Aidan and I biked up to the library last week and I decided to look up books on running. (Imagine that!)
Turns out, there were a gazillion, so I had to choose based on title alone. I loved the title: No Need for Speed: A beginner's guide to the joy of running, by John "The Penguin" Bingham, and thought it sounded perfect for a speed demon like myself.
From the first few lines of the book, I was hooked. Little did I know, being the newbie runner that I am, that John Bingham is a very well-known figure in the world of running. Bingham is a former contributing editor for Runner's World and author whose message seems to speak to every single person who never really felt like they could or even should run. An overweight, former pack-a-day smoker who laced up his running shoes for the first time at the—ahem—advanced age of 43, Bingham set out to lose some libbies, but in the process, ended up discovering an absolute passion for the sport.
This book is extremely beginner friendly. John's tone is supportive, humorous and very, very real. He encourages you to start from where you are with the body you've got and go at your own pace. He believes that the greatest joy in running comes not from how fast you go, or how thin you get, but simply from having the courage to take the first step. He has another book called, "The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life" which from the reviews I've read online, takes a similar tack.
My local library had his books, and yours might too. Again, a really inspiring read that makes you believe you too can make this part of your life for all the right reasons.
The second book is one I've mentioned before, Run Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. My attitude toward running changed completely after reading this book. I instantly felt connected to a wider community of women getting out there, making the time to take care of themselves while balancing so many other things that we all are responsible for on a daily basis.
Told in 26 chapters as a nod to the 26 miles of a marathon (plus little ".2" extras at the end of each chapter), both Dimity and Sarah are real, funny and smart (not to mention both accomplished runners.) You feel like you know them at the end of the book, or that you want to know them.
When I read this book, I didn't know what a tempo run was from a hole in the ground, but I still felt inspired to keep lacing up my shoes and plodding along at my less than race ready pace.
Lucky for me, I've gotten to know both women via email, and had the pleasure of meeting Dimity (a Minnesota native) when she was home last weekend for her 20th high school reunion.
We hooked up at my hubby's downtown coffee shop to swap books, t-shirts (well, I got one out of the deal!) and chit chat about running, life and how amazing it is that the internet can connect and inspire people.
While neither Dimity nor Sarah are scrapbookers, Lord knows I'm trying to indoctrinate them any way I can.
And as you know, any chance I get, I'll try the same thing with Dan:
(Though secretly, I think he'll get more from Run Like a Mother.)
In short, I keep this book on my nightstand, and re-read parts because it continues to inspire me. I think it is an absolute gem of a read that deserves as broad an audience as it can find.
The only reason I went trail running last weekend was because Dimity was in town leading a group on an official RLAM tour stop. Yet another reason to love the internet and meeting people who inspire.
Just sharing a bit of the running inspiration with you today. I realize it might not be for everyone. I mean, afterall, I speak from experience.
Running was never my thing.
p.s. Sarah, I'll catch up with you on Portland trails, where I'm sure the Twilight vibe is WAY stronger. xoxo