Rachel Toor was a bookish egghead who ran only to catch a bus. How such an unlikely athlete became a runner of ultramarathons is the story of "Personal Record," an exhilarating meditation on the making, and the minutiae, of a runner's life. The food, the clothes, the races, the injuries, and the watch are all essential to the runner, as readers discover here, and discover why. A chronicle of Toor's relationship with the sport of running, from her early incarnation as an Oreo-eating couch potato to her emergence as a hard-bodied marathoner, this book explores the sport of running, the community it brings into being, and the personal satisfaction of pursuing it to its limit. An homage to running, a literary take on how an activity can turn into a passion and how a passion can become a way of life, Toor's book runs all the way from individual achievement--a personal record--to the world of friendship and community.
"A finely written ode to the art, the trial, the lifestyle of marathon running. Toor, an experienced runner, has the ability to take you inside that niche world and make it real." Reader's Digest "An unconventional, inspirational, and loving account of running." Bill Rodgers, four-time winner of both the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon "A book that will appeal equally to novices and experienced runners." Booklist "Rachel Toor writes the way she runs, with passion, conviction, and calculated abandon. Personal Record is a candid and revealing look at the strange allure of long-distance running, captured intimately by someone who has been down that twisted road herself, and keeps going." --Dean Karnazes, ultra-marathoner "Toor immerses the reader in the world of long-distance running, examining her bruised, muscular body, the contents of her closet, her pantry jammed with energy gels and protein bars, and her love life in the process of explaining what running means to her and describing the experiences the sport has given her." Jenny Shank, New West
Toeing the Line; 1. The Body; 2. Reasons Not to Run; 3. The Routes; 4. One Runner's Beginnings; 5. The Closet; 6. The Coach; 7. The Magazine Rack; 8. Ride and Ties; 9. Weekend Mornings; 10. The First Marathon; 11. Speed Goggles; 12. The Fast Young Man; 13. Boston; 14. Becoming a Marathoner; 15. Racing; 16. The Western State; 17. Injuries; 18. Ultras; 19. The Watch; 20. The Coach; 21. The Fuel; 22. On the Road; 23. The Hospital; 24. Pacing; 25. The Break Up; 26. The Curtain Rod; Getting to the Finish