I'm pretty sure the recommendation for Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsly came from Kerry from Entomology of a Bookworm. I've gotten lots of reading recs about running lately, and this was the first book I ate up. Gobbled, in fact.
When Alexandra Heminsley decided to take up running, she had hopes for a blissful runner’s high and immediate physical transformation. After eating three slices of toast with honey and spending ninety minutes creating the perfect playlist, she hit the streets—and failed spectacularly. The stories of her first runs turn on its head the common notion that we are all “born to run”—and exposes the truth about starting to run: it can be brutal. (Goodreads)
Fail spectacularly she did. But she endured, which is what most of us find we have to do in order to like this running thing. It takes getting over the hump, finding the way for one's self, and let's face it...getting a bit addicted.
I read this book in about a day and a half and would've finished it much quicker if I'd had more downtime. I woke my husband up with my laughing several times, and I cried like a freaking baby (heaving sobs) when Heminsley met her goals by fighting through the mental and physical anguish of the tough days.
On the down side, I did not jive with Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (translated by Philip Gabriel). Put this one in the DNF column.
I love Murakami's fiction, so I figured a book combining running and writing would be a big, big success. What I actually found was a blasé attitude about running and some lazy writing. Early in the book he refers to his fitness level as somewhere between a high achiever and an overweight runner whose doctors told him 20 minutes ago that he needs to start exercising. So, yeah, maybe I took that personally, but it's just such a lazy sterotype, and I expect more from an award-winning author. So after a quick, mental "fuck you, Haruki Murakami" I endured to page 75 before I tossed this one.
While the stereotypes died down, on the whole I found the book repetitive and his entire attitude about running was lacking for me. For Murakami running is easy. If I'm going to relate, I think I need to read about a bit of a struggle. There was nothing motivational or moving about this one.