It’s always a pleasure to read another runner’s book, and in this case, a book written by two runners. The Running Life is a collection of articles from The Running Life column of the Monterey County Herald in California by Donald Buraglio and Michael Dove, that is jam packed with training advice, encouragement, and inspiration for runners at all levels.
Donald, a barefoot-running advocate, is a physical therapist who has competed in races of all shapes and sizes, including marathons, triathlons, and ultras.
Michael has not only coached runners and organized races, but is one of the premier Masters runners in the U.S. over the past 20 years. He is also the developer of the award-winning Just Run youth program.
Runners of all abilities will find The Running Life an easy, fun read, with selections related to training, racing, and overall running enjoyment. There are other articles on social issues (e.g., obesity, performance-enhancing drugs), some poignant pieces (like “Best Running Lessons”), and several humorous selections (like “Running Annoyances”). Indeed, humor is a welcome thread throughout much of the book. Especially interesting are the first-person accounts of what it’s like to compete in some of the most difficult races in the country, such as the Dipsea Trail Run in Northern California, the Western States 100-Mile Run, and the Pike’s Peak Marathon (“Three minutes at the Top of the Stairs”).
The authors also challenge readers with their Take 5 to Run program: over the course of a year, readers are asked to invite 5 of their non-running friends for a run with the goal of encouraging those individuals to begin a regular running program. These new runners will then “pay it forward” and invite 5 other non-runners, and so on . . .
Perhaps the most inspirational part of the book for me is the in-depth coverage and discussion of running the Big Sur International Marathon, which both authors regularly run and of which Michael is a board member. I have always tinkered with the idea of traveling out to beautiful Big Sur to run that course, with magnificent ocean views, giant redwoods, and the guy playing the grand piano at the halfway mark. Now, thanks to them, I just might do it!
Click here for more information on The Running Life.