Monday, June 13, 2011

Good Reads!

I've been devouring books lately and hit a streak of winners.  Marci and Joel's recent TriCrowd book reviews inspired me to add to the list of "triathlon beach reads"! Here are the last four books I have read.

If you are an endurance athlete and have even one competitive molecule in your body, I'm Here to Win by Chris McCormack is a MUST read!!  It of course tells Chris' story as he made the jump from accounting (!) to the triathlon circuit, the tragedies he faced, and the tactics he used to train, race smart, and win! This page-turner is filled with insights into the strategies and psychology of racing. It'll leave you fired up for your next race!

In 2008, Marshall Ulrich and Charlie Engle (both well-known and accomplished ultrarunners) set out to break the record for running across the US (68+ mi/day for 44 days). I didn't have high expectations for Running on Empty, but it turned out to be terrific. I was drawn into the journey, the pain, suffering, and the depths to which Marshall went to keep going despite ongoing injuries. The book includes the backstory of Marshall's life and relationships and shows how his wife Heather was a critical success factor on this run. On p. 272 he describes how he ended up with the same tendonitis that I have at the moment, so I can't help but feel a kinship, haha.  Of course he had about 100 various other injuries.  Marshall comes across as a humble man with tremendous courage as he reveals his shortcomings and struggles even as he succeeds as a runner.

Ten Million Steps by Paul Reese and Joe Henderson is out of print but used copies are available.  I first heard about Paul Reese in a "Marathon and Beyond" podcast. It was fun to read after Marshall Ulrich's book...more like a Sunday drive by comparison, but not without discomfort and challenge.  The 73 year-old Paul, with the support of his wife in an RV, ran a marathon a day on his journey.

Iron Heart, by Brian Boyle and Bill Katovsky tells the true story of Brian's comeback from a near-fatal car wreck shortly after his high school graduation. He ultimately comes to triathlon during his recovery and is given a media slot to Kona, which he successfully completed.  The book was 85% about his medical and rehab journey and only the last few chapters really addressed his work toward the triathlon. I was left wanting for more details!  Regardless, his story is truly remarkable and miraculous.