Your Pace or Mine? by Lisa Jackson

If you know me in “real life” it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that I’m training for my first marathon ( you can sponsor me at ). As a result I got some great running-related presents for Christmas, including a copy of Your Pace or Mine? by Lisa Jackson.

Rather than a book about technique and speed and winning, Your Pace or Mine? is a study on the other bits of running – the people you meet, the life experiences, the achievements, the crowds cheering, the catharsis, the mental game, the failures and the smiles and laughs along the way. The best bits.

Lisa tells a mean story, and she is at once warm, funny, engaging, encouraging and inspiring. First-hand accounts from Lisa’s running companions and heroes top off each chapter, bringing each lesson to life and reinforcing the power of the running community I have – somewhat unexpectedly – found myself part of.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. While the subject is running, I imagine it will be similarly inspiring if you’re preparing to take on pretty much any challenge. I DEVOURED this book in a week’s worth of commutes, and I got the strangest looks on the Piccadilly Line each morning as I went from giggling, to welling up, to snort-laughing all between Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge.

Lisa’s enthusiasm is infectious, and her positive attitude filled me with ambition, and helped with my mental game (after all, marathon running is 90% mental – and the other 10% is pretty mental too). I feel quietly confident that I’ve got the miles in my legs, and I have a good chance of achieving the time I want – and that if I don’t, that’s also fine.

Despite the fact I’m yet to run my first marathon, about half way through the book I found myself full of enthusiasm and entered the ballot for the New York marathon this November. Oops!

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