I normally do a monthly recap of the books I read. I am still going to do that at the end of this month but the book Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run I felt deserved it’s own feature highlight.
The author, Kristin Armstrong, is a mother, a writer, and a runner. She is a contributing editor for Runner’s World. She has run seven marathons (at the time of publication, which was in 2011) and one ultra marathon. She is also Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife. They have three kids together.
When I got this book from the library, I realized I had read it before (I think). But if I did, it was quite a while ago and it was good enough to read again! I LOVE this book. The author is very good with words and is able to describe so eloquently how running plays such an important role in one’s life.
So now I am going to share with you some of my favorite parts of the book.
“When we consider what we are really training for, why we care so much, why we are willing at all, it’s because we want to be able to endure. When life throws us some difficult miles, we want to know that we can suck it up and prevail.”
Running gives me the confidence that I am strong and capable. Running provides an outlet when I am having a hard time dealing with emotions or when I am stressed out about something. Running reminds me that I am capable and that I can endure.
“There are too many thoughts in my head, too many feelings in my heart, too many things I want to do and say – and if I’m not careful, I can get overwhelmed with myself. Taking off on a run isn’t about leaving the rest of my life behind. It’s about departing just long enough to fuel the desire to pick up the pace when I head for home.”
This one really resonated with me. I am constantly thinking about 100 different things, always trying to multitask, and often stressing myself out. Running is a time for me to unplug, de-stress, and gain some perspective on life situations.
“His philosophy about living well was that you “have to have someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.”
I hope I can look back on my life and know that I had all of these things. Right now there is a gaping hole because I do not have someone to love (in a romantic way), but I have lots of things to do and I am trying to get things on the schedule so I have things to look forward to. I just have to keep moving and keep living.
“In looking ahead to whom we want to be or how we want to live – and making choices that hold our course steady in that direction.”
“Taking care of ourselves and refilling out tanks is not a luxury. It’s just like gas in the car; most of us drive too long with the indicator light flashing, on fumes and a prayer.”
It is not selfish or a misuse of time to make running (or any other health/fitness endeavor) a priority. Running refills the tank so we are full enough to continue on and give back to the people in our lives.
“It (running) is hard for me. I struggle. I suffer. I get discouraged. I get mad. I celebrate, sometimes. Running isn’t one of my God-given talents, and that is ok because I love it anyway. It doesn’t always feel good in the moment, but ultimately you are a better person for it.”
I can definitely relate to this! I get so frustrated sometimes, like now during marathon training when I am struggling with injury and trying to work on my form and cadence. Running does not come easily to me, but I still love it and want to be careful to make sure I am able to run for as long as possible!
“I have used running as my therapy, a way to literally hurt in order to work out other hurts. A purging feeling like that is hard to replicate any other way, so it’s easy to stay motivated because we are seeking release and relief.”
I have said many times that running is my therapy. Running makes me feel better when I am feeling blue or when I am stressed or mad. But I also love running when I feel good – when life is good and I am happy, I still enjoy running. Running for me is not seasonal, it is a year long, life long endeavor.
Epilogue – the .2 of 26.2
“If you have slogged or sprinted through the final .2 of a marathon, then you know intimately the difference between 26 and 26.2. And it’s not as simple as 200 meters. .2 is simultaneously the end and the beginning. Because when we cross one finish line, we arrive at the next start line, carrying with us everything we learned from prior distance.”
When one race/goal is over, we take what we learned and we move on to the next race/goal. In running and in life. Whether we had a good or bad race/experience, there is always something to learn that will be useful in the future.
“It’s always worthwhile to do what you love, and that you can make a living while making a life.”
Seriously, such a great book. If you are a runner or not, I think you will enjoy this book as much as I did.