Going back to a classic for this month’s book, and taking us to Florida. On a side note, Florida is where the Marathon Olympic Trials is taking place on February 3rd 2024. From our wintery mountains, it is fun to think about running in a flat, hot and humid place!!
This is a fictional book, centered around college runner Mike Cassidy who has dreams of running a sub 4 minute mile. The book was published in 1978, over 20 years after Roger Bannister broke that record, but it remained (and still does) a milestone that many elites and aspiring elites were trying to hit. In the book, Mike Cassidy abandons a lot (one may say everything except running) to pursue this goal. While we may not be chasing a 4-minute mile and are not ready to give up our family, friendships or job, pursuing hard things still come with trade-offs that everyone of us has to make. I find that this book is a great opportunity to reflect on dreams, life style and life priorities.
A memorable passage of the book describes a workout that Mike Cassidy does, prescribed by his coach and mentor. For a longer discussion of the workout, I highly recommend this TrailRunner Mag article and I won’t give too many spoilers here. To me, it’s a great reflection on what we can do when the mind is tricked in the right way to not hold ourselves back.