Back from the Dead: How I Almost Let Cayenne Pepper Ruin My Run.

So I’m back from the dead….Or at least the stomach flu (which made me feel like I was nearing the end)!  For over a week.  No workouts. Not a whole lot of healthy food being consumed. I don’t even want to get on the scale. And no running. For over a week.  
How’s that for The Break Stops Here and the commencement of my training for the Pittsburgh Marathon.  Yeah…um…I ran 2 miles last night? On the treadmill, none the less, due to snow, ice, and ever-decreasing daylight hours. I get off work at 4:30 in the afternoon – there is no sunlight within the hour. Has. Me. Feeling. Really. Down. And not to mention discouraged.
It was a fragmented two miles – and it was horrible – I had to walk some, but it felt magnificent to run. That’s right – M.A.G.N.I.F.I.C.E.N.T.
Instead of being miserable about my apparent inability to run two miles straight right now – I am going to focus on what this run has taught me:

I came from work last night with the plan to start dinner, let it simmer for 45 minutes, and run. No excuses. Just doing. I prepped dinner – Moroccan Chicken – right down to the herb and spice “breading” when I realized we were out of Cayenne Pepper.  Now let me tell you two things (1) my husband and I are addicted to hot spice, hot sauce, hot peppers, hot anything – our refrigerator is primarily storage for hot sauce and (2) we DO NOT EVER run out of anything hot. We could supply the neighborhood for a year. We could live on it for six months. THERE IS ALWAYS EXTRA [INSERT SPICE OF YOUR CHOICE HERE]. Except for last night. WHEN THERE WAS NO CAYENNE PEPPER.

I couldn’t believe it, and I was furious. Probably a little unnecessarily so as I snapped at my unsuspecting husband and sped off to the grocery store where I bought two jumbo containers of Cayenne Pepper for $4.49 each. That’s right; I spent over ten bucks on Cayenne Pepper last night. (When I can’t afford my race entry fee in May, remind me of this incident, please).
The whole drive to the store, the whole time at the store, and the whole drive back, I was thinking about how I wanted needed to run. I was furious that Cayenne Pepper – or the lack thereof – was going to ruin my run. I started having images of myself curled into the fetal position at the base of the treadmill rocking and sobbing as the Moroccan Chicken took over my kitchen and my night. In my vision, I ran out of everything and kept going back to the store – it was never-ending.  Dramatic – I know. Ridiculous? Yes. An overreaction? Probably.
It was during my delirious dreaming that I realized I was so angry because I hadn’t been running. I was on the edge because I needed to run. And then I realized that 45 minutes to simmer was still 45 minutes to simmer whether it took me a half hour to go to the store and get an ingredient or not. I would still have 45 minutes to run when all was said and done.
And I was really mean to my husband.
I came home (with my pepper) and apologized even though he didn’t want to be anywhere near me – and I didn’t blame him.
I wanted to explain, but decided against it at the moment (read: honey, I hope you see this post) and finished my prep. Put the ingredients in the pot, set to boil, and literally jumped onto the treadmill. Half a mile – no walking. Stir the chicken, set to simmer for 45 minutes, and back on the treadmill. One mile down – I walked to catch my breath. Check the chicken and start the rice. Another half a mile with no walking. And I was done – with about 25 minutes to spare. 
I felt like a new woman. Thank God for running. I’m sorry I was mean.
I will run another two miles tonight, per my training schedule. And I will feel relieved again to have run. I know this is true, yet, I always seem to forget it in the thick of things.
Do any of you ever feel the need to run? Is running more than just something you do for fun? Do you have to run? Does the wintertime interfere with your training schedule? How do you cope with it? Leave me a note to let me know your experiences!
And please don’t forget about my 2011 Training Log Giveaway and CSN $35 Gift Card Giveaway! Enter for your chance to win today!
Happy running!          


  1. I totally could have written this post! I HATE when unexpected things pop up when i had planned to run. I don’t run every day, but i try to run at least 3-4 times a week. And i totally feel the “need” to run…even if i don’t want to. 🙂

    PS. Glad you got your pepper!!

  2. Yay for getting your run in!

    And yes – I need to run, I am also anal to following my program to a tee so I get very upset when my apple cart is shaken up. I can totally relate.

  3. I get can so crabby when things throw me off my schedule and I can’t get a workout in – I try to keep it somewhat under control though. Looking forward to reading as you get ready for Pittsburgh too!!

  4. Running can definitely be the asnwer to a stressful day! 🙂

    Glad you are feel better – a whole week of the stomach flu? YUCK!

  5. Running can definitely be the asnwer to a stressful day! 🙂

    Glad you are feel better – a whole week of the stomach flu? YUCK!

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