The Elusive Barney Butter

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Good morning! For some reason, I was so AWAKE this morning.  I typically struggle every morning to wake up and stumble around in a deadly haze for the first thirty minutes or so…. but today I feel chipper and alert! :)  Perhaps because it’s Thursday??


Plus, I had a special breakfast to look forward to… Tina, you would be proud!


I ordered a sample of Barney Butter and couldn’t wait to smear it all over something delish. 


I made a whole wheat waffle with Hodgson’s Mills InstaBake Mix and put Barney Butter on 1/2 and maple syrup on the other 1/2.  Plus a banana on the side.


The verdict?  I liked it!  But I’m not craaaazy about it like Tina or other bloggers.  To be fair, I’m not really crazy about peanut butter, either.  Nut butters just don’t "do it" for me for some reason. 


Heavy Legs?


Here is a great Question and Answer from my favorite Runner’s World blog, Ask the Penguin.


Question:  I’m a 51-year-old female. After years of inactivity (since I don’t think running 2 miles every few months constitutes "running"), I am determined to get in shape so I can once again run 5-K and 10-K races.   My problem: halfway through a 2- or 3-mile run, my legs feel heavy, like I’m dragging weights tied to them. Why is this happening? Am I not stretching enough? I’m sure the combination of not running for three to four years and the extra weight I’ve put on has something to do with it, but is that it? Please enlighten me! – Margie


Margie, thanks for writing. And congratulations on deciding to take control of your life.

Of course, you’ve answered a part of your own question. The combination of inactivity and increased weight will certainly have an effect. But that may not be the whole answer.   It may well be that your determination is both helping and hurting you. Too often, people try to get “in shape" in a matter of weeks or months even though it’s taken years to get out of shape. At 51 years old [I’m 60] the time it’s going to take you to get to where you want to be is much longer than if you were 25. It may also be that you’re not being realistic with where you want to be.  The single most important element for a new – or renewed – healthy, active lifestyle is patience. It isn’t talent. It isn’t discipline. It isn’t will power or genetics or diet. Just… patience.

If your legs feel heavy it’s very likely that you’re trying to do too much, too soon. When we start people on a “learn to run” program they spend weeks doing mostly walking with a few 30-second to one-minute  segments of running sprinkled in. You can’t just go out the door and try to run 2 or 3 miles.

You also have to give yourself plenty of time to recover. When you’re younger you can “recover” in 24 hours. At 51, it’s likely to take you 48 hours to recover. That means you can’t be running/walking every day. It doesn’t mean you can’t be active, but it does mean you’ll have to find something that is “active recovery," like swimming or cycling.

Finally, for everyone, strength training is very important. For a woman, it’s even more important. You’re not trying to get buff, you’re just trying to maintain muscle mass. Flexibility – not just stretching – is also an important element.

So, don’t let yourself get in your own way. Be patient. Be kind. Be gentle. You’ve got the rest of your life to get to where you want to be.


Waddle on, John


I also get the "heavy legs"!  Does anyone else?  Based on John’s answer, I must get it because I haven’t allowed myself enough time to recover in between runs.  Very interesting and definitely good to know!



  • Leanne April 9, 2009, 3:58 am

    This is really interesting–I totally get heavy legs sometimes!! Thanks for the info.

  • amy. April 9, 2009, 4:42 am

    You know I love your breakfast–waffles and peanut butter! My favorite.

    Have a great day Caitlin <3

  • VeggieGirl April 9, 2009, 5:06 am

    Mmmm, waffles!!

    Yeah, I get the “heavy legs” after training sometimes – but it’s short-lived once I stretch out properly.

  • Kelly April 9, 2009, 5:15 am

    My legs only start to feel heavy on longer run (8-10 miles) I just thought it was natural but maybe it’s because I push myself too far? Interesting.

  • Colleen April 9, 2009, 5:19 am

    Ooooo – great topic! I had heavy legs the other day, I tried to shred and then run…it was awful. I settled for a nice long (but brisk) walk with my dog. I felt refreshed the next day!

    I just have to say that your blog totally makes my day! You always have a variety of topics and it’s just FUN to read what you’ve written. Thanks Caitlin – Happy Thursday to you!

  • jenngirl April 9, 2009, 5:20 am

    I understand, my obsession with nut butters is definitely one of a kind, but at least you tried it!

  • RhodeyGirl/Sabrina April 9, 2009, 5:22 am

    I only get heavy legs if my legs are SO burned out from my run that they can’t carry me anymore.

    i am blogging about this tonight, but currently my legs are so sore that i have to fall out of my car (know what I mean?) it is kind of hilarious.

    also, i think barney butter takes a while to love. i agreed the first time, but after trying it 4 or 5 times i fell in love.

  • megan April 9, 2009, 5:41 am

    I get heavy legs too, but normally at the beginning of a run. once I’m warmed up I don’t notice it as much.

  • Tina April 9, 2009, 5:44 am

    You are so lucky! I miss my BB!

    I’m glad you liked the infamous BB! But, I think you would be crazy about the chunky version. Personally, I think the chunky is a MILLION times better than the smooth! It has so much more flavor! When I finally breakdown and order a stash, I’ll send ya a jar of the chunky stuff. You’ll be obsessed in no time! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Brandi April 9, 2009, 5:59 am

    i got my samples, too, but I haven’t tried them yet.

