January 12, 2011

A Whole New Meaning to Caffeinated

I tend to have a hard time trying to motivate myself to run, especially in the winter when it's frigid outside and I have to do it on a treadmill. Running outside is rough, especially when it's hot and humid and gross, but at least the scenery changes and I have a sense that I've actually traveled a distance, even if it's just in a circle. When it's cold outside though, I feel like my muscles kind of freeze up and dragging myself all of the 50 yards to the gym door is like yanking a big, yawning polar bear off his iceberg.
Yep, that looks about right.

This morning, I woke up knowing that today was "gym day"..... not a good way to start off. I was a little bit hopeful, though, because I've been wanting to have a chance to watch snow from the huge windows in front of the treadmills. The forecast was snow all day, so I was clinging to this little glimmer of motivation.
Right. Not only was it dark by the time I made it out the door, but it had (of course) stopped snowing. So much for that. I hacked out a 5k (which seems to be my typical length these days), and then I decided to try to go above and beyond, so I ran a whole .2 miles more. Again, motivation is NOT my strong point. As I'm walking to cool down a bit, though, my mind started to wander to the cup of coffee that my amazing-awesome-fantastic-wonderful fiance delivered to me at work this morning (yes, he's that sweet, and yes, it was partially to make up for the fact that he got the day off. ahem.) Now, when I give in to my Starbucks cravings (in the winter) I stick to a tall peppermint mocha with no whipped cream and skim milk.... I try to save my calories where I can. Dan, who luckily loves me just the way I am, extra 5 pounds and all, upgraded me to a venti with plenty of whipped cream. Which I of course finished. So as I'm walking, I start to think about how many awful calories must have been in that huge paper cup of goodness, and because I have no restraint or sense at all, I pick up my phone and google that shit. In case anyone else was still in doubt, I (re-)discovered right there on that treadmill how terrible an idea it is to research the number of calories in anything that tastes good.
[Disclaimer: This is in no way meant to criticize Starbucks or any of their drinks. I am fully aware and appreciative of that company's efforts to provide low-fat, low-cal, healthy options. It's no one's fault but my own that I don't take them up on that.]
480 calories. 4.8.0. My jaw hit the heart rate monitor. How on earth was I able to consume that many calories before 10 am?! I checked my calorie count on the treadmill (I know it's barely even a decent ballpark, but I love watching that number grow as I run), and I was hovering around 420 -- more than a usual day for me but not even enough to cover my mocha. So without even thinking about it, I sped that baby up and started to run again. Fast. And I didn't look back until I had hit 480 calories and almost 4.5 miles. 
Not exactly the way I wanted to find inspiration today, but I suppose in the end the fact that I completed an extra-long run makes it a success. I think this could work out well -- the next time I need a little kick in the butt, you'll find me drinking my weight in coffee.


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