38. The Body Artist – Don DeLillo
week thirty nine – 69.2
2019 to date: 1,954
Another short novel about death and the human condition. I found this one sort of interesting because I was interested in the artist, and I found the review of her show written by a journalist friend in the latter part of the book to be the most interesting part. I was often tired when I was reading this book and, I don’t know but there’s something about DeLillo that I know I’m supposed to like him because he’s supposed to be this brilliant American novelist but I always find him a bit drab. I remember a review of a Timothy Taylor novel – I don’t recall which novel or by whom – and they compared Taylor to DeLillo as a compliment and I quite like Taylor and just did not take it that way. Anyway, this book was short, which is good because I think there’s a good chance I would not have gotten to the part that I actually liked otherwise. But it took me three tries to finally get through White Noise so what do I know.
Above, a couple frames from the finish video shot by Jeannine Avelino. Thanks Jeannine!
Today was goal race day and I’d been looking forward to this day for the whole year because last year I ran the NorthVanRun 10K as a tune up for the Victoria Marathon, so I ran the first half at marathon pace and then picked it up for the second. And I loved the course and I thought that this course style really suites me and I figured that I could really rip on it. There are some hills but nothing onerous and every one of them has an equal downhill right afterwards, with the start and finish at sea level. I was feeling great right up until Thursday evening when I felt the plague coming on, so I took Friday off and willed it at bay as best I could and it mostly worked. Head was a bit stuffed this morning but otherwise I felt pretty great. This was my last chance on my 2019 calendar to sub 40 minutes a 10 km race, and after missing the mark by 20 seconds at Eastside two weeks ago (without reeelly trying*) I was pretty sure that barring disaster today was going to be the day. And disaster abated! I went out a little bit hot but settled into a great rhythm at 3:55/km right behind Shauna Gersbach and in front of Jordan Hurdal and the three of us paced each other perfectly, right up until about 8 km. Gersbach started to pull away and I felt like I was fading and then Hurdal passed me and I hit a wall where I wanted to quit so badly and then at about 8.5 km I suddenly got really nauseous, but I swallowed hard and just willed it all to go away. The last half kilometre drops 17 metres before a couple tight turns and a sprint to the finish at the end of the North Van Shipyards pier. I had nothing left for the sprint finish, but somehow managed to maintain pace and crossed the finish line 39:22 gun time, for a new personal best by nearly a minute, third in my age group, and 15th overall.
I really wanted to stick around for the awards, but when I asked I was told they weren’t happening until noon. The race started at 9 a.m. and I had only paid for parking until 11, so rather that wait around another couple hours (plus I was freezing) I went home. And that’s my only regret. I wish that I would have stuck around for the awards, or that they were a bit sooner. This is only my third running award, and I am zero-for-three for the ceremony. But I ran an excellent race. My splits are nearly dead even. My goal was sub 40 but my number in mind was 3:55 pace, and I finished 3:56. My last three kilometres were 3:56 / 3:54 / 3:52 and I had nothing left at the end. I am absolutely satisfied with this race. The only way I am running faster is by getting faster.
*I can admit that now, but oh boy that could have blown up in my face. And I won’t be doing any of that sort of nonsense again.