Running Party Girl

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This past Saturday, I logged 12 miles total; 4 miles of walking, and 8 miles of running.
I started the day with a 1.5 mile walk to my favorite paved running trail. It felt awesome to get out in the sunshine and give my legs a good stretch.

I met my friend Michelle, who wanted to join me for the first 3 miles. 
I ran my fastest mile this season in 9:17.  We ran to the turn around point, at which we stopped to stretch for a moment.  It felt like death.  It took everything in me not to lose my breakfast on the trail side.  Too hard, too fast.  I took the last half back to the trail start nice and easy as I questioned why I was feeling so rough on such a beautiful day.

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After Michelle headed home, I walked a half mile around the park, as my friend Kristine came to join me.

My stomach  was still feeling pretty gross when Kristine arrived, so we decided to start out walking together and ease into the run.  We walked a little over a mile, and sat in the grass to stretch for a several minutes.  I still wasn’t feeling 100%, and Kristine suggested running intervals of 2 minutes jogging, 1 minute walking.  We managed to knock out a full five miles doing so, keeping just under a 12 minute mile pace throughout; thanks to the walking recoveries giving speed to our jogging pace.

With about a mile to go, still feeling rough, I started to think about the goals that lay ahead of me this summer.  New race distances to conquer, goal weight to meet, and several fitness challenges I plan to rock. 

While I struggled through the last mile, sick to my stomach and praising for each minute of walking, I thought about the first eight days of my 28th year and how much conflict they had been creating for my desired goal reaching. 

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Too many trips to the bar in those first 8 days of my 28th year.  
Too few good decisions to put my health first.
Too many adult beverages consumed. 
Too few hours of sleep logged in my bed. 
Too few decisions made for my benefit and too many made because I liked flirting with boys. 

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It’s no secret that I like an adult beverage every now and again, but as I made my painful way through the last mile of that run, exhausted, I knew I have been overdoing it for all the wrong reasons.  

Because a boy was buying me drinks.
Because I was reacting to something hurtful I read, and I wanted the pain to go away.
Because the attention I was receiving was leading me to a happier place.
Because there was a reason to celebrate, and another, and another.
Because I could.

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I wasn’t going out for one drink, or having a couple of glasses of wine with dinner – I was drinking a lot more than I normally would on a “school night” and I was staying out way past my bed time several nights in a row, leaving me cranky and easy frustrated the next day at work.  While some people can manage this rock star type lifestyle, I am not one of them.  After a week of trying to be the party girl, struggling through each 2 minutes of running, I knew I needed to make a drastic change. 

After we finished our run, I walked home to cool down.  
Crossing the bridge I knew it was time to set a firm goal for myself.  No drinking until my trip to Texas at the end of the month.  I’m not one to usually set goals of “none,” but as I caught myself drinking for reasons I thought I was previously strong enough to stand up to [because a boy says I’m pretty?  REALLY, Heather?!?!] I knew I needed something more definite this time around to help me stand firm in my desires. 

I want to reach the goals I’ve set for this year.  I want to do good work, and be prepared to produce and create. I want to work my way through healing, not run away from it to a bar stool down the road.  I want to take care of myself, my body and my heart.

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No drinking until Texas. [May 28]
Hold me to it, okay?

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10 thoughts on “Running Party Girl

  1. Jenni Warren

    I’m so proud of reading things like this. I love when people make self-discoveries that show they are mature and intelligent. I’m in college, and I have made a similar goal this summer. Last summer I partied way too much (because guys thought I was more fun). This summer, I am approaching my life from a healthier perspective (I want to stay on track so I can run my first half-marathon in October). I love when the blogs I follow are going through similar tracks in life. Good luck!
    -Jenni
    Jenni Warren recently posted..May 9- 2011

  2. brandi

    I love this, Heather. good for you for figuring out what you need (and want!) to do to feel better and take better care of yourself!

  3. Corey @ the runner's cookie

    You can do this, Heather! That is one of the many reasons I love running – it faces you head on with honesty about how you’ve been treating your body. Good for you for stopping yourself only 8 days into your 28th year to reevaluate what you’re doing to get toward your goals. I know you have the strength and determination to get back on track!
    Corey @ the runner’s cookie recently posted..Talking about Injury

  4. Rachel

    I so admire your openness and honesy, both with yourself, and with your readers.

    I myself have been thinking of taking a month off from drinking. Between visiting friends, a bachelorette party, and a wedding this weekend, April and May have involved a little too much partying for me. Good luck with your resolution!

  5. Jen

    You can do it! I made it from New Year’s Eve (for a resolution) through St. Patrick’s Day a couple years ago and really felt great!

  6. Kristin

    Good for you! And good luck! My husband had to give up drinking alcohol for 3 months for medical reasons. To be a supportive wife I decided to do it too. It actually made it a lot easier for me to lose weight. I also noticed my skin looked better and slept better all this and I didn’t even think I drank that much. It also put a whole new perspective on drinking. I realized that I don’t really NEED that glass of wine at the end of the day. And ONE beer out with friends is just fine and dandy. I’ll be interested in hearing how it all goes for you. You can do it!

  7. Ashley @ the fit academic

    You can do it! Great post – I’ve had a similar thing going on lately, too! It’s good to be reminded what our REAL priorities are in life. And I’m going to Texas right around that same time (I’m going on the 24th). Crazy!
    Ashley @ the fit academic recently posted..WIAW

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