Today I availed myself of this deal, consumed both of them in their calorie-laden, fatty goodness (along with a large Diet Pepsi), and lost two pounds. How did I do it?
Before dining, I pre-de-caloried with a 20-mile trail run. According to the simple calorie estimator on the Garmin Connect website, this means I burned about 3,000 calories -- more than enough to merit double-dipping on the sausage and egg biscuit. But this post suggests I may have burned much more than that. How much more? Well, just take a look at the elevation profile of my run:
|Count 'em, 4 major climbs!|
As you can see, "flat" doesn't come close to describing this trail, in Crowders Mountain State Park. There are two 800-foot climbs, a 700-foot climb, and a 400-foot climb. I think I'm safe saying this is the hilliest route I've ever run. The post I linked suggests that runners on treadmills double their calorie consumption when running on a 20% steeper grade. Are there any 20% grades on this course? Probably not; most of them appear to be closer to a 10 percent grade (with the certain exception of the steep climb -- on stairs! -- in Mile 17). But a treadmill hill is also not the same as a real hill -- you don't have to actually lift your body mass when you run up an incline on a treadmill. I'd venture a guess that a 10 percent grade in real life also comes close to doubling your calorie consumption -- especially on a trail run. If the 3600 vertical feet in this run average a 10-percent grade, that means that 36,000 feet (or 6.81 miles) of running was uphill. So we should add an extra 150 * 6.81 = 1022 calories to the amount I consumed today.
That means the hills alone may have justified my consumption of two Bojangles sausage and egg biscuits; the rest of the run was just bonus calorie-burning!
So why did I do a 20-mile trail run today, and what was it like? I did it because Dave and Jeremy invited me and it sounded fun. Was it fun? About the first fifteen miles were; the last five were quite difficult. That makes some sense -- although I've run farther in marathons, I've never run for as long a duration. This run took 4 hours and 22 minutes -- longer even than my very slow performance at Steamboat.
There were some spectacular views from the summit of King's Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain, and doing a long trail run was an eye-opening experience. I've done some shorter runs, typically on much easier trails than this one. Even though most ultrarunners walk the steepest uphill sections, they're still expending a lot of effort on those sections; arguably more than they do on the flat.
Will I make this type of trail-running a regular part of my workout routine? Almost certainly not. But I'm glad I did it -- and those biscuits were delicious!
Details of today's run are below.