Running for cake

I know that it’s not over yet and there are still many adventures to be had, but already 2017 is stacking up to be an important year in the life of Kate. 2017 is the year I entered my mid 30’s (am I an adult yet??). It’s the year I lived in a bus. Or started to live in a bus as who knows when that journey will end. It’s the year I joined the circus. The year I became an auntie and finally saw what all the fuss with babies was about. The year Jot and I became Australian citizens. The year we fought for marriage equality down under (fingers crossed). And it’s the year I discovered cake. Oh cake. Until this year I didn’t really know about sweet treats. I’d have gone an extra starter over desert every time, and sometimes I did. But now I know the error of my ways. I’ve seen the light at the end of the doughnut hole.

It all started with my first vanilla slice at St Peter’s Bakery in Adelaide. Jot chose the cake as I wasn’t fussed. We shared, we always shared cake – I’d hate that now. Then I had my first bite. In that instant my life changed. As I sat impatiently waiting for Jot to take her turn at the shared cake I messaged my friends to ask them if they knew about vanilla slice. They already knew. Then I messaged my sister, she knew too. Why don’t people talk about it more??

Having stopped frequenting bars of an evening time I then discovered dessert bars. Havens that you can pop out to at 9pm in trackies and glasses. The Adelaide markets had me wondering around and around well past bedtime, unable to commit to the evenings delicious treat. I’d stopped sharing my cakes. I knew better by then.

Overnight my instagram search feed changed from pictures of tattooed goddess and wilderness adventures to pictures of edible works of art. I no longer planned our journey by beaches and waterfalls I wanted to see but by markets and cake shops I stalked, ‘liked’ and saved.

Thinking I now knew what living was I then discovered something even more amazing. Peanut butter. I now wake up thinking about peanut butter, wondering what we have in the fridge I can spoon it onto, and how many times a week I can really go over the recommended daily amount. My breakfasts have changed from smoked salmon, eggs and avo to banana pancakes smothered in peanut butter, and I haven’t looked back. I get through a jar of peanut butter a week. 19 servings per jar they reckon. Pa.

Fortunately for my waistband and heart 2017 is also the year I discovered running. So far this year I’ve clocked up just over 2,200 kilometers. That’s an average of 220 kilometers a month. And I’m on track to meet my year goal of 2,500 k’s.

I try and run 6 days a week for at least an hour a day. But it’s not the end of the world if I miss a day or cut a run short, no one is counting apart from me.

Thank god for running. On this year away it has given my unstructured life a sense of order, something to achieve. It can also be the only time Jot and I are apart from each other each day. And we always have so much to tell each other when I return. ‘I saw a massive kangaroo’, I’ll say. ‘I’ve remortgaged the apartment’, she’ll reply.

Running allows me to see more of Australia. Sometimes we are only in a town for a day or two and in my hour run I get to explore an extra 12ks or so. Sometimes the towns are so small that in the hour I run 20 laps and the locals are look at me like I’m crazy wondering why I’m not in the tavern or hotel. Sometimes there are no pavements or paths and I have to run along dirt roads. My favorite runs are along deserted beaches where I’m not looking over my shoulder for trucks or swooping magpies.

I’ve run around the botanical gardens of Perth watching the September wildflowers grow, the parklands tracks of Adelaide at 6am to beat the sun, the Fremantle foreshore with dolphins swimming next to me. I’ve gone through three pairs of runners, three broken FitBits and two pairs of headphones. One Sunday in September I completed my first half marathon. The only new clothes I’ve bought this year have been for running. At age 34 I finally have something I could put on my resume under hobbies and interests that isn’t ‘going to the cinema and socialising with friends’. Not that I plan on updating that any time soon…

‘I wonder if we can put squirty cream on our oats and peanut butter’, said Jot after I finished reading this to her. She’s very supportive of my running for cake.

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