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• Mile Markers: chapter 4-9

This is the first Read Momma Read online book club selection. You can get it here on Amazon. If you’re just joining us, you might want to read the intro page to our club. We’d love for you to join us anytime. If you’re local to Eugene/Springfield area, we’ll meet up and chat about the book. Stay tuned on FB for that info.


First of all, thanks to some of you for letting me know you needed more time getting going. I hope you have dug in cuz here we go… I’ll start off with some points I’d like to make, each followed by a question for you. Of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts outside of these elements. The more the merrier….people and thoughts 🙂

1.  I’m still loving the book. However, as my running partner and I were chatting about, we are now reading it in smaller increments. Each piece within each major chapter reveals a change, a mourning, a challenge, a celebration, an epiphany, an exploration or a discovery. I feel like I have to stop and savor each one, think about the message–the one she’s describing or the one I’ve chosen to pick out of it. I’ve even gone back and re-read some areas for the laugh, to dig deeper or just to appreciate the writing. I know I’ll re-read the entire thing in whole or in part. How goes the messages in each chapter for you? Are you plowing through or savoring or both? Which is your favorite? Why?

2. I’m discovering what is speaking to me as I read. When I first started the book, it was mostly the stories about running that I jived with. As I move through the book and as she reveals more about her family, lifestyle, her children’s personalities, I am ever drawn into the parenting pieces of the book. While I often don’t feel as chipper and ready to jump into my car and cruise on an adventure with my kids as she likes to, I aspire to do more of that. Keep things more fun, less serious and incorporate my kids more frequently into my fitness, to blend it rather than have it be “my workout” “your exercise at the park”. I especially love the piece called “Glory” in chapter 8 where she does a 5K with her daughter. She helps her to see herself as an athlete, as a kid and as a daughter of an athlete, all while being a loving mother. When I get over being crabby about it, I enjoy telling my kids about bad races or off training days. I want them to know not every day is stellar. It also helps them see that it’s ok to fail and move on. Have you ran or raced with your kids? What happened? What do you want them to learn about you as you pursue your sport?

3. I have to say, one of my favorites is chapter 9, “Body”. As a woman with a daughter, I am some days all-too aware of what messages she is receiving through media, other kids, clothing and toy selections and through me. I remember the message I received when I first tried a team sport, softball. Some boy made fun of me on the field and that. Was. It. I never did another team sport. Ever. I did some solo things like skiing and ice skating and then running. I ran for 5 years before I would even venture into running with another person. After a few groups runs, I reveled in the fun of running with others. What were your early lessons about body, being a woman athlete or competing? What else from this chapter (or others) having to do with image resonated with you?

Of course, there’s tons more we could chat about…. we’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment away. From now on, my posts will be more frequent as I hope we’ve all got the book and are enjoying it!


9 thoughts on “• Mile Markers: chapter 4-9

  1. 1. Still savoring the book a chapter or two at a time. I especially enjoyed the “Detox” chapter when Kristen wakes up hungover from drinking too much champagne at a pizza party she had with a girl friend. I love and can identify with all the reasons she lists on why she should run when she least feels like it. I can totally identify with it too. If I had a stressful day I might do what sounds best: come home veg in front of the tv and eat ice cream but I tend to get more satisfaction when I do what doesn’t sound so good, run. Running or otherwise exercising helps me shake off a lot of the curve balls that life throws at me, energizes me when I feel like I don’t have an ounce of energy, cheers me up when I’ve got the grumpies and gets me out into the theraputic fresh air. I’ve learned to “talk myself into exercise’ on the days that I don’t feel like it by saying “if it doesn’t feel good in X number of minutes, miles or laps— I can throw in the towel and go home. I can count on one hand the number of times I retreated back home. 99.9% of the time I am SO thankful I dressed down & got the heck out there for a workout. Hardest part is getting out there.

