Some book reviews – “This book will save your life” and “Naive. Super”

Right, I don’t pretend to be any sort of authority on literature (see here for evidence) so have been trying to read more to better myself, broaden my horizons, expand my mind etc. I thought I’d share my thoughts on the first two books I’ve worked through (warning: this will not be articulate):

This Book Will Save Your Life (A.M Holmes)

The cover made me really, really want a donut. I had no idea what this was going to be about, the quote from Stephen King on the back, referencing Catcher in the Rye meant nothing to me (I’m a literary vacuum remember). As it transpired it is about a chap called Richard who has a mid-life crisis, in every sense of the word. A journey of ‘self-discovery’ follows, which even as I write it sounds absolutely horrendous. But it is, in actual fact, absorbing, funny, inspiring and brilliant. Thoroughly recommended.

Naive. Super (Erlend Loe)

Another story about a bloke having a crisis, this time he is only 25 (a quarter-life crisis?). It was originally written and published in Norway (hence, in Norwegian). It is written quite simply – I don’t mean that in anything other than a positive way, it’s a clear, simple narrative. There are a lot of lists. It’s completely charming and again I hugely recommend it, maybe I need to be more discerning.

2012 training – week 2 (w/c 9th Jan)

Work , more punctures and insomnia combined for a bit of a weird week.

Monday

  • Cycle to/from work (10 miles)
  • Free weights (circuits)
  • 4 mile easy run (9 min miles)

Tuesday

  • Cycle to/from work (10 miles)
  • Gym (20 mins bike – intervals, 1 hour treadmill – 45 mins @ 13 km/h then intervals)

Wednesday

  • Cycle to work (5 miles)
  • Free weights (circuits)

Thursday

  • Cycle from work (5 miles)

Friday

  • Cycle to/from work (10 miles)

Saturday

  • Cycle to/from gym (10 miles)
  • Gym (1 hour treadmill – 30 mins @ 13 km/h then 30 mins intervals)

Sunday

  • Nothing because I, as a sign of my age, have hurt my hip. GREAT

Cycling mileage: 50 miles

2012 training – week 1 (w/c 2nd Jan)

Right, happy new year, hello 2012 etc. In May I am running the Belfast marathon. In June I am cycling through the Pyrenees. Inexplicably I have once again scheduled to do a long bike ride and a marathon within a month of each other (last year I did the Edinburgh marathon 3 weeks after finishing the end to end). To try and avoid feeling as awful as I did after the end-to-end I am going to try and get in the best shape possible.

So.

I’m going to do a weekly training diary between now and the summer. Hopefully it’ll end up being part diary, part forces-me-to-do-stuff-so-i-don’t-look-lazy and part it-might-be-useful-to-someone (and also, hopefully, not too boring).

Monday

Sometimes (read: a lot of the time) I have a complete mental block with the gym, it’s not like running or cycling outside, it’s too easy to stop, finish early and go home. Today was one of those days.

The cycle home was impossibly difficult, I thought I must’ve forgotten to eat or the very short gym-ness had taken more out of me than should be possible, however I got home and on closer inspection realised that the huge amount of mud and road-gunk encasing my rear brake (due to my lack of mudguards) meant that it had locked itself ‘on’. So I had cycled home, all the way, with the brake on. Brilliant.

  • Cycle to/from the gym: total 10(ish) miles
  • Gym
    • Warmup (stretching, 10 mins on cross-trainer)
    • Treadmill: 30mins at 13 km/h

Tuesday

On the way back from work I hit an enormous pothole (Abbey Road, near the junction with Hawksworth Road if anyone cares), the impact was horrible and by the time I got home my front tyre was a soggy mess, the inner tube had been completely annihilated by the bump. Got incredibly dirty changing the tube, I really need to clean my bike.

  • Cycle to/from work: total 10(ish) miles
  • Free weights (circuits)

Wednesday

Cleaned my bike, got incredibly filthy doing so.

  • Free weights (circuits)

Thursday

Biblical amounts of rain and standing water, I should invest in some overshoes so my shoes fill up with water slightly slower.

  • Cycle to/from work: total 10(ish) miles
  • 4 mile tempo run (7-min miles)
  • Free weights (circuits)

Friday

  • Cycle to/from work: total 10(ish) miles

Saturday

In hilariously windy conditions I actually got blown sideways, which was simultaneously fun and weird.

  • 10 mile easy run (9-min miles)
  • Free weights (circuits)

Sunday

  • 45 mins turbo trainer

Oh and every week I’m going to total my cycling mileage because…it’s good to have stats. And really, to be ready to cycle in the Pyrenees I need to be up to over 100-150 miles a week by May. This week = 40 miles