It’s hard to believe we are getting towards the end of February. Almost 2 months without a drink. At this stage I can report that I don’t really feel much different. Why bother then you might ask, if you feel the same it’s not making a difference. I don’t really know how I expected to feel but I’m pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to live without alcohol. I’ve been out, seen friends, stayed out past 2am just drinking soda water and it’s all been fab.
Right now it’s all about the marathon. With 7 weeks to go until the big day a lot of my time is spent running, stretching, worrying about things that hurt (but are also probably largely in my imagination) and rather wonderfully eating everything I can get my hands on. All in the name of carb loading of course. I’ve done this a couple of times before and whilst I never totally abstained, I always dramatically reduced the booze during the 4-month training plan. It’s hard enough as it is and I don’t need the added hassle of feeling dehydrated. For those of you that know about my London Marathon disaster you’ll probably been keen for me to avoid dehydration as well ….
I’ve decided to raise money for Mind this year. It’s always hard to choose a charity as there are so many incredible causes out there. I pick a different one each year but always something that I can relate closely too, I find that helps me get through the training and gives me a focus on the day when things are getting tough. I’ve been aware of Mind for many years now but recently I’ve been surprised at how many of those close to me have struggled, or are struggling with mental health problems. It’s incredibly hard for people to talk openly because of the stigma still associated with mental health which means many people never ask for help.
The marathon is a crazy thing that demands a lot of mental strength. I’ve previously really struggled with my brain telling me to stop running, saying it’s had enough, even when I still have miles left to go. I’ve always found it hard not to listen to it. I usually write ‘Shut up brain’ and ‘you can do it’ on my arm with a sharpie before a race! Now I choose to do the marathon, I could opt out if I want and nothing bad would happen. Imagine fighting against your brain every day, in normal life, where opting out might mean opting out of life altogether. To be honest I can’t even begin to imagine.
This year I’m not going to nag for sponsorship money – well maybe a tiny bit…. www.justgiving.com/hannah-methven2 😉 Instead I want people to just think about the charity I am raising funds for. To be thankful for the good things that we have and be conscious that others might be fighting battles we have no idea about. To assume a little less and to take more time to listen to people, or just let them know you’ll be there for them when they need it.
Thanks in advance for listening to me moan about how achy my legs are, wang on about training runs or bore you to death about mile splits, I promise I won’t do this again next year*
*I cannot actually promise that…it’s kind of addictive!