Wine is Not a Pre-Race Drink
Memorial Day Weekend: for some it’s the kickoff to summer vacation, for others the end of another school year, time to get out to the lake or to enjoy the long weekend relaxing. For many it is the time they remember and honor those who gave all.
This year we had planned to camp with a group of friends and go mountain biking but a busy schedule that has left many a household project unfinished (or un-started as the case may be) convinced us that we should stay home. And I got the bright idea to enter the Rock Run 8K scheduled for early Saturday morning as the way to begin my weekend before we started those chores. But I was disappointed to miss out on fun times on the trails. Because there would be friends and food and for sure there would be beer. Because beer is a great recovery drink. This is an established fact. Someone told me once that a glass of red wine the night before a race actually aids oxygenation of the blood. I personally called shenanigans and formed the opinion that this person was looking for excuses to drink red wine. My issues would begin when I decided to test the theory.
I won’t hold you in suspense,wine is not a good pre-race drink. After a long, seemingly endless week of work, night-time meetings, events, and commitments, I felt justified in my desire to share a bottle of wine with J during our Friday night dinner. Normally a glass or two of wine is no problem but this morning I woke to find myself not with a headache, but with terrible heartburn. Like I had a tiny little muppet Beaker in there flaming a bunsen burner and setting the lining of my esophagus on fire every few minutes. But I had pre-registered and I wasn’t going to pull out at the last minute. I took a couple of pepcid, double tied my shoes and lined up toward the back of the pack to start. Suck it up.
The race begins on Rebsamen Park Road in front of the area of pavilions 1 and 2, it then heads West for a bit before turning back on to the trail heading East. Close to the 1 mile marker I see Joe crouched in position to take photos. I don’t remember what I said to him, I do remember feeling like the alien inside was trying desperately to escape. My greatest fear was that it would escape. All over the road or the grass and in front of all these people. Soldier on! Just 4 more to go. I settled into a pace that my stomach could deal with, though it was a bit slow and my legs kept screaming “Go Faster!” As I near what I figured was close to the halfway point I start to see the lead runners coming back on the trail toward the finish. Twenty plus shirtless men in tiny shorts running 5-6 minute mile pace. So in spite of my churning belly, there was good scenery. Along the way I chatted here and there with women around me. Not too much though, I was concentrating on not hurling. Legs felt great, lungs were good, but each time I sped up I got a reminder from the Three Mile Island reactor thing in my gut. I finished without stopping or walking. Or shaming myself with a side trip to the grass.
Thanks to Timex who apparently sponsored the race and had an employee team running in the event and Little Rock Road Runners for helping with all the race administration stuff. Thanks Easter Seals Arkansas and all the work they do. And especially to the folks who live at the Butler Adult Living Center, for being great cheerleaders.