Week 14

Total Miles – 30.8 Miles
Runs 53-56

Well, I though this was the week that tapering started, but as you can see I still ran 30+ miles. I asked my coach and he said this coming week. So, first week of tapering coming up, and final week of training per se. So, in theory I am trained and ready to go! Now, it’s just finishing strong, and making sure the easy, low key runs, have value.

Run 53 was super hard. After having run 19 miles on Saturday, my body was not yet ready to put in 60 minutes of running. Yet, you go out there and do it, even if its super slow and you doubt that you will be able to do Marathon pace in a couple of days, because your body hurts so much right now! Yet, unbeknownst to me, there were strides at the end of this work out at a 7 min pace. The first one took me off guard, I did not check, I just knew I had 60 minutes and the strides came as a shock. Yet, I was able to do it.

Run 54 – marathon pace 4X for 1.25 Miles each. Plus all the accoutrements that come with it turned this into a 7.5 mile mid week beast of a run. I keep being reminded that I am already trained and when it comes time to push. You push! Somehow, I am able to keep that pace and it almost feels natural and easy.

Run 55 – ran without pain! What kind of strange phenomenon is this? How do you run without pain, I have not felt that in forever! A quick 50 minutes and I’m not sure as to why. I felt no pain anywhere. I have been leveraging the Bronx River trail all week and boy did I miss the simplicity of running a familiar route. Where you know when you have to turn around, no maps, no planning. Just run!

Run 56 – What the hell happened! I ran without pain yesterday., yet today! It’s like someone hit me with a hammer in both my ankles. I’m doing a modified route I have never done, Martha and I are running almost the same distance, 11 miles for her and 12 miles or so for me.

I ran a quick warm up mile and picked Martha up right in front of the house. We ran down my block and into the heart of Mount Vernon proper. Let me preface by stating that I did not plan this route very well, when I created it, it did not seem like it was overly hilly. Boy was that a mistake! Right at the start it was massive hills just to get into Mount Vernon proper, then massive hills as you traversed it and came into the Bronx at the end 233rd reaching Baychester. We got to see a whole bunch of car repair places, next to strip clubs, next to McD’s. This part of the Bronx really does not speak to it’s better parts.

Yet, we traversed it with no issues and finally reached COOP City, where we finally got into Pelham Park. The trails here are great and almost always near empty. It’s truly a joy to partake in the up and down of the hills, with a golf course to the left and the sound to the right. I will have to come back and just run this area in the future. Back to the running, by mile 7, while I was still keeping a 9 minute or so pace, I was dying. The hills had my number, my ankles had my number and it was all a desire to finish and be done. We exit Pelham Park trail system in New Rochelle. The fancy parts of New Rochelle with the mansions, only to leave it behind rather quickly as we once again enter Mount Vernon! The last 2/3 miles were ALL UP HILL. I repeat the last 2/3 miles were ALL UP HILL. I was suppose to do 2 hours, but pulled the plug 7 minutes shy at 12 Miles.

This coming week will be better and the end is in site. 2 weeks until the marathon!

Look at that elevation at the end!
The best parts, are the ones along Pelham Park!

Week 13 and the missing 12!

I did not post last week. I wrote it up and then for some reason could not finish writing. The last couple of weeks have been a struggle. I have this pain in both my legs in the ankle region. I think it’s my Achilles tendon. I think, its overuse. I think I am using the word “think” way too much and should just see a doctor. Yet, I think that rest and relaxation will fix it. How do I know? I recently took a trip to Mexico and after a couple of days of rest felt almost back to normal.

So let’s recap Week 2. I ran a total of 28.8 miles (Runs 45-48) in a shortened week in which I missed my first run, Mexico was not conducive to me running. The new normal at least until race day, will be 2 easy runs per week, Monday and Friday. Wednesdays are race pace days where I run at race pace for X amount of time. The first happened in Week 12 which was almost 7 miles at race pace. Straight, with no breaks, after a week in the Caribbean that consisted of eating and drinking way too much. Week 12 was capped with a redo of my longest run, 160 minutes (2hrs 40min) or 16.64 miles. This time around, I parked my car in the Coop city part of the Bronx, right next to Pelham Park and ran home, all uphill I might add, to pick up Martha. We then proceeded to run back to the car by doing a massive loop around. I was dead at the end, and the aforementioned :injury: yelled at me.

