43. Berlin – Jason Lutes
week forty seven – 61.0
2019 to date: 2,466 KM
I was looking for something easy and casual to read because I just haven’t been in the novel mood lately and I’m pretty tired of short stories so I was poking around and came across this graphic novel called Berlin that I thought looked interesting and familiar. A while ago I picked up a copy of the Left Bank Gang by Jason; it’s a fun, easy read set in Paris. So when saw the cover of Berlin by Jason (Lutes) I expected a fun, easy read set in Berlin.
Berlin is not a fun, easy read. The book is a collection of Lutes’ 20 year long, 22-issue series exploring the life in Berlin from 1928 until 1933. It’s a very deep dive into historical fiction. It’s all drawn black and white or whatever the graphic-novel lingo is for black and white and my only complaint is that from time to time the text is really small and dense and difficult to read. Otherwise, it’s really great. It’s timely what with the re-emergence of fascism that is currently happening here and south and in Europe. So, yeah, not a happy read. Makes me want to revisit Maus though. Maybe I’ll just read comics for the rest of the year.
So after not shaving my face since October 31 I got out the clippers and cut away the sparse sprouts from my cheeks and chin, leaving behind a snot saver just below the nose, and then jogged down to Second Beach in Stanley Park for the annual Moustache Miler. The weather wasn’t great but the rain was trying to stay at bay. With just two weeks until CIM I threw in for the one mile race, a short loop east and back on the Seawall, starting and finishing at Second Beach Pool. It’s a fun run, but I was taking it seriously only in that I felt like I had some unfinished business at the mile distance. I ran my first mile on the track in the spring and managed 5:52. Fast forward towards the end of summer and I set out to better that, once again on the track. I finished 5:52. I’m pretty certain that I am faster now, but I wanted to prove it, and find out how much. This course had some tight turns and a bit of a hill up and down, so slower than a track for sure, but also a lot of people who run anywhere from marginally to significantly faster than me for me to chase.
Photo: Jeanine Avelino
I got off the line okay and felt like garbage sooner than I was hoping to, then the climb from the Seawall up to Beach Ave and the turn around back towards the pool. I tried to check my watch at the halfway marker but whatever it said didn’t register. That second half is a blur. I got passed a few times until the pool when there was one just ahead who I thought I might be able to catch on the sprint to the finish. I managed to get by him and crossed the line and stopped my watch. It read 5:59.52. So that sucks. But it also read 1.69 km. The course was long. Later I checked Strava, and it said I ran a 5:41 for my fastest mile yet. I was 15th over all, and second in my age group. I am very please with all of that, but I’m also rather annoyed. I ran the fastest mile (and kilometre for that matter) in my life (so far…) but I don’t actually know what that is because the course was “a mile” and not one mile.
Photo: Jeanine Avelino
But in the end it was all for fun and for a good cause. I’d set a goal to raise $614.54 for the Movember Foundation supporting men’s mental and physical health – one cent more than last year – and it wasn’t looking like I was going to make it. I was happy with the support regardless, but on Saturday morning before the run I was still a bit short. Then another donation came in, and then another, and I was closer. Then later in the afternoon Stephanie and I stopped for a coffee on our way to the Vancouver Art Gallery and two more alerts in my inbox tipped my total over to $621.45. Thanks so much to everyone who donated: Albert, Shannon, Dan, John, Kelly, Stephanie, Ryan, Sandra, Roland, Steve, Jeff and the five who wish to remain anonymous. I sincerely appreciate your support. Plus it was a lot of fun.