2018 week sixteen

Books Read:
20. Angel of the Underground — David Andreas

Kilometres Ran:
week sixteen — 62.7

To date: 703 KM

I judged a book by its cover but I felt like reading some fluff and the cover caught my eye, appealing to some of my more crepuscular inclinations. I don’t read much horror. Come to think of it, the last horror novel I read was Robert Bloch’s Psycho a quarter century or so ago. So I’m not the best judge of the genre, but after a look at the reviews on Goodreads it almost seems like Andreas is a shoo-in for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Except that it’s a novella and not really a novel so it doesn’t technically qualify. (Not that that novel/novella caveat really matters…isn’t that right Ian.) The Goodreads rating system raises an issue that I think about a lot when it comes to just about any ratings aggregate drawn from the general public. Maybe the 17 people that gave Angel of the Underground an average GR rating of 4.24/5 tend to really enjoy mediocre books with first-person female leads written with all the insight that comes with being a 30-something white dude. Only slightly unrelated, I was trying to find a decent place to stay in Palm Springs and kept happening upon 2-star lodging with glowing reviews from people that I assume were used to dorm-style hosteling. “Like, no bedbugs dude! Five stars!” Reviews are only as good as the people doing the reviewing. Duh. Which is also why I’ve never given stars on Goodreads. I do sometimes say something/one is worth reading on here, though, but I figure the three of you that keep coming back here maybe share my reading preferences and proclivities. But who knows? All that to say this book was okay and served its purpose, which was to be a fluffy break from reading other stuff. And I read the whole thing, which I can’t say for some “important” books (I’m looking at you, Tolstoy). So there’s that.

And so week sixteen was another week of Garmin fails, with two in a row first on Tuesday evening and then again on Wednesday afternoon. Then on Friday my new Garmin Forerunner 235 arrived and I took it out for a test run on Saturday and guess what? It was a a bit of a mess. I knew something was up when I neared home and then had to take a few detours to get the watch up to 21.1 KM on the 23 KM route. When I checked the data there’s a GPS glitch that shows me taking a couple kilometre detour from my run to take a swim in English Bay and I’m starting to take it personally. This with both GPS and GLONASS on. This morning, I tried again, resisting the temptation to run the Strava app on my iPhone in parallel. But I also switched the tracking from Smart to Seconds, and ended up with much better results, although not without some discrepancies. I tried a somewhat analogue calibration exercise, so take it as you will. As I entered Stanley Park at the 0 KM plaque I checked my watch and it read 4.69 KM, then I checked every 2 KM plaque until the 8 KM marker at Second Beach Pool.

Park Markers / Garmin 235:
0 KM / 4.69 KM
2 KM / 6.68 KM
4 KM / 8.66 KM
6 KM / 10.64 KM
8 KM / 12.61 KM

So by my purely anecdotal exercise my new 235’s GPS is off by between 10 and 20 metres per kilometre. And I can live with that, I guess. I’m not sure that I can hope for any better, but I’m sure glad I didn’t opt to splurge on the 735XT or a Fēnix 5. Anyway, I have a gently used Garmin Vivosmart HR+ for sale. Cheap.

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….