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Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run

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In Mile Markers, Runner's World contributing editor Kristin Armstrong captures the ineffable and timeless beauty of running, the importance of nurturing relationships with those we love, and the significance of reflecting on our experiences. This collection considers the most important reasons women run, celebrating the inspiring passion runners have for their sport and il In Mile Markers, Runner's World contributing editor Kristin Armstrong captures the ineffable and timeless beauty of running, the importance of nurturing relationships with those we love, and the significance of reflecting on our experiences. This collection considers the most important reasons women run, celebrating the inspiring passion runners have for their sport and illustrating how running fosters a vitally powerful community. With unique wit, refreshing candor, and disarming vulnerability, Armstrong shares her conviction that running is the perfect parallel for marking the milestones of life. From describing running a hardfought race with her tightly-knit group of sweat sisters, to watching her children participate in the sport for the very first time, Armstrong infuses her experiences with a perspective of hope that every moment is a chance to become a stronger, wiser, more peaceful woman. Running threads these touching stories together, and through each of them we are shown the universal undercurrents of inspiration, growth, grace, family, empowerment, and endurance.


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In Mile Markers, Runner's World contributing editor Kristin Armstrong captures the ineffable and timeless beauty of running, the importance of nurturing relationships with those we love, and the significance of reflecting on our experiences. This collection considers the most important reasons women run, celebrating the inspiring passion runners have for their sport and il In Mile Markers, Runner's World contributing editor Kristin Armstrong captures the ineffable and timeless beauty of running, the importance of nurturing relationships with those we love, and the significance of reflecting on our experiences. This collection considers the most important reasons women run, celebrating the inspiring passion runners have for their sport and illustrating how running fosters a vitally powerful community. With unique wit, refreshing candor, and disarming vulnerability, Armstrong shares her conviction that running is the perfect parallel for marking the milestones of life. From describing running a hardfought race with her tightly-knit group of sweat sisters, to watching her children participate in the sport for the very first time, Armstrong infuses her experiences with a perspective of hope that every moment is a chance to become a stronger, wiser, more peaceful woman. Running threads these touching stories together, and through each of them we are shown the universal undercurrents of inspiration, growth, grace, family, empowerment, and endurance.

