This is a really powerful book. The joint story of Fleshman’s growth as a runner from a tween girl to pro runner, and how even in the Title IX era, college sports failed women. But it goes beyond that to show that it wasn’t the coach’s faults. DeLong in high school, Vin Lananna in college and as a pro were used to training men. Women aren’t men.
While men aren’t immune from eating disorders, the female triad and RED-S are significant issues that need to be accounted for with women. If you don’t let the natural plateau happen, how do you grow as a runner ? Too many coaches didn’t and still don’t understand this and I hope Fleshman’s book is part of that change.
Shefontaine. A goal that fleshman was curious about as she faced a true rival in Shalane Flanagan. Being forced to face the prospects of having Kara Goucher as an Oiselle teammate after their rivalry stemming from the 2008 Olympic trials in the 5K. The author faced a lot of hurdles in her journey as a runner but I believe they’re for the better of the running community as she teaches another generation of runners from the mistakes she faced.
While Fleshman was a professional runner, this is a must read for every runner: male or female. Some of the elements have attained broader recognition now after the sanctions on Salazar and the Mary Cain op Ed, but that doesn’t make any of it less heart wrenching.
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