Saturday, March 24, 2018

Lots of reading and a little running

It's taking awhile to get back to training regularly but, now that my face is healing nicely, I'm determined keep at it. Last week, I only ran twice but both runs were a reasonable length (7k and 8.5k) and felt good throughout so I seem to be making some progress at least.

This week, I'd been hoping to run at least 3 times but Mother Nature had other ideas. We had another nor'easter mid-week that kept me from running on Thursday as planned. I may still manage three runs if I take puppy for a short run this afternoon before my longish 9k run tomorrow.

I didn't used to be such a wimp about running in bad weather but these days I struggle to head out in less-than-ideal conditions - and there seem to have been a lot of them lately. We haven't had as much snow as we usually do this winter but the winds have been fierce and bitter.  The massive tree limbs littering the yard at our country place are testament to how nasty it's been.

On a more positive note, now that the time has changed, evenings are longer so I should be able to make a habit of taking Jackie for short runs at Shubie Park after work. We've made it out a couple of times recently, and have used the time to practice things we're learning in trail training classes at Oceanmark K9 Resort. It's amazing to see how quickly Jackie picks stuff up when her people to a better job of communicating what they want. And, so far as we can tell, she loves the chance to show us what she can do.

Of course, the best thing about trail training is how tired Jackie is afterwards. There's not much cuter than a tired puppy and I get lots more snuggles after we've spent an hour or two on the trails together.

In addition to working, running and hanging out with the critters last week, I managed to do a fair bit of reading. On the weekend, I finished Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, which was by turns hilarious and moving, along with Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

I'm not sure what to make of Manson's book. Clearly, he's no intellectually heavyweight and, at just 34 years old, he's not old enough to be credited with much wisdom. On the other hand, he does a reasonably good job of repackaging insights and wisdom from other sources and the book's an easy and entertaining read.

In particular, I liked his critique of self-help approaches that insist people should try to be positive all the time. To his mind (and mine), that's just dumb. Bad stuff happens and it's completely normal and healthy to feel crappy about it. The important thing is to be thoughtful about how you respond and to do so in ways that are consistent with your values.

Speaking of values, I like that Manson talks about them. It's not something a lot of people do these days but he encourages readers to identify their values, and consider whether they will lead to "a good life" in the long run. By his definition, a good life isn't a life without struggles but rather a life with struggles of your own choosing - a notion that certainly resonates with me.

Okay, okay. Enough about the book. It really isn't that good - though it did offer some interesting questions to noodle over while I work out when and how I want to move on from my current day job.

My other big accomplishment over the past couple of weeks was capturing a few more decent photos of Nemmie. She such a beautiful kitty, it's a shame it's so hard to get good photos of her.

I plan to spend much of this weekend following what's happening at the Barkley Marathon. There are at least two Canadians running - one of whom is an accomplished distance runner, well known in the local trail running community.  Of course, the whole world is cheering for Gary Robbins after his heartbreaking finish at last year's Barkley - me included. But I'll be cheering just as loudly for Jodi Isenor, who completed the 3 loop "Fun Run" at Barkley in 2014 in 36:36 - an incredible accomplishment for a first timer. Here's his account of that run.

Speaking of which, it's time to sign off and get on with my day. Hope the weather's cooperating with whatever you have planned this weekend. Are you following Barkley too? What's your take on adventure races and the people who attempt them?

1 comment:

  1. The scar looks like it's healing up well. I hope you've come up with a great story to tell about how you got it.

    The adventure race I want to see happens near Churchill, as the bears are waiting to get out onto the ice. We bath the racers in seal oil, and use a helicopter to drop them out of town, they pick where. The one who starts furthest from town, and makes it back, wins. No weapons allowed, humans are supposed to be smarter than bears, let them prove it.

    So far the weather is not cooperating with the combined dawn photo ramble and wine kit supply run. Soon. I hope.