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My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter, and a Ridiculous Plan

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,284 ratings  ·  463 reviews
CNN correspondent Tom Foreman's remarkable journey from half-hearted couch potato to ultra-marathon runner, with four half-marathons, three marathons, and 2,000 miles of training in between; a poignant and warm-hearted tale of parenting, overcoming the challenges of age, and quiet triumph.

As a journalist whose career spans three decades, CNN correspondent Tom Foreman has r
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Blue Rider Press
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  3,284 ratings  ·  463 reviews

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Andrew Smith
Ultramarathon running is pretty extreme. I tried it once; it nearly killed me. But I went back for another go. Is it addictive? Maybe, but then running is like that.

The story of Tom Foreman’s decent into madness (it’s a fair description, believe me) so seemed to mirror my own that I just had to read this book. A marathon runner at twenty something and then life takes over and before you know it you’re fifty and someone suggests you have another go. Then one thing leads to another.

In truth, Tom’s
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Author Tom Foreman was leading a typical life for a man nearing the end of his middle-age years – long hours at work, lots of time spent with his family, and no time for the running he once loved. An out-of-the-blue suggestion from his older daughter -- “How would you feel about running a marathon with me?” -- set his life on a new track.

“My Year of Running Dangerously” chronicles Foreman’s months of training leading up to the big run with his daughter, how it changed their relationship, and how
May 09, 2015 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read about the author's experiences getting back into running after his daughter asked him to train for a marathon with her. The author describes his experiences running the initial marathon with his daughter, and then how he chose to continue training for an ultra marathon. While I am definitely not a runner (unless something is chasing me), the author's humorous account of the process held my interest. ...more
Sandy Nawrot
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Listening to this audio was sort of impromptu. I saw it on my library digital download site and thought "Hmmm. I could use some inspiration." I used to run. I trained for a half-marathon, a distance I never dreamed of running. My knees and feet have since fallen apart, but I long to get back at it. Someday.

I found this memoir to be very readable and entertaining. Tom is a journalist so he knows how to tell a story, and this one was a familiar story. Tom's 18 year old daughter challenged her onc
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
In chapter one, the author when asked by his daughter to run a marathon with her tries to dissuade her by saying she might become sterile. If I hadn't been reading a copy given to me to review, I might have stopped there. I'm glad I didn't though, because it was a good description of training to run increasingly long distances. He makes be want to lace up my shoes again. ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could have written this book. Not as well and certainly not in the same way. However, all the memories of early morning runs with my girls came swirling back. I can still see and feel the elation of running hand in hand with Amy across the finish line of the Chicago Marathon. And then, two years later, feeling the disappointment of getting the schedule wrong and not getting to finish the same marathon with Jill.

Well written. Filled with anecdote and fact. Encouraging and honest and raw and emo
Shannon Fields
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed this book. I generally like books about running. However, I find that many running stories are interesting/inspiring but not particularly well written. I think that this book goes against that trend. It is a great story that is well crafted and well written.

As the parent approaching something like middle age (?!), I especially appreciated the notion of running as a way to connect with a teenaged child and the notion that even extremely hard challenges are within grasp at any age
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an autobiography. I didn't know who the author was before reading this, and I'm still unclear about that. But I do have an understanding of his journey to running 50 mile marathons and his relationship with his daughter and wife. I felt I could relate to his running journey and I admire his dedication to training.

I liked this book. It was probably 3 stars for me, but I'm a little more forgiving when it comes to autobiographies and memoirs. I appreciated the author's attempts at humor. I
Bob Nebel
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book filled with lovely, heart-warming stories along with a lot of inspiration from a fellow runner and long-distance colleague. Also, I love the funny lines throughout the book. Great work, Tom! Looking forward to the follow-up and CNN Films documentary ;-)
A Westerhaus
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite running book! It is so encouraging and motivating to see how the father and daughter run together!
Sloane Mayberry
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The dangerous part of this book for me is that it makes me really want to run another marathon. Fun adventure read...
If the phrase "training run" has ever been part of your vocabulary — whether in reference to you or someone near you — you're bound to get a laugh, cringe, and sigh out of My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter, and a Ridiculous Plan. Combining two of my favorite topics, memoirs and running, acclaimed journalist Tom Foreman puts his storytelling skills to good use as he recounts his return to distance running after his daughter prods him out of a decades-long hiatus with an invitation ...more
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a cute, quick book about a CNN correspondent whose 18 yr old daughter asks him to train for and run a marathon with him. He is 50ish at the time.

It's a fun book if you're a runner because you can relate to a lot of the things he's going through. And he's a pretty experienced runner though he had stopped for a long time before his daughter ignited his passion again with this challenge. So I definitely went on a ride with him of consistent training and how easy it is to become obsessed w
Ron S
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: running, memoir
51 year old journalist agrees to a daughter's request to run a marathon with her, and just keeps going all the way through ultras afterwards. The humor in this book, which I found forced and flat, could well appeal to others. The publisher's marketing department is likely more to blame than the author for spinning this book as a couch potato's journey: while increasingly inclined towards middle aged sloth, Foreman writes of being a competitive runner in high school and college and being gifted e ...more
I am not a runner. If I even think about about putting all my weight on one leg while bouncing, I get shin splits, and then have to shuffle around for three weeks while they heal. Thus, when this book came up on Audible Daily Deal, it wasn't a natural choice for me, but it was really well-reviewed, and as a rule, I enjoy memoirs, so I gave it a go. I wasn't disappointed. Tom Foreman is funny, an excellent narrator, and he knows how to tell a story. The book is comical, honest, grim when necessar ...more
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Middle aged man runs a marathon then goes running mad.

