Published on May 6, 2016
Your Pace or Mine?
Your Pace or Mine? is subtitled ‘What Running Taught Me About Life, Laughter and Coming Last’ and, in a nutshell, that’s what author Lisa Jackson manages to convey. Co-author of Running Made Easy, Jackson only ran her first marathon in her early thirties and didn’t step up to the ultra for another decade; that, combined with her relaxed contentment at frequently coming last (or at least a long way down the pack) perfectly positions her to give hope to the most couchy of all potatoes.
Whilst most of us may read in awe the likes of Kilian Jornet’s Run or Die – with its terrifyingly binary title – Your Pace or Mine? sets an achievable tone that helps remind experienced runners of that nascent joy and should help inspire those yet to take the first true steps. Self-effacement can, at times, seem false in an author, a ready contrivance to create a book-selling, column-inch-filling persona. It would be disingenuous to accuse Jackson of such a manipulative approach; her laidback wit and genuine pleasure at just getting through a race is easy to appreciate for exactly what it is.
Of the 90-something races Jackson had completed at the time of writing Your Pace or Mine? (she’s about to bag her 100th) she had proudly hit rock-bottom last in 20 of them. Whilst the book wisely doesn’t take a comprehensively chronological approach to all of them, there is certainly what the X Factor voiceover man would call a ‘journey’ to follow. The chapters each address a different lesson learned about a particular aspect of running – or life – such as failure and success, fear, and even nudity; drawing on her experiences to shed light. These are interspersed with innumerable stories of other ‘real’ runners with their own stories to tell. As such Your Pace or Mine? is one of those books that can be dipped in and out of whenever the motivation tank needs refilling.
If you’re looking for light-hearted, good humoured advice on running for mere mortals Your Pace or Mine? is as good a place as any to start. Not quite a self-help book, but without doubt one that will raise a smile and help you tackle that next mile.
Your Pace or Mine? (ISBN-10: 1849538271) by Lisa Jackson is published by Summersdale, RRP £9.99 paperback, current Kindle price £4.29 – available from Amazon.co.uk