This is the third September in a row that I’ve given up drinking. (Well… not all September – just until about 1:30ish on the last Sunday of the month). It’s a psychological thing to me; where the diet thing is physically about weight, giving up alcohol is a lifestyle sacrifice. Like most British males, I’m partial to a good booze-up once in a while… I’m sure we can all live with that and cycling folklore is rife with tales of top riders who occasionally get sh**faced. I’m sure the body can handle the pressure-valve stuff occasionally like that. With me though, it’s that ebbing-away home drinking that has turned into a bit of a crutch in recent years. Hard day at work and nothing beats a glass of red. Okay then – another glass. Or a Rum & Coke at not quite reached six o’clock on a Friday… it’s become a bit more regular than I’m 100% comfortable with, so an annual ride on the wagon is a good thing.
What happens each year about ten days or so into the abstinence, is an amazing upturn in the quality of sleep. It’s a familiar lag of ten days or so now each September… but the last two or three nights have been just amazing, deep, semi-comatose sleeps. It’s as if all the nasty toxins have cleared away and the body goes into some respite or something (I’m sure that’s not happening, but my layman’s take on it will have to do) – and deep, quality sleeps become the norm.
Of course, it might also be that this period in September does coincide with some heavier than normal training, but I’m sure the alcohol thing has something to do with it. Won’t be long now until crisp-dry mouth interiors wake me up again, as normal ‘just a medicinal one’ service resumes after the Three Peaks, but maybe… just maybe… I’ll set myself a few stricter rules on midweek drinking in particular after the Three Peaks is done for another year.