Tag Archives: Once a Runner

Finally Friday and Finally A Book Review

Happy Friday all!! I was pretty busy at work this week, but the first week back after vacation is always rough and it seems to have taken years to get to Friday. Thank goodness it’s here!!

So far I am doing pretty well with my half marathon training plan. I headed to the gym yesterday after work because they skies were looking ominous and when I was about a block away from the gym is started pouring! It was insane here. The floor of the women’s locker room at the gym actually flooded a little bit. But I ignored the minor flood and hopped on the treadmill for a quick three miles in 26:26. Don’t worry – there was no water near my machine. 🙂

The skies were clear when I emerged from the gym after my run, so it worked out perfectly.

This weekend we have no major plans. It’s going to be the last weekend that Hubby and I will have together for a while because of conflicting travel schedules. So low-key sounds perfect.

Before I leave you on this fine Friday, I offer you a little book review that is looong overdue. Here you go – enjoy – and have a great weekend!

Once a Runner

By: John L. Parker, Jr.

I have to first tell you how I came to select this book. I was spending my lunch-hour browsing around Borders downtown. I had stopped in to pick up a specific book and then the comfort and expansiveness of Borders sucked me and I started lingering in the Fiction/Literature section (always my drug of choice). As I slowly walked from shelf to shelf reminiscing over previously read and much-loved books, and eyeing some new release here and there, a book on a shelf just above my head caught my eye and seemed to jump out at me. The cover had the outline of runner. I stopped. Reached up. And pulled down “Once a Runner.”

Not all that strange you say? Well, it just so happened that I was going through a little running rut at the time and had been struggling to force myself to get back into a running routine after my last marathon. The title described exactly how I felt: I was “once a runner,” but wasn’t so sure anymore. I felt that fate had placed that book in my line of sight, so I bought it.

I didn’t get around to reading it for quite some time, however. I think because I knew I’d feel a little guilty once I dove in. And I did. The narrator of the book, Quenton Cassidy is a collegiate runner at fictional Southeastern University and he is hard-core. Even my 20-mile pre-marathon training runs don’t stack up next to this runner’s training.

Admittedly, I felt like a lesser runner almost immediately. Chalk it up to my running rut circumstance or my less than speedy times, but it seemed that Quenton was there to show me what a real runner was—and that wasn’t me. I think this made me a little resistant to the book at first. But finally, about halfway through I dropped the jealousy and guilt and found myself gladly accompanying Quenton on his most difficult training runs.

And shockingly, I understood just how he felt on many of those runs. Parker was able to articulate those strange and intangible feelings that runners face on particularly trying runs and even on amazing runs. Soon I found myself wanting to put on my running shoes, sign up for a race and share in Quenton’s experience.

This book is considered a cult classic in the running world. It was originally rejected by many publishers and Parker took to selling it out of the back of his car at races and meets. But it was an instant hit with runners and a buzz began to develop. Eventually, it was picked up and printed officially by a publishing house.

I won’t say that this book changed my life or the way I look at running. I’ll just say that it renewed some excitement in me and reconfirmed that all the sweat and pain is really worth it in the end. Not just because I might set a new personal speed or distance record, but more importantly because of those wonderful indescribable feelings you have after you finish a run that takes you to the brink and back, and shows you exactly what kind of person you are on the inside.

Rev Me Up!

Happy Hump day friends. Although I can’t see anything particularly happy about it. 😦 This weather has got me down. Four days of dreariness is no fun. But I think tomorrow is supposed to be nicer.

In happier news, the running book I’m reading (Once a Runner) has finally started to get me excited to run again! I think I’m going to hit up the gym tonight after work for a quick treadmill run. I’ve been waiting and waiting to feel inspired by this book and just last night it started to rev me up to run.

Of course, I leave this Sunday for Ireland, so all running will be put on hold once we’re there, but at least I’m feeling some excitement about the idea – right?

And let me just pose this question to the marathoners out there: Does training for any other distance motivate you as much as training for a marathon does?

I ask because I do in fact have a half marathon coming up in October (I’m running the Bay State half while my friend runs the full and tries to qualify for Boston – cross your fingers!!). However, it’s been especially hard to tell myself I have to start training for it. I think when I come back from Ireland I am going to create an actual training plan for the half – something I’ve never done. I’ve only ever created plans for marathon training. But I think without a plan, I’m more likely to slack off. Plus, hopefully by the time I come home, maybe there will be a tinge of fall in the air! What’s better than fall running?! 

I didn’t have any exceptional eats going on yesterday, so I only snapped a photo of my dinner:

A giant salad with grilled chicken, cheese, grape tomatoes and some rice. Although you can’t see much of the fixens in this photo.

Thanks for all your advice and feedback about my resistance to change post from yesterday. I know fighting it only makes things more difficult, but generally if there’s going to be some change, I like to have control over it. Haha – I think that’s the stubborn Taurus in me. 🙂

Anyway – I thank you and hope that this upcoming vacation will allow me to appreciate the constants and cope with the many changes happening. I am afraid that I’ll come back and won’t have any readers because I won’t be able to post from Ireland. I have not jumped on the smart phone bandwagon.

For other bloggers out there – how do you post while on vacation or traveling? Do you use sprintcard or other wireless option? Everything seems so darn expensive! Ideas?

Have a great Wednesday all!

Fun and Exhausting Girls Weekend

Good morning all. How can it be Monday already? I’m not ready for it. The weekend seriously flew by. My Friday night was low-key, as Hubby went to the Yankees game with a co-worker. But then Saturday was very busy and fun-filled.

I headed out around 10:00 a.m. to catch a Metro North train to Stamford, CT to meet up with a few of my girlfriends from college. Upon arrival, I met this new little arrival:

That would be little Miss Kendall. She is seriously precious.

The rest of Saturday day was spent grabbing some lunch and walking around an outdoor festival area in Norwalk, CT. It was really cute, fun and was a lovely afternoon.

After the festival, we headed back to my friend’s house to change for dinner and drop off little Kendall with her daddy for a few hours. Then we headed to this cute restaurant called Market in Stamford. We’d had a rather filling Mexican lunch, so I wanted to keep my dinner a little lighter. I ordered the chopped salad which was made up of local greens, jicama (actually not included), corn, apple, basque cheese with a champagne vinaigrette. No picture of my salad, but it was delicious.

Of course, we had to have dessert. We ordered two things, first these mini ice cream cones:

These were so cute and very yummy. But the star of the meal was definitely our second dessert:

This was called Crack Pie “Momofuko” and was described as NYC’s famous gooey, rich pie with coconut gelato. It was AMAZING!! This one was devoured.

And finally, here we are enjoying our nice dinner.

Katie, Kate, Me and Kim.

After dinner, the two Kates and I headed into NYC to watch a band play and proceeded to party well into the night. It got so late that when we hit up a diner at the end of our fun, I may have snoozed a bit – signalling it was time to go home.

Unfortunately, our partying and fun meant that Sunday was pretty much a complete waste of a day. Oh boy – I’m getting old. I managed to rouse myself enough to watch True Blood and then went straight to bed.

And as you may have guessed, on the running front – none was done this weekend. However, I just bought a book on running that I’m hoping will inspire me to get back into it, it’s called “Once a Runner.” Has anyone read it? The reviews on the back say it will make you want to go running – I sure hope so! But first I’ve got to push through “The Hour I First Believed” by Wally Lamb. It’s a good book, just long. I’m only about 250 page through the 700-page book.

What did you do this weekend? What were some of the highlights?

Have a good Monday all!