November 17, 2010

Beer Mile Champion

Last weekend I had a typical Sunday. I was up at 7am to prep for a ride, taking advantage of what would end up being the most perfect late fall riding weather. I met up with fellow blogger Jon for our second food-centric ride, this time on my side of the state with a mid-point muffin from my favorite training fuel stop in Piermont, NY. I had my usual cinnamon chip while he explored the various croissant offerings. In addition to indulging on fantastic carbs, we put in some solid, late-season miles.

I was in a bit of a rush to get home because I had a race on the schedule at 3pm. My tri club was hosting its first Beer Mile, something I like to consider an alternative duathlon since it combines two of my favorite sports - drinking beer and running. I have always wanted to do a Beer Mile but have never heard of one happening locally. I did some "training" in the days leading up to build up my tolerance and was feeling quite prepared. Unfortunately I finished the ride late so I had to skip lunch and just have chocolate milk instead. I didn't want any solid food in my stomach in case things were to not go down so easy if you know what I'm saying.

We set up our "transition" area, complete with brown paper bags, and did a warm-up lap. Then we lined up, fingers poised to hit start on the Garmin and crack open the first beer. It's fantastic to be doing a race that starts with "On your mark, get set, drink!" Because I love numbers, I captured all of the splits - my beer drinking time and lap running time. Here is a breakdown:

Beer 1
:45 (disgusting, but I did it!)
Lap 1
1:45 (6:59/mi)
Beer 2
1:11 (is burping in public in front of guys a bad thing?)
Lap 2
1:58 (7:47/mi)
Beer 3
1:23 (going down hard now...)
Lap 3
1:58 (7:55/mi, starting to weave around a bit I think)
Beer 4
1:36 (never. drinking. beer. again...)
Lap 4
2:00 (7:30/mi, DONE! and no penalty lap!)
Total 12:40

I don't think I've chugged a beer since college so the 45-second split to start was huge for me. Sadly I was second to last with that performance so it was a good thing I was able to throw down a decent pace while not throwing up my PBR! The scene in transition was priceless. A bunch of adults slamming beers out of paper bags, burping, spilling all over ourselves and other unmentionable mishaps (one racer had a cuban sandwich shortly before the race...).

"Transition" 1, Race Start

That first lap was tough. I spent the entire time trying to figure out how I'd drink 3 more beers and keep my cookies down. I slowed considerably on Beer 2, taking a few chugs at a time peppered with breaks to commiserate with fellow racers and create some room with ladylike burping. The second lap was a little easier and I actually embraced the small escape from the dreaded beer transition. But as predicted, Beer 3 was like swallowing wet concrete. I started questioning my ability to finish and wondered, would this be my first DNF? I wasn't ready to give up so I powered through and continued on.

Lap 3 was a challenge. I think a slight buzz was setting in and I forgot to stay focused and run a straight line. I started fantasizing about collapsing in the grass. As I entered transition for Beer 4, I realized it might have been the first time in my life where I absolutely, positively, without a doubt did not want even a sip of beer. Too bad I had another 12 ounces to consume. It's hard to say what was harder: doing 2 Ironmans this season or forcing that final beer down my throat. I'm leaning toward the beer. I was elated to start Lap 4 and even enjoyed it a little despite the burning in my stomach. I could see fellow racers celebrating their accomplishments just around the corner and wanted to desperately to join them. Or puke. Or both.


Moments after finishing I learned I was the first place female. Podium!!! Finally! Of course there were only 4 females but still, I was proud. What a fantastic way to end my season.

Post-Race Recovery

Regardless of my win, I realized I will need to do some serious training to be a real contender next year. My inability to truly chug the beer really held me back so I have work to do. Unfortunately I never learned how to properly chug a beer in college so I may be faced with limitations in this sport. But if I can learn to swim and do an Ironman in one year, I'm confident I can cut my can-guzzling time down to a respectable 30 seconds. I may need to experiment with race day nutrition to find the right choice as well and the offseason seems like a great time to do it. Cheers!


  1. Way to power through when the going got tough!!

    "Ladylike burping"? You just gotta let it rip! :)

  2. This is awesome! Too funny, I wish we had something like that around here!

  3. Awesome! I think that qualifies as another IM finish. Well done!

  4. Sounds like a great event! Way to go on placing first female!

  5. Ha ha...awesome! I seriously think I would puked during that "race," but it sounds like it was a lot of fun!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...