Q&A with Chris Sams: Part II

By October 23, 2012 In another...
AWESOME STUFF! I’ve already spoken about the UNBELIEVABLE story of Chris Sams and his run across America to spread awareness about a fit and healthy lifestyle. He has agreed to spend each week with me in a Q&A session. This week the questions came from YOU! Here are Chris’ answers, thanks for sending over such great questions…
Timothy D. Strunk – How many calories a day do you have to consume to maintain weight, and what are some of the things you’ve been eating regularly to give you all that energy?
Never in my life have I counted calories.  To me that’s a waste of time.  I think if you have the knowledge on knowing what to eat, what good things will nourish your body to give you the energy you need to burn the calories off, then you’ve won the battle.
To touch briefly on what I consume, basically I eat a balance of 3 vegetables, lean proteins, different mixes of carbohydrates; more the complex carbohydrates versus the simple.  But for me it’s more about portion.  If I had to really guess on calories, I’d say I’m consuming between 5-7 thousands calories a day…but again, I’m not going to sit there and count them, it’s really not important to me.  The priority for me is consuming enough to create the kind of energy I need to complete these runs.
Fruit has been a huge part of the equation for me.  During my run I definitely have a banana every day, I definitely try to eat an apple every day.  I eat kiwi, I eat grapefruit, oranges, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.  Anything I can get my hands on, either at a grocery story, I’ll buy bulk and have for a couple days, but most hotels/motels always offer either bananas, apples or oranges.  So that’s just a good sugar-base and carb-base that your body can use to fuel a run.  I stay away from a large midday lunch or midday slump from overeating.
Tina Amatore – Your spirit and energy is incredibly high even after all the miles! I have heard of “runners high” during a long run, but wonder if you think it sustains this kind of distance.
As you build up your endurance it might take a person a few runs at a couple miles to achieve that “runners high” and for others who are more familiar with running marathons or ultra-marathons, maybe they’re not hitting their “runners high” until they break through that wall of 30 miles. But honestly for me, I can’t ever pick when I get that runners high.  That’s the elusiveness or fun part of running.  I could get it day after day or maybe I don’t get it for a few weeks.  I could have a 40 mile run ahead of me and I might hit it at mile 38 or I could hit it at a few miles in.  I don’t have a barometer, if you will, of when I could possibly hit my “runners high.”
Also, I think what’s huge to understand here is every day is different with the weather and terrain.  I’ve ran around the Baltimore inner harbor hundreds of times.  Yes, there’s going to be different people but it’s always the same scene.  I’ve definitely switched up my route, I’ve run everywhere in Baltimore…but here I will NEVER run the same path.  Each day is a new path, each day I’m going to see new things.  It’s truly exciting to see a new road in the world or a new country side so it’s always changing.  To answer the question, I think for this kind of experience it’s been more of an “explorers high” than a “runners high” per say.
Jessica Urie – Do you listen to music while you run and if so what kind of tunes? Have you ever considered quitting and if so how did you get through that feeling?
For the first major portion of the run, pretty much until I got to Atlanta, I didn’t listen to any music because I wanted to be aware of my surroundings.  I had a lot, I’d say 30 or something, dogs run after me.  I’m surprised I haven’t got bitten.  But as soon as I got to Atlanta I started using a push stroller as oppose to my camelback so I could carry more stuff.  One of the cons to the stroller was I couldn’t really run on the secondary roads anymore.  They don’t have any place to run but on the white line which impedes on traffic.  So it made me start running on major highways.  Once I got on the highway, that’s when I started listening to my iPod with one ear in allowing me to jam a bit but also hear what’s going on around me.
But even when I started listening I still held true to a rule I made for myself.  For the first 10 miles of my run I don’t listen to anything so I can have my own thinking and have my own time without obstruction of music.  I like the first 10 miles to myself, however long that takes…usually 90-100 minutes I’m doing my thing.  When I do listen, it’s a lot of hip hop but really all genres.  90’s, 2000’s, today, I’m all over the board.  Sometimes I’ll get real jazzed up to something like Skrillex or something with a crazy beat.
To Jessica’s second question, I never considered quitting but I’ve definitely had some trying times.  In the beginning, when the body was aching as badly as it was, of course I thought was this ok for my health or my legs.  But once I broke through that and kept going all of that concern seemed to fall away.  After about a month or so, once some of the heavy rains came, of course I questioned there, “Man, am I going to keep going or does it stop here or what?”  Even overeating or not eating a sound breakfast can kind of derail my positivity or my willingness to start my run.  And of course starting is the hardest thing.  In short, the questions or doubts have arisen but I’ve never come close to quitting.  When those negative thoughts or doubts enter my head, the thought of all the people who follow me on facebook…I ’m accountable to all of them.  So there’s no doubt, I have to keep moving forward.
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