30 review for Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    At first, I really liked this book, but I became bored by halfway through. I could relate to the topics she picked as chapter emphases, but it read too much like a blog so it was hard to stick with it for the long haul and is a book I would consider reading a chapter at a time, but not all in one sitting. One point she made in the friendship chapter sticks with me: (p 25) "I wish women could be more [free and less judgmental] in other areas of our life (besides running). I wish we could always sup At first, I really liked this book, but I became bored by halfway through. I could relate to the topics she picked as chapter emphases, but it read too much like a blog so it was hard to stick with it for the long haul and is a book I would consider reading a chapter at a time, but not all in one sitting. One point she made in the friendship chapter sticks with me: (p 25) "I wish women could be more [free and less judgmental] in other areas of our life (besides running). I wish we could always support each other without comparing. I wish we could allow others to be sad without trying to fix it. I wish we could always be happy for someone else without seeing the holes in our own lives. I wish we could always share in another's gratitude for good fortune instead of poisoning it with our own regret. I wish we could always laugh together without our mirth coming up at the expense of someone else. I wish we could always lift each other up without having to be on top. I wish we could always applaud others' gifts without pining. I wish we could always freely celebrate our own gifts without feeling the need to play small. Until then, I will appreciate my running friends for being consistently and undeniably real."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    True confession: I didn't know the author was the ex-wife of Lance Armstrong until after I'd read this and looked at some other reviews. That doesn't really play into the book, however. I picked it up as part of my "running book" kick. This book is a collection of short essays on various topics, like endurance, friendship, hills, and more. Running is the common thread throughout all of them. After I got used to the dis-jointed nature of the essays, I thoroughly enjoyed these. I hope someday I en True confession: I didn't know the author was the ex-wife of Lance Armstrong until after I'd read this and looked at some other reviews. That doesn't really play into the book, however. I picked it up as part of my "running book" kick. This book is a collection of short essays on various topics, like endurance, friendship, hills, and more. Running is the common thread throughout all of them. After I got used to the dis-jointed nature of the essays, I thoroughly enjoyed these. I hope someday I enjoy running as much as Kristin seems to (I alternate between liking, loving and loathing right now). Some of the gems from this book: "There is an underlying purpose and meaning behind my training, always. It isn't about the next raice or the next workout. It's about fitness and fortitude for the next test around the corner that I cannot see. Everyone faces challenging experiences . . . When my next moment comes, I want to be strong and centered enough to handle it with some measure of grace. But perhaps even more importantly, I want to be fast enough to be the first on the scene when a loved one needs me, and I want to be fit enough to help carry the load for as long as it takes to reach the other side." p. 32 On a similar theme, on p. 251-252: "That's why I train, right there. I don't train because I want to be able to DO things (run a faster 5-K, beat my marathon PR, make someone eat dust on a trail, though those things aren't bad). I train because I want to BE something better than I would be if I didn't train. If someone I love is faltering, I want to be the kind of woman who can [move]; I want to be strong enough to carry some of his or her burden along with my own. I want to have a clear head and a clear heart so if I am asked for advice, I can offer wisdom instead of a mere opinion. If my big opportunity arises to serve, I want to be ready. If it takes more out of me than I anticipated, I want to know something about endurance. If the terrain suddenly changes, I want to be steady. If someone I love looks at me with eyes full of fear, terrified that she won't be able to finish whatever happens to lie ahead of her, I want to look at her, wordless, with unblinking eyes that assure her that there is no way that she won't. That right there is why I run. In case you were wondering." An essay about anti-venom on p. 197-200. Kristen believes we need a boost of compassion and kindness towards others when we feel poisoned by a bad attitude. She writes of the small things she did to acknowledge the contributions of others and the way that changed her day from a gloomy one to a bright one. Insights about roadblocks and detours starting on page 255: "When we encounter a ROAD CLOSED sign, in traffic or in life, the next logical thing to look for is a DETOUR sign. As runners we know the benefit of being light on our feet; we have to be able to adapt quickly to climate changes, terrain changes, pace changes, and course changes. No matter what we come up against, there is always a detour. And sometimes, when we're really lucky, the detour leads to a more scenic route. Roadblocks always have something to teach us. Maybe it's a lesson in patience or perseverance. Maybe it's an opportunity to rethink the direction we chose in the first place. Maybe it's an essential tutorial about life. Maybe it's a profound examination of self." * Ideas about cultivating a "get to" attitude instead of a "have to" one on page 266-267.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I actually found a book on running I did not like. The book felt too preachy, too sermon-like, too motherly, too "the women I don't relate to", too everything that running is not for me. I didn't need advice smacking me in the face. I'd prefer stories that I draw my own connections and lessons from rather than life lessons with little stories/details thrown in. The book is a collection of blog entries by Kristin Armstrong from Runner's World. The entries are broken into 26 chapters with a differe I actually found a book on running I did not like. The book felt too preachy, too sermon-like, too motherly, too "the women I don't relate to", too everything that running is not for me. I didn't need advice smacking me in the face. I'd prefer stories that I draw my own connections and lessons from rather than life lessons with little stories/details thrown in. The book is a collection of blog entries by Kristin Armstrong from Runner's World. The entries are broken into 26 chapters with a different theme (pace, race day, gratitude...). I just did not relate to Armstrong. I'm not a mother; I don't like running in a group; I don't practice a religion; I don't have the same doubts and insecurities (not to say I don't have my own!). I felt this book was meant for a mother rather than women. I wish she had included more details and stories of her own life. I wish the story had been richer in details and shorter on advice that felt too much like a preacher giving a sermon. I don't think I could recommend this book, but I know some women who absolutely love this book. I would say the right audience is a 30-something mother of 2 who goes to church and bible study.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Much to blog-y to be a full book. Wouldn't mind reading her actual blog occasionally, I suppose.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carly Ellen Kramer

