Your Pace or Mine by Lisa Jackson

This book is the cause of my every ambition. What’s more important, it’s the book that made me believe I could do it. 

The book I read previously (Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley) had me teetering on the brink of where I would go next with my running, but this book actually had me signing on the dotted line to complete the Great North Run 2021, fundraising for Diabetes UK. You can follow my journey at The Mid-life Crisis of a Sugar Rush Runner (https://themidlifecrisisofasugarrushrunner.wordpress.com)

The Great North Run was the legendary and awe-inspiring Lisa Jackson’s first race, too. The way she described the atmosphere made me want to taste it for myself. Perhaps I’ll give the naked run a miss though, I don’t think my poor boobs could handle that one!

Lisa described a wonderful childhood with parents who ran. She didn’t believe she had inherited that trait until she reached her thirties, but boy was she wrong. Lisa is now in the 100 marathon club and has taken part in ultra runs, too. She has come last in a few races, mainly due to getting lost or extending her support to struggling runners rather than a lack of ability. Though she manages to play down the machine that she very clearly is throughout the entire book and doesn’t come across as gloating about her mammoth running achievements…that is a skill in itself when you realise just how inspiring a woman she really is. 

Lisa doesn’t go through the entire book talking simply about herself, though I’m certain she’d be able to fill several books about her varying experiences, but includes the many people she has met along the way and their experiences. The hurdles some of these people have overcome is enough to force you to dust off your trainers and go for a run, even if it’s a very slow run because Lisa professes to be just that….though I absolutely have my doubts on that point. The reason Lisa has managed to get to know so many people is because she embraces the social side of running. This is something which is of real interest to me, because of the time I’ve taken up running events are only just restarting and the fact I live in the arse end of nowhere and barely see a soul when I’m running outdoors!

If you are thinking about upping your game and entering events but there’s a niggling doubt lingering at the back of your mind, “I’m too slow.” “People will laugh at me.” “But, I’ll finish last…or not at all!” This book is for you. I swear by the end of it you won’t care if any of those things happen come race day because Lisa will talk you out of it!

Now, dust off your trainers and absolutely add this book to your arsenal of inspiration!

Sold by all good book retailers and also available in audiobook. I listened to the audiobook and found it engaging and superb, so much so I’m on my second listen of it!

If I was able to award this book a million stars, I absolutely would. It’s power and value should not be underestimated!

Where’d She Go?

You may have noticed I have been ever absent on this blog space, you may not have, I don’t know. The fact of the matter is I’ve been anything but absent from blogging! I absolutely intend to keep going here, and I’ll use it to review the vast amount of running books I’ve read recently!

If you want to know what I’ve been up to, please head over to my weekly blog which has been up and running since mid-April and I haven’t missed a week yet! I have noted there’s diet, sports and diabetic people been following this blog because this became a space to write about the drastic changes I made to my lifestyle over the past year and so it only seemed right I would write about it someplace…whilst I’m reserving those talks for my new blog, The Mid-life Crisis of a Sugar Rush Runner, I’ll still be writing about what I’m reading here, and trust me, I have got through A LOT of books! Follow me here: https://themidlifecrisisofasugarrushrunner.wordpress.com

First up! Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley. Alex or ‘Hemmo’ as she is known sort of accidentally fell into running, a bit like myself. I read this book after I completed the NHS Couch to 5k programme and started training for an Easter 10k run that I did for Roy Castle’s Lung Cancer Foundation trust managing to raise £90 for them. 

The book is written in an easy going conversational style which was thoroughly easy to read and enjoyable. I have seen a few reviews moaning there was too much about her story in the book and not enough tips and tricks. I absolutely disagree because I found both were plentiful between the pages.

I found the story of her London Marathon experience both touching and inspiring as she admits to bursting into tears during it due to the birth of her niece and the challenging time her sister went through prior to this with her husbands touch and go ill health.

About a week after finishing this book I witnessed a woman running past my very rural home and I swear to you, her breasts were just about slapping on her shoulders. My heart went out and I was torn between calling to tell her to read this book and consider the highly probable damage she is doing to her breast tissue or offering to e-mail her a discount code for Shock Absorber. Alas, she was rather quick and I’m not that brave and/or rude…after all, it’s her chest. 

The practical advice offered by Heminsly is invaluable, at the time of reading I half thought I might run a marathon one day and I’ve definitely retained the vast majority of tips included for that particular slice of madness.  I even commenced eyeliner testing and I’m please to say I’ve discovered some which will likely see me through! Yes, I am that mad…well, not really though, because if anyone snaps a photo of me sans makeup they won’t actually know who it is! LOL.

I also saw some reviews bemoaning this is a book for young people aspiring to run marathons and other races rather than just heading out for a jog. I’d also reverently disagree with that. This book goes some way to forcing a belief in yourself, allays any fears you may have and guides you into at least giving it a bash. Whilst the tips and tricks Heminsly serves up go someway to preparing you for race day as well, I thought it struck a nice balance.

If you want nothing to do with entering races whatsoever, then there are definitely titles out there for you without talking about that aspect of running, but I didn’t personally find them as enjoyable as this book, I will be reviewing them at a later date.

Admittedly, I did get an inkling of ‘holier than thou’ from the author at times and had to slap that notion out of myself because to go from nothing to running several races must invoke and extreme sense of pride that could come across as bragging. A new chapter would commence and that notion would soon be gone. Alex also discussed the difficulties she’s faced and went through some pretty rubbish experiences which will hopefully prepare you for your journey off the couch to your first marathon!

I listened to this title in audiobook and the narration was great if you prefer audio!

Available from all good book retailers!

I award this book 4.5 stars and thank the author immensely for sharing her story.