A short book for a short post after what felt like a long week. I moved in the summer and when I unpacked my books I put them on my shelves with neither rhyme nor reason and so since I have so much time on my hands not being able to do much of any running I decided to do some arranging and in the process I realized that I hadn’t yet read this Robertson collection yet so I read it and it was, no surprise, very good in spite of maybe of the concepts and allusions going way over my head.
I squeezed in a few commutes and a longer ride on my bike this week, including a highly not recommended stretch along the Upper Levels Highway between Horseshoe Bay and West Van. No thank you. And then today I ran or the first time since the Victoria Marathon and it wasn’t great. I rode a Mobi bike down to the Seawall and started out at Sunset Beach towards Stanley Park. It hurt immediately and I could feel how my fitness has slipped already. I felt very stiff in my quads and hips. I walked a couple times along the way out to Third Beach and then back to the Mobi bike station at the Second Beach pool for a five-and-a-bit jaunt in just under half an hour, then took a bike most of the way back home. By the end of the run I’d loosened up a bit but it was still rather painful and I was feeling very slow, and yet not out of breath. Since the run I’ve noticed that my knee feels fine (except for climbing stairs) and I find that encouraging in spite of the ample discouragement I felt through the first three kilometres of the run. At physio on Friday I was feeling very frustrated and said that maybe I am just going to have to live with the fact that as much as I love running it is going to hurt me now. My physiotherapist disagreed. I want to believe her while all signs point to otherwise. Next weekend is the Fall Classic and I will not be running at all. But I get those nice new RunVan socks so there’s that….
week twenty two — 51
week twenty three — 75.7
To date: 1,281 km
I started reading White Noise once a while ago and didn’t get past the first part which is a shame because well no. I wanted to like this book. It’s okay. If you’re trying to decide if it’s okay that I wanted to like this book, or if the book is okay, or if it’s okay that I didn’t like this book, then have fun with that. I picked up 3 Summers and was holding onto it until summer finally arrived and then it got kind of nice so I read it and then it turned awful again so my bad I guess. Kind of like when my landlord turned off the heat in my building and I took that as a sign to take my air conditioner out of storage. Premature. Also, 3 Summers is not nearly as summery as the title claims. But Robertson is a gem and everyone should read everything that she writes, he writes with minimal exaggeration but weirdly in the third person.
I don’t have a photo to go with this entry.
The Scotiabank Half is in two weeks (well two weeks from the date that I’m going to tag this as posted but that’s another story) and I’ve been hitting the last bit of it a couple times which involves a bit of get to the route which involves me running over Burrard Bridge and then along Point Grey Road then up West 4th to Chancellor BLVD to North Marine Drive which is about 11 km from my home and that point is about the 8 km point of the Scotiabank route so I’m doing this and running down Marine to Spanish Banks and PS I don’t run with headphones and just as I’m passing the off leash part an Ice Cream truck meets me and so for the 10 km or so I have It’s A Small World After All It’s A Small Small World stuck in my head on repeat over and over and over and probably now you do too.
this week — 58.77
to date — 1,467.82
I haven’t finished In the Garden of Evil or whatever it is called but I’m just putting it on hiatus for a bit and I’m determined to get back to it and finish it but I just wanted to read something else for a bit. I’ve been told that I’m not allowed to bring it with me to Scandinavia. I went to Word today, formerly known as Word on the Street, formerly known as a thriving literary festival. Sad. Anyway, it wasn’t all a bust because I got to say hello to Rolf Maurer at the New Star table and catch Jen Sookfong Lee talk a bit about her craft and hear Elee Kraljii Gardiner read poems about figure skating and sex in hay bales and get Stephen Collis to sign my copy of his new book Once in Blockadia that I just picked up over at the Talonbooks table where I got to congratulate Kevin Williams for winning B.C. Publisher of the Year and run into the ineffable Jordan Abel and I wish that I would have brought my copy of Martin John along so that I could get Anakana Schofield to sign it and I’m sure that I left someone out but that’s more than enough name dropping for one run-on sentence so I went home and read the copy of XEclogue that I picked up for the steal of just $4 (thanks Rolf!).
But before I read poetry I ran over the Lions Gate bridge for the first time after thinking about how I’d wanted to do that for a few months and it was a really nice run with the change of scenery and the long hills up and down that were pretty great. I did have a bit of a freak out as I passed the lion statues at the foot of the bridge on the Stanley Park side and the ground dropped off on my right and my acrophobia kicked in rather strongly. Or was it gephyrophobia. I wonder if you can have gephyrophobia without acrophobia. It seems like they would go hand-in-hand. I run over the Burrard Bridge pretty regularly but I’ve never really noticed the traffic exhaust but going through the Stanley Park causeway and over the bridge I really noticed the vehicle exhaust. By the time I crossed the bridge and back again it was really starting to bother me or so I let myself believe, and I had a bit of a sore throat that may be merely coincidence.
this week — 57.75
to date — 883.71
Politics is something that I’ve consciously tried to avoid in these post and so far I’ve done an okay job of it I think, but it’s been a tough slog over these past few days to avoid all the crap that’s going on what with the Pulse shooting and the Brexit vote and the fiasco around Steven Galloway at UBC none of which are actually related except that they’ve caused an overall feeling of being emotionally deflated. None of that has anything to do with any of the reading above, either. I met my friend Jeff for drinks and we talked a bit about the Middle East, he just getting back from a conference that coincided with the opening of a contemporary art gallery in Palestine. I’ve a growing interest in speculative fiction and works in translation from the Middle East, though it’s not showing up in my reading, yet. I have a few titles in my to-read-pile (Aziz’s The Queue sits at the top) that I hope to get to soon. He suggested revisiting Kafka and forwarded me the two companion pieces from Hanssen. I hadn’t read “Jackals and Arabs” before. It’s pretty clear, though, that Kafka would have been appalled by the Israeli occupation of Palestine. And if there was any doubt, I think that Hanssen sufficiently crushes said doubt. I’m nearly through my pile of Robertson; I think that I have one or two titles left. I liked The Men better than Cinema, though when it comes to book-length poems I tend to prefer more narrative(?) style in the vein of William’s Patterson or Carson’s Autobiography of Red. Purely personal preference. I’ve no regrets spending a couple transit trips with Cinema.
I noticed very early on in my running that I tend to perform better when I’ve shit on my mind. I tweeted once that given my experience I didn’t understand why professional athletes would want to be happy at all. And so I figured that going into the Scotiabank half marathon this morning I would have a decent run. I did, I guess, but I’d really hoped to crush my BMO half time of 1:46:00 and in that I fell short. I ended up with 1:46:31, which I do think is pretty good for me, for my second half marathon, but I wanted to do better. World events didn’t propel me through the race this time around, so I think I need to rethink my hypothesis. I did everything nearly identical to my BMO prep, but for whatever reason nerves were higher, giving me an upset stomach and sufficiently dehydrating me before I even left the house this morning. I’ll spare you the [shitty] details. Or not, apparently. Anyway, I started well, and the race starts fast and I hit 10 kilometres with nearly a personal best, but I ran out of gas by the 12 kilometre mark and it was a struggle between my body and my pride to not walk a couple times. I haven’t done many races, but I have never walked. That being said I went from first-half splits of 4:30 down to 5:30 in the last 5 kilometres. Pacing is clearly still a problem, along with nutrition and hydration. Maybe there’s some psychology in there too.