Sunday, August 19

Weekend reading

With no runs on the schedule, I've done more reading this weekend than usual (which is saying something given that I devour about a book a week).

In an attempt to "do the right thing" in treating my plantar fasciitis, I swapped this morning's planned 12 mile run for almost 2 hours on the stationary bike.

(Have we talked about how boring it is to spend 2 hours on a stationary bike? No? Well. It's boring. By the time I was done, doing laundry sounded like an exciting change of pace.)

Fortunately I had a stack of good books in easy reach. The one (only?) benefit of equipment-based workouts over being outdoors is that I can catch up on my reading. Balancing a book while running would elicit funny looks from my neighbors. Plus, I'm not coordinated enough to pull off reading-and-running. I'd trip and break something.

But I'd have to be awfully drunk to fall off a stationary bike. Even while reading a book.*

So here's what I've been working on while pedaling away this weekend:

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time is my book club's next book. I am not sure I would have picked this up otherwise, but I'm halfway through and so far I really enjoy both the science and the storytelling.

I just finished Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity. This was definitely not a beach-reading book. The issues are complex, and the book is beautifully and compellingly written, even when it chronicles tragedy and loss. Fortunately my stationary bike is in my living room, so no one but Peanut notices when I make shocked faces/noises about my reading or my eyes well up with tears... If I were in a gym I'd just pretend it was sweat.

Also, last month author Liana Chin contacted me to let me know that her book Mom's First 5k would be available (for a limited time) on Amazon for free. I downloaded a copy, and finally started reading it this weekend. While I'm no longer in the beginner ranks, I recall some of the struggles Chin talks about. (I will post a full and detailed review once I finish.)

And last, but not least, I thought I knew most of the craziest Olympic history stories. But there are a few I missed...

*PS - Hardcore HIIT devotees will probably roll their eyes at my reading-while-working-out. I figure weekends are for long slow distance (running) so that translates to long slow (boring) biking for me right now. A variety of paces, distances, and intensities is key to a well-rounded training program.

Do you ever read while you work out?
What type of reader are you: one-at-a-time or multiple books going at once?
Any reading recommendations to share?


  1. I liked Dava Sobel's 'Galileo'

  2. I read Longitude for a book club as well, and though I enjoyed it, it was a book I probably wouldn't have read on my own. I'm currently reading We, the Drowned, and so far its ok.

    I've tried reading while running on the treadmill, but I get dizzy since the words are bouncing all over the page (or maybe its me bouncing around. Yeah, that must be it). I've never tried reading on a stationary bike; I'll have to give that a go sometime!

  3. Dava Sobel is a pretty fantastic writer, as far as I'm concerned.

    I actually have a summer reading post that I need to finish up and get up in the next few days, but I will say that I really enjoyed The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.


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