Thursday, September 10, 2009

If only I had a hammock...

The weather lately has been perfect for running. It is sunny, dry, and comfortably cool. The leaves and grass are green, and the sun, at the right time, shines golden through the branches.

It's also the perfect weather for lying in a hammock with a good book. I've just begun reading The Rule of Four, which is about some Princeton undergraduates who uncover a mystery surrounding an ancient Italian text. It won't be long until I'm finished with that, though, and I'm tempted to pull out The Lord of the Rings again.

I've read the entire LOTR trilogy several times already. I admit that that is excessive, but reading it, especially the beginning of the first book, when they begin the journey, evokes such warm, comfortable feelings, that I can't help but want to return to the book time after time. All year long I come across experiences or feelings that remind me of something I've read or felt from LOTR. And every time I read it, I find something else about it like a flash of insight in a quotation or a description that resonates particularly true in my life.

I woke up this morning after yesterday's 2-mile run to discover soreness in my shin the moment I put weight on it. It's not very painful -- in fact, I can barely feel it now -- but the fact that it's there is troublesome to me. I know that running in the 10K on Saturday will aggravate it, and I hope that it will not inhibit the recovery too badly. I hope even more that it is not a sign of a stress fracture, as the doctor indicated may still be a possibility.

The sore shin means that instead of running this fall, I'll have to do a lot of biking, which I find a very agreeable substitute. (I just re-read that sentence, and it sounds like it came from Jane Austen. Maybe I've been spending too much time in the library...) The picture above is from a bike ride last week. I had intended at the beginning of the summer to bike the 20 miles or so from my house to the support staff's apartment, but I focused so much on running that I never worked up to that on the bike. Maybe, if the trail has been cleared of all of the fallen trees from a storm a few weeks ago, I can work up to that goal. Hopefully he'll be able to come with me most of the time, as well. After all, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the Hobbits' walk through the Shire was the company along the way.

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