A Running / Reading Challenge

nerds_in_loveI have a handful of New Year’s Resolutions this year. More water, less wine, more yoga, smarter use of my time, the usual. My significant other, Julio, has a New Year’s goal of training for a couple of races, which will facilitate the last of my goals as his running will cut into our marathon phone conversations.

Because we’re in a long, long distance relationship (~1,100 miles. Whoo!), we don’t get to see each other that often, making it really important to us to plan things that make us feel more together. I visited Julio last weekend and we had a big date, which, because we’re big nerds, included way over an hour wandering around a bookstore between lunch and ice skating.

Another goal for the New Year is to be more frugal. So I started taking pictures on my iPhone of all the books I wanted to read so I could look them up at the library later. (I found all 22 for free between amazon rewards points, the university library system, and my local library’s ebook service. SCORE!) I wanted to read everything. Bookstores remind me why I love what I do. Plus, one of the things I love about Julio is that he’s a reader. As in, once upon a time he was on a first name basis with the children’s librarian.  Between the excitement of being together and my longing for more leisure reading in my life, I had a big idea.

We turned his running goals and my sudden resolution to get back into the habit of reading before bed into a race. Between Saturday (when he officially starts training) and his race in September, we’re going to log our running and reading. 1 mile = 50 pages. Truthfully, I think he’ll win, but I’d like to keep pace*. We’re both pretty competitive, so it’s great motivation as well as a way to feel invested in each other’s goals.

I think the equivalence (which I set) is slightly tilted in his favor, but I figured that (to me) running is harder and my pace will vary dramatically based on what I’m reading. My stack of books currently includes trashy mystery novels, collections of essays, and academic texts. It’s a grab bag. The other challenge will come when I start reading for my exams. That, however, is a good reason to keep pace with the for-fun stuff. Hopefully it will help me ease the stress without resorting to Netflix binges (I’m planning my time smarter, remember!?) Besides, Julio works for a research company and his work load is pretty heavy in addition to business trips and working on his own publications. It’s not like he won’t have a hard time finding time to run every now and then.

So, what are you reading? Any recommendations? Any bets on who’ll win? 😉

*Note that only my for-fun reading counts. If my reading for school/teaching/research counted too, I’d be “running” well over 300 miles a week, on average. 🙂

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