Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Purity of Essence

These past few days make me a misnomer. So will the next four. The Task Master took a monk's vow to be undrunk until Sunday, when I will shred my legs on a 13.1-mile course in Cleveland. But afterward, it is so on.

Booze--the elusive They say--is bad for running. Slows you down. That is the reason for this weeklong, self-inflicted detox. But don't you worry, fair readers, this drunkard put himself in the Inebriation Hammerlock this past weekend. After two nameless BHI travelers gave us the slip after happy hour beers, a near full bottle of Mezcal made itself apparent to my compatriot and me. Thus, we christened the evening in the name of the Mezcal Challenge 2007.

However, first we needed supplies. We trekked over to the five-and-dime and collected one six pack of Sierra Nevada, one bottle of V8, and two Vitamin Waters for recovery purposes. Attempts to gather a crowd--or possible drivers to the emergency room--revealed no takers. It seems they thought they could never catch up. Which is true.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hangover
Sadly, the bottle won this round. It still taunts us with a shooter full each of liquid burning as the worm chortles in disgust. We (okay, maybe just I) arrived too soon at the Port of Blackout Island. Next day, a rare hangover played Whack-a-Mole with my eye socket. The bed played sanctuary until four that afternoon, after which this fool ran six miles to sweat out the remnants of that smokey Agave nectar. And then, it was back on the horse.

Enduring the Ridicule
This drunk started the week confident about teetoling for a week. However, friends conspired against me the very first day of abstinence. They organized a barbecue in honor of the NBA playoffs to watch the Cavaliers take down the Nets in game four with a nail-biter of a finish that begged for "shot time." But I maintained.

These gettogethers usually mean I bring beer. (I know nothing of bringing food items.) This time, I brought locally made ice cream. (This begs the question: Is ice cream better or worse than alcohol for the runner? We shall see.) I stood around all night, feeling impotent, with a glassful of filtered water as one joker chided me with this brutal comment: "Where's your beer, you pussy?" (Nevermind the fact she was drinking a Diet Coke.)

Carb Replacement Therapy
Last night I went for one of my last runs before the race day, and indeed I was faster. Is this psychosomatic? Maybe it's just better focus, as I was thinking solely of maintaining my pace. I know one thing, my focus Sunday will be on the finish line, where I shall run past and to the nearest pub. Beer contains essential carbohydrates for recovery, and calming elements to sooth the soul and salve the mouth.

Wish me luck, mahalo.

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