Apparently, I’ve become very sensitive to alcohol. Perhaps this is a result of intentionally being more aware of how my body feels or the fact that now I rarely have more than 2-3 drinks/week. 

I’ve cut back for a few reasons, primarily, the negative impact it has on my sleep quality. Once I began paying attention, I realized that with as few as two mixed drinks I wouldn’t sleep well or for very long. Waking up feeling dehydrated, and only partially rested was diminishing the quality of my morning workouts. Secondly, I enjoy sweet as well as sour mixed drinks which are full of extra calories. Extra-tasty, yet empty, useless calories. At this stage of my journey, I have enough trouble figuring out the right things to eat that support my training, I don’t need to add poor quality calories to the mix.

Earlier this week, I traveled to Chicago for work. Arriving late in the evening and having dinner at the hotel restaurant was not ideal, but what I chose to do. For dinner, I ate a cup of minestrone soup and some chicken portabello pasta with a whiskey old fashioned. After eating, I went to my room and prepared for the next day.  I was in bed and asleep by 10 pm with a plan of running for a few hours at 6 am.

Without explanation, I woke up at 1:30 am thinking that it was about 5 or 6 o’clock. Just wide awake. I felt dehydrated and a little ‘off’. The feeling was reminiscent of staying out late and having 4-5 drinks then getting back up after only 4 hrs of sleep. Only, I was in bed early and had one drink. 

Fortunately, I was able to get a few more hours of sleep and I chose not to go run because my legs were still very sore from the half marathon. Maybe insufficient food in combination with alcohol led to poor sleep. Maybe it was the drink and fatigue. Either way, the drink was not satisfying enough to justify such a disruption of my sleep.

I’ll be further reducing my hard liquor intake. At the very least, I’ll be more conscientious and have them earlier in the evening.