Hungover running

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Ok so last night escalated quickly. I was at work until close, one of the locals bought us a drink, and then we headed off to one of the other staff girls birthday party. She had a marquee in her garden which was really cool. I was offered wine on arrival, most of the alcohol had gone by this point, so I took it even though I don’t usually drink wine other than with food at my parents. I then proceeded (thanks to some peer pressure) to drink the entire bottle. Needless to say this morning I felt as though The battle of helms deep was happening in my head. I managed to struggle through my 5 hour lunch shift at work. On coming home my father suggested we go out for dinner. I was at the hungry stage of my hangover, so I was all for this. However, my tendency to eat loads when I go out for food meant that running was unlikely to occur after eating. I had to go before. The hangover was still going fairly strong. It’s only a mile I told myself. You can do this.

Usually if I am hungover, I won’t go for a run or to the gym. Usually I will only get out of bed for important plans, work, or hungover discussions of the previous nights events over some form of food. And maybe more alcohol. I did however have to make an exception to this general no running attitude at the 2013 Leeds abbey dash last November. I hadn’t trained for the race as I was meant to go away for the weekend, but ended up having to stay for work. I decided to run it anyway, just for the experience. It was my first race and I was excited. Meanwhile, it was one of my best friend’s birthday on the Saturday, and I made the foolish decision to go to the German market beer tent in millennium square. Little did I know the consequences of that fateful evening would be far more complex than a hungover 10K… I digress. I don’t know what they put in that beer but it gets you smashed very quickly. One led to another (we queued for 3 hours we had to make the most of it) and the next day I woke up with the urge to vomit. Not from nerves, I knew I wasn’t taking the race too seriously, I was using it as a chance to ease myself into racing: pressure free. I felt pretty rough. The entire run all I could think about was how much I wanted water. Well, that and how to handle the previous night’s complications. I do usually enjoy thinking things through on a run but not this time. I had to walk for a bit between 4-5K because of the killer stitch I got, which I suspect was connected to the amount of alcohol in my system. My time in the end was 1hr 1min. Which was annoying. Under an hour would have been nice. So after that experience, hungover running hasn’t really been something I have been up for.

However, mile a day challenge, the name speaks for itself. I had to run a mile at some point today, and this was the best opportunity. So I geared up and went outside. I told myself to go at a comfortable pace, aiming for a 9-9:30min mile. The mile was 9:08 pace in the end. And you know what, I actually quite enjoyed the run. The fresh air was nice, and the comfortable pace wasn’t pushing my body to a place it was unhappy at. I felt capable, despite my state, which was a nice feeling. Much better than I had done at work.

So there we go. Moral of the story: Hungover running is not that bad, and I think I will be forcing it upon myself more in future. Any longer than a mile though and I think water will be a necessity!

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