Beer Mile: The stuff that dreams are made of

Why the beer mile?  It sounds horrible, right?  Why try to consume as many beers in 5 minutes as I ever would in a week?  And run fast on top of that.

In February, Nick Symmonds signed with Brooks Running and stated his three goals for the year to include challenging the beer mile record.  That’s what first put the bug in my head- a goofy statement from a world class athlete.  I love silly goals and I thought I that sounded like fun; just like college again!

I looked up the women’s record to learn that it was only 6:42.  Only 6:42- piece of cake!  Surely I could do that- and just think- I could hold a world record.  Me!  The stay at home mom with a few good races could suddenly launch my career into a new realm.  This idea was only propped up by the announcement of the first ever beer mile world championships announced to run in Austin TX this December.  Yes- count me in; I wanna run!

So I recruited my number one fan and good friend to help- a job she took very seriously with 2 cameras, a stopwatch, a table for the beer and a trash can for the empties- and we set a date... then another... and another.  I was beginning to dread it and found excuses to put off the “race”.  But I still wanted my shot at the big time.  I told myself this was going to be my event.  This was my chance.  And I believed it.

I never really practiced.  I did chug a lot of seltzer water in my everyday life and that’s pretty much the same, right?  Then I chugged a beer about a week ago- 23 seconds- and then another a few days later- 17 seconds!- and figured I was ready.  I looked up strategy and planned my splits to be about 82/lap (5:38 mile) + drinking time.  It sounded like a conservative approach to a fast beer mile.

When I toed the line yesterday, I was more concerned about breaking the rules with alcohol on the track than my ability to chug beer.  I opened the first can and started.  eww.  It was a Budweiser, which is not my normal beer, and just foamed everywhere.  I was so nervous, I forgot to flip the tab back and it was getting in my way.  I finally finished (20 seconds) and started to run.  I burped, I belched, I ran fast and then pulled up a bit in the last 50 meters to catch my breath.  I reached the 400m mark in 90 seconds (so a 70 sec run!) and started to chug again.  eww.  double eww.  I was half way through the second beer when I puked.  Not to be graphic, but it wasn’t a full on puke up the whole dinner kind of thing.  More like the body saying, “enough.  there’s no more room in the stomach so you’re going back where you came from”.  I yelled to Samia to cut the tape, I quit.  I was laughing and horrified by the first 2 minutes of my new event.  

After 10 minutes of laughing, reviewing, evaluating the performance, I decided to try again.  Perhaps it is because the first beers had hit me, but it seemed like a really great idea.  Now I was ready.  Now I knew what to expect.  

We got all set up and I toed the line.  I chugged (27 seconds).  I ran a bit more conservatively (80 sec run).  I chugged (not sure of the split). I ran into the half at 3:30 (7min pace, and still quite respectable).  I grabbed my third beer and started chugging.  No, more like sipping and staring at the can.  I turned to the camera and said, “This is hard”.  I tipped up the can and boom, I puked again.  

I laughed as I quit the event again.  Ugh.  This wasn’t as easy as it seems like it should be.  The beer mile just kicked my butt twice!  We laughed all of the way home, and I was still certain that I would try again.  “I will be a world class athlete.  I will.  I will run at a world championship” I kept saying to myself in my little high school cheerleader voice- a bit ironically, a bit seriously.  

But as the beer wears off and and the headache sets in, I realize that I don’t want to run again.  It sounds awful, even if I found a better beer.  The attempts interrupt my training a bit and I have better things to focus on.  Like the marathon and LA 2016.  Besides, I probably have plans for that weekend in December already ;)

So, with that silly attempt at a silly event, I hang up my beer mile hat.  I talked a big game but this just isn’t for me.  Leave it to the college kids.