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Old 04-19-2013, 11:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Running and Sobriety

This Sunday I will be running a half marathon of which I have been preparing for these past three weeks. When I first started, I wasn't sure if I would be able to complete the race due to the difficulty I had when I initially began running. But, as I continued to run it became easier each time to the point that it began almost effortlessly. Of course, not drinking certainly helped too.

This is my first weekend sober I can possibly remember since I graduated from college. From the first moment when I realized I had an alcohol problem, I never believed that I could make it through a weekend not consuming alcohol. And, admittedly, I tried several times and always failed. But, as I kept stringing more and more sober days together I would continue to get closer to making it through the whole weekend sober. Just like with running, it got easier and easier every time.

I know this is going to sound stupid, but, I believe that running has saved my life. There is no way I would jeopardize my running by drinking. I love the way my life is now that I've come to accept that I can no longer consume alcohol. By running I have also learned that just because something is difficult to endure, doesn't mean it doesn't get easier with practice and patience. If I can remain sober for a weekend, then I can run a half marathon.

Wish me luck guys.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's great, Newhope. I have started running since I quit drinking 11 days ago. I hate it, but I am making myself do it. I know if I keep it up, I will start to like it, like I used to. Before I became an alcoholic (in my 20's), I ran 2 half-marathons, barely training either time, like you. It amazes me that I was able to do that, because now I can only go about a mile before I have to start walking. I blame that on the alchol and smoking (which I quit about 6 months ago).

It's great you found something to substitute for your drinking. Running does give that natural high. Good luck on Sunday
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Running is great. Great way of switching off, whipping up some positive chemicals to wash around the body.
Running didn't stop me drinking though, with careful time tabling I could drink plenty and run. In fact, when preparing for a marathon I did a 22 mile training run in the morning, on one occasion, and managed to drink 3.5 bottles of wine later in the day. What a way to rehydrate.
Many will say that exercise reduces anxiety and stress levels, which many people respond to with drink. I think that is correct. I found that training and running gave me a separate 'skeleton' for my life, something to look forward to other than drinking times, also.
I don't drink now and I cannot run too well due to injury, but I know keeping fit is a huge thing.
Well done and GOOD LUCK with the race!
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That's excellent keep up the good work. I really hope everything works out for you and hopefully I can have as much success
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Good luck NewHope!! You can do it, both the marathon and the sober life. I find if we truely believe in ourselves and make no excuse to pick up that first drink we can really do amazing things!!

Let us know how it goes! My sister and I walked/jogged a half marathon last fall, it was pretty awesome. The "high" you get when your done is the most amazing feeling never to be matched by alcohol or drugs!

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Old 04-20-2013, 07:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I know this is going to sound stupid, but, I believe that running has saved my life.

No, it doesn't. While it's not the solution for everyone, it gives you some positive to become focused on.

Running can be an important component of your recovery plan, and maybe the catalyst that got you sober. However, don't let it be the only part of your recovery plan. You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket, as the saying goes.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Newhope, I am glad to hear your preparations for the race are going well!

It sounds like you are excited about the race, and I remember that feeling well. In fact, I could never sleep very well the night before a race. But--this is very important--it doesn't make any difference. I always did fine in the races, as long as I was prepared. One race was in New Zealand, and I didn't sleep on the overnight flight to get there OR the night before the race, and I still survived even with TWO nights of almost no sleep.

The worst thing you can do when you can't sleep is worry about not sleeping. Just know that you'll want to get a good night's rest before the race, but your performance in the race depends more on your preparation and state of mind than exactly how many hours of sleep you get.

Now, go get 'em!

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Old 04-20-2013, 01:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Have FUN! My first half was a blast. An accomplishment that i am very proud of. I have my bib number framed. Hopefully, i get back to hitting the pavement soon.
I wish you the best run ever.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's awesome, I believe running has saved my life, but lets keep this in perspective. Running by no means will keep you sober, it's easy to have that mentality, I know I did. Two years ago after completing my second marathon just 2 weeks later I was sitting in a detox after almost 6 months of sobriety. So never forget the fact that you can't drink.

And once you get past the simple step of completing the half-marathon, start putting some real training time in and you might be able to post some nice times. Just finishing isn't enough after you have done it a few times.

Try Googling Todd Crandell, he has 20 yrs of sobriety and attributes his success to doing Ironmans.

Good Luck!!
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Be aware that it's not uncommon to feel post-race letdown. Don't be caught off-guard by those feelings if they happen and let them give you cause to pick up.

That said, good for you! Half marathon is an awesome achievement!
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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What a great post!

I wish you well in your half-marathon. Please let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I am a newbie runner and while I have not had a drink in several years, I absolutely love what running does for me. It helps me to feel strong, both mentally and physically. I have only done 5ks, and am in awe of the marathoners. I am constantly inspired by the people I meet at races. There are all walks of life and so many interesting stories of how people came to love this sport.

I am so excited for you!!! I know you will do well!

xo
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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running and sobriety are like peanut butter and jelly.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Good luck today newhope!
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for the kind words and support! I'm super excited and decided to already forgive myself for not being prepared enough. Forced myself to eat and now am regretting it because these butterflies are killing me. At this point, I just want to make sure that I get there on time.

My boyfriend will be coming to offer support and take photos of the event while I am running and is planning to try and capture a photo of me as I cross the finish line. My goal is to complete it in under 2 hours but I am not going to push it.

But these butterflies! Lol!
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Great posts! You guys make me want to quit smoking and take up running again, I used to go out for a jog every morning before everything went out the window. It was such a great way to release stress, daydream for inspiration, focus on the present... and, wow, that runner's high I so miss those jogs, this is my next challenge, I think

Good luck with your marathon!!
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mattcake View Post
Great posts! You guys make me want to quit smoking and take up running again, I used to go out for a jog every morning before everything went out the window. It was such a great way to release stress, daydream for inspiration, focus on the present... and, wow, that runner's high I so miss those jogs, this is my next challenge, I think

Good luck with your marathon!!
Quitting smoking was so worth it!
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:12 AM   #18 (permalink)
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newhope01--not silly at all! In 2007, I stopped drinking and started running. Hadn't run long distances before, and could barely eek out a couple of miles at the time.--did Houston Marathon in Jan 08 after six months hard training. My motto was....(in light of the Fray song that was so popular then....) "26.2--How to Save a Life"

I get it!
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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NewHope, I can't wait to hear how everything went! This is very exciting!
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:26 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I did it guys!! Never thought I could and wouldn't have been able to if I hadn't been able to maintain my sobriety. Runner camaraderie is nothing like I have ever seen before. Everyone was so kind and supportive.

The last two miles I actually believed I was going to die but then I heard the crowds cheering and thought, "if I can beat alcohol, I can run this last mile." And I did, as hard as I possibly could.

I finished at 2hrs and 25 minutes, but at least I finished.
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