Running: It's actually more expensive than therapy
2020- What a year it has been huh? I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Unfortunately, all my races have been cancelled since March. Hopefully I will be able to run some towards the end of the year. I have signed up for an ultra in October and a marathon in November. I have been running and training for whatever does come next. I am just ready to race again!
Have you guys been running at all?
I recently posted on Instagram that 2019 was a crazy year for me as far as running goes. I started out full of promise and training for an ultra. Well that ended in February with my hamstring injury. I had to take a break from running and racing for the spring/summer. Finally I started to train for a spring 2020 marathon in late 2019. I also started to do some races and training runs in October.
In 2019 I was able to run three half marathons. I also found a new favorite race in the Best Damn Race Orlando 5k.
Things may not have gone as planned but everything is back on track now and I'm happy to say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020.
There's something I just love about fall in Florida. The weather gets just a little cooler, new iPhones come out, and of course pumkin spice season. I love pumpkin spice flavored anything especially coffee. I decided this season was the season to test out all the different pumpkin spice flavored ground coffees I could get my hands on. I went out and bought these seasonal goodies and decided to get started right away. I made all these the same way (the cold brew method), let them sit for the same amount of time, then prepared each cup the same way with just regular milk and nothing else. So here is my rankings. I ranked them based on smell, flavor, powerfulness, and overall satisfaction with bonus points for art work. I know this is a running blog, but runners love coffee don't we?
Publix Premium Pumpkin Pie
So this is technically pumpkin pie flavored but the same idea. First of all I noticed this beautiful artwork on the bag. It promises..
"falling leaves and a cool breeze, as you warm your hands on a freshly brewed mug of luscious pumpkin pie. Nutty, creamy, and fragrant with spice. Autumnal flavors make every sip perfectly nice."
The smell is just as expected with a strong hint of pumpkin flavor. As I sipped on it I knew right away this was a good product. I appreciated the nutmeg flavor but did not get any pie flavors so I would consider this a pumpkin spice coffee and a good one at that. My only complaint would be the strength is weak for my taste.
Overall Grade 8.8
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice
The OG of pumpkin spice coffees. This is the one that started it all, and when I see this orange bag on the coffee shelf, I just know it's that time of year again. The bag promises "notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg together with our lightest roast." It is also the only blend in the competition without artificial flavors.
This actually smells more like vegetables than pumpkin spice. I know pumpkins are vegetables (I think) but still it's not exactly what I want to smell in my coffee. Luckily the smell does not translate to the taste. I can taste the nutmeg and it really just tastes exactly like I would expect. The strength is decent not overpowering. I took off some points for strength and smell.
Overall Grade 9.1
Dunkin Pumpkin Spice
Dunkin cold brew is one of my favorites so I expected that to translate the their ground coffee. Was I ever right about this one. This blend tastes just like you would expect a pumpkin spice fall blend to be just like autumn in a cup. There's a strong aroma and taste of nutmeg and other fall flavors as well. Perfect A++
Overall Grade 9.9
Fall In Love Pumpkin Spice
I've seen this in the homegoods store before but have never purchased it until now. I like the simple artwork and appreciate the theme. Unfortunately I was not impressed with the taste or flavor. It smells just like regular non-flavored coffee. The flavor isn't much stronger it's a bit too weak for my taste. I also get a sense of burnt coffee from it.
Overall Grade 5.0
Bonus: Publix Premium Cinnamon Streusel
This may not be pumpkin flavor but it is a seasonal blend. The bag artwork is beautiful and the flavor tastes just like a cinnamon streusel cake. I highly recommend this blend also.
Overall I enjoyed all the blends but if you want a real treat I would recommend going with the Dunkin Pumpkin Spice. I will be stocking up on more of these before the season is over.
Being injured on and off since February has been quite the challenge mentally and physically. I feel as if I'm in a world of confusion not knowing what is exactly the problem or when it will completely heal. Trying to stay positive during this process has taught me five lessons I want to share.
1. Listen to your body
Your body can tell you when something is off with it. The trick is to actually listen to it and stop running when you need to. For me, my legs were sore after a half marathon and instead of taking time off I ran through it and did more damage.
2. You may never completely heal
Some injuries never completely go away and require attention forever. That may include wearing protective gear such compression shorts.
3. The comeback can and will happen
Injuries happen to all of us even the elites. Watching them come back to the sport after a major injury is inspiring to see. Having a good base will make a difference when you are able to run again. It can be scary at first, but it can be done with some hard work and determination. You will get there.
4. Appreciate the healthy days
This injury has taught me to really appreciate the fact that I am able to run. It has even caused me to fall in love with the sport again and enjoy every run I can make.
5. Running shouldn't define you
You are more than a runner. Take this time off to find yourself outside of running and even discover new hobbies and interests. You will become a more well rounded person and athlete.
I haven't been super active on the blog or Instagram lately because I've been slowly getting back into training and running in general. I didn't' want to get discouraged seeing everyone else running spring races or anything like that. I took a few weeks off completely just to make sure I was 100% healed. I knew that if I wanted to heal for good I knew I needed to not run at all for a while.
After my break, I came back slowly to prevent future problems. I have really only been running a few miles at a time and they all have been easy runs too. The month of April is going to be easy running building my mileage back again slowly while May will be focused on some training. I have one 5k race in early June that will be be mostly just for run then the summer I will be training for 5k fall season and hopefully getting all that speed back that I've lost. I really want to be in great shape for the fall season. Hopefully by the spring I will be healthy enough to start marathon and 50k training for next spring. I'm really excited to be back at it again and it feels good. This time off certainly has made me so grateful that I am able to get out there and run now, and I am so excited to really get back into a training cycle.