Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Walking and Reading

So I am training for my third half marathon. I am a walker, not a runner, and I don't want to hear any guff from runners. I finished 1/3 from the end in my first marathon, ahead of a ton of "joggers," and I can out-walk most people. I am preparing to do Nashville for the second time. Training for spring marathons sucks. On Sunday I was slipping and sliding, 2 days after we got just 3 inches of snow, as there were large swaths of sidewalk in the shade that were still not melted (and in fact were more ice than snow at that point.) One great thing about my city is how they do have a ton of sidewalks, but they're often just on one side of the street, so I really had to struggle through the ice/snow patches. I am going to be doing a fall half marathon with BookNAround, and she hates prepping for fall marathons. I not only prefer heat to cold, but at least then I don't have to worry about twisting my ankle, and my clothes don't get trashed like they do with the mud and slush. In the winter when it rains, it rains. In the summer, it only rains for an hour or so. Plus I love rain when it's hot - it makes you more comfortable. But in the winter, it makes unpleasant weather so much, much worse.

I started walking in college. And kept it up. In Nashville, New York, now NC. And after so many years, I was just bored to tears. Then I discovered the iPod.

I bought mine in the spring of 2005. An aqua mini. I love it. And when I discovered podcasts, I loved it even more. I can walk all day as long as I'm fully loaded with Car Talks, A Way With Words, and Authors on Tours. But the memory is fairly low. And it's not holding much of a charge these days. It's okay now but when I have to do my 12-mile walk, I really worry that just as I hit exhausted the iPod will die. I may end up lying on the side of the road if that happens. Plus, my IT guy keeps making fun of my cute old Mini whenever he sees it charging on my desk. So I am getting a new one. A Nano. I think I'm going to get green but I'm not 100% sure on that. The thing I'm most excited about is that I'll be able to put audiobooks on it. Right now if I want to add an audiobook, I have to take what seems like half my music off. Luckily files from Audible are pretty compressed, so they're not as hard to wedge on, but I also have some books I've ripped from CDs and those files are huge. And I want to be able to listen to more books while I walk. I am trying to up my reading levels this year (after all I have my work's reading contest to think about.)

But it's winter and I just can't listen to audiobooks on the treadmill. I can't just stare at the readouts of how far I've gone, or I'll go nuts and frustrated and get off the treadmill. I have to read print there. I have figured out a trick for regular books on the treadmill: I use a binder clip to hold the thinner side of the book open so it's not always trying to snap shut on me. It doesn't always work though. ARCs are particularly persistent about wanting to be closed. I could break the binding but I stopped doing that about 10 years ago and really don't want to go back there. Hardcovers are best. I've heard that large print books are great for the treadmill but personally haven't tried that yet.

So the new Nano is coming home with me tomorrow. And I hope my 8 mile walk this weekend will be eventless. I am very happy spring is around the corner.


Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

Best of luck to you on your latest 1/2 marathon!

I love to walk and read too. For most of my life -- since I was in about 6th grade or so -- I walked with a book. I read and walked at the same time. It sounds crazy, but may people do it (when you are one of them, you notice the others). I could walk very fast, even with a book in my face.

But then, like you, I got an iPod. Wow! Now I read just as much while I walk, but I read with my ears instead of my eyes. And I use my eyes to appreciate what I am walking past. I don't think I could go back to paper.

Booksnyc said...

My ipod is an essential component of my walk to work every day - I listen to audiobooks and podcasts and the time just flies by! Thanks for the tip on authors on tour - looks great! I listen the the NY Times Book Review Podcast and the BBC World Book club - they are also good book podcasts.

The 1/2 is my favorite distance - I have done marathons but I love half marathons because the distance and the training are so much more manageable. I, however, am a winter runner - much prefer running in the cold to running the heat and humidity!

Good luck with that new nano and your training walk this weekend!