Sober Marathon

26 Dec

Alot of posting at the moment, and it’s helping.

Today’s thought’s are on the parallels between running and sobriety, which strike me so frequently.

This morning I’ve realised that that through slipping up and drinking, I haven’t failed, or lost, I’ve just had a blip. I’m a little Sober-Tiara-Wearing-Badass-In-Training, working towards a sober marathon.

When I first started running 8 years ago, did I lace up my shoes and knock out 26 miles, just like that? NO. I struggled along, one mile at a time, taking years to build up my fitness and courage to tackle the big distance. Today I ran up a hill near my parents house that used to terrify me, but it fact, it’s more of a slight incline than a hill. My perspective on the size of that “hill” has changed through persistence and practice, doing the same thing over and over again: putting one foot in front of another.

And when you do that, you make great progress. This year, I ran a marathon in San Francisco which is, excuse my French, a hilly fucker. Achieved something I never thought was possible. And I did it because I’ve kept my running consistent and worked towards a big goal, taking confidence from my training and previous races.

It feels like this year has been a series of short distance sobriety sprints. I did a 10k in August (25 days), a 5k in September (12 days) and a half marathon in November and December (41 days) with lots of training sober sprints in between. Even though I’ve slipped up, I haven’t unlearnt what I learnt then about sobriety, about how to practice self care and how brilliant sobriety is.

Like with running, I’m working towards a bigger better goal every time I lace up my sober sneakers. Sober marathon here I come 🙂

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7 Responses to “Sober Marathon”

  1. primrosep December 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Crikey, yes. So many parallels between sobriety and running. Can I share one of my own with you?

    I started running about 3 years ago and after I got past the first 5k and started increasing to 10k and beyond, I got really hung up on the fact that running was still HARD. Surely, as I trained for longer and harder, it should get easier?

    Then I cottoned on to what I call ‘the perceived exertion factor’. As I trained, I was always running to a certain level of perceived exertion, so I was nearly but not quite out of breath, my legs were aching but not unbearably. So it still felt exactly as hard. And that’s what I focused on, and ignored the fact that I was running further and faster. This realisation really helped me not to give up on running, and also has helped on the sober journey too. Where your perceived exertion levels rise, such as when you are in a unfamiliar environment, it means you are breaking new barriers. And that’s amazing.

    To summarise – just because it still feels hard, doesn’t mean it ain’t getting easier!

    Keep lacing up those trainers! xx

    • FitFatFood December 26, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      This is brilliant- love the perceived levels of exertion. Maybe because I’ve just done 6 straight weeks the next stretch will feel easier.

      • primrosep December 27, 2013 at 7:31 am #

        I’m positive your next stretch won’t be as difficult as your first days. Your sober muscles are so much stronger now.

  2. happierlikethis December 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Nothing can be unlearned; I like that.

  3. lucy2610 December 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Is it me or are a large number of sober bloggers runners? I’m a runner too, went this morning and did the less ‘hilly f*cker’ London marathon 2 years ago. I’m also running right along side you on this sober marathon too 🙂

    • FitFatFood December 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

      We do tend to love our running- maybe because you’ve got to be pretty determined to put yourself through the hell of functioning with a drinking problem.

      We like the runners high too 🙂

  4. Joan B. December 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Excellent! Wonderful analogy! You go, girl!

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