I started off the new year in what I think is an appropriate way: a little bit of laziness (sleeping until 9:00 or so and reading in bed until 10:00ish), a little more reading (an hour or so in the late morning), and a nice long bike ride (three hours with Hobgoblin down to the beach and back). After I write this post, it’s time for more reading. If only things could continue in that leisurely fashion! Or, rather, it would be leisure mixed with the kind of exertion I like: thinking hard about books and then pedaling hard on my bike.
As for what I’m reading, it’s Nicholson Baker’s novel The Anthologist for the second time, because one time with that book wasn’t enough. I read through it fairly fast on the first reading, and now I’m taking my time to savor the ideas and the language. More on that book soon. I’m also reading a friend’s mystery novel draft, which has been enjoyable. It’s set locally, which is always fun, and it has a good plot and interesting characters. I like having such talented friends.
As for cycling, today’s ride was perfect. Well, it was perfect if you set aside the cold (temps in the 30s) and the damp (puddles and slush, but no ice!) and the fact that I got covered in mud. But I felt strong and managed to stay warm, and halfway through the ride, Hobgoblin and I stopped at a cupcake shop for some dessert and coffee. Yum. My final mileage for 2009 is 5,097 miles total and 5,042 miles outdoors (I rode 55 miles on the trainer last winter).
And now for some thoughts on the coming year. I’m keeping things very simple in both my reading and my riding. I was planning on ignoring all reading challenges, and I ignored a lot of them, but I found two I couldn’t resist. One of them is Emily’s TBR challenge, the books for which are listed in my sidebar. And then I saw Kate’s short story challenge and decided it would be perfect for me as I’d like to read more stories this year. I’m going to try to read five collections, although I haven’t chosen the authors yet. I’m thinking one will be Lorrie Moore, and the others I will choose as inspiration strikes.
Otherwise, I plan to read book group books, books for school, and then whatever else I feel like.
As for cycling, my main goal for this year is to not be so numbers-obsessed. I’m glad I reached my 5,000-mile goal in 2009, but I don’t want any more mileage goals, and instead I’d prefer to focus on the kind of riding that will make me stronger for racing and that will keep me in shape for riding with my cycling friends. The number of miles I ride has little to do with these things, and in fact, I could benefit from riding fewer miles and concentrating instead on mixing low- and high-intensity workouts in a better proportion.
There is a limit to my ability to forget about the numbers though. When I told my friend Megan that I wanted to stop worrying about how many miles I was riding, she sensibly asked me why I don’t just stop keeping track. The idea was so shocking I hardly knew what to say. I can’t imagine not knowing. So I will keep logging my rides, but I’m planning on riding fewer than 5,000 miles, so there’s no point in worrying too much about how fast the total mileage is increasing.
I suppose I should have some racing goals too, but I don’t. Or perhaps I should make my goal something abstract like getting as much enjoyment out of racing as I can while not worrying about the results. As I’ve written here many times before, I feel ambivalently about racing, but I’m not quite ready to give it up, as it has nice benefits like making me strong so that my cycling friends don’t leave me behind, and also making me part of the racing community and allowing me to support women’s racing, which needs it. So I’ll race and get stronger and see what happens.
I think that’s it. I guess I’m not one for complicated and detailed resolutions.
I hope your year has started off well!