    What an inspiring book for beginning runners! I found myself telling stories from the book while warming up for a run... "Kristin said this" and "Kristin said that" until someone pointed out that I was talking like Kristin and I were old friends! Clearly, her stories resonated with me. I can't say as I've tried a peanut butter and motrin sandwich yet, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility... The only detail which struck an off-cord with me was Ms. Armstrong's over-the-top humility about her own What an inspiring book for beginning runners! I found myself telling stories from the book while warming up for a run... "Kristin said this" and "Kristin said that" until someone pointed out that I was talking like Kristin and I were old friends! Clearly, her stories resonated with me. I can't say as I've tried a peanut butter and motrin sandwich yet, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility... The only detail which struck an off-cord with me was Ms. Armstrong's over-the-top humility about her own running skill. Humility is a good thing overall, and certainly referring to herself as a "slow runner" early in the book held my attention. However, as the book went on, these references became perplexing. Eventually it became clear that being one of the slower members of a running group needs to be considered in the context of the fact that one of the members was training for the OLYMPICS. Sigh. Overall, this book was an excellent read - funny, inspiring, and full of solid (and not preachy!) advice. Whether you're training for your first 5K or your first marathon, I'd recommend this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    momruncraft

    This book doesn't read like a novel. It isn't a training guide or "How To" book. It is constructed of old blog entries and stories. I found the overall format to be hard to follow at times: races and/or experiences were mentioned here, explained there, briefly talked about again somewhere else. In spite of the format, I was moved by the running achievements of all the women described in the book. Not only the author herself but her running friends. She has planted many seeds that will likely be h This book doesn't read like a novel. It isn't a training guide or "How To" book. It is constructed of old blog entries and stories. I found the overall format to be hard to follow at times: races and/or experiences were mentioned here, explained there, briefly talked about again somewhere else. In spite of the format, I was moved by the running achievements of all the women described in the book. Not only the author herself but her running friends. She has planted many seeds that will likely be harvested and thought about while I run. Making an effort to enjoy the mile markers of life instead of racing by, completely overlooking them, or dreading the next one ahead. The importance of running my own race, at my own pace, focusing on my own goals. Viewing "me" time as renewal, invaluable, important. Marking a tangible date for the things I want to get done, not relying on the term "later" to suffice. Much of what she wrote spoke to me in many ways. A book that will probably be referred back to often...especially when I need a little extra motivation to drag my butt out of bed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I won’t be finishing this one. I prefer running memoirs with grimy sweat and bloodied knees and exhaustion hallucinations and puncturing toenails to release the puss and profound frustrations and scrambling over rocks and...well, that type of running. Armstrong is a perfectly fine writer, but this book is more of a glowy, intimate chats with friends, cozy kids snuggled in bed while you run, saccharine analogies, praising god every mile of a marathon...THAT type of running. It’s just SO cozy and S I won’t be finishing this one. I prefer running memoirs with grimy sweat and bloodied knees and exhaustion hallucinations and puncturing toenails to release the puss and profound frustrations and scrambling over rocks and...well, that type of running. Armstrong is a perfectly fine writer, but this book is more of a glowy, intimate chats with friends, cozy kids snuggled in bed while you run, saccharine analogies, praising god every mile of a marathon...THAT type of running. It’s just SO cozy and SO sweet and it’s not for me. I love running. For me the joy is in the suffering and testing my limits, and this is probably not the book for that kind of runner.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melody

    What a WONDERFUL book! Kristin Armstrong’s writing style is extraordinarily engaging, and her book is filled with practical tips and thoughtful reflections not only on running, but on life in general. This book is one I will be re-reading over and over again. I would write a longer review, but I’m inspired to slip on my running shoes now and get out in the sunshine!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Souza