So, Week 13 aka the hardest week, aka the longest week, aka almost there week, aka aka aka. I ran a total of 39.5 miles (Runs 49-52).

Run 49 was an easy run that did not feel easy. My body was still yelling at me from the weekend. The torturous 160 minutes still weighed heavy. Yet I still managed to do, a respectable to me 9:45 pace and 7.2 miles.

Run 50 was marathon pace day. After a .62 mile warm up. I proceeded to do 1.25 Miles race pace with .25 mile rest at easy pace, 5 times. This takes a toll, because mentally it plays with your mind. Even though I was able to do 6+ miles straight last week, my body is not right. It’s throwing a revolt against it all. So I doubted being able to do, what I knew I could. Yet, I did it!

As I mentioned earlier I will be doing this specific brand of mid week workout until the end. Progressively going down. First it was a full 6+ miles non stop, then 5 sets, this week it’s 4 sets and so forth until Marathon day.

Run 51 – Quick 45. Everything hurts and I have my longest run of the training for number 52. Just getting through this, is the goal. No more, no less. Just one foot in front of the other. Let the body go through its paces. It did not bode well for my confidence that it was such a struggle!

Run 52 – 3 hours! Running is a solitary sport. I enjoy just hitting the pavement. Whether I am in pain or not, whether I feel good or not. You take to the road and let it all wave through you. In the end, the body knows when it can’t go anymore. I have hit those walls, and I have stopped. My body is fine, and it will make it through the final 3 weeks of training and run the marathon. I just need to get past this 3hr run. Today, company made all the difference. While I run with Martha, we barely speak if any, it’s just the act of having someone there, to push you, to animate you in these long long runs. It Helps! It’s the same with the race. You are alone, yet not alone. I remember when I ran the Marine Corps with my sister. We ran together the entire way, and she would be basking in the crowd, in the regalia of the event. I would just pinpoint and focus on someone, something and just run. The crowd and regalia were all secondary and tertiary characters.

I started with a quick known loop around the house to clock in 5 miles. Martha, needs to do 13 for her Half Marathon training. The idea being, one quick 5 mile loop, followed by one even longer 14 mile loop! At mile 4 I called Martha to bring 2 Tylenol to our rendezvous. Everything hurt, but of more note, my ankle area on both feet. I say area because it is not really the ankles but the general area. I popped the two Tylenol and headed out, knowing I had anywhere from 13 to 14 miles remaining, depending on the pace. Up until this point it was close to a 10 minute pace, and it took me a good quarter mile to start running again in somewhat decent form again. This was all in range of what I was suppose to do, but not optimal.

We ran to the start of the Bronx River trail and ran it to the end in Scarsdale, then looped around and up some massive hills to get to Rt 22 Post Road. We took this and its massive hills to California Road which we followed all the way to Devonia Road and back to my town of Fleetwood. In the process we traversed Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Crestwood, EastChester, Scarsdale and New Rochelle. The biggest takeaway here is that instead of continuing at that 10minute pace, I increased it continuously. First to 9:30something, then 9:20something. In the end, my final miles were done at a very presentable 9:00something pace. I can honestly say it was all in the good company. It was a confidence boost that with so much pain, and everything apparently on top of me. I was able to finish the 3 hours and finish strong enough where I thought I could keep going if needed. 3 hours prior, I doubted it all, and somehow finished strong!

100 Books to Read before you die!

Update June 27th 2021 – 6 books in and Catch 22 made me realize that if I already read the book and I did so any time in recent memory I should just mark it as read. Also, The Lord of the Rings was actually 3 books! I did quite enjoy it though!

I just re-watched the Equalizer and seeing Denzel fixated on his wife’s 100 books before you die list, has made me want to partake in the same. There are so many lists though. Too many. Luckily someone in Medium took all the biggest lists collated them into one based on the number of times specific books appeared on the lists.

