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Strictly for his fans, Sheehan's third book is a collection of stream-of-consciousness observations on himself and running; ""all the research, all the information is concerned with one individual: myself."" There are some pointers here (keep a record of your morning pulse, weigh yourself regularly, drink plenty of fluids, find a good pair of shoes and stick with them); mostly, though, Sheehan sees running as a metaphor for life. Running is the ""sport for all reasons. It is play, it is exercise, it is thought and meditation, it is competition, it is community and neighbor, it is the self and the other."" The marathon, in turn, is ""allegory and myth and history."" Running benefits all ages; in fact, ""the ten-year-old is one of the best endurance animals in the world"" (but beware of parental pushing which turns a child off the sport). There is no particular structure in evidence; ""like a life still in the living,"" a book ""should be filled with contradictions and uncertainties, evasions and half-truths. But it should also be filled with the sudden illuminations, the most personal of disclosures, the utterly revealing confessions."" In any case, it will be much read.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Simon & Schuster