In Toronto, anonymous hotel room

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Hi again.

I’m in Toronto, back for one last hurrah for the season — attending the Writers Trust Gala this evening, in my black tie attire, or what passes for such, I hope. Being at home has a way of making a person feel less than glamorous, and at the moment, to be honest, it seems like a stretch to imagine myself into such an event. I’m reading Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger right now, and I’m thinking of the Ayreses turned out for dinner in moth-eaten mismatched scarves and a woollen waistcoat the colour of ointment. I’m wearing black. It’ll be fine.

This is a week of lasts. This will be my last book-related event for awhile. I teach my last class of the term tomorrow evening. And I’m doing my last interview on Thursday for the essay on women’s long-distance running in Canada. December will be devoted to writing, marking, and turning my mind toward family and holiday time together.

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View from the train, this morning.

On Friday, I’m going to physio to try to fix whatever is ailing my right leg, and hampering my running. There was one element to the running experience that I deliberately chose not to address in Girl Runner (and which, to my mind, makes the book a romance, of sorts): Aganetha does not suffer injury. This is rare among runners, though perhaps not impossible given an ideal physiological makeup; but I am not in possession of such a thing myself. Interval sprints with my daughter seem to have pushed a nagging twinge over the edge.

Age.

Sense.

Fitness.

I said to Kevin this morning, as he drove me to the train station: Maybe I’m at the age where I have to accept that I won’t be getting faster or stronger, and that I’m exercising for other reasons instead. You know, for fitness, say.

It’s time for lunch. I’m limping out presently into a brisk Toronto wind to seek today’s fortune.

xo, Carrie

P.S. Coming soon to this blog: an order form so that you can buy signed and personalized books.

The challenge
Singing happy birthday to Margaret Atwood

2 Comments

  1. Don’t give up on the idea of faster and stronger just yet. I’m not sure when you started running but I started at 42. Three and a half years later and I had my best results to date in 2014 (ignoring an awful marathon). My 10k just kept getting faster and I finally achieved not one but three sub 2 hour half marathons, something that had been a goal of mine since my first half marathon race in 2012. Strangely, many of these fast times happened when I learned to do my training runs more slowly and took everything just a little less seriously. I even went the entire year without an injury. This year has led me to believe that the best is yet to come and I am looking forward to the challenge. I look at it as the older I get, the wiser I become about my training. Well, maybe that is not always true, but with every race and every month of running I learn a little bit more, hopefully compensating just enough for my aging body!

    Reply
    • Hi Kristi, I started running races the year I turned 36. I trained devotedly that year, as I wanted to complete an Olympic-length triathlon — which I did. I went on to do a marathon later that same year, truly in the best shape of my life. I’ve never approached to that level of dedicated training again, and in fact was injured only a few weeks after completing the marathon, and spent several months rehabbing. I continue to exercise regularly and run often, but not with the same intensity or at the same volume. Injury seems to be an ongoing concern. That said, I did run my fastest half-marathon in September. So all hope is not lost!

      Reply

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