    I Heart Kristin Armstrong. I've been a long time follower of her blog, where she frequently makes me feel like she's speaking directly to me. Though she is writing about running, the message is generally about something much more important. I love her willingness to be vulnerable and question herself. This book is a compilation of blog posts, organized into 26.2 great themes. Many of the blog posts I had already read, but it was a great ebook to read while sitting at the doctors office, or waiti I Heart Kristin Armstrong. I've been a long time follower of her blog, where she frequently makes me feel like she's speaking directly to me. Though she is writing about running, the message is generally about something much more important. I love her willingness to be vulnerable and question herself. This book is a compilation of blog posts, organized into 26.2 great themes. Many of the blog posts I had already read, but it was a great ebook to read while sitting at the doctors office, or waiting at the airport - full of heart, deep thoughts, meaningful moments. In fact, I highlighted 20 different lines in the book (this is a serious record for me) because they spoke to me so deeply. I have a few below so that you can get a real feel for what is in the book. Chapter 3: Friendship "There is a quote by Isak Dinersen that I love: The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." - (important because my best friend and I are dedicated to running the Summer Series 5K's when we are in our 90's) "These are the people that I want to grow old with, puffing out the miles side by side. In honor of us, I take calcium, glucosamine, and do yoga." - (About a recent study done by UCLA) Women who maintain close and consistent friendships with girlfriends over a 9 year period cut their health risk by 60%!....Therefore we are actually harming ourselves and all of our other priorities when we let our friendships slide, because the other relationships (those with our spouses, children, coworkers, parents, etc) are forced to take on weight that was never intended for them.....the problem lies in thinking that friendship is a luxury, when instead it is essential for optimal health and happiness. Chapter 4: Healing "I am a seeker. I am a wanderer. I am who I am. Nothing more, nothing less. Life is a series of great paradoxes. To find ourselves, we get lost. To gain, we lose. To know the light, we plunge into the dark. To succeed, we fail. Opposites seem forever linked. Without one, we cannot define the other." Chapter 8: Endurance "We can't do anything well, not one single remarkable thing, without reaching far enough beyond ourselves that we are bound to fail from time to time." - "Preparation is not suddenly accomplished, it is a process steadily maintained." Chapter 13: Fear "Fear can constrain us and compel us, sometimes in equal measure. It can tether us to our past or catapult us into our future. It can force us outside our comfort zones and pull the covers up over our heads. It can hurt us. It can heal us. It can warn us. It can stop us dead in our tracks and render us useless. One thing is certain about fear: We cannot ignore it. The braver we are about examining and identifying it, the more victorious we will become. Chapter 26: Gratitude "In a moment when you feel low or frustrated with someone, find something to be thankful for and speak it: Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for doing what you could. Thank you for being here." A great read, a good book to give to women friends - especially if they are runners.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    I am about 24% through this book. I am loving it so far. Ms. Armstrong is passionate about running (hey she writes for runner's world) But more important she champions being a woman, being a friend, but mostly being a mother. It is so wonderful to read how much she truly loves her children and how being a mother is so important. There are so many great quotes throughout the book, but I have to share this one before I forget. "When we run we are showing our children, teaching them without words, that I am about 24% through this book. I am loving it so far. Ms. Armstrong is passionate about running (hey she writes for runner's world) But more important she champions being a woman, being a friend, but mostly being a mother. It is so wonderful to read how much she truly loves her children and how being a mother is so important. There are so many great quotes throughout the book, but I have to share this one before I forget. "When we run we are showing our children, teaching them without words, that we value ourselves, our hearts, our fitness, our health, our friendships, our clarity, and our balance. They see us push, and with every stride, they learn a measure of what it is to prepare for their own races. We are passing the torch." I don't think she is really just talking about running here. This book makes me glad that I am a mother and a woman. And I am so happy to have a wonderful daughter that I hope I have passed knowledge to, and now I also am blessed to have a wonderful daughter-in-law to share with too. And love my sons too -- but this is a "chick read." Loved this book. Not perfect, but still awesome, or at least what I needed to read at this point in my life.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    If you are a woman and a runner you must, must read this book! I saw MileMarkers sitting on the New bookshelf at the library, walked past once and on the return out the door knew this book was for me. Let's just say it didn't disappoint. There is no plot to this book. There is no storyline, no timeline, hardly any character development...you are probably thinking what's the point!? Well, it's a compilation of great running experiences with a tie-in to real life. I loved reading about her different If you are a woman and a runner you must, must read this book! I saw MileMarkers sitting on the New bookshelf at the library, walked past once and on the return out the door knew this book was for me. Let's just say it didn't disappoint. There is no plot to this book. There is no storyline, no timeline, hardly any character development...you are probably thinking what's the point!? Well, it's a compilation of great running experiences with a tie-in to real life. I loved reading about her different training drills, big mile runs, elations of accomplishing a great race, and the bond with her "sweat sisters", people who we as runners love and can't live without. I found lots of inspiring quotes in this book. I hope to develop the inner confidence that she mentions and the gratitude that keeps her running. This is not a "quick" read, but a great book to celebrate womanhood and running. It helped me evaluate why I run and get me excited to lace up my shoes again and again and hit the road morning after morning.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    AWESOME! She just nails it so many times. I took a long time to read this because I wanted to savor each essay and let them all soak in. I didn't know when I started running that it would be such an emotional piece of my life. Its hard to put into words what running means to me and it was amazing to read this book and think, "exactly".

