This morning began relatively inauspiciously, with a dentist appointment at 8am and a long meeting that took up the whole morning and that has nothing immediately to do with any of what I think of as my real work! But after that, the day turned into a sort of lovely reward for the very insane weeks I have had since the beginning of the fall semester:
- my agent took me out for a beautiful lunch at the Gramercy Tavern (and since I know a few of you will like to hear it - we shared the calamari-and-carrot-salad appetizer, I then had the roast chicken with parsnip puree and brussels sprouts and a most glorious dessert, a blueberry corn parfait made up of corn ice-cream, blueberry compote, caramel popcorn and whipped cream with a light touch of pepper - and yes, there were petits fours also, and a cappuccino of deliciousness - the food there really is exceptional!)
- I told her about my two new book projects, and she likes 'em both and has lots of good ideas about ways of organizing and pitching them
- during the twenty minutes I had to kill before meeting her, I picked up several threaded CO2 cartridges, a new tube and a warm pair of winter cycling gloves at Sid's Bikes
- after lunch, I found myself only a few blocks from Paragon Sports, so I stopped in to pick up a couple clothing items that I have been obsessed with acquiring - amazingly, there was a 15% markdown on all running clothing (these Falke clothes are pricey, but the quality is truly exceptional - and chafe-free unless under the most chafe-hospitable circumstances!)
- I had a useful conversation, too, with a knowledgeable fellow in the shoe department, since I fear that yesterday's gait analysis is yet again going to prompt a change of shoe - I really love these Mizuno Wave Elixir ones I've been using for the past year or so, as they're super-lightweight and comfortable, but I think they do not give enough support - I had a pair of the Wave Nirvana last year, liked them reasonably well but they are very stiff and structured in comparison - that may have been better for my knees, though, which have been giving me more trouble this year than last. The shoe fellow pointed out that there are also two 'interim' shoes, i.e. that the Wave Elixir and the Wave Nirvana are at the two ends of the stability spectrum and that I might well like to switch to one of the other two options that are more supportive than the Elixir but not quite as structured as the Nirvana - namely, the Inspire or the (I am having a hard time remembering the exact names!) the Alchemy - alas, I am well-stocked up on Elixirs, I have 2 pairs in circulation in NY and a back-up pair in Cayman in case luggage goes astray. I can't remember now whether he was particularly recommending the Inspire or the Alchemy, but I suspect the former - something to ponder...
- I walked over to Chelsea Piers - it was the most beautiful day today, in contrast to yesterday's utter rainy drear! - and sat and read Jef Mallett's Trizophrenia: Inside the Minds of a Triathlete for an hour while I digested my lunch (it is very good, I think I am going to try and land an author interview for the blog!) - I believe that cafe is going to become my home away from home, in fact I think that my best shot at finishing the set of paper comments that has hitherto eluded me this week will be to take the pile of 'em down there and sit there and write comments until I am done!
- then I had a lovely swim as follows: 50-100-150-200-200-150-100-50 warmup, then 500 flutter kick with every fifth lap alternating whip or dolphin for variety, then 2 x 100 drill (right arm, left arm, full catch-up, stroke), then 3 x 50 descending (1:00, :55, :50), then 2 x 75 fly as kick-drill-swim, then 50 easy back: 2050 yards total
- then I met up with Lauren (who is running the NYC marathon on Thursday - wish her luck! - and so is Leah, who I am pretty sure is going to have a magical day out there) for the excellent Thursday evening yoga class - I think I need to make this a regular part of my training week, with the suspicion that of all forms of exercise (with the possible exception of swimming) yoga is the one that is most likely to improve my mental as well as my physical health!
- and finally, after coming home on the subway, I deposited a large check that represents the second-to-last installment of the money for the novel I just finished (it will be published in fall 2010)
That is what I call a good day!