Monday, February 22, 2010

Long, lovely trail day at Haley Farm

I am way, WAY into Anna Karenina. How could I have come this far in life having never read Tolstoy? I ask you? In my vague and misspent youth I read Dostoevsky and loved every minute of it. I read Crime and Punishment in high school. I was suffering from a late bout of the chicken pox at the time which allowed me to perfectly identify with the feverish, guilt-ridden protagonist, Raskolnikov.

I was house sitting all by myself in Oregon for a weekend in my early twenties when I read The Brothers Karamazov. One of the best weekends of my life. Again, it was the right book at the right time. I have tried to re-read it since, but to my dismay found that the magic was gone.

And now, here in my mid-forties, here in my own house, I am loving Anna Karenina. I listen to it on Playaway from the library when I am running and read the actual book (which I bought at a used bookstore last week) when I am not. I'm about half way through and I never want it to end. Oh, the subtlety! The sublime psychology! The characters caught up in chance and deliberation. So good. How did he do it? And why did he renounce the novel late in his life? These are the things I want to find out. I am on a Tolstoy Adventure Ride!

My plan this weekend was to do a long solo run and listen to Tolstoy for hours. But that didn't work out. Nell and Brian had to be on the road to a swim meet at 6:30 Saturday morning. I managed an hour or so out on the roads before having to come home, wake them up and get them on their way. I got in another 45 minute run during the boys' Saturday morning gymnastics class, but I forgot to bring the Playaway.

Sunday morning I was beat. Absolutely exhausted. I slept in until the boys woke me at 6. I intended to get out at 4:30 and run all morning but never did get out the door, which, for me, is rare. So I must have been tired.

But the morning was lovely and blue, so I rallied the kids into coats, hats and mittens and headed to Haley Farm for some fresh air.

We looked for birds.

We climbed trees.

We hung out by the railroad tunnel hoping a train would come by. None did.

But mostly we walked. We did the loop it takes me 20 minutes to run in a blazing 2 hours. And we didn't even do the whole loop. You have to love that pace. The boys got new backpacks for their birthdays and they were psyched to use them. Ben's pack (orange) had pretzels. Simon's (blue) had binoculars and his bird book.

Brian came home from robotics for the afternoon shift and took the kids on a Mystery Ride. (Bowling!) I called my dear friend Karen, whom I hadn't seen since Christmas. We went back to Haley Farm and walked for 2 hours. It was great to talk, to catch up, to mind meld with another living, breathing adult.

Colchester Half Marathon next Saturday. This will be my first race since July. I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to wear my trail shoes even though it's a road/dirt road race. My ankle never hurts in the trail shoes. It sometimes hurts in the road shoes. I think the trail shoes have a lower heel. They definitely have less cushioning. As soon as I can put a few coherent thoughts together I'll research road and trail shoes and try to find the right ones for me.

Happy Trails!


  1. Oooo, fun, a 1/2 marathon! I do enjoy that distance :) I hope you have a wonderful time!

  2. I read Anna Karenina before I'd ever heard how it ends. I'll admit it - I cried. Hard.

    Once you finish off the Russian authors, try Trollope. 30 novels later, I'm still into them.

  3. Russian literature --it's addictive! ;-)

  4. Oh Anna Karenina! I read it during my first backpacking trip when I was 19. I don't remember anything at all about it except that I was riding in the van with friends, resupplying in-between hiking trails and sobbing at some part of it, totally embarrassed, but unable to stop. Now you're making me think it may be time for a re-read!

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on road vs. trail shoes. I love my trail shoes right now (Vasque Aether Techs and Inov-8's) and hate my road shoes (Asics Kyanos) and have observed the same differences in cushioning and heel width. I also have ankle issues, and my bad ankle hurts in the road shoes but not in the trail. Tell me what you discover!

  5. Now look at what you've done...I'm reading Anna Karenina.


Please feel free to leave thoughts, suggestions, advice or queries. I love comments!