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Waiting on Wednesday – 29 June 2016

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Its been a while since i’ve participated in a Waiting on Wednesday – this year has been so busy that i’ve done a really bad job about tracking new releases…or I come across a book that sounds interesting and mean to do a post on it…before promptly forgetting…but since I had some downtime tonight, I figured I would take a quick look at a couple of the websites I use for tracking books to see if anything caught my eye.

don't tell me you're afraid
Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid – Giuseppe Catozzella and Anne Milano Appel
Release Date: August 2, 2016

Tagline: Based on a remarkable true story, an unforgettable Somali girl risks her life on the migrant journey to Europe to run in the Olympic Games

Why Waiting on Wednesday?
It’s funny – normally, I’m a total cover reader (meaning the vast majority of the books that I pick, I pick because of the cover) and yet there is nothing really eye catching about the cover of Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid, in fact, its a very tame cover. But as I reading through the August list for Bookreporter, it was the tag line that caught my eye. After reading When the Moon is Low (Nadia Hashimi) a few months ago, I became interested in more immigrant/immigration fiction, especially books that are based around people escaping their war-torn country (like Afghanistan in When the Moon is Low). I’ll be intrigued to see how the fictional version of the true story comes to be and know that I will be asking my library to get me a copy when its released.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Wishlist Wednesday

 

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Dishing with Dee…my not quite 10 miler Cherry Blossom 10 miler

dishing with dee 2

Yesterday (Sunday) marked one of my first races of the season and by races, I mean, one where I went in feeling mostly trained for it and not worried if I was truely going to survive. It should be noted that I did do a half-marathon a month and a bit ago with my friend Jen, but none of us were really trained for it and in true fashion, we walked more than we ran – hehe! Anyways, yesterday morning, at some time that most people would call cruel and unusual punishment (meaning 4:30am) my alarm went off because I had to get moving, get into the city via the metro and be ready for when the race started at 7:30.

mismatched socksBut before any of that could happen, I needed to take the obligatory mis-matched socks photo – don’t ask me why I do it, but its like a tradition (I mean, in general, my socks never match, but they don’t match on purpose on race days). Then I did my typical stress and panic because nothing was ready – you would think after all my years of racing, that I would actually learn to prep early…haha! But I got myself into the city and didn’t leave anything behind (or nothing that I absolutely needed to race with). And took advantage of the opportunity to meet up with a bunch of people from a veteran’s group that I am part of. I love doing races with them because of the vibe that they bring – unfortunately, because I live outside of the city, I don’t get to hang out with them as often as I would like.

rwb eagles

But as murphy’s law goes, things are never going to be perfect – as we were lining up in our corrals with 15000 of our nearest and dearest friends – over the annoucing system, I heard in passing that the course had had to be shortened slightly in one section – although I missed what it was for – all I heard was that somewhere between miles 4 and 6, there course was going to be 1/4 to 1/2 a mile short. It wasn’t until after the race, that I found out there had been a motorcycle vs. pedestrian accident on one of the roads. While there was no update on either person, I hope that they are both ok. Then we were off. My goal for the race was to take it easy, walk as needed, and just enjoy the day (because in all honesty this was the best day in recent months for running outside – it wasn’t too hot or too cold, just right). When all was said and done, I finished the 9.5 mile (my nearly 10 mile, 10 miler) in 1:45 (so about an 11:15 min mile which I was quite happy with. I was tired enough at the end to know that I had a good pace, but not enough that I felt like I was going to pass out. Now time to continue the triathlon training – first race of the season is in T-27 days.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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Review – Yoga for Runners – Christine Felstead

YfRYoga for Runners
Author: Christine Felstead

Description:
As a runner, you strike the ground 1,000 times per mile, with a force of two to three times your body weight. You can feel that impact in the muscles, ligaments, and bone structures throughout your body. Thankfully, “Yoga for Runners” addresses both the physical and mental demands of the sport. Whether you are new to yoga or have practiced for years, “Yoga for Runners” provides you with the most effective poses–88 poses in all. Each pose is described in detail to ensure correct execution, maximizing the physical benefit and decreasing the risk of injury.

You’ll learn how simple yoga techniques can be incorporated into your existing running workouts and routines to eliminate chronic aches and pains. Discover how each pose can be sequenced to address a specific need, such as strengthen and lengthen the hamstrings, strengthen and increase mobility of the hip joint, eliminate lower-back and upper-body discomfort, speed the recovery process after a practice run or a race, maintain a strong core, or just restore and rejuvenate to prepare for an upcoming event. These sequences target all troublesome muscle regions. Anatomical illustrations and descriptions explain why these poses and sequences decrease your risk of acute or chronic injury as well as why they are beneficial to your training regimen.

Review:
I say that I am inflexible is probably the understatement of the year. Similar to weight training, I find it really easy to not do my daily stretching in favor of getting another swim workout in, or going for a run. Partly because my dog tries to help (in the way only a German Shepherd can) and partly because if I sit down on the floor, 9 times out of 10, sleep is probably going to ensue (there is something about laying down that just gets me every time). But I came across this book at the library one day and I was intrigued because it talked about how you could squeeze yoga in to your daily life, which (for as obvious as it should have been) stunned me. My perception was always that I needed to dedicate an hour or so to go; find a studio that worked with my insane schedule, or buy/borrow a DVD etc. This book totally changed me mind on that.

