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• mile marker meet up & back of the toilet books

Cute runner mommas and their cute drinks

Overall, we gave Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong a thumbs up. The first RMR book club read was an easy one to pick up, put down, come back to and read from any chapter. Because it was a collection of Armstrong’s blog posts, it’s perfect for getting a dose of inspiration or thought-provoking running tidbit to carry you through the day.

As I finished the book yesterday, I noticed a quote about gratitude from Melody Beattie (Journey to the Heart, The Language of Letting Go). That’s when it hit me…this would be a great book for the back of the toilet. In the best way! That’s where I’ve had my Beattie book for the last 10 years. I just grab it, read a spot, try to digest the goodness, flush, and be on my merry way. I love TMI and as anyone who has run with me will tell you, I am very “regular” before my runs. Move over Beattie, I’ve got my new BOTTB (back of the toilet book).

Enough about toilets, we had a rippin’ good time last night! Highlights…

– Shana schooled us on her nifty Kindle. She was able to clip quotes and passages from the book to share. Cool and so techy!

– We learned everyone’s favorite color. The interesting part about that was the realization that we obviously engage in deeper discussions on our runs together. I had no idea that  my running partner, Leah’s, favorite color is turquoise. Or that Tanya’s is purple and so is her husbands (how cute is that?)

– Chelsea makes a very unusual sound when she taste tests a cocktail she doesn’t like.

Laurie is running her first trail marathon – wahoooo! (it was unanimously decided she will rock it)

– We can be bookish, silly, snacky, hilarious, thirsty, serious and fun all at the same time.

– Fried mozarella sticks are way too good.

– Oh, and we’ll do this again!

Laurie, Laura (where's my hair?) and Leah (who will shoot me for posting this picture of her with her eyes closed)
Danuta and Leah's "aha moment" I wonder what it was about.
Tanya and Shana who came all the way from Marcola. She bravely runs with the log trucks out there!

Send us your ideas about the next book. There are a few categories… the “how-tos”, the short stories and the fiction. There are so many good ones out there. Here are a few.

  • Running through the Wall
  • Born to Run (though many of us have read that one)
  • Ultramarathon man or 26.2 miles of blisters and bliss (Dean K books)
  • Sole Sisters
  • The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter’s Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete (2010)
  • Long  May You Run: all. things. running. (2010)
  • Once a Runner (this one has my vote, great reviews. It’s a novel)
  • Runners on Running (30 stories from the greats)
  • What I Talk about When I Talk about Running
  • Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss and a Record-Setting Run Across America (2011, hardcover)
  • Relentless Forward Progress: A guide to running ultramarathons (2011, sorry I’m bias on the distance running thing)
  • Kara Goucher’s Running for Women: from first steps to marathons (2011)

Hear of any good running books lately? Cast your vote or add to this list! We’ll start another RMR club read later in June.

3 thoughts on “• mile marker meet up & back of the toilet books

  1. I’m reading “Running With the Buffaloes,” a book about a single season of the University of Colorado (Boulder) Cross Country Team. The team that year included Adam Goucher and his soon-to-be wife Kara as well as another name I immediately recognized, Jay Johnson.

    Since it’s set in Boulder, it enhanced my recent trip to Boulder for my nephew’s graduation. My daughter and I enjoyed running on Magnolia Road, 8 miles made famous by Olympians and world record-holders.

    I’ll provide a more complete review when I finish the book.

