January Reading List

I didn’t spend a lot of time running in January. However, I did spend a lot of time reading about running – mostly training books. I’m a planner, and I felt I needed some guidance on how to prepare for a longer race. I also needed some motivation to keep going. As I stated in a previous post, this is not my most active time of year. In fact, if I believed in any of that past life stuff, I would hazard a guess I was a hibernating bear in one of mine.

I started off the year reading, Be Iron Fit, 2nd: Time-Efficient Training Secrets for Ultimate Fitness. I have no intention of competing in an Ironman any time soon, I need to learn how to swim for starters, but I’ve always been curious about what it takes to train for one of these competitions. It was in the Kindle monthly deals section and I thought it might offer some motivation and tips I could incorporate into my daily running routine. It was motivational and I definitely picked up on some things I can do now in my own practice, such as running in minutes instead of miles. It’s definitely a lot easier to schedule training on busy days if I know exactly how long it will take me, which will make it harder for me to skip a day.

I also read Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line – and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity. I stumbled upon the blog, Another Mother Runner one day. I really enjoyed reading it, so I thought I’d give their book a try. I enjoyed reading it as well. It contained practical advice and the anecdotes were great. I have a few fears about running my first 13 mile race, some of the fears I believe only a mother can appreciate, and it’s good to read honest accounts from women who have already experienced these things. I think this is the plan I’m going to follow when I start seriously training. I like the flexibility of the plan, which is necessary when you have kids. I also love their sense of humor and their writing style. They keep things fun, which is how running should be.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: A Novel (Vintage International) isn’t a running book, but the author is a runner. He even wrote a book about running, which is on my wishlist. That is not why I chose this book. I found Haruki Murakami at the end of last year completely by accident and I’m glad I did. This book was even better than the last one. In fact, I would list this book as one of my all time favorites. It was a funny, serious, and thought-provoking story about the interaction between humans and technology, how actions and thoughts connect us to others, and how our dreams and desires help shape our lives and the lives of those we interact with. Each chapter switches between 2 different story lines that gradually interweave and converge at the end. It’s a hard book to explain, you just have to read it. It’s a book that has stuck with me so far. I think it will stick with me for awhile.

I wasn’t as taken with Just Kids as some others were. I like Patti Smith, but I didn’t like this book. I didn’t hate it either, it just wasn’t what I expected. I was expecting a more thoughtful account of her time with Robert Maplethorpe. It lacked emotion and depth in my opinion, especially in the middle where she recounted her time at the Chelsea. I would have loved to hear more detail about hers and Robert’s work and how they found the road to their success. Instead it read more like the diary I kept as a teenager – a bit trite and superficial. Disappointing is the word that keeps coming to mind.

So far, I am ahead on my 2013 reading challenge progress. I think that is pretty good way to start the year off.

Right now I’m reading Chi Marathon and Country Driving. So far I’m enjoying both. And I plan on doing more running and less reading about running in the coming weeks and months. Now if only the weather will cooperate…. So far this week it has. I got out this morning for a rainy 4.27 mile run.  I ran without Chuck this morning. He hates the rain. He can’t tolerate his paws getting wet. He loves the snow though, which is on the way according to the forecast, so maybe I’ll take him on a snowy run this weekend.

My phone must have sensed the rain today as well. The song it played for me on the home stretch was Rain Street by The Pogues, which I know has nothing to do with rain, but it was still a fun song to end on as I splashed through puddles on the way home.

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