Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Book Review: The Athlete's Guide to CBD by Scott Douglas

Disclaimer: I received a pre-release copy of The Athlete's Guide to CBD by Scott Douglas from Net Galley and PenguinRandomHouse Books in exchange for my unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

Unless you're living under a rock, you've heard about CBD (cannabidiol). If you believe what everyone is saying, CBD seems to be that "miracle" substance that can cure everything. I've had more people suggest I use CBD for my rheumatoid arthritis than I can count. The last time I went for a massage, my massage therapist opened a jar of CBD capsules, shook out a few, and offered them to me. "It will enhance the experience", she said. (I took a pass.) The local video store--believe it or not, there is still one just down the street--advertises CBD oil on its sign. A neighbor swears by the CBD oil he buys at the local gas station.

Can so many people be wrong? Is CBD the real deal? Or is it the modern version of snake oil? Is CBD something runners could benefit from?

I've been using a topical CBD product on my joints when they are inflammed and yes, I'm finding CBD to be an effective adjunct to my medications. I've also noticed that I have been sleeping better when I use it.

Is it the real deal? A magic bullet? Or is CBD just another supplement that is really a placebo?



Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Joy of Running

I received The Joy of Running from Penguin RandomHouse in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Seriously, how do you find joy while running in this hot, sticky blast furnace of a summer?

You find a way to make it work. You talk yourself through the tough spots using positivity instead of complaining about how much it sucks. It does suck. We all know running in the heat and humidity sucks. Telling yourself it sucks isn't going to make it feel better. You're out there, you're moving, you're sweating, you're doing it.

Maybe you slow down so you can get there. Maybe you change your goals. Maybe, like me, you drop your distance. While I'd love nothing more than to get some long runs done to prepare for my fall half, my body doesn't want to do that in this heat. I'm making peace with the fact that I can't always get what I want out of this body. I do what I can with what the day gives me.

The win isn't in the finish time, the win is the finish. That is what brings me joy. Never give up.

Wednesday's hot 5

Friday, April 19, 2019

Book Review: Outrunning the Demons by Phil Hewitt

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of Outrunning the Demons by Phil Hewitt from NetGalley and Bloomsbury in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

***
"And then I did what I have always done. I ran." ~Phil Hewitt
After a brutal attack where he was left for dead, accomplished marathoner Phil Hewitt found a new meaning of the importance of running as he sought to get himself back on track. In his new book, Outrunning the Demons, Hewitt shares his story as well as the stories of 30 other runners who have used running to overcome PTSD, addiction, anxiety, and depression. If you are looking for inspiration, this book will provide plenty.



Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Review: Endure by Alex Hutchinson

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

As a long distance runner, I've always been fascinated by the subject of endurance. Especially because running long distances has never come easily to me. While I was able to train for and run several marathons, I never understood the science behind the training. Why is the long run 20 miles? Why do some runners do more than one long run? Is carb loading really necessary?

I trained for my PR marathon using an unconventional combination of running and interval training in the CrossFit box. My coach pushed me hard, hoping to get in my head--in a good way. It worked. When naysayers dissed me, I always commented that "endurance is endurance".

As it turns out, I was right. There's also a mind/body connection. Endurance isn't as simple as it might seem.

I've been a long time fan of Alex Hutchinson, who has been writing his Sweat Science column first for Runner's World and now at Outside Magazine. Being a skeptic of bad science, I have always appreciated his very thorough analysis of the research on all things running. When I saw that he was releasing a book on endurance, I was really looking forward to reading it. I knew that Endure would be thoroughly researched and after reading it, I am not disappointed.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Book Review: Running is My Therapy

I received a copy of Running is My Therapy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

It's no secret to regular readers of my blog that one of the reasons I run is to control my ever-present anxiety and mild depression. It's not easy being type A++ and after self-medicating through my 20s with alcohol, I knew I had to find a better way to cope. You've probably heard this same story from many other runners, but I kind of fell into running. I was working out at a gym that had an indoor track, and I started running on it. I didn't seek out running as a way to manage my stress but as it turns out, running was the best therapy I could have found. Not only did running provide me with an outlet to release all that negative energy, but through running, I developed self-confidence and self-efficacy. Life doesn't get easier and running is the tool I need to navigate all the ups and downs.



Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: Run Forever by Amby Burfoot

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Run Forever from Corner Street Publishing in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Somewhat overshadowed by the amazing performance of the women's' runners at this year's Boston Marathon was legendary runner Amby Burfoot's 50th anniversary of his 1968 Boston win. He finished in 4:53:22, a time that was about twice as slow as his winning time of 2:22:17. Considering that he is now 70 years old, that finish time would be remarkable under any circumstances! But when you think about how many DNFs there were at this year's race and the horrible conditions the runners had to endure, his finish is all the more remarkable. Amby recaps the race on his blog.

