Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chalk It Up To Not Knowing

Most exercise mags rehash the same content over and over to great success. Last week, as I kept one eye on the person in front of me in the grocery line placing bag after bag of cheese puffs and their favorite soda flavor containing high fructose corn syrup on the conveyer belt, my other eye locked on one of the mags near the cash register. After I found out which celebrities were bikini weather ready I shifted attention to Prevention Magazine. Prevention recombines the title phrases Over 40, Best Abs Ever, Walking and Lose Weight Fast in various combinations which are slightly different than last month but still preys on our fear of the fact that most hate getting older, have spare tires or big butts and don't exercise enough.

Runners World Magazine is like this. I've put a copy in my grocery cart each month for the past four years thinking there was something new to be found in the ever-shrinking number of pages contained within. While I've learned much from this magazine, most can be attributed to running faster which is ironic as I get slower. But as many have pointed out, we do live in the Age of Irony. Run Fast! In the May 2009 issue however, I came across a great piece of information. Which pain reliever to take. It's not a matter of preference.

I asked a volunteer at one of the aid stations on the Longhorn Half-Ironman course a couple of years ago why they had Tylenol and not anything else. It turns out my preference, which is ibuprofen, doesn't work with the kidneys so well. And since kidneys are a vital part of a race for fluid absorption as well as not vomiting up strange substances which turn out to be digestive tract lining (see story link above), Tylenol was chosen. It negatively works on the liver only when there's alcohol involved or when too many are taken. Whew! Who knew?

Who drinks when they run? Seriously. I do remember drinking a beer, no two, at the 25th mile of the 2006 Austin Marathon. It was the best beer I'd ever tasted. It was provided by the Hash House Harriers who run and drink beer. I suspect the Harriers don't need to ingest Tylenol or any pain reliever for that matter as the beer does an adequate job of numbing a runner's pain. But the Runner's World Magazine makes no mention of beer as a pain reliever.

The Hash House Harriers are no small group. 1892 hash groups in 1229 cities and in 183 countries and not one mention of someone puking up strange substances which turn out to be their digestive lining, although in all fairness I think there has been at least one case of someone drinking beer and losing their lunch and digestive lining would have only been included in the expelled substance if this runner ate at a Vietnamese restaurant and happened to order the tripe pho soup.

So to summarize, if you take lots of ibuprofen and run long distances you stand a chance of losing your digestive organs. If you drink lots of beer and run long distances you stand a chance of losing a cow's digestive organs.

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