This past weekend was very busy, very exciting, and very rewarding!
Friday! After a full day at work, I raced downtown to help Amy put the finishing touches on the yoga studio for the Literary Reading. This was our third reading, and we seem to have the art of hosting such events down to a science. We rent chairs and pick up coffee from Java Jacks; lay out a spread of brownies, hummus, crackers and fruit; watch in grateful amazement as Bryan sets up a PA system and podium for the readers; and wait as the crowd begins to trickle through the door. We had about 60 people in attendance and eight readers this time, and I think eight is a perfect number for a night of poetry and prose. I did not read this time, because it didn't seem fair for the organizer to be the one person who reads every single time. Instead, we had a great mix of new readers, people who had performed at past readings, and folks brand new to reading in public. I love the first timers most of all - reading in front of an audience is a big step for an aspiring writer, and being in a position to give people that experience is incredibly gratifying.
We also raised just about $100 for the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter, AND six people have already asked me if they could read at February's event. Success!
Saturday! Despite the fact that it was 29 degrees outside, I woke up early, dressed warmly, and headed to the Jingle Bell 5K race, which was taking place in downtown Nacogdoches. This annual race is part of the Nine Flags Festival, and it was my first time running it. It was a great little race - a robust crowd, a mostly flat route, and everyone got some bells in their registration bags, so we made a festive sound as we raced around town. My final time was 25 minutes and 17 seconds - an average pace of 8:07, and my fastest 5K yet! I came in third in my age division and got a red Jingle Bell medal. I was so pleased, even though my lungs were frozen and I couldn't feel my knees.
Nathan made it back from Georgia during the awards ceremony, which was a nice surprise. We spent the rest of the day drinking coffee, running errands, and enjoying one another's company. In the evening, Sonnie came over for some laid back crafting and I ate four pieces of vegan apple pie. A perfect end to an awesome day.
Sunday! I spent all of Sunday morning at my desk, working on some writing projects and editing essays, which is always nice. At 2pm, Nathan and I got dressed and headed to the trail - we had a long run to conquer, and conquer it we did. I ran - get this - 18 MILES! Yes. I know. Ridiculous. I'm having a hard time believing it myself. It took me three hours and seventeen minutes to complete the run, and I have to say - this 18 miler was easier than last week's 16. I don't know if it was the cool weather, or the fact that I ran most of it with Nathan, or if my body really is learning how to run crazy distances. I do know that I felt awesome, strong and capable, and that I will definitely be ready for the marathon come February.
18 miles, y'all! Insane!
I hope you had a weekend that was just as busy, rewarding and exciting. I seem to have gotten some blogging mojo back and already have a few posts planned for this week, so stay tuned and enjoy your day!