having projects

Ages ago, I read somewhere, possibly in an interview in newspaper, that it was important to have stay interested and do new things, try new things, all the time. In fact, that it was more important to keep trying new things than to finish them — and this is why I feel no guilt in having started and abandoned, in no particular order:

– learning Russian
– sewing classes
– 100 push-ups challenge
– an online sociology course
– dozens of embroidery pieces
– a variety of art projects
– ballet
– taking the exam to become a certified French-English translator
– several “classics” which I never got into, despite being a huge reader — I have documented my struggles with Anna Karenina before
– passing my driver’s license (although I will probably have to come back to this one day)
– half a dozen blogs and tumblrs other than this one

I still get a lot out of every new endeavour, but abandoned them, fairly quickly, when I lost interest. What mattered was trying new things out. I need to make every day interesting, and what is more interesting than something new? besides, you never know what I will come back to eventualy. There are things I keep coming back to over and over again though, such as:

– learning Chinese (10 years and counting! never give up!)
– writing this particular blog
– running

Yes! it’s a sneaky running post again. I have started a training plan (via Runkeeper) for a half-marathon. This time, instead of 8 weeks, I have 23 weeks (TWENTY THREE WEEKS? WHO KNOWS WHERE I WILL BE IN 23 WEEKS?) to work myself up to 21.1km. This time, I’m following a specific, professionally-designed training plan, instead of the advice of a well-intentioned but ultimately crazy Taiwanese ultramarathoner. And this time, despite the longing for more, I will NOT run multiple days in a row.

It’s actually really hard. The bright sunshine wakes me up around 7am every day and I don’t get picked up for work until 9:15. This is perfect running time and I’m aching to go, but I ran last night (intervals, urgh, 5x 3min @12km/h, 3min @6km/h) and I mustn’t run again until tomorrow. Looking back, it’s easy to see how I got injured last year. Even though McArthur’s pushing me to increase overnight from 5-8km three times a week to 12-17km five times a week was insane and I kind of knew it, it was kind of like being told to eat chips for every other meal — I knew it was a bad idea but it felt really good at the time!

However, this time it’s easy to remember not to over-train. The pain in my shins and knees has never really gone away and if I try to push it, the pain increases dramatically. Also the memory of how miserable I was in January and February, not able to run, is fresh enough of a threat to keep me in tow.

And so I went swimming on my rooftop this morning instead… 20 easy laps.


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