Monday, December 24, 2007

Again To Carthage

Today I finished reading "Again To Carthage", the sequel to John Parker's famous running book "Once A Runner." I haven't read tons of books, but this one was probably the best I have ever read. I got it 3 days ago at Second Sole as a Christmas present for my sister and figured I might as well try to read the 344-page book before I gave it to her. I will probably buy it, though, since it was so good. "Once A Runner" is not printed anymore and goes for anywhere from $200-$300 online. My roommate in the house I lived in last year at Clarion had the book and let me borrow it to read. I read it off and on since I was busy with school and running but never finished it. I'm a little mad now that I didn't finish it since he now lives in Colorado and it is so hard to find.

Anyways, I was so pumped up after reading it today that I decided to go for a 5-mile tempo run. I ran the out and back loop that we call the "Imperial and Back." It starts from our house and goes to where the old Imperial hotel used to be on East Market St. in Warren. All that remains for the turn around point now is a white pole.

I knew this was going to be a good run when I reached the first mile in around 6:30. I then got to City Hall (the 2-mile mark) in 13 minutes. After turning around at the pole and heading back, I really noticed the strong wind. I ended up finishing in 32:44.

I recommend reading "Again To Carthage" because Parker uses such descriptive words and describes what a runner goes through very well. I couldn't put it down and stayed up till 3 last night (or this morning) reading it. "Once A Runner" is more about Quentin Cassidy's (the main character) career in college and the Olympics and the fire he had in his youth, while "Again To Carthage" is about his desire, 10 years later, to revisit his youth and try to make the Olympics one last time.

Cassidy's memories of running in college really reminded me of all the antics and joking around that went on when I ran at Clarion. While we all joked around a lot, we were all determined and dedicated toward one goal at getting better. It's fun to be on such a team where you know each other so well, but sometimes I look back at my training log and wonder how I ever ran all those miles and at the pace we did.

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