Thursday, September 19, 2013

Alcoholic, much?

While I am certainly no teetotaler, I like to think I'm not a big drinker either. I only go out once a month or so, if that. Granted, when I do go out I've been known to get completely smashed. I will stop drinking at a certain point, before I actually get sick, but it's only because I know the next drink will make me sick. Also, having a few beers on a Saturday night has somehow become a thing most weekends. Also, the occasional drink at Friend's Night Out (FNO) on Friday night has become a thing.

When my boys were younger, I refused to drink in front of them (except for that one birthday party... and that one New Year's Eve...) I didn't keep alcohol in the house. Now they are of age, I will occasionally have a beer (or 5) with them. I keep alcohol in the house, which has caused a problem or two when I thought someone else was drinking my stash.

I should probably explain that I'm a freak when it comes to alcohol. My dad insisted he was not an alcoholic, but his drinking affected quite a few events in my childhood. My first love was in AA. That relationship did not turn out well. The father of my children was a raging alcoholic. These have made me quite gun-shy, and I fear my children will exhibit alcoholic tendencies. They are rolling their eyes at me while reading this, but the fear remains.

I never claimed to be consistent. In this instance, my inconsistencies might be because I occasionally see traces of those alcoholic tendencies in myself. Put a drink in front of me, I'll probably drink it. I am protective of my stash, even if I'm not drinking it or planning to drink it any time soon. I don't drink on weeknights, but periodically think about having a beer (beer = gluten free cider) when I get home. Lately I've found myself with a new, alcohol related dilemma:

Right now I do my long run on Saturdays. Long runs are very important to me, because I have marathon and ultra marathon goals. If I miss my long runs I'll never get to those distances. If I try to run the longer distances without gradually increasing my long runs, I'll end up hurting myself and be out of commission for weeks or even months at a time. Since running is the only exercise I've ever continued doing long term, taking that away portends a rather large and unhappy future me.

Superman and I have also enjoyed going to yoga together. We actually paid quite a bit to continue classes, just before summer changed our scheduled and we stopped going. We are trying to schedule that back in, and the Saturday morning class is really the best option. Our yoga studio is heated, and an hour class wipes me for the rest of the day. This means yoga and long run are not happening on the same day. Long run gets pushed to Sunday, and now I'm scheduled for intense physical activity both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Yay, right? This is good for me, doing things that are important to me, right?

Apparently, drinking is important to me too. Neither activity, yoga or running, are in any way improved with alcohol. In fact, the results of a binge drinking night invariably prevent yoga and running from happening. If they do happen, I end up hating life, performing miserably, and otherwise paying dearly for my fun the night before.

In my head, I'm scrambling to find a loophole, a way to drink AND yoga/run. Superman and I have gone over multiple scheduling options. The best way to get both yoga and long run in is yoga Saturday, long run Sunday. 

I'm not necessarily looking to tie one on every weekend, so theoretically I could do my long run on a different day some weeks. Friday night means missing FNO, so that's not happening. To keep the rest of my schedule as close to normal as possible, that leaves Monday. Monday is a normal run day anyway, so I would replace 6 miles with double or triple that distance.

The long run takes approximately 3 hours, and will take longer yet as the distances increase. Running for 3 or more hours on a work day would involve a distinct lack of daylight hours, even on the best of days. I could carry a flashlight and run on even pavement. I plan to do this for my weekday runs, which happen after work, since evening daylight disappears in the winter months. Eventually those runs will likely happen on my treadmill, though. Running after dark makes me nervous. I've face planted in the past, creeps come out at night, and it makes for a long day after a full day of work. Also, I refuse to run on ice and any real depth of snow. 

I'm really not thrilled with the idea of trying to stay motivated running in place for 3 or more hours. There will be long runs on the treadmill, due to the ice/snow issue. I'm just not fond of the idea and prefer that be my absolute last resort.

So it looks like any weekend I want to drink, I have a limited options. I'd need to get up at 4am on a Monday morning to get 3 hours in before getting ready for work, even earlier as the distances increase. Alternatively, I can run until 10 or 11 at night, depending what time I get home from work. The third option is less than ideal, but I can run half in the morning and half after work. The danger there is being too tired or distracted or disinterested to complete the run after work.

Or, I can control myself and not get roaring drunk, then suffer through yet another sucky run, because even one or two beers is enough to affect my performance. Somehow, not drinking at all is simply not an option. 

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