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Running Like a Girl

Running Like a Girl

Notes on Learning to Run

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In her twenties, Alexandra Heminsley spent more time at the bar than she did in pursuit of athletic excellence. When she decided to take up running in her thirties, she had grand 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 expose the truth about starting to run: it can be brutal.

Running Like a Girl tells the story of how Alexandra gets beyond the brutal part, 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 that, 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 nonathlete extraordinaire to someone who has completed five marathons is inspiring, entertaining, prac­tical, and fun.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451697124 | 
  • October 2013
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5 Steps to Becoming a Runner

Alexandra Heminsley, author of Running Like a Girl, offers her top tips to would-be runners.

Read an Excerpt

Running Like a Girl 1 Not Born to Run
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

—Robert F. Kennedy

I don’t remember making the decision that I couldn’t run; it was simply one of those things that made me me, like my love of cheese or my distaste for men in turtlenecks.

My certainty that I couldn’t run was absolute, my envy profound of those who could, and my admiration for my flatmate boundless. She would appear at the front door, glowing from one of her... see more



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