How Running Makes Staying Sober More Difficult
I’ve talked a lot about how running has helped with my sobriety over the last 18 months but I haven’t talked about how it sometimes makes it harder to stay sober.
- The thirst from running brings me back – Easiest way to cure thirst in the summer was with Kopparberg cider. They were what I’d drink when I was trying to convince myself I wasn’t a boozebag. If you’re dehydrated enough even a can of Special Brew can seem appealing. I graduated to post run drinks after most of my runs. I always kept some Kronenbourg beer in my room to ‘treat’ myself. I’d never put it in the fridge. I’d drink it warm. Sometimes I wake up with a dry mouth if I haven’t drank enough liquids after running and it makes me think back to the hangover thirst where I’d have drank piss out of a sweaty sock if I could have. I freak out for a few seconds upon waking as I think “shit, I didn’t drink last night did I?”
- The pain from running can be cured temporarily by chugging on the booze – Alcohol is an expressway out of physical pain into new pain later. Its like waking up to see your television is on fire and fucking it into the next room and going back asleep pretending everything is OK. You won’t burn now, but you will later. I always ‘recovered’ from long runs with half a bottle of isotonic Smirnoff.
- Socialising with other runners – Running culture is notoriously boozy. Many reward themselves with beer after races. I used to love doing that but now I fucking struggle with bars if I’m not drinking. Even when I drank I was always watching how quickly people drank and I was trying to slow myself down or will them on with their drinks so I could get stuck into the next fucking pint. It was bad. I never liked the pint I was drinking. I was always tits deep in the next one.
- The expectations that comes from running can be overwhelming – You have to be seen to making progress, marching forward, never letting up and sometimes it all becomes too much for me and I descend into binging and a siege mentality. Fuck expectations. Trying to live up to other people’s ideals is fucking tiring. It makes people do crazy shit. I’m thinking of that Marathon Man guy who “ran” across America by driving very slowly in a truck. Why the fuck? Who was he trying to impress and why?
- Many running events revolve around boozing – Tours of vineyards, beer miles and those ultras where you have to drink a shot every kilometer. They are becoming more and more popular. And of course there’s the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon which is really just a “run whilst hungover” hell fest that’s boring as fuck because they play Creed, Nickelback and Linkin Park.
- Running can lead to failure – Which means you have to learn to deal with it appropriately. This can be difficult when you’re newly sober. Too easy to think “fuck it all” and to go back to drinking to commiserate yourself. If I’d been a drinking man after the Isle of Wight Challenge I’d have spent the long weekend getting fucking pissed and I’d be making my comeback run just about now as “I needed the rest”. Yeah you needed the rest of my boot up your hole you doss cunt.
- The hole in the soul remains as a runner – Running doesn’t always work as therapy. That’s the way we are built as humans. We’re always trying to find something outside of ourselves for meaning. So many shyster bastards are out there to sell you the cure for what ails you. They break you by preying on your insecurities and portraying humility, meekness and restraint as virtues. Doesn’t matter if it’s religion, capitalism, spirituality and/or Oprah. It’s a no-holes barred gangbang and you’re what’s being fucked. AA isn’t really an answer for me either. They try to portray addiction as a moral issue rather than a medical one. When you tell an atheist that the only way of escaping alcoholism is through a God then you are telling him that there is no escape from alcoholism. My higher power was Iggy Pop until I realised he has started drinking again. If higher powers can really be anything, then you can pick something that’s inherently harmful to your sobriety and therefore….what’s the fucking point? Besides, Jesus might be real and I could get to heaven and he could be worse than Oliver Reed. All that turning water into wine business was for a reason.
Day 11 of 31
|Calories in||Calories out||Deficit|
Today was a bad day..