If I can…

During my second Dry January I regularly felt like writing down my findings and experiences and now I can share that with you fellow passers in this 40-day challenge, great fun!

Last year I participated in Dry January for the first time and it went well. It's just a shame that immediately afterwards, despite the fresh feeling and all the good intentions, I returned to the old familiar pattern with alcohol. Let me first describe that alcohol use: I can't manage 1 glass 'for fun'! I drink (or should I say: drank?) mainly specialty beers, a heavy Blond beer here, a Tripel there, isn't it delicious? During cooking 1 or 2 glasses, during dinner another and in the evening 1 or 2, because 'you sleep so well on that'. During a good dinner in a restaurant a suitable wine arrangement, with five courses (if I did not have to drive) quickly 5 to 6 glasses, delicious right? Or not?

Not unimportant, I have been a fanatic runner for 3 years now. Not as hard as the fast men and women who lead the way in competitions, but just as fanatical. I train at least 3, but if time permits even 5 to 6 times a week, a total of about 2500 kilometers per year. Interval training, short and long runs, I like it all equally. Now the case that sports and alcohol consumption are not friends, everyone understands that. As long as you don't know any better, you think it's all going to be okay, at most you'll have a little more discomfort while running after an evening of Belgian bollekes, but you take that for granted.

Until you go 'dry' for a month and only drink water, coffee, (ginger) tea, tomato-vegetable juice and the occasional 0% IPA. After a few days of withdrawal I slept much better, I woke up refreshed, had a clear head all day and my running workouts suddenly went so easy that I really thought I was running too few miles or going too slow. But no, my Polar sports watch confirmed my feeling. My lowest daytime heart rate went from an average of 73 to 62, and my resting heart rate during sleep dropped by a whopping 13 beats to 53 on average, in just 1 month. Such a sports watch really keeps track of everything, even your sleep rhythm, amount of light, deep and REM sleep and breathing rate, and that too would have been significantly improved without alcohol. In other words, my feeling was solidly confirmed by objective measurements. Running a half marathon without further preparation tomorrow, chatting well within 2 hours? Easy! Six months ago I would not have dared to dream.

That wonderful feeling, plus Petra Moes' story during the zoom meeting on January 19 and the blogs and items in the daily IkPas newsletters, made me decide to participate in the 40-day challenge. In fact, I'm considering following Petra and only drinking 0% drinks from now on. Last year it felt like denying yourself something delicious for a month. Now it feels wonderful, continuously fresh and clear, sleeping wonderfully well, enormous progress in the sporting field, not having to think about whether I still have to drive, etc. Rob Bovens' lecture was also very enlightening! Did you miss that? Click here to watch it back on YouTube.

Want to save on your expenses quickly and easily? Take that into account… with my former beer consumption, that was quite expensive, even with a bonus benefit quickly € 55,- per week = at least € 2,900,- on an annual basis. I rewarded myself with a pair of new running shoes and shirts from the savings during Dry January 2021, BAM I already earned them!

I hope you enjoy 0% as much as I do and complete this challenge! Believe me, if I can do it… 😊


More about Roy

Born in Amsterdam in 1965, listening to the name Roy and living since 2004 in a beautiful old house in beautiful Giessenburg with my wife Jeanette, that's me. As hobbies I always had cooking, hiking/hiking, photography and since 3 years I am 'addicted' to running. The first hobby added up with the last one has earned me the nickname Running Chef Roy, an alias I also use on Insta, click here if you want to see what I put on the table and how fast (or slow) I run. Not that I can compete with real chefs or real athletes, but a nickname like that sounds nice, doesn't it?

At the moment I am, as it is so nicely called, 'in between jobs', looking for a nice new job as Category Manager or Purchaser. A nice side effect of not having a job for a while is that I do have some extra time to spend on running, but when I have found a new challenge, I am determined to continue those running hours, although it will be a bit more often. arrive in the evening.

I don't know any better than that alcohol is part of it, a beer after exercise, a glass of wine while cooking and with dinner and during holidays and weekends also during lunch and even in between. And as a previous blogger wrote in January, 'you can't walk on one leg' so do another one and another one etc. I was happy to read that I'm not the only one who has a hard time keeping pace.

Until recently there are 2 drinks that I could enjoy immensely, namely heavy beer such as heavy Blond or Tripel and wine, the latter with a preference for the Spanish variants.

Last year I also participated in 'Dry January' and it went well, but after that I just as easily fell back into my old familiar rhythm. And in December I decided to do things differently. 0% in January and afterwards very consciously and very moderately enjoying a good glass seemed to me a great challenge for 2021 and beyond. And now I've gone one step further and I've decided to raise the bar a bit and also participate in the 40-day challenge and I'm honored to write a blog for it every now and then.

Where it is apparently extra difficult for some not to drink due to the corona crisis, I am looking forward to the coming period. No parties, no cozy gatherings with friends, unfortunately no family gatherings either, so the temptation to toast with a glass of beer or wine is virtually non-existent and that may make it a bit easier not to drink alcohol. My wife joins me in the fun, which helps, of course. In the coming weeks I will keep track of how I like it, whether it is really as easy as I think now and of course what differences I experience, both mentally and physically. I have now amply experienced the benefits of a month 'without', that is very motivating, but more about that later!



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