Reading Goals and Road Races

Reading Goals
So first of all, I made a list of five books I wanted to read in April (my first non-haul book haul) and I almost made it! I’m halfway through book five. Considering the circumstances (toddler entering solid “terrible twos” territory and 6-month-old having napping troubles) that’s nothing to sneeze at.
So I still haven’t finished The Brothers Karamazov and I’m halfway through Saddam’s Secrets by Georges Sada. So those will be my first two books for the month of May, and hopefully I will wrap them up quickly, and move on to the following four books that I pulled from my bookshelves. It may be tough because I’m doing some traveling this month (road trips with two kids and a wolf, not so easy), but I find that good habits beget good habits, so I’m going to keep this up as best I can. Then, when I finish off the books I already own, I might feel a bit more justified to buy new books here and again.
  1. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller. I’ve had this on my shelves for a couple of years, and I’m in this perpetual state of really wanting to read it and not doing so. Well, now to it! It’s a modern classic, and supposedly very funny, so I’m looking forward to it because I don’t actually read a lot of humor, dark or otherwise, and that sounds very agreeable to me right now.
  2. Firehorse Girl, by Kay Honeyman. This is historical fiction (It’s YA, maybe?) about a young Chinese woman who immigrates to the United States. I know little more than that, but I love immigration stories, so I’m looking forward to it.
  3. A Prayer Journal, by Flannery O’Connor. Is exactly what it says on the tin. A dear friend recommended this to me. I don’t think I’ve ever actually read anything by Flannery O’Connor, but I’m expecting I’ll enjoy this one. It’s also very short, which is why I’m putting four books on this list instead of only three.
  4. Fool’s Talk, by Os Guinness. This book is about discussing Christian faith in a way that is meaningful and not “one-size-fits-all”, as well as approaching apologetics with intellectual finesse, acknowledging complexity. With a keen interest in apologetics and theology, and as a huge fan of C.S. Lewis (he is referenced in the jacket description), this title intrigued me, so we’ll see!
Road Races
So when I had my first son, I immediately signed up for a half-marathon and some obstacle races to set as goals for getting my strength and fitness back postpartum. I had a snag–an emergency surgery that put a damper on my training–but still managed to do the half-marathon and one of the obstacle races.
I decided to do the same thing this time. It’s tough to make this stuff happen with littles and with my husband’s very busy schedule, but we like to try and do it anyway. So, this last weekend, only six months postpartum, (and with help from my parents who came to visit!) my husband and I ran a rock’n’roll half marathon. It was a hot muggy day and there were a lot of people who had heat exhaustion, lots of people laid up on the side of the road getting medical help, because the heat was rather unseasonable, and the humidity was thick right of the bat.
Both my husband and I did about 20 minutes slower than our respective goals (so, I think, did everyone else), but we did complete the race! I had to do some walk/run intervals after mile ten, and I did not feel so good afterwards, but we made it.
I have another half marathon coming up in three weeks, after which I think I’ll just focus on speed and strength rather than distance. Then I’ve got an obstacle race in July. It helps to have these goals, to encourage myself to be disciplined in these areas, but it also helps to hold them loosely…not to get uptight if I don’t reach a certain time bracket, distance, or book number. I have to strike the balance to keep my head. So far, so good.
That being said, I do aim to fare better on race times and reading goals this month. Even if I only beat my last time by a handful of minutes, and make just it a few pages further in my reading goals, then I will be just that one step improved, the good habit etched just a bit deeper.

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