3.05.2011

Discomfort? How about this discomfort?

No post-run pastries this morning!
How is running going? Funny you should ask. I'm into the third week of training for a 10k and I've been feeling like the runs are getting a little stale. Running 2.5 and 3 milers three times a week can get a little tedious... mostly because the always-increasing challenges of beginning running have been absent for a while.

No fear, because today's scheduled run was the first of several longer runs that I'll do in this training. Today was 3.5 miles, longer than I've ever run, and it was tough. I wanted to stop several (see: many) times. I did stop at one point to stretch when I was on the Brooklyn Bridge coming back towards Brooklyn. Mental battles all the way, feeling as though I wasn't moving fast enough, wondering why I was so out of breath, pissed at the tourists in my way.

And yet. My hair is long enough to pull back and not need bobby pins. I ran those 3.5 miles in 38 minutes. It was warm enough to run in short sleeves. The running I did today resembled nothing like it looked on January 1, when I was running 2 minutes at a time, when my hair was plastered to my head with pins, when I was bundled in winter gear.

Remember when I was scared of 20 minutes? I ran almost double that today and even if it didn't feel like a victory while I was doing it, it sure as hell looks like one on paper after the fact.

Damn. That feels good.

*

And then, all day, I was anxious about sitting down to write. We had talked about going to a cafe this afternoon, so I continued to think "four hours until I have to write." "Three hours until I have to write." Etc ad nauseum all day. Then we got to Starbucks and I ate my pumpkin bread slowly until finally I told myself to man up and open a damn new document.

The horror of those first two pages! The horror of wanting, after every paragraph, to write something else, anything else! My words were bad, so bad, no one would ever want to read them, was this even the right story? The right name for this character? My god, when had I started using words like "delightful"!?

Hell.

Very reminiscent, interestingly, of the first 15 minutes of a run.

I wrote a scene for about a page and a half - the scene I've been thinking through for the past week or so. And then I didn't know what to write next. I put a star in the middle of a line and I pressed enter a couple of times and then I sat and looked at the blinking cursor. This next part is going to sound crazy.

I started talking to the character in my head. I asked Margaret what else I should know about. "What part of the story comes next, Margaret?" I asked.

And suddenly, an idea. Some dialogue. Things were flowing and I typed them, I caught up with them, I started to see how things were much more complicated than I had ever imagined for her. I found myself on page 3 and decided I would write 5 pages, regardless of how long it took me. Because suddenly I realized that stopping because I don't have an anticipated perfect paragraph is not a good excuse.

Halfway through page 4, I needed a new song. I scrolled through iTunes and (again, crazy) asked Margaret what we needed to listen to. I clicked on a song that I have never heard before and suddenly, an idea. I was off! I was onto page 5 and then I was finished with page 5 and now I'm sitting here, with 5 pages of writing in front of me and, most importantly, a very juicy moment to continue with next time.

Damn. That feels good.

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