Books in 2020

I’ve read 20 books so far this year. Unlike most years, it’s been a weirdly clustered bunch.

3 Harry Potter books, and counting

3 Fredrik Backman books,

2 Hemingway books,

2 John Steinbeck books,

2 John L Parker Jr books, and

3 running related books (not including the 2 John Parker books).

That’s 15 of 20 books I’ve read so far. I’m guessing it’ll be 19 of 24 before the month is over.

Also, unlike most years, my reading list this year is loaded with fiction. Usually there’s an almost even split.

A five check mark day

Five check mark day - ran, gardened, slept, drank...

It’s been a long time since I had one of these. 2 months lost to injury, 2 before that lost to over training, over work, and lots of anxiety.

I slept well last night. Woke up and solved a cube in bed. Then walked around singing aloud. Did 8 and a bit pull-ups. Finished reading about Quentin Cassidy’s latest race. Ran; down to the river, across to Shalford and back, and up the hill; in the heat. Did a bunch of chores around the house. Did 5 pull-ups. Spent a few hours gardening. Spoke to parents. Drank a lot of liquid (not counting milk, tea and coffee).

It was a good day. Fully deserved those 5 check marks.

Should’ve saved that Magnum ice cream bar for today.

Tick. Tock.

Score hit 1600 on one page. Up.

Another proposal rejected, apparently withouta second read, by a team marketing solution for second reads. Down.

Spoke to ma pa for nearly 90 minutes. Up.

Had a short, 5-minute angry rant midway. Down.

Rested all day and stretched twice. Up.

Legs are still stiff and hurting, with 10 miles on the training plan tomorrow. Down.

Played and snuggled with boy. Up.

Lying alone on the sofa thinking bad thoughts, when I should be asleep. Down.

Status.

Text to R this morning:

I don’t want to go run in this freezing cold.
I just want too snuggle up with the warm bachcha, hot chocolate, hot samosas and watch Gilmore girls.

After a good interval running session in freezing cold:

I’m the next Kipchoge. I’m the new Mary Kitane. I can beat Shelly Ann Fraser Price. David Rudisha is me. Mo Farah wants to be me!

Hormones and all that stuff …  :)

Friday, the 13th

The dark clouds arrived—Boris returned as PM, winning a big majority, winning a mandate for more lies and bluster for all future elections.

The silver lining faded—Corbyn refused to step down, instead asking for a period of ‘introspection’, and only promising a vague ‘will not lead the party in next election.’ Labour lost 61 seats across the country, and managed to win just one from another party. Labour has now lost two elections in a row under him; elections that any other decent leader would have won comfortably. Still, the ditherer-in-chief says he wants to introspect for a few months to figure out what went wrong!

Then the interesting stuff began.

I published my second Android app: Accelereader for Instapaper. It was in beta for a few weeks, but went into public release earlier this week. It’s always scary publishing publicly, however small the audience may be.

Then I did something even scarier—I decided on the Hanson method for training for the Paris marathon. Even the beginner program has 6 days of running most weeks; I struggle to run 5 days consistently. The beginner program also has almost two months of running 80-90 km per week. My weekly cadence has only rarely been above 50 km. It involves multiple faster-than-race-pace 10-mile tempo runs, and interval sessions that go on longer than my current long weekend runs. I’ll come out of this training season at the top of my running fitness, or broken—mentally and physically.

Not everything is scary. I made progress with the pull-ups. Today I did two full ones. Twice. Last week I was celebrating almost completing one. A few weeks ago I couldn’t even do a quarter. I also do 4-6 chin-ups a couple of times a day, up from just 1-2 a few weeks ago. (Yes, chin-ups and pull-ups are different)

I’ve also made progress with weight loss (despite the muscle gain from pull-ups and running). Yesterday, I weighed-in at 76.2Kg, a nearly 5-year low, and within hitting distance of the goal weight.

And finally, the best bit: I’ve started meditating again. I’m on a 15-day streak, sometimes twice a day, and finally getting back to being able to focus for a few minutes unbroken. If nothing else survives from this period post (I really hope the current government and opposition leadership don’t), I hope at least this will.

Continue reading Friday, the 13th