After a heavy week and a half or so of discussing Hurricane Sandy and the New York Marathon and now in the wake of the presidential election, I say it’s the perfect time to discuss something a little lighter. That’s why I’m focusing on the running books that I think are the most motivational. These books are great not only because they will inspire you to get out and run and really go for it, but also to become better people all around. Who doesn’t need to read something like that?! All the books that made my list make me want to go out and accomplish things – anything, really – just to grab life by the horns and DO IT!
So without further ado, Cilantro’s Top 6 Motivational Running Reads!
Paula is one of the greatest female runners of our time, and her autobiography is authentic and motivating – she tells about her life, beginning with her childhood, and she tells about disappointments, injuries, and sucesses, all without sounding self-aggrandizing or self-pitying. Totally amazing.
I adored this book – Cami details her journey after her divorce towards self-discovery and learning how to love and be herself. Running is part of that journey, but I found myself identifying with her about so much – I think we all have a struggle at some point in our life to live authentically, and Second Wind details Cami’s journey. It motivated me to run (at whatever speed I was comfortable running) but also to pursue my dreams!
Buy it on Amazon.com.
I loved this book – not just because I think Goucher is an amazing woman and runner, but because it was a super-easy read. The book flows naturally, integrating running tips and “how-to’s” including race training plans with Kara’s story! She talks about injury (candidly and how she responded by eating boxes of cereal, to which I totally related) – and has “Quotes I Love” sections in every chapter that introduced me to some other runners as well. Kara is honest and seems totally approachable and normal, other then the whole being able to run super fast for a long time thing.
I was pretty determined NOT to like Dean Karnazes and Ultramarathon Man, but as I read about Dean and his determination and honesty and devotion to his family, I was totally inspired. So inspired that I also purchased and read his second and third books. Dean might come across as arrogant in interviews, but in his books he seems sincere, hard-working, and remarkable. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be as fit as Dean, but I can honestly say that he motivated me to do an Ultra – something that all the other “Ultra” marathoner biographies haven’t been able to do.
This story details Long’s journey back from a biking accident (he was literally run over by a bus) to complete the New York City marathon. His injuries were so severe that he couldn’t walk, his pelvis was shattered and one leg is shorter than the other now. Completely and brutally honest at times, I felt like I could overcome anything. Worth a read – I read it in two days!
[pullquote]Sometimes we get all caught up in things that, although at the time are extremely important for us, in the big scheme of things really aren’t so important. That film [Schindler’s List] reminded me of all the very harrowing and traumatic times that people have fought and lived through; I really had to much in my life to be grateful for, what I was going through was not that big of a deal. – Paula p. 84 [/pullquote]
6. First Marathons by Gail Waesche Kislevitz
This is a collection of stories about first marathons – from legends to “regular people” like me. I don’t usually like collections of stories, but I enjoyed every single one – plus, they served as a great “initiate” for my first marathon. It is the ultimate of marathon motivators – I usually read on the Kindle, but I think I want a physical copy of this one, to re-read the stories, or bring it with me to my first (in less then three weeks)! (For a little about some of the Salty Bloggers’ first marathons, check out this post.)
I love to read and I love to run. Combining the two is like the perfect recreation activity.
What are your favorite running books?