Day 12 – Girl on the Run

This morning David tells me he is proud of me for not drinking last night after a somewhat disheartening afternoon yesterday. I remark that it was the hardest temptation I’ve had so far and he tells me that perhaps I should just drink in moderation.

Ha. Moderation. That is the problem…drinking in moderation, which I have sort of been doing, is not working for me and my body.

I explain that for now – for this yet to be defined period of time – that I cannot drink “in moderation” or at all and that is what I need him to support me on. Sigh.

I’m reminded of a list I once ran across when I was teaching skating. It was written by my former boss perhaps at a time when she was dieting, or maybe just as a part of her daily reality of food avoidance as a former ballet dancer. The list was titled “Things to Do Instead of Eating.” Not being a dieter myself, I remember thinking the list was silly, amusing or perhaps a little sad. But as I think of it now, perhaps I get the idea a little more as I have started a list of my own.

Things to Do Instead of Drinking (what I’ve done so far)

1 – Take a nap

2 – Go to bed early

3 – Snack

4 – Ride my indoor bike

5 – Read

6 – Play with the dogs

7 – Write (you’re reading part of what has come from this activitiy)

8 –Go through stuff and organize

9 – Breathe

10 – Watch TV (not my proudest choice)

11 – Have some chocolate

12 – Drink water

13 – Meditate (and breathe some more)

14 – Search Facebook for inspiring posts and quotes


It’s kind of a mundane list and one that makes me want to aspire to something a little more exotic or exciting. Perhaps I can add to it with some things I’ve always wanted to do or try – or just haven’t had time for of late, like:Learn to make baskets

  • Take a French class
  • Paint the bathroom
  • Take a nature hike
  • Run (more often or farther)

With this change and the nervous energy I feel in my body, I’m thinking it’s time to find start training for another triathlon. I’ve done seven sprint triathlons (swim, bike, run) and one duathlon (run, bike, run) as well as a handful of 5K races. My last triathlon was in July last year was in Winston Salem. It had an awful uphill bike course that pushed me to my limit and made me swear I would not do this particular location or course again. Then the next day, I hurt my back in a very strenuous yoga class and have not had any plans to participate in anything else since. Besides, since then my professional life has been even busier than usual and has left virtually no time for training. But now, especially with the hole in my schedule left by not drinking for a couple of hours a night, I think I might have room in my life to start preparing for something.

I take a quick look online and I find two events that appeal to me, The Ramblin’ Rose ( in South Charlotte – an awesome event just for women that I have done before in several other cities, including the one last year in Winston Salem. It is 11 weeks away. The other – the Three Little Pigs Triathlon (what can I say, I live in NC which is pork barbecue country) is in 13 weeks and a little longer than the Ramblin’ Rose. I make a mental note to register for one or both in the coming weeks and start planning my training schedule in my head. Both are doable – but actually a little further in the future than I would like and feel a little bit of a let-down.

Then I remember a 5K happening in NC in April – the Tuxedo Trot ( – which is raising money to save African penguins which are disappearing at an alarming rate. In addition to getting the customary race t-shirt, participants also get a plush stuffed penguin. The promise of a stuffed animal seals it for me and I register! Something athletic to focus on will be good for me and make me feel even more dedicated to not drinking.

After I register, I take a short run as a first step of my training. Then I go start a website and blog called “Zen versus Zin: A year of exploring sobriety.” I don’t share it with anyone immediately as I am not sure my commitment to that year is set just yet. But as you are reading about it here, you can see I decided to keep it. Welcome to


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