2018 week three

Book Read:
3. Nick Cave: Mercy on Me — Reinhard Kleist

Kilometres Ran:
week three — 30.9

To date: 145 KM

We could have a debate about whether or not a graphic novel count as “a book” for the sake of reading 95 or 52 books in a year but there doesn’t seem to be much debate amongst the #95Books crowd whether poetry books count, and I’ve read and “counted” chapbooks that took a lot less time and effort to read than Mercy on Me. I even “read” and counted a collection of concrete poetry (Clean Sails). Though, I did not count Christian Bök’s MCV. I had to draw the line somewhere. And speaking of drawing lines, I really enjoyed Kleist’s visual biography of Nick Cave. I consider myself a Cave fan, though reading Mercy had forced me to confront the fact that I’m rather thin on Birthday Party knowledge, which has piqued my interest to revisit. I’m also now curious about Kleist’s Johnny Cash book (ahem, graphic novel), although I doubt any Cash biography is going to better Cash. Also, and no surprise, I learned that Cave is kind of a dick. I suspected, but don’t think I cared before. I don’t think I care now. I like his music and as a grown up I’m capable of separating his art from his inreallifeness. But I admit that most of what I know and like is contemporary to when I started listening to him i.e., Grinderman and late 2000s Bad Seeds. I went as far back as Murder Ballads because you have to. But aside from the appearance of “Higgs Boson Blues” Kleist’s Cave biography doesn’t cross the millennium. But for me to complain about that would be like complaining that Cash doesn’t focus enough on the American Recordings stuff. But for different reasons.

Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment

I went to physiotherapy this week for a check in on my knee and while there I mentioned in passing that I was having a pain in my left shin, which turns out to be medial tibial stress syndrome, which is just the fancy word for shin splints, which apparently if not properly cared for could lead to a stress fracture, which has forced me to reconsider the timeline of some of my 2018 goals. Burn the whiches. Dr. Physio believes that I’ve aggravated my left calf by (consciously or subconsciously) compensating for my right knee, and the treatment is more exercises and less running. Suffice it to say, very frustrating with less than a month until the First Half half marathon. Suffice it to also say, I will not be running a sub 1:30 half marathon on February 11. Also throws a wrench on the sub 3:15 BMO Marathon training plan. Other than that it’s been a great week.

2017 Year in Review

My stated goal was to read 95 books or at least 61 books to beat last year. I ended up with 34 and during compiling the list below I notices that I am not good at counting. I can blame it on the fact that the book that messed up the count is not yet published and therefore in not a Goodreads yet, which I used for tracking my reading for the first time this year.

Books Read: 34

Tally-ho:
About Running: 2
Poetry: 8
Non-Fiction: 14
By Not Straight White Dudes: 18

The List:
1. Mister Pip — Lloyd Jones
2. The Princess Diarist — Carrie Fisher
3. The Long Tomorrow — Leigh Brackett
4. Nutshell — Ian McEwan
5. Inside of a Dog — Alexandra Horowitz
6. On Bullshit — Harry Frankfurt
7. The Last Gang in Town — Aaron Chapman
8. How Proust Can Change Your Life — Alain de Botton
9. In Persuasion Nation — George Saunders
10. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil — George Saunders
11. Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse — Ed. John Joseph Adams
12. Everything is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person — Daniel Zomparelli
13. Ultramarathon Man — Dean Karnazes
14. The Mercy Journals — Claudia Casper
15. The Hatred of Poetry — Ben Lerner
16. 10:04 — Ben Lerner
17. White Noise — Don Delilo
18. 3 Summers — Lisa Robertson
19. The Disappearing Spoon — Sam Kean
20. Same Diff — Donato Mancini
21. Bad Feminist — Roxane Gay
22. The Mood Embosser — Louis Cabri
23. Why I am not a Feminist — Jessa Crispin
24. The Year of the Flood — Margaret Atwood
25. Hysteric — Nelly Arcan
26. Chinese Blue — Weyman Chan
27. On the Line (Review Copy) — Rod Mickleburgh
28. Get Me Out of Here — Sachiko Murakami
29. From the Poplars — Cecily Nicholson
30. Human Resources — Rachel Zolf
31. Rue — Melissa Bull
32. Don’t Tell Me What to Do — Dina Del Bucchia
33. Homage to Catalonia — George Orwell
34. Running: A Love Story — Jen A. Miller
35. Notes from a Feminist Killjoy — Erin Wunker

Pretty Good Year

*The 2017 First Half was canceled due to weather; this time represents the Forerunners First Half social race-replacement run.

The morning before I flew to Copenhagen for the September half marathon I injured my knee. I ran anyway. And in the craziest race (experience?) of my life, ran a new personal best at 21.1 KM. Then I came home and, while knee still hurt all the time except when running I raced the Thanksgiving 10 KM and ran a new personal best and landed my first top-ten category finish. I wanted to run 2,600 KM in 2017, and I was on pace to run over 3,000 but then after some gentle prodding I swallowed my pride and went to physiotherapy. I took a break, took some X-Rays, took some bike rides, and fell behind. I’m not healed, but I’m better. And in spite of not meeting my goal, I accomplished a lot that I’ve rather proud of. Running my first marathon. Running the Copenhagen Half Marathon. Writing about running Copenhagen for Canadian Running.

