Sunday, May 6, 2012

books I've been reading

As a result of unemployment, I have been reading a lot. I've always loved to read...but I tend to put it on the back burner when other things are keeping me otherwise engaged. I had just started to get my energy back after starting my previous job. Nursing takes a lot out of you mentally, physically, and emotionally. By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was sit in front of my computer or the TV and do something mindless. So, my reading got left by the wayside. I decided to remedy this by purchasing some books related to running. I almost purchased some completely mindless reading...because honestly, I've always been a fan of what my brothers referred to as "junk novels", which were any book that didn't have much substance. The books I purchased are below with the Amazon description of the books.  

Once a Runner really blew my mind in terms of how professional/serious amateur runners train. I guess I had always known they trained a lot more than I did, but the discussion of trials of miles. It talks about Cassidy who is a miler by trade doing 20+ mile runs. His one interval session ended up including 60 quarters. I mean, its crazy, but it made me realize that if I want to be the best runner that I can be, then I have to push myself to the limits. 

Pre's biography I chose, because I had a friend referencing him a lot and honestly I had not heard much about him (don't hit me, please!). It was a joy to read about him. I also watched the movie this past weekend. The friend referencing him, reminds me a lot of  Pre, or how Pre was described in this book. The cocky attitude, but not in a bad way. How running is what he loves. 

Running after Prefontaine is the one I am still reading. The first chapter captured me. The author talks about his first marathon and how he signed up for it and decided to do it a month or two prior to the actual race date. He was a fairly regular runner, but had never gone more than 13ish miles and his goal was to finish the marathon in less than 4 hours. He went into great detail about how the marathon went. It reminded me somewhat of my half marathon (which my goal was to finish in less than 4 hours as well!).

50 Shades of Gray was my completely mindless reading. All my friends were talking about it. Was it good? Yes. The actual writing was kind of eh. I'm still trying to decide if I want to read the other two books in the series. I probably will, but I'm not addicted to to the books and have to finish the series like I did with other series that I've read this year (Hunger Games and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). 

Originally self-published in 1978, Once a Runner captures the essence of competitive running—and of athletic competition in general—and has become one of the most beloved sports novels ever published..
Inspired by the author’s experience as a collegiate champion, the story focuses on Quenton Cassidy, a competitive runner at fictional Southeastern University whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. He is less than a second away when the turmoil of the Vietnam War era intrudes into the staid recesses of his school’s athletic department. After he becomes involved in an athletes’ protest, Cassidy is suspended from his track team. Under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, Bruce Denton, a graduate student and former Olympic gold medalist, Cassidy gives up his scholarship, his girlfriend, and possibly his future to withdraw to a monastic retreat in the countryside and begin training for the race of his life against the greatest miler in history. .
A rare insider’s account of the incredibly intense lives of elite distance runners, Once a Runner is an inspiring, funny, and spot-on tale of one man’s quest to become a champion..
The story of America's greatest running legend.

For five years, no American runner could beat him at any distance over a mile. But at the age of 24, with his best years still ahead, long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine finally lost. Driving alone at night after a party, Prefontaine crashed his sports car, putting a tragic, shocking end to the life and career of one of the most influential, accomplished runners of our time.

More than 20 years later, Pre continues to influence the running world.

From his humble origins in Coos Bay, Oregon, Pre became the first person to win four NCAA titles in one event. Year after year, he was virtually unbeatable. Instead of becoming one of the new breed of professional track athletes, Pre chose to stay amateur and fight for the adequate funding he felt American amateur athletes deserved.

A man of incredible desire and energy, Pre trained relentlessly. In his drive to be the best, he spurred others to do their best. As one racer said, "He ran every race as if it were his last."

But Pre not only touched runners; his exciting technique as well as his maverick lifestyle made him a favorite of the fans. A race with Prefontaine in it was automatically an event.

His brief but brilliant life is the tale of a true American hero.

This is his story.

"Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, 'I've never seen anyone run like that before.' It's more than just a race, it's style. It's doing something better than anyone else. It's being creative."--Steve Prefontaine
Like so many young runners in Oregon, Scott Parker came of age under the spell of the Prefontaine legend, which inspired his early understanding of running's purpose as being centered around discipline and will power. In Running After Prefontaine, Parker traces his running back to its roots in Northeast Portland and follows it forward in time as his relationship with running evolves to include a more nuanced approach to the sport. Whether he's literally running in Pre's footsteps in Coos Bay or Eugene, running on the beaches of Asia, or running himself past exhaustion in Portland's Forest Park, Parker is an astute narrator of the running experience. This intimate book, which connects running to the author's process of self-becoming, demonstrates how what we do makes us who we are.
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

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