Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The endless winter

February is here at last. Although February is the shortest of months, it is also the longest--because it comes just at that time when winter has really overstayed its welcome. By the time we reach February, the name becomes nothing more than a hurdle to be cleared on the way to March, in which there at least exists some hope for warmer weather.

This month has been a sticking point for me in my marathon training for the past two years. I always basically miss a week of training during February, because of weather, sickness, or both. Of course, now I have access to a treadmill, so only the worst weather will force the gym to close. And we had that last week. Snowstorms like like simply do not come around every week. So I think that barring sickness, perhaps this year will snap the streak of bad Februaries. The motivation to run certainly takes a hit around this time of year as well. But I seem to be sailing along on that front as well. So I will hope it continues.

I have had a string of great runs lately. Last week was a little tougher because of the snowstorm we had here in the Midwest, which actually caused me to miss a scheduled run outright for the first time this cycle (a record, surely). I ran a few extra miles on Friday to make up for it (recovery pace, naturally). Saturday morning I got in a tough 20-miler outside on the ice and packed snow, followed by a 10-miler on Sunday at just below 9-minute pace. I was feeling some soreness and tightness on Sunday night, but on yesterday's recovery run of about 10K I felt completely recovered with no hint of tightness or nagging pain. Today is another medium-long run of 15 miles at an easy pace. I plan to run it no faster than 9:30 pace. I need to be more careful than ever in these next few weeks to make sure my body can hold up to this mileage.

Most of my free time not spent running has been spent on BookCrossing, trying to get my collection registered and sorted. It's been challenging. Some books are just too dear to me to let go, and others I feel that I may be able to let go after one more read. I believe, though, that I will be able to keep my permanent collection to a fairly reasonable amount. And then there's the business of actually reading the books. More than ever, I want to get to all those books and enjoy them. There are so many that I feel quite overwhelmed and less willing to spend time reading online forums and the like. My goal is to be mainly a library person instead of a bookstore person, and also have a small enough TBR list that I can go out and buy/borrow more current books. For example, right now I would love to read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, but the thought of adding even one more book to the TBR pile is actually stressful. I feel that I have a prior commitment to the books that have hung around for years without being read. And then there is the stack of books that have been loaned out to me and also the stack of gift books. It is truly a mountain! My nickname on BookCrossing is "Book-Dragon" because sometimes I feel like a dragon hoarding not gold but books...and sometimes even sitting on them.
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