Kilometres Ran in 2017: 2,538

Some 2017 stats according to Strava:
Runs: 195
Running time: 203 HRS
Elevation gained: 30,935 M
Average distance/run: 13.3 KM
Runs 20 KM or farther: 31

I made a few resolutions last year and didn’t do very well, so I’ve adjusted some expectations for this year. In 2017 (and 2016 for that matter) I found that if I hadn’t read anything I was less likely to write anything here. With that in mind, for 2018 I want to read a book a week and write here once a week and keep running as much as my aging body allows. And faster and farther than last year.

Goals for 2018:
Read 52 books
Write 52 posts
Run 2018 KM
Also run 2018 miles (¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
Run 10 KM in 39:59 or faster
Run 21.1 KM in 1:29:59 or faster
Run 42.2 KM in 3:14:59 or faster
Oh and there’s still that needlepoint ambition from 2017….

Don’t Tell Me Not to Run

Books Read:
31. Don’t Tell Me What to Do — Dina Del Bucchia

Kilometres Ran:
week forty — 33 km
week forty one — 20 km

To date: 2,299 km

I loved this book. It’s a great collection and really deserves the positive critical reviews it is getting. I’m very happy for Dina. I’ve managed to have my name end up on the colophon page of a few books but never the acknowledgements. None that I’m aware of anyway. So the acknowledgements shout out to my old little Downtown Eastside gallery where Dina happened to be in the last show I was involved with there gave me all the feels.

Granville Island Turkey Trot

I Turkey Trotted, and it was a lot of fun and I set a new best for 10K shaving over 2:30 off my PB at the 2016 Eastside 10K, and I scored my first top 10 finish with a seventh in my age category. I was less excited when I saw the posted results at the finish, with me coming in seventh out of nine. But by the time all the results were in it was 7/153. My knee is still not very happy with me and my physiotherapist said no running if I want to be better by the Fall Classic and I do but I went out on Friday the 13th and did the Ghost Race because Don’t Tell Me What to Do (thanks Dina) even though I dislike Lululemon (but have somehow managed to justify Kit & Ace). But since then I’ve run none and I’m going a bit crazy even though I’ve put about 100 km on Mobi Bikes it’s just not the same. I’m still over 200 km ahead of pace to reach my goal of 2,600 km in 2017 but for my head’s sake I really need to go for a run.

On Passing 2,000 km and Stuff

Stuff Read:

27. Get Me Out of Here — Sachiko Murakami

One thousand five hundred twenty three pages of Early Career Development (studio arts) BC Arts Council grant applications

Kilometres Ran:
week thirty four — 55.9
week thirty five — 42.6

To date: 2,021 km

The first couple days holed up in the Victoria offices of the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development I managed to escape down the street and around the corner during lunch hour to spend my per diem at Russell Books and I picked up a copy of Murakami’s collection of poems (among others). I have travel on my mind, as it is one week until I get on a plane for CPH via RKV. That’s Copenhagen via Reykjavík. What, you didn’t know that? Neither did I. And I sort of wish that Murakami had included a glossary of airport codes in her book, but it was otherwise fine. Fun and fine. A break from the mountain of grant applications that I was adjudicating. And before you get all confidentiality apparently, I’m allowed to say that it happened and that it was for the Early Career Development program and, well, that’s pretty much all that I’m allowed to say about it. Suffice it to say, though, there are some pretty excellent young artists in this province that are going to make Montreal or Berlin very proud once Vision Vancouver finishes selling off this city completely. Excellent stuff, really. This was my third jury, and in spite of the daunting commitment it is one of the most rewarding experiences. I’d almost do it for free. Actually, i don’t really want to do the math. I’m pretty sure it’s below minimum wage if you put any sort of effort into it. And I’m the reigning heavyweight champion of imposter syndrome. There was effort.

And while there on the last day of August with the sun setting in the wildfire haze blowing in from central B.C. and with the Legislature behind me I ran past 2,000 kilometres so far this year. So about four months ahead of last year, and about 275 kilometres ahead of my pace to reach 2,600 by December 31. I celebrated with a glass of wine in my hotel room at the Royal Scot, peering into Acrobat Reader on my Macbook Air. I only ran 42.6 this week, which is off of the 50 per week that I’m aiming for, but I’m fine with that since I am so far ahead but I’m also looking forward to a few things, the impending one being the Copenhagen Half on the 17th. It’s way too early to be tapering. Which brings up something else: On Sunday, September 10 there is a fun run on Strava “to be part of a global attempt to set the record for the most half marathons completed in one day” and I’ve signed up for fun and I’m wondering how stupid it is to run a half marathon seven days before racing a half marathon. Because initially I thought that Copenhagen would be a fun run and I wouldn’t try to kill myself but as it gets closer I’ve gotten the urge to try to break 1:38 and I think I can do it but I wonder if The Great 13.1 Record is going to mess it up. I have no idea. I have a few days to figure it out. I’d ask for comments but I know that no one actually reads these.