A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Running Book Review: Personal Record

on July 22, 2014

I’ve noticed an interesting new trend in my life since I had a child: I rarely finish books anymore. At this precise moment, I have no fewer than 6 “real” books that are laying around the house with bookmarks (or folded pages – eek) halfway through them, abandoned. On the iPad, there are another 4-5 that I’m midway through. Before I was a mom, that never happened. I love to read and read fairly quickly. Even better, I married a guy who also loves to read so I got to realize a secret dream of my ideal man: someone I could hang out with on the sofa on the weekend, feet propped in each other’s laps, each reading our own books and sharing the best tidbits (okay, that part is only me, which is why he always reads any book we’re both going to read first so I don’t spoil it for him). Alas, those days are behind us for the most part other than date nights that frequently end up at Barnes and Noble. πŸ™‚

Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running by Rachael Toor

Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running by Rachael Toor

All of that to say, finishing a book feels like quite an accomplishment these days. This week, I finished a running book I’ve had checked out from my local library for the last 6 weeks. The book is called Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running, by Rachael Toor. Rachael Toor is a writer for Runner’s World and Running Times who came to running in her 30s. This book chronicles her journey with running so far, from getting started to really training to progresssively longer distances. It is set up as a series of 26 (point 2, of course) short little essays and I confess, at the beginning I found it a little hard to get into. Part of that is the structure, with little snippets rather than a long narrative, and the lack of humor (or at least my kind of humor). I’m not proud to admit that part of it was also envy of someone who came to running late in life and yet was naturally more gifted and overall more successful thanks to training that optimized those natural gifts. Like I said, not proud of that. There really isn’t anything practical in terms of tips or advice for the average middle to back of the pack runner, I did enjoy the book more as I went along.

A) I learned to really enjoy the essay structure as I went along. With only a few minutes to read at any given point, these little essays were easy to dip into.

B) While there wasn’t much laugh out loud humor, Ms Toor really is an excellent writer who has the ability to carry you with her into these experiences. As someone who has never really tried much trail running, her stories about running on the trail brought into that environment and gave me a glimpse of what is so appealing about it.

C) While there isn’t a single narrative as in a traditional novel, there is a definite arc of story development and in Ms. Toor’s case, that brings a real joy and gratification from pacing rather than racing. I definitely felt guilty about my earlier envy when I came to realize how much she genuinely did enjoy helping others achieve their running goals.

All in all, this is a good gift book for the runners in your life. The author’s genuine love for running comes through on every page and for me, at least, that overcame more initial doubts in terms of the structure and my many dissimilarities with the author.

Two other tidbits for today:

1) This is what it looks like if you make a spaghetti squash explode in your microwave. It made such a boom it knocked the door open.

Love my hubby for cleaning up this mess after we were done laughing!

Love my hubby for cleaning up this mess after we were done laughing!

2) Today’s Tuesday on the Run link up topic is running on vacation. Check out my post on running on the road here and overall healthy tips while traveling here and here. I travel a lot for my job, so check out any travel related posts here. Thanks as always to Patty, Erika and April for hosting!

Confessions: Have you ever exploded anything in the kitchen? I confess that this is not the messiest thing I’ve ever blown up in the kitchen. πŸ™‚

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7 responses to “Running Book Review: Personal Record

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever exploded anything in the microwave, but once I messed up easy mac in my college dorm microwave. Not my proudest moment lol!

  2. Oh my gosh that squash had me cracking up! I really wish I could take the time to finish a good book. I still haven’t been able to finish the Chi Running book…

  3. leannenalani says:

    Our microwave is a bit of a mess right now from all kinds of random things. Nothing has exploded quite like that, though!

  4. Wow! that is one big mess! Can’t say I have blown up anything in the microwave lately but I will definitely look at squash a little differently now!

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