I have been lucky to see both Adam & Kara race well, and also have those tough days. On my mantle at home, I have an autographed shoe from Adam Goucher, from way back in 1999. I have been fortunate to see Kara work out and also watched her race, giving it her all, on that day. Nothing asked, nothing given.
Adam & Kara Goucher have both had the Miles of Trials and the Trials of Miles as writer John Parker, in the cult classic, Once a Runner, described the experiences on the road and track.Their books, Running the Edge and Kara Gouchers' Running for Women, are, per our reviewer, Jeff Benjamin, chock-full of tips to make your running better and to learn from their experiences.
Both Adam Goucher & Kara Goucher are at crossroads: different places in their careers and now, with a son. Their books, quite different, should be on any coaches bookshelf (or athlete). Jeff Benjamin, a long time writer for both American Athletics (now American Track & Field) and runblogrun.com will tell you why:
Adam and Kara Goucher have decided to change that format. One of Americas' most well known running couples, the Gouchers (who have both qualified to compete in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials in Houston in January) , along with their friends, have published one book each with the concept of trying to spread runnings' gospel to the masses by attempting to incorporate in their books all of the facets listed above, which is no easy task. Despite their different writing and conceptual approaches,these books combine to do that extremely well.
Writing of her early developing years in the sport going back to adolescence, Kara also interjects through her own development with "pit stops" in the book where she then writes about a training/nutrition/stretching/
This adds to many pauses in the book, but, like in running a marathon, the pauses are of great benefit filled with great knowledge from such a great competitor. It also gives the reader a chance to totally absorb what Kara is tying to get across, and, after digesting it, moving on to the next stop! Included in these pauses are inspirational quotes, which are sprinkled throughout the book by some of the greats in the sport, such as Emil Zatopek, Billy Mills, Tom Fleming, Lynn Jennings, David Bedford and others.
Both Adam and Tim show that despite these terrible episodes where lives were shattered (particularly in Adam's situation), both of them, independent of themselves sought to find a positive quality in which they can escape from these instances. They succeed, and claim that these situations, and their qualities to fight off the shocking effects of these things, ingrained in their psyche a desire to not only transform themselves into better runners, but into better people as well.
Using their concept of the "Six Mirrors" derived from psychology, Buddhism, Alcoholics Anonymous, and other influences, they bluntly, yet encouragingly, explain how they, and anyone else, will be able to do this.
They also show how other elite athletes such as Alan Webb, Paula Radcliffe, Chris Solinsky, Galen Rupp and others, in their first person paragraph accounts, show their physical and mental well-beings having a link, sometimes very directly, to the concepts promoted by Adam and Tim.
However, the reader must be willing to buy into what the books are trying to tell. Although in different styles, both books should be able to achieve that for the reader. Most experts in the sport will tell you that running for a goal requires just as much, and maybe more mental than physical ability. With both of the Gouchers' books in tow, the reader will feel, on a variety of levels, that nothing's going to stop them,or you, now!