Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to the grind

Like most people that have "normal" jobs, I'm back to work this week. I have been working to try and fit in workouts whenever possible and that includes riding to and from work, which can add up to some serious mileage but by itself is not really that hard. Being back to work does, however, provide a structure to an otherwise chaotic word of raising my busy toddler and a baby girl. It gives me a place to go and that right now anyway, is allowing me to fit in the training.

As I have had a bit of time off this summer from teaching, I have been doing a lot of reading. I thought I'd share some of the books that I read through and my insights about them if you care to know. I found them all extremely easy reads due to the connection between the content and my athletic focus right now. The one thing that I have learned by reading these is that achieving something great requires a mindset that not everyone can access. Obviously, not everyone could push themselves as far as the people I read about in these books. I hope I can continue to have the required mindset as the year goes on and the race gets closer. Hopefully you can find the time to read some of these and let me know what you think.

"Ultramarathon Man" and "50/50" by Dean Karnazes: These two books were amazing. I found them to be so motivating for not only runners but anyone who does anything in the endurance world. I think that if you desire to test your limits in any way you have to read these two books. Karnazes revealed a bit of the mindset that will be required for me to prepare for and complete my 100 mile challenge next summer. As one of the online reviews said about the books, they are the "best book about endurance cycling that is not about cycling."

"10 Points" by Bill Strickland: I found this book impossible to put down. I read it in less than 24 hours. Bill Strickland is a editor for Bicycling Magazine and this book is basically the memoirs of his abusive childhood and how he is trying to move past some of his demons through earning 10 points in the highly competitive local crit series. (Crits are types of races that are highly intense and held on short circular courses. They are probably the most intense type of racing imaginable, which is why they rarely last more than an hour) The way Strickland describes his childhood is chilling, and he flashes back to that in the midst of dealing with raising his own little girl. I can't say this book is for everyone because it is so intense, but I am throughly thankful I read it.

"Lance" by John Wilcockson: I was one of the sceptics about Lance Armstrong for awhile, but have always hoped he was not doping when he won so many Tours. This book compliments my hopes and helps put aside the scepticism. Wilcockson brings in so many different people from Lance's life and you get a really good picture about what Lance Armstrong is like. If you are a fan of LA and want to get some insight into the mind of the greatest champion in the sport of cycling, then you should read this one.

"Hurt City" by Bob Voiland: I actually read this before summer, but I thought I'd include it in the reviews since it is such a great book. Bob Voiland set off to ride to every state in the lower 48 from his home in Colorado. He did this all after the age of 50. He is incredibly funny and the book is amazing. Definately recommended for anyone.

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