Ok, you might think this post should be a prank, but lets talk about the common situation in which a few of us find ourselves. You are running long long distances and are fatigued and in pain from something that you can't seem to ignore...Its safe to say that someone in this situation has either a mental or emotional issue but that's another blog post. The pain keeps coming back and back as different areas speak up and then forget that they were ever in pain in the first place. And then some pains just begin to stick and others add in while you attempt to ignore and obliterate them with your mind. This was my situation in the 12-Hrs of Boulder. I had invariably been asked by a friend to run the "Baby Race" to the 24-Hr and 100 Mile races and to my concern, I awoke after an evening of bad ideas and ill-formed notions of health and fitness to find that I had signed up the day prior to this event and wasn't a lick of training prepared for it.
And if you wonder on my level of preparedness, I had taken a full month off after my last race as I had no more plans. So there was very little (if any) training due to foot pain and a very busy practice. I figured I'd just run a few hours and call it quits and work at an aid station...but the event was just too fun (Or I was just too crazy by then, and I decided to just keep running).
By 2pm, I had ran for 6 hours or so and my feet were killing me. I had purchased a new pair of Newtons the day prior and asked for a size up from what I had normally ran in, just to prepare for the swelling that would occur from an attempted day of running. Little did I know, these shoes felt tight and I should have double checked the size that the oh-so-kind gentleman gave me. (Problem 1). I usually run sockless and have no ill effects of blisters/rubbing. I live on runners lube and sockless lined shoes.
It is a common runners tale that Beer is illegal in the Olympics. Usually when I find out that something is illegal, I usually try to figure out why...the common runners tale is that it decreases the amount of lactic acid that your body makes.
Research has indeed shown that small amounts of alcohol do increase muscular endurance and the output of strength, but research has shown that these types of benefits are very short lived. I have noticed however that it decreases extremity swelling and joint pain. My foot pain disappeared with one cider ale and I only slightly noticed it for the rest of the race and finished with 57 miles under my belt.
Beer seemed to work much better than Vitamin I (Ibprofen). I continued to run another 6 almost-pain-free hours to get 9 hours farther than I thought I would and I also did my longest run. Something to contemplate. So, ridiculous-as-it-is long story short...Beer actually does work and It is the perfect addition for drop bags on long races as long as you are running up and not down (in my opinion).
Warning: This blog is just an attempt to explain an occurance and is not a recommendation to drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is tied to numerous issues such as liver failure, addiction, and idiot attempts at long races. Abstain if you can and do not imbibe if you are under 21.
P.S. IF you are over 21 and do like to drink and run (I definitely do not nor would I ever), I might point you towards the Hash House Harrier Club (There is one in Denver & Boulder), or you can join us at the local Pearl St. Running Club which runs from Conor O'neils at 6:30pm on Wednesdays for a run and happy hour afterwards.