Skip to content

When I randomly signed up for a half-marathon last year I was worried. Not about the running. I’ve always fancied myself a “runner.” I believe that when I run I look like a gazelle, gracefully bobbing down the street. I believe that the hot runner guys recognize me as a fellow elite athlete, even as they sprint past me.

I knew I would be a fantastic runner.

My concern was how this “running” thing would affect the rest of my life. Would I have to wake up early? Would I have to start showering regularly… like EVERY SINGLE DAY? Most importantly, would I have to stop drinking? See, I expected to like running. But I already knew I liked beer. So I did some research. I was excited to learn that a lot of people consider beer the night before a long run to be beneficial.

The night before a training run was my friend’s birthday. I had a glass of wine. I decided if one beer was good, then one glass of wine was good too. And if one glass of wine was good, two glasses of wine was probably better.

I thought about the things in beer that make it beneficial to runners: flavonoids, B vitamins and chromium. Wine must also contain vitamins, I thought as I poured another glass, it’s made from fruit for chrissakes. On my fourth glass of wine, I pondered what a flavonoid was.

What followed was the worst run-jog-hobble ever. It took me two-and-a-half hours to go 8 miles.

That’s 18.75 minutes per mile. Your obese grandmother’s pace is 18 flat. It was bad. I hid my water bottle in the bushes because it was too heavy to carry. I gagged, I cried, my legs cramped up, and the sun seemed far too bright.

Did I learn my lesson and become a teetotaling hard body? No. But I learned to be careful. The night before the marathon I drank two beers and five glasses of water. And it was great! I finished in a respectable time, I didn’t feel like I was going to die, and I learned that I really, truly, enjoy running.

I guess the boring lesson is, everything in moderation. I’ve managed to find a way for my running and my drinking to co-exist. The good news is that when I’m in training, I’m a pretty cheap date.

Liz Marsh’s “Running Under the Influence” runs every other Tuesday in the Colorado Daily.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.