‘Tis the season to hit the pavement.
Last Sunday I participated in my very first Sun Run–one of the largest road races in North America and the unofficial start to the Vancouver road-racing season. The race itself was a bit of a zoo as I jostled along with 50,000 other runners trying to reach the end, however the sun was out and there were free bananas at the end so really, what’s not to love?
A few months ago, I set my ambitions high and signed up for three big races however a string of injuries and illnesses has forced me to scale back these lofty goals. That being said, I’m still committed to keeping my training schedule going as best I can, and hope to complete at least one of the races.
Ironically, one of my most successful motivating tools also happens to be one of my favorite lazy-days activities: diving into a great book. More specifically, a good listen.
When the sky is drizzling and my couch is calling my name, often the only way I’ll pull my shoes on and hit the road is if I’ve got a good book waiting in my earbuds. As you may know from some of my earlier posts, the library has a huge selection of downloadable audiobooks to choose from using Overdive. Below you’ll find a list of both audio, and hardcover books to choose from to inspire whatever goal you’re training for.
There is something “meta” about listening to an analysis of why and how people have run for millennia….. while feeling as though you’ve been running for millennia. In this book author Christopher MacDougall sets off on an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, MacDougall finds a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong. Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it.
Another great “meta-book” about how running benefits the body and mind, this audiobook solidified my love of distance running and helped me to understand its connection to mindfulness. I’m a big Murakami fan–however listeners be warned: I will say that I found it a bit odd, if not disconcerting, to listen to an American voice actor read Murakami’s words as he describes his life growing up in Japan. Print or audio- it’s your choice, but don’t miss out on this terrific story.
In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he’d completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a dozen critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and–even more important–on his writing.
Finally, once you’re ready to get out there why not switch things up and hit the trails! As an outdoor-aholic, I 100% prefer trail running and find it easier not only on the body but the brain as well. Below is an excellent guide that outlines Vancouver’s best trails.
This book is a guide to 44 trail running routes in Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Moody, and on the North Shore, areas with ideal terrain for off-road running. The routes range from beginner jogs on flat, manicured paths to challenging mountain routes that take runners into lush and wild terrain. Most of the routes travel through a rainforest brimming with second-growth cedar, Douglas fir, and western hemlock trees. Several of the runs follow scenic seaside routes. The book includes 100 colour photographs.