I was hoping for a lot more when I delved in to this one, but I started warming up to The Extra Mile the more I read, which was mostly due to the fact that the later half of the book was all about her running. The sole reason why I purchased this book.
The beginning is a little bit of a dull read and the reason why I wasn't really enjoying her book. The writing style is very personal and honest, but lacks the polish of a good writer. Add to this that Pam writes about the small stuff in her life that really is not interesting, and is also not why anyone wanted to read her story. What particularly annoyed me in the beginning is that we didn't hear about anything that explained how she became a great runner, or how she started running. Instead she tells us of her childhood fantasies of gymnastics, then that she swam a lot, which moved to Ironmans, and then to Ultramarathons. There wasn't anything that showed how she began to run, for example, her first marathon of half marathon or whatever. The type of background that other runners want to read about, especially from such an accomplished runner as Pam. She does treat generously her battle with anorexia, which is appreciated just for the mere fact that it showed a human side to her and it was able to, in some way, shed some light on a subject and show how she overcame it, or is at least battles it to this day.
What saved this book was that she spent the last half of the book talking about her actual running. Her two Badwater wins, pacing and other aspects of running, her 100 mile races, 300 mile run and so on. Her style of writing also picked up quite well once she actual starting writing about her accomplishments, which was an added bonus that made the story more readable and enjoyable. I only wish she wrote like this the whole book.
Don't get me wrong, a back story is definitely needed for any memoir or biography, but she completely skipped over the necessary background of how she started running and didn't incorporate this in to her early adult life of other sports and her battle with anorexia. I think I would recommend only after you have read other accounts of ultramarathoners, but her memoirs is definitely one that should be on the list of other runners.