Friday, April 22, 2011

Of Jelly Beans and 26th Presidents

I can tell I am ramping up my mileage by the amount of food I am consuming. Once I pass that 60 mile-a-week mark, the only time I am not eating is when I am actually running. Although last week on my long run, I ate a CarbBoom gel in the midst of a 17-miler (more on that in a bit), but anyone who’s ever popped an energy gel would likely agree that it’s not really food.

Because of the amount of running I do, I can’t really remember an extended period of time when I was not hungry. In fact, sometimes I worry that I have a condition. Perhaps the sensors in my brain that alert my body that I have taken in enough don’t work. Do such sensors even exist? Of course, I’m not complaining. I love to eat and I don't really worry about faining weight. Right now, I am eating honey graham crackers. It’s just one item in the bottomless bag of snacks that accompanies me to work every day.

Now, I try to make sure my snacking…err…grazing…is healthy. But, is there anything better than Starburst Jelly Beans? By the way, this blog will go off on tangents. I rarely buy candy. Ice cream is my junk food of choice. But, I make a yearly exception for Starburst Jelly Beans. When the fine folks at Starburst unveiled this product some years ago (It couldn’t have been that long ago because I remember world where it was either chalky generic jelly beans or the grossly overpriced Jelly Belly), they rendered all other jelly beans irrelevant. End of story. Over the years, Starburst Jelly Beans have become available year round. I don’t recognize this fact. To me, they are a treat to be reserved for the Easter season. That keeps them special. I also don't recognize all these new flavors they have come out with. Tangy, sour, spicy. I'll stick to the original thank you very much.

One of the more humbling moments I’ve experienced in the past month has to do with Starburst Jelly Beans. I was in Target running some household errands when the mood struck me. After picking up light bulbs and vitamins, I headed for the candy section where I was stymied by the absence of the magic beans. A person with more pride would have given up an gone home. Not me. I looked for an associate it and had her point me in the direction of the jelly beans. There are few things more embarrassing than a 27-year-old man asking a Target associate where to find the jelly beans.

It’s one of two times I had to ask for directions as of late. Back to the 17 mile run now. Lauren and I were in Virginia last weekend visiting my sister and her fiancĂ© Brian slash introducing our parents to each other. Sunday morning, I had made plans to drive from Centreville to Arlington and run with Jesse. My plan was to do 14 and Jesse would do the first seven or so with me. That’s how it unfolded. After Jesse peeled off, I made my way toward Theodore Roosevelt Island which sits in the middle of the Potomac just past the finish of the Marine Corp Marathon. I did a loop around the island and started to head back down the asphalt greenway into the residential section of Arlington. I don’t hear directions well. So, everything Jesse told me to do went in one ear and right out the other and I soon found myself approaching 14 miles and in some random neighborhood I had never seen before. Thankfully, I found a gentleman in an Iron Man cap, assumed he must know the area and asked him for directions. Three extra miles later, I was back where I belonged. Was this story interesting? No.

I’m happy to have been back at it for nearly a month now. I’m just logging miles and having fun. May 1st…the hammer comes down.

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