There’s now less than 50 days to go until the London Marathon. I thought by now I’d have this training thing totally nailed. But – I haven’t. With just one long run in the last 2 weeks, I’m panicking a bit. After the last blog I had a surge of enthusiasm and cracked on with my training, and everything was going great for a time.
Then, after I ran my longest EVER run of 10.5 miles 2 weeks ago, I just stopped running. Why? Life got in the way. Sounds like a poor excuse, right? And in some ways, it really is. On top of work and personal commitments, I found myself with a flurry of social events to attend. I’m not complaining about this, I know just how lucky I am to be in a position to go to things like premieres, awards ceremonies etc… It comes with the job territory and it really is a privilege. However, with the opening of an envelope, there occurs a common theme – FREE BOOZE.
Saying no is something I struggle with on a daily basis, booze related or not. I find it hard to say no to any kind of invitation, or favour asked of me, even if it infringes upon or serves as a detriment to plans already made.
The problem is, I’m too bloody grateful for everything I have. Friends, family, luxuries, work related glamorous events, the list goes on. Taking time out to assess what is good for my soul is the problem here. I beat myself up if I can’t meet a friend I haven’t seen in ages because our diaries clash. I feel guilt if an invitation is declined based on the fact that actually, a night in on the sofa appeals more. And right now, I’m chastising myself for not working as hard at marathon training simply because I couldn’t say no to several cocktails/wine/shots…..
I do love a drink. This is a well known fact. I don’t have a problem with alcohol, but I can drink most men under the table and consider wine to be one of my five a day. I mean, GRAPES, right?
Seriously though, it’s something I’ve been thinking about cutting back on for a while now. Particularly following my failure to do much in the way of training lately. Even if I have just 1 or 2 glasses of wine in the evening, I wake up the next morning feeling sluggish, demotivated, and highly unlikely to want to go on a long run. It’s totally my own fault. After all, no one held me down and forced that 5th Margarita down my neck. Nobody put my hands behind my back and drip fed me shots of Patron. It’s all my own doing. Could these events have been attended, enjoyed and digested with less booze, a clearer mind and an earlier bedtime? YES. Damn straight they could. Were they? Errr, no.
They were attended with all the bounding enthusiasm of a first year University student in Freshers Week, complete with chants of ‘just one more shot!’, a late night burger stop, and finished with a heady cocktail of Alka Seltzer, Nurofen and regret the next morning.
I just want to be able to spring out of bed like a jack in a box, with the bounce of Tigger, and the steely determination that I SHOULD have, ahead of preparing to run a marathon. Genuinely, I believe in that case, alcohol is absolutely not my friend. I might love the bottle, but it certainly doesn’t love me. So, something has to give. *takes deep breath *
I’m quitting booze for 50 days. Yep.
You heard that right.
This wine guzzling, fizz loving, party animal is taking a break. And – I’m genuinely excited about it.
My last proper night out was almost a week ago. It was the launch party of a new LGBT magazine called HISKIND at Shoreditch House and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. Definitely a way to (temporarily) end the party. Since then, I’ve been positively angelic. So far, so good. I managed to have a sober Saturday night, even driving to dinner and back so as to avoid temptation. An Espresso Martini was bought for me. I passed it straight to my boyfriend, along with the shot that was also coming my way. He didn’t seem to mind too much.
Yesterday, I spent the whole day helping him move house, when usually, I’d be in the pub starting with a Bloody Mary and ending with a tummy full of Roast dinner, cheese and red wine. We still had the Roast, but toasted it with a cup of tea and an episode of Legion. (finished the OA last week, it’s the new obsession!)
Finding the right excuse to say no to booze, it seems, is key. Training for a marathon is a pretty damn good one. Sticking to it will be a challenge, but right now, with just 7 weeks until the big day, I’m in the last chance saloon. My training has been sporadic at best, non existent at worst. Spits and spurts of ‘good’ weeks, followed by random patches of ‘bad’ weeks. If I can just be consistently good for the next 7 weeks, there’s a chance I might actually complete the marathon. That’s all I want to do. Get around the course and survive.
Cutting back on drinking really has been a long time coming. I’ve never even had more than 7 days off the booze ever since I had my first Archers and Lemonade, as a teenager at a house party. Retro. Of course it won’t be easy. There will be times I’ll gaze longingly at a bottle of Red, or want to guzzle a glut of Gin and Tonic, but I’ll just have to have something else. I tried alcohol free beer. It looked promising, but tasted utterly FOUL. It was like the manufacturers had replaced the hops with gone off honey. Sweet, artificial tasting and NOTHING LIKE BEER. Apparently it’s ‘award winning’. Award winningly awful.
Something else I did this past weekend was buy the trainers in which I’ll run the marathon. They’re super comfy, well made, have plenty of gel in to support my feet but…..they then HURT LIKE HELL during my first run to break them in. I literally wanted to cry. I thought I’d break them in with a 10k this morning. It took me an hour, with several stops, partly because the balls of my feet were BURNING. On top of this, the t shirt I wore rubbed my sides, causing some lovely, sore, red welts to appear on my skin. Thank GOD it was sunny. Every cloud eh?
So, that’s the latest from me. I really hope next time I can update you with lots of positive stuff. If I have to quit alcohol to focus on the marathon, the least I expect in return is a clear mind, improved fitness levels and more motivation. I also want beautifully clear skin, less bags around my eyes and if I could lose a few pounds too that’d be ace. Although, the likelihood is, I’ll replace booze with EVEN MORE CHEESE so that last one might be a non starter.
And one last thing. This is the most important part.
I’m running the London Marathon on behalf of Globals Make Some Noise, a wonderful charity which I’m very lucky to be an Ambassador of, and they help disadvantaged kids. I would be SO grateful if you could donate anything at all to help them, and so would they. It’s #charitytuesday after all. Click here to donate.
Love, Lucy xxx