Running Like a Girl and other great books for runners of all types

Finally, a book that deals honestly with both the gains AND the pains that being a runner entails! Running Like a Girl: notes on learning to run, by Alexandra Heminsley, is a refreshing take on starting to run later in life, and on a runner’s life in general. For many of us—even those who are dedicated runners—the perspectives that we were “born to run” or that “running is a wonderful way to reconnect with the world and our bodies” don’t always ring true. Sometimes it feels like, more often than not, running can be painful, boring, difficult, or lonely, and frequently a combination of all four. This is why Heminsley’s story of taking up running in her thirties is so great. It doesn’t come easily to her, and she doesn’t love it. She doesn’t experience immediate gratifcation from a “runners high,” nor does she immediately lose twenty pounds. Her relationship with running is complex, and only becomes ultimately positive over time, and in ways that she did not anticipate. This book is great for runners of all sorts: those who have been running for decades, those who have just taken up the sport, and those who don’t run at all and therefore don’t even know yet that they can be runners!

If you’re interested in other books about running, try What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: a memoir, Running Away and the famous Once a Runner, about one runner’s quest to run a sub-4:00 minute mile. Finally, if you’re looking for scenic local places to run, check out Five-star Trails, Ann Arbor and Detroit, where you can find suggestions for trails to check out nearby. Happy running!

Dave Strack - Wolverines Basketball Coach Who Launched Cazzie & Company

Dave Strack, a star player and later coach of the University of Michigan basketball team, died Jan. 25 in Tucson, Arizona. He was 90. Strack coached the Wolverines from 1960 to 1968, leading the team to three consecutive Big 10 championships, two consecutive appearances in the NCAA Final Four, including a championship game against UCLA. Strack came to the University of Michigan as a player and lettered in 1943, 1944 and 1946. He took a leave from the team in 1945 to serve as a Marine captain during World War II. He received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree at Michigan. After working as an assistant coach at Michigan and head coach for a year the University of Idaho, Strack replaced Bill Perigo as Wolverines head coach.

Strack's teams led by All-American Cazzie Russell won the Big 10 championship in 1964, 1965 and 1966. The team went to the Final Four in 1964 and 1965. In the 1965 UM went into the final game ranked No. 1 in the country to face the No. 2 ranked UCLA Bruins coached by the legendary John Wooden. UM lost the game 91-80, a hard end to an amazing season. In addition to Russell, Strack's players included high-scoring Bill Buntin, team captain Oliver Darden, George Pomey and Larry Tregoning. Strack was named UPI coach of the year in 1965. Russell, a highly recruited Chicago high school player, was won over by Strack to attend UM. He went on to set scoring records and win praise as one of the best players of his time. In December 1964, the Wolverines faced off against Princeton, a showdown between Russell and Princeton's Bill Bradley. With two minutes remaining in the game, Michigan was behind by 10 points, Russell took command of the game to lead Michigan to an 80-78 victory. Bradley did score 41 points in the game. But Russell and Buntin combined for 51. Russell and Bradley would late become teammates on the NBA champion New York Knicks.

Strack left the UM coaching position to manage the athletic department business operations in 1968. He was replaced by Johnny Orr, who died last year. Strack left the university in 1972 to become athletic director at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Johnny Orr - The Coach With The Most Wins in Wolverine Basketball History

When Johnny Orr resigned as the University of Michigan's head basketball coach in 1980, his teams had compiled the most wins, 209, and the most losses, 113, in the school's history. Orr, who died Dec. 31 at 86, was the longest tenured coach at UM, replacing Dave Strack in 1968 after a year as Strack's assistant. Orr, who had been a head coach at the University of Massachusetts, was a colorful and outspoken personality with a knack for motivating his players and winning the support of fans. In 1976 he took the Wolverines to the N.C.A.A. final against Big 10 rival Indiana University, losing to the Bobby Knight coached Hoosiers 86-68.

In 1980, Orr surprised the basketball community by leaving his position at Michigan for the head coaching job at the less-regarded Iowa State University. He said he took the job because Iowa State offered a substantial salary increase, $45,000 from $33,665 at Michigan, and more extra earning opportunities. Over the next 15 years, he took the Iowa State Cyclones to the N.C.A.A. tournament six times and set Iowa State records for wins and losses, 218-200.

In 1980 Orr was replaced at Michigan by his assistant, Bill Frieder, who would leave the University of Michigan in 1989 for a job at Arizona State University. His team, under his former assistant Steve Fisher, would win the 1989 N.C.A.A. national championship game against Seton Hall. Orr continued to have good relations with Michigan, returning to Crisler Arena for the first time as Cyclones coach in 1989. Orr retired from coaching in 1994 and continued to make his home in Iowa.

The Puck Drops Here and the Winter Classic help ring in the new year in Ann Arbor!

At 1:00pm on New Years Day, hockey fans will pack The Big House in downtown Ann Arbor for the 2014 Winter Classic. The battle between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs is not only expected to shatter the record of the highest attendance ever at a hockey game, but is also expected to break the overall attendance record in the Big House, which currently stands at over 115,000.

