The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion by Catriona Menzies-Pike

The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion

An unlikely marathoner finds her way through grief and into the untold history of women and running. Thirty-year-old Catriona Menzies-Pike defined herself in many ways: voracious reader, pub crawler, feminist, backpacker, and, since her parents' deaths a decade earlier, orphan. "Runner" was nowhere near the list. Yet when she began training for a half marathon on a whim, s...

Title:The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1524759449
Number of Pages:256 pages

The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion Reviews

  • Helen Maurice

    Loved this book! Was able to relate to as I have taken part in most of the Sydney runs that Catriona has run and described. Not a book I would usually read, I found the intermingling of historical and feminist perspectives fascinating. Being a Sydney girl, I took great pleasure in reading about the author's runs around the harbour and surrounds. I laughed and cried with my favourite passages being those when Catriona puts into perfect words the way I feel when I run

  • Heather Fineisen

    The author combines women’s history of running with he personal experience to create an interesting and informative look at the sport. The author includes her love of reading and literary references throughout the narrative. I am not a runner but enjoyed the book, especially the history.

  • Melissa

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

    Wow wow wow... I don't think I even read the description when requesting this one from Netgalley. "LONG RUN" jumped out at me loud and clear. I knew it had to be about running, and as a runner (albeit with a four year break after the twins being born), I wanted to read it. ASAP. I do that with any books about running, swimming or cycling, preferably all three at once. So far so good. The writer has

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

    Wow wow wow... I don't think I even read the description when requesting this one from Netgalley. "LONG RUN" jumped out at me loud and clear. I knew it had to be about running, and as a runner (albeit with a four year break after the twins being born), I wanted to read it. ASAP. I do that with any books about running, swimming or cycling, preferably all three at once. So far so good. The writer has been through some horrible tragedies but through it all, she found something both therapeutic and enjoyable, running! There is a t-shirt out there that says "Running... It's cheaper than therapy!" After three full marathons (two involving interstate travel), eight half marathons, four triathlons, a handful of 5K and 10Ks, at least ten pair of Brooks Adrenalines size 7W (in case you are shopping for me), a Garmin watch, a used road bike from Craigslist, two drawers full of workout clothes, swim flippers/pull buoy/goggles, a treadmill, two iPod shuffles, and truckloads of Gatorade, I would have to argue. My co-pay is only $30 a pop lol...

    The author has done her research on the history of the marathon and the participation of women in them. Each chapter discusses a various aspect of running and women with anecdotes of her personal life interspersed. I thought it was brilliant. There are a few sluggish spots, but overall the book was amazing.

    At any rate, this book is a great read, maybe even if you're not a runner!

  • Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Netgalley.com

    This book is an odd combination of memoir and history. The memoir isn't anything new-- while the author mentions that she has read a lot of running memoirs that didn't speak to her experience as a reluctant runner, most of the memoirs I have read are much like this. The runner doesn't want to run, but has personal issues, so takes it up reluctantly and finds that it answers many of the questions in her life and helps her deal with issues.

    What does make this book appealin

    E ARC from Netgalley.com

    This book is an odd combination of memoir and history. The memoir isn't anything new-- while the author mentions that she has read a lot of running memoirs that didn't speak to her experience as a reluctant runner, most of the memoirs I have read are much like this. The runner doesn't want to run, but has personal issues, so takes it up reluctantly and finds that it answers many of the questions in her life and helps her deal with issues.

    What does make this book appealing is the history of women and running, and especially the intersectionality of feminism and running. Complete with citations in the back, the author lays out the most complete history of women and running that I have seen. This is fantastic, and would be a fabulous resource for school libraries if we could just separate that part from the memoir!

    I should take notes and look up some of the women she mentions, because I see a LOT Of National History Day project possibilities.

    I know there are a lot of teachers and librarians who also run (and who might be on spring break!), so this book is worth mentioning.

    And is anyone else waiting for this year's Boston Marathon in order to watch Kathryn Switzer return for the 50th anniversary of her groundbreaking run?

  • Niki

    An interesting female-centric view on the topic of running, both as a pastime and a competitive endeavor. The author, a self-proclaimed reluctant runner, delves into a little bit of everything - culture, literature, history, feminism - to navigate her own (mis) adventures with running. The material can be a bit dry at times, but with a wealth of fascinating tidbits (ex: women's running competitions have only been a part of the Olympics since 1984). At its best, the book is wonderfully thought-pr

    An interesting female-centric view on the topic of running, both as a pastime and a competitive endeavor. The author, a self-proclaimed reluctant runner, delves into a little bit of everything - culture, literature, history, feminism - to navigate her own (mis) adventures with running. The material can be a bit dry at times, but with a wealth of fascinating tidbits (ex: women's running competitions have only been a part of the Olympics since 1984). At its best, the book is wonderfully thought-provoking.

