Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaNoWriMo and November100Mile Challenge - Day #9: The spirit is willing, the body is weak

So far, so good. I can't pretend the first nine days have been easy. It's been far more challenging than I expected to run every day - though I've done only short distances and taken more walk breaks than usual. Day #6 felt so difficult, I seriously thought about giving up on my goal of running 100 miles this month but, fortunately, the last few days have been easier - as if my body is beginning to adapt to the extra exercise.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that it feels hard. After all, in the 12+ years since I took up running, I've never worked out more than two or three days in a row. In fact, whenever possible, I've let myself have 48 hours between runs to recover. Given that, running 9 days in a row is a major accomplishment. If I can manage 30 days and a total of 100 miles, I'll be thrilled. Only 21 days and 70 more miles to go!

My NaNoWriMo project is progressing well too. To this point, I've drafted two and a half stories. Though I'm not particularly happy with any of them, I'm hopeful that will change when I get round to rewriting them. The story I'm writing now has an intriguing premise. It's about a 59 year old man who, faced with the prospect of an unhappy retirement, decides to try to kill himself by running Cape to Cabot. A goofy idea, I know, but I'm hoping I can find some way to make it work.  In any case, I'm enjoying the process.

I booked an extra day off work tomorrow so that Husband and I could have a four day weekend in the country. I had hoped to get a bunch of writing done but so far I've been too tired and distracted by other things - spending time with my dad, gardening, neurotic cats and (most of all) bad news from Husband's family in Ottawa. 

It turns out Husband's sister, just a couple of years older than him, has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and is expected to live no more than a few months. The news has come as a shock for many reasons - not least because she's always been an active, healthy person, who regularly cross-country skied, hiked, canoed, etc. Cancer's never fair but it seems particularly cruel in this case. 

The fact that my sister-in-law has so little time left means Husband and I will try to spend more time in Ottawa in the coming months. It's also caused us rethink our plans for the future. To this point, we thought I would work work until 60 so I could retire with a reasonable pension. However, by that time, Husband will be 70, so we find ourselves wondering if it's wise to wait that long. We're both relatively fit and healthy at the moment but that may not be the case in another 7 or 8 years. On the other hand, early retirement means less financial security down the road - not to mention a leaner lifestyle now. Either option feels like a bit of a crap shoot so it's hard to know what to do. 

On that happy note, it's time I got back to working on my story. Fingers crossed I can find some way to make the plot hang together. 

Happy running and writing, friends. 


  1. Well that is a mix of a post and no mistake. So sad about SIL. We never know these things. I spend lots of time wondering about how much I should be working, and how much doing other things. Hope all goes well.

    1. Thanks, Keith. Yes, it's desperately sad. I really don't know what we're going to do without her when she'd gone. Just hope her last weeks are as good as they can be.