A Little More Each Day

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

Book Review: Running – A Love Story

on May 24, 2016

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is all about race temperature and truthfully, I can both enjoy and complain about the weather during any given run so I don’t know that I have a real preference. I like it cooler for longer races but that’s about it. Instead of dwelling on that, I thought I’d share my overdue review of this month’s Taking the Long Way Home Book Club selection: Running – A Love Story, by Jen A. Miller.

Running a love story

In this book, Ms. Miller takes you through her life as a runner, from high school athletics (and running hatred) to college and adult training and the role running has played in managing all of the bumps and curves in life. Each chapter begins with a piece of the story of a single race, the 2013 New Jersey Marathon, before leading into a fairly chronologic account of her life. Those introductions from the marathon were definitely my favorite parts of this book. Even though she is a much faster runner than I will ever be, she still experiences a lot of the same things I’ve encountered during the lead-up, running and finish of a race.
A lot of the author’s inner monologues, both in races and in training runs, reflected my own. I’ve definitely had those pre-race conversations like she describes, in which I remind myself of the many “weeks of training in my legs and lungs.” I’ve also experienced the same mental clearing on a long run, where I run so long that I can’t keep cycling through the same negative thoughts again and again about whatever is going wrong in my life and finally let my mind wander to greener pastures.
Mental wandering
While I found the running pieces interesting, I confess that I found that the relationship bits to be exhausting. I’m impressed by her honesty and putting everything about her life out there, flaws and all. I just got a little tired of reading over and over about bad relationships. Yes, we all have them, and yes it parallels our relationship with running a bit and at the same time, our relationship with running can help ameliorate the angst of our other relationships, but rather than finding comfort in the “we’re all the same!” of this part, I just kept wanting the story to move on to something more interesting.

Oddly, my favorite little tidbits were the mentions of her mother. Even in the end, when we get the conclusion of the New Jersey Marathon of 2013, I found myself thinking both “thank goodness this is almost over” when I realized I was 87% of the way through the book and “yay for Mom!” when I came across the mention of her mother running her first 5K. This book really is a wonderful little love letter to her mother, who sounds awesome.

All in all, I wish I’d checked this out at the library instead of buying it because as much as I enjoyed the running pieces, the rest of it isn’t something I’d re-read. However, I enjoyed her writing about the running itself enough that I’ll look forward to seeing her work in other venues. I am glad that at the end of the book, she seems to have come to a new kind of peace with her running and her life.
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Thanks as always to Wendy, Patty, Erika and Marcia for hosting our link ups!

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7 responses to “Book Review: Running – A Love Story

  1. Thanks for the review. I’m going to check this book out now πŸ™‚

  2. That’s a good review of the book, and confirms my thoughts about checking it out of the library instead of purchasing it. I wish our library had a copy!!

  3. I hadn’t heard of this before- I think I’d like the running parts too but could probably glance over the rest. Library check out it is!

  4. I 100% agree with your review! Wouldn’t this book have been better if it had been a little more balanced? More about mom, less about her bad relationships?

    Thanks for participating and linking up, as always!

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