The Alcohol Hangover
The start of May 2009. The day after my best friend’s 30th birthday party. I was sick. So sick.
- Dry mouth.
- Thumping and hazy head.
- Watery eyes.
- I could probably still taste the vodka in my mouth from the night before (and a few hours) prior.
- I ended up being sick 8 times that day.
I tried everything to get better, but it took me about a week to get over it.
The day of the hangover I did tried and tested methods:
- Drink lots of water: It came back up.
- Sleep: I was staying at hers and couldn’t get a good sleep. I had to drive 200 miles home that day anyway.
- Drink Irn Bru: it came back up. Yuk.
- Drink more water: it came back up, with bile this time…arg.
- Drink ice cold coke: it settled it.
- Eat a greasy Angus Burger from Burger King: It helped.
I drove the 200 miles home at 7pm at night and turned up at home late that evening feeling utterly gubbed.
That day I had the hangover that finally broke me. I didn’t feel right for about 2 days after it. It was the hangover that finally made me decide to quit alcohol. I’d been drinking socially, and binge drinking for around 15 years (bearing in mind I was only 29… I started young). It was what you did. It was what everyone did to have a good time. But I’d had enough.
I was getting more into running and asking my body to perform on longer runs and increased training and there was no way I could ask my body to perform one day, then poison it with alcohol the next. When I drank I’d have a few weekends where I’d have a sociable drink or 4… happy feeling. Then, like so many others, I’d go on a binge. My problem with alcohol was that when I started I couldn’t stop. I wanted more and more, until it ended up (unintentionally) I didn’t remember what I’d done.
I’d had a few close shaves (ones I’ve tried to block out so I won’t repeat them on here), but I still kept drinking. Drunk Lorn was loud, annoying, (slightly funny), and ugly. I was addicted to the feeling of being drunk. I thought it made me happy. It was what you did. Not anymore for me.
That was over 2 and a half years ago and I haven’t touched a drop since. I’ve changed my lifestyle so that I don’t want or feel the need to drink anymore. And I feel so much better. It’s normal for me not to have alcohol in my life now. I’m healthier, happier, and have more disposable income (to spend on trainers, Garmins and holidays!) Not to mention I’m now nearly 2 stone lighter! (Not just down to quitting drinking, but it’s a factor).
Now that I don’t drink, I get that look from people that I used to give people when I found out they didn’t drink. They look sorry for me, and think I maybe don’t know how to let go and enjoy myself. But it’s when I see them at midnight dancing in bare feet on the street, not knowing where they are, that I feel sorry for them. Or when they’ve got a hangover from hell, bruised up all over from the night before. It makes me so glad I don’t touch the stuff anymore. So glad I was able to be strong enough to come off it.
Sure not everyone goes to that extreme, but every now and again I used to, and I’m so glad I don’t touch the stuff anymore. I would never preach to anyone else not to drink, each to their own, but I’m not going back there. 😀
The Long Run Hangover
It seems my addiction now is running, training and the highs you get from it. My training has become a big part of my life. My lifestyle revolves around it, and I’m glad it does.
I’m seeing what my body can do by asking it to run long. Yesterday I ran my furthest distance of 33.33 miles. It was hard at points and it was hardat the end and after it. I’m finding new levels of determination appear, new levels of accomplishment in what I’m doing.
And today, I feel like I’ve got a hangover… but not the kind you get from drink.
I feel like I have a long run hangover:
- I’m tired. I slept about 9 hours last night (plus a 2 hour nap in the afternoon)… but I’m still tired.
- My eyesight is a bit blurry (comes from being tired).
- Some of my muscles are achy – nothing too bad, but just a little tender: my shoulders and calves.
- I’m famished. I need to eat eat eat to stop the hunger pangs.
- My foot is sore from a previously pulled muscle which was reignited on the long run yesterday.
This is my long run hangover today. It’s similar as a hangover you’d get from drinking in that it’s self inflicted, but in this case, there is a big sense of accomplishment behind my long run hangover (as opposed to the shame or guilt I’d sometimes feel with a hangover from drinking the night before).
Whenever the tiredness hits me I think of what I achieved yesterday (and in the lead up to my long run). A sensible training plan and lots of training has hopefully got me to this point without getting too much of the bad after effects (like delayed onset muscle soreness). I think I have my recovery to a point where it seems to work for me.
Here are the things that seem to work for me to help me recover from the long run:
- Milkshakes and protein and carbohydrate rich foods straight after the run.
- I try and make sure I’m fully hydrated before, and after the long run.
- Sleep. Naps or early nights and long sleeps at night (8-10 hours)
- Rest. I’m careful to listen to my body and if it needs rest, I make sure it gets it.
- Food. Plenty of it in the days after a long run. (See here for foods that help you heal) I find I’m hungry maybe every 1-2 hours and I need to be fed to replace the calories I’ve burned. It’s a great feeling.
So which hangover would you prefer? I know which one I’d rather have. 😀
And how do you recover from your long runs?? 🙂
See the links below for more about long runs and how to prepare for and recover from them: