep.  Sometimes that, in turn, messes up my ability to run the distance I want.  Life goes on.  Yesterday I didn't get to run in the morning.  This morning I have an 8 AM meeting.  With that combination and a long 4H meeting for the kids last night, I came home, was surprised that the kids had not made dinner, helped them to make dinner, and then went to the Y.  I arrived around 7:30 and watched a gameshow on the screen while running the first half hour.  My body was confused by 12.2 miles on the treadmill.  And my body was confused by the evening run after a lot of food during the day.  I can't tell you when the last time was that I had to stop a workout to take a bathroom break.  It has been a while.  So, I ran 7 miles.  Restarted the machine because the timer only goes out to an hour and I was at 56 minutes.  Ran 1 mile.  Took a break.  And then ran 4.5 more.  Was thinking it would have been nice to get in 14 but I'm not complaining.  Even without the Boston Marathon this year, I am only 6 miles behind where I was at this time last year.

And where does this run put me in total?  Well, at 406 miles, I am now on Ohio state route 104, proceeding south from Ohio state route 316 and headed away from Columbus.  I am 3 miles south of the intersection of those two roads.  Next major destination--Cincinnati.

In any case, what else did I think about last night.  I have not written about Bible verses and running in a while. I have been more pre-occupied with what churches I am passing rather than Bible verses.  It was interesting having recently read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and seeing the use of numbers and Bible verses.  Obviously the story line had much more sinister overtones than my use.  But the fascination in a fictional story surprised me.

When I got done last night I hopped on the scale and was down to just 157.  That is a major accomplishment and I think I am ready to head for a solid 150.  

However, I came home and probably ate and drank enough to put me back near 160 again.

What was interesting was the combination of what I ate and drank.  The sweet and salty in the title of this entry comes from what I had.  While I had made orzo and peas with Italian sausage (it is a simple mixture of orzo, peas, and Alfredo sauce--the sausage was served on the side), I didn't feel like having that for dinner.  So, I whipped up a smoothie of ice, cream of coconut, vanilla almond milk, dark chocolate cocoa, a banana, and whey powder.  That gave me the combination of protein, anti-oxidants, and a lot of calories.  When I started consuming it, I realized I was craving salt.  So I ate a bunch of hard pretzels.  And before I was done eating last night I snacked a bit on some chocolate crispy rice cereal.  It was not a combination I would necessarily recommend, but it satisfied what I was craving.  I realized I probably should have had a drink with electrolytes rather than just water while I was running as I sweated off A LOT last night.  But the desire for something salty that was not overly complex in terms of flavor was useful for me to recognize.  After all the time I have spent running, I have become better at recognizing what my body really needs even if it is not always the inherently healthiest combination.  I was satisfied but not stuffed when I was done.  And that was fine.  

As with many other examples in my life, it is interesting to think of the sweet and salty contrast.  Not quite a chocolate with caramel and sea salt--but a nice combination.  Pushing in different directions.  Needing balance.  How many other things in my work life and personal life are like that?  A lot.

Moving ahead, I can certainly plan better for my eating and drinking after runs to maximize the value of the exercise and the health effects on my body.  But I don't mind every once in a while just figuring out what I can find and taking advantage of it.     

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