I'm pretty sure that Amby's years of experience and knowledge of running came in handy that day. In his new book, Run Forever, Amby shares his running wisdom with us! After 55 years and 100,000 miles of running, he wanted to help motivate runners who want to stay fit and active for life. For this review, Amby shares some of his thoughts about running and why he wrote the book.



Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Review: Life's Too Short To Go So F*cking Slow

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

A lot of you will look at the title of this month's Taking the Long Way Home book club selection and immediately decide that this book isn't for you. Heck, you might not even read my review. That's unfortunate because if you don't, you are missing out on an amazing story. While I understand that the use of the f-word is offensive to many people, I beg of you to overlook it and read what is truly one of the best books I've read this year.

Susan Lacke was a divorced self-proclaimed trainwreck, an overweight pack-a-day smoker with a penchant for bad relationships and boxed wines. A college professor, she took a job in Arizona, working for a professor who was an intimidating, imposing, accomplished athlete. They strike up an unlikely friendship, he drags her to the pool, she starts swimming, and yadda yadda yadda, the next thing you know, she's signed up for an Ironman triathlon.

And so it goes.



Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review: A Beautiful Work in Progress

This post contains affiliate links.

In her book, A Beautiful Work in Progress, Mirna Valerio aka "Fat Girl Running" shares why she started running:
"I had a health wake-up call that brought attention to the fact that I was stymied physically and mentally, and I was on my way to an early death. I began to progress again, as I reacquainted myself with the forward movement that is running. In addition, my health returned, and my smile became genuine again."
Valerio, aka The Mirnavator, initially started blogging to share her experiences as a "fat girl who ran". She didn't think she was unique in her journey and she didn't want it to become a weight loss blog or a pity party. What she learned was that as an overweight, African-American runner, she was crushing all kinds of stereotypes and beliefs about overweight people. She also learned that she has a body that is amazing, strong, flexible, and agile. A body that can run all types of distances. Mirna's memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress is a celebration of her journey towards body acceptance and self-love.

You don't have to struggle with weight to relate to Mirna's journey.



Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: Mindful Running

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Mindful Running in exchange for my unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

What do you do when you're having a bad day? You just go for a run, right?

Life can be full--good or bad, and at times, chaotic, and overwhelming. For those of us who run, lacing up our shoes and heading out the door is an escape from the buzz of every day. Many runners often refer to running as a moving meditation. We look at our time on the road as a time to work out problems in our minds. Some of us push ourselves hard to sweat out all the negativity of the day. Sometimes we push so hard that we lose that ability to unwind and enjoy our runs.

In her new book, Mindful Running, author Mackenzie L Havey set out to explore this concept of running being "spiritual" or "meditative". Before you click away, hear me out. Havey isn't talking about any new-agey type chanting or meditating. When she talks about mindful running, she means tuning into your body and paying attention to how you are feeling and what's happening around you. By definition, mindfulness means staying present in the moment.

Havey knows what she's talking about. She's a veteran of 14 marathons and an Ironman and is a USATF certified coach. She's also a sports psychologist. 

In MIndful Running, Havey asks the questions: does running mindfully positively affects running performance?  And why can't we just tune out and let our minds wander? She explores these concepts as well as discusses how to run mindfully.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Review: Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of Marathon Woman from DaCapo Press in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

I am really embarrassed to admit this but prior to reading Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports, I only knew of Kathrine Switzer because of the Boston Marathon incident from 1967. You know the one, where she was yanked off the course by the race director? You've seen the picture a million times.

What I didn't know was that this one event, in which a young woman wanted to run a marathon, set into motion a movement that would change women's sports forever. What I didn't know was that Kathrine Switzer had a huge role to play in this movement. And what I didn't know was that Kathrine Switzer was an amazing runner in her own right.

Overshadowed by that one fateful event are all of Switzer's accomplishments. If you are a woman and you've run a race farther than 1 1/2 miles, it is because of Switzer. Yes, there have been other women's sports pioneers but Switzer's run at Boston was the pivotal event that made it possible for all of us to do what we love to do...run. And let me tell you, after reading her story, yep, I'm going to say it: "we've come a long way, baby!"



Friday, April 21, 2017

Book Review: The Road to Sparta by Dean Karnazes

Looking for inspiration? How about reading the story of an epic footrace retracing the steps of Pheidippides from Athens to Marathon? Did you know the entire journey was 153 miles, not the 26.2 miles we associate with the distance commonly run today? In his memoir, The Road to Sparta: Reliving the Ancient Battle and Epic Run That Inspired the World's Greatest Footrace, ultramarathoning legend Dean Karnazes recounts his attempt to retrace the steps of this hemerodromos (the term for those ultramarathoning messengers of yore). While doing so, he also explored his Greek roots and his life path from surfer to runner. There's a lot of good stuff here.

book cover photo courtesy of Dean Karnazes

Friday, March 17, 2017

Book Review: Your Pace or Mine? by Lisa Jackson

This month's book club selection, Your Pace or Mine?: What Running Taught Me About Life, Laughter and Coming Last by Lisa Jackson, could not have come at a better time. Feeling a little down on running lately and stuck in the winter doldrums, I needed a pick me up, and reading this book was like having my BRF giving me a pep talk.