While the first few chapters focus a bit on the history of yoga and its application to helping runners, the meat of the book is the later parts where it discusses all the different positions/postures you can do; what body parts each of them help with and towards the end simple progressions that can be done (some in less than 10 minutes) to help. So come back from a run, spend 10 minutes doing a quick set of sun salutations and move on – it is definately, something I know that I will be incorporating into my training.

Unfortunately for me, the book was a library book and i didn’t really want to/couldn’t photocopy all the stuff I wanted to – so I’m planning on ordering it and adding it to my growing library of training references. Like a previous review of a strength training book, this one is hard to rate until I have a chance to fully test out the various sequences, but never fear, I shall let you know.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Review – Strength Training for Triathletes – Patrick Hagerman

stftStrength Training for Triathletes
Author: Patrick Hagerman, EdD

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
Most traditional weight lifting programs are too general to benefit triathletes. This illustrated guide offers 60 exercises that build strength for swimming, biking, and running by replicating the muscle usage patterns specific to triathlon events. The exercises are organized by sport and muscle group, allowing triathletes to quickly find the best exercise for their unique training needs. Included are sample seasonal plans for each race distance, along with instructions on adapting training plans to individual needs that make it easy to develop a personal strength training program.

Review:
Most of the time on my blog, as you have no doubt noticed, I review genre fiction type books (mainly in the romance genre) – but occasionally, I’ll review a book that is something completely different. Maybe it was because there was something about it that caught my eye, or because I used the book as part of my athletic training (as is the case with this book). So I like to mix it up a bit. Anyways, while I was browsing Edelweiss one day (and with some nudging from a reading friend – Naomi), I came across a review copy of Strength Training for Triathletes. Now, while not suffering through my evil day job, blogging or being a manic PhD student, I’m a age group triathlete and completed my first Ironman in 2014 (yes, I am slightly insane). One of things, when I look back on my last year of training, was that I neglected not only my strength training, but also flexibility training, in favor of event specific (either swimming, riding or running) and it came back to bite me in the butt. Cardiowise, I may be stronger than I was previously, but I feel more inflexible and weak/muscle imbalance in places due to that focus. So when I picked up Strength Training, I was hoping for a book that could provide me some direction in creating a program that I could use and to an extent it did.

While I was provided a review copy in Kindle format, I quickly realized that it was a book that was better read/reviewed in print due to the amount of tables of data that didn’t render well into an ebook format, and the exercise images in the later chapters. But it is a book that has been added to my permanent library and I see myself taking it with me to the gym, as needed, for a reference guide.

One of the things I took away from the book, aside from all the different strength training exercises there are out there (many of which I’d never heard of) – was the different ways that you could develop a strength program based on your goals. It even goes on to outline several potential programs that triathletes at the Sprint and Olympic distance could use to train. That being said, I do wish that the author had devoted a little bit more time to the longer races. While I know they are much more customized in terms of training plans, I know that personally, I struggled to figure out how to tackle strength training on top of my other 12-15 hours of week (at peak training).

The most valuable part of the book to me was the sections towards the end that outlines all the different exercises. I really liked the way that it was organized – into swimming upper body; swimming lower body; Cycling – upper and lower and then runner – upper and lower. So I could easily look at see how the various exercises worked with each other. There was also a really good table at the back of the book which outlined all of the exercises used and cross-referenced between the three sports.

I’m looking forward to using this book and working exercises into my training program and will be sure to report back on it down the road. But until that time, its a hard book to rate, so I’m going to hold off doing that until I get a chance to implement some of the recommendations in the book.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Review – The Ghost Runner – Bill Jones

the ghost runnerThe Ghost Runner: The Tragedy of the Man They Couldn’t Stop
Author: Bill Jones

Description:
The mystery man threw off his disguise and started to run. Furious stewards gave chase. The crowd roared.

A legend was born. Soon the world would know him as ‘the ghost runner’. John Tarrant. The extraordinary man whom nobody could stop. As a hapless teenage boxer in the 1950s, he’d been paid £17 expenses. When he wanted to run, he was banned for life. His amateur status had been compromised. Forever. Now he was fighting back, gatecrashing races all over Britain. No number on his shirt. No friends in high places. Soon he would be a record-breaker, one of the greatest long-distance runners the world has ever seen.

Review:
So one day I was browsing the new arrivals shelf at the library (normally, I stick to the fiction side, but for some reason I was on the non-fiction side) when this book caught my eye. It wasn’t even that the cover had a bright anything to catch my eye, since its a black and white photo, but there was just something…and I’m glad I did because it exposed a facet of sports (both national and international) that I’d never thought about. I mean, I grew up in a era with over-payed (IMHO) sports stars going to the Olympics, rather than the true amateurs like years past.

When he was a young man, John Tarrant was paid £17 as a boxer, which according to sports regulations at the time, meant that he was no longer an amateur and thus couldn’t compete either at home or internationally as a runner. Over the next 20 odd years, he ran race after race, unregistered; often waiting until after the race started before shedding his disguise and jumping into the midst of all the participants.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but the middle got a bit dry – while I understood his plight and how much it must have sucked for him (for lack of a better word), I felt like the author became too focused on the continual fighting that went on between John and the various leaders within the athletics communities. I also was a bit disappointed that for the most part John’s running times (in particular those races that he won, but didn’t win) weren’t ever actually mentioned – I mean, the claim was made that he was the greatest long distance runner of all time, but there was no quantifiable data provided to support that.

Overall, I gave The Ghost Runner 3.5 stars, but rounded down to 3 on Goodreads, mostly because of the lag in the middle.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2014 in Book Review

 

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