Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A Run Streak for Lent

Although I'm not a Christian in the normal sense of the word...i.e I don't believe in God...I am, what my mum calls, culturally Christian - I celebrate the festivals I was brought up with, I know about the Bible, we have a nativity scene at Christmas, and I love all the traditional hymns.  Many of you will probably find that weird but there we go...

So, yesterday was Shrove Tuesday and I ate copious amounts of food including pancakes, and today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  As is traditional, I'm giving something up for Lent...and I've decided that I'm going to stop drinking all soda! This is massive for me as I currently, single handedly, support the share price of Coca-Cola through the amount of Diet Coke I consume on a daily basis.

I know that the caffeine withdrawal headaches are going to be hard to cope with (I don't drink tea or coffee to counteract it) but the health benefits of not drinking diet coke will be massive!!

I read the results of a 10 year study recently, that followed a few thousand people, and amongst the participants who drank diet coke every day, there was a 44% increase in their risk of heart attack or stroke!!  I've known for some time about other studies that have also been completed into the effects of diet soft drinks showing that high consumption is linked to suffering from lower bone density. It's commonly thought that these health risks are as a result of the sweeteners that are used in the diet version of sodas, although this is subject to controversy, but whatever the cause behind it, there is definitely something going on and I think it's finally hit home just how much of a risk I'm taking, seeing as I'm drinking at least two litres of the stuff a day!

The other thing I'm doing for Lent is starting another Run Streak.  I did the Thanksgiving '11 to New Year '12 Run Streak that Runner's World organised last year, and really enjoyed that, so think this will be another great opportunity to have a go at running every day - it's a positive thing to be doing, to go along with the more difficult "giving something up" and will I'm sure really help with my marathon preparation - Brighton is the weekend after Easter.

With both the Run Streak and eliminating my Diet Coke poison, I really like to think that I will continue them beyond Easter, but we'll see what I manage...

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