    2. I haven’t raced with my kids. I’ve taken them to the kid-portion of my races. Once it was a total flop & they both ended up in tears as result of pushing and shoving during a kid-dash. The other times they had a good time. I am struck by how often my kids are brave. Almost everyday they encounter something that puts them out of their comfort zone, is scary or challenging. As adults we often don’t have such experiences and may have a hard time recognizing when/why our kids might be feeling unsettled. Last weekend, I had my first sprint triathlon. I was NERVOUS! I was scared. I had to be brave. Rather than keep that from my kiddos, I talked about it so they knew that they weren’t the only ones that had these kinds of feelings. They were surprised. The next day they had their first soccer game. One was petrified and didn’t want to go. I told my story and reminded her that it’s normal to be scared/nervous and that she could get through it. This reassured her.

    3. I think that I’ve got a pretty good body image. Being the mother of two daughters I am very careful about my language around body image. I liked and got a chuckle out of Kristen’s comment about how when she’s checking herself out in front of the mirror that she’ll wink and say “Yeah, girl!” I love that! I try make comments on the strength and power of my body and their bodies and to emphasize how different bodies are…

  2. In my house growing up i had more messages, overt and covert about “being pretty” than messages about body type. My mom was one to have her hair and makeup done all the time. Even when camping, she’d have her hair drier and makeup kit! I still am a bit of a girly girl and like my makeup/hair done. I wonder though if it’s because of my mom’s influence. While she’s never said anything negative, often times I don’t feel “pretty enough” when I’m with her and my sister. Maybe that’s why I “like” the makeup/hair/fashion thing so much? When I exercise, I get a welcome break from that and I LOVE it!

    When people comment about my daughters being pretty, I agree but then I follow it up with how smart, artistic or athletic they are, what kind sisters/friend/people they are. I value those things more and wish that society did as well. It is hard to try and deflect the multitude of messages and images that media portrays with women. It’s constant. They are often very subtle.

    I was did gymnastics and dance as a kid and tried to play softball and soccer with my team. I started late and just didn’t have the skills once I finally decided to join the team. It was frustrating, embarrassing and while they didn’t say anything, I knew my team was disappointed in me. I quit both teams and took up other interests. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started being interested in sports again but still mostly independent sports. I feel like a “born again jock”! I might not be the fastest, most skilled at various things, but I have FUN and it keeps me healthy and strong so it’s totally worth it. Nonetheless, I don’t think I’ll be going out and joining any team sport any time soon. 😉

  3. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get into a book and for some reason, this was one of those books, but now that I read the first few chapters, I find myself wanting to dig in more.

    Kristin has made me think, laugh, cry and curse … I like when a book does that because that is what draws me to read more. And like you, I find it is best read in short spurts, so that is why my copy now resides in my bathroom 🙂

    The friendship stuff has made me laugh and cry, though I think she’s making some of it sound almost too good to be accurate. I’ve never met a group of people where someone doesn’t like someone or there’s tension between two people. So either she doesn’t notice that or she chooses to not write about it (at least in the beginning chapters)

    I love this line from Chapter 4: “I need to be living my life in such a way that if I knew my expiration date, I would continue living just as I am.” I totally agree with that and try to live each day fully alive.

    I cursed at this line in Chapter 4: “I pass squirrels lying prone on the side of the road and explain to my children that just like God plans everyone’s birthday, He also plans everyone’s homecoming.” Really?? For real? So she is saying that God plans every murder or unnatural death?

    I’ve been surrounded by religion/faith/God my whole life, so I’m not repelled by her convos about God … but I can’t put the blame of all deaths on him. Yes, if God is god and he knows everything, then he knows when everyone will die, but I don’t think he plans the unnatural deaths … because that makes him a killer, murderer and destroyer.

    As for parenting … I began running when my boys were about 1, 4 and 6. Over the following years, I tried to get them interested in doing fun runs at the races I did, but they weren’t into it. They were kinda nerds … loving books and computers more than sports. But now they are 17, 20 and 22 and along with longboarding and snowboarding, they all run at times. Not as much as I do, but they do it occasionally. So I guess they ‘caught’ the bug from me. Now if only I could get my husband interested, but that’s another story.