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

    I love her. This book makes me want to run and reminds me why I am a runner.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    So far, this book has been a great read. Really inspiring!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Touching snippets from a blog by a talented writer and runner. Re-read December 2012.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Abandoned on friend's recommendation. Really, I don't like running all THAT much anyways.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Oak City Books

    4 STARS for MILE MARKERS by Kristin Armstrong. Most of you know, the only thing that I give up my sacred reading time for is now running. I used to run in college and have been on a hiatus for (shhh) 15 years now. I finally got sick enough of myself and my excuses to hit the pavement again. And, I needed some MAJOR motivation. I wondered what it is that runners tell themselves when they don't want to show up. What do they do to increase their endurance? What shoes do they love? What about that s 4 STARS for MILE MARKERS by Kristin Armstrong. Most of you know, the only thing that I give up my sacred reading time for is now running. I used to run in college and have been on a hiatus for (shhh) 15 years now. I finally got sick enough of myself and my excuses to hit the pavement again. And, I needed some MAJOR motivation. I wondered what it is that runners tell themselves when they don't want to show up. What do they do to increase their endurance? What shoes do they love? What about that stitch in my right ribcage that isn't allowing me to take a deep breath? I found Kristin's book on a running blog, along with a few others that I'm diving into- feet first. I think this one was a good one to start with, although I didn't get much insight into the hows and whats, I did come away with some nuggets and have been able to see how my running frame of mind is spilling over into my daily life. The book reads like a bundle of articles, journal entries, or nuggets. It's a bit all over the place, but that was okay because most of the time lately my attention span for reading has been zilch nada. Next up on my list is 401 by Ben Smith. The man who ran 401 marathons in 401 days and changed his life forever. I'll be starting it tonight and hope to be finished with it in a few days and also, forever changed. Any running readers out there? What books have had an impact on your growth? Cheers to all of you! #runningbook #booksofinstagram #4stars #bookreview #bookblog #blogger #busymom #working #sendmebooks #behindonnetgalleyreads #drowninginwords #onedayatatime #motivationalbook #exercise #peptalks #changeyourmindchangeyourthoughts #runningisnotcancelled #milemarkers

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julie Tegtmeier

    This book was exactly the inspiration I needed to jump into running again and sign up for a race. Kristin writes beautifully about running's ability to lift you from any dark place, fight through the hard times and savor the good times even more. Her humor and love for life is apparent in her respect for the sport as more of a spiritual practice, that when treated with reverence, will bring you to a better place mentally, physically and emotionally. I'm going to buy a copy to revisit chapters in This book was exactly the inspiration I needed to jump into running again and sign up for a race. Kristin writes beautifully about running's ability to lift you from any dark place, fight through the hard times and savor the good times even more. Her humor and love for life is apparent in her respect for the sport as more of a spiritual practice, that when treated with reverence, will bring you to a better place mentally, physically and emotionally. I'm going to buy a copy to revisit chapters in the future :-)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janine Koller Egizi

    I can’t say this was an easy book to get into. For the first half I was reading it along with other books and every time I picked it up I liked it but was a bit bored. I’m so glad I stuck with it because it was a wonderful read. It inspired me in running and in life. Kristin gets what it is to be a woman with a full life who identifies herself as a runner, among other things. I have so many sections of this book marked so I can go back and use her inspiring words to help me through races and lif I can’t say this was an easy book to get into. For the first half I was reading it along with other books and every time I picked it up I liked it but was a bit bored. I’m so glad I stuck with it because it was a wonderful read. It inspired me in running and in life. Kristin gets what it is to be a woman with a full life who identifies herself as a runner, among other things. I have so many sections of this book marked so I can go back and use her inspiring words to help me through races and life. Thank you Kristin!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Charity Russell

