I’d originally decided to dedicate an individual post to each of these books but it’s taken me a while to get around to writing this post that I’ve decided to combine them into one.
I go through stages with reading and it usually takes something gripping to keep me interested usually sticking to crime thrillers! Having seen a review of Vassos Alexander’s Don’t Stop Me Now: 26.2 Tales of a Runners Obsession I decided to try something different and stumbled across Lisa Jackson’s Your Pace or Mine: What Running Taught me about Life, Laughter and Coming Last. With the fear of coming last forever in the back of my mind I was hoping that reading the book might help me get my act together in training for a marathon at the end of October…. and then alongside running I began reading about running!
Your Pace or Mine – Lisa Jackson
Having never come last (though close to it) but never coming first (very far from it) this was the first book I picked up. “Your Pace or Mine”
I couldn’t put it down! It inspired me on one of my long run Sundays during marathon training where I was so uninspired to run – maybe that’s because I just wanted to get home to carry on reading? It taught me that no matter what you really are lapping everybody on the couch and most of all I learned that you are the winner of your own race.
What made this book for me was the stories of ‘real runners’, just your everyday person who Lisa has met during her races and stories she has used to form part of this book. It really made me feel like anyone can do this! It made me laugh out loud and at times I was digging so deep for Lisa I felt so emotionally involved in her journey.
Not only has the book encouraged me to get out there and enjoy running at whatever pace I feel like, it has made me really think deeply about what running really means to me!
Verdict – 5/5
Running Like a Girl – Alexandra Heminsley
My favourite thing about Running Like a Girl was Alexandra’s absolute honesty about being a beginner runner. Though I have now been running for, dare I say it, a few years her memoir really took me back to when I first started running and literally had no clue. Her feelings during the London Marathon were quite easy to relate to having been there myself but not wanting to be there at the same time.
I wish I’d read this book when I first started running mainly for the knowledge that Alexandra shared about her experience of clothing, races and injury. The ‘big day’ list is still so useful, there’s always something that’s forgotten before race day.
Verdict – 4.5/5
Don’t Stop Me Now – Vassos Alexander
I have to admit it’s taken me an awfully long time to read this book. I started it before my marathon which was October 2017 and finished it only recently (January 2018). It didn’t hold my interest unlike other books where I’m excited to turn each page.
The layout was a unique style which I appreciated with each chapter starting with a different mile of the marathon part of Outlaw Ironman Triathlnon. It started with his story through each mile, then on to a general memoir from his running journey with a final section being a note from a professional (for the most part) that included Chrissie Wellington, Martin and Liz Yelling, Nell McAndrew, Jo Pavey and Paula Radcliffe. The memoirs from elite sportspeople, mainly about how they found out they were good at running, I found interesting however I didn’t feel like they added great value to Vassos’s story. My favourite part of the book and to be totally honest I could quite have easily skipped and just read these parts was Vassos’s journey through the Oulaw Ironman. After reading each bit all I wanted to know was what happened next? Did he make it?Though you can’t fault that Vassos is obviously a great runner, I couldn’t help but think that he came across as quite self-absorbed and while I understand I’ve read a book about his story but found it all a bit ‘blowing his own trumpet’ which got a bit too much for me. All-in-all it was good to read a book from someone who I’d class are a more able runner.
Verdict – 3/5
If any readers have any suggestions of future books I should read then please leave me a comment!