Saturday, July 21, 2018

Running on Empty

Having gotten back into running after a long-ish hiatus, I wanted to share some thoughts on the sport.  First, I want to comment on some “advice” I recently over-heard:

“You can’t drink Jack at night and then coffee in the morning and then go run.”

-       Not an Olympic Track Coach

As any true runner knows, single malts from distilleries such as Talisker, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, or Balvenie are far superior to Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 for training purposes.  If you have to go with a blend, Johnnie Walker Black is acceptable.  Ice should not be used in any case as it chills the gastrocnemius muscle and dilutes the whiskey.  This is science.

Of course both whiskey and coffee are simply loaded with water molecules.  So don’t buy into that nonsense about “proper hydration.”  You need the synapses firing when you are out there… on the road…with only your wits and a reliable pair of Asics separating you from competitors and potential predators (note: these are sometimes the same thing). Personally, I wouldn’t want to be the runner who isn’t caffeinated to the point of flailing like Animal from the Muppet Show if and when the day comes when a surly 400-pound bear decides to amble down from the mountains and onto your favorite jogging trail.     

It’s not as though I am running out there with a Dorset Double Old Fashioned glass (available at Williams-Sonoma).  That would not be aerodynamically sound.  Increased wind resistance means lost seconds.  This is why one partakes the night before a training run or full-on, chip-timed race.  That way, your hands are free when it comes time to judo-chop the aforementioned bear…or fellow runner who keeps stepping on your heels…or volunteer who is taking too long to hand me my f#$%ing dixie cup at the water station.  These are lessons you won’t learn from the Howard County Striders.

Back to the coffee.  I recommend Café Pilon, especially for 5Ks involving multiple short bursts of speed where you are really working the quads.  Café Bustelo is fine for pre-race quaffing or, better still, tossing on that runner who is inexplicably dressed in a banana costume.  The brown spots just make her or him look riper and add authenticity to the garb.  They won’t thank you for it though. Ungrateful amateurs.

So have fun out there and stay thirsty…for personal records.

In solidarity.

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