Alcohol Lesson #273

Running while buzzed has multiple effects: it dehydrates you, it gives you a warped perception of your speed, and it actually does make you faster (April 2012)

I did not intend to run a 5K after a few drinks, but that is just how is played out in the beginning of April.  After a stressful and frustrating Friday at the office, some friends and I went to get margaritas and unwind. I had about 3 hours to kill until the Crystal City 5K Fridays series kicked off, and I figured one drink wouldn’t hurt me at the run.

One glass of sangria turned into two glasses, and the sangria was gooooood. Two glasses of sangria turned into nibbling on chips and salsa. 2 hours rolled by and I was off for my race.  I don’t think the strength of the alcohol hit me until I was bouncing around the starting line of the 5K.

To be honest, when I started feeling the alcohol, I was worried that I would get sick on the course. I hoped I didn’t but, I could envision that happening. I took a quick peek at my watch when the race started (6:31p) and we were off. I bobbed. I weaved. I passed 100 people easily. When I glanced at my watch at mile 1, I was shocked that it read 6:39p. Um, that would put me in the 9-minute mile range?!? Never saw that before.

I kept plodding. I felt the chips and salsa swishing in my belly. “No getting sick,” I sternly told myself. I passed mile 2 at 6:50p. If I kept it up, I would be on pace for my 10 minute mile! Then the alcohol wore off, and I was just running dehydrated with a sloshy stomach. I ended up finishing in what I felt was my fastest 5K ever.

It was. I matched my personal record (32:54) that I had set a year earlier.

Then, I silently cursed myself thinking how much faster I would have been had I not had the chips, salsa and sangria.

That was until I realized that the sangria actually made me faster. I ran the same course two other times in April, and my times were (33:26) and (32:59). My last time was 5 seconds slower than my sangria time. A kick in the teeth, but I am pretty happy that my times are consistent – I am definitely getting close to my 10-minute mile goal, and I will hit it sometime soon!

And so, Alcohol Lesson #273 was added to the master list of other alcohol lessons – buzzed running does make me faster.
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