Thursday, October 15, 2009


I am a terrible runner.
No, really. I am.
I am slow.
I am a giant baby. (only I cry when I crawl, unlike this happy fella!)

I have hideous wheezy asthmatic lungs that make me sound more like a 78 year old man with emphysema than a spry(ish) middle aged woman!

And (most embarrassingly), I frequently feel sorry for myself. BECAUSE IT'S HARD WORK!

Running has brought me to tears. Seriously. I spent a good 1/3 of the last half marathon I ran, sobbing because I FELT SO SORRY FOR MYSELF and bits of me hurt and I had charlie horse in my leg, and I was cooooolddddd and then I was hoooooootttttt and the freakin' hill up to the top of Prospect Point almost made me want to jump in the Pacific Ocean (even though I'd run up that hill several times before the big event, so really, what was my problem) and on and on!!

If it weren't for my running posse who keep me grounded and motivated, I would never do it. Nope. I would sit on the couch. I would watch stoooopid reality shows that shall remain nameless, and read books. You see, gentle readers, I am shallow. Like a petrie dish. Because I run for the coffee at the end of it all. Or the breakfast. I'm like a dog. I need a reward.

Years ago, before I had hooked up with my like minded (and slow-BUT STEADY!-on-the-feet) running posse, I began this whole running thing with my friend AJ. We were training for a sprint Triathlon. (though in my case there was really no SPRINT in what I did - though I did do it! I crossed the finish line before they'd rolled up the sidewalks and gone home out of it. And THAT counts for something somewhere I'm sure.)

AJ has WAY more staying power than I do, and before long, she was leaving me in the dust. Left to my own devices, I would find ANY excuse to walk. So I thought I needed to motivate myself. "If only I could READ while I run", I thought. And then the answer came to me: Audiobooks. I needed audiobooks. So I signed up for and bought my first MP3 player, and I started listening to audiobooks when I ran. The idea was that, as long as I was running, I could listen. But if I wimped out and STOPPED running, so would I have to stop the MP3 player. This system lasted for about 45 minutes. I discovered that, in fact, I need MUSIC to run. (And to this day, I always have one ear that's tucked under my headset so that there's always music in the bg).

While I loved listening to audiobooks, I found it difficult to run and listen to - well let's take David Sedaris for example. I would be running by myself (because AJ would be in the next province after leaving me in the dust), and I would begin laughing out loud. There I was, running a trail in Pacific Spirit Park all by my own self, and LAUGHING OUT LOUD. In other words, I looked like a crazy lady. I'm pretty certain I scared folks. Hell, I scared mySELF. And then I started listening to crime novels. But then I really DID scare myself. And I STILL looked like a crazy lady, because anytime anyone would run past me, I would shriek.

Then I discovered that the way to listen to audio books was

1. While walking
2. on a long drive (listening to it through the speakers and NOT through earbuds of course)
3. sometimes on a long bike ride (but don't tell Mister Man. He gets anxious if he thinks I'm listening to something while I'm riding. Though the volume is never too high. And I don't submit BOTH ears to the endeavour!)

Here's the amazing site. They have THOUSANDS of excellent books. And you can even listen to samples before you commit. I've now been a member for about 7 years. And some days, I can hardly wait to walk so that I can rejoin the story in progress.

If you are thinking this might be for you, I urge you to try it. And, just to get you started, here are my top 5 audiobooks... (this is hard, but here goes). They are all BRILLIANTLY read. AND they are good books! (and okay - there are more than 5 on this list)

Anything by David Sedaris

What can I say? If you remember loving the part where adults read you stories when you were a kid, then you will probably love too. I know I do.

PS. Right now I am listening to Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood. I don't know if it will make my top 5 10 list, but I sure love the part where people read to me!

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