A new blog…again

After finishing the marathon, I felt that blog should stay as it is, a journey from beginning training to the finish line. That’s what the title and description are about. But I did like keeping a record of my training and participating in the Running Blog Family, and there’s something about blogging (even if no-one reads it!) that’s more motivating than just writing in a journal. This is going to be more casual and erratic than my books blog, and less focused. But I will attempt to track my NaNoWriMo adventures, which have started in that I have a “training schedule” for writing before I make a final decision whether to join the November craziness. So I’ll write about running, and writing, and more generally my continuing quest for self-improvement.

I chose “Keep on Going” as the title because that’s what I need to keep in mind. I realized quite a long time ago that it’s not realistic for me to stick with any one strategy for long–whether it’s exercise, organization, or anything else. I’m too novelty-seeking and my attention span is too short. But as long as I keep on picking new things to focus on, or keep on re-adding good habits I’ve dropped, or keep on re-ridding myself of bad habits, or keep on pulling myself out of slumps–keep on keeping on–I’ll make progress. Nothing seems to permanently stick with me. I can run 3 times a week for 6 months & then stop. I can stick to a routine for months & then abandon it. It’s great that other people become “addicted” to runner’s high & can’t imagine it not being part of their lives–but that doesn’t happen to me.

That’s why I need big goals, like the marathon or NaNoWriMo, but for short periods of time. It’s hard to find something as big and structured and socially supported as a marathon (and I did focus on that for 20+ weeks!), so if the goal can’t be as big, the time period should probably be shorter. Four to six weeks, maybe. If part of maturing is learning yourself, what you need, what makes you tick, I’m getting there.

Anyway…Running: I did 5 miles yesterday. I need to find my heart rate monitor because I want to try the recommendations from this excellent article on why you should train at a low heart rate first to increase your lactate threshold (many thanks to Richard for mentioning this). The watch is still lost (must get on top of my black hole areas and FIND IT!), but I tried to go slowslowslow. Still, not too bad: 55:54, splits 11:09, 10:30, 11:09, 11:53, 11:10. It was another gorgeous day, sunny, chilly, with plenty of fall color left. A vole ran out into the road, straight towards my sneaker, and only turned around inches away. They must be one of the only diurnal rodents.

I was going to run another 5 miles today, but instead I’m going to do my trash pickup. That’s 4.6+ miles of walking, plus bending, carrying, etc.

Writing: I set myself a schedule of 500 words a day the week of 10/11 (did 9207 for the week, because of the marathon blog!); 1000 words a day the week of 10/18 (as of yesterday I’d done 3306, so I’d have to do 3700 today to catch up! and that’s partly, I must admit, my motivation to start this new blog today–this entry is already over 500); and 1500 a day starting tomorrow. That’s a LOT of words, but you have do to 1667 a day every single day to finish NaNoWriMo’s target of 50,000 in one month. I’ve mostly been focusing on catching up on my book blog for my word counts, and that’s a win-win situation because I have a huge backlog. Last time I counted, which was in the summer I think, I was 18 books behind; I should see how many it is now. The good thing is that my reviews are supposed to be finished product, not first drafts, and they also require looking over the books to remind myself of details/pull quotes/etc, so maybe writing my novel will go more quickly. BUT the reviews pull themselves along–I write until I have nothing left to say, then stop–and although I have the basic structure and characters for my book in my head, what if I run out of ideas?

Just in case I never do finish my book blog…and to get myself organized, here’s a list of the books I still need to review:

  • Islands in the Clickstream – Richard Thieme, 2004
  • The Jane Austen Book Club – Karen Joy Fowler, 2004
  • Sense and Sensiblity – Jane Austen, 1811
  • Pride and Predjudice – Jane Austen, 1813
  • Mansfield Park – Jane Austen, 1814
  • Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen, 1818
  • Emma – Jane Austen, 1815
  • Persuasion – Jane Austen, 1818
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte, 1847
  • The Alphabet of Modern Annoyances – Neil Steinberg, 1996
  • Don’t Give Up the Ship: Finding My Father While Lost at Sea – Neil Steinberg, 2002
  • School of Dreams: Making the Grade at a Top American High School – Edward Humes, 2003
  • Up On Cloud Nine – Anne Fine, 2002
  • The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film – Emma Thompson, 1995
  • The Other Wind – Ursula K. LeGuin, 2001
  • Victorian Doll Stories – Brenda, Mrs. Gatty, and Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1969 (1879, 1862, 1907)
  • The Lost Prince – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1915
  • Idyll Banter – Chris Bohjalian, 2003
  • Requiem for Twelve Cows George Rehm, 1962
  • The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1911
  • A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1905
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1886
  • The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer – David A. Whitsett, Forrest A. Dolgener, Tanjala Mabon Kole, 1998
  • The Fat Fallacy – Will Clower, 2001
  • T. Tembarom – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1914
  • September – Rosamunde Pilcher, 1990
  • The Fan – Bob Randall, 1977
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell, 1960
  • The Girl Who Heard Dragons – Anne McCaffrey, 1994
  • The Telling – Ursula K. LeGuin, 2000
  • The Dawn of a To-Morrow – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1906
  • A Fair Barbarian – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1880
  • Pretty Polly Pemberton – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1877
  • Louisiana – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1914
  • Other Times, Other Worlds – John D. MacDonald, 1978
  • The Star Beast – Robert Heinlein, 1954
  • Have Space Suit, Will Travel – Robert Heinlein, 1958
  • Red Planet – Robert Heinlein, 1949
  • Podkayne of Mars – Robert Heinlein, 1963
  • Double Star – Robert Heinlein, 1956
  • Time for the Stars – Robert Heinlein, 1956
  • Between Planets – Robert Heinlein, 1951
  • Tunnel in the Sky – Robert Heinlein, 1955
  • Starman Jones – Robert Heinlein, 1953
  • The Menace From Earth – Robert Heinlein, 1959
  • Space Cadet – Robert Heinlein, 1948
  • The Empire of Tea: The Remarkable History of the Plant That Took Over the World – Alan McFarlane & Iris McFarlane, 2003
  • The Puppet Masters – Robert Heinlein, 1951
  • Waldo – Robert Heinlein, 1950
  • Magic, Inc. – Robert Heinlein, 1940

Yikes, yikes, yikes–that’s FIFTY–how will I ever catch up??? Well, I have about 13,000 words to write over the next week–maybe I can make a dent…


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