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Monday, October 12, 2015

My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, A Daughter, and A Ridiculous Plan

I originally picked up this book at BEA last year for a friend of mine who is running the New York City Marathon in just a couple of weeks. Talking to Tom Foreman was such a delight -- he is sweet and kind, and he is so supportive of runners in general. Reading his memoir, My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, A Daughter, and A Ridiculous Plan was such a delight. 

Tom Foreman was your typical 51 year-old guy -- sure, he was active as a young man, but raising two children and a hard-hitting career in journalism had made him a bit soft. Still good looking and moderately fit, he was hit by a ton of bricks when his college freshman daughter asked him to run a marathon with her. He agreed. They trained, and after they succeeded, he ran two more in a short period of time. He then sets his sights on something even bigger: an ultramarathon. 55 miles of nonstop goodness. Can he make it, or will it be the final frontier?

I am the very first to tell people about my being a runner that I only run if I'm being chased. That's not entirely true -- I do run for exercise. In fact, yesterday I ran a 10-minute mile, which is kind of huge for me. I am curvy and I like being curvy, so exercise beyond yoga and walking just doesn't appeal to me. (What do those things have to do with one another? Nothing really. But in my mind it makes sense.) I had a feeling I would still enjoy this book, however, and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Foreman has a writing style that appeals to the casual reader, and his journalistic point of view comes through when talking about his own journey from couch-past-5k-to-ultramarathon. We all know what it's like to grasp on to a new challenge and then take it to an extreme and sometimes even farther into fanaticism, so it's easy to like this book.

Of course, I'm also a little giddy when I read about my hometown, and his first race with his daughter in Atlanta was fun to read. I knew all of the route he was talking about as I have spent plenty of time in, on, and around it having lived there and attended Georgia State University (GO PANTHERS!) for my first round of graduate work. However, it was really the personal revelations that Foreman came to in his own life about himself and his dedication and why he became who he did in love and life that kept me hooked into this memoir. It is well worth picking up whether you are a runner or not. His journey will sound like yours but it will also be his own, distinct from yours. That's the magic of this book.

For purchase below.

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