There was no “low fuel” warning light that came on for me today. I was fine one minute, then having a hunger meltdown the next. I had forgotten how the cold burns extra calories and this was my first long run in the cold since last winter (which I think was only 5 months ago).
I did a short night-run yesterday in order to get a few extra kilometres in so as to stick to one of my running rules: your longest run must not be greater than the total of your weekly runs. I needed another 5km in order to run the 23km I wanted to do today.
The night-run sucked. It was dark (obviously) and cold and I had neglected to put on a neck warmer so my chin was cold. I wore a headlight, but because it was snowing, it was like driving in a snowstorm with your high-beams on. As a result I could hardly see or hear where Kobi was (recall I let her run off-leash on the trails as I’d likely suffer a serious injury if we were tied together). I was grateful it was only a 5km, but Kobi ran like she’d never been outside before. I think she likes running in the dark.
Onto today’s run. It was -12C with a reported -15C wind-chill. I started off doing a short burn on the forest trails and then hit the paved community trail. I ended up back at the forest trail where I was to meet my friend who would run the last 8km with me. I had just enough time to do a quick clothing change (dry shirts, jacket, toque and mittens) before she showed up. I find after running over an hour in anything colder than -10C I need a dry clothes change, it makes life so much more bearable.
We ran about 2km together and then all of a sudden I started raving about food (I always think about food, but not like this). I loudly and enthusiastically explained what I was going to eat after my run (pancakes, maple syrup, canned peaches and a latte) and how awesome these almond butter chocolate balls are that I made (seriously they are the best! I’ll post the recipe below).
My friend commented that I was getting a bit off – she seems to see my hunger warning signs before I do. I swear when I get hungry, my body starts devouring my brain cells for the nutrition it needs and I become someone else, like someone who has been taken over by an alien body snatchers species and I can no longer think for myself.
I took another GU and a ton of Cytomax, only because my friend strongly recommended I do this. I did have one gel earlier (an hour into my run) with tons of Cytomax drink, but I think the cold just took a bit more out of me as one gel and Cytomax is all I usually need on a 20-24km run.
Thankfully, about 5 minutes after the second gel and Cytomax I started to feel better. And then I felt really good. And then I recognized that I was entering the “runner’s high” zone. Suddenly I felt really really happy and was coming up with amazing ideas and saving the world – again.
I seriously think I need to take some voice notes on my phone when I hit this high as I suspect I sound like a raving lunatic versus the genius I think I am.
I did make it home and did eat my pancakes with maple syrup and canned peaches as well as a Kona coffee latte. I’ve also just polished off my second grilled chicken burger with goat cheese, avocado, and red pepper and I am too embarrassed to say how many almond butter chocolate balls (and everything else) I’ve eaten.
Oh yeah, here’s the recipe from Canadian Running – Nov/Dec 2013 – Almond Butter Chocolate Balls
- 1 cup almond butter (mix in the oil)
- 1/2 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 oz dark chocolate (I like 70% cocoa)
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
Mix the almond butter, sugar and vanilla. Roll into 20 equal sized balls (I made 25). Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and put them into the freezer (1-1.5 hrs). Melt the chocolate. Roll the almond butter balls in the chocolate once they are frozen, garnish with a few grains of salt (I left some without) and refrigerate until the chocolate is set (about 30 minutes). So good!