I received a review copy of this book back in June, which was followed by a note a bit later in a Fight Club like tone that I was not to talk about the book until a month before publication. Which is in about a month from now. More or less. Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life is one of my favourite novels. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard are two favourite philosophers. Groundhog Day is one of my favourite films. But enough about me. In 7½ Deaths Aiden Bishop is stuck in a loop he cannot escape until he solves the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. The twist is that he lives the same day seven times from seven points of view and if he cannot solve the murder then he has to start all over again, with no memory of the previous attempt. It’s a new twist on an old idea. Why 7½ deaths? It seems the half was added due to some confusion in the US around this and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo because I know how simple it is to confuse husband with death…. I liked this book’s gothic elements and its relatively fresh take on the repetition concept. Unfortunately, I just did not like Aiden Bishop very much for no particular reasons I can give without spoilers, and I found the conclusion a bit dissatisfying. That said, it a pretty great debut novel from Stuart Turton, and I will look forward to more work from him.
Yesterday was long run number three on the road to my BQ at the Victoria Marathon in October. I set out to run 32KM and decided to mix it up a bit; rather than a long, slow, slog I would run 5KM easy and then 5KM at race pace and repeat that three times, then finish with a 1KM sprint and a 1KM jog home. But by 30KM there was nothing left to sprint 1KM so the final jog ended up being a little less under a mile. Afterwards analysis and all in all it went pretty well. My goal race pace for Victoria is 4:37/KM. My first five at race pace I managed to average 4:38/KM, second at 4:31, and the third was right on 4:37. I had no idea at the time; I felt like my pacing was all over the place. And it was to a degree, but it all averaged out in the end. So that felt good, even if not much else did. I spent a few hours afterwards thinking about my long runs last year while training for my first marathon and trying to remember if at the end of them I wanted to die then, too. If that’s the case, and I’m sure [hopeful] that it is, I seem to have blocked that part out. Eight weeks to go.
I haven’t written anything here in a month and a half and I wanted to get one more post in before my end of the year review that will probably come out on January 1 or 2, or whenever I motivate myself to review this year that was. I thought that Miller’s memoir was light and entertaining, though some reviews online were less than please with the amount of attention spent on her multiple failed relationships. The two of you that have been reading this blog since its inception will know about my own correlation between a toxic relationship demise and transforming from casual jogger into runner, and then the subsequent self-admission much later on. I don’t recall focusing on it much and I will not regale here. Suffice it to say I found Miller’s memoir hit close to home on some points but not in a PTSD sort of way. I wanted to read the Wunker and then won a copy at the season wrap of the Real Vancouver Writers Series. People complained in reviews that Notes is, well, notes. I liked it. I found it very pithy and wise with a Nietzsche-Gay-Science-esque quality of style. I was less attracted to the third part about feminist parenting because I have no interest in parenting. At all.
I ran the Fall Classic 10 KM and completed the RunVan Hat Trick, and while my time I cannot call disappointing I did run several minutes slower that the Turkey Trot 10 KM just a few weeks earlier. It is equally amazing and amazingly frustrating how quickly my stamina has diminished since cutting then quitting running while trying to nurse my knee back to not-hurting-all-the-time-except-when-running. If losing my endurance is the most frustrating, the annoyance that my knee hurt all the time since mid September except when I’m running, is a very close second most. I ran twice after the Fall Classic and then went to physio and ended up back at square one and I think my physiotherapist was as frustrated as me. So I took the rest of the month off. I’m slowly easing myself back into it. Slowly as in way to slow for my head, but a bit more quickly than my physiotherapist would like. I’m trying to find the balance of the two. That means that I’m not going to meet my goal of 2,600 KM in 2017, but I’m okay with that. I’m not great with that, but I’m already looking forward to 2018. The Vancouver First Half is just eight weeks away, and then the BMO Marathon is 12 weeks after that. Time to get my legs and lungs back.