Fall Classic and Falling Behind

Books Read:
33. Running: A Love Story — Jen A. Miller
34. Notes from a Feminist Killjoy — Erin Wunker

Kilometres Ran:
week forty five — 38.2
week forty six — 16
week forty seven — 0
week forty eight — 8.3
week forty nine — 20.5
week fifty — 32.6

To date: 2,458 km

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.

On Overthinking Hat Tricks

Books Read:
32. Homage to Catalonia — George Orwell

Kilometres Ran:
week forty two — 0
week forty three — 10
week forty four — 33

To date: 2,342 km

A year and a bit ago I went to Barcelona and before I went I decided that I would pick up a couple books not necessarily about Barcelona but with some connection to there. I ended up with The Shadow of the Wind and Homage to Catalonia. I read Shadow and it was pretty awful. And Homage sat on my shelf and then suddenly Catalonia was in the news and so I figured it was a good time to get some back story. The book is pretty great, and so relevant to today, not least for the fact that the Left still cannot get its collective shit together and just work towards a common goal rather than fighting about every little nuance of disagreement. So some things never change.

I went to physio and the physio said, no more … well what actually happened is that I said that I was a bit concerned that I was going to run terribly at the Fall Classic and was feeling really out of shape and that I maybe wasn’t so concerned about my knee, because I have self-detrimental willpower when it comes to running (which is probably partly why I’m in this mess in the first place) and she said maybe you should switch to the 10 km. That’s what she said. So I did and for a little bit there I felt like a bit of a fraud claiming the RunVan Hat Trick because I wasn’t running the half but then I figured that if I’d run the BMO Half rather than the full marathon in the spring I wouldn’t think my hat trick was a fraud so I’ve managed to justify that BMO Full + Turkey Trot + Fall Classic 10KM does = legitimate hat trick. Still wanted to run the half though. Still disappointed.

Easing Into Autumn

Books Read:
30. Rue — Melissa Bull

Kilometres Ran:
week thirty eight — 51.3
week thirty nine — 55.5

To date: 2,247 km

A rather warm and lovely autumn day and I strolled on down to the Vancouver Public Library for the annual WORD festival and I ran into Brian Kaufman at the Anvil Press table and I think I called him Kevin and I picked up a copy of Melissa Bull’s Rue, which is really great, as well as a copy of the late Jamie Reid’s posthumous book A Temporary Stranger, which I’m told is really great, and I hope to get around to reading it soon. I stopped by Talonbooks’ table and said hello to Kevin Williams but I don’t think I called him Brian. The weather was really nice, especially for an otherwise cursed WORD and yet Elee Kraljii Gardiner managed to find a table in the shadows from which to shiver and hawk her new chapbook Trauma Head. And so another onto the to read pile. I made it to 30 at 39 weeks. I have 13 weeks to read 32 more books to beat last year. Or 65 to reach my goal. Neither seems likely.

However, surpassing my running goal does seem likely. At the end of 39 weeks I should be at 1,950 kilometres. So I’m about 300 ahead, which is good because my knee has been bothering me since Copenhagen and I finally went to see Timberly at City Sports & Physiotherapy today and she basically (not really basically, ahem…) told me that she doesn’t want me running for a couple weeks, which she also acknowledged with perhaps a slight sideways eye that I probably was not going to follow so maybe no more than 5 km no more than two or three times per week for the next couple weeks but she’d prefer I just ride a bike, which is all going to really throw off my plans to set a new 10 km PB at the Granville Island Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Monday morning. Also I think that this might be my last 10 km race. I don’t really like the distance, and I’m pretty slow. I much prefer the longer runs. But also if you’ve been following this you’ll probably have found that I tend to say I’m not interested in doing that and then doing it anyway *cough* marathon *cough* so who knows? To be honest I only signed up in order to get the RUNVAN Hat Trick.

week nineteen

Books Read:
31. Ticknor — Sheila Heti
32. Pound @ Guantanamo — Clint Burnham

Kilometres Ran:
this week — 48.72
to date — 607.16

I read Ticknor in one round-trip transit ride to-and-from work. It’s pretty short. But short is good sometimes too. You’ve noticed the amount of poetry in these posts, yes? Ticknor was not what I was expecting. It’s nothing like How Should a Person Be?. There were times when I was reading Ticknor and it felt like I was reading Kafka. My edition has an introduction by Ben Lerner and I didn’t bother reading it and then I finished Ticknor and I was around Nanaimo Station and still had another four stops on the Skytrain to go so I decided to take a look at what Benny had to say about the book and he writes that Ticknor reminds him of Kafka’s “The Next Village”. I don’t recall reading “The Next Village” and there’s a good chance that I have not. Yet, anyway. Maybe I should. I mentioned a couple weeks/posts ago the Talonbooks launch. Clint Burnham reading “No Poems on Stolen Land” from his collection Pount @ Guantanamo was far and away the best part of the evening. And most of the evening was pretty good. I like this collection. There’s a rather odd little shout-out to Poetry is Dead in the acknowledgements that I’m a bit confused by. There’s maybe a story there. Or maybe not. I really like Clint; I miss @prof_clinty in my Twitter feed.
week nineteen
Until lately I’ve been grossly ignorant about all the races, and I was lamenting the other day that it would be nice if there was a list somewhere. Well, there are a few, and I was just grossly ignorant when it came to my Googling. Be that as it may, I learned from a Skytrain Station ad that apparently if I sign up for and complete the Granville Island Turkey Trot 8 km race over Thanksgiving and the Fall Classic at UBC in mid November (probably the half marathon) then, along with the BMO ten days ago, I’ll have the RUNVAN Hat Trick. I think I might give it a shot. Registration closes on May 31 so I’ve a bit of time to decide, but I think I should just sign up before I convince myself to back out. The word “trot” though. I really dislike that word. I broke 600 kilometres somewhere around the lighthouse under the Lions Gate Bridge today, so that’s exciting. I’m 30 per cent away from my goal of 2,000 kilometres this year and 36.5 per cent through the year. I’m pretty happy with those numbers.