2018 week seventeen

Books Read:
21. Lost in Stockholm — Uwe Hasenfuss (ed.)
22. By Night in Chile — Roberto Bolaño

Kilometres Ran:
week seventeen — 60.5

To date: 764 KM

I going back to visit Stockholm in a couple weeks, and honestly one the the things I’m most looking forward to is running a complete loop of Södermalm. It’s about 10 KM. I normally wouldn’t consider Lost in Stockholm AKA Stockholm: Lost in City Guide AKA Lost In, Issue No. 10 a book insomuch as it counts towards an effort to read a particular number of books; however, (1) it is listed on Goodreads, (2) it has an ISBN, and (3) while only 68 pages, it has many more words than some (most?) of the poetry books I/we/they count as books. So it counts, I guess. It’s a very nice design, as one would expect for a periodical from Germany about Sweden. It gets me excited about going back. Following on the short reads, I picked up By Night in Chile. It reminded me of studying Beckett in undergrad. In a lecture on Molloy, the prof. Dr. Peter Murphy (!) suggest he read the first paragraph to the class and that I read the second. The similarities between Beckett and Bolaño extend beyond style, and I think that I should have liked By Night more than I did, or did not. It is one that I think I need to revisit, and it’s short enough that it wouldn’t feel like a waste my reading time (always a hazard). Plus I want to go to Chile one day.

Old kicks still have kick. Nearing 800 KM on these adidas Bostons.

One week until the BMO Half. Three weeks until Helsinki Half. All is coming together as well as I could have hoped. The weather for BMO Sunday looks ideal–sun with some cloud and morning temperature around 12 degrees (assuming today’s prediction holds). The BMO Half in 2016 was my first half marathon; I finished 1:46:00. I expect to crush that time next weekend. A great race and I could have a new PB, which will be bitter-sweet. I like that my current best is in Copenhagen last fall, and in the adventure that was less than ideal conditions. I have a chance to set personal bests twice in May. I’ve grown confident that it’ll happen next weekend. I think it’ll take an exceptional run in Helsinki on May 19. But anything could happen on race day.

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

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….

Copenhagen 2017

Books Read:
28. From the Poplars — Cecily Nicholson
29. Human Resources — Rachel Zolf

Kilometres Ran:
week thirty six — 63.8
week thirty seven — 54.5

To date: 2,140

A couple poetry books (both excellent) and a few articles in the September 11 New Yorker and Sep/Oct Playboy and, ahem, (online, does that count?) Canadian Running (I’ll get to that later don’t you worry). Jared Kushner’s Harvard Admissions Essay in NY was very funny. The long interview with Patton Oswalt in PB was very good. I mostly want to write about running because stuff happened. So let’s get to it, yes?

I’ve written a few times about my inability to taper and so with seven days to go before the Copenhagen Half Marathon, and not to feel left out of the party I ran a rather casual 21.1 km all to get The Great 13.1 Record digital badge in my Strava achievements. I have no idea if the record (most half marathons recorded in one day) was broken. Anyway, it didn’t seem to bother me. After a quick loop around Stanley Park I boarded an Iceland Air flight on September 13 and after times zones and, well, some time, landed in Copenhagen just after noon on the 14th.

At the Wall of Runners

The flat I let was a nice 15 minutes walk to Fælledparken were all the CPH Half stuff would take place. The expo started at 2 p.m. and I was there (a bit zombied but alive) by 4 p.m. to pick up my race package. Friday morning I woke, kicked jet lag’s ass, and went for a 13 km run around The Lakes and back through Langelinie. Then in the afternoon I grabbed a Bycyklen and rode the race route through the city, with a few detours and wrong turns. I thought it would help, but in retrospect I’m not really sure that it did. Maybe?

Windmill at the Kastellet

Saturday morning I went for a short 7 km run along Langelinie again and up and around the Kastellet ramparts, and then spent most of the rest of the day on a Bycyklen or relaxing in the Botanical Garden and the Assistens Cemetery in anticipation for Sunday’s race. I was looking forward to taking in the pre-race festivities on Saturday, which I had in my head starting at 2 p.m. They ended at 2 p.m. I still think that’s a stupid time to end but feel equally stupid that I didn’t notice until 1:45 when I was about to head over to the grounds.

Obligatory gear shot

Sunday race day. Well the race made news around the world for the ensuing thunderstorm. Canadian Running magazine found out I was there and asked me to write about my experience. I’m waiting to see if they accept my story. If they do, I’ll link to it here. If they decline then I’ll post shortened version of events here. Either way, stay tuned.

UPDATE: Canadian Running ran (ahem…) my story on their website. You can read it here: https://runningmagazine.ca/2017-copenhagen-half-marathon-race-report/

Midrace selfie at the Black Diamond
The only photo I could find with me at the finish. I’m under just barely visible under the volunteers right arm in a black Adidas Canada shirt.

I had a great race in spite of the weather at the end, and posted a new personal best of 1:38:27. I loved that the race started at a rather civilized 11:15 a.m. On course entertainment was really great, and the crowds of spectators cheering everyone on were huge, like nothing I’d experienced before. I thought it weird that they used plastic cups at the hydration station. Because of the storm the finish area was shut down, so I didn’t get a photo with my finisher’s medal and I was really looking forward to the post-race festivities, especially after missing out on Saturday. Instead I went back to my flat and had a very long, hot shower.

I ran 12 km Tuesday morning before packing up and heading to the airport just before noon. I had four full and two half days in Copenhagen, and I ran four times for 54 km. It was a great trip. I’d do it again.

Sunrise loop around The Lakes on my last Copenhagen day