34. Grief is the Thing with Feathers – Max Porter
week thirty five – 61
2019 to date: 1,681
In this pretty great debut novella a father and two sons deal with life and grief at the loss of partner and mother, along with a crow who serves as a sort of asshole grief counsellor who promises to hang around for as long as the family needs. Porter’s experimental style is not easily accessible but I liked it a lot. I am sure most of the Dickinson and (Ted) Hughes references went right over my head but I really enjoyed this book regardless. A relatively short read that you might have to work a bit for, but worth it.
Saturday was the third and final event in the Vancouver Distance Track Series hosted by Nic Browne and the Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club. Initially billed to be a 10,000 on the track up at UBC, a couple weeks ago Nic added an 800 and mile to the event so I signed up to see if I could better my mile result from back at the beginning of June. The field was a lot thinner this time out, which I think turned out to be a disadvantage. My goal was to try to run 1:25 laps for the first three and then try to explode my heart on the fourth but without a pacer my timing was merely guesswork.
First lap I came through at 1:26 and I was rather pleased with myself and settled into a rhythm that, turns out, was a bit slow. Second lap the clock read 2:58. Third and into the bell lap and I don’t recall the numbers on the clock but I had a feeling it was my slowest. I pushed hard through the 300 metres of lap four and then tried my damndest to cough up a lung on the final straight to the finish.
I crossed the finish 5:52 for the same finish time as my first mile attempt back in June, proving, I guess, that it was not a fluke. Hindsight being what it is, I think that I could have given more on lap three. I also think that back in June I benefited a lot from having people close to me throughout the race. This time out I was 14 seconds ahead of the runner behind me, and 38 seconds behind the next person in front of me. But then this morning I checked both times again; my run Saturday was 7/100 faster than June. I’ll take it. Twelve days until Eastside 10K. BONUS: I knew that Rachel Cliff is the current Canadian women’s marathon record holder, which won me an entry into the Gunner Shaw Cross Country race in December. Yay! BUT: I think I’ll be in Sacramento running the California International Marathon. Boo! I need to double check.