I remember one of my instructors in journalism school who use to write book reviews who said that she wouldn’t write a review of a book she didn’t like and I thought “that’s a cop out.” And then this morning on CBC Radio One Michael Enright was talking to Margaret Atwood during a fundraiser for the Literary Review of Canada and the subject of book reviews came up and Atwood said she never writes reviews for books that she doesn’t like and there was something else about bloggers being hacks because they were essentially anonymous and couldn’t be sued but I’d zoned out by then. I really wanted to like this book and I really should have liked this book and I really, really tried really hard to like this book but I just didn’t. I really did not like Kirilow. But I did like Kora and the pandemic-induced post-apocalyptic theme and the sprinkling of Vancouver landmarks and locales. I don’t think I’ve ever felt bad about not liking a book before.
Yesterday was the Moustache Miler and I raced the 5K and managed to raise a little over $614 for the Movember Foundation. It was a great event and I had a lot of fun with it. Facebook did not like it. At least that’s what I’m telling myself…it’s the algorithms, stupid! I still think that my “Movember Foundation: Men are dying young; Most of my social media feed: GOOD!” joke was pretty funny, but crickets on that post. I did get one person ask when I’m doing the Merkin Miler — which is a great question, btw. Anyway, I wanted to raise over $500 mostly just to see if I could, and as well to run faster than 20:09. I’ve never raced a 5KM before. My 20:09 PB is from what my watch says I ran the first 5KM of the Eastside 10K back in September of this year, where I set a personal best in the 10K (officially) and apparently the 5K (unofficially). I did not run a personal best time. I went out pretty quickly and then faded and finished in 20:28, which I still think is really great considering what these past two months have been like trying to get past this knee injury. Later when I checked my splits I was really surprised to see how consistent my times were for 2-3-4-5 kilometres. By 3KM I thought I was going to die but the clock seems to say it was all in my head. I finished third in my age group and 19th overall.
Another week of avoiding the book I’m currently reading for treats that managed to find their way through my mail slot in spite of the ongoing Canada Post rotating strike action (solidarity with CP workers, btw). And it seems that after over 45 years the editorial staff has finally broken down and done the dreaded summary of contents all over the cover image. It brings back memories of being managing editor meeting with Mr. Appropriation Prize Hal Niedzviecki who advocated contents-on-the-cover and haha no never. Not never, it seems, alas. But inside the Kim Goldberg poem is excellent, as is Danielle LaFrance and the Fred Wah / Rita Wong collaboration. Also pretty great is Colin Browne’s conversation with Ester Shalev-Gerz about her 24,000 concrete paver block installation The Shadow at the University of B.C. So in spite of the new cover art direction it’s a really great issue from new editor Fenn Stewart. So obviously it’s still in good hands. So here’s the shameless plug, as past managing editor and current and soon to be ongoing donor you should subscribe or consider a tax-deductible donation.
Knee is beginning to finally feel better though it not quite better yet. I gave taping another try but it didn’t help much at all, but I’ve run twice in the Bracelayer compression tights that I picked up at the Victoria Marathon expo and I really like them and now wish that I had picked up a couple pairs at the price they were at the expo. Anyway, this was a good week and I had some fun mixing in sprints with my runs and I’m really looking forward to racing the Moustache Miler 5 KM coming up on this Saturday, November 24. I’ve supported a lot of fundraising runs in the past but this is the first time that I have attempted fundraising myself. The event supports the Movember Foundation, which seems like a worthwhile cause. So if perhaps you want to support me support them and get a tax receipt to boot, follow this link to my donation page. And next week I’ll let you know how it goes.
A slow week in book reading but a great week at my mailbox. The latest issue of Poetry is Dead is guest edited by Carleigh Baker and David James Brock, the latter of whom I was unfamiliar and now I’m interested. Baker has a piece in the new Vancouver Noir collection that also launched this week and I missed out on for fear of spreading the plague. But I really want to pick up a copy. PoD Metal explores the unusual intersection of metal and poetry. There’s some great stuff inside. It’s hard to argue with Luke Meat’s “Five Times Metal Jumped the Three-headed Hydra.” My favourite piece is Chris Koenig-Woodyard’s “Satan, in Pandemonium,” a work whose lines are anagrams of pandemonium, which sounds gimmicky but is not. I don’t think so at least. The issue is delightfully evil, and right up my alley.
On Wednesday just before the Metal PoD came through my mail slot I went out for a run that would be my 666th activity on Strava, so I decided to run 6.66KM because I couldn’t resist. It went pretty well with minimal knee pain. At physio on Friday I had my knee taped for the first time, which was a different experience and I’m still not sure about it. The run with a taped knee wasn’t great, but I’m not sure that it had anything to do with the taping; I think that between the running and bicycling and strength training exercises that maybe my leg was tired. So I might give taping another try. I’ve started on a study somehow affiliated with the University of BC and at the moment of typing this I cannot seem to recall the confidentiality clause, so I’ll talk about it a little bit. Basically I’m to use and then evaluate a website focused on knee pain, specifically pain in the knee cap. I’ve learned a few things that I’m going to try to incorporate into my routines and see how it goes. I’ll probably write more about the study and the website when it wraps up, sometime before Christmas. My total milage is below what I wanted for this week but it’s a long weekend, which always messes with routine (if you’re paying attention you’ll notice this is Monday and not Sunday…). My current plan is to start slowly loading by adding 5KM per week as long as my knees respond positively. If not then it’s back into the pool, though I want to be in the pool at least once per week too. Two weeks until first test: Moustache Miler 5K on November 24.