Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a long-time is a longtime ultrarunner who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, coaches, directs the non-profit Band of Runners, and drives her kids around in a minivan.

June 2013
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66 and Sunny and Jay Danek’s Book


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I’m sitting in a hotel room in San Diego right now wearing a light sweater because my body has not acclimatized to lovely weather yet.  It’s 66 non-humid degrees outside.  No mosquitoes to be seen.  I sent my friends off on a run while I catch up on coaching and e-mailing and alone-time.  Anabel, Sandy and I are staying in Old Town tonight, and we are having a hard time not pointing out kid-friendly activities to each other as we wander around.  “Ooh!  A sheriffs museum!!  Look at the kid-sized helicopter!”   Three moms on the town!  I think the plan for tonight is to sit quietly at dinner and not encourage each other to eat our vegetables.  I may even lean back in my chair and chew with my mouth open.

In more important news, Jay’s book is out!

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“I have been asked quite a few times lately if this book is only for runners or just ultra runners and the answer is no. There are running stories littered throughout the memoir but this is the story of struggle I went through after losing my dad to a pulmonary embolism. We will all lose a loved one at one time or another in our life but how will we let this loss affect our future? Will we head down the wrong path because of some poor decisions or can we look ourselves in the mirror and overcome. I for one was not able to overcome and I watched my life spiral fast. This book looks at how I was able to fight through the good and bad times to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Running was my saviour but so even more so was my family.”

It’s a lovely memoir.

Here’s what the people on the back cover thought:

Strength is said to be found in numbers but when personal tragedy strikes all that matters is the direction you turn. Everyone will struggle through the loss of a loved one and for Jay Danek it was the unexpected loss of his father at the age of 58. Suffering through depression, anxiety, weight gain and anger Jay learns to curb his negative behavior through positive experiences. Without much ambition for life Jay seeks solace in running to get closer to his father. After losing his father on 9-23-2008 Jay sets out to run 923 straight days to honor his dad. His journey takes him from a 275 pound man who never ran a day in his life to running 100-mile ultra-marathons through the mountains.

Walking was questionable in Jay Danek’s mind as a young boy, running and athletics were out of the question. His story of overcoming obstacles and becoming a great runner is compelling and inspirational following him through a remarkable transformation. It’s not only a tribute to his father but a tribute to what we all are capable of. – Marshall Ulrich 
Jay Danek’s tribute to his father is both riveting and inspirational. It captures beautifully a son’s struggle to deal with the grief of his beloved father and the transformational power that deciding to commit to a path has. His journey from an overweight and unfit adult to a man who ran for 923 days straight and completes 100-mile races is marvelously compelling. Jay weaves together the lessons his father taught him with the wisdom he gained running ultramarathons in a way that will exhilarate runners and non-runners alike. – Liza Howard

“It is truly rare to find a talented athlete who can also write well. Names like Geoff Roes and Dakota Jones come to mind, and Jay Danek is right up there with the best of them. This book will take you on a rare journey through the life and mind of a powerful writer possessed with the spirit of ultra-running. I have been waiting for a book like this for a long time.” Vanessa Runs

And here’s the Amazon link if you haven’t gotten a Father’s Day present for your dad yet.

Comments 2
  • Matt Hart
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    Matt Hart Matt Hart

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    My copies in the mail… stoked to read it.