What Kind of Champion are You? Sprint, Middle or Long Distance?

English: The lonliness of the long-distance ru...

English: The lonliness of the long-distance runner(s) These two runners had just finished running along the foot/cycle path that runs along the side of the A14 here – which can’t have been too nice for them. I passed them again about 40 minutes later in the heart of Felixstowe, still running – I hope they were nearly home! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Misty May-Treanor Wheaties

Misty May-Treanor Wheaties (Photo credit: GeneralMills)

I have wakened between four and five each morning for a while now. Usually I lie and consider the warmth of my bed, snuggling in a little deeper and give thanks for my comfort, and then, turn over for another couple of hours of comfort. Always a quick little thought intervenes that says, rise, spring up, start the day with vigor and through much self-discipline I stay abed. Simply because I can. This morning was a little different as a softer thought gently wafted into my brain. How about getting up just to see what the day might hold for you? No rush, no fuss, no muss. So here it is, 6:18 am, showered, sipping a cup of tea, and considering some very Important Thoughts. (I have mentioned before that my early early morning thoughts seem to carry concepts and originality the rest of the day never sees.)
So what wonderous pervasive notion has captured my mind today?

Champions or perhaps non-Champions or perhaps some kinds of Champions.  (No I have not been eating ‘Wheaties – The Breakfast of Champions lately’)  What has been on my mind of course is NaNoWriMo as it is for many in this magical month.  And that got me to thinking – great thoughts (depending on the time of day of course).

Now you won’t find any whining and snivelling oh poor me here.  This is a journey of discovery.  Yep,  I have the concept, the plot, story, beginning, and ending.  Like all people, many of whom have full-time jobs in addition to this commitment, time is a challenge and my life much like yours is going through a period where the fates have increased the drama quotient by whirling up a stew of deaths, heartaches, illnesses, more illnesses, strife between people, stressors (none of which are mine personally, but family and friends) all  in the last ten days, stirred it all with the mighty universal spoon, thrown in our bowls and said, “Now deal with it.”

Now the scene is set.  No excuses to be had as life tends to do that to all of us sometimes, and while we look at our own set of problems there are way too many dealing with much much more.  Now setting all this in its place comes the crux of the matter.

I like to write.  I will finish this story because it deserves to be told.  I will  finish it on time.

It did get me thinking about different kinds of Champions though and my mind turned to running and races.

There are for instance Sprints, 100, 200, 300 meters which require a quick and large output of speed and focus on the athlete’s maximum attainment of speed.  Whew even the thought leaves me breathless and my heart feels like it should start pounding explosively. ( I won’t let it of course – much too old for such nonsense).  But the Sprint is pretty much what we bloggers do on a daily basis.

Then there are the Middle Distance Runners at 800 or 1500 meters.  This takes a little more strategy in accomplishing a win without blowing all your energy in the first quarter or half.  Different mind set.

Then, aha!  The Long Distance Runner.  Now that’s what I am talking about.  Going the distance.  The Novel.

My ever trustworthy and sharing friends at Wikipedia  have this interesting tidbit of information.

Stride rate and types

Exercise physiologists have found that the stride rates are extremely consistent across professional runners, between 185 and 200 steps per minute. The main difference between long- and short-distance runners is the length of stride rather than the rate of stride.[15][16]

During running, the speed at which the runner moves may be calculated by multiplying the cadence (steps per second) by the stride length. Running is often measured in terms of pace[17] in minutes per mile or kilometer. Fast stride rates coincide with the rate one pumps one’s arms. The faster one’s arms move up and down, parallel with the body, the faster the rate of stride. Different types of stride are necessary for different types of running. When sprinting, runners stay on their toes bringing their legs up, using shorter and faster strides. Long distance runners tend to have more relaxed strides that vary.

Reaching the finish line.

It’s wonderful to have dallied all these many many years thinking what a wonderful novelist I would be.  The thought first arrived on a sunny June afternoon about fifty years ago (oops a little of my procrastination side showing here).  I think it is pretty much time to find out and the ‘have to’ of a deadline makes it exciting.  Push come to shove I may just find out I am a Sprinter, in which case I shall devote all energy there.  Lord knows I am in exemplary company there.

English: Kensuke Takezawa is a Japanese long-d...

English: Kensuke Takezawa is a Japanese long-distance runner. 日本語: 竹澤健介は日本の長距離走選手。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

*Women Who Write – A little NaNO Inspiration

NaNoWriMo

I think it was last week that someone getting ready, set, go, was wondering about ways to prepare for National Novel Writing Month and someone in the comments (I do apologize for not being able to give credit where due) suggested just read favorite inspiring writing.  The library has kept me busy the last few weeks with my faves with some new additions including Peter James and Stefan Bollman and Zoe Sharp ( I am finally getting to the Charlie Fox Series!)

Anyway – back to my preparation and ‘Women Who Write’.  Sometimes when I am unsure what to do or how to do it, I Get Stressed.  And of course this foray into unknown territory might have started to create some stress except for the wonderful advice as above. READ.

Well that’s about the easiest advice, for me, there is to follow.  Each Wednesday morning I traipse off returning one set of treasures and gathering new.  Yesterday I wandered somewhat aimlessly waiting for inspiration to beckon, and it did, in spades.

The first book was Shirley MacLaine‘s ‘I’M OVER ALL THAT’ published by Atria Books that was inspiring, funny, and thrilling (largely I guess because we are not too far apart in age).  I love her books, they are never dull!  At 218 pages it was a perfect afternoon’s read.  MacLaine feeds my sense of adventure in literary unknown because she is so brazen.  Brazen enough to tell it like it is, her perception, with out sounding pompous or weird or egotistical.  She feeds my bravery in daring to express.

Then tucking aside Zoe Sharp’s ‘Second Shot‘ published by Thomas Dunne books as it is definitely dessert in this literary repast of mine, and I want to get through my delicious hors d’oeuvre and main course before I can savor this sweet treat so I turned to nonfiction.  I often have no idea exactly what I am after but aisles are walked, directions changed and before you know it I have in my hand exactly what I needed.

I don’t mind nonfiction but my style is to choose fiction first and then possibly stroll elsewhere.  For now and the immediate future, like the next 30 days, my interest is in writing fiction so that has been my literary diet for sometime.  The point is that my search took me to the nonfiction section and directly to a section on Writing.  There, practically leaping off the shelf and into my hands, was ‘WOMEN WHO WRITE’ by Stefan Bollmann published by Merrell.

Now this large size book, sort of in the style of the Coffee Table Book seemed insistent at coming home with me.  I considered the weight, the size and whether it would fit in my bag and put it back on the shelf to see what other offerings there were.  Nothing.  I kept picking it up, sort of like a puppy at a pet store that cries, ‘take me hooome!’  So I did.

Francine Prose did the Foreword and her first line was as gripping as the rest of the book: ‘A writer, any writer, is dangerous enough.’  HAH!  I was hooked.  The stories are incredible, the photos breathe life and when you open the cover the essence of these women writers, the ones who had to use male pen names, the ones who died in German concentration camps (more than I ever imagined), the ones whose brilliance was too bright too remain in this life and chose to exit, and the ones who lived successful lives that touched worlds.

Inspiration?  Yup, I think I have it.  And tomorrow, November 1st it begins.  Our own journey – Men and Women.  I only drifted to Women Who Write as that is my own inspiration.  So off we go all!!

What is your Inspiration?

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