I have been trying to run again.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to sign up for the Disney marathon, but common sense came in and I realized it is just not feasible. For one thing it is $150 just to sign up! Good heavens, if I am going to spend that kind of money I am going to buy some new clothes, not join a group of health crazed runners.
Secondly, the race is in Florida, the day before we are to leave for a cruise. The logistics of going from here to Orlando and then Orlando to San Juan were just not working out smoothly, so I am no longer signing up for the Disney marathon. But I still want to run. The thinking is that when I run I will get in shape pretty darn quick and I want to get in shape.
I did the Disney gig before, about twelve years ago. I was still drinking.
I can remember setting goals as I ran. Making deals with myself. If I can run for a whole mile without stopping I can have a beer when I get home. If I can finish three miles in less than forty minutes I can have a beer and a shot of tequila. My main ‘deal’ with myself was I HAD to go out everyday and do some running. The definition of some was variable. I got home and had the beer (beers) and the shot (shots) whether I ran well or not. If I ran well, I rewarded myself. If I ran poorly, I drowned my sorrows. Literally.
I ran in the forest preserve which required a short drive. There were times when I would get there, do the minimum three miles and then sit in the car for an hour or so and then go home. This way I could tell my husband that I went six, seven, eight or more miles. I would lie to my husband so I could drink. I plotted and planned to make my lies more believable so my drinking could continue unimpeded. Hindsight tells me my husband didn’t even take note of my drinking. It was all consuming to my life, not his.
I am sure you are not surprised to learn that when race day came around I was only capable of completing half the marathon, I barely ran any of it and I was in so much pain when it was over that it was evident my training was lacking. Again, I had lies about why I failed. The cold weather in Illinois prevented me from being able to run, a pulled muscle, a bout with the flu. Reality was, exercise was interfering with my drinking. I could not run well the day after drinking and I drank every day. I had to choose, drink or run. Drink won.
Today, I want to run again. My goals are different. Exercise everyday for forty days. Don’t eat desserts or candy or sugar on odd days. My main goal, the one I want the most, is to be able to run the 3.26 mile loop at the forest preserve in thirty minutes.
I go. I try and run. I get discouraged because I want this to be easy right away. There are so many days that I just can’t do it. Days when my body just says no. I can’t breathe. I have to pee. I am thirsty. My calves hurt. My hips ache. And my mind starts playing that old familiar tune. It says to me I am not a runner. My body is too old to run. I don’t have the will power to run. I am weak. I am a failure. It pretty much tells me I suck. Sometimes I hate my mind. Sometimes I jump on board and agree.
Sobriety came in baby steps. Days of gripping the kitchen counter crying because I couldn’t drink. Crying because it was my best and only friend and now it was gone. Screaming at the injustice. Why couldn’t I just be a normal drinker? Why wasn’t one enough for me?
I guess anything worth having, worth working towards, takes blood, sweat and tears. If I can muster up the strength to stop drinking it should be easy to muster up the strength to run. It should be easy to eat right. It should be easy to incorporate any discipline into my life at all. But it’s not. I struggle every day. But more than the struggle is the fact that I ran yesterday. I walked the day before, I logged ten days in a row. So I missed a day. Bottom line is I haven’t given up.
Bottom line is if I can give up life as I knew it. Life as a drinker. I can certainly, easily commit to running.