I’m standing in an open field and I look up and a bullet train has just whizzed past me. My thin hair flies up like a parachute and then settles back down on my head. I blink my eyes at the force of air pushing on my face. I take a deep breath and tell myself, “this moment is the only one I have.”
This is how each new year feels to me. They fly past me in a flash, and there is nothing I can do except except try and enjoy each moment that I’m here. When I am in the present , I feel alive and happy.
Many times people will ask what my New Years resolution is. I, like many people, do not do resolutions. However, I do enjoy viewing the new year as an opportunity to renew and change. I have taken the last 8 months off from running to recover from a serious injury and get some health issues under control, and now that I am feeling better, running is making an apperance in my life again.
At first, I was feeling pretty frustrated because it was like starting all over again, but I reminded myself that, “all I have is this moment.” I relaxed and felt happy again. This year, my mantra is the words, “Simply begin again.” Why are these words so powerful to me? They signify the exact opposite of “resolution.”
Resolutions are all about wanting to change yourself. Saying, “Simply begin again,” reminds me that it’s okay to have off days. It’s a reminder that I’m perfectly fine just as I am right now. One rough day doesn’t mean you’ve failed. One rough day can be eliminated by saying to yourself, “simply begin again.” It’s a phrase that is compassionate and forgiving and those are the two things we all need to succeed.
There is no reason to throw in the towel if you fall off the wagon. Whether it’s one day, one week, or several years, all we need to do is, “Simply Begin Again.” It’s that simple.
As I begin running again, I am making an effort to not put too much pressure on myself. I have no goals, no plans for a PR, or any hidden agendas. I have spent most of my life running, but taking these last 8 months off and starting over has been humbling. In this circumstance, I feel like a little salt in my wound was actually quiet healing. It opens my eyes to what it feels like to be a brand new runner. I realize that some of you may be running for the first time ever, or coming back after an extended break. I have more empathy than ever.
What’s really helped me in my effort to simply begin again, is to re-read some of my favorite books that launched me into my love of this sport so many years ago. These books have made a huge impact on my running over the years and I thought they might help you out as well.
Let’s all “simply begin again.”
10 Books Every New Runner Needs in their life right NOW #fitfluential #runchat Click To Tweet
This is a collection of books that have made the most impact on my running and are excellent resources for someone just starting out or for someone who wants to take their running to the next level. I tried to give a variety of basic books that can transform both your soul and your body. These are my top picks.
Running for Women by Kara Goucher – I found this book simple and informative. It was one of the first books I read cover to cover when I was training for my first full marathon. I met Kara when I ran the Bolder Boulder in 2012. She’s as down to earth and real as they come. Just like one of your girlfriends. Love her and this book.
Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Women Run by Kristin Armstrong – Former wife of Lance Armstrong – gives us 26.2 beautifully written soulful essays on how running has healed her life. I constantly re-read this book. There is little “training information”, however, if you see running as a type of therapy, then this book is for you. One of my favorites!
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – A beautifully written and well told story of the simple act of running. A reminder that we don’t need tons of fancy equipment or to over complicate things. Just run for the pure, wild pleasure of it. Again, not a technical book, but an epic tale of adventure.
Eat and Run by Scott Jurek – An autobiography of champion ultra runner Scott Jurek. He tells the story of how he rose to fame in the ultra-running world and even provides a few of his great vegan recipes that I’ve tried and tested. YUM!
Meb for Mortals How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner by Meb Keflezighi – This came out not too long ago, right after Meb won Boston 2014 and I pre-ordered it. I was not disappointed. This book if full of tips, trick, and wisdom. A must for any runner’s library.
Quick Strength for Runners by Jeff Horowitz – This was one of the first books I ever bought with a planned strength training routine in it. I had been doing strength before this, but it was sporatic and unplanned. This was the first book where I followed a schedule and it comes with great results.
Build Your Running Body: A Total Body Fitness Plan for all Distances by Pete Magil – Again another book that focused on strength workouts to build your runner body. Even newer than Quick Strength and well planned and easy to follow with great results.
The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition by Matt Fitzgerald – There are many incredible books on running nutrition out there, but this is the one that I’ve used and has had proven success for me, personally. Fuel is a tricky subject and everyone is different, but this is the best information that I’ve found. Very well researched.
Running the Race Called Life by Keena Carstensen – I have had the wonderful opportunity to train with Ms. Carstensen for the past several years. Her knowledge of the sport is endless: from nutrition to training methods to tying in her Christian faith. She’s seen it all. Keena was a High School XC coach for over 20 years, 3:02 marathoner, and devout Christian. Running the Race Called Life is one of the best resources on training, strength, nutrition, and faith— everyone should own this one!
Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham – Oh, how I adore this book! Sakyong Miphap is a Budhist Monk and runner. He explains how running can become a sort of moving meditation. This method has gotten me through the most painful races and runs, and helped to enhanced my “light on my feet” runs. If you are looking to reduce your stress and run at the same time, this book has got you covered.
Have you ever taken an extended break from your fitness or running? What books or tips to you use to get yourself motivated again?
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