When ‘never again’ is a lie

A Mayo man in Galway
When ‘never again’ is a lie

Edwin McGreal

My legs ache as if a steamroller used them as a test run, it feels as if a family of woodpeckers are industrious in my head and I’ve been welded to the couch all day. It is Sunday evening as I type and I’m having one of those ‘never again’ days.
I’m not sure alcohol is completely to blame today, to be fair. My pains are part as a consequence of running the Galway Bay Half Marathon on Saturday afternoon but, I’m in little doubt, more to do with the full marathon drinking session that was undertaken afterwards.
Crossing the line I had wishes only to see my bed but ever the loyal trooper, I togged for the second part of what I signed up for - the post run session.
So after running 13 miles up and down Salthill Prom and doing wonders for my calorie burning for the day, I go out and put all those calories back into me. And then some.
The ‘Galway Bay’ is a stable diet of life in the City of the Tribes at this stage. Close to 2,000 runners togged for the 10k and Half Marathon series. This column decided he’d give it a go, to see how the fitness levels were after easing off since the Achill Half in July.
Achill duo Donnchadh ‘Red’ O’Malley and John Ruddy joined me for the half. Or rather they dashed ahead while I used the pretence of taking in the scenery to account for my slow pace.
Still thirteen miles is thirteen miles and when we finished there was certainly a thirst built up. But how ready is your body for alcohol after such a  work-out? We said we’d find out in the name of science.
Conclusions? If you expect or need to do anything the following day, then it is not recommended. In fact if you even want to be able to follow the plot in Fair City, then it’s not a good idea to push your body to the limits of its capacity like I did.
A Goodfellas pizza was all we were capable of eating, together with copious comfort food. More of the benefit of the run taken away.
And so, as I write, I wonder why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we go out and drink when we know the consequence the following day?
Is it worth it?
Most of us have asked that question of ourselves. And probably more than once. Truth is the worst time to ask it is the day after, when the hangover blues are at their peak. Come Tuesday or Wednesday (not Monday mind because I still will be suffering then) I’ll have forgotten about the pain and remembering only the craic that was had.
And we’ll plan the next night out. And as sure as night follows day, we’ll suffer the following day and ask why? At least the next time I’ll at least be able to walk the day after, can’t see myself running thirteen miles before the drinking starts.
Some day never again will be a defining statement. But not yet.