forty two by forty two week four and five

Books Read[ing]:
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

Kilometres Ran:
week thirteen — 80.5
week fourteen — 60.2
To date: 788 km

I didn’t want to double up weeks and yet here I am doubling up weeks and I blame my reading or lack there of. I read a story, then put the book down for who knows how long and get distracted, usually by obsessively playing The Division on Xbox. I’m an addict. It’s not my only addiction. I was reading about history of The North Face and Patagonia clothing brands in an article I cannot remember where and somehow, I don’t remember how, Dean Karnazes came up and I thought that he was sort of interesting so I got a copy of his book and read the first half in which he writes about running the Western States ultramarathon. There were bits of his biography that were close to home. For instance, I ran track in high school and then didn’t run again for nearly 20 years. Ran track is not entirely accurate. I attended a small religious private school against my will and in my senior year I decided to “make the most of it” and I signed up for just about everything. Including the basketball team. I was quick, but shot bricks. In no real school would I have had the hopes of making the team, but at ol’ KCS there were barely enough boys in grades 11 and 12 to floor a team, let alone get choosy about who gets to play and who just doesn’t have the skilz. One spring day coach says hey you’re fast do you want to run track? And I say sure and he says well the district finals are tomorrow and if you place top three you can go to provincials. So I went. No coaching or training. I didn’t have a school track suit (there wasn’t one) so I wore my basketball jersey and shorts. Sometimes when I’m out for a run I wonder how much different my life would be if I’d attended a real school with a decent track program. With any track program. I ran the 400 Metre and placed last, and I ran the 200 Metre and placed well enough to make the finals, where I placed fourth.

So I didn’t win. But I am still a winner, as for the second year in a row Air France is covering my entry fee for the BMO Marathon. I like to travel and I get the Air France / KLM / Flying Blue propaganda in my inbox and I’ve grown suspicious that not very many people read through to the bottom of that one Air France email that shows up in March in which they talk about being a sponsor of the BMO Marathon and then somewhere near the bottom there’s a click here to enter to win your entry. Sure, I’d rather a flight to just about anywhere, but I think that a lot more people enter those draws. So I’ve four weeks to go until BMO. My head thinks it’s ready but it’s not so sure about my body. My last LSD is on Easter Sunday (which, if not for Halloween, would be my favourite zombie-related holiday). I’ve mapped out a 36 kilometre route that happens to match the last half of the BMO. Zombie Sunday indeed.

week eight

Books Read:
16. Martin John — Anakana Schofield
17. IKMQ — Roger Farr
18. Transmitter and Receiver — Raoul Fernandes

Kilometres Ran:
this week — 52.17
to date — 236.98

I’m still not sure if I feel sorry for Martin John or not. The book was great, but I couldn’t come to a conclusion about how I feel about the protagonist, nor could I discern how Schofield wants me to feel about him — not that that really matters. It’s a great book that doesn’t need my endorsement, what with its Giller nomination and the volume of press it’s received. I met Roger soon after I started as the managing editor for The Capilano Review, and by proxy, CUE Books. Our chat that day in TCR’s office turned towards the latest firebombing of New Star Books (an occurrence that has been repeated a half dozen or so times since that conversation, unbelievably without any progress from the VPD). Roger made a joke that the bombing was due to his new manuscript. I still don’t know if he was joking. Regardless, I wanted to read IKMQ (not the manuscript in question; that’s still forthcoming I assume). If I had more ambition I’d like to do a textual analysis centred around the number 64 and its factors, which abound. IKMQ is a great little book, with not-so-subtle anarchistic themes throughout. I first heard Raoul read at a Real Vancouver Writers Series event and I’ve wanted to read his book ever since. I think it was a raffle prize at the event, but I’ve developed a bit of a reputation as the guy that buys RVWS raffle tickets but should just donate my money and not get my hopes up. I never win anything. Then I found a signed copy of Transmitter and Receiver at Russell Books in Victoria. Win!
week eight
I really don’t win anything at all ever. So I don’t really have my hopes up for the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon that I entered that’s coming up in May. I’ve no doubt I’ll finish, so I guess technically that means I’ll place, but win? The thought never even crossed my mind. I’m a member (sounds so prestigious) of Flying Blue so I’m often tempted by deals emailed to me from KLM and Air France. Then one day I received an email from Air France, one of the BMO Vancouver sponsors, inviting me to enter to win a “Platinum VIP” entry in the event, so I entered, and I won. I’m still not quite sure what that means, except that my entry fee is getting refunded and I get to crash some VIP tent at the finish line. Perhaps there will be beer. I did notice a distinct lack of beer sponsorship for the event. Seems like a miss to me. Sober February will be a distant memory by then, I’m sure.