A Beautiful Work in Progress

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  • About the Book:

    Runners’ vocabulary is full of acronyms like DNS for “Did Not Start” and DNF for “Did Not Finish,” but when Mirna Valerio stepped up to the starting line, she needed a new one: DNQ for “Did Not Quit.”

    Valerio has tied on her running shoes all across the country, from the dusty back roads of central New Jersey to the busy Route 222 corridor in Pennsylvania to the sweltering deserts of Arizona. When you meet her on the trail, you might be surprised to see she doesn’t quite fit the typical image of a long-distance runner. She’s neither skinny nor white, and she’s here to show just how misguided these stereotypes can be.

    In this prejudice-busting, body-positive memoir told with raw honesty, an adventurous spirit, and a sharp sense of humor, Valerio takes readers along on her journey from first-time racer to ultramarathoner and proves that anyone can become a successful athlete.

    About Megan Michelson:

    Megan grew up in a small town in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills. She was a skier and a writer from a young age. After studying English literature and editing for her college newspaper at Middlebury College in Vermont, she was determined to become a journalist.

    Megan got her start reporting for a weekly newspaper in Tahoe, before landing an internship, then a job at Outside Magazine in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After that, she worked (while skiing a ton) as an editor at Skiing Magazine in Boulder, Colorado, then as the freeskiing editor for ESPN.com in Seattle, Washington.

    Now, she's her own boss, a freelance writer, based in Tahoe City, California. Megan is a correspondent for Outside Magazine, an editor-at-large for Backcountry Magazine, and a regular contributor to publications like the San Francisco Chronicle, Ski, Backpacker, and more. (She was a senior correspondent for the now-shuttered Powder Magazine).

    Why Megan Chose This Book:

    Mirna's story of getting into ultra running, overcoming prejudice, and not looking like other runners at the starting line of her ultramarathons is inspiring for anyone, but especially for runners. I read this while training to run my first 50K last summer and it kept me motivated on the harder days.