Due to the incident described below, as well as the fact that I am running the ten-mile Great South Run on Sunday, I decided to go on a mini detox. No alcohol whatsoever from Thursday 8 October until after I finish the race on Sunday. I feel great, although I'd love a glass of red wine, and I think I've lost a ton of weight - not just from my training runs. But what's been most interesting about the whole detox is the reaction people have. I've gone to the pub a few times during this time and celebrated a few peoples' birthdays, and the looks I get are hilarious. People almost universally are shocked to hear I'm not drinking, and when I say I'm detoxing there is mild disapproval. When I say I'm running a 10 mile race, I get a few murmurs of admiration and general "Oh, well okay" which makes me think that if I WASN'T running the race there would be absolutely NO excuse for not drinking. Mind you, this isn't personal - they aren't saying this because I'm a lush (even though I sort of am) - this is just England. People here count drinking as a ritual, a natural part of life, and to remove it from daily routine is virtually unheard of.
As Sunday approaches, I'm growing more and more anxious: partly for the race, and partly for the reintroduction of alcohol into my life. As much as I want the freedom to drink again, I'm actually really enjoying the liberation of not having a life revolving around hangovers and big pub bills. It will be interesting to see how my attitude changes after our big Sunday pub lunch this weekend when I reward myself for my exertion. Hopefully I can figure out a nice balance between custom and overindulgence.