    I get the heavy legs every now and then, too. That was good to read!

  • Alison April 9, 2009, 6:03 am

    Interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever had “heavy legs.” I feel runs more in my feet. At a certain point – usually about 10 miles into a run, I feel like my feet are literally about to fall off!

  • chandra h April 9, 2009, 6:20 am

    ooo I get heavy legs sometimes. like after a run goes great, and I'm encouraged to go out again the very next day and repeat it, and my legs feel like lead.
    *repeats to self* rest, stretch. ๐Ÿ™‚

    and, lol, this is random, but I totally dreamt about barney butter last night. i've never tried it either. is it a lot different than just reg old almond butter?

    รขโ„ขยฅ chandra

  • Graze with Me April 9, 2009, 6:52 am

    The crunchy Barney Butter is 10x better, I just wish it came in packets too.

  • iowagirleats April 9, 2009, 6:52 am

    Darn strength training and stretching…I hate doing them…perhaps I should start??

  • Amanda April 9, 2009, 6:54 am

    I seem to get HLS (heavy leg syndrome:)) if my legs haven’t recovered from previous run/spin/weights or if I am a little sleep-deprived or dehydrated. It is such a wierd feeling, like you just literally can’t move any faster.

  • Elina April 9, 2009, 7:11 am

    I wasn’t crazy about BB the first time I tried it (though it was good, just not amazing) and now I’m seriously addicted!
    I get heavy legs sometimes too. Not every time though, thank goodness ๐Ÿ™‚

  • lauren April 9, 2009, 7:14 am

    good info. and I enjoyed the recap of your rehearsal dinner – your dress was gorgeous.

    obviously, I am catching up on my blog reading, but one of my favorite non-food blogs is:

  • Nicole ( April 9, 2009, 7:17 am

    I loooove waffles. Yum.

    I do get heavy legs sometimes, thank you for the information!

  • Bec April 9, 2009, 7:19 am

    waffle and Barney butter, sounds amazing!

  • nibblesandwiggles April 9, 2009, 7:22 am

    Oh yeah, I get the heavy legs every once in a while. Thanks for the article.

  • runnerskitchen April 9, 2009, 7:33 am

    I often get heavy legs if I don’t get enough sleep or if the weather is unusually hot. Since you live in Florida, perhaps the heat and humidity contribute to the heavy legs feeling? Good luck with the trail race this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dori April 9, 2009, 7:34 am

    I normally like chunky nut butters but in Barney I prefer the smooth much more!

    Your breakfast looks great ๐Ÿ™‚

  • BethAnn Caputo April 9, 2009, 7:46 am

    what is your recipe for whole wheat waffles?? i can’t find one that I like..mine always fall apart!

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) April 9, 2009, 7:54 am

    I get heavy legs everytime I run. Makes me HATE running! I liked reading the response to the question because I have been wondering if I’m pushing myself too hard.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point April 9, 2009, 7:55 am

    beth ann – i use Hodgson’s Mills InstaBake Mix… i’ve never tried to them from scratch. ๐Ÿ™

  • Kristi @ Sweet Cheeks April 9, 2009, 8:06 am

    If you ever recieve any nut butters, feel free to send them my way. hahah ๐Ÿ˜‰

    That is a very interesting q and a. I probably need to allow myself more recovery time, too!

  • tfh April 9, 2009, 8:28 am

    Nut butters totally do it for me!

    As for the heavy legs, I think I’ve mainly experienced them in races where I went out way too fast. Or at the end of superlong runs. In that case I sometimes think it’s a matter of poor fueling?

  • Sara April 9, 2009, 8:41 am

    Delicious waffle and pb!

  • Run Sarah April 9, 2009, 8:52 am

    I get heavy legs when I run twice within a 12-20 hour period…its the worst!

  • Matt April 9, 2009, 8:53 am

    Try rolling out your legs after running. It really helps your muscles stay loose and recover faster.

  • Niki April 9, 2009, 8:58 am

    I just got my Barney Butter samples and LOVED them!! Maybe it will grow on you:)

    I get heavy legs when I have run consecutively for a few days with no rest days. So I guess that means I need more recovery! It’s just so hard to rest! Haha

  • K from ksgoodeats April 9, 2009, 9:14 am

    You’re lucky you’re not crazy about it – it’s an expensive habit!! I adore BB ๐Ÿ™‚

  • livelovelaugheatlearn April 9, 2009, 9:57 am

    I always find that my legs feel heavy when I don’t stretch properly.

    I love PB on waffles. I didn’t like nut butters either until about a year or so ago.. now I can’t get enough!

  • Jennie April 9, 2009, 6:47 pm

    I enjoy reading your blog. I am not a runner but am thinking of trying to be. This article talked about people “learning to run”. What suggestions do you have for someone who is just beginning running? Thanks!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point April 9, 2009, 6:49 pm

    hey jennie! thanks for reading. i am glad you’re trying to get into running. my advice would be to start slow and aim to run at least two or three times a week. if you can only go a mile at a time, that’s fine! the best method when you’re starting out is to do run/walk intervals. walk for two minutes, run for one, repeat, and gradually decrease the amount of time you walk. this is called the galloway method, google it for more!

    here are the rest of my tips for runners:

    and has tons of other info!

Healthy Tipping Point