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!

**REVIEW** Why Mummy Drinks & Why Mummy Swears by Gill Sims.

I listened to both of these books from audible. Unfortunately, I read them out of order, which is part of the reason I’m doing a joint review of both titles because the thing is, I don’t have too much different to say about either of them! This may instantly put you off, however if you’re a mother please read on!

Why Mummy Drinks is the first in the series. Each title begins with the absolute optimism and determination every parent starts the month of September with. The joy of seeing your children embark on another school year sends each mother into a fit of renewed hope that the year ahead will provide fruit from your super organisation skills, all of their homework will be completed and handed in on time, they will skip through the school gates, on time of course, and be delighted to be educated. Your precious little moppets will rise each morning with an enthusiasm matching your own and everything will be just perfect this year…I swear, it will be nothing like the disaster of last year! Well, if you’re anything like me you will fail miserably in the first week, though it’s not for lack of trying!

Ellen works part time, in what appears to be a ‘money for old rope’ job. This comes with the perk of being able to work on an idea she has for an app game based on her feelings of inferiority in the playground and the ‘perfect mummies.’ Again, something I can totally relate to. I’ve never been a joiner and I can’t think of anything less I’d rather do than attend a PTA meeting or ‘coffee morning.’ I’d go as far as to proffer that I’d enjoy dousing myself with petrol before setting myself alight much more!

Ellen keeps her ideas quiet from her husband and goes ahead, builds and publishes her app. Of course she experiences ups and downs of self doubt and hope. Alas, she makes a mint and I was cheering her on! That’s not really a spoiler, because the reader suspects it anyway, I guess.

As with the second title, the book ends as the school year ends. Poor Ellen has had to put up with a lot throughout the book, but in my eyes she handles it in a hilarious way that had me in stitches throughout.

The second book of the series sees Ellen, having been made redundant apply for a full-time job, much to her husbands dismay and discouragement. Simon displays an attitude toward his children which I have heard escape the mouths of many women’s strangled cries of injustice; ‘It’s not babysitting! They’re your children, too!’ For those of you that do not possess a partner that sees the woman as being responsible for childcare, maybe it’s just the people I know and we have a predilection for arseholes! Oh, and the cooking and cleaning despite the fact you both work! I still think it’s hilarious how Ellen’s irksome husband, Simon, thinks lasagne is such an easy meal to prepare!

Anyhow, despite a second interview over the telephone taking place with the precious little moppets almost killing each other outside the bedroom door because, Simon who was meant to ensure their silence during the meeting, had a touch of ‘man flu’ and couldn’t possibly cope alone for ten minutes!

Ellen arrives at the swanky office block and quickly catches on to the fact that one of her colleagues is a mother and faces constant criticism for having time off. Although, this is played out with wit and hilarity it touches a deep rooted nerve with me. Her colleagues assume that Ellen is single and childless, she decides not to correct them. She manages perfectly with school commitments, such as the many dratted plays and school engagements bestowed unkindly on us working mothers, with many doctors and dentist appointments. She grows more and more of a guilty conscience for her colleague, who frankly works her arse off in order to get time off to attend such engagements and meets anger and disappointment from her when the truth finally surfaces. This scenario is delivered with such scathing accuracy. Bravo, Ms Sims!

Obviously, there’s plenty more story line covering Ellen’s antics as well!

Overall, what I must say about this series is that it resonated with me in so many different ways. The comical aspect of serious situations and stumbling blindly through motherhood felt effortlessly lighthearted. I can’t thank Gill Sims enough for her offerings!

I award FIVE easily given stars to both of these books!

Both books can be found on Gill Sims Amazon author page, she also has just released another in the series! Both links will open in a new page:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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