I’ve been on a running books streak lately. The more I read about running, the more passionate I feel about it. I relate to the writers and feel inspired to work harder.

When I picked up “Mile Markers” by Kristin Armstrong (ex-wife of Lance) and Runners World contributor, I was looking for more of that.

I have to be honest, I was disappointed…at first. It was syrupy sweet, positive, and kind of felt like a really long forced essay, tying life to running but in a cheesy way. EEK! I hate sounding so mean…but — at first — that’s how it felt.

However, things changed as I continued reading. I began to really like Kristin and feel like we could be great friends. I know that anyone who has been through a divorce with children has suffered through something pretty bad and yet, her tone was sooo positive — exceedingly so.

Good for her! While it felt strange reading about her friends by their first names, I could totally understand the relationship she had with them. I guess I was sort of jealous I don’t have such a loyal group to run with every week myself! I think I would get much faster if I was consistently training with others with big goals and mind plus a coach to push us.

Kristin Armstrong

While Kristin’s over the top positivity bugged me at first, I grew to love it by the end. I realized I felt better after reading her chapters and recognized myself in much of her life. I recognized the joy she finds in her friendships, in the pleasure of a long, exhausting run, in appreciating the little things in life.

I’m sure that there were many rough moments or negative thoughts that she could have included in the book but I’m none the wiser and perhaps better for it. Every once in awhile it’s refreshing to read something uplifting like this, especially as it relates to running.

Much of the book is written journal style, taken from her column on Runners World (also called “Mile Markers”) and some of it was out of order. No matter — I was inspired by the end. I especially like Kristin’s description of her first ultra-marathon — taking it slowly, carefully and the elation she felt crossing the finish line. And…how she wasn’t even sore the next day! And again, I consider doing an ultra (50k is my max though!)

I love finding kindred running spirits and I’ve no doubt Kristin is one. If you are looking for an upbeat read that will make you remember why you love running, Mile Markers is a good option.

QUESTION: What good running books have you read lately?
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