Day 14. I always feel better when …

today begins day 14 of Dry July.  i do love a (nearly) half-way point.  even in running, on a long run i love the ‘turn around point’ because then it’s all downhill in my mind. in the second half, i don’t have to check my watch, i just run until i’m home again.  the second half is sooo much faster than the first half.

running and being sober. hmm, similarities?

  • when running, especially on long runs, i often feel like a bag of shit for the first 20-3o minutes, and i now know that’s normal. i know to just keep going through the crappy part and then it’ll feel better
  • never quit during those first 20-30 minutes, just wait for it to feel better.  it always does.
  • i don’t always feel like going for a run but i always feel better when it’s over
  • some runs give me that amazing runners high, and some don’t. can’t tell which will be the ‘good’ days. just have to do them all.
  • always feel better on the days when i run than the days when i don’t
  • i eat less on running days than other days (hmm…)
  • listening to This American Life on my tiny shuffle can pass the longest hour, running uphill, in the cold pouring rain. (i should use this diversion more often in real life)
  • if I start with walk 2, run 2, eventually i can do a marathon (i started sobriety with 2 days on, 2 days off, then worked up to a week off, 2 days on.  now i’m doing 30 days off.  i guess my marathon is coming up!) i know this analogy won’t work for everyone, super problem drinkers probably can’t practice being sober.  i could. i’m one of the lucky ones.
  • during a marathon, i will be looking around on the side of the road for a place to puke (i won’t puke, but i’ll feel like it) … but once i cross the finish line, i will be soooo elated; i slept that night for 12 hrs and I was on a super-big-high that lasted two weeks, and it truly changes your life and changes your belief in yourself and what you CAN achieve


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I love the analogy between running and being sober.
    I took up running about 3 months into my attempts at sobriety and found it helped with my antsy feelings.
    Now I’m further in ( well belle may disagree (!) )… I always think that my running still has a lot of parallels to sobriety. I learn to listen to my body; I can only focus on each step; I can focus on my struggles or I can choose to look at my surroundings; I’ve been amazed that I can run a long way… but it’s only because I put one foot in front of the other; I need to take rest days; I need to learn from other runners how to do it; it doesn’t always feel great but it’s always worth it and I’m glad at the end; the beginning is ALWAYS the hardest; the sense of personal achievement is huge and I’m learning that I actually don’t care what other runners are doing… I’m doing it for me ( so really how much sobriety others have; their reasons for not drinking are not relevant to my own journey UNLESS I can focus on the similarities).
    Love this post

  • I am so, so glad I read this. Your story resonates so well with me. No bottom, no drunkenness, just 3-4 glasses every day, and I’m tired of thinking about it. I’ve been a runner for years, and this post just hit home. Thank you!

  • Oh Belle – I can relate entirely. I have just done 14 kms this am – it took me nearly 2 hours so nothing great. But I can relate to everything you say. I have never been a sporty person so at age 44 or so when I did my first half marathon I felt like a superstar and you are right it gave me such confidence in my abilities that I had never had before. And as you say there are great parallels with sobriety. Aren’t we all pleased this morning we did not drink last night – no matter how hard that might have been at the time? Well done on Day 14!

    • love this, thanks cleo. i started running in 2000 while i was still smoking (!) and i was definitely not a sporty person. but in my ‘learn to run’ program, every week i experienced a new Personal Best (ran 8 minutes, ran 10, ran 12). During this Dry July, i’m also having a new personal best EVERY DAY. Day 14? never been here before. absolutely never been here once in 25 years (started having one cider in the evening after work in 1987)… Personal Bests, no matter what their form, ROCK : )

      ps. Cleo, the link to your domain name is missing a period, so the link doesn’t work (i can find you but maybe others can’t).

      pps. sooo glad there are others awake in the UK and Australia/New Zealand … living in europe often means i’m up when everyone back home is sleeping, and it can be lonely …

  • the hardest part of (sobriety) is starting : ) feel better when doing it, don’t always love it …

    don’t admire my marathon status too much, it took me 7 hrs 5 minutes to cross the finish line. old men, 400 pound women and moms with strollers can run faster than i can. i’m painfully slow. doesn’t matter. i’m happy doing it : )

  • Congratulations on Day 14, Belle!
    There seems to be a real link between not drinking and running. I don’t love exercise, but like you i feel better for doing it. I love it when I’m doing it, the hardest part is starting.
    I am in awe of your marathon status.