Friday, July 27, 2012

Laugh Out Loud

In my quest to get to the start line of my marathon in September, I have a weekly long run, it's been creeping up in increments of 15-30 minutes, and today's was an eye watering 3.5 hours.  Two of my clever friends Kayte and Katie have sworn by listening to audio books.

Me, I make life hard for myself, I don't have a shred of confidence so won't run with anyone, and I insist on listening to a "Good Running Songs" playlist of 61 songs.  And I promise you that over 30kms, you too will tire of listening to "Whistle Baby" or "Champagne Showers" or whatever other boppy songs I've Shazam'ed in Cotton On and other teenager'y shops.

So today I found an old audio book that I still had a few chapters left on - Dear Fatty by Dawn French. I know I've posted about this before and how once on a run, I lost control of my breathing as I sobbed through a page or two.
And for an hour today, I didn't think of my feet, my dicky knee, the achingly long amount of running time stretched out ahead of me, I didn't think of anything other than the carefully crafted words cleverly  placed together.  I absorbed each word, and rolled it around in my subconscious, thinking "I want to write like this", because her words weren't particularly profound nor articulate, just beautiful.  And I am a sucker for beautiful words strung together beautifully.  I listened and memorised sequences promising myself I'd use these somehow.

She talked about a mid life crisis as a mid life "sadness", she mentioned what was probably a nervous breakdown as a "wobble", and somehow while still capturing the essence of the trauma, she said it in a respectful and loving way.  And she talked about her family and friendships as people who have created the magic that is her life.

As I listened I often laughed out loud.  And sometimes I sucked in an extra breath that was in fact a gulp.

And what I've realised is as I rush through books, I don't read every word, unless I make myself because I can tell it's worth it...Fifty Shades of Grey is a speed reading case-in-point - shockingly appalling writing only slightly mitigated by the sex... So so bad.

But when listening to an audiobook you have no choice but to listen to each word.  And today I listened to and enjoyed each word.  I was in the moment, and in a moment that should have been painful, boring and relentless, I had a moment.

Thank you girls.
Have you listened to any good audiobooks? Do you get this?


  1. #1 3.5 hours is a really long training run honey! I hope that is the longest you're doing? Longest training run I ever did for marathon was 2.5!

    #2. Find the competitor radio podcasts on iTunes. They interview long distance runners, triathletes and cyclists. SO inspiring to listen to while running! For. 2.5 hour run I used to listen to 2x1 hr interviews back to back then music for the last 30 mins. I found it to be quite the perfect combo,

    1. Oh Kelly, after your last blogpost I'm guessing that you run the same distance in 2.5 hrs that I run in 3.5hrs! And then you probably go and cycle a zillion kms and seem another few? My thinking is if its going to take me that long on race day, I need to know how hideous it's going to feel so there are no surprises. Will look out for the podcasts, I'm a convert.

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  2. Ps can't listen to audio books because I am a speed reader too (particularly in the case of 50 Shades!)

  3. I have never downloaded an audiobook but I think I might try. I do the podcast thing...I listen to Life matters and the conversation hour and it seems to pass the time. The big question is though, was it Dawns voice. I had anything where the voice Im given doesn't match the one that exists in my head!

  4. It was one of Dawn's friends and she sounded JUST like her. Maybe that's why I loved it so much!