  • LauraBeth

    The Long Run sprints ahead of other books that I’ve read about running (which have been a lot). First of all – this is one of the only books that I’ve read about running that is female-centric – but not in the way that one might expect. Instead of being a shallow book of Pinterest self-help quotes, this book aims higher and hits the mark by delving into the psyche of women and for the reasons they run. It made me question why it was exactly that I began running a few years ago. It connects a lot

    The Long Run sprints ahead of other books that I’ve read about running (which have been a lot). First of all – this is one of the only books that I’ve read about running that is female-centric – but not in the way that one might expect. Instead of being a shallow book of Pinterest self-help quotes, this book aims higher and hits the mark by delving into the psyche of women and for the reasons they run. It made me question why it was exactly that I began running a few years ago. It connects a lot of dots to running: the human psyche, feminism, culture, history and even literature. Reading this book made me realize that the author is a treasure trove of information on a myriad of topics and her ability to interrelate all of these ideas was skillfully done.

    Additionally, the author looks at heroic women who have broken through social barriers in the running world and while it made me appreciate these women much more than I have previously, I also walked away with much respect and admiration for the author. She’s the everyday woman who overcame heartache and a sedentary lifestyle by transforming herself into a runner. She represents what we’re all capable of doing. Catriona Menzies-Pike is inspiring and fierce in her own right.

    Many thanks to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Dusty Wight

    I picked up this book expecting a little about running and a lot about Catriona's life and loss. What I got was so much more. Amongst the history of women in running and the origin of the modern marathon Catriona manages to weave stories about her life in a light that speaks to the people around her whether they are family, random bystanders, or even you as the reader. I found myself fascinated with her own fascination of how these women runners must have really felt, and catapulted into a conve

    I picked up this book expecting a little about running and a lot about Catriona's life and loss. What I got was so much more. Amongst the history of women in running and the origin of the modern marathon Catriona manages to weave stories about her life in a light that speaks to the people around her whether they are family, random bystanders, or even you as the reader. I found myself fascinated with her own fascination of how these women runners must have really felt, and catapulted into a conversation about what it means to run for pleasure that I never would have considered had I not read this.

    Catriona doesn't aspire to write advice or self help and instead focuses on how her experiences with running have shaped her own world. She is speaking to the reader, but not with the intent to provide solid routine advice, or best stretches. I found that this approach gave me the space to relate and try to better understand my own experiences with running and what those experiences mean to me on a deeper level.

  • Madeleine

    Not long before reading this book, I read Jen A. Miller's memoir,

    , which is also about a young woman discovering how empowering and healing marathon running can be. Both books are welcome additions to the tiny pile of female-centric running books out there. If readers are hungry for more, check out

    !

    This book deals with two main themes: running as

    Not long before reading this book, I read Jen A. Miller's memoir,

    , which is also about a young woman discovering how empowering and healing marathon running can be. Both books are welcome additions to the tiny pile of female-centric running books out there. If readers are hungry for more, check out

    !

    This book deals with two main themes: running as a way to process grief (her parents died in a plane crash when she was 20) and the idea that men have denied women, in sport and in literature, the ability to run/move freely. I agreed with her feminist argument, but already knew most of the stories and books she used as supporting evidence.

    It would have been neat if the two themes had converged more often. Are women encouraged by society to grieve in different ways? Many people run marathons in honour of dead parents or dear friends. Perhaps she could have charted the rise of that phenomenon and compared others' experiences with her own. Instead of reading another interlude about the history of women's distance running, I was occasionally yearning for more details about the author's parents or how she navigated the challenges of being an orphan. Unlike Miller, she barely mentions romantic relationships at all.

    She reveals that she worked through grief and the process of becoming a marathoner in similar fashions — gradually, with some missteps and a little determination. "It should accommodate a million training runs, aches and doubts, stops and starts, setbacks, tiny advances, odd connections, and, ultimately, not triumph, but joy and renewal," she writes.

    Some of the moments in this book really spoke to me, like her grieving mind being "suddenly flooded by unmanageable emotion," which she deals with by running "faster and faster until the clatter of [her] heart and the burn in [her] calves hauled [her] back to the present." The last two pages were so lovely and lyrically written.

    This book was more literary than Miller's, but I appreciated the latter's focus and I thought Miller did a better job capturing New Jersey than Menzies-Pike did with Sydney.

    Diehard runners, the annoying tribe to which I belong, might find her nonchalance about timing and speed strange. (In contrast, Miller cares about times, though it isn't the only reason she runs.) By the end, I thought I understood why the author runs, but not why she races. If it's the training she really relishes, why did so much of the book focus on her race experiences?

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