    I look forward to reading more of it.

  4. Hi Janet – thanks for posting your thoughts on the book. I agree with you in that some pieces seem too good to be true. Or, maybe she’s just focusing on the highlights that are positive.

    I remember reading the line about the squirrel and thinking about what I tell my kids about death. In school they have already been studying bugs and animals and, like in their salmon project, they learned about life cycles. Death is part of that cycle. They are very literal thinkers at 5 and 7, so we talk about it in slightly less spiritual ways. Interesting to ponder.

    Thanks again for your insight. I very much appreciate your input! Happy reading (and running)

  5. To answer the first question in regards if the chapters are hitting home with me..sure are. Some hit home while others make me think…I wish I was like that or that way. I do find myself going back and re reading what I just read to make sure I “got it”. I am also finding myself taking my time reading through so I can get it..I was whizzing through it because I enjoyed it so much but I have learned to slow down.

    I would like to say that one section that hit home to me was in chapter 4 section called “Called to Action”. Kirstin spoke of wanting to be stronger and centered enough to handle what ever situation she is faced with, with some measure of grace. See, I always run to be free, to have my time but the more I got into my faith I found running a great time to be with God by taking my running time to talk with him and/or pray. I truly feel as if my ‘run time’ helped me with a situation that came up with our oldest daughter. I had to give her some TOUGH LOVE. It was hard and never thought i would be in that kind of situation so i did what I know best..I ran and talked to God and times cried while running. Long story short, when the day came for me to talk with her I was calm and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had God and others (family, church family, friends) on my side. Running helped me clear my head to be able to say and do what had to be done. How did it turn out…our daughter cried, said she loves me and knows that the tough love I gave her had to be done.

    To answer question #2 I have never ran a race with any of our girls (which range from 20yr to 5yrs). However one of our 15yr old is into basketball, which is year round, she plays for her school then is on a traveling team, she gets it..the challenge, the fun the benefits etc. As for our other girls, well what can I say, they are their own person with their own personalities and have different likes but I must say they eat healthy and for that I am thankful. Our 5ur old will be the next athlete in our house, she runs with my husband and I, she is always making up or doing the next Biggest Loser workouts and just loves to move. So we do have a runner in the midst.

    I would like to comment on chapter 6 Mothers the section on pg 57..30 Stolen Minutes. I so get what Kristin is saying here. Especially when she says..frustrated in my love affair with running, I recently contemplated the idea of a breakup. Well not me, I don’t think I could EVER breakup with running. See I run 6 days a week sometimes 7 AND I workout (either to Bob Harper, P90X, Jillian or Jackie Warner) my mornings always begin with a workout our a run. Just like Kristin my mornings begin at 5:30 a.m. this is my morning coffee (and I dont drink coffee nor do I drink pop). IF I don’t start my day off with a run or a workout I feel as if I would go ‘crazy’. I need this time for me, my peace time, my God time. Some people scrapbook, read, knit or whatever I run and workout. I have been blessed to be a SAHM (stay at home mom) and our youngest is now in school so my afternoons are free so what do I do..my next workout or run. I believe all of this love for running started back in 1990 when I came a single mom and my little girl was with her dad, I had time I my hands and to fill that empty space—i ran and fell in love with it. I agree with Kirstin on pg 62.. see I have four girls (one is out of the house now but..well she still needs me, my husband and 2 little boys I watch in the mornings so exercise, praying is my answer (my strategy) that saves me from my own craziness.

  6. I want to know if anyone is going to comment or has any comments on any other chapters, like 5, 6 or 7? If so let me know or I will start some comments. I

  7. Leah, I just want to say that I so much agree with you here as well. My days are long, I am sure all of our days are long with our family and kidos and trust me there are those days i just want to hit the snooze button on my phone. However, I know my body and mind well enough that if I did that I would feel “off”. As they always say..the first step is the hardest one. I have those mornings and sometimes those afternoons that I just want to throw in the towel but I take that first step and within minutes my heart is going, my muscle are waking up, and my spirit feels lifted so I move along move along and boy oh boy when I am done..thank you Lord for the ability to run, the ability to workout out the desire to want to be healthy, mind body and spirit. yes that is what I tell him.

