Highs and Lows

I was HIGH today.

I decided last week to give up sugar for life as my research has convinced me of the negative impact on my health. Day 7 today and I felt great: clarity of thought, energised, calm, and .. no more spotty chin! It reminded me of when I gave up alcohol last summer. I’d realised how the sugar highs were always followed by a low, and, just like wine, if I had one, that was it, I could eat the whole packet of sweets or chocolates. Although I eat relatively well, I had no control once sugar had taken hold.

So why was it so easy this first sugar free week? I think its because giving up alcohol gave me a lot more confidence. Last July, it was inconceivable I’d give up alcohol for good, now I have zero desire and I have complete self control which gives me a lot of confidence. I know it will be the same with sugar in a few weeks. I have no doubt my running, health and life in general will be better for it. I took it easy running, as I went cold turkey on sugar, but it was worth it today when I got my running fix and was HIGH as a kite!

As the sun came up, I had an incredible run along the Dales Way near Swinsty Reservoir, beautiful scenery, hilly, muddy and all alone – it was perfect and I was smiling to myself the whole way. Afterwards I took Pluto and Cosmo for a sunny 5k jog on the Chevin Forest and later, tested my new road trainers to top it up to 20 miles. I felt relaxed and strong, and was really pleased I didn’t need any sugar or carbs. My real Sugar Free running test will be next week in the Punk Panther 50k High Life Ultra, in Otley.

I was LOW today too.

Nerves started to set in about my Run to Work, my first big step towards my Run around the World. The enormity of it sank in as I’ve only ever done 5 marathons in 5 days at the MDS. Although conditions were harder in the desert this will be a different kind of challenge. I will be completely alone, have no route markers, no water stations, no Doc Trotters to help me sort out my feet, no emergency button to press if I get lost or injured, no tent mates to tease or cheer me up and nobody waiting at the finish.
So today I started worrying and doubting myself.

It will be me and the road and I became extremely aware of how much of a mental and physical challenge it will be when I set off on the 20th October to run solo from Amsterdam to Essen. I’m saving my solo camping ‘training’ for next Spring, so I will be staying in B&B’s and Small Hotels but will still carry my food and supplies on my back, other than coffee and water.

We all have HIGHS and LOWS and if I wasn’t nervous, to be honest it probably means it isn’t enough of a challenge, it is intended to take me out of my comfort zone of organised events. And solo is absolutely the way I want it – I’m sure it will be emotional at times, but I need to know what its like to be completely alone, exhausted, in pain and still get up day after day to run. All of those worries just require a little planning to sort, and I will. It will be fine and it will be fun – believe it or not!!! I’ve already started visualising myself as I arrive in Essen, having accomplished the ultimate Run to Work 🙂

So onwards and upwards, to the next HIGH…. 25k over the moors tomorrow.


  • Dawn

    Refined sugar is the work of the devil, I too had the idea to become sugar free in February, I lasted six months, the difference it made was unbelievable, I slept better, skin looked healthier, I was less moody and the yeast issue disappeared in days. In August I injured my hamstring running while getting a PB at th local park run, whilst sulking I started to eat sweets and chocolate again … sugar highs and lack of running lows took their toll. Six weeks later although my hamstring had healed I was in agony when I tried to run, I had to pull out of the half marathon, I was absolutely gutted, I wanted to be part of it so I dug my camera out and became the duty photographer for the 50+ runners from the club. This week the doctor confirmed I have osteoarthritis in my right hip, the news sunk in after a few days, this weekend after a lot of reading I have my plan of attack from both a diet and exercise perspective, it will start with aqua aerobics tomorrow. I think what we do is plan, no matter what hurdles and challenges we face, we stop reassess and replan. I picture myself crossing that finish line next year after returning my bib to make sure my name is on the list.

    Good luck with today’s sugar free run!

    • tishjoyce

      Hi Dawn, Sounds like you’ve had quite a few challenges recently but wonderful to see your positive attitude and action. I’ve no doubt with your attitude you will be running again. Sugar reduction will definitely help reduce inflammation and weight, if thats a factor. Less impactful exercise whilst in pain will help maintain your fitness and from what I understand once you’ve reduced the pain, there should be no reason you cant run again. I’d refer you to Chi Running website again – I’m not sponsored and gain no personal benefit from recommendations but I swear by it. Proper running form will reduce impact and injuries. Keep Strong!!! Big Admiration for your attitude!

I'd love to hear about your running adventures, 1 mile or 100 miles!

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