I beat the director! I really did!

On Saturday, I ran in the Collingswood “Beat the Director” 5k, which I wrote about here. If you beat the library director, you got $10 of your registration fee back.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to do. I’ve felt sluggish since shoulder surgery, and even though my miles are up, my speed is not. Still, I pulled out a 22:24 time and beat the director by 10 whole seconds. I finished 11th overall, and 4th among the women. I even placed in my age bracket! I did not, however, ask for $10 back. It’s for charity, after all.

Here’s a picture of the start. I’m in the middle in yellow:

This is a picture with fellow Collingswood writer, Matt Quick:

Matt is author of The Silver Linings Playbook. It fell between my “book a week” series, so I never wrote about it on the blog, but it’s a fantastic novel that he wrote in accordance with the 2006 Philadelphia Eagles football season. It’s not just a football novel, though — the main character, Pat Peoples, is trying to get his life back together, and does so by moving into his parents basement. It’s got a dash of a love story in it, too, and — best of all — it takes place in Collingswood. Matt shared some details about the film adaptation (the Weinstein brothers bought the rights), and if it holds true…it’s going to be a big movie.

I’ve run into Matt at a lot of events, and also while running around Knight’s Park. I didn’t choose to read his book because it takes place in Collingswood. His publicist sent it to me without knowing that I lived here. I also didn’t know when I read it that I went to high school with Matt’s brother.

Just one more example of what a small, constantly overlapping world South Jersey is. I’m sure it’s like this in other areas of the country…or maybe not.

I haven’t posted about a new book because I haven’t read any that I’ve enjoyed. I read the first 12 pages of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals(Pub date Nov. 2) before tossing it into the donate pile. I liked his novels, but this…not so much. When I got the galley, I wondered why he was suddenly jumping into the non-fiction, food writing world. After 12 pages, I still wondered.

Usually, I’d soldier through, but I’m not reviewing the book for anyone, and I had a foot high stack of magazines to work through. I’m almost done with them now (oh, Atlantic, you are blocking me from that goal), and I also ordered another book through half.com that arrived today. It’s a compilation of essays, which I haven’t read in a while. I have a few meetings tomorrow and am going to take it with me to read in-between sessions, and essays should work for that purpose.

My last meeting tomorrow is at Rutgers University — I’m talking about what English majors can do with their degrees. Should be an interesting discussion…

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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