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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Book Review: The Incomplete Book of Running by Peter Sagal (audio)

Peter Sagal loves to run. He didn't always. It came on more slowly for him. But as an adult, he has run and run and run. It has been an obsession at times. At other times, it's been therapy. As he went through a very rough, multi-year divorce (and no, you don't get any details, mind your own business), it particularly was helpful. He's not a great runner or a graceful one, and yet--he thinks you should try it too. Everyone can run. As Jim Fix famously said, all you need are two things--shoes and shorts (socks and shirts being optional in his mind.) He's run marathons, half-marathons, 5Ks and my favorite--a one mile run in his underwear.

As per the title, he doesn't claim to be an expert or to be giving out the be all end all of running advice. He is telling his story of running, giving a few tips along the way in case they're useful, and hoping you'll enjoy the story. He recommends not listening to anything at all while you run (which is crazy! Almost every episode of his NPR show, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, I've listened to as a podcast while walking. I don't run, I walk, including a full marathon.) Twice he's lead blind runners on marathons--famously the first time he did it, they crossed the finish line less than a minute before the bombs went off at the Boston marathon, which then turned into his one appearance on NPR's news.

It's a great book for runners, but more so for any aspiring runners or wannabe runners. Peter won't show you up or criticize your gait or tell you to buy hella expensive shoes. He'll just encourage you to get up and move. And if you want to be listening to him telling you all about it while you run (or walk), I highly recommend that as you probably already know his voice very well. It's both soothing and his enthusiasm really comes through.

I borrowed this eaudiobook from the library via Libby/Overdrive.

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