    As for body image…while in high school I had acne and had it bad, that bothered me, I however was blessed to have an slim athletic build so I was ok with my acne. (my acne cleared up once out of school–woot woot). I also have girls (four of them) and they are beautiful and slender. It is awful what our children have to go through these days with the media and the like in regards to their body and what they should measure up to (seriously if only they knew all the airbrushing that goes on etc). My husband and i always always tell our girls they are beautiful (but on the inside–that is where beauty is). I will have to say, just like Krisitn I can look in the mirror and say “Yeah, girl” ” I love that”. This is funny and want to share (mind you I don’t think this AT ALL it was funny to hear) remember the song Staci’s Mom? Staci’s mom she really has it going on, well joke in our house is (insert daughters name–kesley, Kirstie, Kayhla, Kylie) mom has really got it going on….well that is me. I tell my girls that i have this body because i keep it fueled, I feed it well and I don’t abuse it but where I really want to have it going on is —-on the inside—that is where it matters the most. Yes they think I am lame but you know what..my girls get it–beauty is on the inside. I have been blessed to have girls that are not hung up on the beauty on the outside.

    As for me, I am a no makeup girl. I will be honest when I was in high school I wore eye shadow, foundation (maybe to hide the acne–what was I thinking) I no longer wear foundation and honestly do not recall the last time I did i do do mascara from time to time and that is it. Now if only I can get my two high school girls to see that they dont need it but then again they are girls and they like it. simple is how they do it and that is fine by me.

  8. I know I am behind on this (was training for 1/2 marathon..#2) it was the Cap City here in Columbus ohio. I will have to say i surprised myself..I always get the start line fear and I had it bad this day, and I was not feeling my best. I finished the run 1hr40min58sec(i think that was the sec) I placed 6th in my age group (40-44) and 408 out of 2400ish women that ran. I was so proud of myself.

    Anyway, I wanted to comment on Ch.5–Play. Seriously how does she have all that time to do all she does with her children (is she for real, why cant I be like that) then I realized–God wired us all different and I can not beat my drum like her. Maybe it is because my girls (blended family) are much older than hers..20 yr old, 2 15yr old and one 5 yr old. None of them want to do what I do…run/workout or just go outside to play (ok wait my 5yr old does) she is great at making obstacle courses in our backyard to run through. Our oldest is on her own with a child and one of our 15yr old play basketball yr round and the other is just s social butterfly. Maybe it is because of her childrens age, maybe I dont know but when I read this I thought..wow I am a lame mom then I recalled..all the times my girls have told me they loved me for just the simple things..spending time with them even if it is a walk, vegging with them on the couch or driving around town with them (you get the picture) So I may not “play” like she does with her children but I still get the love from them and the QT with them. I just wanted to share that.

    Then there is Chp6–Mothers

    I find it hard to believe that regardless of how she feels she gets up each morning by 5am to get that run in with her gals (then again if I had a group of ladies to run with then maybe i would do that. I am a dedicated runner/workout mom and I get up each morning before anyone in the house to get my run in or my P90X or Bob Harper workout but I will tell you there are times i hit that alarm and go back to bed. Maybe I do it because I dont have the running group or because I can make up for my sleep time by doing my run/workout once the girls are in school. My husband and my girls tell me…slow down, sleep in you need it..you do to much (are they telling me that I am an addict for running or workouting?

    She sums up everything in this chapter on pg 62 (Ahead of the Wave)..to stay on top of the household, the children, your health and all the other craziness that life brings me exercise is the key and let us not forget the biggest key of all—God having him present in your life is what gets you through each waking day. But then again, a mighty great run or workout is not so bad either. My body goes bonkers if I do not get my exercise fix..my family knows and tells when I have not worked out and they tell me–go run. Goodness i love them for that.

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