Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tired, but still reading the Russians

Man, I am wiped out. After a winter spent running every single livelong day, sometimes twice, always in inclement weather of one kind or another (my favorite kind of weather, of course) I am simply exhausted. The minute Spring hit, my body decided to shut down.


I ran 3.5 hours Saturday morning and every footfall felt like my last. I haven't run since. It's Wednesday morning. This might be some sort of all time not-running-even-though-not-injured record. I swam yesterday, but even that felt lumpy and slow. Like I was swimming through sand. Or bricks.

I think I must be channeling Susan. She is tapering for the Umstead 100 this week. And I am tapering right along with her. All of my free time (maybe 20 minutes a day) is spent asleep. I sleep anywhere. Couch, kitchen chair. I even briefly fell asleep sitting on the floor in front of the woodstove while waiting for the fire to get going yesterday.

It's as if the warmth of the sun has sent me into deep slumber mode. It has turned off the energy taps. I'm toast.

And the weather last weekend was picture perfect. I could have been running all weekend. I think it hit 70 here in Connecticut, which is unheard-of in March. But I didn't. I walked around with the kids, had picnics, pick-axed the potholes in the driveway and slept. It was very nice. It was a downright conventional weekend, but not much for a running blog.

I did carry the camera around with me. So here you go......

Nell and I went on a woodcock walk Thursday night with the Dennison Pequotsepos Nature Center at the Manatuck Preserve. The male woodcocks are preening for the females right now at dawn and dusk at the edge of fields all over the northern states. It is quite a spectacle. The male woodcocks stand on the ground and yell, "Peeeeeent, peeeeeent," in their very best Star Wars voices, then take off with a whispry Weeee Weeeeee Weeeeee Weeeee Weeeee, and spiral up about 300 feet in the air. They return down in a pendulum pattern before dive-bombing the last few feet to the ground. It's thrilling!

Here's Nell looking for woodcocks at dusk.

Woodcock habitat.

We went back out the next night with the boys because they just had to see this.

We were hoping to get a photo of a woodcock, but boys will be boys. They kept crashing through the undergrowth to get a good look at the birds and scaring them away. Boys cannot help themselves. Even nice boys like these boys.

So Nell and I went out again Saturday night and did manage to get a few shots of the woodcocks on the ground.

Nell was helping out at her stable with Spring Break Horse Camp all week, so the boys and I had some QT together in the mornings. Friday was a drop dead gorgeous day. We went to the Mystic Seaport and galloped around with our homeschool friends.

At one point we ducked into the membership office to get a drink of water. The ancient volunteer lady, certainly a museum relic herself, insisted on making hot cocoa for the boys and then proceeded to take endless amounts of time measuring out the chocolate and pouring the hot water. Bless them, here are the dear boys waiting patiently for their cocoa.

Saturday we drive up to North Franklin, CT and hiked to the waterfall at Ayers Gap. Lovely, lovely. It was so warm the kids went into the water. They all got wet in direct proportion to their age and level of good sense (ie, Nell stayed pretty dry; Ben got soaked).

And, to sum up this totally non-running post, I am still reading the Russians. I am hooked. I finished Anna Karenina last week and started A. N. Wilson's biography of Tolstoy, which is a fascinating read. I must get on with War and Peace after this. I tried it once a couple of years ago and didn't get much past the first 100 pages. I am going to give it another try. I think I may be ready for it now.

I think there is a right time in a life for every book. You have to be on the lookout and you have to be patient. The time is nigh for War and Peace. I'm girding my loins and preparing for the battle.

Tolstoy. The Old Master.

I'm listening to Dostoevsky's Brother's Karamazov on my iPod. I'm planning to go out running right now and listen. I hope I can hear the story over the roaring of the wind out there. Spring has sprung! Time to get out and run.......


  1. War and Peace is a hard slog. Try Tolstoy's Hadji Murad - short and wonderful!

  2. I'm up for a hard slog right now. I'm going to give it a try! But I'll look for Hadji Murad as well. Thanks.

  3. Are you still planning on running the 50K in April? I was contemplating volunteering since I cannot run.


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