The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Thirty 5Ks… #8 (Fast / Alcohol Fast)

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I’ve said to myself for years now that somebody should organize a 5K race that starts in the parking lot of my condo complex and runs through one of my neighborhood courses so that all I would have to do is roll out of bed and walk downstairs to the start line.  Seems most of the time when I do that before I go to work, I end up having a pretty good run.  Yesterday, my wishes came true—mostly.  Instead of walking downstairs, all I had to do was drive a mile and a half down the street to Rollins Savanna.  If proximity wasn’t enough to get me off to a good start, the sun was choked out behind gray clouds that have stuck around since Thursday afternoon, there was on-and-off mist, and the temperatures were in the low sixties.  Any current current, former, or still-wannabe cross country runners know that means one thing:  Perfect running weather.

I can’t imagine a race going much better than yesterday’s, especially after my mediocre and floundering results the last few weeks.  I got off to a fast start at the head of a small crowd of people who were more interested in walking and sipping coffee than they were in running.  No matter; their registration fees went just as far as mine to support the cause.  My breath was coming in an unbroken rhythm, and I felt like I was gliding along, even when I slopped around a bend into some mud and treaded up a shallow, soggy hill that I’ve biked up dozens of times in the past few years.


The hill in question.  Except it was a lot muddier.

The usual self-doubt and second-guessing of my life decisions and re-examination of long-forgotten events were keeping their own pace in my mind as I strided past the two-mile mark, but I left them behind.  I felt like I was killing it, and knew I was well into a great race.  I was right.  I came across in 25:24, which is the fastest I’ve run in probably two years.

A couple of things helped, the big ones being that I was well-rested after having not raced for two weeks, and I’ve fallen into a consistent exercise routine that tapers late in the week.  A few rounds of yoga have helped, and a stellar practice run on the same course last week was worth the difference.  But there’s something else, too:  I haven’t drank in a month.

This was not a decision I made quickly or even out of necessity.  I started thinking two years ago about breaking things off with Mr. Booze for some undecided amount of time merely out of curiosity.  Cocktails and beers are a regular, even mundane part of my life, which got me thinking about h0w much and how frequently I consume something I hardly think about, and when I consume it.  Since I’m on the quest to run thirty 5Ks just now and struggling to maintain some kind of decent form while I’m at it, I got the crazy idea to explore an alcohol-free life for at least a month and see how that affected the situation.  I’m chalking yesterday up as much to clean living as I am perfect circumstances.

So what do you drink when you’re not having a drink?  Lots of water, it turns out.  And more soda than usual, which still doesn’t amount to much soda.  I had a non-alcoholic beer when I went out for drinks with coworkers last week.  They don’t offer much to recommend themselves.  Since I started stopping, I’ve noticed that I’ve been sleeping a little bit better, and the skin on my face feels more supple.  Plus I’ve moved away from the notion of lusting after a cocktail halfway through a difficult day at work.  The downside is that I still need to deal with stress, and that dealing has meant more candy and other empty calories.  Maybe what I really need is a new hobby.

I don’t know how long I’m going to keep at the alcohol fast.  My official month ends in two days, but I’m not exactly counting the minutes.  If I’m going to run better when I don’t fuel myself in part with alcohol, why not keep at it for a while?

Written by seeker70

October 2, 2016 at 10:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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