Posts Tagged ‘Chrissie Wellington’

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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It was bound to happen sooner or later — my first meme! Thanks to the ladies at anothermotherrunner.com for the inspiration. Feel free to play along in the comments or answer the 10 questions on your own blog. I’d love to read the answers!

Here goes:

1. Best run ever: It’s hard for me to say what I consider the “best.” The one I’d most like to repeat is a 2.7-mile trail run I did in Zion National Park. It was just one month after I’d gotten back into running about a year and a half ago, and this was one of the first runs where I felt strong, powerful, and free. I was distracted by the spectacular views and by watching my footing.

Zion National Park

The view at the start of my run in Zion National Park.

It hardly felt like I was running. I was using my leg power to travel along the Emerald Pools trails to see some of the most beautiful places in the country. I was cheered along by the comments of the few people I saw on the trail. “She’s running here!” and “Either you must be in great shape or you’re in a hurry!”

The run I’m most proud of is the OC Half Marathon last May 2012. It was my first and only half marathon. I pushed myself hard to achieve my goal of a sub-2 half, and while I didn’t exactly enjoy the effort, I was extremely happy and proud with the result.

My best run ever in terms of fitness and confidence-boosting was the 13 mile run I did with my half marathon coach and friend Stephanie last August. The first six miles went smoothly and I felt so great when I met up with Stephanie at the half way point that we ran faster than my target training pace. Not only did we run faster, but I was having so much fun chatting with her that I forgot to keep track of the mileage and we ran a bonus mile to make it 13. If I’d thought about it I would have tacked on another 0.2 for a personal distance record!

2. Three words that describe my running: Challenging, rewarding, powerful.

3. My go-to running outfit is: I just got some Under Armour 4″ compression shorts that are my new summer favorites. I do like wearing running tights in the California “winter” because it means I don’t have to shave my legs! (Truth be told I will run in shorts without shaving my legs — I care more about getting the run in than I do about pleasing others with their highfalutin leg-shavin’ standards. Call me a hippie.)

4. Quirky habit while running: I am a mouth breather, but that’s not so unusual is it? Sometimes I run while listening to an audiobook, but I typically run without a book or music.

5. Morning, midday, evening: If I have my way, I run in the morning, preferably before my husband and three girls are awake. I love coming home to find them all still sleeping. They haven’t missed me, and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment at having checked off my training for the day before my family’s day has even started. That said, I have been known to run at 8 p.m. if that’s what it takes to get my training run in.

6. I won’t run outside when it’s: Hmm. There hasn’t been a time yet when I wouldn’t run outside. Southern California is pretty weather-friendly for running and I don’t let the heat stop me. I try not to run in the dark. I’d prefer not to run in a thunderstorm or on icy roads. I do like to run in a light rain though — it’s a nice change for me!

7. Worst injury—and how I got over it: Plantar fasciitis. It’s been a few weeks and I’m still getting over it, physically and mentally. Send healing vibes! I feel like my feet are my new job — stretching, strengthening, rolling with the tennis ball, icing, massaging with arnica gel, resting, and wearing the Strassburg sock(s) at night. I just read that American Olympian Ryan Hall has dropped out of the New York City Marathon due to plantar fasciitis and other problems. If an elite runner can be sidelined at this point by plantar fasciitis for his November 4th marathon, maybe I shouldn’t feel bad about missing my November 10th one.

8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when: In the middle of my half marathon training plan, I went out for a Saturday long run on a local trail. I could hear a guy running behind me, but I kept up my pace and he did not catch up to me until we had to stop at a road crossing. He asked me what I was training for, and I practically burst at the seams with pride. I looked like a runner! A stranger knew I was training for a race! I told him about the half marathon and my sub-2 goal, and he told me exactly what I needed to hear at that point: “You can do it! You’ve got it!” Amazing how people come into our lives out of the blue and offer us such wonderful little gifts. It didn’t cost him anything and yet his words gave me so much.

9. Next race is: My next race is the SheROX San Diego sprint triathlon in October. My next running race on the calendar is the Santa Barbara International Marathon in November, but that’s looking to be my first DNS in light of the plantar fasciitis. I’m proceeding with my training by aqua jogging in the pool (and biking and swimming), and I’ll either try to downgrade my registration to the half marathon, or skip it altogether and set my sights on another marathon. I’ve been reading Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington’s new book A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey (book review spoiler: I love it!) and I found it pretty inspiring to read how she had to miss the 2003 London marathon due to a hematoma in her left thigh. Instead of running the race, she enjoyed watching it live as Paula Radcliffe broke the world record. That story reminds me to keep a positive attitude and stay in the game for the long haul. There will be another race for me.

10. Potential running goal for 2013: If I cannot start/complete the marathon in 2012, I will look forward to 2013 and the chance to try again. Perhaps the LA Marathon in March?

Answer one or more of the questions in the comments or come back and post a comment with the link to the answers on your blog!

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