Shedding Dead Weight

This morning for breakfast, I had a large, soothing cup of green tea, whole wheat toast with Nutella, and a bowl of plain oatmeal with an added teaspoon of honey. This all came with a small side of cynicism.

I had one of those weekends where you make poor decisions because you’re just in the mood to have fun. Unfortunately for me, I am always left with a handful of regret when looking back in hindsight bias.

What I am referring to is alcohol and lack of sleep. This combination of things really take a toll on your body, especially when you are training for a marathon (and half-marathon)

In reference to my “Saying Goodbye to Alcohol” post, I always end up feeling a strong sense of guilt immediately after drinking (I really hope everyone on WordPress, or anyone publicly reading this, doesn’t think I’m a raging alcoholic- I’m absolutely not) I think subconsciously, I’m trying to get my last few drinks and weekends of fun out of the way before April 1st hits. (I wasn’t kidding when I said that I’m swearing off alcohol starting April 1st)

On Friday night, I went out for what was supposed to be a “chill night”. I’d really call it “an embarrassment towards my lack of tolerance for vodka shots, beer, and mixed alcoholic beverages. To highlight certain events of the night: I had my face planted to a table from the hours of 12AM through 3AM, I found a shot glass stuffed in my purse, I proposed to my friend from college, and ended the night eating meatball sandwiches at 4AM. This may sound awesome, but it most certainly was not any sort of awesome when I woke up the following morning. It must have slipped my mind that I always do my long runs on Saturday mornings.

Alas, I did do a semi-long run. It was definitely no where near the amount of mileage that I was anticipating to run this weekend. An hour and a half and less then 10 miles later, the nausea started to kick in which is quite shocking for how fast I ran.

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I had some slight relief of guilt knowing that I was motivated enough to even peel myself out of bed.

After my long run on Saturday afternoon, I met with a friend for burgers/frolicking around Union Square for several hours. By 9:30PM, I felt my body slowly breaking down and switching into off-mode. Once I arrived back to my apartment Uptown, I was ready to call it a night until I received a text from a high school friend telling me that he was in the city. Immediately, I felt obligated to meet up with him- It’s always such a rare occasion when my friends come to visit the city.

I restarted myself from sleep mode and forced myself to meet at him and our other friends at a bar on the West Side. I arrived to the bar around 12AM. After 45 minutes of waiting for them to get there, I was in an awful mood. I had a long headache-of-a-night prior, a long day with a semi-long run and hours of walking around Union Square, and somehow had what was left of my energy to make an effort to meet up with them. Once they arrived, all I wanted to do was throw my anger in their face, and that’s exactly what I did. I gulped down my last sip of the beer that I didn’t even want, released my anger, got in a cab and left.

When I woke up this morning and thought about the money that I wasted on two cab rides and a beer that I didn’t want, all of my rage came back burning inside the pit of my stomach. Naturally, I went to the gym to relieve my stress.

You would think that going to the gym would just make all of your rage magically disappear, but instead, I just got progressively angrier as I was frantically hurling myself back and forth on the elliptical. Ironically, I ended up having one of the best workouts in a very long time. Afterwards, my rage finally left me and I experienced a sense of euphoria.

What I meant when I titled this post, “Shedding Dead Weight”, was that I am going to stop trying to please all of my friends and accommodate for everyone by going out drinking. I should have picked an earlier date for my “no drinking” policy. Alas, the epiphany that I experienced was that I realized that I need to get serious about my life, my routine, my marathon training, my money, and my real friends.

So I end this post with this lovely e-card:

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The time for play is over. I need to hit my 20-mile long run soon.

Saying goodbye to alcohol

As you may have already noticed (if you read multiple blog entries of mine), there are two things that I often write about which generally go hand in hand for me. These two things are:

  1. My love for running
  2. My love for food

Which do I love more? I couldn’t tell you. Let’s just say that when it comes to these things, I like to have my cake and eat it too (both figuratively and literally speaking)

I fight an endless battle between how much I eat and in turn, how much I then have to run or exercise to compensate for my overindulgence.

If you refer back to two of my past blog entries titled, “A pie of pizza and 10 miles to go” and “A sleeve of thin mints and 13 miles of satisfaction” you may see a pattern when it comes to my eating and exercising habits.

Disclaimer: I do not have an eating and/or mental disorder.

We’re all human and we all get those pesky cravings for a certain not-so-healthy food from time to time; some, more than others. Naturally, we sometimes slip and give into temptation and go for that extra-gooey chocolate cake that we see in the bakery window. It just calls out our name.

Personally, when it calls out my name, I come running with open arms. You could even say sprinting.

Nonetheless, I consciously make note that I have to burn off those calories right away

The weird thing is, you’d think that a person who is as into fitness and running as I am would have a strict diet to match.

That is ABSOLUTELY not the case. And I’m not just saying for me. I’m saying this on behalf of a majority of runners and fitness-enthusiasts who I know personally.

You wouldn’t think that a person of my size could take down an entire pie of pizza by herself in just one sitting, but you better believe it. I have quite the appetite. May I add, I stand at a mere 5’0 feet tall, weighing in at 108 pounds. It’s quite a remarkable feat for someone so tiny

Now, the reason why I am blogging today about this particular topic is because of a different type of over-indulgence which seems to also be common amongst runners and fitness-enthusiasts.

What is that, you might ask?

Alcohol.

Have you ever noticed how much beer is served after an event like a marathon, half-marathon, mud run, heck, even a 5K?

Beer is the perfect carb to refuel with after burning hundreds of calories from running a race.

For some people, the post-race beer may be their favorite part.

But here’s the catch:

Often times, we often overestimate how many calories we actually burned and tend to overindulge in food as well as alcohol. We feel like we owe it to ourselves, to our bodies, after putting it through such hard work.

That’s a big no-no.

So, last night, I had a few more beers than I would have liked to consume. To give you an exact number: It’s 4. And that’s 4 more than I should have had because I’m telling you, I felt awful afterwards.

If you have not already noticed, I am currently training for two races at the end of April; The CGI Unite Half-Marathon at Rutgers followed by the Big Sur International Marathon exactly one week later.

As I get deeper into my training, I’ve really tried to limit the amount of alcohol that I consume. Of course, it’s a bit difficult when you’re in your 20’s, live in New York City, and have friends that always want to drink on the weekends.

Last night, I hit my limit.

This morning, I went straight to the gym before work and ran a quick 4 miles on the treadmill due to the guilt that was overcoming me after those 4 beers. During that run, I made a pact with myself. Once April 1st hits, I am abstaining from consuming any alcoholic beverages until after the Big Sur Marathon is completed. This won’t be easy, but I know that it will pay off in the end.

In closing: A while back, I was deeply impacted by an article published in Women’s Health which hit pretty close to home for me (click the below link if you are interested in reading)

Exercise and Alcohol

To summarize the article, it discussed the irony of how runners and fitness junkies also tend to be the heaviest drinkers.

Moral of the story: When a craving calls, sometimes it’s better to not pick up the phone.