Rotund Writer Challenge: week five

Memorial in St Louis
Running in St Louis

Last Tuesday morning I boarded a flight from St Louis to Newark; there was no time to run before the flight (had to be at the airport at 9 am) and I felt too exhausted to write.

The transfer time at Newark was close to six hours; I ate and I walked, and I drank water and…well, you know what middle aged women do when bored. I also read.

But I didn’t find my favourite shop. Five years ago I transferred at Newark on route to Mexico City. I was travelling with my friend and favourite academic co-author Rebecca.

We did what people do when they have a long connection; we browsed the shops. I went in a shop full of cowboy stuff for ladies. Amongst all that there was a lovely leather jacket in a very particular shade of blue; more like between green and blue, really.

I looked at it for a bit longer than three seconds and there was the shop assistant next to me.

‘Would you like to try it on, Madame?’ – he said. He was obviously gay.

I did try the jacket.

‘Madame, it is really made for you. You look great in it.’

I just smiled and thanked him. But I wasn’t going to buy a jacket for $150; I already had a bad feeling about our financial situation.

Rebecca and I left the shop and walked twenty meters down the airport alley. She was un-characteristically quiet.

‘I made a mistake, didn’t I?’ – I said.

‘Yep.’ – she confirmed – ‘When a gay man tells you that something suits you, you better believe it.’

This has been my favourite jacket since; and I wear it only when it is not raining so it’s not going to get damaged. Since I live in Manchester, which competes with Seattle for being the wettest place around, I don’t wear it a lot.

This time I looked for this shop but it is not there any longer; Newark is full of burger bars, sweets shops and stalls, and electronics shops. So I ended up with a pair of SkullCandy earphones; a good writing tool if you live in a noisy house.

More to the point, I arrived home on Wednesday morning. Spaced out and with a digestive system that is still completely off.

Not much space for the rituals of writing and running.

This is why I am very please to tell you that I didn’t do so badly really. I am slightly under on my writing but going strong on my running.

Writing 10,000 words a week

Last week I’ve written 7,112 words altogether.

I’ll write a separate post on this one, but probably need to clarify something. The number of words I have set out to write per week are not the number of words that ‘see the world’; or shall I say that they are not the words that I let the world see. I believe that to produce decent text the ratio is about one to there in terms of words. In other words, I write three words for every words I allow the world to see. Remember I was telling you that editing is the key?

Running for an hour five days a week

Last week I did only four runs again. Which given all the travelling and teaching I did is not too shabby.

On Thursday I had a training session with Adam, my wonderful personal trainer. He advised to have a power walk after the training session rather than run: when we are jetlagged the tiredness is physical and psychological. When we are tired we run funny and get hurt.

I am in this one for the long run (pun entirely intended) and the last thing I want is an injury.

Still my weekly mileage is 18.6 miles; which is good.

Eating: no sugar and bad carbs

Okay, this one is a complete and utter failure. In fact, I am probably on minus six days of eating sugar (this is a way to tell you that I’ve eaten shameful amounts of sugar). This is no good, no good at all.

At the same time, it was John’s birthday. My sister came to be with us and she is very good at making sugary desserts; one day it was a homemade cake made only of eggs, sugar and butter (you get the drift, about 1,000 calories per mouthful) and today she made crème-caramel – milk and sugar.

I’ll have to get myself in hand on this one. Particularly now that the running habit has been well and truly established.

How did you do?

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