From the Medium Article by Joel Patrick.
“Here are the 8 lists I started with, amalgamated, and culled.
• The Guardian’s The 100 greatest novels of all time.
• The BBC’s Big Read Top 100.
• Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime
• Harvard’s Book store top 100.
• Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels.
• Time’s All-Time 100 Novels.
• The Telegraph’s 100 Novels Everyone Should Read.
• The Art of Manliness’ (hey, why not) 100 Must-Read Books: The Essential Man’s Library.

There were 520 books from the 8 lists, which meant there was less overlap than I expected. 65 of the books were pretty straightforward as they were mentioned at least 3 times (with The Great Gatsby and Catch-22 being the only 2 making it on all 8 lists). To make up the remaining 45 books, since my list had to be 100 books long, I simply needed to choose those books that made it onto at least 2 lists. Unfortunately, 91 books were on at least two lists. So, I decided to further cull those 91 by focusing on the books that were mentioned at least twice by The Guardian, Amazon, Harvard, Time and The Telegraph. That left me with the right number of books and, voila, the greatest list ever created now lives.”

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald — Set among the rich of 1920’s New York City, the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby pursues his quixotic passion and obsession for the former debutante Daisy Buchanan.
  2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller A novel seven years in the making (published in 1961) and said to be one of the most important in the 20th century. Catch-22 primarily follows the storyline of Captain John Yossarian, a crewman of a World War II bomber who is stationed on a small Mediterranean island where he repeatedly, and desperately, attempts to stay alive.
  3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac — Inspired by the author’s own experiences, the story of cross-country road trips by a number of penniless young people who are in love with life, beauty, jazz, sex, drugs, speed, and mysticism.
  4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee — A novel set in the American south exploring themes of justice and innocence through the experiences of a six year old girl, Scout, watching as her father defends a black man on trial in the 30s.
  5. The Lord Of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien — From quiet beginnings in the Shire the story follows hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin across Middle-earth to stop the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer Middle-earth.
  6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov — A controversial and shocking classic told from the perspective of the narrator, Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged professor who falls for and becomes sexually involved with his 12-year-old step-daughter.
  7. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger — Holden Caulfield narrates his story from the previous Christmas -when he was kicked out of a preparatory school- to present. We learn about his life and his attempt to make sense of himself, meaning, and the events that have shaped him.
  8. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie — Saleem was born at midnight on the night of India’s independence. He is one of only 1,001 children born at that hour and each was endowed with an incredible talent.
  9. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll — Written in 1865, Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) creates a fantasy world discovered by Alice when she falls through a rabbit hole.
  10. Ulysses by James Joyce — Considered one of the most important works of modernist literature, Ulysses chronicles the peripatetic appointments and encounters of Leopold Bloom in Dublin in the course of an ordinary day.
  11. Lord of the Flies by William Golding —A group of boys are stranded on an uninhabited island in the 50’s when they embark on the disaster of trying to govern themselves.
  12. The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck — Set against the backdrop of the great depression, Tom and his family are forced from their farm in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl and set out for California along with thousands of others in search of a better life.
  13. 1984 by George Orwell — The novel was written in 1949 and depicted a future (1984) when government surveillance had reached a totalitarian state, repressing the freedoms of individuals and society as a whole. Follow Smith as he shifts from party member to rebel, navigating the Thought Police, Big Brother, and more.
  14. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë — Jane Eyre, first published in London in 1874, is the love story between the independent, once-orphaned Jane and her domineering employer, Rochester. Jane comes to a cross-roads when she discovers Rochester’s terrible secret.
  15. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville — Moby dick is the story of Ahab, a whaling captain whose ship and leg were destroyed by an albino whale. Ahab pursues his mission: revenge on the whale.
  16. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf — The novel Mrs. Dalloway follows the thoughts, experiences, and memories of several characters on a single day in London, most notably Mrs. Dalloway herself, the wife of a politician in post-World War I, as she plans a dinner party for that evening. Some have said the book contains some of the most beautifully written sentences in English literature.
  17. A Passage to India by EM Forster —Written in 1924 when Britain ruled India and the Indian independence movement was active. Aziz, an Indian doctor, navigates the formalities, relationships, love interests and frustrations that develop when living alongside the English ruling class.
