Sourcebooks Fire, 2014
Audience: Older Teens
Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.
But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.
Expectations: I could have sworn that I had read a prompt that this was about a girl who had asthma. I have no idea where I read that, but it wasn’t true. I was interested in that storyline because I have exercise-induced asthma. Because of that, and the fact that I didn’t like using my inhaler, I hardly ever exercised. Running was the worst. (I hated the Presidential Fitness test because I could never finish the mile without walking. Also, I have super long legs, so the stretching never went well, either.) I was looking forward to reading about someone who had asthma and was learning to run well because I was trying to run a mile without stopping at the time I was reading this.
Reality: Even though Annie didn’t have asthma, this book was a page-turner. It honestly made me a bit MORE scared to run because after one of her long runs she threw up for FOUR HOURS after her run. That sounded terrible and if it was a common thing, I wanted nothing to do with it. (I asked my running friend about it, and she shook her head no. Glad I probably don’t have to worry about that!) I liked the reason for her learning to run and I enjoyed watching Annie work through her emotions and grow. Also cool was the fact that we got to see Annie graduate and go to college. Usually, we only get to see one part of that in a book. Bonus - she had strawberry blonde hair.
Overall: I know I say this after every Miranda Kenneally book, but I think this was my favorite by her!
Running Progress: I’ve been doing the Couch to 5K program. I like the app because the annoying lady just tells me when to stop and start. I don’t have to count down or worry about it. I’m on week 6 and that means that annoying lady had me run 20 minutes without stopping. I didn’t think I could do it, but I decided I would try my best. I felt good, so I kept going until I was sure I had finished two miles. I beat my goal by a whole mile! I was pretty proud of myself, and so was my running friend. She was even more proud when she talked me into running a 3K. I had to walk twice (for about 30 seconds each time) during the race but it was super humid, the course was on grass and I was nervous so I was ok with that. I finished in 20:14. I was scared to ask the lady, so my buddy did for me. Also impressive was that she finished 3rd for women and continued to run with me after she was done! That helped a lot - because I was the last person. She’s so nice! I’ve thought about running before, but I couldn’t have done it without her support and advice. Or C25K. Or Katy Perry. Check out her blog here. She writes about running and reading.