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Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory
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Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  4,069 ratings  ·  484 reviews
From an Olympic medalist runner and the record-holder in the women's marathon and half-marathon, a vividly inspirational memoir on using positive psychology and brain science to achieve unparalleled athletic success

The day Deena Kastor became a truly elite runner was the day she realized that she had to ignore her talent--it had taken her so far, but only conquering the
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Crown Archetype
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Jess George Probably, depending on the kid! I'm 100 pages in and the only thing I've noticed is that she writes about the joking between runners and there have…moreProbably, depending on the kid! I'm 100 pages in and the only thing I've noticed is that she writes about the joking between runners and there have been a couple of mild off-color jokes acknowledging the existence of sex and maybe one or two swears. But nothing at all extreme for a 12-year-old and overall a very positive viewpoint towards life and running.(less)

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Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Kastor is not someone I relate to well (and is perhaps the sort of person I avoid). Her focus on positive thinking and mindset is probably the element of this book that most repels me, not because those cognitive behaviors are not helpful or even transformative, but because I think there are specific positionalities predisposed to be transformed by positive thinking; And it has everything to do with privilege, which Kastor seems oblivious to. Her narrative reads like modern, agnostic allegory of ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: running
I enjoyed this book in the sense that I'm reading it at the "right" time: I'm looking for ways to "up my running game" that are within my control, and mentality is super-high on the list. I like the fact that Deena stuck to the memoir format--rather than sliding down the slippery self-help slope--and that she really took care to show the origins of her various mindset shifts, whether they came from a person, a book, or her own mind.

However, I found her hard to relate to in a number of
I loved this book! Very inspirational. It's not just about Deena's impressive running career, but also about her journey on how to think positively and improve her running performances by changing her mental game. I got it from the library, but I'm going to have to buy a copy so I can mark my favourite parts and refer back to it when I need some inspiration.
Ron S
Rhonda Byrne in running shoes. Self-help in sneakers. Deena Kastor began her career running with genetic talent but didn't begin to truly make progress until she committed to a coach who challenged her to work on her mental approach and her philosophy. A book about discovery and making choices.
Debbie Boucher
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I belong to two book clubs. One read Deena's memoir when it first came out this spring. The other is reading it this month. I'm glad I finally got to it as I loved the book, not only because everyone here in Mammoth is proud of Deena and her accomplishments, but also because this memoir demonstrates the power of positive thinking. Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment, even for a talented runner like Deena. But it takes more than careful training, good nutrition, and support. What this ...more
Tricia Donley
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had learned disappointment was rooted in the desire to improve & that under the grief there was deep love. This book reminded me why I love running and why I love pushing myself to new limits. Deenas writing style was engaging and empowering. ...more
Wendy S.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book shows the powerful mind of an Olympic medalist who has managed to remain an artist at heart by controlling her thoughts at a level I dont know that most can do. I am absolutely in awe of Deena Kastor! ...more
Mitch Morris
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book back and forth with Grapes of Wrath, which has made for quite a contrast. Im hardly the first to be impressed by it, but there is no way to describe Grapes of Wrath other than art. Every paragraph is like a painting, each letter, word, and comma like a brushstroke contributing to a beautiful whole. Sometimes after finishing a page, I just sit back and wonder how someone was able to make something so rich and full of life out of words. Reading his greatest book, it is easy to see ...more
Jenny Bunting
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I first became interested in Kastor's story after watching "The Spirit of the Marathon," which in my opinion is the best sports documentary of all time. While I did find her narration stilted and the story dry at time, I enjoyed the running theme of positivity (pun intended) throughout the memoir. I really also connected to the idea of living an athlete's lifestyle, which I do want to implement into my life in some small way. I flew through this and overall, really enjoyed it and got something ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I was always interested in checking it out, but after a terrible final long run before starting to taper for my first marathon, I started listening to it on Audible for an emergency pep talk! Her stories of perseverance over many obstacles (injury, mental limitations she set for herself, loneliness, those assholes she ran with in Alamosa) and tips on channeling positivity and gratitude in the face of adversity really helped me when facing my own challenges. I also loved ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! Loved it! So many nuggets of wisdom that I will need to use in my training. Highly recommend!
Sharon :)
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OH MMM GEEEE I ❤❤❤ -ed this book it combines running and positive thinking just magical!!! ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this book, we get to understand what it takes to be a runner. I enjoyed the perspectives she shared from early in her life, all the way through her professional career. She stresses the mental game in running and it was an interesting read. Thanks for the opportunity.
Amanda Cunningham
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: running

This hit home in so many aspects for me and it also opened some other windows for me on things I wasn't aware of for running. This was the perfect book for me to read right after a huge marathon. Five stars isn't enough.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this! Mental strength is so important in running long distances and handling life. I love that this isn't a self help book, just a memoir of her extraordinary running career and the importance of mental strength to go the distance. Now I want to go YouTube the 2004 women's marathon. 😊
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was incredible. It was motivating, inspiring, and fluidly told her story up to date. She tells of how she became a great athlete without making it feel like she is bragging about being great. You get to hear about the hard work she put in, the emotional and mental changes she had to make and physical limitations which changed training seasons. She talks a lot about positivity and how it changed the way she trained and lived...which sounds so cheesy, but she doesn't offer it up with a ...more
Emily at Reaching While Rooted
I love running. I love the idea of positive thinking. So Deena's memoir was a perfect fit. I have long followed her career since 2010, and have come to greatly respect and admire her perseverance and grit. I have since applied her ideas of gratitude and positive thinking to my own life, and I'd like to think it has made me a better mother/wife/friend because of it.

