Running Book Reviews

My friend Jay Danek wrote a book.

I have known Jay, his wife Traci, and their beautiful daughter Petra for a few years now. Jay’s book- ‘Got To Live‘ was published just as I was moving to Michigan last summer if I remember correctly. I will be the first to admit, I was a little leery about reading it. I knew it would be great but I thought it might feel weird reading a book about someone you are friends with. Maybe too personal? Jay sent me a copy a few weeks ago and I was finishing up another book so I shelved it for a few days. Reluctantly I picked it up one afternoon and found that I could not stop reading it! It is a quick read and is fast moving to hold your attention. I laughed, cried, and reminisced along with Jay as our high school experiences were quite similar growing up in the Midwest.

The loss of Jay’s father ‘T’ had an incredible impact on his life. ‘Got To Live’ tells the story of how Jay transformed his life and how his father inspired him to run. Jay began running and still runs to honor ‘T’.

I was sitting in the bathtub after a tough run when I finished the book. The very last section is a letter that Jay has written to ‘T’. I wasn’t going to read it because I knew I would be sobbing, so I closed the book and put it down. But, I couldn’t resist, I had to finish it in its entirety. Sure enough, the letter had me in tears. It is so sweet, honest, and one can truly feel what a special bond Jay had with ‘T’. So glad I read it. I highly recommend this book, and I am not just saying that because I very much like the Danek clan. It really made me think about the reasons that I run and it served as a good reminder to cherish every moment with loved ones.

Also on my summer reading list was “Dandelion Growing Wild” by Kim Jones.


I loved this book and just devoured it. This book tells the story of Kim’s upbringing and of the many struggles she endured. To be honest, I was floored. Many, many, people in her position (including her siblings) would not have come out of these situations unscathed. I believe the things that Kim Jones went through helped to make her an incredible, tough athlete. Reading this, I felt like such a wuss-cakes. Kim has inspired me to dig deep and run tough. Even if you are not a runner, you will love her story. What an inspiration.

Here is a great interview with Kim Jones from Runner’s World.

Below are some of Kim Jones’ career highlights:

Year Marathon Time Place
1991 Boston Marathon 02:26:40 (2nd) 3rd fastest U.S. marathon performer
1991 Berlin Marathon 02:27:50 AM (2nd)
1989 New York City Marathon 02:27:54 AM (2nd)
1989 Boston Marathon 02:29:34 AM (3rd)
1993 Boston Marathon 02:30:00 AM (2nd)

Happy reading and running!