5AM Runner

To Walk in These Shoes

walk in these shoesI have received a lot of criticism as of late for constantly bringing attention to the amount of food I eat.  In particular, some people are unhappy with the fact that I eat cakes and other baked goods for breakfast (and sometimes for lunch as well), gobble up snacks like there is no tomorrow and find other ways of explicitly violating all accepted rules and norms of the weight-watching society.  They say I should not put a picture of half-eaten carrot cake on my blog, as it is simply inappropriate for a runner and an advocate of a healthy lifestyle to be seen next to such disgusting foods.

Naturally, I will continue posting “disgusting” food images even more now, however, at the same time I feel that an explanation is due.  I believe it was Teddy Roosevelt who said that: “… it is not the critic who counts…. the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood…”  Not that I have much dust on me, and only occasionally do I end up spilling blood on the road.  But the point still stands – believe me, I pay for every single “bad” calorie eaten, for every honey bun consumed there is hell to pay the very next morning.

My point has always been – waking up and doing cardio first thing in the morning.  Period.   Nothing else matters.  And over the years, as my cardio routines have become more violent and self-punishing, I have begun to develop this feeling of entitlement, thinking that if I work so hard out there at 5 in the morning while most normal people are still sound asleep, perhaps I deserve a reward.  And what better reward is there but a huge piece of fresh baklava or a good apple turnover with a hot cup of coffee?

More than likely I am completely off-base here, however, please consider the following: by the time you wake up, your body has gone nearly 8-9 hours without any food.  The body wants food, but instead I punish it some more by making it work outside at an increased heart-rate and typically in horrifying working conditions.  So the body begins to “eat itself”, for lack of a better term, digging deep into the reserves.

However, after the punishment, I feel I must reward the body with some fuel.  I am not saying that honey buns are necessarily a cornerstone of any good breakfast, but more than likely you will need some glucose in your blood before too long.  If your breakfast was not sufficient, you will feel tired for the rest of the day, walk around with a screaming stomach, eat too much for lunch and dinner, most likely making terrible food choices for those two meals.  Let’s just say that a proper breakfast keeps your appetite in check when it comes to lunch and dinner.

And so, please believe me – I am not defending my food choices, I know that I am basically out of my mind when it comes to eating.  Still, keep please remember these two things, first: I always said: “do as I say”, not “do as I do”.  And second: it is easy to be the critic, but do you really know the whole story?  Have you been in these shoes?  What is your definition of a “tough cardio workout”?  So, while you keep on sleeping, I will continue to

Keep it running!