Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter and a Ridiculous Plan by Tom Foreman, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ Non-fiction, Memoir
Publisher~ Blue Rider Press
Published~ October 6, 2015

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
CNN correspondent Tom Foreman's remarkable journey from half-hearted couch potato to ultra-marathon runner, with four half-marathons, three marathons, and 2,000 miles of training in between; a poignant and warm-hearted tale of parenting, overcoming the challenges of age, and quiet triumph.


As a journalist whose career spans three decades, CNN correspondent Tom Foreman has reported from the heart of war zones, riots, and natural disasters. He has interviewed serial killers and been in the line of fire. But the most terrifying moment of his life didn't occur on the job--it occurred at home, when his 18-year old daughter asked, "How would you feel about running a marathon with me?" 


At the time, Foreman was approaching 51 years old, and his last marathon was almost 30 years behind him. The race was just sixteen weeks away, but Foreman reluctantly agreed. Training with his daughter, who had just started college, would be a great bonding experience, albeit a long and painful one. 


My Year of Running Dangerously is Foreman's journey through four half-marathons, three marathons, and one 55-mile race. What started as an innocent request from his daughter quickly turned into a rekindled passion for long-distance running--for the training, the camaraderie, the defeats, and the victories. Told with honesty and humor, Foreman's account captures the universal fears of aging and failure alongside the hard-won moments of triumph, tenacity, and going further than you ever thought possible.


My Thoughts
I am a newbie walk/runner and can say at this time I have no desire to actually do an ultra-marathon, but I am fascinated by those that do them and the events themselves!  I thought this book was fantastic and I really enjoyed the writing style, family conversations, sentimentality and humor that shone through his honest look back at his year of training and racing.  I found myself laughing over the different types of runners, smiling over the companionship and bonding between him and his daughter Ronnie, crying over the scare due to his brother's health, cringing/cheering when he discussed the obstacles on the first ultra-marathon and appreciating the love and support his wife, daughters, family and friends provided.  

One of the things I found fascinating was his glimpses about the thoughts and emotional ups and downs one faces while alone in the woods.  While I have not swam for 12 hours, when I do partake in my long swim days that is one of the best and worst parts..my thoughts.  It also was interesting to see the factual approach to injuries.  The stories that resulted in bleeding, scratches, the jammed thumbs felt like a blunt "yes this happens" which I have never encountered in discussions from others.  The conversations, pep talks, doubt and more make this book and adventure very relateable.  After reading the book and thinking about it for a few days these conversations were some of my favorite sections of the book.  One such quotation that has not left me is when Ronnie and Tom were talking and they brought up the saying, "It was inevitable. That made it ideal."(p.142)

I have read several memoir's this year.  Some have dealt with fashion, with humor, with art, with religion and I have enjoyed them greatly.  However, this memoir (along with The Book of Joan) is one of my favorites I have read.  I feel this book would be an excellent read for any one who enjoys memoirs, is interested in taking up an athletic challenge or change or enjoys humorous anecdotes.

Important Links

Links to Purchase Book

Disclaimer~ I was loaned this book by Penguins First to Read program in exhange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Unil my next post...love y'all!!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Meghan -
    I just found your review here at the end of a long work week. Considering the posting date, I must apologize for taking so long to find it, but I also need to thank you for the very kind words. It is so interesting to read the thoughts that others take away from this book, and I feel as if I am constantly gaining new insights in this fashion. In short, this is by far the most gratifying part of the whole publishing process - hearing from folks like you.
    Many thanks,
    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Meghan -
    I just found your review here at the end of a long work week. Considering the posting date, I must apologize for taking so long to find it, but I also need to thank you for the very kind words. It is so interesting to read the thoughts that others take away from this book, and I feel as if I am constantly gaining new insights in this fashion. In short, this is by far the most gratifying part of the whole publishing process - hearing from folks like you.
    Many thanks,
    Tom

    ReplyDelete