I am not a beer runner anymore...

This weekend is the Utica Boilermaker road race. The 15K is one of the best around! I have ran this race twice.  In the past I have included brewery tours with the race’s biggest sponsor, Saranac Brewing Company.

This race is all about running and beer. Running and beer. There is free beer after the race (and I’m not talking about this “here’s your free 8 oz cup of beer”…this is pretty much unlimited free beer) and one hell of a party. Along the demanding course are spectators galore, many of which have…you guessed it…beer!! This was MY kind of race!! Running and beer.
My 1st Boilermaker Race!
The weather is always hot and humid and running through under the fire truck spraying water is one of the best feelings you will experience.  But the heat doesn’t bother you…and neither do the hills…because, running and beer.

You see people with signs…”The beer is near!” or “5 miles to beer” and my personal favorite “hurry up, the beer is almost gone!” The last year I ran it I even wore my “beer bitch” t-shirt and it was a hit!!

My 1st 1/2 Marathon in Philadelphia!
I didn’t know then that it would probably be the last time I ran that race.

I didn’t know then that I would describe myself as an alcoholic.

I didn’t know then that I would be working on my sobriety every. single. day.   

I’ve been running again recently and let me tell you, it feels GREAT!! For the first time in a long time I feel alive again. I’m not going to lie…it still sucks. Especially being heavy again and running (If I have two black eyes, no my husband does not beat me, I’m just a big booby runner ;) and especially because I remember how easy running used to come to me and how I could actually run a mile straight. BUT…I will get back to where I was, all in time & work.

But one thing I used to love…going for a run and enjoy a nice cold beer afterwards. There was nothing more satisfying then going for a run on a hot summer evening and then getting back to the house and cracking open an IPA. Jesus…I’m getting all bothered just by writing this, LOL!!

I loved beer and running SO much!! Beer and running was ME…it was part of who I was. For those of you who are new to reading here or just don’t remember, I was even named one of Draft magazines Top 12 Beer Runners in 2011 to watch.

My 1st Marathon in Corning, NY!
But I am not a beer runner anymore.

And this is something that has been the hardest to come to terms with since I’ve begun my sobriety. I am around beer every day (my husband still drinks) and it doesn’t bother me to pick him up beer while I’m out (well, sometimes but not usually) and I can even sit at a bar with him and nurse a diet soda without it getting to me (most of the time). But ever since I started running again I have to admit that my cravings for a beer afterwards have been fierce!!

Why?? Because I was a beer runner and a part of me still is. That will never die. But I know that I’m not the type of person anymore who can just enjoy a beer or two after a run anymore.

I am not a beer runner anymore.

Right now I don’t think I will ever be able to run the boilermaker again which is sad. And yes, I know that you don’t HAVE to drink beer and do the race, but that is what that race meant to me and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. I don’t think that I could do it any other way. I may have had to let go of some things since sobriety, but the things I am doing and receiving in return are so much better.

So I have put away my beer bitch shirt...I have passed my "My Indian name is Run's with Beer" shirt onto The Frank...My pint glass now hold's an amber color of ice tea...
It feels like a part of me has died, but maybe that is OK. I will always be grateful for all the good times that being a beer runner brought me and especially for all the amazing people I have connected with in the process. 

I want to wish all of my friends running the Boilermaker race this weekend the best of luck!!

And drink a beer for my former beer runner self. *cheers*

I will never be a birth parent...

This is a post that has been in the works for months. I think I have about 113 different drafts worked up. I would get ready to post one but then something would happen, whether it was personally or in general society, and it just wouldn’t seem like the right or appropriate time.
I will never be a birth mom. I will never have someone call me “mom” and know those words in their 100% true form.
And that is OK.
I had already kind of made that decision when I was very young. Sure, like most little girl’s I enjoyed playing with baby dolls and actually began babysitting when I was only 9 or 10 years old (I matured very, very quickly…both physically & mentally). But it didn’t take me long to realize that having children just might not be in my cards.
Then Mother Nature pretty much sealed the deal for me. I’ve struggled with endometriosis since I was a teenager. I even was even lucky enough to go through 7 months of treatment that put my body into menopause…I was 23…23 and in menopause =’s NO FUN!! There are also a few other “female plumbing” issues that would make giving birth to a child not just very difficult but also threatening to myself and any child that I may possibly try to carry.
And to be 100% honest…I find it extremely selfish to try and bring a child into this world knowing that it could possibly kill/hurt me or them. It is not a risk I am willing to take.
So I am not doing it.
Why else? Because, well, I AM selfish!! I like my time. I like my space. I’m an only child and I don’t always play well with others. I like to do things on my time and at my will. I mean, that’s not ALWAYS the case but it’s certainly a nice luxury that I know a lot of my friends with young children do not have. Also it is not something that financially could fit into our life. My husband and I struggle to just keep a roof over our heads. My debt from college (and credit cards when I was younger) is something that will go with me to the grave…hell, I can’t even have a bank account…so I have nothing to offer in the future in terms of financial assistance when times like college, marriage and all of what may arise.
I know that money and selflessness are not the primary traits of what makes a person a good parent…a good mother. LOVE is. And I do have lots of that. I love to take care of people. Sometimes too much. I have a very big heart and I am a very nurturing person. I am a great listener and I’d like to think that I would have a lot of great qualities as a mother. And I would be lying if I said that I never thought at times that it would be nice to have a child of our own with whom I could give all that love and nurturing to. It’s a thought that comes…and goes very quickly.
Another major factor for me…my husband is 44 years old. He doesn’t want to be the type of father that can’t play with his children and I don’t blame him for that. Though he has always said that if I wanted to (this was before we learned about all of the difficulties that could happen) that he would be on board. I’m 30 years old now and this was a conversation we had many, many years ago. My stance has not changed and neither has his. But, he has an amazing son already.
I am a stepmother. And I love my stepson with all of my heart. I would move mountains for that kid (who will be 16 this year…EEK!!). The love that we share is plenty enough to fill that “child role” in my heart. I don’t have to be his biological mother to have a mothers love for him.
Months ago I had asked a handful of my friends, in real life and online, if I could share a few pictures of their new babies for this post. But Jesus Christ…you guys all keep going and getting yourselves knocked up!! So I have decided to forgo including them so no one feels left out or unloved. Truth is…I am *SO* happy for all of you who have been blessed with parenthood. I don’t get bitter or angry when I see you post pictures or hear you talk about your baby. Seeing all of you glow with love is inspiring.
But you know what…I see a lot of us out there who are not posting pictures or talking about babies and THAT IS OK TOO!! Just because we don’t have a baby doesn’t mean that our marriage/relationship isn’t strong. It doesn’t mean that we are awful, selfish people. It doesn’t mean that we are loveless creatures. It means that we have made a choice that we feel is best for us. And honestly, it’s a choice that some people out there should’ve made but didn’t (a few times!).
Don’t ever tell me that I don’t know love because I didn’t push a baby out of my vagina. Don’t ever try to make me feel guilty for making a decision that I feel is best for me and my family. Don't ever try to make me feel like less of a person because I'm not bringing another person into this world. 
I will never be a birth parent…and that is OK.
Now, if you excuse me, I have to go give some love to my babies…my FURbabies (yes, I went there).
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