Friday, February 28, 2014

Three Things, Er, Friday

...because alliteration is not the boss of me.

Thing #1: Once A Runner, by John L. Parker, Jr.

This is one of those running books I've heard about here & there, but only really often enough for the title to be familiar. It was part of an Audible BOGOF promotion so I figured, "Eh, why not?" It was short (~8.5 hours), & at least then I'd know if it lived up to all the hype.

Well. 12 chapters in I was convinced it was about the stupidest book I'd ever read. The writing was cliche & forced, & the dialogue was unbelievable and frankly hard to follow (though I'm sure that's at least partly to do with trying to decode 1970s Florida college slang). I couldn't relate to the characters, and the jumpy, meandering style of storytelling made the main story line difficult to follow (or even detect) for the first half the book. Many of the scenes felt bafflingly irrelevant. If it wasn't so short I probably would have given it up there.

However, the second half had some redeeming qualities. Once he ditched most of the side characters (including the lone woman, who was, sadly, kind of whiny & cringe-inducing), the story felt more coherent and a narrative arc gradually became detectable. And although as a runner I have never been anywhere *near* the level of the protagonist (a collegiate 4:00 miler obsessed with running a sub-4:00), there were actually a lot of parts I was able to relate to on some level. (It also brought back all the most painful, most horrific parts of running track, which sort of sucked, but I guess that's kind of the point.) It's when Parker was actually writing about running and training and racing that it wasn't too bad, and there were definitely a few sections near the end where I found myself thinking, "OMG, it is/was *totally* just like that," so he gets some props for that. On the other hand, I doubt anyone who hasn't had the experience of running track at least semi-competitively will really "get" those parts.

So yeah. If you are or have been a super competitive male college track star, this book *might* speak to you. If you're a distance runner in the sense of, "Meh, I run marathons & half-marathons sometimes for fun/health/thrillz," you can probably just skip it without missing much.

Thing #2: This Bra.

I've gushed about my beloved Moving Comfort Alexis bra enough in previous posts that there's no need to rehash all that here. There is a reason that I own six of them in spite of the fact that they often cost $25-30 even on sale.

With all the double days lately, though, I've often found myself getting close to the end of the week with no Alexises (Alexi?) left for my weekend runs, so recently I spent some time hunting around the interwebz looking for new colors / patterns I didn't have already that were on some sort of discount & picked up a couple more.

My question is, is this pattern a bit too, er...boob-evocative for a sports bra? Because I'm trying to keep it classy up in here:

Be honest please. I can take it.

Thing #3: Injure Yourself Like A Pro.

Obviously this is something that has been on my mind for the last year. I mean, don't get me wrong; I've made HUGE progress in my ability to injure myself. In fact I'd say this has been a PR year for me in terms of catastrophic injuries! Ten solid weeks without a single step of running? You don't just roll out of bed & accomplish something like that. It takes time, commitment, and focus. Just a few years ago, I would never have dreamed I could injure myself as spectacularly as I have in the last eight months.

But, like any dedicated athlete, I am never satisfied with my current level of achievement. Each day I wake up, knowing I have it in me to suffer even more egregious injuries if I really work at it. But how???

Thankfully, I now have Lauren Fleshmen's secrets to injuring oneself like a pro.


Creepy graphic, or creepiest graphic? Somehow I feel like LF would
be the first to point out the lack of photorealism happening here.

In this extra-special behind-the-scenes look at how elites really train, Lauren shares all her 'top tips' for injuring oneself just like the pros do!

Seriously; check it out. It'll make you feel a little better about yourself. (Celebrities: They're just like us!!)

26 comments:

  1. I wouldn't have thought it if you hadn't said it first, so, there's that!

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  2. As someone who finds innuendo, dicks and boobs everywhere I go, I can honestly say I don't think the bra is boob-vocative. Of course now that you pointed it out, I can't un-see them. :)

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    1. Heh, what I'm hearing here is that I shouldn't point it out to people & I'll probably be fine. Good to know! ;)

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  3. Once a Runner is so poorly written! But I still identified with some sections; the pre-race jitters, especially, seemed almost like deja vu.

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    1. Yep, I did have to give it that.

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  4. I'm getting really good at injuring myself too; at the beginning of the week all I had was runner's knee, but now I have a stiff neck and a crushed thumb too! Feeling pretty proud over here.

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    1. Keep at it!!! You'll have a major strain in no time!! ;)

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  5. I got through the first 4 chapters and put it down - just didn't do anything for me.

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  6. I like the pattern and the color of the bra. Sure the pattern is boob evocative, but then it's a bra so it would be boob evocative anyway.

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  7. I think the pattern on the bra is subtle. If it was in bright colors, then you might have a point. Besides...it's a bra. Throw a shirt over it.

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    1. Heh, probably 99% of the time I would definitely have a shirt on, making it a moot point. Mainly just wondering if I can get away with sports-bra-only on a warm day!

      But yeah, it does seem like the consensus is that unless you're super up-close it's pretty subtle, which is reassuring. :)

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  8. Haven't read Once A Runner - perhaps I should? But your review doesn't suggest it should be a high priority for me.
    And, er, the bra...the pattern is pretty subtle, but when you have it on there's no escaping the fact that it does contain boobs - regardless of what the pattern is. I will take an Alexis in any pattern - I have multiple Alexi in the same pattern because that's what was on sale :)

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    1. Excellent point! I'll take most of them, but there are a few that just don't speak to me, so I'm trying to avoid them as long as possible. Which is totally rational, obviously.

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  9. I like the bra. It's a little bit fun without being too outrageous. I actually sew Lycra garments for a living and believe me, there are way wilder patterns and colours out there.

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    1. Yay! A friend of mine said he'd thought it looked like mermaid scales, until I pointed out the little boobs. So what I'm learning here is that I should keep my mouth shut about it.

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  10. I thought I was the only runner who didn't like Once a Runner. Everyone else raves about it (including my bf who hates fiction). I'm glad you managed to get through it and found something you liked about it. I just can't bring myself to finish it. As a lover of good literature, I found the writing way too clunky.

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    1. Yep, with you. Honestly, I think I powered through half because it would lend me credibility in spouting my opinion & half out of pure spite.

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  11. I think the bra is much more "ocean waves" or "flower petals" than boobs. On some level, every pattern is just some combination of cones and phalli, the question is, how obvious is it? This one, I would argue, is tasteful.

    As for the book review. Huge thanks. I was fairly certain I didn't want to spend the time, but now, with your review, I feel very comfortable tossing it comfortably down below number 500 on the to-be-read list, which, since I update it regularly and pop things in the top 20 when it seems appropriate, means it will likely *never* be read by me. And I am okay with that. Thanks.

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    1. This is another excellent point. :)

      Also, yes, I do think past ~200 on my Goodreads "to-read" shelf is kind of the book graveyard.

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  12. Of course it's cliche and over-the-top and rambling. I feel like that's half the point. And, like, I dunno, it's not well written, sure, but maybe y'all haven't read actually poorly written stuff, because yeah...

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    1. Oh yeah, and I like the book. For what it is obvs.

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    2. Definitely far from the *poorest* written stuff I've read, but a lot of it just didn't sit right in my ear. For me the biggest issue was that it took me half the book to figure out what the main narrative was & where it was all going.

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  13. The bra is really nice! Get it!!!

    Are you going to do a post about people who run with their hair down? Because I'm just watching Tony Krupicka and he's the only person who does that who doesn't BUG ME BIG-STYLE!!!

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