Unsettled. That’s a good word to describe both the weather here today and my mood, which constantly changed during my “long” run today. 

Today the weather was 48 degrees, but the wind made the “real feel” temperature more like 36.  The wind was supposedly blowing at 26 mph, with wind gusts up to 35. I don’t know if I actually felt those, but I can say that when the wind blew, it was certainly cold.

As the weather changed from sunny to cloudy, to windy, to no wind, I felt my mood changing right along with it. When I first started, I remember thinking how light I felt, only wearing one pair of tights, and a regular long sleeved dry-wicking shirt (not the heavier base layer I’ve become used to), and my windbreaker jacket. No third layer needed.  Even getting to that point took a lot of indecision from me. Full tights, or capris?  Heavier hat, or baseball hat? Heavy gloves, or light gloves? Wool socks or regular socks?

The indecision also applied to my run.  12 miles as on the schedule? Or 10, since I wasn’t in the mood. While on the run, 9 miles,or 8? How far is this loop again? Since I had a hard time determining distance, so was speed. Fast? No, slow, no fast.  SO ANNOYING.  I finally decided 8.5 was enough. I felt a bit lame, but it’s been about 2 weeks since I did a long run over 6 miles, and I don’t want to get injured. Also, sometimes I just feel burned out on running long distances.

But, I do have good news, or what I think is good anyway, and all of this contributed to my not-so-focused mood while running:

  1. I’ve been asked to co-author an article with the person I’ve been doing freelance work for, over the last few years. I can’t tell you what an honor it is for me, that this person wants to write something WITH me. She’s a wonderful person, very generous, very intelligent and very smart.  I’m hoping that I can ask her some advice about how to work with the publishing industry, once I have a novel in working shape.  Should I send out inquiry letters while it’s still in development or when it’s done? These are the kinds of questions to which I have no answers. Yet. 
  2. On yesterday’s run at home (4 miles, with inclines/hills, and an average pace of 9:27, so I was happy), one of the characters in my book was born.  That gave me a rush that helped my last mile fly by at 9:20, even up a hill.
  3. I’ve decided to try to use some of my runs as brainstorming sessions.  Trying to think about plots, development of characters, and themes.  Right now, various scenes have been presenting themselves to me while I listen to certain music (as in my car on the long drive home to NY on Thursday evening).  So, I’ve been trying to listen to that music as I write so that mentally, I’m where I need to be. It’s not as easy to do this when running, but it does take my mind off of the distance. (However, it does tend to slow my pace.)
  4. I now know how Eileen felt when she was reading the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer.  I literally can’t put these books down. I read Twilight last week in about 3 days, and I actually just bought New Moon
    New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (pic from Amazon)

    New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (pic from Amazon)

    Yes, you read that right. Me, the librarian didn’t wait for it to come through the requesting process.  I can’t remember the last time I picked up a novel that I would stay up late reading, saying to myself, “just a few more pages, just a few more pages,” and before I knew it, an hour had gone by.  I couldn’t bear the thought of having to wait for the next one through the library. 

That’s how I want my writing to be. I’m going to be optimistic and say that’s how it can be, I just have to focus and keep at it.  My creative writing teacher in college told me once, in front of our entire class, that she felt like I was Kate Chopin reincarnated.  Kate Chopin was one of this professor’s favorite authors, so it meant so much for me to hear that. It’d be a dream to prove her right. The way I look at it, if you are going to dream, you might as well dream big.

So, obviously I had a lot on my mind today. But it was a good unsettled. Hope everyone reading this had a good weekend, and thanks so much to everyone who left me such kind words about my friend Helen’s passing last week.