Tuesday’s run

I went over the bridge on Tuesday to see what there was for trails at Priddle Park. Unfortunately I didn’t have my trail shoes and it was really muddy and wet, so I didn’t venture very far.

Looking forward to seeing what’s back there for running.

I bought the Woolwich trails book. This year, I going to use it on my explorations!

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Reading prompt #5: A book by a person of colour

Trevor Noah is incredible. He is so much more than just a comedian.

His childhood is legitimately wild. Noah was “naughty as shit” and got into trouble he was smart, worked hard and was “given a fishing pole.” The circumstances he grew up in easily could have sucked him into a very different life, a much darker path. Apartheid, gangs, theft, arson, attempted murder, it’s all here. Read this book. It’s good.

Books completed: 10/52

What’s that? A post about running on a running blog?!

Hoodieruns ran! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

@bigbrnz challenged me on Garmin Connect to do a running challenge last week. Even a competition barely snapped me out of my funk and got me running. 

Since about December, I’ve had a hard time making fitness a priority. Part of it has been the time of year and weather but a bigger issue has been the way I’ve been feeling: my brain is like an overcast day. Making that overcast day worse was failing to get a regular hit of endorphins to help lift my mood. My endorphin hit of choice has been bootcamp but I will be returning to work and I won’t be able to continue with the class. Even though I’ve really enjoyed bootcamp, I find myself making excuses and missing too many classes. Running, it’s time for you to step up and fill the endorphin void. 

Saturday, I ran 3.2km. It felt great. It felt like more. 

Making the run on Saturday even better was company. @robinsonshan, thank you so much for running with me and sharing your listening ear and empathy.

Tuesday, I ran for more than 30 minutes. I got muddy and happy.

It’s not a pattern yet but running is on my mind a lot lately. I hope it means I translate all that thought into action.

One of my goals for the month is to create and follow a home strength program, in addition to running. I’ve found a 12 week strength program that focuses on hips and glutes called Strong Curves. There is a home variation that doesn’t require a lot of equipment. This program will target a weak area for me and compliment my running nicely. Goal: in progress.

Run goals: I am going to run. As much as I can. I will be tracking by time and perceived exertion rather than trying to get that x.0kms on my watch. @bigbrnz, I will be participating in your challenges… Keep poking me.

Upcoming races: Run the Falls (10km), Rugged Maniac (5km)

Anyone want to do Cottage Country Ragnar as part of an 8 person team?

Reading prompt #4: An audiobook

Of course there would have to be some Neil Gaiman in my reading challenge. 

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, was fun, as only Neil Gaiman can be. This particular audiobook was read by the author himself, making the recording actually bearable. I’ve discovered I generally hate audiobooks because the orator adds annoying inflections or vocal ticks that distract me. This edition though, was so good. Hearing what the author intended people to sound like is so awesome. From now on, I’m only listening to audiobooks read by their author.

This genre, fantasy, isn’t my favourite but every now and again I dabble and usually have a great experience. This was no different. London Below was full of interesting characters and provided a foreboding setting for Richard and Door’s quest. I enjoyed this tale, especially the way London landmarks and tube stations were woven into the narrative. So good.

If you have to do an audiobook, do this one, as read by Neil Gaiman.

Number of books completed: 9/52

Reading prompt #23: A book with a red spine

OK, so full disclosure, I read George Orwell’s 1984 as an ebook.  I’m about 38.7% positive the copy I read in highschool had a red spine so I’m rolling with it. 

My memories of this book from highschool were imperfect, to say the least. I remember 1984 as being more engaging and exciting. Instead I found Winston miserable and spineless. He wasn’t a whole character until he was broken by O’Brien. He needed Party doctrine to complete his personality, to give him a true purpose.  His weak insurgency, in the form of adultery, made me roll my eyes. Winston is a cliché. 

I remembered this book as hugely powerful, expanding my horizons. Maybe I’m getting more stupid, phone in hand, the internet at my fingertips.

Number of books completed: 8/52.

Reading prompt #3: A book of letters

Book club selected Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod which conveniently fulfilled this reading prompt. I hope they don’t mind choosing more books that fit the reading  challenge.

While not technically a book of letters, like that Guernsey potato book, it is a book about letters and does include letters. In fact, this author sells snail mail letters about Paris and this is her story of how she went from rat race copywriting to artist in Paris. 

Light and quick to read, Paris Letters had echoes of Eat, Pray, Love  and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.



Number of books completed: 7/52.

Reading prompt #49: A book about an immigrant or refugee

I have my in-laws to thank for this book selection, The Illegal by Lawrence Hill. The Illegal was the Canada Reads 2016 winning book. 

The story of Keita Ali, runner from fictional Zantoroland, has gone into hiding in Freedomland. He is fleeing political and racial persecution in his homeland. Parallels with Rwanda (see Shake Hands with the Devil by Roméo Dallaire), North Korea and South Africa apartheid are hard to miss, as well as the marathon running cultures of Kenya and Ethiopia (see the documentary Transcend). Hill captures Keita’s desperation, using running as a metaphor and a salvation for our hero.  

I enjoyed this book and its running theme but found the conflict resolution to be too neat and tidy, too serendipitous for real life. The brutality of an authoritarian regime is somewhat muted, likely to make the book more palatable. That’s ironic, given the book is an attempt to make the reader consider what blinders they have on regarding immigration to their own country and the suffering of millions of refugees, happening right now. (You can sti

The political muzzling of journalists in The  Illegal has put George Orwell’s 1984 into my head, so that’s likely the next book on my list. 

Number of books completed: 6/52