I’m Running The Sheffield Half-Marathon Tomorrow!

Sixteen years ago I ran the Sheffield half-marathon. I was twenty-five years old, fairly new to running and still a bit of a boozer. I ran the race in two hours and twelve minutes, which I was pretty pleased with considering that only a year before I couldn’t even run a mile.

shutterstock_218859526

Tomorrow, I am running the same race for a second time. I’m now forty-one years old but haven’t touched alcohol for six years and feel the fittest I’ve ever felt. Despite this, I was a bit worried that I might not stick at the training so I set up a Just Giving page to raise money for the Pink Ribbon Foundation, and I am so pleased that I did. Loads of people have sponsored me and their support has really pushed me when I’ve felt like giving up.

There are similarities in training for a race and quitting drinking, the most obvious to me is that by making yourself accountable you improve your chances massively at success. There’s also the fact that you’ve set yourself a challenge and, if you are anything like me, it’s way too disappointing to sack it off midway and just give up. Wasting all that effort, going through the initial pain for nothing, feeling such disappointment in yourself for not making it to the finishing line…all of those things act as motivating forces when times are tough and you’re tempted to throw the towel in.

Setting yourself a challenge like becoming alcohol-free or running a long way is also an effective means of proving to yourself that you can do whatever you put your mind to. Who says you’ll never manage to get sober? Who says you’re not fit enough to run thirteen miles? You can do whatever you want to if you put your mind to it, and achieving those goals is all the reinforcement of this message you’ll ever need.

Today I’m relaxing and eating lots of carbs, drinking loads of water, and getting myself ready for a pretty tough run tomorrow. In the morning, I’ll be thinking of all you amazing Soberistas who have supported me by donating money to the Pink Ribbon Foundation and using those happy thoughts to help power my legs up those Sheffield hills! Big thanks to all of you, Lucy xx

PS. A supporter of mine and of Soberistas has also been doing his bit for another charity by writing some brilliant books with his 9-year-old son – all proceeds of which go to the National Autistic Society. You can buy the books here.

Dare to Dream

Occasionally I experience the feeling that I am on the outside of my life looking in. Today was one of those days.

This morning with the baby sleeping upstairs, I spent a couple of hours working on the introduction to the book I have been writing (in conjunction with Sarah Turner of the Harrogate Sanctuary) and allowed myself, for the first time, to acknowledge the fact that we are now on the home stretch and therefore have pretty much written an entire book – a real life, full-length book that is one hundred per cent our creation. I couldn’t and still can’t quite believe it.

I have been banging on to anyone who would listen for years and years that I ‘am writing a book.’ There has always been one simmering on the backburner, a few chapters in the bag before I predictably stalled mid-way, never approaching completion – a multitude of never-ending projects for which I couldn’t quite muster the energy to make my way to THE END.

Wine glass. Broken.

I have made it this far with the book we have spent the last few months putting together as a result of sobering up; a) There would be no subject matter if I was still boozing, b) I would never have met Sarah, my brilliant writing partner, had I maintained my alcohol dependency, c) my creativity was completely sapped by alcohol back in the drinking days and d) I could never have squeezed a project this big and this important into my life amidst all those alcohol-fuelled nights.

So here we are, the last few weeks of work before the writing is finished, the editing done and the proof-reading complete. It feels like such an achievement, not least because this is something which I have been trying to do for almost twenty years. Finally, one of my all-time goals in life has (very nearly) been accomplished.

It just goes to show what you can do when you put down the bottle.