February 18, 2012 § 5 Comments
The past few weeks of running, including my nineteen miler, were done without audio books. I finished the last chapter of Dead Until Dark a few weeks back, while sitting in my car at Whole Foods, eating kale salad before going to pick up the kids. I knew how it was going to end, since I’d watched it play out on t.v., but even so I was sad to say, “Goodbye,” to the book version of Sookie.
Yesterday I downloaded the second book in the Hunger Games series; Catching Fire. It started little ahead of where the last book finished, but I was pulled right back in and excited to see where we would go. I feel a sort of kinship with Katniss, Girl on Fire. It isn’t logical, but she did get me through some of my very first long runs, while at the same time running for her own life in the games. As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be channeling her with flaming fingernails on March 18th, so it was appropriate that she would be my choice for heroine du jour during these final weeks of training.
Those few weeks without stories made me realize that I’ve got to have one (or two) going at all times. I had checked out When Margaret was Young, by my favorite author Jane Hamilton, but could never figure out how to get it to import to my phone. In a way I was glad, though, because what if I didn’t like it? Could Jane Hamilton be my favorite author anymore if I couldn’t connect with her book? I returned it without listening, but will try to go back to it later, when I have less on my plate. I would hate to be disappointed by my book of choice at this juncture.
After my lunch date with Sookie, which turned out to be a surprisingly calm and enjoyable addition to my schedule, I decided that I needed a car read. While at the library, waiting for the girls to fill their “library purses,” I hunted down the audio book for Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.
I’ve often wondered what it was about that book that kept me so entranced as a young girl in the sixth grade, reading it for the very first time. I figured that it would be good research as I ponder the kind of books I myself want to write, and at the same time, be my companion as I eat my lunch. It probably sounds like a pretty nerdy and isolationist thing to do, but it is very hard to get quiet these days, and it’s less sad than eating alone absolute silence.
As a side note, I have returned to the land of exhaustion. After writing about Sweet Sleep, where I felt recovered from the overwhelming tiredness that had been plaguing me, it took one night of a past eight p.m. bedtime to fall back into the realm of six p.m. crashing and burning.
I wonder if it’s this point of marathon training and part of recovery? Maybe I’m coming down with something?
With only twenty-nine days until the race, my most important goal is to stay healthy. Peach called me yesterday with another cold and cough, my girls have been blowing their own little noses, and I watched a coughing boy at pre-school wipe his hand down the entire banister as he descended the stairs, surely on his way to the doctor. Germs are everywhere!
It is my biggest fear that I’ll get sick within days of the race and be unable to compete. That scenario has occurred two other times in my racing history. There’s nothing worse than being ill with a deep lung cough and cold at the same time that hundreds of people are running your race.
Fear aside, books in place, continued rest, one more big run, and quiet car lunches are on the menu until tapering begins.
Tapering. The final stage of this journey. I can barely believe it’s almost here.
January 16, 2012 § 5 Comments
I went to sleep in my own bed last night. Brian was recovering from the girls’ stomach bug that may or may not have been the reason for my three cramps during Saturday’s fifteen miler. I, and my iron stomach, did not seem to fall victim to this virus, but spent that past four days on laundry duty. Throw up goes everywhere when it happens in the middle of the night. Even the pots, put out to make less laundry for me, were missed. My poor, sick family. I like laundry, so I am not complaining, except that I hate to see the ones I love in such a state.
Last night, Brian and I tried to connect over an evening in bed with AT&T Direct. I talked him into watching Eat, Pray, Love by telling him it was a really good book. This was actually a little lie. The truth is that I tried to read it three times and could never get past the first 30 or 40 pages.
After a half hour of the movie, Brian said it should have been called “Eat, Pray, Boring.” It was, and I fessed up about my lie.
I was sleepy, so it didn’t bother me that he wanted to watch “the game.” I rolled over and started to doze, but felt my husband scratch my head with the tips of his five fingers, which made my hair gather under his hand. It was sweet and he was being as loving as could be mustered when recovering from a sick stomach.
My plans for running this week are all messed up. The pre-school teachers have workdays and Brian and Peach are flying in different directions on the map. My usual planned three weekday runs are going to have to be pared down to two. Instead of running, 5, 8, 5, I will run 7 and then 10. My long run of 17 will have to wait until Sunday, after three days off. It will be interesting to see how that goes.
Yesterday I googled Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger Games. I found it so interesting that this book, which has garnered widespread attention and appeal, was written for the young adult sect. It’s proof that good writing crosses barriers; barriers that too often separate us.
A smile crossed my face when I read that she also wrote for one of the girls and my most favorite cartoons, Little Bear. We love Little Bear for his sweet yet not whiny (like Franklin) personality and his dreamy imagination. A lot of Little Bear centers on the delights of a child’s world, like birthday parties and relationships with parents and friends in the form of bears (and a hen and an owl and a duck and a cat). The one human, named Emily, is a good friend to Little Bear and in a perfect world (with talking bears and hens) would be the kind of friend we all have. Helpful, caring, true, and always ready to participate in the adventure.
Once my interest was really peaked, I watched an interview on You Tube where Ms. Collins answered questions to the readers of her trilogy.
The best part of the interview was regarding good writing and the classic books that she’s read over and over again. After listing her favorites, which happened to be some of mine (like Lord of the Flies and 1984), she said that reading books is important because of the connection that is made between the reader and the mind of the author. It’s a real relationship, different than the ones we have with other forms of entertainment; like the one sided relationships we have with apps and televisions and video games. Aren’t we all looking for connections?
And with that, and on this National holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. and his commitment to fairness and equality for all, I am reminded of the important connections between all people.
I myself write (maybe selfishly) to build connections with others, whether they live next door or farther than the farthest points of the Earth; whether we appear to be just alike or have commonalities only discovered through serious soul sharing.
We are, after all, the same only different.