Winter Sunday Stats (but it feels like spring): 1/29/2012

Everything you need to know about last week: I’m even posting this a day late.

Running: None. Zero. Nada. Null set. Zip-a-rooni. A goose egg. I got sick again, just a nasty cold, but having really only just recovered from my second round of bronchitis this season a couple of weeks ago, it knocked me on my ass until the end of the week. At least I made it to taekwondo and weapons practice with the Boy on Saturday morning, but I skipped any kind of run on Sunday, even though I was feeling all right — the doctor’s last threat of pneumonia made a lasting impression, plus I’m inherently lazy.  

The Girl missed our usual Saturday Martial Arts Extravaganza because she was in Lisle for the day, kicking ass at her first Science Olympiad invitational.  Why yes, those are TWO shiny new gold medals hanging in her room, thank you for noticing.

Writing:  Not my best effort. I wrote 1,029 words this week, (total for the draft is now 85,338). I only wrote on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and even then, less than 200 words per day on Monday and Thursday. But any forward motion is still progress. I’m getting back into the groove, at least a little. We’ll see how I do this weekend.

As an experiment, I have uninstalled Ad0be Flash on my MacBook Air. There are security issues with Flash, and I’ve read that it can keep running in the background even after you’ve closed your browser, slowing the processor and draining the battery.  To the extent I need Flash for something, I open it in Chrome, which has Flash embedded into it so that it shuts down completely when you close the browser.  So far, I haven’t needed it much – most Y0uTub3 videos run in HTML5 now (I had to opt into YT’s HTML5 group), but it’s still used for video on a lot of other sites, such as news stations (and clips of The Daily Show).  I haven’t noticed any huge improvements, either, but it’s only been a couple of days.

Winter Sunday Stats: January 22, 2012.

Running: 7.26 miles today, sloooowly (1:30:06, average pace of 12:25 min/mile) mostly because of the snow, although I didn’t get out until almost 11am, still without breakfast, which meant that my fuel tank was even emptier than usual. I did run a little longer on the treadmill during the week, which more than made up for the drop in my long run — my total distance was 14.77 miles for the week, and so far I’m at 47.9 miles year-to-date. Next week (weather permitting) I’m going to try to get my Sunday run back over 9 miles. I’d like to be back to 10 mile runs by the beginning of February.

Writing: Including 340 words today (the kids’ Sunday fencing lesson = guilt-free weekend writing time), I wrote 1,914 words in Breezeway this week, bringing the total wordcount for the project to 84,309.  I wrote at least 100 words every day this week except for Wednesday and Thursday (and I’m kicking myself for blowing those days, because I had no good reason for not writing).  I’m slow, easily discouraged, and tire easily — it’s like exercising a muscle that has been allowed to atrophy.  But there are moments when I feel like it’s starting to come back; on Tuesday evening, for example, I sat down at 10:30pm intending to spend 20 minutes writing before going up to bed, just so I could check the box for the day.  I looked up 45 minutes later, not knowing where the time had gone, and realized that I’d knocked out more than 700 words.  It was “ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY,” repeated 78 times, but I still think that’s progress, don’t you?

Final note: On top of the snow and the lack of food (or caffeine — I really need to stock back up on Espresso Gu), one other thing that probably slowed me down during my run this morning is that I played only podcasts during my run today, instead of mixing some fast-paced music in with the talky stuff. I am, however, at long last close to finishing Dan Carlin’s nearly six-hour final episode of his Death Throes of the Republic series about the decline and fall of the Roman republic. Good thing, too, because I just downloaded his latest episode, which is much shorter: only four hours.  I can’t say I would ever wish my commute were longer, but his Hardcore History show comes close.

Winter Sunday Stats, 1/15/2012

Running: 8.28 miles today; 14.2 miles for the week; 33.1 miles year-to-date. I feel like I’m completely over the bronchitis, but I have to work my way back into running, in terms of both distance and pace. I didn’t have time to fully rebuild between the first bout in November and the Christmas relapse, so I lost a lot of strength, and I know better than to push it too hard, especially now that winter is finally here. It was 19 degrees when I left the house this morning, but I was lucky — there wasn’t too much bare ice on the sidewalks, and there was almost no wind.

