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

Tally-ho:
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….

Don’t Tell Me Not to Run

Books Read:
31. Don’t Tell Me What to Do — Dina Del Bucchia

Kilometres Ran:
week forty — 33 km
week forty one — 20 km

To date: 2,299 km

I loved this book. It’s a great collection and really deserves the positive critical reviews it is getting. I’m very happy for Dina. I’ve managed to have my name end up on the colophon page of a few books but never the acknowledgements. None that I’m aware of anyway. So the acknowledgements shout out to my old little Downtown Eastside gallery where Dina happened to be in the last show I was involved with there gave me all the feels.

Granville Island Turkey Trot

I Turkey Trotted, and it was a lot of fun and I set a new best for 10K shaving over 2:30 off my PB at the 2016 Eastside 10K, and I scored my first top 10 finish with a seventh in my age category. I was less excited when I saw the posted results at the finish, with me coming in seventh out of nine. But by the time all the results were in it was 7/153. My knee is still not very happy with me and my physiotherapist said no running if I want to be better by the Fall Classic and I do but I went out on Friday the 13th and did the Ghost Race because Don’t Tell Me What to Do (thanks Dina) even though I dislike Lululemon (but have somehow managed to justify Kit & Ace). But since then I’ve run none and I’m going a bit crazy even though I’ve put about 100 km on Mobi Bikes it’s just not the same. I’m still over 200 km ahead of pace to reach my goal of 2,600 km in 2017 but for my head’s sake I really need to go for a run.

Easing Into Autumn

Books Read:
30. Rue — Melissa Bull

Kilometres Ran:
week thirty eight — 51.3
week thirty nine — 55.5

To date: 2,247 km

A rather warm and lovely autumn day and I strolled on down to the Vancouver Public Library for the annual WORD festival and I ran into Brian Kaufman at the Anvil Press table and I think I called him Kevin and I picked up a copy of Melissa Bull’s Rue, which is really great, as well as a copy of the late Jamie Reid’s posthumous book A Temporary Stranger, which I’m told is really great, and I hope to get around to reading it soon. I stopped by Talonbooks’ table and said hello to Kevin Williams but I don’t think I called him Brian. The weather was really nice, especially for an otherwise cursed WORD and yet Elee Kraljii Gardiner managed to find a table in the shadows from which to shiver and hawk her new chapbook Trauma Head. And so another onto the to read pile. I made it to 30 at 39 weeks. I have 13 weeks to read 32 more books to beat last year. Or 65 to reach my goal. Neither seems likely.

However, surpassing my running goal does seem likely. At the end of 39 weeks I should be at 1,950 kilometres. So I’m about 300 ahead, which is good because my knee has been bothering me since Copenhagen and I finally went to see Timberly at City Sports & Physiotherapy today and she basically (not really basically, ahem…) told me that she doesn’t want me running for a couple weeks, which she also acknowledged with perhaps a slight sideways eye that I probably was not going to follow so maybe no more than 5 km no more than two or three times per week for the next couple weeks but she’d prefer I just ride a bike, which is all going to really throw off my plans to set a new 10 km PB at the Granville Island Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Monday morning. Also I think that this might be my last 10 km race. I don’t really like the distance, and I’m pretty slow. I much prefer the longer runs. But also if you’ve been following this you’ll probably have found that I tend to say I’m not interested in doing that and then doing it anyway *cough* marathon *cough* so who knows? To be honest I only signed up in order to get the RUNVAN Hat Trick.

week nineteen

Books Read:
31. Ticknor — Sheila Heti
32. Pound @ Guantanamo — Clint Burnham

Kilometres Ran:
this week — 48.72
to date — 607.16

I read Ticknor in one round-trip transit ride to-and-from work. It’s pretty short. But short is good sometimes too. You’ve noticed the amount of poetry in these posts, yes? Ticknor was not what I was expecting. It’s nothing like How Should a Person Be?. There were times when I was reading Ticknor and it felt like I was reading Kafka. My edition has an introduction by Ben Lerner and I didn’t bother reading it and then I finished Ticknor and I was around Nanaimo Station and still had another four stops on the Skytrain to go so I decided to take a look at what Benny had to say about the book and he writes that Ticknor reminds him of Kafka’s “The Next Village”. I don’t recall reading “The Next Village” and there’s a good chance that I have not. Yet, anyway. Maybe I should. I mentioned a couple weeks/posts ago the Talonbooks launch. Clint Burnham reading “No Poems on Stolen Land” from his collection Pount @ Guantanamo was far and away the best part of the evening. And most of the evening was pretty good. I like this collection. There’s a rather odd little shout-out to Poetry is Dead in the acknowledgements that I’m a bit confused by. There’s maybe a story there. Or maybe not. I really like Clint; I miss @prof_clinty in my Twitter feed.
week nineteen
Until lately I’ve been grossly ignorant about all the races, and I was lamenting the other day that it would be nice if there was a list somewhere. Well, there are a few, and I was just grossly ignorant when it came to my Googling. Be that as it may, I learned from a Skytrain Station ad that apparently if I sign up for and complete the Granville Island Turkey Trot 8 km race over Thanksgiving and the Fall Classic at UBC in mid November (probably the half marathon) then, along with the BMO ten days ago, I’ll have the RUNVAN Hat Trick. I think I might give it a shot. Registration closes on May 31 so I’ve a bit of time to decide, but I think I should just sign up before I convince myself to back out. The word “trot” though. I really dislike that word. I broke 600 kilometres somewhere around the lighthouse under the Lions Gate Bridge today, so that’s exciting. I’m 30 per cent away from my goal of 2,000 kilometres this year and 36.5 per cent through the year. I’m pretty happy with those numbers.