Monday, September 21, 2015

Why I give up alcohol before a goal race

When I train for a goal race, I usually give up alcohol about two months out.  This is never easy, mind you.  I don't want to paint myself as a drunk, but a cold craft beer is one of the great pleasures in life, in my opinion.  So why deny myself the joy of an oat soda or two after a long day's work?

I do it for a few reasons:

  1. It helps me cut weight.  I am not overweight by any means, but when training for a goal race I can always stand to drop a few lbs.  Not drinking saves me a lot of calories over the long haul, in addition to the temptation of eating greasy bar food when I'm out.
  2. It helps me stay focused.  I may still go out during marathon training, but the temptation to stay up till 3am is gone when I'm drinking water all night.  This makes it much easier to get up early to run.
  3. It saves me a lot of money, which I can then spend on races and other race-related things.
  4. So much of marathon training is about sacrifice, and I like the idea of sacrificing something I love to help me keep my eye on the prize.

Tomorrow marks two months until the Philadelphia Marathon, so tomorrow I start my self enforced sobriety.  I'm saying goodbye to the boozy life tonight by enjoying one of the best fall beers I've ever had, which my dad picked out for me.  I'm pairing it with a dram of Woodford Reserve's double oaked bourbon.  The bitter hops pair brilliantly with the slight sweetness of the bourbon, and I'm in heaven.

It's going to be a long two months.  I'll catch you on the other side.

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