I’m not the biggest drinker in the world, but I definitely enjoy some wine when I’m out to dinner or a couple of beers while watching the Giants game (to dull the pain). However, like a lot of others, from Thanksgiving to New Years, I end up drinking with the frequency of a Dublin Dockworker.
Between work events, family gatherings and meeting up with friends, it was a booze filled December for me. It certainly did not help my running. I ran less frequently and (in a few instances) less distance than normal. My “binge” also had me waking up on several occasions with a sore back and sore muscles.
There are some initiatives out there (mainly in England) where “regular folks” take a month or so off from sipping cocktails. It can be used for a break, as a fund-raiser or simply as something to do.
I’m certainly not being critical of drinking here… Believe me, I know it’s a nice way to unwind, de-stress and relax. However, for me personally, it often brings on some negative repercussions… mainly when it comes to diet. Normally, my diet is fairly healthy. However, drinking season often leads me to excess amounts of KFC, Wendy’s and pub chicken wings… perhaps not the ideal diet for a distance runner.
So we’re halfway through January and I haven’t had a sip. – How do I feel?
It’s nice not waking up with a headache and I do feel a little bit sharper in the morning. I’d say I have more energy than I did in December, as well.
More importantly, How is my running?
To be honest, it’s hard to say. I was hoping to write “Yes, being 100% sober is making me a much better runner“. However that would be BS. In truth, I have been sticking to my running schedule and haven’t missed any days. However, its been so super cold (and I only run outdoors) so it’s difficult to say if I’m running any better than normal. Probably not, if I’m being honest. It’s only been a couple of weeks, so we’ll see how that changes in a few weeks.
Jumping on my soapbox for a second… I am certainly no tea-tottaler (After all I went to Coastal Carolina University where folks are drunk from Freshman Orientation through Graduation). I do think boozing is awesome. There is nothing better than a cold brew at a BBQ or sipping something stronger at a tailgate party.
However, when we do have long periods of over-indulgence, it’s good for us to take a pause and dry out. It’s appreciated by the body, the mind and the wallet. It will also allow you to refocus on your running.
I’ll share an update at the end of January and if you like it; you can buy me a round!
(featured image credit: heart.co.uk)