Saturday, May 21, 2011

Running and Eating

This posting was written by my super-mom, Evie.

I started running later in life -- after age fifty.  The reason I started running was because I discovered I could run.  Another mom-friend and I chased our high school age children around Iowa cross country fields .  About a year after starting to run I entered and finished my first 5-K road race.  The second 5-K race I entered featured post race pancakes flipped onto our plates by a popular cook.  We had just run a race on a hot and humid July morning.  We deserved a treat!  In addition to continuing to run, I continued having an extra treat after races - my favorite low fat fudge nut sundae ice cream along with little chocolate chip cookies.

About a year after running my first 5-K my jeans felt a bit snugger.  I thought that I would o lose weight with the additional exercise, not gain weight!  An extra ten ponds had crept on.  How could this happen?  After doing some research I discovered that running a 5-K used up energy equivalent to only one half cup of my favorite fudge nut sundae ice cream.  My post race splurges also included an extra chocolate chip cookie.  Running does not mean I can indiscriminately eat more food.  And, sweets are not the best choice.

Instead of sweets, my body needs protein and carbohydrates.  Now, when runs extend beyond three miles I usually make myself a peanut butter sandwich afterwards.  I also eat more fruit.   In addition, after a race I head for the bananas, oranges and water.  I stay away from the sweet rolls and donuts.  Ice cream and cookies are still part of my diet, however, they are a smaller part of my diet.

Six years after my first 5-K road race, I √Ęstill enjoy running and it does help me maintain my weight and enjoy my favorite ice cream and cookies - in moderation.  In March I ran the Snickers Half Marathon in Albany, Georgia.  While training for the half marathon I secretly hoped to lose a couple pounds.  The extra training only helped me continue to maintain a constant weight.  At the end of the race, I picked up my usual bananas and oranges.  Brenna added a carton of chocolate milk and yogurt, to my stash of post race food.  Later that day she fixed a delicious baked chicken.  The protein in the chicken rejuvenated my tired body.  Just being with my daughter rejuvenated my soul!