2018 week thirty seven

Book Read:
44. Fear: Trump in the White House — Bob Woodward

Kilometres Ran:
week thirty seven — 69.8

To date: 2,019 KM

For some reason I decided to read this book because trainwreck / caraccident / apartmentfire and for some reason I thought that it being written by Bob Woodward would somehow make it different that the one I read earlier this year by that “hack” Michael Wolff but I think that if Sam Smith owes Tom Petty money then Wolff has a case against Woodward but of course it doesn’t work that way so I read about how Trump if utterly incompetent and insecure and corrupt and blah blah blah and that was a waste of my time. And nothing against Woodward. But I spent entirely too long reading this book while consciously, actively pondering my real time confirmation bias. So, moving on.

Not a bandit I swear. Thanks to Philip Finlayson for the photo. Check him out on Instagram and Strava

At the beginning of the week I faced the dilemma of whether or not to taper for a 10K race what with four weeks to go until the big race — the Victoria Marathon. So I solicited advice and received some really great perspectives and then was out for a 16 KM run on Wednesday and my left knee said just fucking nope around 13 and I hobbled home into a forced taper for a 10K. My goal for the Eastside 10K was to run my first sub-40 minute 10K. On Wednesday I postponed that goal, which means probably postponed until 2019. I’m okay with that. So I took Thursday and Friday off and then got up early Saturday and jogged the two and a half kilometres to the start line at SFU Woodwards. The weather was typical Eastside 10K wet. (Apparently last year it was a beauty day, but I wouldn’t know because I was in Denmark running the Copenhagen Half Marathon, which got all of the Eastside 10K’s share of rainstorm times ten, and I spent much of this week waxing nostalgic about it online and IRL.) After a ten minute delay, the race started. I got a good start and ran 3:57 / 4:04 / 3:54 over the first three kilometres. This was my first run on the new ES10K course, which traded a start/finish on the Dunsmuir Viaduct for a nightmare of a hill at 5KM up Templeton and around Pandora Park. I’d been warned that this was a tough course, so when I hit 5 KM in a new personal best time I didn’t expect much after that. The hill was hell but I survived without giving up too much pace and I still had a bit of kick left for the finish. I crossed in 41:23, which is not only a 1:02 improvement on my personal best, but my watch said 41:25 so my button pressing was on point too.

Stephanie met me at the finish with a change of shirt and shoes so I could take the long way home with a long slow jog around Stanley Park. I stayed up late to watch the Berlin Marathon and made it all the way until Eliud Kipchoge got to 30KM then fell asleep. So I missed him run a new World Record in under 2:02 and I also missed the Canadian women kick serious ass in Berlin with Rachel Cliff running 2:28:53 in her marathon debut, just 53 seconds off Lanni Marchant’s current Canadian marathon record. Lyndsay Tessier ran 2:30.47 for a new W40 marathon record, and Catherine Watkins ran 2:40:11 setting a new W45 record. After catching up on what I’d slept through I went out for an 18 KM loop around Crab Park and Stanley Park taking me past my 2018 goal of running 2,018 KM three and a half months early. Maybe I should go for 2,018 miles after all…. But for now, all focus on getting healthy. Three weeks until Victoria Marathon.

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.

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