  2. Read the first four already. Tried & put down “Once a Runner” halfway through because it seemed sexist & condescending. It’s a very popular book though with a huge following. Maybe it’s just me. Have been chipping away at “Relentless Forward Progress”. Informative textbook-type book for running ultras. Would love to see a novel or narrative as opposed to an anthology of short stories. Here are some more ideas:

    1. A Few Degrees from Hell: 2003 Badwater Ultramarathon

    The Badwater Ultramarathon is commonly referred to as ‘the toughest footrace on the planet.’ In 2003 defending champion Pam Reed, Dean Karnazes and 71 other runners took the ultimate challenge of running 135 miles in California from Badwater to the portals of Mount Whitney. Their journey would take them through the hostile environment of Death Valley…and subject them to temperatures ranking among the highest ever recorded on earth. Twenty-five runners tell of their adventures in arguably the absolute toughest of ‘the toughest footrace on the planet’–the good, the bad and yes, the ugly–in this incredible and fascinating compilation. You are certain to gain a respect for the runners you will meet, and perhaps an even greater respect for the area known as Death Valley. The runners–who experienced heat exhaustion, dehydration, nausea, blisters, hallucinations and fatigue during the race–competed in temperatures literally ‘a few degrees from hell.’

    2. Thirty Phone Booths to Boston: Tales of a Wayward Runner

    Don Kardong is a world-class marathoner with the spirit of a young harrier who will take the trails that detour into splashing fun of creeks just for the adventure.

    The title story is worth the price – as he covers the Boston Marathon by calling phone booths along the route – but the additional musings are like a Sunday distance run on a sunny fall afternoon. Of particular interest is his observations on the Cleveland (Ohio) Marathon & 10k, which was a boost for a region devastated by more bad news than good and set a new standard for cities that hold major road racing events.

    There is no finish line in a runner’s journey and Kardong delivers an outstanding – grass-roots perspective – for the long – and wonderful – trek.

    3. Strides: Running Through History With an Unlikely Athlete [Hardcover]

    Cheever (The Plagiarist) makes an erratic dash through his lifetime of marathon running while offering facts about the sport throughout history. Having discovered running in 1977, at age 28, while working at Reader’s Digest, and stuck in an unhappy marriage, he became more and more involved in the sport over the next 30 years, losing weight, gaining a new body type and the much-needed confidence he lacked growing up as the son of the famous writer John Cheever. Alternating with his personal memories of marathon running from races in Yonkers;, New York City; Boston; Médoc, France; and Baghdad, Cheever explores some troubling questions, such as whether running is really natural for mankind and even good for your health (hunters and gatherers weren’t efficient runners, yet humans prove they possess impressive endurance running). Cheever tracks examples from Homer to the earliest and later Olympics, from races in the Dark Ages to the art of pedestrianism to Kenyan secrets of success. Cheever fills his pages with accounts by runners for whom the sport altered them profoundly. A terrific list of his 26.2 favorite books on running caps Cheever’s springy, upbeat pep talk for the runnerati.

    4. The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner

    Perhaps one of the most revered works of fiction in the twentieth-century, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a modern classic about integrity, courage, and bucking the system. Its title story recounts the story of a reform school cross-country runner who seizes the perfect opportunity to defy the authority that governs his life. It is a pure masterpiece. From there the collection expands even further from the touching “On Saturday Afternoon” to the rollicking “The Decline and Fall and Frankie Buller.” Beloved for its lean prose, unforgettable protagonists, and real-life wisdom, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner captured the voice of a generation, and its poignant and empowering life lessons will continue to captivate and entertain readers for generations to come.

    5. Running Hot:

    The Badwater Ultramarathon through California’s Death Valley is one of the world’s toughest races. Lisa Tamati was the first New Zealand woman to compete in the race alongside such legends of the sport as Dean Karnazes and David Goggins. But Lisa’s story is so much more than that one race. At the age of 19 she suffered a crippling back injury and was told she should give up running. She took that as a challenge and, with her Austrian boyfriend, went on to run, walk, bike, and paddle her way across thousands of miles of Europe, Scandinavia, and Africa before taking on the ultimate challenge—an unassisted crossing of the Libyan Desert. What happened in that desert would change the course of Lisa’s life and instill in her a love of desert running. Running Hot is a story of a life lived to the max—a story of challenges, setbacks, heartbreaks, and triumph.

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