2018 week twenty four

Book Read:
31. Run Forever — Amby Burfoot

Kilometres Ran:
week twenty four — 64.2

To date: 1,180 KM

Curmudgeon writes book about running, in which he reminds you over and over that 40 years ago he won the Boston Marathon, and that the only worthwhile running development since then is wicking socks. I was given a review copy of Amby Burfoot’s new book Run Forever. Burfoot won Boston in 1968 and went on to become executive editor of Runner’s World. He retired in 2013, but has not retired the word “scrumptious,” nor reminding you that he won Boston in 1968. Hey did you know Burfoot won Boston? Around the same time he also participated in a study into hydration and performance. He states that the results of the study showed he performed best on Gatorade, and worst drinking nothing, a result that pretty much anyone would say, “duh.” Except for Burfoot. He writes that one month after the study he runs (and wins the Boston Marathon) “without drinking anything en route” and goes on to declare: “I’m […] quite sure that, if someone had given me Gatorade on the course, I wouldn’t have run as well.” Reading Run Forever felt like reading a book about running written by Kurtwood Smith in full Red Forman. Once you get past surely old man writing about how he likes things the old fashioned way, the book is a decent compilation of running how-to with some good advice, but in that it is by no means unique and I think there are much better options out there.

Sorta smiley rainy run.

Whenever I get a new book, especially non-fiction, I like to look through the table of contents. If you read my 2018 week twenty three last week you may recall that I developed a shin splint while on holiday. Burfoot in Run Forever devotes a section to injuries, and a “chaplet” (his word for “chapter”) to shin splints, in which he says that pretty much every runner gets them, but that they’re something beginning runners suffer with, and “once you move past an initial bout, they rarely come back.” My first bout of shin splints came in the beginning of this year, and my physiotherapist put the Fear of God (or Saint Sebastian?) into me about proper care lest I develop a stress fracture. Burfoot, on the other hand, writes, “Shin splints are the perfect example of how most running injuries aren’t serious. You get them, then you get over them.” The bigger problem I have with this book is that there’s some really bad advice. And yet I’ll probably buy a hardcopy for my library. Thanks to Centre Street for the review copy.
Unintentionally frowny sunny run.

On Wednesday I went for a run in the rain up to UBC and back home following most of the impending Scotiabank Half Marathon route and I should have trimmed my toenails because my left big toenail had gotten a little too long and by the time I finished my descent of Marine Drive it was pretty uncomfortable. So after some 6,000 KM running I got my first black toe badge, and damnit I had no idea how debilitating it is. Thursday was a write-off but by Friday evening I forced myself back outside. It did not feel great but I pushed through, and then it felt better, and better Saturday, and better today. Whether the toenail falls off or not remains to be seen. I’m hoping it makes up its mind soon. One week until Scotiabank Half. And sixteen weeks until Victoria Marathon.

2018 week nineteen

Books Read:
25. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls — David Sedaris
26. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary — David Sedaris

Kilometres Ran:
week nineteen — 58.7

To date: 875 KM

I’m going to see/hear Sedaris at the Vogue tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes. Probably not. Tickets came up and it made me realize that I haven’t really read anything of his (other than the odd New Yorker piece) since When You Are Engulfed in Flames a bit after it came out in 2008. So it’d been a while. Explore Diabetes is a collection of narrative essays, and it was fine. There’s that thing where you don’t necessarily feel like reading each and every essay but you don’t know which ones are the good ones and which are the skippables and you don’t want to miss the good ones so you end up reading every single ones of them anyway, which just leaves you somewhat resentful at the end of the collection. It happens a lot with short story collections too. Modest Bestiary is a collection of short stories as if the Grimm brothers had the internet. It’s a bit dark; I found it entertaining. Tonight should be entertaining.

I’m still riding a bit of a high from the BMO Half Marathon last weekend and in the midst of a deep spring clean of my studio and packing to fly off to Helsinki to run their namesake half marathon I signed up and paid money to run the Victoria Marathon in October. So no backing out now unless I want to essentially light $98 on fire, which is what probably more than a few people think I just did anyway. Anyway, my goal is to run a Boston Qualifier, which for me means sub 3:15:00. I realize that that won’t actually qualify me for Boston–to run 2018 the BQ times were minus 3:23, which dashed many a dream. I try not to dream. My goal is a BQ; actually running Boston, well, I’ve been sort of toying with the idea of the 125th Edition. For me to run a BQ I need an average pace of 4:37 per kilometre for an estimated finish time of 3:14:48. Yesterday I went out and ran 10 miles and aimed to run 4:37 and somehow, miraculously, finished 10 miles with an average pace of 4:37. There was a lot of watch watching. Next Saturday in Helsinki I want to run a 4:37 half marathon, for a finish time of 1:37:24, which is off my PB by a bit, but will be my second best. I also just want to have fun and not be dead afterward. Hey maybe a post-half-marathon sauna. I hear Finland has saunas.