    Another one from Kristin that is great. Also great because she pairs health and encouraging words here. Oh did I mention already that she is a mom too?! You're going to love this one as she walks you thru some of her tough days of just trying to roll out of bed to stay healthy and having to line up her brother to come over at the crack of dawn to watch her sleeping kiddos in efforts to take advantage of her only uninterrupted time to exercise. #awesomebrother

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lilly Minasyan

    Even though I've read a lot of books about running, I always gravitate towards books like these. They are awesome and inspiration. Not giving it a 5-star because something wasn't quite there. I can't point what exactly didn't make it a 5star book (and honestly ratings are nothing) but still. It's funny she considered herself as a slow runner when she was running a marathon within 3:36 :D likw what? Girl. Bye. Recommended for fellow runners.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robin Larson

    I loved this book even though many of the overarching themes don't apply to me. I am not a mother, I don't practice a religion, and I don't have a core group of female runner friends to suffer through speedwork and hill repeats with. But this book made me feel inspired to be a better runner and a better person. I am so excited to chase my sub-2 hour half marathon goal and my sub-5 hour marathon goal. I love running and I love how running makes me feel, both physically and mentally.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily Anders

    I grew up a runner and wanted to read Kristin's book after watching the recent ESPN documentary on Lance, her ex-husband. I love that Kristin has always taken the high road when it comes to her public divorce and Lance's fall from grace. I felt like I really got to know Kristin as I read her book and love that she has her gang of best friends and seems to be a wonderful mother. I really enjoyed her book!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen Egner

    Only made it about halfway through. I enjoyed Armstrong’s early articles for RW, though she reminded in every. single. one. that she was married to Lance Armstrong long enough to have three kids with him. This collection of blogs rang pretentious and braggy-while-playing-off-like-humble and was too much for me to take.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Enrique Mendez

    She writes well I understand what the author tried to do. She wanted to correlate running to every facet in life. Some people will find this motivating. As for me, I go with Freud's statement of "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar", and change it to sometimes running is just running. I felt this book was well written, but just not for me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Burf512

    Fun read Love this book and as a runner it a perfect. Kristin shares her views in running and some struggles she's has which are entirely relatable and don't make me feel like I'm a crazy runner anymore.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    I love books about running and there were parts of this one I really liked. The “life is like running” metaphor got a little tiresome by the end though and I felt like everything was packaged a little too neatly. Just like a race, I was glad I picked it up and am happy to be done with it!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book is a woman’s love letter to running, and I enjoyed it immensely. Filled with personal anecdotes and stories largely from the author’s previous blog posts, this book covered many of the reasons why women run such as physical and mental strength, empowerment, resilience, and friendships, just to name a few. Many of the author’s descriptions of why she runs really resonated with me, and her tie-ins with her parenting of three (then-elementary aged) kids added to the connection I felt thro This book is a woman’s love letter to running, and I enjoyed it immensely. Filled with personal anecdotes and stories largely from the author’s previous blog posts, this book covered many of the reasons why women run such as physical and mental strength, empowerment, resilience, and friendships, just to name a few. Many of the author’s descriptions of why she runs really resonated with me, and her tie-ins with her parenting of three (then-elementary aged) kids added to the connection I felt throughout. Some people may feel this book was a little too perfect and sweet, but I thoroughly enjoyed her gratitude and positivity. If you’re a female runner, I highly recommend this book. Since it is a collection of stories, it is also one that can be read alongside another book, or can be picked up and read at whatever intervals suit you.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Monica Lee

