Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book Review: Second Wind

So in my effort to get motivated for marathon training I decided to pick up an inspirational running book to get me in the training mood.  While browsing Half Price Books a month or so ago I came across Second Wind - one woman's midlife quest to run seven marathons on seven continents by Cami Ostman.  I bought it without really even reading the back and dug right in that weekend.  I was thrilled to find out Cami actually lived in Seattle and then moved to Bellingham so I could relate having lived in Seattle now for 5 years and going to college in Bellingham for 4 years! 

Here is the product overview from amazon:
Second Wind is the story of an unlikely athlete and an unlikely heroine: Cami Ostman, a woman edging toward midlife who decides to take on a challenge that stretches her way outside of her comfort zone. That challenge presents itself when an old friend suggests she go for a run to distract her from the grief of her recent divorce. Excited by the clarity of mind and breathing space running offers her, she keeps it up — albeit slowly — and she decides to run seven marathons on seven continents; this becomes Ostman’s vision quest, the thing she turns to during the ups and downs of a new romance and during the hard months and years of redefining herself in the aftermath of the very restrictive, religious-based marriage and life she led up until her divorce. Insightful and uplifting, Second Wind carries the reader along for the ride as Ostman runs her way out of compliance with the patriarchal rules about “being a woman” that long held her captive and into authenticity and self-love. Her adventures — and the personal revelations that accompany them — inspire readers to take chances, find truth in their lives, and learn to listen to the voice inside them that’s been there all along. 

So...the good:
  • Cami discusses her training in pretty good detail and her race recaps are VERY detailed...sometimes a little too much like when she talks about getting her period DURING a race and having blood down her legs for half a marathon.  All I thought was "great, one more thing I have to worry about during race day".
  • She is real and holds NO feelings back.
  • She isn't a super athlete or a fast runner, in fact I am faster than her and that is almost impossible! Her accomplishments make me know I can complete my marathon without dying...maybe :)
  • Again, the local connection was pretty cool and I could really relate to her stereotypes of the Pacific Northwest.
And the bad:
  • Cami starts all this running business after a tough divorce and she attempts to "find" herself again.  I wasn't really looking for a self help book on relationships so I didn't really enjoy those parts of the book.
  • She was a BIG Debbie Downer for large parts of the book and sometimes I wanted to reach through the book and strangle her.
  • I really struggled during some of her cry me a river moments.  I did feel bad for her and her divorce but she seemed to find and marry a new man very shortly after her divorce making my sympathy for her go down a little.
Would I recommend you read this book if you are looking for some marathon motivation?  I think I would for her race recaps alone.  She runs in some amazing places and my desire to run an international marathon is even stronger now...who is with me?

Since I NEVER read the same book twice are there any readers out there who want mine to read?  I'm willing to ship it within the U.S. to the first person who comments that they want it.

QUESTION: Do you have any other running books to recommend to me?  I'm currently reading Tina Haupert's Carrots 'N' Cake book based off her amazing blog. So far I'm undecided.  I think what makes her blog so great is her photos and without photos in the book it's is a little on the boring side. 


Margs @ Faster Bunny said...

Interesting - thanks for the review - cool to see what literature is out there!

Mrs. V said...

Running Within is a pretty cool book Lar, a lot of insight into the mental aspect of dealiing with the Marathon. I also enjoyed Pam Reed's book, but it focuses a little much on her eating disordered past....but she talks a lot about her Badwater wins.
Thanks for the book review!

Marathon Lar said...

Thanks Erin...I'm going to look that one up!