I did it again. Another DNF.
I was super pumped up for the race. A little undertrained, but pumped. I was feeling a bit sick the day before, so I missed a workout. I went to the race a bit early and did three by a mile at my goal marathon race pace, nice and easy. Except it didn’t feel nice and easy and my stomach felt queasy. No biggie, I thought, you’ll feel good once the gun goes off.
We lined up our beer. Four cans, one for each quarter mile. Four beers, one mile. I wanted to PB, I wanted it bad. I used to be a champion chugger. But then I got old and stopped drinking. I wanted to recapture that misspent youth. I visualized funnels. I thought about my technique. I carefully selected the cheapest blandest beer available that met the 355ml and minimum 5% alcohol criteria (so Canadian, obviously, because who cares if you puke it up). I did everything but practice. I was really sort of ready.
The gun went off. I chugged my first beer and immediately realized I’d made a huge mistake. My stomach rebelled from the first sip. Loudly, actively protested. I soldiered on, ran my lap. Opened the second can and just a whiff made my stomach send all contents up my esophagus, only to rush back down again. And again. And again. I truly tried, but my body would not allow liquid to enter.
So I quit. DNF.
I tried to explain that I wasn’t beer mile sick, but sick sick. I don’t think anyone believed me. I used my two successful prior beer mile completions as proof I wasn’t a give-up buttercup. People gave me the types of responses you give when you don’t really believe someone, but you are agreeing to be nice.
Two days later I’m clutching a toilet as a days worth food expels from my mouth in a shockingly violent and horrific manner. I have been stricken with the flu or some illness that leads to puking and muscle aches in areas I did not know contained muscles. Like my eyelids.
I hurt, but I’m happy to report that I’m not a cupcake who can’t handle a beer mile. I just can’t handle the common flu.
Title: Spirit of the West – Home for a Rest. 1990.