Running: A Great Hangover Cure

20 Dec

On Saturday night, Gerard and I went to my work Christmas party.  It was quite a fancy shindig, in the grand ballroom of an expensive hotel.  The waitstaff were wearing black tie and gliding elegantly around the room carrying huge platters.  There were elaborately wrapped guest favours, a lineup for the photo op that reminded me a bit of senior prom, and a dessert table that included two chocolate fountains.  There were free drinks both before and during dinner, so I drank far more than my usual sedate one glass of wine.

Predictably enough, I woke up on Sunday morning with the mother of all red wine hangovers.  You know the kind – dry mouth, queasy stomach, little men with little but very real jackhammers on the inside of your head.  What I really wanted to do was eat Tylenol like candy, and then roll over and go back to sleep for the rest of the day.
Instead, I got up, with every movement feeling like torture, and got dressed.  With a fuzzy head, I drove to the community centre, and when I saw my fellow running club members, my “Hi” came out as a weird-sounding croak. When the other runners started running, I gritted my teeth and ran too.

It was a hard run.  Very, very hard.  Of course, I had three things again.  First, I had this massive hangover.  Second, I hadn’t run for three weeks.  Third, I was recovering from a nasty bout of bronchitis. Considering all of this, it’s a miracle that I was able to get out and run in the first place.  A hard run was made harder by snowy, slippery conditions, and by the time I’d run 4km, my heart rate was way up.

In the end, I managed just over 5km, and I didn’t do it very well.  The distance runner in me was disappointed with this dismal performance, but the plain old runner in me was thrilled to be back on the road again after an enforced break of three weeks.  The best part of all?  The run knocked the hangover right out of me, and I felt great afterwards, and happily joined the other runners for breakfast (side note: breakfasts contain a huge amount of protein for one meal).

The key to all of this for me is that I am back.  Yes, I had bronchitis and no, I am not quite 100% yet.  But I am well enough to run again, and confident that I will start the new year on a strong note when I do the January 1st Resolution Run.

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