Friday, February 11, 2011

Mile Markers Book by Kristin Armstrong (Book Review and Valentine's Day recommendation)

This week I had the great privilege of getting a sneak preview of the book Mile Markers - The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run, by Kristin Armstrong, due out March 1st. I've been a big fan of hers for years, both as a friend and as an insanely talented writer, so I was thrilled to see that she had compiled some of her best blog entries into a deep and thoughtful tome full of insights, stories, and quotable moments. I was not disappointed.

This book wastes no time reflecting on the deeper side of running, and how this simplest of sports has helped build her character, a community of close friends, and an appreciation for anything life throws her way (which happens to be a lot). The chapter titles indicate the broad range of emotions of the journey - Friendship, Healing, Play, Body, Freedom, Identity, Confidence, Fear, Burdens, Peace, Purpose, Passion, Clarity, Balance, Roadblocks, Gratitude, and more.

My first thought was "chick book!" - way too many emotions about one subject for a dude. Even a dude like me, who can't possibly read or write enough about the subject of running. But her honest and humble narrative makes each topic approachable, and I found myself realizing I feel similarly, albeit not as openly, about many of the big questions she addresses. Her gift of writing often leaves me speechless, the silence reflecting my gratitude for the sagacity (yes, that's a word).

Her writing also leaves me face-planted on the ground on occasion. The true test of any book is whether it is insightful enough that I am distracted from my steps on my long trail runs, receiving a face full of dirt for my pensiveness (pensivicity?). Mile Markers is a two-digger read, I'm happy to report! The same question got me each time - "do all women runners feel this way?". If so, I feel like apologizing to all of you. I knew we were all in this for some adventure, fun and laughs, and connecting with nature, but my God, I didn't realize the cauldron of emotions that lie within constantly redefining and reexamining who you are. Kristin describes herself as a "mom, writer, and runner", but after reading this, I feel the commas do her (or any women for that matter) an injustice. Perhaps the word "MomWriterRunnerWomanFriendDaughterWarriorConfidantCoachTeammate" is a bit closer (take that,

So if you want an insightful read, go pre-order this book (now available on for $9.89 for a limited time). And if you've forgotten to get a Valentine's Day gift (it's Monday!), there's nothing faster (or cheaper!) than a pre-ordered book to show you understand her sensitive side, be she friend or spouse. Believe me, you can't go wrong with this one.

A pre-ordered book AND a box of chocolates, that is. ;-)


  1. Sounds like a good read, Scott. Is it available on iTunes as an audiobook, or for the iPad?

    The cover picture looks like a running skirt ad!

    Lori Wolf

  2. Scott - you a no-show for Steep Ravine? We were hoping to see you!!! Erin

  3. Yes, unfortunately I am a DNS for Steep Ravine. My wife took a digger on the stairs and sprained her ankle around 2am (just what you need when you are 9 months pregnant), so I'm going to stick close to home this weekend.

    Do take pics and let me know how it goes! Looks like you had a perfect day.


  4. Would you mind mentioning how much this costs? Would appreciate a response from you, Scott.

  5. Faith -
    The book is $17.99 retail, but on sale at Amazon for $9.89 for a limited time. If you pre-order, it will ship on March 1st.


  6. Thomas Caleshu2/14/2011 09:51:00 AM

    Nice! It's the wife's birthday next week, and I've been scouting around for something to get her (more) excited for our Rim to Rim run this fall....

  7. Nice review sounds like a great read. It will be interesting to see how it translates from blog to book. Hope it's available in the uk, but think I may end up paying international shipping charges.


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