It has been a long two weeks without alcohol, but I made it. I even got to a friend’s house once with a bottle of wine in the car, but left it in the car, unopened, thanks to you, gentle reader. Meanwhile, I’ve been paying attention to what situations make me want a drink – seafood calls for white wine, some Italian foods need red, and I love a beer on the patio in the summertime. So usually, my brain is doing something aesthetic or associative. But stressful conversations definitely make me want to self-medicate (which was why I set out for my friend’s house well provisioned on this particular occasion). And what made me really whiny was feeling like I was depriving myself.
The payoff from abstaining was that I lost about a pound and a half and ended a month-long stall. So maybe it’s time to look at that glass of wine as a treat instead of a beverage. Meanwhile, I have kept up the focus on whole grains and beans instead of refined white-flour foods. It’s a little harder to swallow, but I’m also trying to look at a tortilla as a treat instead of a go-to meal solution. (Why does calling it a wrap make anything you throw inside seem more appealing?)
One of the most noteworthy moments this week happened when I got my kid an ice cream at the end of a hot day. I love the fact that he stops eating when he’s full – he always tells me when he’s had enough, even if it’s a sweet treat. This time he wanted to put it in the garbage himself, so it took a minute for us to walk over to the can without spilling. And halfway there, I realized that not only did I not order one for myself, but I had no urge to eat my kid’s leftover ice cream. Wow.
What I’m most excited about, though, is running. I am really starting to see myself as a runner. I ventured into MEC and a Running Room store in person, and no one kicked me out. I bought myself a hydration belt (and learned that’s what they’re called) – since I’m running longer and not always starting from home, my need for water outweighs my loathing for any belt-like device that will accentuate my gut. I have attended my new weekly trail running class twice now, and have run 47 minutes and 61 minutes. For someone who previously ran half an hour max, that’s huge. And I’ve never been the slowest person in the class.
Since I have my first race coming up one month from today (eeek!), I am trying to focus my runs on training for that. I’m calling my weekly running clinic a long slow distance run, and I’m adding to that one hill run each week, plus one “regular” run. And for both of those I am upping the time by one minute each run, so for example my next run will be 35 minutes long. I also take the stairs to the 18th floor (without stopping!) whenever I go in to the office, about once a week. But I don’t seem to be able to manage four runs per week. Any further training advice, especially about how to structure hill runs, would be much appreciated.
I’m afraid I may have bitten off more than I can chew for this particular race. I’m more nervous now about the terrain and elevation gain than the length. I’m in the process of finding out whether I can pre-run the course, but unfortunately the folks at Camp Fortune were not as helpful as I hoped they would be. I agreed to do this because you are allowed to walk the entire course, but if the walk is actually quite a hike, I am not sure how much running I will actually be able to do! My only goal is to finish. Without getting hurt.
Looking ahead, this weekend brings a visit from my oldest friend, and the next weekend we’ll be leaving to visit my family in North Carolina (who are already driving me crazy). Both visits will bring lots of temptation to overindulge. The one smart thing I planned was a few days at my parents’ cabin in the mountains alone with my husband and son. Running at my parents’ house is going to be a challenge due to the heat, but running at the cabin should be a great opportunity for beautiful scenery and big hills.
When I see you back here in four weeks, it will be almost time for my first race! Yikes! So my #1 goal til then is to keep up with my runs . . . and maybe even do four while on holiday.