2018 week fourteen

Book Read:
15. The Mars Room — Rachel Kushner

Kilometres Ran:
week fourteen — 81.0

To date: 574 KM

I loved The Flamethrowers so I was excited about this new Kushner book then I read what it was about and was less excited for no particular reason that I can put my finger on except that no matter how hard I tried and I did try I just did/do not like Orange is the New Black. Granted I only suffered through season one plus most of the way through S02E01 and maybe it got better. Who knows? All that to say nothing about whether liking one will or won’t ensure that you like the other, regardless of the fact that I, as it turns out, liked The Mars Room a lot. I found Romy Hall to be a compelling and sympathetic character, depicted vividly. The underlying commentary on the American justice system and prison–industrial complex equal parts frustrating and horrifying. I’m not thrilled with how the book ended for a couple of the characters that I had grown an affinity for, but this isn’t a happy novel, and no one should go into in expecting a happy ending, no matter how much ones sympathy for the characters grows through the 300-something pages. I will buy a copy of this to put onto my shelf next to Kushner’s others. The Mars Room will be released on May 1, 2018. Thanks to Simon & Schuster / Scribner for the advanced review copy.

Lots of time and distance on my feet and knee this week and it’s feeling pretty good — good enough that I ran yesterday and today without my knee brace without incurring disaster. A week ago I was beginning to think that the brace was mostly psychological at this point and I finally got the courage to put it to test. My speed is starting to get back to near what I could do at the end of last summer. But my endurance still needs work. My current hypothesis is that my endurance is tapped out thanks to those missing 700 to 1,000 extra calories from drinking the night before. I don’t I miss them but I’m having a bit of an adventure attempting to find healthy, palatable replacements. I’ll even sacrifice a bit on the “healthy”…no need to go from one extreme to the other. Today’s long run turned out pretty good, enough so that I tentatively may shoot for a new PR at the BMO Half. That felt impossible a week ago, but today (plus a session Wednesday and felt and turned in good results) and I’m feeling rather confident. Four weeks to go.

week twenty eight + twenty nine

Books Read:
43. The Strange Case of Rachel K — Rachel Kushner
44. Injun — Jordan Abel

Kilometres Ran:
these weeks — 91.87
to date — 1,050.67

The Flamethrowers is still one of my favourite reads of the past couple years so I thought that I would pick up this small collection of short stories (three stories in all) from Rachel Kushner and I expected some autobiographical or perhaps something along the lines of personal creative non-fiction but no. Don’t judge a book by its title either, it seems, as –spoiler (not really, not really at all)– Rachel K is not Rachel Kushner. At all. Cuba and colonialism and some other stuff. Not bad. Not near The Flamethrowers. Alas. And then there was Jordan Abel who is a rock star and one not just one of my favourite artists living and working in Vancouver but also one of the most nicest people I have the privilege of calling acquaintance. Which means we’re friends on social media AND we have met IRL and had friendly conversation that included beverages. That’s my standard that I just made up just now. Oh and his book is really great and you should get it and read it. Contrary to a few haters, conceptualism is not dead.
week twenty eight nine
I was out running and thinking, as I’m prone to do, and it occurred to me that it was just a little over a year ago that I had never in my life run farther than 10 kilometres. This think-and-run was just over 16 km and was my 80th run of 2016 and put my distance-to-date at 1,006.12 km. It’s been a while since I’ve run less than 10 km. My average right now sits at 12.57 km per run. This is my humble brag. I’m impressed with this change I’ve made in my life, amongst others. I’m about three weeks behind where I’d like to be in my goal, but it definitely seems achievable. This makes me happy. As I ran along the Seawall I passed a couple running by the Stanley Park totem poles. The guy asked, Do you live here? Me, Yeah. He, This is amazing. You get to run here all the time? You’re so lucky. Me, Yeah I am.