  18. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley —Huxley writes of a dystopian future genetically engineered to provide a pain-free existence. There’s just one problem: for Bernard, life is meaningless. Perhaps visiting one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old way of life and imperfection still exists will cure his existential angst.
  19. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe — Okonkwo is an ambitious man determined to be the leader of Umuofia, the village in which he lives. His beliefs and zealousness for the ways and traditions of the land are his guide.
  20. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark — Miss Jean Brodie is determined to instil in her students independence, passion, and ambition. She advises her girls, “Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me.”
  21. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez — The novel, first published in Spanish as Cien años de soledad in 1967, is a tale of seven generations of the Buendía family that also spans 100 years of turbulent Latin American history. José Arcadio Buendía builds the beautiful city of Macondo in the middle of a swamp. At first prosperous, a tropical storm lasting nearly five years almost destroys the town, and by the fifth Buendía generation its moral compass as well.
  22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen — Written in 1813, Pride and Prejudice remains one of English literature’s most beloved novels. Mr. Bennet has five daughters, but can only pass his estate to a male heir, risking devastation for the family upon his death. One of the daughters must marry well to stave off destitution. This pressure drives the plot, particularly for Mr. Bennet’s daughter, Elizabeth.
  23. Animal Farm by George Orwell —An allegorical novella published in August 1945, two weeks prior to the end of WWII, about a group of farm animals rebelling against their farmer in pursuit of animal equality.
  24. Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky —Originally published in Russian in 12 parts, Dostoyevsky writes of Rodion, a jaded and poor student in St. Petersburg, who intends to kill an underhanded pawnbroker for money. What follows is the psychological and practical consequences of his actions.
  25. Beloved by Toni Morrison —The 1988 Pulitzer Prize winning story of an African American slave woman who escapes to the free city of Cincinnati just prior to the Civil War. The story is told by four voices and reveals a shocking narrative, which darts back and forth in time.
  26. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison — Far from the science fiction that may come to mind when reading the title of this work, an Invisible Man -published in 1952- is the powerful story of a young black man who is seen as a grouping of stereotypes rather than who he is, rendering him ‘invisible’.
  27. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut — The semi-autobiographical account of the firebombing of Dresden, Germany by the British and American air forces in the February of 1945. Slaughterhouse Five is the story of Billy Pilgrim, a decidedly non-heroic man who travels back and forth through flashbacks, visiting his birth, death, all the moments in between.
  28. The Stranger by Albert Camus — This 1942 novel exemplifies Camus’ existentialism, Meursault tells the before and after account of his murder of another man shortly after his mother’s funeral.
  29. Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes — A middle-aged man from central Spain, Don Quixote, becomes obsessed with the ideals of chivalry and takes up his horse, sword, and feeble side-kick to defend the helpless and exact punishment on the wicked. Quixote’s deeds are typically as as forlorn as his mental state.
  30. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe — First published in London in 1719, Crusoe is the sole survivor of a shipwreck, leaving him on an uninhabited island and provides the account of how he survived and the unlikely helpers along the way.
  31. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley —A classic by any definition, Frankenstein tells the story of a scientist who creates a monster through a science experiment and is now faced with the consequences of what to do with this newly formed creature.
  32. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas — Edmond, a young sailor from Marseilles, is set to become captain of his own ship and to marry his beloved. However, spiteful enemies provoke his arrest and imprisonment, until he intends to escape in search of hidden treasure.
  33. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens —Dickens initially published his eighth work as a series between 1849–1850 and thus the original full title was, The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery, which is as good of a description as it is a title. The story is told by Copperfield as a man, recounting the ups and downs of his childhood and youth.
  34. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë — The story revolves around the tempestuous romance between Heathcliff, an orphan who is taken home to Wuthering Heights on an impulse, and Catherine Earnshaw, a strong-willed girl whose mother died delivering her.
  35. Little Women by Louisa M Alcott —Published in 1868 and 1869, the novel details the lives of four sisters’ transition into womanhood and their harrowing experiences along the way.
  36. The Call of the Wild by Jack London — A compelling tale of a bold dog that, thrust into the harsh life of the Alaska Gold Rush, ultimately faces a choice between living in man’s world and returning to nature.
