So today I learned a valuable lesson: don’t eat hot sauce before going for a run.
And not just any hot sauce: Sriracha sauce.
I first learned about the wonders of Sriracha whilst reading The Oatmeal, one of my favourite websites. Matthew Inman, author of this amazing site, has a number of comics dedicated to Sriracha. One day I asked myself, “Self, what is this Sriracha that he speaks of so highly?” and thus I began my quest for the red elixir of om-nom-nom.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it anywhere in Singapore (and when I say “anywhere,” I mean the two main grocery stores I frequent. I certainly didn’t run all over the island looking for Sriracha). Lucky for me, my mom was coming from Canada to visit us in December and she asked me what I would like her to bring.
Thus, my love for this hot sauce in the simple plastic bottle was born.
I like to put Sriracha on pretty much anything. Adam says it kills the taste of the food, but I disagree. I think it enhances everything I eat. It makes my mouth feel like it’s biting into a fresh chili pepper exploding with heat. I love that intake of breath, that numbness on my tongue, that feeling of clarity in my sinuses. It’s like a cure-all for everything!
Everything except running.
I made the mistake (delicious mistake!) of putting Sriracha on my veg burrito tonight during dinner. I didn’t think twice about it. We ate around 6pm, I went out for a run at 8:30. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think that Sriracha would come back to visit me once I started running.
I could feel my heart beating faster. Not just faster, though…different. Like heart burn, but sharper. Like…like…chili peppers were rubbing their naked skin onto my heart. Did it feel good? Nooo…it felt…I don’t know. It just felt like Sriracha. In my chest. Goading me.
But how could something I love so much hurt me at the same time? Ah, the age-old question. As the wise scribes of Def Leppard once wrote, “love bites, love bleeds, it’s bringing me to my knees…” Clearly, they were referring to Sriracha.
Well, lucky for me (and Sriracha!), the annoyance in my chest didn’t stop me. It slowed me down, but it didn’t stop me. I went out and ran my 5K along a different route. This also seemed to slow me down as I hadn’t realised that this particular route was riddled with stop lights. So here I am, running along, when all of a sudden, I come to a corner where the light is red. I am hopping up and down waiting for the light to change, not wanting my heart rate to slow down. This is why my pace was all wonky today.
Stop lights. That’s it.
I know it wasn’t the Sriracha that slowed me down. I could feel it in my heart…