Saturday, April 25, 2009

Post Run Treats

Yesterday (Friday) morning I hit the road for another 8-mile pre-Bloomsday run. I was feeling a little bit slower than Wednesday, pretty much sticking to an easy 10-minute pace. I haven't downloaded my Garmin data yet, but I had a look when I finished and my average pace was just under ten minutes. And, in fact, most of the miles were very close to ten minutes, mostly a little below. A slow first mile and faster finishing miles rounded out the average.

I felt very practical and efficient because I incorporated two bank stops into the run (one to get cash from ATM and the other to pay a credit card bill), saving time later in the day. I hit eight miles just before QFC and stopped there as well to pick up sandwiches for lunch later. And, perhaps, a post run treat.

An eight-mile run ostensibly burns around 900 calories (so they say, I have my doubts). Under most circumstances that should easily accommodate a goody like a scone or doughnut, which have about half that many calories. But this week I have been trying to be less self-indulgent (fairly successful in that), so I was torn whether I should succumb to the lure of the doughnut or not.

I stood in front of the doughnut cabinet for many minutes, deliberating and trying to pull up the calories in maple bars and old-fashioned doughnuts on my BlackBerry. Although I wasn't having too much luck with that, I did get a number of suggestions that either might have as much as 460 calories,* particularly, perhaps, the old-fashioned doughnut, which is denser. (Although, of course, the maple bar was bigger....)

Anyhow, the information I obtained, and the time I took to find it, prompted me to turn away from the doughnuts and revert to the more healthy and filling option of a double fiber English muffin with peanut butter. Or almond butter as it turned out. Perusing the nut butter aisle, I spotted on the bottom shelf packets of Justins Peanut and Almond Butter, which I just read about on another blog** a couple days ago. They even had the maple almond butter,*** which might be a nice substitute for a maple bar, right?

So I bought some packets to bring home. Each packet is 32 grams, which is about two tablespoons, and 190 calories. When I toasted the two halves of my muffin and squeezed out some almond butter (after kneading the packet to distribute the oil thoroughly), there was enough almond butter to toast another half for the extra. So the calorie count for my substitute treat was 355 calories. I also ate a small banana (100 calories), so yes, that added up to the equivalent of the maple bar. But look what I got for my calories. Protein from the almond butter, good fat from the almond butter (as opposed to whatever's in the maple bar), about 12 grams of fiber from the 1.5 muffins, plus whole grains (I think the muffin has whole grains, I'm not positive). Also potassium and whatever the banana has to offer. I'm pretty sure that this was all more filling than a single maple bar would have been, as well. (By the way, this was my breakfast, not just a random treat!)

So, all in all, a productive morning. A solid run, errands done, and a delicious post run breakfast. What more could I ask for? How about Friday morning off work and a trip to the Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop for the weekend? Okay, done.

*Further research has sort of confirmed that information, although results obviously vary depending on the size of the doughnut. I also got a result that a Dunkin' Donuts maple bar has 200 calories and a Dunkin' Donuts old-fashioned doughnut has 300, which could be very tempting if we actually had Dunkin' Donuts in my area!

**I would love to link to that blog but I can't remember which it was.

***Yes, it has maple sugar in it, and ordinarily sugar added to nut butters is probably not desirable, but this is maple sugar! Yum!

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