Sunday, August 3, 2014

Half Marathons for the Untrained

I must have needed the nap.

We are not morning church people this year.  We get the pleasures of sleeping in versus the pleasures of the Sunday afternoon nap.  When we arrive home, all we want to do is eat.  Bye-Bye Nesquik, if she wishes to be loved by all, had best start frying up the sausages and hunting down the measuring spoons.

But today, Bye-Bye Nesquik sat on her bed, sinking further and further down until she gave in completely.  

Little wonder.

I'm used to walking, a lot.  I can do ten miles at a stretch and still be cheerful (probably because I promise myself a Butterfinger Blizzard when I'm done).  But Friday, I decided to go for twelve miles.

Packing along extra snacks and cold water, I set out.  There was the shady park, where bikers and runners blasted past me.  There was the remote path where, on my right, I could peek through the fence at the cars speeding by on the freeway and, on the left, I saw a backlot full of old bus shelters.  There was a little restaurant row in a neighborhood that is fighting its way back from neglect.  (It's 75% there.  Keep trying.)  Then there was the nice part of town where the day spas and the art galleries lead the way into hushed neighborhoods with beautiful landscaping.

All the way along the route, I worried that I couldn't finish.  One shoe hurt. Not to mention that I was all too aware that if I turned right at the private high school campus instead of turning left, I could cheat my way back to my car sooner.

But  I didn't cheat.  And I'm glad, because it would have been sad to miss the really nice street with the tree-lined promenade down the middle.

But it was work all the way.  Twelve miles, as my daughter tells me, is just short of a half marathon.  I'm not doin' it again unless I get a picnic and a nap somewhere in the middle.  

So who's surprised that I conked out today?

However, everybody got fed.  Kinda late, but it happened.

Our Fast Sunday tradition around here is to try all new recipes:

Over on the Book Pile, we're attempting Toni Morrison's A Mercy.  Ms. Morrison deserves to sit at the right hand of the masterful William Faulkner.

Trouble is, I can't abide Faulkner.

Ms. Morrison's story jerks forward and backward.  I would like to like this book, but with all its artful ambiguity, I cannot keep everybody straight.  Now, who's on the farm?  Who is the mistress of all this?  Who's pregnant?  Who lost a baby? 

Does she think readers lock themselves away in a lonely cabin, wholly absorbed, stopping only to brew a cup of tea or stand on the deck and gaze out over the valley?  I myself squeeze in a few pages after adding up last month's receipts, and a few more sitting in the food court at the mall, and a few more while waiting for my grandson to punch and kick his way through karate class.  Every reading session feels like I'm opening an entirely new book.  It doesn't help that the horse is named Regina and the people are named Sorrow and Patrician, unless I am missing some five-star symbolism here.

I read on, pretty much lost.  I shouldn't have to work this hard.

Although if Ms. Morrison can find me a lonely cabin with a scenic back deck, I will really buckle down on this thing.  


  1. are incredible....12 miles!
    When I come for a visit, pretty sure I will request only the mini version of your neighborhood stroll.

    1. "When I come," she says. Not "If I come." Oh, I like the sound of that.

      And I promise to go easy on you.

  2. Kristen, you need to read something for fun.

    1. So few books measure up to "The Lonely Polygamist" and other gems. Then again, I probably enjoy complaining about the tough books.