Friday, March 17, 2017

Book Review: Your Pace or Mine? by Lisa Jackson

This month's book club selection, Your Pace or Mine?: What Running Taught Me About Life, Laughter and Coming Last by Lisa Jackson, could not have come at a better time. Feeling a little down on running lately and stuck in the winter doldrums, I needed a pick me up, and reading this book was like having my BRF giving me a pep talk.

Lisa Jackson shares her personal stories and experiences as a self-proclaimed "least likely runner you'll ever meet". At the end of each chapter, she also shares the stories of other regular runners--people like us--whom she all says are "equally amazing".

Because, as she says, "running isn't about the time you do, but the time you have while doing it".



Even though Lisa Jackson has run over 90 marathons in her running lifetime, she'll tell you that she's come in last in 20 of them. Her dream is to become part of the 100 Marathon Club (US link). Your Pace or Mine isn't a training book. This is a book that will remind you of why you run. It's really all about the journey, and Lisa has plenty of journeys to share.

Each chapter of the book centers around lessons learned from running. I found myself nodding throughout the book and reflecting on what I've learned through running on every topic.

A few of my favorite topics:

-Fear: As in overcoming the fear of running a marathon. Lisa took on London, because "go big or go home". Yep, got that. I felt as though I failed after my first marathon and it took me 3 years to get over the fear and run the big one again. I smiled when I read that running taught her that she would never let fear of failure stop her from doing something again. Right?

-Perseverance: Some call it stubbornness, some call it digging deep, some call it resilience. Whatever you call it, I think we all can agree that running teaches us to never give up. "More painful than pushing forward is the pain of regret". Who wants that?

-Laughing: Running is fun! And even if you're not having fun, there's something fun in every run. I was reminded of that lesson yesterday when I slogged through my tough 6 mile run. After the run, I prepared my daily IG running picture and busted out laughing when I saw what the camera had caught. Yep, never stop having fun!



-Dreaming big: What's your BHAG? (Big Hairy Audacious Goal--Marcia's term, not the book author's) Lisa Jackson's BHAG was the Comrades Marathon, which is actually an ultramarathon--91K (54.5 miles) through South Africa. That recap alone is worth the read. Oh, and by the way, she's run it more than once. Best quote of the book: "Don't snort when someone shares their dream with you."

The author also addresses the topics of lifesaving, death, and nudity. Yes, she ran two nude races. She finishes up the book with some of her favorite advice culled from her experience on the road. At the end of the book, Jackson invites the reader to develop their own Running Curriculum Vitae.

Clearly, Lisa Jackson has learned that running gives so much if the runner is ready to receive the gifts. Your Pace or Mine is an absolutely wonderful ode to running. Upon completion of the book, I felt a sense of satisfaction as if I'd just had lunch with a friend who completely gets me. Your Pace or Mine was an easy, quick read and it is a book I can turn to again if I need a laugh or just a nudge to put on my shoes and go.

One last nugget of wisdom from the book:
"Vaseline everywhere. Chat-run walk. Have fun. Chocolate when you need an energy boost. Graciously accept medal. Whoop (out loud). Sleep wearing medal. Repeat."
What nuggets of wisdom would you offer runners? What is your proudest running moment? What's your running dream? This is a no snorting zone.

Readers: While I'm going to continue to do monthly book reviews, I'm no longer going to host a link up for the book club. If you write a review, please share your link in the comments and I'll add it to the post. I'd love it if you'd link back to this post in your review. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks to everyone for your interest in the book club.

Check out Kim's review of Tim Tebow's autobiography! http://kookyrunner.com/book-review-5-reasons-to-read-shaken-tim-tebow

Next month's book is The Road to Sparta: Reliving the Ancient Battle and Epic Run That Inspired the World's Greatest Footrace by ultramarathon man Dean Karnazes. This is the tale of the journey that inspired the modern-day marathon, recreated by Karnazes. I'm really excited to read this one! I'm also excited that Dean has offered to share photos and answer questions on the blog. Please let me know if you have anything you want to ask him! This review will be posted on April 21.



This post contains affiliate links.

54 comments :

  1. This seems like a great book! I'll have to look for it at my library. I cannot believe that she has run so many marathons - That's amazing!! Although I cannot even imagine running nude for a race, lol

    I did a book review to link up with your book club this month - http://kookyrunner.com/book-review-5-reasons-to-read-shaken-tim-tebow/

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    1. Of course, the month I cancel the link up...I'm still going to include links in my posts! So if you review books, let me know so I can add the links in! Thanks so much!

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  2. I love that quote about running being about the time you have while doing it! Perfect way to describe it for me. Sounds like a fun down to earth book.

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    1. I loved that quote too, and it really was fitting for my race this weekend!

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  3. This sounds like a fun book! I need more laughter in my runs. If it's snowing in NYC I'll be laughing for sure. Otherwise I'll be digging out my perseverance to chase my goal.

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    1. Looks like you did fantastic with your race! I can't wait for the recap.

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  4. Love your review! I'm sorry I didn't get to join in on the book club, I really do want to participate, so I'll save the date for April!

    I don't think I could ever do a nude run LOL!

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    1. No worries! I'm not going anywhere. And I'm not going to do a nude run.

