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 four

Book Read:
4. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House — Michael Wolff

Kilometres Ran:
week four — 19.1

To date: 164 KM

I read this like the train wreck that it is, and then set it aside because it rekindled the paranoia and/or revulsion I have at the prospect of visiting the United States, all the while planning a short few days relaxing in Palm Springs. I just returned a few hours ago, still aglow no doubt from the full body scan I received for trying to leave the country to return to this one. A ton has been said about Wolff’s book, much of it critical of Wolff’s style of journalism — what I learned was called “back-door” back around journalism school day one. We could have a discussion about rights and multiple wrongs, but that seems boring. Most of the book’s criticism (that isn’t centred on Wolff’s method) seems to stem from readings of the released excerpts rather than an actual reading of the book, and the voracity of those excerpts. Missed in all this is the framing found in Wolff’s Author’s Note at the beginning that I think is paramount to properly understanding the book. He writes:

Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.

Many (most?) critics read excerpts, clearly having never read the Author’s Note, and declared all or part of the excerpt untrue and therefore the book as a whole must be rubbish, sufficiently satiating the Trumpian right that was [also] never going to read the book anyway. It’s not great writing and most of the bombshells were excerpted before the release, but it’s entertaining as an insight into what was going on for the first 100 days or so, or at least what those dumb enough to spill on- and off-the-record (PS – off the record doesn’t exist) to Wolff believed was going on. And that’s enough about that.

As you can see from my numbers this week I didn’t have much of running week because my physiotherapist put the fear of breaking my tibia in half and never being able to run again if I insisted on running with this medial tibial stress whatever so I didn’t run a whole lot — just Friday and Sunday in the warm, dry, breezy Palm Springs air i.e., the polar opposite of what’s been going on in Vancouver. The Forerunners First half is two weeks away, and after barely managing a 5 min/km pace for 10 KM this morning rusty doesn’t begin to describe how I’m feeling. My second offically-timed half marathon is my slowest; this February First Half will be my fifth 21.1 and is in contention for that dubious distinction.