Hey there! We’re getting to the last few weeks of the Running and Reading Long program. That makes me kind of sad – I love reading books regarding running, swimming, and the like.
For this week’s post, we are to focus on the book Once a Runner by John L. Parker, Jr. This book is different than the others that we have read. Once a Runner is a fictional story, whereas the other books have more been documentaries or advice giving books about running.
Here’s the Amazon synopsis of the story:
Inspired by the author’s experience as a collegiate champion, the story focuses on Quenton Cassidy, a competitive runner at fictional Southeastern University whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. He is less than a second away when the turmoil of the Vietnam War era intrudes into the staid recesses of his school’s athletic department. After he becomes involved in an athletes’ protest, Cassidy is suspended from his track team. Under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, Bruce Denton, a graduate student and former Olympic gold medalist, Cassidy gives up his scholarship, his girlfriend, and possibly his future to withdraw to a monastic retreat in the countryside and begin training for the race of his life against the greatest miler in history.
Here are the questions we were to answer after reading the book, which by the way I really enjoyed. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. Also, it’s all very realistic, which really pulled me in! I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for an easy but different book to read!
Alright, here goes!
Did it make you want to run? Yes, and it also made me miss the feeling of being on a team (which would of course had been swimming for me!)
Did it motivate you to race? Definitely; it helped gear my training and make me focus more on why I am doing what I do.
Was it perfectly timed with the Olympics? Definitely, and since I read it right before the Olympics began I was super pumped for it. I can’t wait to start watching track and field, though swimming will forever hold a huge part of my heart.
Finally, does it deserve it’s place as the “ultimate” runner’s novel? I definitely feel as though it was a very good book, and could be a great fictional story for runners. I don’t think it is on the same level as some of the other books we have read for the program, just because they aren’t really along the same lines.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and found it to be a fun, entertaining, as well as serious book!
As for my own training this week, since I have been in San Diego, I have managed a workout everyday. I have swam, run, and ellipticaled at least every day. Running here is so nice and flat and there’s such an awesome breeze—I could really get used to it !
Next week is crazily the end of Running and Reading Long, so don’t forget to check back!