    Reading author Kristin Armstrong’s “Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run” was like one of my morning jogs: I started out hating it, then began warming up to it, and when I was done, I felt so much better for sticking with it. Armstrong, a contributing editor at one of my favorite magazines Runner’s World, came out with “Mile Markers” in 2011. It’s a compilation of her Mile Markers blog entries, arranged thematically. It’s easy to read (I read most of it on the stepmill at t Reading author Kristin Armstrong’s “Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run” was like one of my morning jogs: I started out hating it, then began warming up to it, and when I was done, I felt so much better for sticking with it. Armstrong, a contributing editor at one of my favorite magazines Runner’s World, came out with “Mile Markers” in 2011. It’s a compilation of her Mile Markers blog entries, arranged thematically. It’s easy to read (I read most of it on the stepmill at the gym) because of the bite-sized chunks, but make no mistake, some of her morsels are like steak — they require chewing on and savoring. If you’re a runner, you can appreciate how some aspect of running can be used as a metaphor for almost everything in life (including a book review, see above). If you run, even a little, you’ll appreciate the depth of this book. If you’re a woman, you’ll like it even more. Some of her early chapters are “Friendship,” “Play,” “Mothers” and “Kids.” These were my least favorite entries because A. I run alone and B. I’m not a biological mother (and even as a stepmother, I never cared for little kids). Mothering is not my thing. But if it’s your thing, you might appreciate these chapters more than I did. I liked Armstrong’s thoughts on “Body,” “Freedom, “Purpose” and “Passion” among others. Here’s an excerpt on peace, written in the list style with which Armstrong excels: “Peace can be as elusive as love when we pursue it with ravenous need. We need to ease into it, recognize it, cajole it, make space for it, and welcome it. Most of us, most of the time, go through life with a vague restlessness, a lack of peace that goes unnamed and unresolved. … “Some of us find peace through cultivating stillness. Others have to work our way there through movement. Some need silence. Others need the right kind of noise. Some need to be alone. Other need to be with specific people. Some need to cloister themselves inside. Other will never find it unless they are out in nature. What you need isn’t nearly as important as knowing what you need.” Besides her writing style, I also liked how she organized her book. Her blog entries might be disparate if read chronologically, but arranged thematically, they sing. She finds 26 themes relating to running and an epilogue — a beautiful tribute to the marathon distance. “Mile Markers” inspires. Even though I have no intention of running another marathon, Armstrong made me want to run harder and faster and sweatier. And be completely immersed while I do it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alecia

    3.5/5 I love this line: "I am not a good runner because I am me; I am a good me because I am a runner." p. 4 Mile 6 Mothers Ahead of the Wave: Rough run. 5 yo girls are with her at practice. Tough training repeats, spent. One girl asks why Paige always beats her. Paige comes over at that moment and told the girls that their mommy does run with her. Did last 800. Slipped to last. Paige dropped back to the "bleeding antelope section" finished together. It wasn't so much that I needed some redemption 3.5/5 I love this line: "I am not a good runner because I am me; I am a good me because I am a runner." p. 4 Mile 6 Mothers Ahead of the Wave: Rough run. 5 yo girls are with her at practice. Tough training repeats, spent. One girl asks why Paige always beats her. Paige comes over at that moment and told the girls that their mommy does run with her. Did last 800. Slipped to last. Paige dropped back to the "bleeding antelope section" finished together. It wasn't so much that I needed some redemption in my daughters' eyes or even in my own as it was a reminder of how lucky I am to have a first-place friend who loves me enough to happily finish last. p. 63 Mile 9 Body Mile 11 Identity Let your children see you do your thing. Let your friends come watch you. Let your husband fall in love again with that cool, interesting chick he married. Let yourself be you. p. 121 Mile 14 Burdens sweat sister p. 158 Mile 18 Hills A Push: Paige pushes a man in a wheelchair, example of gratitude rather than compassion or generosity. A grateful life is about seeing, thinking, offering, appreciating, and living beyond self. This is the spirit behind giving thanks. Through, Not To p. 191 The end is through, not to Mile 25 Roadblocks Roadblocks always have something to teach us. Maybe it's a lesson in patience or perseverance. Maybe it's an opportunity to rethink the direction we chose in the first place. Maybe it's an essential tutorial about life. Maybe it's a profound examination of self. Whatever we learn, we can be almost certain that we would not have learned it any other way. And that is the most direct route from frustration to gratitude, no matter where the detour takes us. p. 256 Mile 26 Gratitude I believe that gratitude is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. It is underrated and underutilized. p. 265 I get to... Grunions: anything we seek that eludes us, but in place of which we are mysteriously blessed with something sweeter than what we set out after in the first place. p. 269 Perhaps every failure is not really a failure at all but a blessing in suspicious packaging. p. 272

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