11. Transcription – Kate Atkinson
week eleven – 60.5
2019 to Date: 479
I liked this book a lot more than I liked A God in Ruin, which I did not like very much at all but I at least finished it, ahem, but I did not like it nearly as much as I liked Life After Life, which is one of my favourite books in ever and that I’m a bit afraid to reread because I wonder if it really is as good as I remember it being. I still believe that it’s one of the more interesting takes on Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence – much more interesting than, say, Russian Doll on Netflix, unfortunately. But this is supposed to be about Transcription. The book follows Juliet Armstrong, at 18 years old in 1940 London with the Second World War raging in Europe, she is recruited into a super-secret branch of MI5 helping to spy on home-grown Nazi sympathizers within British society. Think Killing Eve but more typing and less stabbing. I thoroughly enjoyed watching (reading?) Juliet go from naive teen to strong independent woman who gives zero fucks. It’s a good enough novel. Worth the effort at least.
This weekend I got my third shot to break 20:00 in the 5K this year and I was pretty confident going into it, not least for the fact that the course didn’t cross train tracks (see 2019 week nine if you missed that one…). Anyway, I glanced at the course and saw Stanley Park but I didn’t actually look at the course until an acquaintance online suggested it was a tough one to be chasing a new personal best let alone pull off something miraculous (i.e., sub 19:00, which was my super (read: stupid) long-shot goal). I just assumed that the course followed the Stanley Park Seawall (read: dead flat) but it ran along Stanley Park Drive, which doesn’t have mountains, but has some pretty significant rolling hills for a 5K sprint. The race doubled as the BC Athletics championship and there was a pretty impressive elite field on hand, which was cool. Us weekenders and once-a-yearers started about 30 seconds after the elite field. I’d corralled myself where I thought I should be given some of the familiar faces around and ahead of me, but once the gun went off it became abundantly clear that a lot of people did not know or care how chip timing works. As such, I spent for first 50 metres or so trying not to run people over. My first kilometre was good once I got some space and some rhythm and I crossed one mile in 6:10 but then the little hill up to the Brockton Lighthouse and then again up at Lumberman’s Arch took their toll. I crossed 4K with sub 20:00 in my grasp but just couldn’t hold onto it for the climb up Pipeline Drive to the finish line. I crossed with a chip time 20:03 for a new personal best and fifth in my age group and I’m proud of that but just not very happy if that makes sense. So today, with seven weeks to go, it’s back to marathon training with a long run around most of the Seawall.