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The NonRunner's Marathon Guide for Women

Get off your butt and on with your training.

"Dawn Dais is your average nonrunner who experienced firsthand what it’s like to shake up the routine and train for a marathon—and finish it! This is a funny guide that provides needed motivation for a journey that can change your life for the better."

—U.S. Olympian Jeff Galloway, author of the bestselling book Marathon


Where to get the book:
Barnes and Noble



I hate running. And it doesn’t like me much either. My fitness routine used to consist entirely of me getting to the bottom of my stairs at home and then realizing I had forgotten something upstairs. I then had to bitterly climb back up the stairs to retrieve said object. And about 50% of the time I’d just leave the object upstairs, because who really has the energy to climb stairs? With this exercising philosophy firmly in place I set off on an attempt to complete a marathon.

How is it that I went from Elmer Fudd to the Road Runner? I’m not quite sure. I came home one day to find a postcard from the American Stroke Association in my mailbox. The postcard showed very happy people very happily running a marathon. They were running to raise money for the American Stroke Association (hence them being on the American Stroke Association’s postcard).

My grandfather, who had recently passed away, had had a debilitating stroke many years ago. I felt this had to be a sign from him somehow, “Do this marathon,” he was saying, “Raise money for this cause.” There was also a coupon for Jimboy’s Tacos in my mail. Apparently Grandpa was also saying, “eat a discounted taco.” This message seemed more his style.

But still, I could not ignore the sign. When you lose a relative there is the feeling of wanting to do something: something huge, something profound, something that can somehow honor a life now gone. Unfortunately, nothing could ever be big enough to honor a whole life. But my lazy ass moving for 26 consecutive miles--that’s pretty profound.


So I decided to run a marathon, or at least finish a marathon. And that’s when things started to get funny.

The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women is meant to be a guide for other couch potatoes who decide that running a marathon sounds like a fantastic idea. The book offers insight into what your training will entail and how to get through the training once it stops sounding like a fantastic idea. Every chapter offers advice in a relatable fashion, from someone (that would be me) who feels your pain (and hears your cussing) and knows you can get to the finish line, even when you barely feel like you can get out of bed.

In addition to rock solid advice the book also offers interactive tests, quizzes and journal space so you can keep a detailed account of the hell you endured during your foray into the running world. These sections will be fun to do while you are training, but they will be even more fun to read afterwards, after you wake up from the sweat and Advil induced haze of marathon training.

To many a marathon seems like an unattainable feat. But, just like anything in life – it can be done. The book is specifically about running a marathon but on a broader scale it is about setting a seemingly impossible goal and the effort and commitment it takes to see it through to the end. I hope you will be entertained by the fact that I once had to stop and take a nap on the side of a running trail, or that I was passed by the same runner three times in one race. But hopefully you will also be inspired by the fact that in both of these instances I finished my run. As miserable as I felt or as many times as that same Matchbox 20 song came on my headphones I never, ever quit. Sure, I sat down and cried a few times, but hopefully my overall journey to the finish line will inspire you to set your personal goals a bit higher. And more importantly it will inspire you to have a sense of humor if you sometimes falter along the way.

Happy Trails…

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