Kristin Armstrong has inspired an entire generation of women to get out and live life like you mean it. Mile Markers is her quintessential work; it left this man reenergized to reach for the stars!
Kristin teaches us how the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how long or how fast, can better connect us to ourselves and to those we love. She shows us how getting out the door for a run can solve our most difficult problems, temper a foul mood, and uplift our spirit.
With Mile Markers, Kristin Armstrong switches the sun on a misty morning outing and beautifully illuminates the life lessons that make a run much more than just a workout.
If you are in love with running, you will fall in love with this book. It is witty and profound, yet so down to earth that you'll find yourself wondering if she isn't part of your own running group . . . and truly she is. Her writing echoes our thoughts and experiences as mothers, daughters, friends, and sisters running together through the seasons of our lives.
In this collection of entries from her Mile Markers blog (milemarkers.runnersworld.com), Armstrong (Work in Progress: An Unfinished Woman's Guide to Grace), a contributing editor to Runner's World, writes of how running enriches her life and allows her to mark milestones. The blogs are arranged into 26 thematic chapters, exploring topics like friendship, endurance, balance, and gratitude. Threaded throughout are universal themes of family, Armstrong's community of women runners, and her spirituality. Armstrong can be witty, vulnerable, and inspiring as she opens up about her life and her running, taking us on training runs with her girlfriends and sharing her experiences of racing with her daughter. While her writing is fluid within each reprinted blog and her insights spot-on, getting to the heart and soul of a woman runner, the reprinted blog entries are not chronological, and this can be disorienting. An easy read or for dipping into, this is recommended for runners who love reading about the sport and busy mothers seeking balance.
Runner's World blogger Armstrong (Happily Ever After: Walking with Peace and Courage Through a Year of Divorce, 2008, etc.) neatly packages a marathon of observations on running and womanhood into 26.2 chapters.
Although the miles of the book (as the author refers to its chapters) often begin at a distance from the author, Armstrong's steadily paced prose soon takes on a more candid tone. Each chapter is filled with fragments on a theme, which often seem like disparate thoughts struggling to mesh together. The author's repeated references to personal achievements and the inclusion of an unwieldy circle of friends, whom the reader must also befriend, may strike readers as off-putting at times—as will the constant self-promotion of her popular blog. The muscle pain and endorphin rush she describes at length may be alien to non-runners, but her renderings of the physicality of running will have readers' muscles burning with empathy. Armstrong's anecdotes are clever and amusing, likely to elicit an outright chuckle or two. Particularly resonant is a passage on how runners distinguish themselves from the pack with the messages they wear on their sleeves, ranging from political ("Free Tibet") to personal ("In honor of my dad"). The witty tone and urgency of the prose, the immediacy of the scenes she evokes and the ironic one-liners ("My mother hates to sweat") will have even non-runners stretching their reading muscles.
Part stream-of-consciousness, part self-help, but ultimately heartfelt—a compelling collection of essays, even for non-runners.