Anybody who knows me is aware of the fact that I am a HUGE fan of Starbucks. One year for my birthday all I wanted was Starbucks stock. Hey, it helped us purchase our first house after Hubby’s mind blowing divorce had left us with a couple of broken coffee cups and a 20″ TV (yeah, it was awesome! And only running kept me from going over the edge!), so don’t judge me! Anyway, not to get side tracked from the subject at hand: Starbucks deliciousness! Being a creature of habit – just check my running log on the right – I always order the same beverage depending on the season: during the dog days of summer it has to be a Grande Caramel Frappuccino, in the dead of “winter” I go for a Triple Grande Soy Latte. Once in a while I get adventurous (Salted Hot Chocolate anyone?), but overall I stick with those well tested favorites. Recently a friend of mine introduced me to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s English Breakfast Tea Lattes. Believe me when I tell you that I fought her hand and foot and she had to literally drag me by my ponytails to get me to enter “the competition”. Finding myself at the counter of said establishment felt nothing short of sacrilegious. But for the love of my little Chinese friend I let myself be talked into cheating on my beloved coffee paradise. The Tea Latte! It was delicious! And I did not even feel guilty about admitting this or the fact that I went back less than 24 hours later to get the extra large version. The other day I even found myself totally ignoring the Starbucks sign and walking straight into a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (has anybody noticed that wherever the is a Starbucks there is usually a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf near by? Except maybe in Seattle, where at one street corner I found four Starbucks…) for a English Breakfast Tea Latte fix. I enjoyed every drop.
Which brings me to today’s adventure in coffee/tea consumption. As I was driving along I passed the golden arches which beckoned me to new adventures. I remembered that all throughout the previous summer season I had listened to their iced coffee commercials on the radio. Since I had not yet strayed last summer I never even considered a move so bold it would lead me into the land of Ronald McD (he is a little freaky don’t you think?). I am still trying to figure out what came over me. Was it the Santa Ana winds blowing a forceful storm of hot air? Was it the fact I only had $2 in my pocket? Or was it a moment of insanity? I am not sure but I do know that I found myself at the local McDonald’s ordering a large (WTF?) iced coffee with hazelnut syrup from a 17 year old youngster who looked like he had lived between the frying pans his entire life. At least I was dressed appropriately, in a flowing skirt (Santa Anas are hot!) and running shoes (ever driven a manual transmission with flip flops? Thought not!). What could possibly go wrong? Watching the the kid make my drink was not unlike watching grass grow and looking back I wish that the time it took to make the coffee was in direct proportion to it’s taste. But it was not so. I took the first sip and almost lost consciousness!
ARE YOU FLIPPIN’ KIDDING ME??? My taste buds went into overdrive, and not in a good way! Imagine a tall glass of unfiltered swamp water with a bit of coffee flavored hazelnut syrup swirled into it. I could not even be disappointed because really I should not have had expectations at all, not even low ones. I only had myself to blame for blowing $2. I don’t know about you but I’d rather pay a little more for good stuff than get a deal on crap. And this was Crap with a capital “C”. How McD can legally advertise this concoction as “coffee” is lost on me. Maybe while you ponder this (or not) you can excuse me while I go toss my cookies my errand ways down the drain! Good thing I did not have fries with that…
Today’s Running Tip: Do not try anything new before or during a race!
The week before and the day of your race stay with foods and drinks that you have thoroughly tested during your training. Finding out last minute that something does not agree with you can break a race.