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  5. Sounds like a fantastic read, I need to check it out! Thanks for the great review. ��

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  6. Thanks for the review. I would love to read this book. I wonder if I can get it on Audible (that way I can listen to it while I'm actually running! :-) ). Though somehow a nude run sounds really uncomfortable!

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    1. Actually, the author's review of the nude run talks about discomfort. Specifically chafing!

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  7. You found the best books!!! Hope you have a good weekend!

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  8. Wow Comrades. That's like the haggiest of BHAGS. I winced about an undy run. Let's just say I'll leave the nude run alone. Thanks for crediting me with the BHAG!:D

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    1. Right? Is that even a marathon? And how did they even arrive at that distance?

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  9. Andrew doesn't like running, but he tries to like it. He's very unmotivated on his own, he never has any fun, and he doesn't have a whole lot of resilience when it comes to finishing runs. We are very different people. He does it because he knows it's healthy and he wants to lose weight, etc but MAN. it's frustrating. I don't care at ALL that he's slower than me! I just don't like it when he's so negative out there. We're going to Arizona in April to run a half, and I told him that I'll help him finish it ONLY if he has a good attitude. I don't care if he walks the whole thing, as long as he's working hard and/or having fun, otherwise I'm leaving him in my dust. Whoa, okay so that was a bit of a vent, eh? Heh heh heh... embarrassing...

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    1. Leave him in the dust. There's no room for negativity on the race course!

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  10. I need to read this book - she sounds like my kind of runner. :)

    Love that picture of you, btw!

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  11. This definitely sounds like I book that I must read!!

    Finishing my FIRST half was my proudest moment.

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    1. My first marathon was not my proudest moment. My second marathon was!

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  12. This book sounds right up my alley. We are definitely a stubborn, I mean motivated, breed.

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  13. I love books that talk about the lessons learned through running. Sounds like a great read!

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    1. I was surprised that this book wasn't more in our mainstream!

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  14. Sounds like a good read. One of my friends frequently does what she calls joy miles. When I'm feeling too much pressure, I try to go out and do the same and remember why I run in the first place.

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    1. I'm going on a few of those joy miles tomorrow morning--I'm in Florida and there's nothing better!

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  15. I just wrote a post on ways running can make you happy and one of the ways is to laugh and play! Every run shouldn't be so serious and focused - where you put pressure on yourself to run a certain pace and run a set distance.
    Sorry I haven't had the chance to participate in the book club. I've enjoyed the past reads. I'm so behind on the other reading I want to do. This book sounds relatable. Amazing she's ran 90 marathons - can't even imagine!

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    1. Running should be fun, and this book really drives that point home!

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  16. Wow, she has a heck of a running CV. Nude races? Ultramarathons in South Africa? She definitely sounds like she's enjoying the journey.

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    1. I hope she's hit the 100 marathon mark by now!

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  17. Ugh, I'm a slow reader ...I'm not quite done with this one but I am really enjoying it! :)

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    1. I'm so glad you are reading it! If you do a review, send me the link so I can add it to the post!

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  18. This is great Wendy! I love the "final nugget" from the book...Yes!! I'm a firm believer in vaseline everywhere for running/tris..:-) I love Dean Karnazes, so looking forward to your review of his book. I'll let you know if I have any /'s for him, so cool!!!

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    1. Please do! He's quite excited to participate! Who knew?

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  19. This sounds like a great book & maybe just what I need to read right now. And obviously chocolate is my favorite everything.

    I'm not sure what my proudest running moment is. Obviously, PCB and a PR with friends is right up there. Coming back from a bout of ITBS to PR is also up there. My Phoenix race, which wasn't a PR (so no, it's not all about the PRs!), was my best hot/hilly run to date and I am proud of that one too.

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    1. I love that you have more than one proud running moment. That's how it should be!

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  20. This sounds like a great book! I'm definitely adding it to my list.

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  21. This is not available in our state library loan system, but it sounds like one that is worth the purchase. Thanks, Wendy. I love your reviews.

    My proudest running moment, if you can believe it, is not completing my one-and-only half, but the day I ran two miles without walking. I knew if I could do that I would be able to make 5K. I did it on the track at the high school where I work, with only my husband in the stands to watch. I actually pumped my fist in the air. And then I cried. I was fifty-nine years old.

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    1. What a great feeling, to run without stopping! Not only does that mean you've built up endurance, but it also means that you can control your pace enough not to go out and crash and burn. Huge accomplishment!

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  22. great review! Sounds like you picked a winner and the right time! I agree if you aren't having fun then why run? :)

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    1. Right? Why do anything if it isn't fun?

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  23. Thanks for the review! I love books about running. Adding it to my reading wishlist now.

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    1. Me too! It's my goal to find running books worth the read.

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  24. Oh gosh! This book sounds like (another) must-read! Now, if the time fairy would please wave her wand and grant me an extra six hours (at the absolute minimum) each day....;-)

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    1. I hear you on the time fairy--when you see her, send her my way!

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  25. You seem to find the best books! If only I had time to read all of them!

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  26. I love her message!! I don't see myself ever doing a nude race, but I've learned to never say never. My proudest running moment was finishing my first half. I'm looking forward to a time when I can read for pleasure instead of for school. So many good books out there! Hope you have a wonderful time in Florida. Let me know if you get bored and I'll meet up with you. 😎

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    1. I don't know if I'll get bored--I wish I'd known you were here!

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  27. This book looks great, def gonna give it a read. Thanks for the great review!

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