Goodbye Brewfest...

Today is the CNY Brewfest. As many of you know today was like a holiday for my family and I. It was our Super Bowl. Family would drive 40 minutes to come to this event. We would spend 3 hours sampling some of the most delicious beer offered here in the great USA. Great times would be had and great people would be met. I've blogged about it many times and through that I was able to meet the creators and directors of the CNY Brewfest, along with many great regular attendees.
I was one of them regular attendees.

It's almost 11am right now. Right now I would be just about ready to crack open my first beer at home...pre-game time!

This is my first year not attending the CNY Brewfest. Why? Well because I am 11 months and 12 days sober.

I've been confused as to why today is so difficult for me. I've been having a really rough time about it all. I've even cried a few times this morning. So many times I have said to myself "It's just ONE day...a few day of fun drinking with your family and memories...ONE day, that's counting the days of sobriety is really no big deal, so you'd just start over? Or not keep track at all. It's just ONE day of fun!"

That's when it hit me. I know why today is so hard to deal with.

Because the brewfest WAS nothing but fun! It was one of the few times where drinking WAS FUN.

See, I wasn't someone who got "drunk" a lot. I was a binge drinker with an extremely high tolerance for alcohol. I could drink 15-20 beers and still be able to stand and carry on a conversation. When I was in my deepest days of binge drinking I would still be able to remember every phone call, text or post made. I was a at home drinker. I was a wait till my husband went to bed & then pound 6 beers in 30 minutes drinker then plan my own funeral drinker. None of it was fun drinking. None of it brought laughter.

But the Brewfest? That was fun. That brought laughter. That brought memories that I still smile fondly at. I still look at pictures and remember the great time we were having at that moment (well, most of them I remember, lol).
Today is hard because it was one of the very few moments I had where drinking was a good time for me. It wasn't about me drinking myself to death or curling up with my headphones all alone & going over all of my self hate. The brewfest was a day where I was the girl I was for so many years...the girl who just truly loved craft beer.

Well, the fact is...I still am a girl who truly loves craft beer. But like some things in life you love, you have to let them go because they are not the best thing for you.

So I guess the CNY Brewfest is like an ex lover. It is something that I will forever be grateful for and will always love in one form or another. I will always be thankful for all of the smiles and laughs it brought into my life and every now and then I will remember back to them & think of how lucky I am that I got to experience all those great times.

But I know that today would not just be ONE day. I would want more. I would *need* more. Tomorrow would turn into a day to help ease the pain of the hangover from today's fun. I would drink a couple to ease the pain and then drink some more to erase the pain that follows. ONE day of fun could easily turn into a life time of hell for myself.

I wan't always an alcoholic. I mean, it does run heavily on both sides of my family. But I was someone who could control her drinking. And the brewfest is a great exmaple of how drinking used to be fun for me. And that is what I miss. That has been the hardest part in staying sober. But like I said earlier...those fun moments were barely seen through all the non-fun moments.

Confession: Last year at the brewfest, I turned to my husband and said “This might be my last brewfest.”… That was it. That’s all I said and he asked no questions. I didn’t know why I said it. Well I guess I did. Things were getting pretty bad…calls to suicide hotlines, inability to ride in a car without getting sick, ect.. But it would be a couple more weeks until I would put down my very last beer.
Today I will be thankful, not sad, about the CNY Brewfest. I will be thankful that I got have some great drinking memories, because sometimes the bad ones are just too hard to swallow. And I will accept that while I wish I could enjoy just one day of drinking, it is not what is in the best interest for myself and so therefore I must let it go.

So thank you, CNY Brewfest, for all the great memories and laughs.

Training, like a boss...

I realized something crazy. Like super, duper crazy.

I am into WEEK 9 of my training!! 9 weeks. 63 days. 1512 hours. 90720 minutes. (If I told you guys that I just knew all that info off the top of my head & that I did NOT have to google it, would you believe me?)

This is crazy! This is madness! This is a miracle! Never, ever have I followed a training plan this long. Not even before I ran a full marathon. I don’t think I’ve ever made it past a week or two without completely throwing the whole plan out the window and just going to beat of my own drum.

With the exception of missing a day or two because of listening to my body I have followed it very closely. Some runs I have even gone a little past the mileage called for in the plan that day.  This past Saturday I did my long run and it was the best run of the year so far. I would even say it might be the best run I have had since I’ve been running again. I couldn’t believe how easily the 8 miles came to me. I didn’t have to struggle for them or through them. I wish every run was like that. Or hell, I wish I could just have some more runs like that period.  And maybe I will. Maybe this whole “sticking with a training plan” thing has its benefits…maybe it really does help.