  37. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame — Published in the early 1900s, The Wind in the Willows are animal tales by British writer Kenneth Grahame that began as a series of bedtime stories for his son.
  38. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh — Based on Waugh’s own experience as a war correspondent in Ethiopia, Scoop chronicles Lord Copper’s decision to appoint just the right chap to cover a promising war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. So begins the story, a comedy of mistaken identity and brilliantly irreverent satire of the frenzied pursuit of hot news.
  39. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler — A dying millionaire hires a private detective to take care of the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters. However, he finds himself involved with more than just extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, and murder are just a few of the complications he finds himself in.
  40. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis — Jim has accidentally landed a job in one of England’s newly formed universities, which promises a comfortable future- that is to say, if he can keep away fellow lecturer Margaret’s unwelcome advances and navigate a host of other socially unbearable circumstances.
  41. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino — Praised as a postmodern masterpiece, the book is about the reader trying to read the book itself, with each chapter divided in two parts. The first part is in second person describing the process of interpreting what’s forthcoming and the second part is the continuation of the narrative unfolding — the story of a book-fraud conspiracy.
  42. A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul —Salim, an Indian man, finds himself in mid-20th century, post-colonial Africa pursuing a business venture only to discover a ruined shell of a town left behind by European colonizers.
  43. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson —Housekeeping is the story of two orphan girls living in secluded Idaho and are raised by a series of relatives until they land in the care of their aunt Sylvie, a true drifter that becomes the central character of the novel.
  44. Atonement by Ian McEwan —Atonement follows Briony from the age of 13 where, in 1935, what she bore witness to marked her life and the trajectory of the lives around her. However, could it be that her preconceived notions shaped what is that she saw?
  45. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman —A series of three fantasy novels focused on two children, Lyra and Will, who travel through parallel universes, touching on themes of philosophy, religion, and physics while meeting friends and foes in the form of witches, polar bears and more.
  46. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams — The book was originally a BBC radio program. Seconds before Earth is demolished, Arthur is retrieved from the planet by his friend Ford starting their comedic journey through space.
  47. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens — Dickens’ 1860 penultimate novel follows the story of Pip, a blacksmith’s apprentice in a country village. He suddenly comes into a large fortune from an unknown benefactor and moves from Kent to London where he enters high society.
  48. Middlemarch by George Eliot —The novel examines the classes and lives of all those living in Middlemarch, a relatively unexciting town. The story canvasses the landed gentry down to professional workers, with focuses on Dorothy and Tertius, both of which have disastrous marriages.
  49. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh —Charles meets Sebastian Flyte at Oxford College in 1923. Soon after his life becomes intwined with the Flyte family, Roman Catholic aristocrats of the time. The novel depicts his relationship with the Flytes, God, and his romantic endeavors.
  50. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy — Tolstoy described Anna Karenina as his first true novel. Others have since described it as the greatest work of literature ever written. In 1874 Russia, Prince Oblonsky, the brother of Anna Karenina, has an affair with his housemaid. Anna travels from Saint Petersburg to Moscow in an attempt to save his marriage.
  51. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth — Alexander Portnoy describes to his psychotherapist, in one continuous monologue, his life and lust-crazed existence as a young Jewish bachelor.
  52. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton — Three people’s lives are woven together are deeply affected by the rigidness of high society New York in the 1920s. Newland, a restrained young attorney, is engaged to marry May, but falls in love with her beautiful and unconventional cousin, Ellen. Despite his fear of a dull marriage he goes through with the ceremony, but continues to see Ellen.
  53. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood —Offred is a Handmaid to the commander in the Republic of Gilead. Though she once had a husband, daughter, and a job, she now navigates a world which controls her existence, a world she resists at risk of losing her life.
  54. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway — Inspired by Hemingway’s trips to Spain, a 1926 novel that portrays American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to a Festival in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and bullfights.
  55. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf — A stream of consciousness passing of time as the Ramsey family visit the lighthouse between 1910 and 1920, exploring themes of the transience of life and work as well as the subjective nature of reality.
