Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Long Run (Review)

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This combines two of my favorite pastimes: Reading and Running.... Not necessarily in that order.

This book popped up as a Kindle owners Deal-of-the-Day a few days ago. However, as of this entry, it is still listed on Amazon at $1.99. I figured, at that price, even if it sucked, at least I may learn something.

First of all, it’s hard to mess up books on running for me. I am always interested in how people “interact” with their running:

1) Are they one of those freaks of nature who run because they love it?
2) Are they running to lose or maintain their weight?
3) Are they running because they have a drive to compete?
4) Are they running to replace one addiction for another?
5) Are they running to relieve stress?
6) Are they running to cope with a failure or a loss?
7) Are they running to combat insomnia?
8) Are they running to stave off health issues?
9) Why? Why, why why?

I am always curious to know why people run. I have read many books on the subject. Often these books are frustrating to me, but still I devour them every chance I get. I’ll explain my frustration in a minute. First, I’ll give a brief review of the book.

First of all, I recommend it. It is a really quick read and I think you’ll be morbidly fascinated by it like when you pass an accident on the freeway.

This is the story of Mishka Shubaly’s headlong descent into a destructive pit of his own creation. Long story short, he is a recovering alcoholic and drug abuser who pulls himself up by his own boot straps and finds his salvation in running.

He starts running, by accident really, and discovers that without any coaching or previous training, that he is a natural at it.

The book is quick and irreverent and really a pleasure to read. So if you have a Kindle or an iPhone (or iPad) with a Kindle App, check it out. You’ll likely finish it in one sitting.

The reason these stories frustrate me is because, here you have a man who goes out of his way to make a pretty aggressive effort to destroy himself with drugs, alcohol and promiscuity.

When he finally decides to pull his life together and gets checked out by a doctor, not only have his heart, liver and kidneys escaped unscathed, but there is nary an STD in site! Not even a cold sore! Then he stumbles into running and totally rocks at it!!!!

Then you have myself: The tea-toting, Conservative Christian, pastor’s daughter, wife & Mom, who eats right (for the most part), takes my supplements regularly, goes to work every day and home every night, pays my bills on time, prays everyday, and rarely sets a toe out of line. I go out of my way to become a student of the history, anatomy and chemistry of running .... And I *struggle* to be merely mediocre at it!!!

It wouldn’t be nearly as frustrating if these types of books were rare, but I find them all over the place!!! “Sole Sisters” is an entire collection of stories about women who are passionate about running. Many of them just woke up one day, decided they were going to run, trained for a marathon and then just won it! Or at least placed high in their age group!!! What?!

I know envy is one of the Seven Deadliest but I am *so* jealous of runners with natural talent! My brother is another one. He does a 7-minute mile with no training at all. Same with my brother-in-law. I know many people who can run until their legs fall off…. Then keep crawling at a faster pace than me.

Yes, it’s frustrating! But here’s to all of you naturally talented runners < salute! >

You are my heroes! And rest assured that I can’t be the only one out there who wishes she were like you!

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