Lisa Jackson shares her personal stories and experiences as a self-proclaimed "least likely runner you'll ever meet". At the end of each chapter, she also shares the stories of other regular runners--people like us--whom she all says are "equally amazing".

Because, as she says, "running isn't about the time you do, but the time you have while doing it".



Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Review: My Marathon: Reflections on a Gold Medal Life by Frank Shorter

Frank Shorter, the self-proclaimed "father of the modern distance running movement", achieved greatness in long distance running. In his book, My Marathon: Reflections on a Gold Medal Life, Shorter shares his running stories and the motivation behind his victories.



Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Review: The Endurance Diet by Matt Fitzgerald

How many of us runners struggle with nutrition? I know I do. Over the years, I've made adjustments in my diet based on experiences--good and bad--while training for endurance events. I think I've found what works for me, but could I be doing things differently? Probably. There doesn't seem to be a lot of agreement on what is the perfect balance of carbs, proteins, and fats needed to sustain an endurance athlete.

In his new book: The Endurance Diet: Discover the 5 Core Habits of the World’s Greatest Athletes to Look, Feel, and Perform Better, running expert and sports nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald shares the research behind the diet that he says fuels the majority of the world's elite athletes.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Book Review: Nowhere Near First by Cory Reese

Cory Reese never met a doughnut he didn't like. He likes Hostess Products too. Cory especially likes Hostess raspberry-filled donuts, which he says are "delivered straight from heaven on the wings of angels."

Of course, since he runs 100 mile races on a whim, he can do that, right? If you haven't heard of him, Cory Reese is an ultramarathoner. You know, one of those runners who doesn't think running a marathon is nearly far enough. "Shorter" distances, like the marathon, were just the gateway drugs to ultrarunning. In his book, Nowhere Near First: Ultramarathon Adventures From The Back Of The PackCory Reese shares his journey from mere mortal to a runner of distances that most of us can't or don't want to fathom.

Even if you are not an ultrarunner or even a distance runner, Cory's book is full of humor and inspiration. He's one of us, a regular runner. Sort of...



Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Review: The Inner Runner by Jason Karp

Ask any seasoned runner and they will tell you that running is more than putting one foot in front of the other. I've heard many runners say that running is mostly mental. And if you've followed me for any length of time, you know that I've chronicled my struggle with mental toughness here on the blog.

When I saw Jason Karp's newest book, The Inner Runner, I knew I had to read it. The subtitle alone: Running to a More Succesful, Confident, and Creative You--it spoke to me. Who couldn't use more confidence and success? We runners all know that running is good for more than our body. Karp does a nice job putting what we all know into words.




Friday, September 16, 2016

Book Review: Running Home by Alisha Perkins

Why do you run?

Some of us run for fitness, to lose weight, or for fun. For many of us, running is therapy. I started running to manage anxiety and stress. So did Alisha Perkins. When Alisha reached out to me to ask me if I wanted to read her book, Running Home, for the book club, I immediately said yes.

Running Home by Alisha Perkins
Running Home: Big-League Wife - Small-Town Story

Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Review: Boston Bound

How many of us have that one pinnacle event, that must-do marathon, that bucket list race? For me, it was the Big Sur International Marathon. For Elizabeth Clor, that race was the Boston Marathon. But as many runners know, even if training runs are on the mark, qualifying isn't as easy as it would seem. In her memoir Boston Bound, Clor chronicles her journey through multiple marathons as she attempts to slay the demons that kept her from lining up at what most long distance runners consider to be the ultimate race of marathoning.




Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review: Runners of North America: A Definitive Guide to the Species by Mark Remy

We are officially in the thick of summer. The dog days. Many runners are also in the depths of fall marathon training. Not this one, sadly. Damn you PF.

But I digress.

Long runs, speed work, tempo runs, fartleks, splits, yassos...GU, fuel, chews, hydration... compression, foam roller, Garmin...it's all running to me! Runners have their own language. Among other quirky things.

What do you think about on those solo long runs? Do you think about running? About other runners? That guy who just passed you? What kind of runner is he? Mark Remy thinks about other runners and over the years he's pretty much become an expert on running anthropology.  His new book, Runners of North America: A Definitive Guide to the Species is not only a laugh out loud read, it's spot on. Perfect light reading for this time of year.

You can purchase a signed copy here!
Or if you just want a cheaper, unsigned copy, you can buy that here!
Mark Remy is well-known to many of us runners from his humorous articles and now gone but not forgotten Remy's World column in Runner's World magazine. He is currently the proprietor of Dumb Runner, a website where he continues his amusing take on all things running. Remy recently published his 5th book, Runners of North America: A Definitive Guide to the Species where he shares his well-honed observations about all things runners.