How many times have you read a book by a famous journalist, celebrity, or other "celebutante" only to be disappointed by the story, weak writing, or their lack of anything of substance to say? When you pick up Tom Foreman's fast paced book on running you will be delighted. If Mr. Foreman, of CNN correspondent fame, had stopped the book mid-way through with the completion of his first marathon it would have been a satisfying read. But he brea
I feel a little like I'm getting loose with my ratings (I've given out 3 or 4 5's lately, and that's usually much more of a spaced out rarity), but I just REALLY enjoyed this book. Tom Foreman has such a good knack for storytelling, a sly and dry sense of humor, and the ecstasies and agonies he endured while re-becoming a runner really spoke to me (I've got a marathon coming up in 4 1/2 months that I really need to start training for). Terrific read! I bought a fitbit last night and jumped on th ...more
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a member of Tom Foreman's "third category" of runner, I read this book b/c I typically read any running book that is recommended to me by a friend or one of the various book websites I frequent. Fully expecting to read the typical "unlikely person becomes serious runner" book (which the author certainly delivered), I was surprised to walk away from the book w/ equal parts running advice and "what to do and not to do while raising a daughter" advice. Foreman provides introspection not often se ...more
David Orenstein
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable book, perhaps especially to athletes, and those addicted to endurance sports, as this book is about just that: an 18-year old daughter asks her dad if he'd like to train for a marathon with her, which he does, and then goes on to train for and run an ultra marathon, and to write about it. I "read" it via, despite my aversion to books read by their authors. In this case, the author/narrator does a remarkable job (perhaps because the author, in his day job, is a broadcas ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are very few authors that can successfully read their own books. Foreman is one of them, giving his memoir about his foray into ultra marathoning a personal, insider's touch.

It is a poignant narrative of family, training, longing and discovery, dappled with humor and wit. A perfect book to listen to while training for my own running race, it at times empathized with my aching muscles and willed me on, though my distances are nowhere near the author's.

Foreman's journalistic training and lo
Neil Gaudet
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
An unexpectedly charming running book. I was brought in by the story of training with his daughter but found myself really liking his casual running story. There felt like a lot of parallels to myself and most recreational runners I know on how running brings life into focus. I guess he’s a CNN celebrity but I wouldn’t know that, the charm of the book comes from the story not the name.
Ray Shin
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Wish the author described how he trained for some of his runs. What was his daily schedule like? How did he find time to run so many miles and keep a day job? Many questions it seems as though this could be a work of fiction due to lack of explanations.
Michael Woodard
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books on running that I have read and I have read many of them. Every chapter had laugh out loud moments as well as many valuable lessons on running long distances.
Holly Minion
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it

📖 — This was a pretty quick, easy, and enjoyable read. I love reading about people who get out of their comfort zone and push hard to meet a goal.

Tom Foreman is a CNN correspondent who was challenged by his college-aged daughter to train for a marathon with her. Over the next year, he ran outside in all types of weather and at all times of the day. He went from running sporadically to running a few half marathons, three marathons, and a 55-mile race in the span of a year.

I most enjoyed
May 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Listened to this audiobook. I really enjoyed the book, in large part because he sounds like the narrator of the Sandlot (read: great story telling voice). This book started off like most running books, really pumping you up and making you wish you were also training for a marathon. But he lost me once he got into training for an ultra marathon. He is honest about the sacrifices something that extreme requires, which I appreciated, as most people really glaze over those facts; however, his summar ...more
Letitia Moffitt
This one's actually a DNF for me, sad to say. I'm a marathoner and I enjoy (some) running books, but this just wasn't to my taste. The humor, as some reviewers have mentioned, seemed forced to me, like Foreman was trying to channel Bill Bryson perhaps, and the insights Foreman gains through his experiences just didn't quite resonate with me. Moreover, the "ridiculous plan" isn't really all that ridiculous; most of the marathoners and ultramarathoners I know have had similar experiences. I don't ...more
Margaret Grobler
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like running. But I don't think you have to, to like this book. Tom Foreman writes brilliantly, and with a lot of humour, about how his daughter gets him back into running in his fifties. Following him through the madness and the mileage, a beautiful lesson emerges:

Do the things you love. Play.

Nothing of what he attempts is easy, but his outlook and dedication makes it seem completely doable. It is a relentlessly uplifting read.

While listening to this book on audio, I simultaneously tried to
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great, funny, quick read for a mid-life runner :) "Each year about a half-million Americans tie on their shoes, rub Vaseline into their crotches, and complete one of more than 1100 of these annual asphalt expeditions", referring to marathons. ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I really enjoyed this one. He is a great storyteller (obviously) and even though I felt a little lazy listening to this during my 3 mile shuffle around the neighborhood, it was motivating and extremely interesting.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though for parts I felt like the author got a little elitist it's hard to not really enjoy a book about how running saves lives. ...more
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