Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Valuable lesson while running: I can't run with a hangover

This weekend I discovered something incredibly important - I will not run when I am hungover. 

For someone who calls themselves the reprobate runner, you would think that training with a mild headache and a queasy feeling in my stomach, would be my forte.

And I had began to think that too. The internet had provided me with hundreds of articles saying no matter how bad the hangover I would feel so refreshed at the end, and the run would basically cure my self inflicted ailments. I thought, yes of course, I will master this. I will run off my hangovers!

Well, this is my run down of how not to run with a hangover.

Firstly on Friday night I ended up drinking a few too many Duvels (8% Belgian beer for the uninitiated) and woke on Saturday morning with that restless energy that only hazy morning drunkeness can provide.

I'll do it, I thought. I will run away the hangover - it'll be amazing, I'll return a new woman! I will become one of those people who runs at 7am after a binge on white wine, and then does an hour of yoga - and talks a lot about the power of anti-oxidants.

I have found the cure for all my ails - I thought merrily to myself as I laced up my shoes. No more painkillers and hours in bed watching Netflix for me. I stumbled into the bright light of Saturday morning.

Well I was terribly wrong. Running hungover is horrible. 

This is mainly for one quite obvious reason: running takes up a lot of energy, and your body spends a lot of time trying to deal with that - add in a liver attempting to process four strong beers, then you're heading for a painful ride.

I managed 2k before wanting to immediately lie down in the slightly damp grass, and it took nearly all of my willpower not to succumb to this urge. Not only was I trying to clear my body of beer, I had barely enough sleep, meaning every miserable step just reminded me I was veering further away from my bed. 

Finally after an extra 0.5k I gave in and walked home miserably. It's fine, I thought, it was just a blip - maybe next time. The problem was, my next attempt was the following day. 

A month or so before I had decided to take a trip back to Manchester to see some friends, one of whom I am attempting this ridiculous idea of running a marathon with. So we readily made plans to drink copious of beer, then go on a 10k run the next day - this was planned for the weekend of the first ill advised hungover run.

Nursing my Duvel hangover, I packed my running shoes into a rucksack, got on my Ryanair flight and tried not to think about putting on the shoes the next day.

So, let's put it this way - the first bit with the beer happened (English pints this time though), the second part with the running... well, that didn't even come close to taking place.

At 11am I stumbled downstairs on the Sunday morning and loudly claimed I was pretty sure that I was still drunk. We spent long lazy hours eating sausage sandwiches, drinking countless cups of tea and watching four episodes of Don't Tell the Bride.

Finally we looked out of the window to the impending darkness and gave in, agreeing that running with a hangover was a terrible idea.

So this weekend I learnt a valuable lesson - I should not schedule runs the day after the night before, and if I have a day of miles ahead of me - I am best sticking to sparkling water.

The reprobate runner might have to become a little less of a reprobate. 


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