Distance running and long form writing can both be painful. They can also be fun. So I’m grateful, going into Thanksgiving week, that my two November projects in these categories were more in the latter category than the former. Both also took less time than I thought they would!
I’d signed up for the Philadelphia Half-Marathon, which was Sunday, but after the Rock n Roll Half on October 31, I was wavering. That Halloween morning, Lynda and I waited in the cold for a long time for the start, and I was sleep deprived from a bad night with the baby before. I finished (see the “Just run the mile you’re in” post for that story) but with a meh time. All together, let’s just say I was burned out on cold distance running and races.
The weather forecast for this past Sunday at first didn’t look promising (low of 28!) But it turned out the 28 degree part was going to happen Sunday night, not Saturday to Sunday. Sunday morning was actually going to be 50 degrees. I also figured that even if it was painful, the pain would only last a few hours. On Saturday, I was even thinking things like “in 24 hours I’ll be on the other side of this.” I put little toastie warmers in my gloves, snagged one of my husband’s old sweaters that was bound for the donation pile, set my alarm for 5 a.m. and settled in to try to sleep.
Having braced for unpleasantness, though, things went surprisingly well. I slept OK. I stayed warm in my corral. Also, the race director deserves major props for getting people over the starting line in a lot less time than the Rock n Roll half took. Lynda and I crossed at about 23 minutes after the race start, vs. 50 with the prior race. I felt a lot peppier too. The result was that we ran this half more than a minute/mile faster than the half-marathon three weeks ago. We even managed negative splits, which is more remarkable to me because at around mile 8, a woman slipped on some leaves and dirt right by us. She smashed her face on a parked car, shattering her sunglasses and possibly chipping some teeth. Lynda, in addition to being a helpful person generally, is also a doctor, and was not going to run away from an injured, bleeding person. So we stayed until the police got there to take care of her. Even with that, though, the miles fell by swift and easy. When you’re saying things like “oh wow, we just passed the 11 mile mark!” in a half-marathon, that’s a good sign.
So that was the running. As for the writing: I participated in National Novel Writing Month again this year. This project calls for writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. I started on November 1 with a goal of writing 1700 words a day. I tried to get a little ahead of schedule so I could miss days. Weekends are never guaranteed in my house. However, I had so many train trips this month, and I squeezed in enough NaNoWriMo time while doing things like sitting in my car after dropping a kid off at a birthday party, that I got to the finish line today, the 23rd. So now I’m truly off for Thanksgiving break!
I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the novel. I haven’t read back through it yet. It needs serious work, but at least there’s something there that I can work with. When I splice in some of the stuff that I want to keep from the 2014 NaNoWriMo project, I may have something approaching an actual story.
In other news: When I came home from running on Sunday morning, I thought my daughter’s hair style looked a little strange. “Did daddy put your hair up?” I asked. Then I looked closer. Nope, she’d taken a scissors to her hair and had cut it into a mullet. I’m not sure precisely when this happened – she may have done it Saturday when no one was watching, and I had gone to bed early enough Saturday night that I didn’t notice it then. In any case, my husband took her to the hair salon on Sunday afternoon and got it shaped into a little pixie cut. It’s pretty cute. Have your kids ever hacked their own hair?