Runner as Reader

Cover of Going Long: Training for Ironman-Distance Triathlons with notesI wrote an AFM FitBlog post this morning about Micah True’s death . This evening, I came home and immediately wanted to pull out my copy of Born to Run to refresh my memory on Caballo Blanco, as True was also known.

This is the crappy part of moving…I can’t find my copy. It must be in a box in storage, one of the many books that I haven’t quite gotten around to unpacking yet. And I’m too tired to go there, dig through boxes, and find it. So I won’t be rereading Born to Run tonight.

Books are like comforting old friends.

I reread my favorites over and over again. I had originally borrowed a copy of Born to Run from my running buddy, Lindsey, who insisted I needed to read it when it first came out. I fell in love, not with the idea of barefoot running (I like shoes) but with the way the author talked about running and how he fell in love with being out on the trail. That was true to me, and so I had to buy my own copy in order to highlight and put stars by special quotes.

The Triathlete’s Bible

While I was looking for this book, I came across my copy of Going Long: Training for Ironman-Distance Triathlons by Friel and Byrn. I had to laugh because my highlighter was still stuck inside, just as though I’d put it down yesterday instead of, oh, almost four years ago. Sticky notes in with my chain ring size and various miscellaneous bits of notes or figures are stuck on pages throughout, as well as a Post-it on the front with instructions along the lines of “swim smart, ride hard, and run tough” (I can’t remember the exact wording but you get the drift). The book was my constant companion while I was training for IM Coeur d’Alene.

I shake my head whenever I remember one friend who summed up the de facto triathlete Bible as “oh, he just says you need to work on the bike.” Going Long was a wealth of information.

Parting with Books

Just a few weeks ago, I found out that my childhood copy of A Wrinkle in Time had somehow accidentally been put into the discard pile and disappeared. I’m not exaggerating when I say there were tears. I parted with some 10 boxes of books, and those were the books I weeded out AFTER we moved; the number does not include the books that gradually left as I packed up the house in order to move.

People who know me and have come to the new house have asked, “How did you get rid of all those books?” It was hard. But some of it was fun; my daughter and I went through books from my days as an Austin Museum of Art docent days and she sent the list to her art major friends, who eagerly called dibs. It’s easy to give away a signed Nic Nicosia photo book when you know it will be appreciated. It’s also easier to give away books when you know they’re going to help someone; I sent many boxes of books to a friend for her German Short-Hair Pointer Rescue garage sale.

And Then There’s My Book…

I’m working on a book. It’s been dormant for a bit but I’ve been inspired by a friend who has vision and an ability to help take an idea to fruition. One of these days, I hope to have my book out there in the world. And I hope it makes it into the “must keep” pile.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “Runner as Reader

  1. Going Long… sounds like a book I need! I\’ll look it up! I can\’t remember if I bought or borrowed Born to Run but if I have it I\’ll be happy to loan it to you. I\’ll check.

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