Rachel Toor was a bookish egghead who ran only to catch a bus. How such an unlikely athlete became a runner of ultramarathons is the story of Personal Record , an exhilarating meditation on the making, and the minutiae, of a runner's life. The food, the clothes, the races, the injuries, the watch (and Toor loves her watch) are all essential to the runner, as readers discover here, and discover why. A chronicle of Toor's relationship with the sport of running, from her early incarnation as an Oreo-eating couch potato to her emergence as a hard-bodied marathoner, this book explores the sport of running, the community it brings into being, and the personal satisfaction of pursuing it to its limit. Alternating with Toor's account of becoming a runner are the stories--meditations, examinations, celebrations--of how runners become a pack. An homage to running, a literary take on how an activity can turn into a passion, and how a passion can become a way of life, this book runs all the way from individual achievement--a personal record--to the world of friendship and belonging, the community that runners inevitably find.