Running is supposed to be fun.
It’s easy to forget that, or have that thought get lost in the shuffle of training plans, races, paces and everything in between. In the spirit of the true meaning of running, on Friday, my friends organized a “Beer Mile.”
At first, I was on the fence. It was supposed to be a rest day. What if I get hurt and can’t run Boston? What if I come in dead last? What if I can’t finish it? It’s supposed to rain! I’m tired! After arguing with myself, I remembered — running is supposed to be fun. And this sounds fun.
So, I confirmed my attendance and showed up to my friends’ house in midtown. The rules are easy enough. Drink a beer or hard cider (at least 12 ounces, with a minimum of five percent alcohol), run a quarter mile and repeat four times. In the end, you will have run a mile, and finished four beverages.
Eight of us, five guys and three girls, showed up to participate in the challenge. We started with a warm-up lap around our course (essentially just running around their block that was a quarter-mile, we mapped it), so we all knew exactly where to go. Once we completed our first loop, it was time for a “Cheers!” and a “On your mark, get set, drink!”
One of my “talents” leftover from college is that I can drink pretty quickly. I don’t use said talent very often anymore, but it was nice to see I could still hold my own at the ripe old age of 28. I finished my first drink, and settled into fourth place. The loop itself was fun in that we started in the middle of an uphill and had a sweet downhill in the middle to coast on.
Preparing for my second loop, it was still going down pretty easily, but once I started running, I noticed it was starting to have an effect on me. I couldn’t stop burping, and all the liquid was starting to slush around in my stomach. Regardless, I slipped into third place, and looped around to start my third drink. Halfway done.
I think the third loop was the hardest, you’re more than halfway done, but still have another drink to consume and another loop to run. I was still burping up a storm, and nursing a serious beer baby. I was in second place at this point, too far behind the lead, but also holding my own. I turned the corner, opened my last beverage and mentally prepared myself for the final loop
I was starting to feel the results of the alcohol and couldn’t stop giggling to myself. But my stomach was so bloated from all the liquid, I was borderline uncomfortable. Regardless, I aimed to finish strong, and cruised in around the 9 minute mark. Not bad for my first beer mile. An automatic PR!
After the eight of us had all finished (No DNFs!), one friend remarked, “This is so great. Two of my favorite things, running and drinking. What more can you ask for on a Friday night?”
I can’t think of anything.