This morning, I woke up an hour before my alarm, at about 7:45 a.m. That’s still about an hour later than I usually get up, but after a day filled with two exams, I wanted to set myself up for a good day today and get a ton of rest.
I knew I’d be going for a jog this morning, even though I hadn’t decided on the specifics. I’ve just gotten back into running with the warming April weather, and so far, I’ve played it by ear each time I’ve gone, setting a goal for myself based on how my body feels within the first minute or so of the jog.
I had a few procrastinate-y thoughts as I got up and sat in bed, thinking about the chilly 5-degree weather (41 degrees Fahrenheit, for reference) waiting for me outside. And things got even (a little) more challenging when I started getting dressed and realized, after digging deep into my closet, that I’d have to wear knee-length pants/shorts because all of my workout pants (I don’t own many) were in the laundry basket.
I drank a few sips of coffee to give myself a kick of energy before the jog, not too much because, of course, I didn’t want to be running with a belly full of liquid.
Then I headed out, phone in hand and headphones in my ears, ironically listening to “26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career,” by professional runner and Olympian Meb Keflezighi—whose easy training pace is a 5-minute mile. So far, it’s really good!
I walked for about 30 seconds, then got started on an easy jog. I decided I’d aim for 30 minutes and 5 km (3.21 miles) and improvise a sidewalk route as I went along. There are a lot of side streets in my neighbourhood, so running out of sidewalk to jog on is never a problem.
I avoided looking at my health app to check the specifics of how I was doing and instead kept track of my performance through how I felt, trying to keep on tempo, and by keeping time through occasionally glimpsing at the clock on my phone’s screen. My plan was to be back home in exactly 30 minutes, at 9:19 a.m.
The terrain during my jog was mostly flat, with just one hill. The uphill part was at minute 25, and that was the most challenging part of the whole thing: since my legs were a little fatigued by that point, keeping my form and pace while going uphill was difficult. I felt I was either going too slow or too fast, and striking the perfect tempo wasn’t as easy as it had been at the beginning of the jog.
At 30 minutes, I was still about a three-minute walk from home, but I made the decision to stop jogging and instead walk back, which gave my body an opportunity to cool down a little, as well. I checked my phone and was very pleasantly surprised to find that I had jogged 5.25 km, beating my distance goal by 1/4 km.
I was surprised because during the jog, I’d had to hold back quite a bit. Whenever I saw passersby, a car passed, or I saw people in their driveway, I felt this inexplicable urge to jog faster, perhaps feeling as though this would make me look like a better runner? Or help me look better overall? I don’t know! But I’m glad I held back because I think that my average pace was actually faster this way than it usually is, when I give in to the urge to speed up—and then inevitably slow down—at random intervals. My pace was 5:42 / km or roughly a 9:10 / mile pace.
When I got home, I tried this new plant-based / vegan protein powder called Orgain Organic Protein. I initially had a good laugh thinking the brand’s name was “Organic Protein” because the actual brand name is less conspicuous on the packaging.
I’d picked up a single-serving packet of the creamy chocolate fudge flavour to try a few days before, and I thought it would be perfect as a recovery drink. One packet contains 21 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and it’s gluten-free and plant-based. The suggested serving is to drink it with 12 ounces of liquid (water or plant milk).
The protein is made from a base of pea, brown rice, and flax-seed proteins—all organic. In fact, almost every ingredient, including the stevia sweetener in the ingredients list is organic.
It took maybe 30 or 40 seconds for me to mix the powder into 8 ounces of water with a spoon, but I’m sure it would be easier with a shaker; it’s not extra clumpy, and that’s not something to worry about if it’s a concern for you.
The flavour was actually really good, and I’m surprised by that. I’ve been using unflavoured pea protein for a while, but before that, I was a religious Vega person and chocolate-flavoured Vega was in my regular rotation. I didn’t realize there was anything better, to be honest. But this is significantly better than I remember.
Even though you can still tell the sweetness is stevia (I could tell before reading the ingredients…), it’s a lot less aggressive than many other products that use stevia. It’s sort of a mild sweetness. I also really appreciated that the “chocolate fudge” flavour name is not just a name: the protein actually had that really creamy fudge mouthfeel, which was a treat.
The protein shake/mix was not grainy, but I could definitely tell I was drinking protein. This is nothing unusual, and I felt the overall flavour and texture of this powder to be an improvement on anything else I’ve tried. However, I wanted to note that for anyone who doesn’t have experience with protein powders.
So I’d like to make a genuine recommendation that you try out a packet if you’re looking for new protein. I don’t know how the other flavours compare, but as someone who’s not a huge chocolate lover, I thought this was great.