Summer Reading List: Books To Get You Through The Hard Miles

"Some weird people like it (cross-country). I know that. I'm very well aware of that."

- Quenton Cassidy (John L. Parker, Once A Runner)

There are 43 days until the first cross country race of the 2019 season, not that anyone's counting...

We've officially entered that gray area between the seasons, where we're either getting nostalgic for the track season that's already passed, or we're excited for the cross country season ahead. 

In my youthful days of the rise-and-grind, I always viewed July much like I did the third lap of the mile: it was to be endured, but necessary. It could make or break a season, so consistency was key. 

It's the month that separates those who love to race, and those who love to train, like December or January. I see no coincidence that those who love to train are typically the ones mixing it up in the front of the pack, or crossing the finish line first.

I will admit, however, that not every mile run in training is enjoyable. Some miles, or some days, require every ounce of effort just to get through, which is why in these more difficult times I typically turn to what I deem "performance enhancing substances."

Now, before you jump all over me for that last line, read further. 

I'm referring to books. Books on the topic at hand: running. Books that inspire. Books to get you through those long runs that can't be cut short, because there is no shortcut to success. And anything worth doing requires effort, a lot of effort.

So, I've compiled a list of books that got me through those tough Julys, or Decembers or Januarys. For the sake of build-up, I'll save my favorite for last... 

Next Page: No Bugles or drums, just miles, Ducks, and Buffaloes