I had been on a bit of a reading binge a while back, but got busy (though in all reality - watching crappy TV shows could have fallen by the wayside instead) and didn't have much I wanted to read (seemed like all the books I wanted were always checked out at the library and I'm really trying not to spend money on books that I can read for free). But about a month ago, I managed to snag four books at the library. I've read two and because Jamie over at Couch to Ironwoman had one of them on her book club this month, I figured I'd better get my reviews done. As I've said before, these aren't compensated in any way - books were free from Daniel Boone Regional Library and the opinions are entirely my own.
A Life Without Limits - Chrissie Wellington's book was in some ways exactly what I expected and in other ways, not at all what I expected. It was very upbeat with some amount of self-deprication. While it definitely talks about her road to 13 Ironman wins (and NO losses - holy hell), it isn't necessarily a book "about triathlon". I really enjoyed a lot of the book that had nothing to do with her road to Iron-fame. You see how various people came into her life at times that may have laid building blocks to her success, but you also see a lot of how her own tenacity (and yes, even obsessiveness) played into it. I loved all of her stories of her wanderlust - the many places she's taken time out of a busy life to not just visit, but time to really live in. I feel completely sheltered and boring reading about her leaps of faith that led to amazing adventures (and some outright crazy shit). Her love for her friends and her family are apparent - but that really didn't surprise me. She is incredibly bright and would have been (and will be) successful at anything she put her mind to. I heartily recommend this book. I devoured it in about one day and have toyed with reading it again before I take it back.
Mile Markers - I had wanted to read Kristin Armstrong's book for a while though it had some mixed reviews on Amazon and other sites. Some people complained that a fair amount of the book was rehashed material from her Runner's World blog. But I don't get Runner's World so it was all new to me. Some people complained that she talks too much about her kids and her faith and said "enough already". I felt quite the opposite. As far as the kids go, mine are integral to just about every conversation I have because they are such a big part of my life. So I found the entries in the book (that yes, do read a fair bit like blog entries) to be like having a conversation with a friend. It was obvious that she was at a very similar stage of life to me as she wrote this (plus or minus a few years) and I found it VERY relatable. If you are 20-30 years old and either unmarried or relatively newlywed, I can see where you wouldn't have related as much. If you are 40-45, give or take, and have kids - you will "get it" and hopefully see it the way I did. Several passages felt like she was speaking right to me. I want to buy a copy and re-read it and underline stuff to give it to a friend as a gift because these are things I want to say to her. While there are some references to her religious beliefs, I didn't find them overpowering though maybe they are just well in line with many of my own beliefs that it didn't bother me. While there are a few references to her infamous ex-husband, if you didn't know who he was - most of the comments could be about any single mom's negotiation of managing the kids' time with dad (though I thankfully don't relate as much to those issues).
Both books get two thumbs up from me and are recommended. I think I'd really like being friends with either of these women if I ever got the chance. Enjoyed a peak into their lives and thoughts on both life and athletic pursuits.
As for my training, another crazy week of work is almost behind me. Monday and Wednesday I didn't work out. Tuesday I got done with an evening meeting in enough time to come home and put in 11.7 miles on the trainer. Today it has turned pretty nice and sunny. I should have gone for a run or ride, but I got busy goofing around after a day full of appointments. Then almost forgot to take daughter to volleyball practice (actually did forget - friend texted me). Got back, made dinner, visited with husband's aunt who had stopped by from out of town, watched a TV show and the day was gone. Tomorrow is supposed to be on the verge of hot for this time of year (rumor is 70's). Kids are off school so we'll see if I can sneak off before dinner for a ride - thank you daylight savings. Need to get 30 miles for my training plan.
Getting close to earning the champion jersey for Tour de Cure. Need just $66 more in donations by April 1. If you'd like to help me, click HERE for my personal donation page. You can read all about my personal reasons for supporting the American Diabetes Association.
Swimming = 7800 yds = 4.4 mi
Biking = 252.0 miles
Running = 69.1 miles