February 25, 2021

A guest post by Beth Probst, author of 'It Could Be Worse: A girlfriends guide for runners who detest running'

A woman named Beth wrote me an email last month and asked if I'd be interested in reading her book, 'It Could Be Worse: A girlfriend's guide for runners who detest running'. I get a lot of inquiries about reviewing books, but being a slow reader, I am VERY choosy about what I read. When I saw what the book was about, however, I couldn't say no!

And I'm so happy that I read it. I was taken right back to when I first started running (perhaps that's part of what inspired me to go back to the beginning with the Couch to 5K plan). I highlighted several passages from the book, but this very honest introspection is probably my favorite:

"I realize that deep down, one of the primary reasons I hate running is because I’m mediocre at it. I’m a mediocre runner because I’m not willing to put the work in to be a good runner. I’m not willing to do the stretches, train regularly, eat healthy and lose weight so that my legs aren’t carrying an extra hundred pounds. In other words, I’m mediocre at running because I choose to be mediocre."

Despite the title of the book, Beth does not come across as whiny, nor does she complain about hating running throughout the book. I read it as tongue-in-cheek, and there was a lot of my favorite type of humor--the slightly sarcastic, obvious truths that so many people are thinking but don't like to admit (or at least share). Take this, for example:

"To add to this joy, I had the pleasure of being the larger-than-average gal lining up with a bunch of skinny runners. Don’t shake your head at me and say, “but you are a runner.” You know what I’m talking about. If you want to feel fat, head to a half-marathon and look at those in your company."

Haha! This book is great for people who are interested in running but believe they can't do it. It's super inspiring for beginner runners, slower runners, and/or overweight runners. It's so nice to read that someone else has the same thoughts I've had numerous times. It was very relatable, light-hearted, and honest.

I asked Beth if she'd like to share a guest post here, and I'm thrilled that she agreed. So, here's Beth :)

I first learned of Katie while reading Runner’s World Magazine many moons ago. I am so glad I did! Over the years, this blog has fueled my runs. As many of you know, there are a lot of running blogs out there packed with advice from elite runners and coaches, but few offer the candid, quirky and challenging side of running the way Katie does. She is one of the go-to places I find myself when I need inspiration and information about running. Because let’s be honest, I am not your typical runner.

My name is Beth Probst. I’m a plus-size mediocre Midwestern runner in her early 40s… And no, I’m not being self-deprecating. I literally am the gal who regularly finishes in the back of the pack. Part of this can be attributed to my size – I weigh well over 200 pounds. This alone presents many challenges. But, to add fuel to the fire, I also hate running. Yep. I hate running but love calling myself a runner.

So why do I do it? Because I can. Something happened to me that time I crossed the finish line of my first half-marathon. I had gone from mojito drinking chip eater to half-marathon finisher in just 15 weeks. It felt amazing. And so I kept doing it. But, I’m also someone who has many hobbies and interests in life… which means I’ve never made training my number one priority. Instead, I’m someone who is a runner and… meaning I run and do a whole bunch of other things. This means being honest with myself about where I’ll finish come race day.

Here’s the thing, though. I’m now entering year 10 of running. And every time I ask myself, is it worth putting yourself out there and finishing at the back of the pack yet again? The answer remains yes. Because I’d rather be the gal who puts herself out there and finishes last then doesn’t show up at all. As someone who strives for perfection (and always comes up short) and is super competitive, this was not an easy journey. But, it is my journey.

Which leads me to the heart of this post. For nearly a decade, I’ve been chronicling my running journey via blog and social posts. I’ve shared my running highs and running lows, in part to help inspire folks to just start moving. The reality is, folks often look at me and think if she can do it, there’s no reason I cannot. And you know what, they are 100 percent without a doubt right. I also think there is a whole slew of runners who relate to my story – the group of us who don’t actually love the act of running but love how they feel AFTER a run or a race or feel the “runner’s high” only after snagging a great deal on their favorite piece of running gear. So, I took last year and the global pandemic to pen a book about running. It is called It Could be Worse: A girlfriend’s guide for runners who detest running. It is a series of essays about my running journey and the lessons I’ve learned along the way, along with tips and hacks to help you cross the finish line while still doing all of the other things you love in life. 

Earlier this year, I asked Katie if she’d be willing to review my book because well, she’s amazing. And, I thought maybe some of you reading this post might want to know about this resource. I’m so grateful to her for sharing her thoughts about this book. And, I’m so grateful to her allowing me to share a little bit more about myself. If you are at all interested in learning more about my running adventures and how I stay motivated as a plus-size runner, consider checking out my book or following my running adventures.

Buy my book: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/it-could-be-worse or https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/109834877X

Note from Katie: The Kindle book is not listed on the same page as the paperback, and as you know, I love my Kindle. You can find the Kindle version here. (Amazon affiliate link)

Blog: https://circletouradventures.com/ 

1 comment:

  1. Might have to pick this book up! I have been walking 45 minutes every day this week. Yesterday I went farther than I did before and was stunned. I use a timer and don't drive to my starting place so I have to finish (Where have I read that before? ;) )
    Anyway, I was struggling the last half, messaging my daughters for encouragement. Got two solid blocks away and told myself to jog the rest. About 10 yards from the end of the first block I started to stop. Then I told myself to stop talking to myself like I was a failure and just DO the THING! And I did! And then I jogged the rest! I'm sure it was a pretty ugly sight, but I did it! I love, love, love the truth told by Katie and am looking forward to reading Beth's book. Thanks for sharing it Katie!!


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