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Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run | [Alexandra Heminsley]

Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run

Until five years ago, Alexandra Heminsley was decidedly not a runner. Nor was she athletic in any sense of the word. She was an ordinary, curvy woman who was convinced that sports of any kind, especially running, were beyond her. But she's made running part of her life, and gets to reap the rewards: not just the obvious things, like a touch of weight loss, health and glowing skin, but self-belief, and immeasurable daily pleasure.
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Publisher's Summary

Until five years ago, Alexandra Heminsley was decidedly not a runner. Nor was she athletic in any sense of the word. She was an ordinary, curvy woman who was convinced that sports of any kind, especially running, were beyond her. But she's made running part of her life, and gets to reap the rewards: not just the obvious things, like a touch of weight loss, health and glowing skin, but self-belief, and immeasurable daily pleasure.

She's discovered a new closeness to her father, a marathon-runner of many years standing , and her brother, with whom she ran her first marathon, as well as a new side to herself, and has become intrigued by the little-known but rich feminist history to running. Along the way, Alex has had to handle the logistics of learning to run: the intimidating questions of a 22 year-old sales assistant while buying running shoes, where to get decent bra for the larger bust, and how to apply Vaseline to make the wearing of both comfortable.

She's worked out how not to freeze, how not to get sunstroke, and what (and when) to eat before a run. She' s worked out what's important (pockets) and what isn't (appearance) about what you wear. She's conquered the logistics of how to run a race, and how to use a heart rate monitor. She's run the gamut of uncontrollable emotion that a long-distance race can bring, and she's experienced the zen moment of distance covered, problems solved, that is the grail of every regular runner. Part memoir, part how-to, Running Like a Girl is a funny, warm and practical exhortation to ordinary women to lace up their sneakers, and see what they are capable of.

©2013 Onion Publications Limited (P)2013 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (168 )
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  •  
    Maria Oscoda, MI, United States 12-03-14
    Maria Oscoda, MI, United States 12-03-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meh... not what I thought..."

    I bought this book because I'm about a good 2 months into my venture to start running, and I thought I could relate to a lot of what this author talks about. You know... curvy non-athletic girl deciding she wanted to start running, and the challenges she faces. Uh, nope. This book is more about how a novice runner trained for a marathon. Her first run, she ran for a mile. By chapter two, she states that she could run for an hour comfortably. SO not me. It's taken me two months to work up to 2 miles, which for me is a half-hour. A lot of that included leg cramps, bad experiences on trails, finding out that running on a treadmill is different, experiencing the runner's high for the first time, etc. etc. None of that. I'm sure the story is good, but by chapter 3 I decided it's just not what I was expecting or hoping for. Fat girl story about finding a love of running through grueling hours every week of trial and error? Nope. This chick left out all the details of what it takes to get to the point where you can actually run a decent amount. I'm not interested in a book about how she trained for her marathon. I got it on sale pretty cheaply, so maybe I'll save it for a year or so down the road when I've caught up to her.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tracey ONEIDA, NY, United States 11-07-13
    tracey ONEIDA, NY, United States 11-07-13 Member Since 2013
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    "LOVE THIS!!!!!"
    If you could sum up Running Like a Girl in three words, what would they be?

    Made me laugh out loud, it was sooo funny. Also nice to hear about running from a normal woman. Great book a must read!!


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kylie 10-12-14
    Kylie 10-12-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! It is funny, serious, honest, and I could completely relate to her experiences. Very inspirational. She tells you that if she can do it, (and this is how she did it) anyone can too, and this is how. BUT In a wonderfully interesting way. I couldn't put it down, honestly.


    What about Elizabeth Sastre’s performance did you like?

    She was the PERFECT voice for the author. She was EXACTLY right. Her humor, inflection, and emotion was exactly right for the story. I was VERY impressed. It was a flawless performance.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I had all kinds of reactions to this book. I did laugh! and I did shed a few tears, of understanding and compassion. I really felt connected to the Heroine/Author/Narrator and was moved by her experience. Tears with a smile, if you know what I mean... I was also inspired, GREATLY! Great book!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 06-19-14
    Sandra 06-19-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Good Listen"

    Enjoyed listening!! The book seemed to jump a little bit back and forth in the timeline, so at times I was a little bit lost at exactly where she was in the story. But overall I enjoyed the storyline as well as the author's narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-07-14

    Bargainista

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    "Love this book!"

    This book is a wonderful read, er um...listen? The narrator's style mixed with the written text makes the Author seem like a good friend. I have been encouraged and inspired by this book to keep trying to run and not give up on myself. I finished a 7k last week, and I felt like writing to Alexandra to say THANK YOU! Her book helped me finish that race because it gave me a completely new perspective on what running was about and what I was capable of. Read it and share it...you won't be sorry!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Elmore 06-20-14
    Gail Elmore 06-20-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Just loved it."
    Would you listen to Running Like a Girl again? Why?

    It was like listening to a friend.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Running Like a Girl?

    When she fell during her first marathon.


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Sastre – was your favorite?

    the main character


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Actually there were several that made me cry.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    yuki 07-01-15
    yuki 07-01-15
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    "loved it"

    makes you want to run, it is well written. and very informative. definitely a book a beginning runner must read...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 06-17-15
    Steven 06-17-15
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    "Loved it. Inspirational."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Running Like a Girl to be better than the print version?

    I think hearing this book in the accent of the reader adds to the experience.


    Any additional comments?

    Very fun and inspirational book. My wife and I listened together and we both enjoyed it. For anyone thinking about running a longer race (man or woman), this book is informative, useful, and very fun. Inspiring and educational. Well worth the read, and easy to recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. weber Ca United States 06-04-15
    K. weber Ca United States 06-04-15 Member Since 2008
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    "I got some great tips from this book!"
    What did you love best about Running Like a Girl?

    The best part of the book was learning some tips on great gear...Her recommendation on which running bra was the best!!! She is absolutely correct! Hard to find in the USA, but worth the hunt!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Giselle Varela 05-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Not what I expected..."

    I thought the book would get into more details about advise for runners, learning how to run, recommendations on distance, ect. The book was more like an autobiography and was based on the success and failures of the author. The last 6 chapters were recommendations based on what the author learned through her experiences. Overall, a good, motivational story, just not what I was expecting. Still a good read if you struggle with motivation. I enjoyed the narrator as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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