11 Bars of Dark Chocolate
As it turns out, a person can have too much of a good thing.
Breakfast was, of course, delicious. I had two chocolate bars along with some hot herbal tea. I broke the bar into little squares and ate them one at a time, melting each one in my mouth with a sip of hot tea. It took 20 delicious minutes.
I was hungry before lunch, but nothing serious. Lunch was identical to breakfast. I felt pretty good. My mind was clear, I had plenty of energy, I could feel a faint thrum of caffeine in my veins.
Interesting fact: One dark chocolate bar has the same amount of caffeine as 8 ounces of cola: 31 mg. By comparison a cup of coffee has more like 150 mg and eight ounces of brewed black tea has about 50.
At 3:30 I had two more bars and made my first serious mistake. A friend offered me a cup of black coffee, which I gladly accepted. I threw a whole chocolate bar in it, let the chocolate melt, and stirred it into a syrupy mocha sludge. I chugged it. Within minutes, what had been a pleasant murmur of a stimulant turned into a frightening roar. My mind was racing, I felt nervous (The DSM-IV describes a condition called caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, which If I were a self diagnoser I would read more about). I looked down at my hands and noticed they were shaking.
This is how I was feeling:
The next conversation I had, somebody told me I seemed “chipper.” I’ve been described a lot of ways, but this was a first. I looked in the mirror and this is what I saw:
I was out of chocolate, so I stopped by the grocery store. I was wired, so I ran about 200 other errands I hadn’t been planing on and ended up buying a tree from lowes that I had to bend a little bit to fit in my car. This all took about 2 minutes.
I got home feeling weak, disgusted by the thought of chocolate, shaky, and very slightly feverish. I had made a good financial decision while grocery shopping and switched over to dark chocolate chips and saved a few bucks. I poured myself a bowl of them and ate them grumpily. It was raining but I was wired, so I went outside and worked out in the yard planting flowers and mulching till after dark.
It was still raining, and now dark. I still had to run. Laura came running with me. I was full of nervous energy and expected to feel super fast. I started with a quick burst of speed and was attacked by a nasty side ache. It was just radiating pain through my ribs, moving around my body. It was awful. The first mile took 11 minutes. The next 13.
After my slow second mile I was starting to get a slight bit of a second wind. I started to feel good. I thought I would lecture Laura on some aspects of running safety. Here I am, with a little bit of light added:
“You are supposed to always run on the left side of the road,” I said. “But, if you are running after dark, always stay on the right in this stretch. The pavement is treacherous on that side, but over here it’s perfectly… CRACK!!!
I started hopping on one foot, not cussing. I grabbed the guard rail, doubled over, tried to stand up, and blacked out.
This is a stretch of road I have run 100 times in the dark. I’ve memorized every nook and cranny in the pavement and never use a flashlight except to signal the occasional car that goes by, feeling that my eyes are better adjusted to the dark this way. I just got sloppy, stepped halfway off the road and rolled my ankle right over.
“You think it’s sprained?” Laura asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“Do you want me to get the car?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said.
So there she went. Running down a dark road alone at night. I crawled over the guard rail and sat in the dirt. I thought I was blacking out again, but it was too dark to tell. I turned on my flashlight to check. It was suspiciously dim and fuzzy.
Look, I don’t think it’s safe to blame the chocolate, but I’ve done well over a 1,000 miles with no problems…
In other news I was told I would get constipated. This did not happen. Everything moved through the body fine, but I’m not sure how I’ll feel about eating Hershy kisses due to a new visual association.
Taste: First half of the day, delicious. Second half of the day, slightly nauseating.
Cost: about $8
Fulness Factor: Medium. Hungrier than expected.