Hello. My name is Jessica, and I am addicted to almond butter. And gum. And running.
Handling these addictions is not easy. But I manage.
I once tried to quit chewing gum cold turkey. It lasted 2 weeks. I developed other nervous habits...clenching my teeth, biting my nails, chewing my lip. It was really rather unhealthy. And besides, what reason is there to stop chewing gum? It's not bad for you. After all, Trident contains xylitol! Xylitol helps to neutralize the pH in your mouth after you eat, preventing your mouth from becoming too acidic (read: it helps prevent cavities!) But, when I realized I consumed an entire Costco size pack of gum in 3 weeks, I knew a had a bit of a problem. 3 weeks = 21 days, Costco container of Trident Original contains 20 packs with 18 pieces in each. 20x18= 360. 360 pieces of gum in 21 days. That's just shy of a pack a day. It's like I'm a smoker. I've quelled this obsession down to a piece of gum after each meal. You have to remember, I love teeth. And that piece of gum is the fastest way to fresh breath and peace (piece? hah.) of mind.
Two weeks ago, I travelled to Seattle for my lovely Auntie's birthday. In addition to celebrating with family, I decided to be a complete tourist and traipse around Pike Place Market with a good friend of mine.
Anyone heard of Post Alley with the delightfully disgusting gum wall?
Isn't it lovely? 6 feet of sugary bubble tape purchased.
4 1/2 consumed to create this splendid work of art.
Number of times I touched the wall: 37.
My next addiction: almond butter.
The above is hands down the best snack in the entire world. There's just something so entirely blissful about munching down on a sweet-tart Pink Lady apple and 2 spoon fulls of crunchy, nutty, wholesome almond butter...
A really rather healthy addiction. Unless you consider the fact that each tablespoon contains 100 calories. One hundred calories of bliss. I usually purchase it at the grocery stores that offer the 'grind it yourself' type option. That way it's fresh almonds and no added sweetener. That being said, I have a particular weakness for Justin's brand Maple Almond Butter. There was this once that I consumed an entire pound in 2 days. Please don't judge.
My third and newest addiction....running.
I think about it, dream about it, talk about it; it's incessant, really. The half-marathon is less than a month away, and I cannot shut up about it. I want to run every day, but refrain. You see, my left hip was recently replaced by that of an 80-year old woman's. I'm none too sure what's going on. It's encouraging the people I've talked to lately that are also runners. Rain or shine, they're out there getting their run on. No such thing as bad weather they say, only soft people.
Suddenly, my thoughts are filled with the next pair of running shoes I'm going to purchase, the GPS watch/heart rate monitor I want and how much waterproof gear I really need (a lot). The Camelbak I want. All those fabulous knee high socks I saw at the running store... Now I know what is going on the Christmas wishlist.
The above are shoes I scored at the Nike Employee Store. LunarEclipse +. Retro and super comfortable. Not recommended for runs longer than 5k.
Filling my thoughts too is what half-marathon I'm going to run next. I'm not stopping at one. And there are so many options. You can go on vacation and run a race? I like this thought. Though, that Rock and Roll Half-Marathon in Las Vegas doesn't sound too brilliant. Alcohol and athletic achievements aren't generally synonymous.
Let's talk about Progress:
Cross-training has been mediocre at best. I've been a slacker at strength training. Stretching is becoming my best friend. But, I've been a good runner. I'm up to running 20 miles a week now. 20 miles. Boys and girls, I feel like a badass. I want to shout this aloud. Do a happy dance. Tell anyone who will listen and force those who won't. Never in my life have I run this much. Sunday, I ran 7 miles without stopping. And it felt good. Who am I and when did I become a legit runner?
My biggest obstacle: my brain. The negative self-talk. 'Oh, you've been running for so long, your legs must be tired.' 'Your lungs are hurting...stop' I've just had to give my brain the middle finger (kindly, of course) and turn of whatever obnoxious tunage I have on at the time to drown out that silly little voice.
Don't worry, I can do this. And I will. Just watch.
My shin splints are immensely better. I'm unsure whether this is due to ice, ibuprofen or incredible compression socks. Let's just call them the Terrific Trio and leave it at that.
My hip is another story though. Sigh.
What I've learned: I love running in the rain. 4 degrees C for a run is
absurd not bad once you start moving. Windshield wipers need to be invented for glasses as they tend to fog and obscure one's field of vision. I hate wearing pants.