Running, being single, and PB&J.
Updated: Jan 16, 2022
Reflecting on 2021, it is easy to focus on the events that marked change. But I also want to reflect on some of the constants of the past year.
I ran 154 days resulting a total of 604 miles. All of the weekday runs were in the morning first thing after waking up. I never regretted running. More than the endorphins from running itself, I felt empowered by the micro-act of having taken care of my mental and physical health by going for a run. When I have not run more than two days in a row it is usually because I am prioritizing something or someone else over my own mental health, and I can always feel the negative affects of not running. There were also two specific running events in the year - I ran a virtual half marathon in April and an in-person Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving. Training for the the half marathon was an important part of my winter and early spring. The longer runs were a fun way to visit different parts of the Boston surrounds that I hadn’t visited in a while, and it was satisfying to run further and engage with challenging myself while running. The less fun part was that some of the long runs felt really lonely. Also I tweaked my quad muscle a few weeks before the race and that made the last long runs and the race itself feel stressful and less fun. In contrast, the Turkey Trot was not lonely because it was an in person race with 2,000+ participants! I had been running slightly faster than my ~9:30 pace in the month leading up to the race and decided to set a goal to run three sub nine minute miles. It is a fun race because it goes right by my mom’s house on roads that I have run on hundreds of times. I totally beat my goal and ran the race with a pace of 7:31 min/mile.
I was single all of 2021. It was largely by choice and by circumstance. I did spend sometime on dating apps, and I did go on a handful of first dates. But this largely came from a place of wanting to engage with my queerness and less a desire to find a partner. There has been a funny cognitive dissonance to it though because on the one hand I know that finding a parter is a high-on-the-list two year goal of mine, and on the other hand it is not a six-month priority of mine at all. I think this is largely because the idea of moving to North Carolina in the spring feels like SUCH an important priority that I am not actually open to the possibility of it being derailed by romance.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.
Ninety-five percent of the days that I was in Boston I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. I ate slightly more diverse lunches when I was in Connecticut or New Jersey, but I often ate PB&J there are as well. The high point of this routine was when I spent a week near Northampton, Massachusetts and I made my PB&J on a really nice loaf of bread that I had bought from Flour Bakery before I left Boston. I also always make my sandwiches with Teddy’s Peanut Butter. It is the best natural peanut butter and is made just north of Boston. I am very excited that the ShopRite near my mom’s in New Jersey stocks it since it is hard to find outside of New England. I am not sure what the future of my PB&J routine will be. I have to say that the joy that they bring me is decreasing, BUT if I use higher quality bread some of the joy might return.