Posts Tagged ‘books’

Running Naked

Today I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I ran naked, without my GPS watch to keep pace or an audiobook to entertain me. (How much do I love Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell on Blackstone Audiobooks? THIS MUCH. So awesome. Twenty-five hours of awesome. I’m on hour 22.5. But I resisted clipping on my iPod Shuffle and I headed out earbud-free.) I listened to my body and to the birds chattering around me. I smelled the lilacs and the orange blossoms. I only took my phone out to take this photo of the bougainvillea that are a gorgeous riot of color right now in Southern California:

I defy anyone to spell "fuchsia bougainvillea" correctly without the help of this post or Google

I defy anyone to spell “fuchsia bougainvillea” correctly without the help of this post or Google.

I ran a 10K loop from my house and enjoyed every slow-but-steady minute of it. It’s hilly where I live and I consider the hill work (456 ft. gain over three major hills) good training. It’s nice to shake things up and substitute a little uphill and downhill running for the treadmill and the gentle elevation changes on my usual routes. It wasn’t speedy and it was a little clunky (see: left groin strain) but I covered the miles and made it home in time to have a PB&H sandwich on whole wheat and get in a shower before I had to make it to preschool pick-up. I’d call that darn successful.

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I just finished reading A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey and I could hardly wait to tell you about it. I thoroughly enjoyed this autobiography by four-time Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington and I recommend it not only to triathletes but anyone who enjoys a compelling story.

The book is honest, interesting, funny and exciting. It touches on an unexpected variety of topics that includes eating disorders, philanthropy, travel and world development (social and economic change). Chrissie does triathlon a favor by sharing her enthusiasm and insight into the sport. Even when you already know how a particular race will turn out, she takes you on the journey and makes it thrilling.

I have read several sports-related books lately (you can see the list at the Store page) and this is one of my favorites. I’d go so far as to say that if you’re interested in the ironman distance race and you had to choose one book between the recent releases A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey and You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World’s Toughest Triathlon, I’d choose A Life Without Limits as the clear first choice. Not only is Chrissie Wellington an accomplished endurance athlete, she’s an accomplished writer as well.

One last note about Chrissie Wellington. You might recall how I raced the Nautica Malibu Triathlon recently. I did Saturday’s Olympic distance race and enjoyed it very much, but had a tiny pang of regret when I heard the next day that Chrissie participated in a relay for Sunday’s Classic distance race. As you will read in the book, she so generously stays at the finish line after each of the races she participates in and she hands out medals to the remaining finishers. How cool would that have been to receive my hard-earned medal from Chrissie?!

Have you read A Life Without Limits? Have you met Chrissie Wellington or seen her race? What book have you read lately that you recommend?

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