To welcome visitors in town for the game and celebrate the New Year, local Ann Arbor groups have worked together to create The Puck Drops Here, an outdoor celebration being held in downtown Ann Arbor tonight. There will be over 6 hours of live entertainment throughout the event, most notably The Voice finalist and Ann Arbor native Michelle Chamuel, and a midnight ball drop on Main Street. Many Main Street restaurants plan to re-open their outside seating for the evening, so the guests can watch the festivities under the warmth of outdoor heaters.

In conjunction with this event, the Farmers Market space in Kerrytown will have family-friendly activities including a skating rink, ice carvings, and marshmellow roasting.

You can read more about activities related to these events at AADL. Kids will enoy Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet. Red Wings fans can explore The History of Hockeytown: Detroit Red Wings, 75 Years and The Winged Wheel: A Half-Century of Detroit Red Wings in Photographs. And, you can hear more of Michelle Chamuel’s work on Dancethink Systems, by My Dear Disco, the local band she was part of before competing on The Voice.

Happy New Year to all!

Vegan Ultramarathoner Matt Frazier Discusses His Book "No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self"

Vegan ultramarathoner and blogger Matt Frazier will be visiting AADL on Saturday, October 12th at 9:30 a.m. to discuss his new book No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self, as well as talk about his active, vegan lifestyle. Copies of the book will be for sale, and the event includes a book signing.

This event is cosponsored by VegMichigan, a nonprofit organization promoting awareness of the health, environmental and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet. In conjunction with this event, local business Running Fit (at the corner of 4th Ave and E. Liberty) will be hosting group runs at 7:00 a.m. (for distances over 10 miles) and 7:30 a.m. (for distances under 10 miles). Anyone interested in running is invited to lace up and join them! A vegan breakfast will also be available at The Running Institute (connected next door to Running Fit) from 7:30-9:30 a.m.

"Ole 98" Is Safe! Lt. Tom Harmon - Great on the Field, Heroic in Battle

On September 7, 2013, The University of Michigan football team unretired the jersey of one of their greatest, All-American Tom Harmon. Most Michigan fans know about his many exploits on the field that won him the Heisman Trophy. Fewer know that he served heroically in World War II. On April 15, 1943, the story broke in the Ann Arbor News that his Army bomber plane went down and he was Missing in Action. Harmon's ordeal dominated the front page of the News for much of April, as family, friends and fans assured each other that "Ole 98" was tough enough to survive a crash and the jungles of South America. The Ann Arbor News wondered if the flight was his Last Play?

Then, on April 17th, news came that Harmon was safe, having survived a solo, four-day ordeal in the jungle. His parents got the news just after returning from a mass in his honor at St. Mary's Student Chapel. An emotional Michigan coach, Fritz Crisler, and the city were overjoyed at the news. Harmon was the only crew member to survive the crash. He shared the story of the crash and his jungle odyssey in a column released by the Army. The photo that ran in the News on April 23 showed a worn and weary but thankful soldier. Harmon got right back into the fight and in October, 1943, he was shot down over China only to escape capture a second time. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star. Harmon died in 1990.

Planet Rock Climbing 101 : Friday July 26, 1:00-3:00 PM @ Planet Rock

If you have been dying to try out the climbing walls at Planet Rock or you're interested in developing your rock climbing skills, you're invited to meet us for an afternoon at Planet Rock (82 Aprill Dr., #B off Jackson Road).

Teens who are beginners or experienced are invited to attend. Parents must sign a waiver at Planet Rock when they arrive. Or please feel free to print it out and have your child bring it with them.

Registration is required and is limited to 50 attendees. Register by sending an email to registrations@aadl.org, in person at any location or by calling 327-8301. Email registration details: please include the teen's name, grade they are entering in the fall (6-12) and a phone #. We will be calling everyone to remind them of the event and to confirm their spot closer to the event. If the list exceeds 50 you will receive a message indicating you are on the waiting list. As we get closer if spots open up we will call people from the waiting list. You will get an automatic reply to your email once submitted.

This event is for teens (grade 6 - 12).

Leading a Healthy Lifestyle - Maintaining Motivation

Thursday, April 4 | 7 - 8:30 pm | Downtown Library | Grade 9 - Adult

John Farah and Nelson Williams, authors of Let's Pick It Up A Bit: A Guide To A Running Lifestyle, return to AADL to discuss fitness as a lifestyle, including ways to get in shape and get healthier. They will also review general run-training concepts and answer questions about the training plans in their book.

John and Nelson have been active in marathons for years. Let's Pick It Up A Bit is more than a collection of their tips for runners -- it is about creating a strong foundation to keep active, fit and healthy, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well. The challenge of life is to learn how to keep growing to keep getting better! Books will be on sale at this event, which will also include a book signing.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

Film And Discussion: The Award-Winning Documentary "Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football"

Friday March 15, 2013: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

The Downtown AADL screens the award-winning 2011 documentary Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football which follows a predominately Arab-American high school football team from Dearborn as they practice for the big game during the last ten days of Ramadan. Imagine having to fast while preparing for an athletic competition!

Dr. Matthew Stiffler, Professor at UM, and researcher at the Arab American National Museum, will lead the post-film discussion.

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