  56. White Noise by Don DeLillo — White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitler studies.
  57. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers — The novel is centered upon John Singer, a deaf-mute living in Georgia in the 1930s, the only man for whom four other characters in the town find a true confidant.
  58. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner — Set in Mississippi in the early 20th century, Faulkner’s first major novel describes the decay and fall of the aristocratic Compson family — and, implicitly, of an entire social order.
  59. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov — Fictional poet John Shade creates a 999 line poem that focuses on various aspects of his life. Shade’s friend and editor Charles Kinbotes write a forward and commentary on the poem, which focuses primarily on his own concerns, and thereby reveals a plot piece by piece.
  60. I, Claudius by Robert Graves —I, Claudius, Written in the form of an autobiography of the Roman Emperor Claudius, tells the history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and the beginning of the Roman Empire, from Caesar’s assassination to Caligula’s.
  61. Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin — Baldwin writes a semi-autobiographical story of John Grimes, an African American teenager in Harlem in the 1930s and his relationship to his parents, step-father, and the Pentecostal church, the latter a source of both oppression and inspiration.
  62. A Dance to The Music of Time by Anthony Powell —Not so much a book as it is 12, the story documents a British society from pre-World War I through to the 1970s, a society that was disappearing even as Powell wrote about it. A Dance to The Music of Time is an often funny commentary on the manners and movements, power and passivity in English political, cultural and military life.
  63. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller — Tropic of Cancer shifts between past and present and largely functions as an immersive meditation on the human condition. As a struggling writer, Miller describes his experience living in Paris in the 30’s, a bohemian existence where he psychologically suffers from hunger, homelessness, loneliness, and depression over his recent separation from his wife.
  64. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys — Wide Sargasso Sea explores the power of relationships between men and women and develops postcolonial themes, such as racism, displacement, and assimilation.
  65. Under The Net by Iris Murdoch — Set in a part of London where struggling writers rub shoulders with the successful. Its hero, Jake Donaghue, is drifting, clever, likeable and makes a living out of translation work. A meeting with Anna, an old flame, leads him into a series of fantastic adventures.
  66. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift — Gulliver’s Travels was published in 1726 and follows the tale of Lemuel Gulliver as he embarks on four voyages. The book is satirical look at human nature and the subgenre of travelers tales.
  67. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding — First published in London, 1749, Tom Jones is a comic tale, which is both bildungsroman and picaresque that is among the earliest English prose to be classified as a novel.
  68. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson — Published in 1748, Clarissa is the story of a beautiful, young woman, Clarissa Harlowe, whose quest for virtue is tragically thwarted by the wickedness of her world.
  69. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne — A meandering story that tells of the many trivial accidents, which are perceived as pseudo-scientific calamities, of Tristram’s life, from conception and beyond.
  70. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne — An adulteress is forced to wear a scarlet A to mark her shame while her unidentified lover is wracked with guilt, and her husband seeks revenge.
  71. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert — Published in 1857, the story of a beautiful farm girl raised in a convent, Emma imagines married life to be an exciting adventure and is let down to find that her good natured, but relatively boring husband, isn’t what she hoped for. She seeks true intimacy in romantic novels and then other men to find her life spiralling out of control.
  72. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James — James explores themes of personal freedom, responsibility, and betrayal through the story of a spirited young American woman who, in confronting her destiny, finds it overwhelming. After inheriting a large amount of money she becomes the victim of scheming by two American expatriates.
  73. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson — A classic novella first published in the 1800’s tells the story of a man and his two alter egos: the respected Dr. Henry Jekyll and the loathsome Mr. Edward Hyde.
  74. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad — Set in a fictitious South American country, the story begins halfway through the revolution, where rich businessman, Charles Gould, uses proceeds from his silver mine to keep peace by supporting the current dictator. Instead he sparks chaos and war and must trust Nostromo with a boat of silver to keep it from falling into the hands of revolutionaries.
  75. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust —Originally written in French, In Search of Lost Time could also be translated as Remembrance of Things Past. The seven-part novel follows the narrator’s remembrances of childhood and experiences into adulthood as he searches for truth and grapples with the meaninglessness of life. The story takes place in the late 19th and early 20th century aristocratic France.
