As part of The Runner Beans Book Club, I’ve been reading Your Pace Or Mine by Lisa Jackson*. Although I finished the book a while back, I’ve been meaning to review it for quite a while. Sadly, it seems the pace of my reviewing is about the same as my running – not very quick.
Lisa, the author, is perhaps not what you would expect from a marathon runner who has now joined the “100 Marathon Club”. She completed number 100 at a Saxons, Vikings, Normans event I attended in April and she asked me to take a photo of her with her friends. She was adorned in pink, wearing a flamingo hat, a big smile and she looked happy, radiating warmth. Many marathon runners including myself are grumpy. I can do the wearing pink bit quite well, but I rarely do looking happy. Edit: I’m always elated after. But I usually hate the world at 20 miles. I remember with fondness the collective grumpiness in the London Marathon tunnel approaching the Isle of Dogs. I know we love it really. Sorry, didn’t mean to imply all marathoners are grumpy!
You may also expect someone who has run ultra marathons including Comrades, and a 100 marathons, to be a pretty quick runner. Perhaps not mega fast, but certainly Good For Age. Lisa, although she has a very respectable marathon PB of 4:38, is a self-confessed slower runner and talks candidly about her experiences.
A refreshing, witty and chatty read, Lisa shares her tips, her race experiences, her reasons for running, and quotes and anecdotes from respected runners in the field. As a slower runner with ultra aspirations, this was a book that I could relate to. You could imagine yourself in the pub, hearing Lisa’s stories over a glass of wine and nodding your head in agreement.
I’ve mentioned before that I am aiming to complete an ultra marathon this year. I know for this, I will need to walk to save myself from fatigue setting in and to get round. For this reason, I am increasingly walking in races to try to work out the right approach. I’m probably paranoid, but I sometimes wonder if people think “why are you walking?” Lisa talks a lot about walk/running and her approach to it. She’s so matter of fact about it and makes you realise that it’s a perfectly valid race tactic. She talks about running for enjoyment and I guarantee that she gets much more enjoyment out of her races than many people do.
I laughed a lot at Your Pace Or Mine?, I nodded along with it, I even sniffled in places. This book documents a real journey in running, in a way that is relatable for so many. Is she an elite runner? No, but Lisa inspires and teaches so many runners in this book that to run, you don’t need to be fast, you just have to give it a go.
Next on my list is Jo Pavey’s “This Mum Runs.” What great books about running have you read?