Race Recap: Dirty Feet Trail Race #1

It was an amazing day for the first trail race of the year on Sunday! The North Face Dirty Feet Trail Race #1 took place in the beautiful grasslands of Kamloops and I was pumped to get going!

After dropping the girls (and dog) off at my mom’s I headed over to the shuttle location to hitch a ride up to the start/finish line. The energy was great on the bus and thankfully it was a short trip as I don’t think I could’ve handled going a long way down that road without Gravol …

Anyway! After I got checked in I had quite a bit of time to kill before the 5K runners departed. We cheered on the half-marathon runners who came through and I caved and ended up buying a Dirty Feet hat for future runs. I ended up chatting with an acquaintance and I ended up running with him a bit during the race.

The views around the 2km mark were ridiculous, let me tell yah!

Overall, I felt just “okay” during the race! I definitely didn’t train enough for hills and got a little too ambitious off the start; I ended up powering out a little after the first kilometre and had to dial things back a bit, but I managed okay! There was definitely zero gas left in the tank when I finished, haha.

I also like to see what shapes I see in the course. This one looks a bit like an upside down & backwards North Carolina, I think…

My official time was clocked at 31:58, so I’m pretty content with that, all things considered! I stuck around for door prizes and managed to have my number called, so I chose a pretty awesome shirt, and then it was time to walk hobble up to the bus to get back to my truck.

8,000 levels of sweat!

Oh, and an added bonus? Zero ticks hitched a ride on me during the race! Seriously, I was more concerned about ticks than the difficulty of the trail!

As always, a huge shout-out to Phil, Grace, and the whole Dirty Feet crew for an awesome race!

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What I’m Reading: Brother

From the book jacket:

An intensely beautiful, searingly powerful, tightly constructed novel, Brother explores questions of masculinity, family, race, and identity as they are played out in a Scarborough housing complex during the sweltering heat and simmering violence of the summer of 1991. 

With shimmering prose and mesmerizing precision, David Chariandy takes us inside the lives of Michael and Francis. They are the sons of Trinidadian immigrants, their father has disappeared and their mother works double, sometimes triple shifts so her boys might fulfill the elusive promise of their adopted home. 

Coming of age in The Park, a cluster of town houses and leaning concrete towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, Michael and Francis battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of black and brown ancestry — teachers stream them into general classes; shopkeepers see them only as thieves; and strangers quicken their pace when the brothers are behind them. Always Michael and Francis escape into the cool air of the Rouge Valley, a scar of green wilderness that cuts through their neighbourhood, where they are free to imagine better lives for themselves. 

Propelled by the pulsing beats and styles of hip hop, Francis, the older of the two brothers, dreams of a future in music. Michael’s dreams are of Aisha, the smartest girl in their high school whose own eyes are firmly set on a life elsewhere. But the bright hopes of all three are violently, irrevocably thwarted by a tragic shooting, and the police crackdown and suffocating suspicion that follow.

With devastating emotional force David Chariandy, a unique and exciting voice in Canadian literature, crafts a heartbreaking and timely story about the profound love that exists between brothers and the senseless loss of lives cut short with the shot of a gun.

My review:

This novella received a lot of rave reviews on Goodreads, but I personally wasn’t quite as captivated by it as most other readers were. That’s not to say that I didn’t find the message to be important, it still is and is very relevant to this day.

It’s disappointing to know that even though this story takes place in the early 90’s, the issues that society was facing then are still happening now. If anything, Brother is an important read to remember the struggles people face when they don’t quite fit in, even in Canada where we’re hailed as being an all-accepting country. Racism is very much a real thing here.

I truly felt for Francis and Michael, with Francis being thrown into becoming the man of the house at such a young age, and Michael still trying to just be a kid but also gain respect amongst his peers. Perhaps the reason though for my lower rating for Brother is because I desperately wanted more.

On the other hand, I wonder if Chariandy purposely made this a quick read that had brief subplots to reflect what happens in reality. Not every avenue pans out in real life; there are a lot of situations where “that’s that” and you don’t get to elaborate or know more. Either way, I still think Brothers is a decent quick read.

My rating: ★★★½/5

Thought Dump Thursday

Welcome to another (overdue) edition of Thought Dump Thursday, where I throw out all my mind garbage into the open…

  • I’m curious to know how long someone stays engaged while watching Instagram Stories. I know each “slide” only lasts 15 seconds, but how long do you watch before checking out? Personally, I’ll watch the first 30 seconds or so to see if it engages me, but I generally swipe left if I see a huge row of tiny little lines at the top of someone’s story, or I’ll rapidly tap through just to clear it out of my feed. (Sometimes there IS something interesting in all of that.)

UPDATE: I FIGURED OUT HOW TO MUTE STORIES! Salvation has been found.

  • Those who tell me that babies are easier than puppies are crazy. Sure, I’m constantly yelling at the dogs to stop roughhousing, but Sam isn’t waking me up four times a night needing to eat or have his diaper changed, plus my boobs aren’t leaking milk everywhere and I’m not feeling like a shell of a human.
  • Can someone please explain to me the hype behind Rachel Hollis? This is an honest request because I don’t understand it. People seem to love or hate her, and I can kind of see why from both sides. I’ve read none of her books but judging by the reviews it’s not my cup of tea.
  • I wish that on Instagram there was an option for people to send a short message along with Follow requests. I’ve had a few requests lately from fitness-type accounts, (mainly from the US as well) but I have no idea how they came across my profile. Aside from the odd running-related post, my Instagram account isn’t fitness-y at all.
  • Is anyone else super skeptical of the new live version of Aladdin? I love Will Smith and all, but I’m not sold on him as the Genie and will be a Robin Williams loyalist until the day I die on this one. I’m also on the fence with the revised Dumbo movie coming out. This may make me sound like I had a horrible childhood, but I promise you, I didn’t! I’m just a Disney purist. I’m all for Toy Story 4 though.
  • Using the word “Millennial” makes me cringe, (I hate being lumped into this stereotype of a generation) but anyone who can be considered a Millennial should never plead ignorance to not knowing or realize that their social media posts are open to the public, especially when they get called out for posting rather controversial memes and content.