Breezeway: 357 words today (also the total for the week). Total word count: 82,935. I’m taking another shot at finishing this draft. I’m sick of this novel eating away at me. Breezeway is my 2009 NaNoWriMo winner — I wrote the first 51,000 words by 11:59pm on November 30, 2009 — and I’ve written just over 30,000 in more than two years since. Time to finish the damned thing or move on.

Speaking of finished damned things, my imaginary internet friend and 2009 NaNoWriMo rival John Mierau DID finish his damned thing, science fiction thriller Enemy Lines. He released it last spring as a podcast serial (if you haven’t heard it, why not give the first episode a listen?), and now he’s converting it into e-book and print formats.  He’s raising money for the editing and cover art over at crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, so if you like what you hear, maybe you’ll join me in kicking in a few bucks to help him put out a nice-looking package.

Printers Suck.

Just thought I’d mention it.

Shut In For the New Year.

I’m currently trying to recover from my second bout of bronchitis since the end of October — a delayed reaction to the trial, I think — and haven’t left the house since Christmas Day except once to pick up a vacationing neighbor’s mail. I worked at home all week, doing things that needed doing before year-end, but haven’t even made it around the corner to Starbucks. And it’s been two weeks since I’ve been out for a run, which is about the point where I go from being a little twitchy to wanting to jump off a building. The Siren’s been sick all week, too, while the kids are in fine shape and are starting to bounce off the walls because Mom & Dad won’t take them anywhere.

That said, we’ve had a pretty good winter break. We took another shot at introducing The Boy to Doctor Who with the Christmas special, which he loved, and introduced both kids to Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes. One of the joys of having older kids is that we can occasionally have a family movie night that doesn’t involve talking animals.

The Boy turned 8 years old the other day, and his latest passion is electronics; between his Christmas and birthday presents, he probably has enough parts in his combined electronics kits to build a supercomputer.

The Girl, on the other hand, got a home genetics kit and is planning to genetically engineer her own strain of bacteria. Probably just when I finally get over the damn bronchitis.

For New Year’s Eve, the Siren made a fantastic three-course fondue dinner, even more elaborate than last year’s. We went through an enormous box of poppers and noisemakers, and after the kids finally went to bed, the two of us stayed up until midnight laughing our asses off reading Damn You Autocorrect in bed. Because that’s how we roll these days.

No big resolutions for 2012, just trying to reboot after an unexpectedly difficult year. Step one: tomorrow, I leave the house.

Home.

On Sunday night, I arrived home with the Siren and the kids from the beach. Our trial team finished examining the last of the witnesses on Thursday, August 25; the Siren drove the kids out on her own earlier in the week, and I was going to fly out to meet them on Friday.

Irene. What a bitch.

The beach town issued a mandatory evacuation order — not that the Siren needed to be ordered away from a hurricane — and we spent the first three days of our postponed and reduced vacation in a Philadelphia hotel, then had just four and a half days instead of our usual two weeks.

Even though I spent at least half of each day at the beach working — the evidence is in, but we have closing briefs to write before the closing arguments, now scheduled for the end of the month — at least we had a few days together before school started up again.  We got home Sunday night, and it was the first time since May 10 that I was coming home and not turning right around again to fly back out west.  The kids started school the day after Labor Day, and I spent my first full day at the office in four months.  To say I’m disoriented would be an understatement. I assume I will loosen up a bit in the next few weeks, but for now I’m still very tightly wound.

You see, I still haven’t unpacked. I’m not sure I remember how.

One Week More.

No, really, this time I mean it. One more week of hauling back and forth to Botox City, and the weekly commute will finally be over. Oh, sure, I’ll go back for a day or two here and there — we won’t have closing arguments until mid-September because the judge wants us to brief the legal issues for him, and there will probably be follow up, but after this week, the most TRYING part of the case will be over (get it? what, did I make that joke already? fine, be that way).

Also, weekend fatherhood sucks. I spent more time with my dad during summers growing up than I’ve spent with my kids the last three months, and my parents were divorced. Trying to step back into that role when you’ve been gone all week, week after week, isn’t easy. Today it was trying to advise my daughter when the bratty girl across the street behaved badly, again — I don’t know that I’d have any good answers for her ordinarily, but I’m so removed from the situation now I really don’t have any idea what to say except that the kid’s a jerk and not to bother about her. Inspiring stuff.

One more week.