Post Run in a Wegmans a complete runners high!
All of this training is really paying off...especially in my speed and my endurance. Just this past Monday I ran 5 miles at a 10:52 pace!! One of those miles was at 10:16!! I haven't seen those #'s in years. Training has is really getting me back to where I was before with running, but even better...slowly but surely, all the hard work is paying off!

There is one thing however that I have not done. Not at all. Not even a teeny tiny bit.

That is Cross-Train. I spend 3 days running, one day with Yoga & the other 3 days are rest days. I have an elliptical at home, and I love it…I just never get on it. I know how vital and beneficial cross training can be but it’s just not something I have not seemed to work into my routine.

Unless going to the grocery store or browsing the internet counts as cross training…cause if that’s the case then I am a cross training maniac!!  

Anyone else have trouble getting cross-training in? Any tips or advice? 

There is still time to donate and help me raise funds for Ophelia's Place while I run the Lake Effect Half! Any amount will help! If you are interested please visit this link here and thank you so much!!

11 Months

This will be the last time I will get post about being sober for a certain # of months that are under a year. 11 months. Wow…11 months sober. It feels huge yet so trivial at the same time. I am always so grateful and I certainly feel celebratory when I hit milestones like this. But honestly it’s never something I work towards. Unlike weight loss where sometimes it’s a good thing to look at a bigger picture, like losing 5% or 10% of your body weight, recovery from alcohol abuse doesn't really work like that. It’s a day by day fight. Shit, it’s even an hour by hour, minute by minute fight on some days.

I know that I am one month away from hitting the 1 year mark. And that’s huge. That’s like really, *really* HUGE. But honestly I can’t focus on that. I have to focus on today…right now…this moment.

I sure the hell hope that I get to celebrate a 1 year sober anniversary. But until that day arrives I will be extremely grateful for the hours and minutes that pass where I do not consume any alcohol. And as always I continue to appreciate and soak in all of the love, support & encouragement that you all give to me and inspire me with. 

Here’s to the next minute! 

Running for a reason...

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So this was supposed to be a beautiful post. You know, one of those posts that look like my full time job is to blog, not just something to do when I have time. I had plans with a friend to go to place I am about to refer to and take pictures. I was even going to buy a shirt from them and stage a beautiful setup. Ya know…real pretty blogger shit. I had plans and questions laid out to interview a few of my friends who have had personal experience with this organization. You really would have felt the time and effort I put into this post, because it truly means something great to me.

Yeah…only you are not getting that kind of post because none of that happened. Life happened and things go in the way, plans got cancelled, time slipped by. So instead you are getting on my half-assed, boring run-of-the-mill blogger posts. You are so very welcome.

As many of you know I am running the Lake Effect Half Marathon on February 22nd. And guess what...I've actually stuck with my training plan!!!!!! This is a total first for me. I've only missed a day here or there and that's mostly because of my knee and trying not to re-injure it. I still have time left so I have to keep this momentum going. This is the 3rd time I am signed up for this race…but this will be the first time I actually run it (if there is no curse of injury or such between now and then!). So this race is a HUGE “omfg just do it already!” race for me. It’s also filled with all of my Lake Effect Run Club friends as well as friends from outside the club. I’m nervous about the weather…it’s been a cold one here in Syracuse so far and my asthma and lungs just don’t function in weather under 20 degrees. But I’m excited! I’m excited because I am running for a cause!

I’m not only making an effort to run 13.1 miles…I am also trying to raise $ for Ophelia’s Place. What is Ophelia’s Place you ask? Well to quote the origination themselves…

Ophelia’s Place is a non-profit organization committed to empowering individuals, families, and communities to redefine beauty and health through initiatives that increase self-esteem, improve body image and introduce alternatives to dangerous desires for perfection; and to providing outreach, advocacy and educational services to those impacted by eating disorders, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.

I know many people who have been helped by this great organization and what they are doing to educate and provide assistance for the community is outstanding. I fully support ANYTHING that truly helps to educate woman, young or old, on how to love themselves and their body. The issues that they tackle or not just about weight. The really get to the root cause of why we tend to do such horrible things to ourselves.

I am rallying a little late but that’s better than never. I am trying to raise $500 for Ophelia’s Place. I don’t know if I will get there in such a short amount of time but I am certainly going to try! It feels nice to be running for a reason that is bigger than myself.

If you wish to donate to this great charity and help support me while I run the Lake Effect Half Marathon then please visit this link. Your donation, no matter the amount, will go directly to Ophelia’s Place.

I thank you all for taking the time to read this and your support. XO
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