It grew into a true fondness for Diet Coke -- I still remember the days before the liquid carry-on ban on airplanes -- on the few times I've been to Europe I would bring a six-pack of Diet Coke in plastic bottles because I hated the way Coke Light -- a version of Diet Coke in Europe and Asia -- would taste.
One of my favorite things of the 11 times I've run in the July 4th Peachtree Road Race was being able to crack open an ice cold Diet Coke that was offered with all the other postrace goodies after the finish line. For a long, long time, the drink has been like water for me.
Anyway, there's a running related reason why I don't drink Diet Cokes anymore. Late last year, I read an article about exercise apps for your smartphone. All last year I'd been doing basic exercises like crunches, push ups and planks on my own to improve my running speed and endurance. I didn't think I did it very consistently.
The article mentioned FitStar was the best of the apps, and it was free, so I tried it out. What I liked about it was that there were various sessions you could do and it took very little time to do them -- some of the workouts are only seven minutes long.
There are even workouts for runners to improve core and body strength, sponsored by Strava and the San Francisco Marathon. Many times when I've clicked on articles in Runners World detailing great workouts to help improve running form, I find I've already been doing them via the app.
To make it even more interesting, the workouts are narrated by former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez. He's always had a reputation as a health nut and it's a natural fit to have him give you encouragement and even demonstrate various exercises.
So I finished December with two workouts. When January started, they had a campaign to try to do 20 workouts in the month to be placed in a drawing for a prize. Only thing was this was impossible to do in free mode, as you only get three free workouts a week. So I decided to pay the $39 subscription fee for the year and completed 22 workouts in January.
Sometime last month, after doing workout upon workout (in addition to my daily running streak), I noticed something funny when I would sip a Diet Coke. I would still get the same pleasurable hit of carbonation and caffeine but could not drink it. I started to brew tea in bottles and chill it in the refrigerator.
I'm not sure why this happened. It could all be coincidence. I wonder if it has to do with the extra core workouts and my body trying to discourage me from consuming extra sugar or artificial sweeteners. But I like the fact that I'll save money on not buying diet sodas and that I've possibly made a change for the better.