Monday, October 15, 2012

October Book Club: Mile Markers

Sorry to delay the recap posts of the epic Reach the Beach: New Jersey relay, but it is the middle of the month which means that it is book club day!  If you missed the original post and still want to sign up, just go here and do so. 

October's book was "Mile Markers" by Kristin Armstrong.  I am apparently dense and even though her last name is Armstrong and she mentions an ex-husband whose name is Lance, I didn't put two and two together until I read another review.

Kristin blogs for Runner's World where her blog shares the name of the book we read: Mile Markers.  The book is actually made up of different blog posts that she wrote for Runner's World and compiled into 26 (and .2 for good measure) different "mile markers" within running and life.

The mile markers are, according to the book, "the 26.2 most important reasons why women run", however, I think that men would benefit from reading this book (just ignore the parts about PMS).

While some of the "markers" didn't resonate with me as much as others, "mothers" and "kids" namely, there were parts of the book where I felt like she was talking specifically to me.  We all run for different reasons but each of us can relate to the different reasons why we run.

I felt that Kristin emphasized sisterhood a lot throughout her book and I had a harder time relating to this because I run by myself (not preferred) or with Mike.  However, I am branching out a little bit and we have gone to some different group runs which I have enjoyed.  However, it is apparent that Kristin's bond with the women she runs with is amazing and I really enjoyed reading about how they help motivate and push each other, or give space when it is needed.

At first I didn't really like how she always felt like she was a slow runner, she runs 1:40 something half marathons and 3:30 marathons, but then I realized that unless you are the fastest woman or man on earth someone is always faster than you.  We all have days where we feel like we are slogging along, just barely able to get to where we need to be and I appreciated her honesty in the end (even if I knew deep down that her "slow" days were faster than my "fast" days).

My favorite part of the book was during the chapter called "race day".  She wrote about running our own race and not worrying about what others around us are doing, during a race and in life.  I loved this part because that is something that I often say, just run your own race.

 Reading while at work

I thought that Kristin crafted an enjoyable, inspiring and heartfelt book from her blog posts and while I was able to put it down I enjoyed how it was written.  Even though it didn't technically have a timeline, I thought it flowed easily enough to not feel lost. 

Here are some reviews of "Mile Markers" from other book club members:

Emily at Life, Fitness and Me!
Ericka at The Sweet Life
Crystal at Carpe Diem Crystal 
Carrie at Fitness and Frozen Grapes

Now for the discussion portion of the book club!

Which mile markers resonated with you the most? Which didn't?

Are there any other mile markers that you would have added, why?

What was your favorite part about this book? Which was your least favorite?

Feel free to discuss anything else that comes to mind!

Reminder that November's book is "The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life" by John "The Penguin" Bingham and January's book is "You Are an Ironman" by Jacques Steinberg (we are taking December off). Don't forget to email me your reviews so that I can include them in the discussion post on November 12 and January 14, respectively.


  1. Been trying to catch this one at the library. Probably going to have to "request a hold" to get a chance to read it, but I appreciated the review regardless.

  2. Adding it to my "need to read" list! I'm with you though, the mother and children sections wouldn't really resonate with me...yet.

  3. oh this is cool! Do we just get the book on our own then link up with our reviews? I'm interested!

    1. You can sign up on the form and then each month I will write a discussion post and you can either email me your review from your blog and I will include it or you can just discuss it in the comments of my post. I hope you join!

  4. Thanks for posting my review Jamie! And I definitely can see your points on "running your own race" I need to remember that sometimes when I am feeling kind of stressed out. I think it is tricky to run your own race sometimes because of whatever obligations that you might feel to someone that you have trained with, etc.

  5. I found myself being a little envious of the relationships and bonds she and her running friends have. I so wish that I had friends to run with. I'm usually hitting the pavement alone or dragging along my unenthusiastic husband. haha! This was a great review. Much more comprehensive than mine.

  6. Shoot, I need to write my review, lol. (I'll shoot you an email when it's live!) I won't spoil it here, but I had some trouble relating to a lot of the sections like you, Jamie. Glad I wasn't the only one!

  7. The book made me want to go run and made me jealous of her running friendships. Not many people have buddies to go on runs with all the time, which is what it seemed like.

  8. I really liked reading this book. It made me want to start running more and to try to find others to run with. The bonds that she's formed with fellow runners is awesome. I liked that she was honest about how she feels when she's running, whether she has a good run or a bad. I didn't really relate to the parts of the book that included her children because I don't have any of my own.

  9. Sorry for the delay with my review. Here it is!

  10. Just finished this book last night and I definitely think you should reread this in about 10 years. I think some of what didn't resonate with you especially resonated with me because of being in a more common age/experience range. I seriously felt like this was like having a (albeit one-sided) conversation with a great friend. Will do a proper review soon, but thought I'd share that I really enjoyed this book for anyone who might come back and read this later.