  76. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence — Lawrence focuses on themes of individual’s struggle for growth and fulfilment within the smothering strictures of of English social life through the lens of three generations of the Brangwen family living in Nottinghamshire.
  77. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford — Just prior to WWI, two wealthy couples meet at a spa in Germany and spend several years in comfortable friendship until it is revealed that one of the wives and one of the husbands are in an affair. Death and meaning follow.
  78. The Trial by Franz Kafka — An upstanding bank officer who is suddenly and unexplainably put under arrest and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information.
  79. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner —As I Lay Dying is Faulkner’s distressing account of Addie Bundren’s death and the family’s odyssey to bury their wife and mother in her hometown of Jefferson, Mississippi.
  80. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White —The novel depicts the life-altering relationship of Wilbur, a barnyard pig, and Charlotte, a spider. Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered when Charlotte intervenes.
  81. The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass — Oskar Matzerath tells us his life story from the confinement of a mental institution, from birth and coming of age in the time of World Wars I and II.
  82. Herzog by Saul Bellow —Herzog is set in 1964 and is about the midlife crisis of a Jewish man, Moses Herzog. The reader learns of Moses as he writes frantic, unsent letters to friends, enemies, colleagues, and the famous, those living and dead, show the spectacular workings of his mind and the secrets of his troubled heart.
  83. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré — The book follows the endevors of taciturn, aging spymaster forced out of retirement to find a Soviet mole in the British Secret Intelligence Service.
  84. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison — A man’s attempt to fly from the top of Mercy hospital, resulting in his death, causes a scene which sends Ruth, a heavily pregnant woman, into labor and ushers in the birth of Macon “Milkman” Dead III, the first African American born in the hospital. The story follows his life.
  85. Money by Martin Amis — Money is a tale about a true consumer, John Self. He spends extravagantly and with abandon, mindless of consequence, as he seeks to satisfy his appetites: alcohol, tobacco, pills, pornography, junk food, and more.
  86. Oscar And Lucinda by Peter Carey — Oscar is an uptight preacher’s kid, Lucinda a frizzy-haired heiress. Life events means each grow up to develop a guilty passion for gambling. When the two finally meet they are brought together by their disposition for risk, loneliness, and their awkwardly blossoming mutual affection.
  87. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie —
  88. American Pastoral by Philip Roth —
  89. Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald —
  90. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle —
  91. Are You There, God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume —
  92. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham — Philip was abandoned as a child and raised by an unaffectionate family. In school he struggles to fit in and grows up with a desire for love, art, and experience. After a failed art career he begins studies in London, where he meets an uncaring waitress with whom he falls into a potent, agonizing, and life-changing love affair.
  93. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon — Set in 1939 NYC, a teenage budding magician, Joe, arrives on the doorstep of his cousin, Sammy. While the long shadow of Hitler falls across Europe, America is happily in height of the Golden Age of comic books, and Sammy is looking for a way to cash in on the craze.
  94. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz — The story is centered on Oscar De León (nicknamed Oscar Wao), an overweight Dominican boy growing up in New Jersey, who is obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels and with falling in love, as well as the curse that has plagued his family for generations.
  95. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen — Corrections is centered on the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, telling the story of their lives from the 1950s to “one last Christmas” together near the turn of the century.
  96. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster — A tollbooth mysteriously appears in Milo’s room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions, learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and much more.
  97. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami — The unreality vortex circling around several loosely connected searches by the protagonist-narrator, Toru Okada, a lost man-boy in his early 30’s.
  98. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston — The novel narrates main character Janie Crawford’s blossoming from a vivid but voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with her hand on the wheel of her own destiny.
  99. Watchmen by Alan Moore — In an alternate 1985 America, costumed superheroes are part of everyday life. When one of his former comrades is murdered, masked vigilante Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) uncovers a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes.
  100. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera — A novel possessing both comedy and trauma, the author addresses, ‘Being’ in a world in which lives are irreversibly shaped choices and chance events in which everything occurs only once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight.

