Not that running is/was a drug, or an addiction - for me, anyway. But it was definitely something that took priority for the last almost-five months. This past week and a half has been different - felt different. I guess that's what happens when one no longer has a marathon to train for (not complaining).
Reflections on a dry month
Following a house party involving a lot of scotch, I threw a bit of a fit one month out from the date of number five, and vowed to stay dry until marathon day. Amazingly, I actually did this... and it was a bit of an eye opener!
I would be out with friends, ordering water while they all ordered beer. Not surprisingly, I got bored the longer I stayed out. It's like "fun" is inversely related to "alcohol consumption". Again, not a surprise.
And yet... I felt better about my choices. True, I wasn't having the "good time" the same way my friends were. But I knew I would certainly feel better in the morning. There wouldn't be a two-day hangover in my future.
Don't get me wrong: I love a good drink. I drink beer, wine, scotch, vodka... you name it. I don't discriminate (well, except for fruity drinks - like, really?). But being teetotal for just over four weeks was more revelatory than expected. I had a beer the same night I'd finished number five, and have drunk plenty since - no more being dry for me - but I do think I have a different perspective on socially drinking now than I did before i.e. moderation? That's a good thing.
Something else in the way of "healthy living" also happened while I was training for number five. For years I was terrible at brown bagging my lunch. But somehow, with number five in the picture, I managed to create good lunch habits. I've been bringing salads for lunch most days, and even vary them up to keep things interesting - which, I realized, is actually the key with eating salad so often! I'm a huge foodie and love trying new restaurants and new dishes all the time, but at least at lunchtime I've been able to create a space where I don't have to worry about what I'm putting in my body because I know that it's food that is good for me. Hopefully, running or no, I'll be able to maintain that going forward.
Knee-d more painkillers
You may recall I had some trouble with my knee in the week leading up to number five (see blog posts here and here). Following the marathon, I thought my knee pain had miraculously disappeared! Sadly, I was
I gave my body a week or so to recover and heal, but sure enough: the knee pain was still there. Not that I was particularly surprised, but I went to a physiotherapist yesterday and it looks like I'll definitely need some rehab. Bad biomechanics! You are my nemesis! But, meh - what else am I gonna do? It's not like I'm running another marathon any time soon [wink].
I've been wanting to write a post about what this whole experience meant to me... running in memory of my dad, and rekindling my old goal to run five marathons because of that. Alas, I've been unable to find the words. When I locate them, I'll let y'all know.
All You Kneed Is Love, bitches! (Guess I'm not done with the knee puns just yet.)