Thursday, September 1, 2011

The beer craving

Last week marked the last two days of my summer job, overlapping with the first two of night school. There was a 2-hour break in between, just enough to run if I didn't dilly dally. On Wednesday I got home, changed and went outside without checking the weather or the news or my email or anything. It was sunny, but I told myself it was cool, especially in the shade. In my mind, it was in the low 70s. On the way to night school I glanced at a thermometer and it was 88. Oops!

Thursday I tried a different tactic. All summer long I've been waking up before my alarm, then laying in bed, convinced I'll fall asleep again. I decided I would get out of bed and run while it really was cool, not just when my mind said it was. By 6:50 I was outside in the early morning cool before the sun came out.

All along I've believed I need to consume 400-600 calories and a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle of water before I even consider running. Instead I nibbled three bites of a ClifBar, took two sips of water and set out. I was sure I was going to start side cramping within a few minutes, yet to my surprise I felt fine. Actually I felt great. I was never dehydrated, never cramped. My brain was relatively free, no one was out yet, there was no traffic and I had the best run I've had all summer. Granted it was only 2.81 miles, but I made it without stopping once, without much internal complaining at all.

When I got home I still had plenty of time before work. Standing in front of the open fridge, I was reaching for my coffee cream, when I saw the bottles of Corona on the bottom shelf, bottles that have been there for months because I don't like Coronas. Yet at 7:45 in the morning, my only thought was "Wow, that beer looks good!!!!"

I never understood how or why runners drink after exercising, but maybe I get it now. It's cold, it's replenishing calories that are easily consumable, it's hydrating.

I abstained from the beer - not worth getting fired! But I've hung on to the morning running idea. For the past week - regardless of what time I wake up - the first thing I do is run. It feels so good to have it done early and not hanging over my head all day and all afternoon.

When we go back to school, I don't start until 9, so I just might continue this crazy trend!

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