13 March 2012

Running on Mars!

I was finally able to run for the first time in quite a few weeks tonight (yesterday by the time you read this).  Poor respiratory health has tried to keep me from my marathon training, I’m finally back and although my body really tried to make me think I didn’t want to run, it felt great once I did.  Boy was it NOT like riding a bike though.

You all know my issue with GEAR.  It has been so long since I ran last that I actually some entirely new gear this time and all the excitement began with me filling my Camelbak and promptly dumping it all down the front of the refrigerator.  Naturally, my response was to stand there with a limp sack in my hands babbling like an idiot until my wife told me to get a towel.

Long story short, I had to retie my shoes a few times because my new insoles felt funny, couldn’t remember how to use my watch (finished my run in 00:00:00 – not bad!) and fumbled with my headphones for at least the first ¼ mile.  At least I’m healthy enough to run again.

Now I have to backtrack a little.  For the past couple weeks, I’ve been reading/listening to Red Mars in preparation for Kim Stanley Robinson’s Hugo Winner Green Mars which is the second book in the Mars Trilogy.  It has been an AMAZING book, but juggling between the HEP books and other challenges/reading whims have me pausing and restarting and generally taking forever to read an already massive book.

I think the only reason I’ve been able to jump back and forth is because Red Mars is so good.  It doesn’t feel like someone imagined the colonization of Mars the way they’d like it to be, but the way that it inevitably must be.  The characters are compelling, convincing, terribly and realistically flawed and the dialogue (and sometimes monologues) just feels right.  And the Science.  Oh god, the Science…

So, it is taking quite a long time to get through but it is always in the forefront of my mind, even as I switch back and forth with other great books like The Lies of Locke LamoraSo much so that when I came within 30 mins of finishing part 2 of the audiobook this weekend, I decided to finish it during my run last night.

About the time that I was half-way through my run, I had reached the climactic scene when everyone had gathered to witness the icy asteroid burn up in the Martian atmosphere.  I started to get a sensation that I was running down a darkening tunnel when Hiroko approached John Boone and called for a speech.  The tingly burst that hit my spine harder than any 2nd wind came on right when everyone started chanting BOONE!  BOONE!  BOONE!

I was running pretty slowly since I hadn’t run in a while, so I know it wasn’t my endorphins.  But I swear if I had jumped, I would have flown.  The combination of running again and listening to Boone’s speech was a feeling unlike anything else and that same tingle kept hitting me over and over throughout his speech to the crowd of “Martians”.

Another part of the experience was John Boone’s ability to speak and inspire off-the-cuff.  I have occasion to speak publicly every-so-often and dang-it do I wish I could talk to a group of people like that.  It really was an inspiration.  Mentally, physically, I felt like I could do ANYTHING!  I could have run a marathon right then while convincing the world of anything I wanted.  Don’t question me on it!

So, to actually make a long story short, while Red Mars it isn’t for everyone by a long shot, as Emmeline likes to say “guac-a-moly-moly” (holy guacamole) do I not want it to end.


  1. Red Mars is excellent. It's hard to believe that it did not win the Hugo in '93, but heartening that both the sequels managed to. I'm finishing off "Spin" this week and will then tackle "Green Mars". Interestingly, "Spin" also features teh red planet, but somehow it does not grab me as much as "Red Mars" did. The Mars trilogy is a marathon, indeed *wink*

    1. Lucky! I'm really sad that my schedule is going to keep me from getting to the rest of the series for quite some time.

      And yeah, we appreciate a good pun in this house too :)

  2. I want you to know that I can relate to starting back to running after a month or so and also found it difficult to make the initial preparations. I am now also running with my VERY strong stun gun so each morning I spend at least a minute adjusting it into my hand so that I don't accidentally move the "slide" switch while I am running and taze myself. I can only imagine that during any time of duress, I would go to pull the thing out of its sleeve and zap myself, therefore leaving me totally defenseless to my attacker whether that be some creepy man or a pitbull. (I also laughed out loud at your completed running time. ;)

    1. Haha! So I definitely know not to approach you on the street!


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