7 Ways It’s Better Being A Sober Runner Than A Boozebag
In February I’ve been taking time to find myself as a sober man. That’s why I’ve set myself the challenge of running all of these half marathons. The physical ‘pain’ of running these every day is nothing compared to the mental battles I’ve had with alcohol over the years.
Anyway I thought I’d talk tonight about the advantages of being a sober runner that I’ve found so far.
P.S. I ran my 13th consecutive half marathon. It was unremarkable really. It’s rainy and depressing as hell here in London today.
- No dehydrated runs – I’d wake up so thirsty yet unable to keep any liquids down in the morning after that I’d just go out without drinking anything. By the end of the run I’d be willing and eager to drink napalm out of a dead nun’s crack.
- Less junk food, easier running – It’s bad enough when you eat like shit when you aren’t hungover or drunk but when you add drunken binge eating into the equation, maintaining your weight and your fitness becomes an absolute fucking nightmare. This is thankfully no longer the case.
When I was like this I’d eat all of the foods all of the time whether drunk or not.
- Less cringing on the run – When I’d think about all of the embarrassing shit I did when drunk I’d start cringing and throwing random gang signs around Tottenham. This was quite dangerous in itself. There’s nothing more demoralising as a runner than when you realise you really are a bit of a cunt for what you’ve done in the past. When you’re out running on your own it can become a very lonely place indeed.
- Less risk of shitting myself – I loved getting loaded in Central London and going for curry in Wasabi afterward. Running the next day on a sore stomach was just asking for brown legs. Sometimes I’d wait for hours for my stomach to settle down and I’d eventually give up and consider exercise ‘too risky’. Then I’d watch Garth Crooks on Final Score, head up the street for some cheap Polish lager and want to cry. A true class act.
- Fewer missed runs – I’ve been so hungover on a Saturday/Sunday that I started drinking again at lunch time just to feel better. When I’ve been feeling that bad in the past I skipped the run. This time last year I skipped all of February as I was too busy going to shitty bars in Islington to try to feel better about myself but it always made shit worse. Consistency is really important for me which is why I’m maintaining my run streak at the minute.
- I don’t punish myself with running anymore – My compulsive drinking was fucking frustrating. I knew it was damaging my health yet I’d still do it over and over again. Some days I’d force myself to run faster than I wanted to, to try to sweat all of the booze out and to get back at myself for being so out of control. Guess what? It didn’t help. Once I accepted I was only out of control because I was drinking alcohol, life became more simplistic.
- No more rewarding myself with booze – When I did do a long run on a Saturday I’d ‘reward’ myself for my efforts with a litre bottle of Jamaican tonic wine and a pizza which in itself contains twice the number of calories that I actually burnt on the fucking run. In the end it was completely self defeating. I behaved this way for 4 fucking years before realising I wasn’t making any progress at all.