Let Your Mind Run sheds light on what was under the hood of all those wins and accomplishments. Deena held nothing back and many
Amy Brown
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I didn't know if I would get into the book because it starts with Deena discovering she was a naturally fast runner in middle school and winning many, many races at the start. The book gets more relatable when she starts describing her struggles and how changing her thought patterns led to gratitude, kindness and resilience which then influenced her training, her successes, and how she responded to set backs. The book also gives you a glimpse into the training life of a professional ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Deena's ever since hearing her on a podcast describing how hard she works at positivity, and how it impacts her ability to tolerate stress and fatigue while running. She's the fastest female US marathoner in history, so she definitely has some street cred on this topic. Many parts of this book should be required reading for anyone trying to get better at running marathons. Specifically, she talks about drawing strength from positivity, gratitude, friends, family, and even ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a good book- read it in four days! Deena has always been my favorite runner and one of my biggest inspirations so learning about her journey and outlook on life has been invaluable to me. Thank you.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent book! I loved reading about Deena's life from her early years of running in junior high to her years of being a professional runner. Her recounts of races were very well done. I could feel the adrenaline and was hooked into the moment as she battled it out with competitors or with her own mind.

It was also interesting to read about how the Mammoth Track Club got started with Coach Vigil, Deena, the famous Meb, and others. I drove by Mammoth Lakes, California on a road trip,
Danielle Bessette
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this audio book and loved it! Ive been struggling with a foot injury that has sidelined my competitive running for a (frustrating!!) 8+ months. I began to look forward to my grueling pool runs and trainer rides, knowing Id be able to listen to Deenas motivational story.

Of course being a true runnerd, I was engrossed by all the training details and race replays. But what made this book truly wonderful is in the title: the way that Deena has been able to continually improve and grow
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author uses running as a metaphor for the pursuit for excellence. I enjoyed her focus on the biochemistry of belief and the mind-body connection.

I was happily surprised at all these references to the principles espoused by Louise Hay and other thought gurus on the biology of belief, because I hadnt realized how mainstream these principles have become.

A few quotes from the book

Training would always take me to a place of discomfort and it was my job to push past it.

While we need a plan B
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this Advanced Reader Copy from First To Read. I picked this book because while Im not a runner I want to be a runner its just that my mind and my body have two different views on running. I was familiar with Deena Kastor from watching her in various races. This book is about her running history and how she used positive thinking during her running career. I enjoyed this book. I liked reading about her path into running and hearing her positive affirmations. I definitely felt like I ...more
Elizabeth Guillemette
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book started a little slower, but I quickly came to enjoy it. At first, it seemed like a basic narrative and summary, but over time as she discussed her mindset I came to appreciate how her outlook could be applied beyond the context of running. It made for a good read to start the day with.

"I thought about how every decision that follows builds and expands and accumulates. And yet it comes back to the microdecisions we make in any given moment, when we can go in one direction or the
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it

Deena Kastor is an American runner who during the height of her running, held the American record in the marathon, half marathon, 10 mile and many others distances. Deena quotes Henry David Thoreau, WE MUST THINK OVER AND OVER THE KIND OF THOUGHTS WE WANT TO DOMINATE OUR LIVES It is a good summary of her book as she sought to find motivation and direction throughout her life. In telling the story of her life, she makes the case that we can profoundly change ourselves even at the cellular level
If you are a marathon runner, you might know Deena Kastor. I've watched a 2007 documentary called "Spirit of the Marathon" featuring Deena Kastor. I also met Deena who was a keynote speaker at the 2012 Chicago Marathon. I was running my first marathon that year and was so inspired by her journey and her generosity.
I listened to the audiobook version of this book, narrated by her. As a long distance runner, I completely understood the physical and mental journey of training for a marathon (26.2
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I grew up loosely following Deena's running career while I ran junior high/high school cross country. (We weren't in the same league. At. All.)

Had something like this been available when I was younger I probably wouldn't have read it (not racy enough), BUT I SHOULD HAVE. It was very motivating: power of positive thinking - implimenting incremental positive change - practicing gratitude - kicking butts ... all things we should aspire to do.

The behind the scenes detail and context to what was
Megan Dennehy
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first memoir I read in print format and the first memoir about an athlete. This book expresses many of the authors feelings while running which are similar to my own. Though most of us have a negative thought process while running, the authors journey reiterates the importance of positivity through self-talk and focusing on the best YOU can do. ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
I read this on the heels of Born to Run, which was a fine tale, but Deena Kastor's memoir was inspiring! Written in such a positive light but with so much adversity in the mix. Her perseverance and attitude are something to aspire to.
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American Record holder in the marathon at 2 hours 19 minutes. Once held every American record from 5K distance to the marathon. Author of Let Your Mind Run, A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory, with co-author Michelle Hamilton.

I love running, reading, writing, cooking, entertaining, rescuing big dogs, spending time with family, and living in Mammoth Lakes, California.

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