Cape Cod Running (Just Keep Running)

I’m going to run this weekend.

I decided that as I packed my duffle bag for a short Cape Cod trip, taking up precious space with yoga pants and sports bras. And on Saturday, as everyone left the house, I ignored my unopened books and blank notebook pages as I tied up my sneakers, layered my tank tops, and ran out the front door.

I huffed up one main road, and then another, with an actual goal in mind —a beach, just over a mile away. There and back, that’s all I planned on doing. Not incredibly far, but farther than I had been doing on the treadmill. I expected to stop before I even smelled the ocean, taking deep breaths as I walked slow, hoping to get the energy back to jog the last few feet before I reached the sand.

I kept going. Music pumped in my ears, but I could still hear my breath heaving in and out as slow and even as I could manage, hear my sneakers pounding steadily on the road, the dirt, the sidewalk. I turned up the last road, I got to the beach, and then I finally slowed — I’d run the whole way there.

Monday Morning Run



Everything smelled like seaweed and salt, and I walked up and down the sand, sucking in the smells, watching the ocean, letting the breeze cool a face that had pinkened to about the color of a watermelon Jolly Rancher.

Then I ran back.

Again, I thought I would stop, that I’d walk the last half mile, the last quarter mile, the last hundred yards. But I kept coming up with reasons. I’ll finish this song. Oh wait, “I Don’t Have a Favorite Pony” by Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers is on, I’ll finish that song. Now there’s a couple up ahead walking their elderly dogs, I’ll catch up to them first (why are they so hard to catch up to??).

I’d run out of excuses, and  by then I’d reached the house again. Just over two miles, not terribly far, but a distance for me. And I’d run the whole way, except for a pair of minutes where I stared, heart pounding, at the sea.

I ran one last time on Monday, before we left. Legs tired, and rain misting outside, I went to another beach, not so far away as the first. But I went, my own feet carried me all the way there. The whole rest of the rainy cold day, packing bags and driving home, it felt pretty good.20160502_104945

Bookish (and Otherwise) Goals for 2015

Happy New Year! It’s a little late, but here are some of my goals for the upcoming year, many involving books and writing, and a couple not.

  • Get an Agent. Yeah, just…yeah. Holidays have caused me to slack a little in my agent researching efforts, but I’ll put more effort into it now that I have some non-family time.
  • Finish Rough Draft of New Novel. I’m pretty close with that one.
  • Polish Up Draft of Another “Finished” Novel. I’m waiting for when I take a break between drafts on the previously mentioned novel, and also for returned comments from some of my readers that I sent this novel to.
  • Catch Up On Reviews. I’m a little behind on my Fandom Post reviews, which I feel guilty about, but if I give myself a couple of weeks I can catch back up.
  • Complete My Goodreads Goal. I always give myself a high number, 100, because I read a lot of children’s books and graphic novels. I want to make it this year, possibly by allowing myself to count picture books I read while I’m at work.
  • Read More Nonfiction. Memoirs, nature books…some good true stories that don’t read like I’m in a classroom.
  • Read More Graphic Novels. You’d think I read plenty enough of these, but sometimes I really do feel like I’m out of the loop on too many things.
  • Finish the Couch to 5K Program. Maybe even run an actual 5K this year.
  • Find a House. That we can afford, of course. That is the trick.
  • Go on a Trip. Not just to the Cape, which we do anyway, but to someplace I’ve never been, like Montreal, or maybe California. (I’d love to plan a trip to Japan above all, but again, affordability.)

Those are some goals from me. What do you have planned for this year? Let me know!

This was written as part of Top Ten Tuesday (yes I know it’s Friday) on The Broke and the Bookish.

So I’m Running Now

A little while back, I was inspired to attempt running thanks to a Just Margaret video I’d seen. In it, she’d talked about how she didn’t exercise much, but worked herself up to running more and more by using a Couch to 5K program, specifically this one in which a British lady cheers me on. I’ve been doing Bikram Yoga regularly (sort of) for a couple of years now, but I wanted to add something that I could alternate with and maybe add on to, without costing me more money. Since we’re already giving money to the gym, teaching myself to run on the already paid for treadmills seemed like a good next step. And I’m learning or reaffirming things about myself.

  • I take things slow. The program asks for three runs a week, but thanks to scheduling and still taking yoga classes I generally run once or twice a week. (That trip to Disney World followed by a wedding slowed things down quite a bit, too.) So I tend to give two to two and a half weeks to every week of the program. But I have been getting better, and I look forward to beating the new challenges. And really, how different is that from taking four years to find a job I like, or half a decade to finish a children’s novel? That’s how I roll — like a snail.
  • I’m stubborn. The last run I did requires two 8-minute runs separated by a 5-minute walk. The first run, fine, I do great, no problem. The second run, 4 minutes in and I feel like I could fall down. It’s hard to breathe as deep as I think they probably should. I don’t think I can keep doing this, I want to quit, but there’s only 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 2, 1…and then I can smack the cool down button and amble on the moving ground, panting and sweating and looking in general like a hot mess. But I did it.
  • I can use my guilt in my favor. I’m an exceptionally guilt-ridden person. It doesn’t take much for me to feel like I’ve upset or disappointed someone and am thus a horrid human being who should bury herself in a hole. But I can use this to help myself. Guilt helps me feel compelled to write every day that I’m able, obligation keeps me from quitting yoga. Guilt and obligation is keeping me at the gym, making me finish this program however long it takes me.
  • I’m proud. I like accomplishing things. Who doesn’t? But I like this feeling, that I’m getting something done, that I can be proud of what I’m doing. I want to keep it going.
  • Running makes me hungry. Not really a revelation about my personality, I just understand how my cousin can devour an entire meat  pie as an adult.

Maybe I’ll get healthier, maybe I’ll be a happier person because I’m exercising more. Maybe I’ll be able to fit into those dresses I buried in the back of my closet. Right now I’m happy that I’m doing this, and kind of, in a way, enjoying it, when the cramps go away.

For further running inspiration, read this comic/essay by The Oatmeal.