Running Book Reviews with Alan and Liz

A Beautiful Work In Progress, by Mirna Valerio

May 01, 2023
Running Book Reviews with Alan and Liz
A Beautiful Work In Progress, by Mirna Valerio
Show Notes

A Beautiful Work in Progress is Mirna’s memoir and the story of how she got into ultrarunning and subsequently finishing her first 100k race. Although the book starts with her running, she goes back to her childhood and talks about her family, how she grew up surrounded by cousins, and the time she spent outside with them. Mirna grew up in a body positive environment where all the women who surrounded her were curvy, and where she was never described as “fat” until much later in life. She also watched her mother lose both her best friend and her youngest brother to heart attacks, and she has made it her mission to stay active so that that she can stay healthy but without a focus on weight loss. By the end of the book, Mirna is successful in her first 100k race at the Javelina Jundred, but if you are already following her on social media, then you know that is not where her sporting journey ends.

Mirna Valerio is a native of Brooklyn, NY, a former educator and cross-country coach, ultramarathoner, cyclist and newish skier, DEI practitioner, and author of the memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress. She began running in high school, recommitted to the sport after a health scare in 2008 and started her blog Fatgirlrunning - about her experiences as a larger woman in a world of thinner endurance athletes - while training for her first marathon. Mirna's athletic story has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World, on NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in the viral documentary short, REI Presents The Mirnavator. Her writing has been featured in Women’s Running, Self, Outside, and Runner's World. In 2018 she was chosen as a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, and in early 2020 appeared on the Kelly Clarkson Show and Access Daily, and most recently was featured on the Today Show. Her partners include LLBean, Ford Bronco, Lululemon, Salsa Cycles, InsideTracker, Hydro Flask, and Garmin.  She currently lives and trains in Vermont and is wholeheartedly enamored and obsessed with downhill skiing.

If you would like to watch the REI video that we mention a few times during the podcast, it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5-CSQcYeXk

If you would like to learn more about Mirna, buy a copy of the book, or follow her on social media, you can find all of the links on her website: https://themirnavator.com

You can also find the book on Bookshop.org which allows you to support a local book shop at the same time: https://bookshop.org/p/books/a-beautiful-work-in-progress-mirna-valerio/11275343?ean=9781503943391

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