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

Since she was a child, Deena Kastor loved to run. Naturally talented, she won many races as a junior athlete by simply running harder and faster than the competition. But in college, plagued by injuries and her own persistent negativity, Kastor struggled with burnout. After graduation, she moved to Colorado to train with legendary coach Joe Vigil. To her surprise, Vigil emphasized training the mind even more than the body. Kastor details her journey toward mental toughness and a stellar career in her memoir (co-written with Michelle Hamilton), Let Your Mind Run.

"Ironically, practicing positivity showed me just how negative I could be," Kastor admits. She writes about the relentless daily effort of redirecting negative thoughts, sometimes dozens of times during a workout. Gradually, she built up a range of positive approaches: focusing on her breathing, her feet, the landscape, her goals of winning the next race or improving her times. While excelling as a runner remained important, Kastor also concentrated on building character: becoming kinder, more positive, more gracious. She chronicles the daily grind of practice, with its triumphs and setbacks, and tells the stories of key races within a larger narrative of becoming an elite runner and meeting her husband, Andrew. Together (with Vigil), they built a training program that would take Kastor to three Olympics and multiple world records.

Relentlessly positive without being trite, Kastor's memoir will inspire runners and anyone who wants to build a stronger, more agile mind. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

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