Some of these I have read, but will re-read as I go though it. So now, let’s get through the list, I wonder how long it will take me. I will come back to this post and strikethrough and bold each entry as I read them.

Week 11

Total Miles – 29.24

Runs 41-44

This is a shortened week. It’s Thursday morning as I start the process of writing about the week. Runs 41-43 were done in quick succession. I’m fitting my 7 day week into 5 days, since I am traveling.

Run 41 – Changed up the loop a bit for a change of pace. Also, looking to decrease the number of hills I have to hit. While on the screen it looked better, on the road IT DID NOT.

Hoka update! I’m setting them aside for the rest of the training and will pick them back up after this is all said and done. The dynamics of the Hoka is too much change for this late in the game. I’m getting random pains I have never gotten and don’t want to exacerbate anything.

Other than that, I struggle to find purchase to run. The snow is suppose to melt soon. I need my trails back, the hills are officially playing with my head.

Run 42 – Real easy 40 minute run. I went with a backward loop. We got more Snow mixed with rain Monday night so the sidewalks were super slippery. I had to stick to the roads the bulk of the time. On the run, Martha called me struggling with her run in Manhattan. So we ran, whilst speaking to each other. It almost felt like we were running together.

Other than running to the edge of New Rochelle and looping back, nothing interesting about this run.

Run 43 – Treadmill bound with a saucy 4X Half Marathon for 1 mile with a .25 mile break. I went to the gym, not because of any snow, but, because running one mile at an 8 minute pace with hills abound is nearly impossible for me.

When I started the run, it was like 15 minutes of easy pace before we got into the good stuff. As the good stuff started, my airpods decided to die. It’s a running occurrence with the AirPods Pro that I go run and they are either dead or close to it. Usually it’s just one of the pods that dies. Sometimes it does not make the click and I am stuck listening to music/podcast/audiobook from one ear. Today, the right ear went and I told myself well that sucks. Then my left ear went a few minutes later. Running at this pace for an extended period of time, in the gym with no distractions, was hell.

The AirPods died about 4 minutes into the first round, all the TV’s were also off, so I needed to rely on faintly listening to the gym’s music which was NOT my jam. I kept looking at the clock that was right in front of me and that seconds hand barely ever moved. The second round, I swore to myself I would wait for whatever terrible song was on to finish before I checked. I am terrible at that! At minute 3 I checked, then again at 3:31, 3:40, 3:52, 3:59. Swore again next song I would hear it completely. Nope never happened. The 4 rounds and their breaks totaled 5 miles, I could have sworn I ran way more and for way longer. Not sure how my wrists did not hurt, that’s how often I wound up looking at my watch.

Run 45 – Long Run – 120 Minutes. Woke up at 5:30AM since I am traveling this weekend, I needed to get my run in super early, then work, then wait for my son to start the festivities of celebrating his 21st Birthday with a trip. 120 minutes is somewhere in between 12 and 13 miles. Today, I decided to go into Mount Vernon and head towards the water on the southern side of New Rochelle, but without touching the Bronx. Touching the Bronx entails taking some trails that I do not know their state of cleanliness.

This was also the first run I did with the ASICS longer than 5-7 miles. They did great. The cushioning really is top notch. Like running on pillows. Unfortunately, after certain mileage, even pillows are uncomfortable. I need to change my long run a bit. I have been returning the same way over and over again, and I feel like it’s becoming too well known to me.

The next two long runs will be the worst of the training so it felt good having done this 12 miler and feeling like I could keep going and going. I can’t put the third “going”, cause the energizer bunny I am not! We are also getting rather close to the end here. I have two more hard weeks before I start tapering off for the Marathon. I can start seeing a faint glimmer at the end of the tunnel.