I don’t understand the attraction within the triathlon community to drinking. This is a group of extremely healthy people, for the most part, but for most their whole post race and post training regimen revolves around beer. We have Beer Runs, Pub Runs, in abundance each and every week. What is the lure of this?
Remember that these are the same people who quibble about how many carbs they should be eating, remaining “low sugar”, obsessing ove reach calorie entering their bloodstream, yet they have no issue downing beer after beer, or glass of wine after glass of wine, as if it’s a free calorie and“doesn’t count since I just ran a ”, or “I only ate 4points today so far so I can have this”.
When I started getting into the “triathlon life” I looked to a number of Triathlon Clubs in the Tampa area. The two major ones (neither of which I will name because their members will not be friendly in their responses I am sure, along with the fact that a number of readers here are members of these clubs) apparently cannot hold a meeting any place other than a pub or bar. I joined both of them, wanting to immerse myself in the triathlon lifestyle when I started (not for the booze but for the camaraderie and knowledge), but the fact that I could not be “one of them” without going to a bar didn’t sit well with me, so both of my memberships have lapsed and will not be renewed. The head of one of these clubs, and I am not exaggerating, I have seen and spoken to 5 times, and each time he was drunk(two of which were immediately after a race he just completed). Just not the type of person, or people, I prefer to be around.
Now, understand, I am not a teetotaler. I have the occasional beer. One of the best tasting things I have ever had was when, after St. Anthony’s last year, I walked to the Team in Training tent, Jim Jenkins handed me a beer. Normally, after a race, especially a hot one like that one was, I would stay away from alcohol, but I took it and took a drink. It was cold, and went down so smoothly, that I could see how having one works. So a beer on occasion is understandable. I just don’t get how such health conscious people as far as eating and nutrition and exercise have no issue with drinking so much so often.
Is there some unwritten law that triathlon clubs must revolve around drinking?
I guess I shouldn’t just single out triathlon clubs, because most of the running clubs are the same way. Whole weekly 5k’s are built around the “pub run”. How does this make sense? Come out and run, be healthy, then go drink beer and eat wings. I know it’s just a “me” thing. My issue. I know I would have a hard time taking a coach seriously if they were like this. If the person coaching me now wanted to do our monthly meet up’s in a bar, they wouldn’t be my coach for very long. I know I have written about this before online, and in my blog, but if you are a person who is very good at what they do; running,biking, swimming, triathlons, and you have a “following” of sorts (whether you fostered it or not) I feel, personally, that it is your obligation to not represent our sport in a bad light or put out bad information. I can use myself as an example. I have had people who read this blog send me comments, or direct messages, about how my journey has inspired them in some way. I find that both amazing and intimidating, and maybe it is just me, but I take things like that seriously. It has helped me in that when the urge comes over me to “cheat”, in training, in nutrition, in health, it stops me from doing it because I would feel like a hypocrite dispensing my journey and not following what I am putting out there.
I have been accused of being judgmental about this, which I guess I have been, and I am working on that, but someone at work said to me yesterday “you are not judging … you are measuring”. This rings true to me. I am not judging you. If you want to run 13 miles then drink beer … hell … go do it. It doesn’t affect me. What it will affect, though, is how I view your advice in the future. It’s along with my “go to” line about eating; don’t complain about your weight of you’re eating at 5 Guys Burgers, or stuffing your pie hole with 2 pounds of processed carbs every night. If you want to eat like that, fine … go for it … but don’t complain when you can’t lose the 10 pounds.Just remember, you may be a “little rubber person” now … and God bless you if you are … but I was a “little rubber person” at one time in my life too (seethe previous post for a picture). It will catch up with you. You may not see itin the mirror, but there are plenty of skinny fat people walking around about to drop dead of heart attacks.
And no one wants that!