Today I’m going to take a little shortcut and share with you some great reading I did in the last few days.
Yes, I’m being a bit lazy. I’m a tad sick (but not sick enough to garner any pity) and I’m not feeling uber creative, so I thought I’d defer to the folks who DO have it together this week to entertain you (at least for a few days.)
First up: Tara Parker Pope. Tara is the author of the Well Blog for the New York Times, and she’s Slow Like Us. So she says in Monday’s post “A Marathon Run in the Slow Lane” . Tara’s been writing about training for this marathon for several months, and in doing so, she shed some great light on what it’s like to train as an “ordinary citizen” who just wants to get in better shape, get off the couch, and do something extraordinary. I’m not saying you have to go run a marathon, but I challenge you to read what she’s written and not come away inspired.
She’s been quite an advocate, too, for those of us who run Big or run Slow or run Because We Can. And, reading her article today about what it’s like to run in the back of the pack in a HUGE race felt like reading my own story – the funniness, the silly folks, the super supportive fellow runners, etc. Tara saw it all on Sunday, and she finished New York in just under seven hours. Well done, Tara (and thanks for sharing your story!)
Next: Some great advice from Jeff Gallaway in this month’s Runner’s World about Running Etiquette. If you’re new to running, take a skim through the article. I realized rather belatedly that I’ve been needlessly annoyed at people for years who passed my slow caboose in races on BOTH sides of me – apparently it’s okay to pass on both sides (standard “path” etiquette is to pass on the left, stay slow on the right…) In any case, now that I know, I’ll stop spitting on the backs of those Fasties who fly by me at Mile .01.! (Note, of course I’ve just tried to link to it and found it wasn’t online! So, um, yeah…I’ll get back to you on that….&!*FL*$.
And finally, I’ve been thinking about the upcoming holiday season (see the previous post) and anticipating the dreaded question “what would you like for Christmas?” It’s not really dreaded, but some folks think I’m tough to buy for (I have no idea why, since my exacting standards are always clearly laid out for family and friends :)). But I thought I’d come up with some ideas for you to start floating to YOUR family and friends, if you thought it would be helpful. Today’s list is the top 5 books that I’ve read, and loved, dealing with the things we talk about all the time.
1. Heft on Wheels. (Cycling) Funny, real, and disarmingly humble, Mike Magnuson posed nude for a GQ article a few years back, tipping the scales at a pretty hefty weight. Oh, and he was on a bike. He was writing a column about what it was like to try to become a biker, and lo and behold, he became that guy, on a bike. He lost a massive amount of weight, but the beauty in this story isn’t about that – its’ about what an overweight, heavy drinker becomes when he finds his niche. It’s funny, and inspiring, and I give it four stars!
2. Running for Mortals. (Running/Walking) Full disclosure: The authors are friends – but that doesn’t mean the book isn’t great. Chock full of getting started advice, plans, and humor, John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield lay out in a simple way how to make running a part of your world. Definitely a four star.
3. The 12 Week Triathlete. (Triathlon) If you’re thinking about getting into triathlons next year, I like this book for its schedule, and for the core strength activities that will help you train with fewer injuries. I used this book in the three years where I was traveling a ton for work, and I liked that I could do the exercises in any hotel gym (well, except for that pool/swimming part.)
4. A Walk In the Woods. (Hiking) One of my most. favorite. books. ever. Bill Bryson is a noted author and humorist, but his tale of attemping to walk the Appalachian Trail, with a friend who is woefully out of shape, and both of whom haven’t done anything remarkable since they saw each other 25 years ago, is a true classic. I would laugh out loud when reading this book on the train; and I learned much about the Trail, and a great piece of American History. Of course, a Four Star also.
5. I am the Central Park Jogger. Unless you were not born in 1989, it’s hard to forget the story of the young woman who was brutally assaulted in Central Park while on a nightly jog. More than 20 years after the event, Trish Meili came forward to share her story – about what running meant to her then; how it has become a healthy part of her life now, and what her recovery entailed. Setting aside the fallout associated with the verdicts from her case, the story is one of a tragedy, and recovery, and resilience. It’s also just plain inspiring. Four stars.
So that’s it for my recommended reading for the week! I’ll be back later this week with some special gear deals, and a discussion about my struggle with early morning workouts! In the meantime, good luck to those of you who are in Week 4 of your Couch to 5k program – keep up with the great work, and drop me a line to let me know how it’s going!
See you on the path!