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The Extra Mile

The item on the list today is a great book. I was at the local library over a year and a half ago and was looking for a good book to read. I was looking for some inspiration, some life lessons and some humor. The third thing on the 26.2 Christmas list is a book that every runner should read. Pam Reed’s book, “The Extra Mile: One Woman’s Personal Journey to Ultra-Running Greatness.

Honestly, anyone who can run a marathon is an inspiration to me, anyone who can run more than that is a super human. Pam’s book is humorous, lighthearted and incredibly real and an easy read. She really is “human” and some of her funny antics while running make you really laugh out loud. She is so thoughtful and many of her insights didn’t only inspire my running, but inspired my life.
Currently she is the race director for the Tucson Marathon, (which I will one day run just to meet her) In 2005, she became the first person to complete a 300-mile run without sleep, breaking Dean Karnazes’s then-record of 262 miles. (Karnazes claims to have surpassed her distance later.) She completed the run in slightly less than eighty hours.
In 2003, she set the women’s record for the USATF 24-hour track run, which she still holds.
She is the only woman to have won the Badwater Ultramarathon (in both 2002 and 2003).
(How fun does she look to hang out with! I’m sure her stories are just incredible!) Her success didn’t come easy though. She is super busy, having three boys and a dog, and her life included supporting the boys in their sports, school activities, working and then trying to fit in her training to accomplish goals, which are very lofty. She shocked the running world in 2002 when she won the sport’s most grueling race—135 miles from Death Valley to Mount Whitney—beating her closest competitor by 5 hours! Yet her athletic accomplishments are only half the story. She also tells of her 15-year-long battle with anorexia. She also discusses her passion for ultrarunning — to discover how far the human body can be pushed. She is fun and it’s a great read. I really recommend it!
I found the book to be a very good, but also page turning read. She is quirky, and her daily life and how she fits in her training runs to how she raced with a stroller with a sprayer is very entertaining. You can buy the book here, and it retails for 15.95 on
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