Light Up Or Leave Me Alone

Posted: March 12, 2011 in Motivation, Training
Tags: ,
  • Long Run (click to see stats)
  • 16.51k (1:28:33)
  • Avg. Heart Rate = 156 bpm
  • Max. Heart Rate = 175 bpm
  • Avg. Pace = 5:21 /km
  • Max. Pace = 4:33 /km
  • Calories = 1573
  • Temp = 2º
  • SOTD: ‘Feel So Sad’ by Spiritualized

This was my first solo long run in over a month and I got to enjoy a few things I don’t normally get to enjoy – my iPod and my buzz on – both things that I reluctantly happily leave at home when I go running with my coach. The truth is, I have been only been smoking weed sporadically these days as my precious stores have run dangerously low.  In fact, it has been nearly a month since I’ve undergone any workout under the influence…and for me, that’s a long time, Jack!

Barn along Beaverdams Rd.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know I can easily purchase some, of course, but I don’t really want to have to deal with the whole ‘Commerce of Pot’.  If I could just pick it up at the supermarket like any other fresh herb or spice for, say, $400.00/kg, I totally would but, now, without safe connections I would inevitably end up meeting in an alley with some idiot in an over-sized hoodie who goes by name ‘Puffy’, or ‘Doob Master G’, or something equally stupid.  There’s no way I am ever going to do that now at my age so I’ve been doing the only honorable thing I can think of until next gardening season…going without.

The windy way along Beaverdams Rd.

But after dwelling on it some today while slogging on up the Niagara Escarpment for, like, the 1000th freakin’ time this year, I recognize now that there are definitely very specific pros and cons to regular marijuana use during training and where at first I wasn’t seeing many cons as it were, I am certainly seeing a lot more of them now.  There are still aspects I will miss about being high, but let’s just say I’m starting to see that the other side is also green as well; just not the kind of green I’ve become accustomed to.  As I see it, here are the current pros and cons of marijuana and training:

Pro Pot:

  1. Long runs are a lot more enjoyable. I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again:  “feed your brain as you feed your body”. And if occupying my thoughts with pleasant THC-induced visions of sunshine, lollipops and unicorns jumping rainbows should help me endure a 21.5k march into the middle of nowhere – then so be it.  Without, I just stare straight ahead mindlessly at the pavement ahead of me while my brain dribbles out my ear and concentrate on the fact that my legs are liquefying into jelly.
  2. Easier to ‘meditate’ and focus on proper stretching and form during yoga sessions. Yoga is the practice of patience and I’m infinitely more patient and in-tuned with my body while high. When I haven’t been reefing away my mind continues to race at a 1000 mph about what I still need to accomplish before going home, or at home, or for tomorrow, or whatever.
  3. Cooking is more fun. I’m much more creative in the kitchen while blazed; and more practical and simplified when not.  I still eat healthily either way but its much more fun after a quick session as I feel like Gordon Ramsey when I’m baked.  Sometimes I will often erupt into random outbursts of frustrated insults at my cat just to enhance the experience: “What the fuck is this?!  So ’av you given up then?  You donkey!”
  4. Swimming is much more fun high. You definitely miss out on the whole amazing sensation of being completely immersed and suspended in a large body of warmish fluid when you’re not high.  Swimming with a clear head is just work.
  5. I’m not as moody. Throughout the training schedule I maintain a casual happy-go-lucky attitude despite all the usual aches and pains commonly associated with triathlon.  When I’m not high I will tend to dwell on (and bitch about) whatever it is that’s pissed me off that morning – be it a tweaked knee, tight calf, tight-fitting cycling jersey, or some moron in a Dodge Caravan that nearly ran me off the road.  Whatever it is I will definitely let you know about it.

Anti-Pot (Pro Au Naturel):

  1. My runs are more intense. Then is no denying it that I am more willing to push my thresholds a little harder and aggressively when I’m not also day-dreaming about rocking horse people and marshmallow pies, if you catch my drift.  I will focus more on the suffering but I can also work through it better too.
  2. I have better time management. I can get home, make and eat dinner before getting to the gym to get in my spin class, yoga session, or swim workout finished in time to get home again to prepare and pack tomorrow’s lunch and get the kettle going before Deadliest Warrior’ starts at 10:00pm.  When I’ve been smoking, I’m lucky to get to the gym by 10:00pm – period.
  3. Easier to control my diet. As I mentioned before, I’m more practical and simple when I prepare my meals sober.  It’s about getting in optimal fuel at that point, and not about satisfying a creative itch I read about in a lobby magazine somewhere.  Plus, there are no pot munchies to contend with and that’s definitely a good thing.  Now I can exercise better control when I begin to crave those little malted Easter eggs.
  4. I feel more alert. I don’t really feel better, per se, more like…aware.  I’m more keyed into my surroundings and what’s going on around me, which is always a good thing considering I usually run at night and often in poor conditions.  Of course, I’m probably equally aware of the throbbing ache in hamstrings as I am aware of the oblivious idiot behind the wheel of the minivan coming straight at me, but aware nonetheless.
  5. I sleep better. Let’s face it – rest is good.  I find I sleep much better when I haven’t been smoking weed.  More importantly, the sleep is more restful.  There is no 45 minutes of zoning out and watching the kaleidoscope behind your eyelids while listening to ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ for the zillionth time.  My resting heart rate is almost always lower on the morning after a good nights rest sans pot.  Go figure.

The after reward from el Gastronomo Vagabundo

So where do I go from here?  Has my training reached a fork in the road?  Am I ready, willing and able to fully commit to another drastic lifestyle change?  Hell no!  Definitely not yet!  “Definitely not…definitely not…” But I did learn that it’s no big deal one way or the other and the power in knowing that seems pretty advantageous…or so I keep telling myself.

P.S.> This has been my 9th post in 9 days.  “Booyah tri-bitches!”

  1. […] necessity but my average daily usage has definitely decreased.  There have definitely been pros and cons to this as I’ve discussed before but, overall, it has aided in my maintaining mental discipline […]

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