My interest in things (activities, food types, general objects, people) seems to be cyclical. Sometimes the cycles can last years (horseback riding), or a few months (soy, sugar-free caramel macchiatos at Starbucks). I have spent months doing yoga daily and wanting to become a yoga teacher, and at the slightest change in circumstances missed six months of practice. I will be inseparable from a friend for weeks, and then not speak to them for months.
Currently I’m all about running. I’ve always loved the idea of running. I have this long-standing fantasy of going on an easy ten kilometre jog with my boyfriend at six in the morning. (It’s a fantasy that is better left in the imagination; in practice I would be tired, grouchy, out of breath and unattractively red-faced. I also am not in the kind of shape where “easy” and “ten kilometres” can realistically be used in the same sentence).
I joined the cross-country team in elementary school and was at the back of the bunch in every race. Once I was old enough to join track and field I did reasonably well in the 100m, but anything further than that left me winded. I switched to gymnastics as soon as I had the chance.
These days, I’ve run two half marathons (SeaWheeze and the Nike Women’s Marathon) and scanned about a thousand tumblr pages of running posts. I now know who Pre was and Galen Rupp is, I know the difference between supination and pronation, and I own compression socks. I can recognize Alexi Pappas in photos, I wonder if Mo Farah will be the one to break the two hour marathon, and I finally (sort-of) understand the appeal of my grade nine P.E. teacher’s goal: to run a marathon on every continent. So when I picked up a copy of Runner’s World for my flight back from San Francisco, I was excited to find a reference to a past interview with Malcolm Gladwell about running.
Malcolm Gladwell is my favourite author. You know that icebreaker where you’re supposed to pick one person, living or otherwise, who you would like to hang out with? For me, Malcolm Gladwell is that person. I had forgotten he was a runner, and some further Googling led to the re-discovery of my favourite running picture of all time.
If I ever got to hang out with Malcolm Gladwell, I don’t think I would suggest we run together (the man ran a 5:03 mile, after all), but I would like to join him for brunch. I’d offer him some of these peanut butter pancakes, perfect for a post-run indulgence.
Peanut Butter Pancakes
one cup flour
two tablespoons sugar
one tablespoon baking powder
half teaspoon salt
one cup plus two tablespoons milk
half cup peanut butter – you want the PB to be runny. I find the Trader Joe’s brand to be quite runny already, but if you’re using something a bit thicker, just throw it in the microwave)
two tablespoons canola oil
half cup chocolate chips (optional)
Sift dry ingredients (including sugar) into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just barely mixed. Fold in chocolate chips, if using.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Coat with additional oil or butter. Make pancakes. (I assume most people know how to do this – if not, I went over it here).
Serve immediately. If your goal is to impress someone with the presentation (and/or clog their arteries), top with any combination of maple syrup, melted peanut butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter granola.