Running Like a Girl
Notes on Learning to Run
By Alexandra Heminsley
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781451697124, 224pp.)
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A charming, hilarious, and practical book about one woman’s stumbling, painful efforts to start running and how becoming a runner ultimately transformed her relationships, her body, and her life.
In her twenties, Alexandra Heminsley spent more time drinking white wine than she did in pursuit of athletic excellence. When she decided to take up running in her thirties, she had high hopes for a blissful runner’s high and immediate physical transformation. After eating three slices of toast with honey and spending ninety minutes on iTunes creating the perfect playlist, she hit the streets—and failed miserably. The stories of her first runs turn the common notion that we are all “born to run” on its head—and exposes the truth about starting to run: it can be brutal.
Running Like a Girl tells the story of getting beyond the brutal part, how Alexandra makes running a part of her life, and reaps the rewards: not just the obvious things, like weight loss, health, and glowing skin, but self-confidence and immeasurable daily pleasure, along with a new closeness to her father—a marathon runner—and her brother, with whom she ultimately runs her first marathon.
But before her first marathon, she has to figure out the logistics of running: the intimidating questions from a young and arrogant sales assistant when she goes to buy her first running shoes, where to get decent bras for the larger bust, how not to freeze or get sunstroke, and what (and when) to eat before a run. She’s figured out what’s important (pockets) and what isn’t (appearance), and more.
For any woman who has ever run, wanted to run, tried to run, or failed to run (even if just around the block), Heminsley’s funny, warm, and motivational personal journey from non-athlete extraordinaire to someone who has completed five marathons is inspiring, entertaining, practical, and fun.
Alexandra Heminsley is a journalist, broadcaster, and ghostwriter. She is the books editor for Elle UK and a contributor to the BBC. She lives in Brighton, UK.
"If you've ever wept WHY WOULD I WANT TO RUN?, your answer is here."
-Caitlin Moran, author of How to Be a Woman
"The morning after I finished this book, I got my running shoes on. ?Funny, wise, and inspirational, Alexandra Heminsley manages to make running seem not just possible, but life-affirming, liberating, and fun."
-Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You
?e~This is not simply a book about running ?e" it?e(TM)s about discipline, self-knowledge and relationships, and should inspire even the most committed couch potato to strap on their trainers and run.?e(TM)
"If the word marathon brings you out in a cold sweat, then this brilliantly titled book is the perfect antidote to running reluctance?e? It?e(TM)s an honest and uplifting account, pitching practical know-how... with insights into the personal doubts and daunts of [Heminsley's] own life. There?e(TM)s nothing preachy or smug about her stance. Instead, it?e(TM)s an inspiring reminder of what we?e(TM)re all capable of if we put our minds to it."
"A meditation (slash romp) on running, life and love. Penned in her own inimitable style, the book is a funny tread through the raft of body insecurities and mental anguish we all go through when we put on our trainers."
"[Heminsley's] honesty is winning: her first run is a disaster. . . . Her sketches of her family members are witty. What's truly excellent about this book, though, is its generosity."
?eoeIn Running Like a Girl, Alexandra Heminsley has the courage to abandon her comfort zone and try something truly daunting and intimidating, running a marathon. In doing so she proves to herself that she is better than she thought she was and is capable of going further than she ever thought she ever could. These are invaluable life lessons that transcend running itself. You will enjoy this book?e"and learn and laugh in the processes?e"whether you run great distances, modest distances, or not at all.?e
-Dean Karnazes, runner and New York Times bestselling author?