Read Excerpts From & Praise for My Memoir Come What May, I Want to Run & Listen to Interviews
Updated: Sep 25
Are you an athlete, an ultrarunner, a caregiver, or a cancer patient? Have you endured a medical and surgical nightmare? Are you a doctor, a nurse, a healthcare professional, an academic, a teacher? Have you experienced workplace mistreatment? These are some of the themes I write about and share in my debut memoir Come What May, I Want to Run: A Memoir of the Saving Grace of Ultrarunning in Overwhelming Times.
Excerpts From My Memoir
“I had completed thirty-three miles. I was feeling good and was right on pace to complete the fifty miles before the twelve-hour time limit. By mile thirty-five I started to slow down. I had a fleeting thought that I might not make it. When I made it to mile forty, the doubt dissipated. I had a little talk with myself — If I can run forty miles, I can definitely run ten more and complete the run by six o’clock. Ten miles is nothing. But sometimes our positive attitude is met by unforeseen obstacles we never imagine or anticipate.”
“And that’s how my family felt about me. I had trained hard. No one was going to stop me now with only three miles to go after having survived forty-seven miles. Armed with my white long-sleeved running shirt, my headlamp, Sebastian as my pacer, and one bottle of Gatorade between the two of us we took off. The sun was starting to set. I was more concerned about Sebastian’s safety than with mine because he wasn’t familiar with the course and the trail. He was dressed in jeans, a faded yellow Cheerios t-shirt, basketball sneakers, and a skullcap.”
“The last three miles on the side of a mountain are described as the worst part of the course. We tiptoed our way through the three miles in the woods where we could see only darkness through the dull beam of the artificial light beaming from my forehead. There was no full moon and we could see no light through the dense forest and tree branches covering any semblance of nightlight. But there is always a bright light shining at the end of any dark tunnel. I knew we were not far from the finish when I saw a light flash from the distance, the light from a video camera. It was Jon filming, again. I heard Jonna’s joyful yell, “Mom, I saved you a Coke and a hamburger!”
“I cried in discomfort, “My fingers are twitching and fanning out. They hurt. Unlock them, unlock them! Quick!” Jon took my hand and forcibly separated the fingers from each other and massaged them and my palm. Why was I experiencing painful twitches and spasms in my hands and fingers?”
“It’s going to hurt a little,” the ER doctor warned. He began to push the tube in my nostril. “Hold your breath. It will be quick.” I held my breath, shut my eyes tight, and visualized crossing the finish line at all of my ultramarathons. I didn’t feel a thing. A short time later I could see brownish liquid coming through the tube and collecting into a clear container connected to the tube.”
“I’m going to give the Lasix now,” she announced as she prepared the syringe. Then, she reached for my right arm. I extended it toward her. She began to insert the tip of the needle into my vein. The moment the needle pierced my skin, I let out blood curdling screams fueled by an unbearable sensation of phantom flames burning me alive. My body violently jerked forward. I began screaming at the top of my lungs. “Stop! Stop! I’m on fire! I’m on fire! I’m dying! I’m dying!” I yelled as I violently lunged my body back and forth, towing all wires inserted in my body while trying to remember my life because I was dying — I was burning to death!”
“Still groggy from the anesthesia, I didn’t utter a sound. I was lying on my left side in a hospital bed and hooked up to an IV. Why are these men in a room with me? Where am I? I didn’t recognize two men in white coats. I saw the gyn surgeon in green surgical scrubs and a blue skull cap. Their faces looked grim. I saw Jon. His pale face, distressed eyes, and hands in the front pockets of his Lee jeans spelled worry. He just stared at me, helpless.”
“Life went on with more chemo, pain, surgeries, hiking in a new national park, and running ultras. We made plans to visit our eighteenth national park: Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio. We combined it with my running the Burning River fifty-mile trail ultra like we had combined hiking in Everglades and Biscayne national parks with the 2017 Wildcat 100, a hundred-mile ultramarathon in Pensacola on Labor Day weekend.”
“The kindness of perfect strangers with similar journeys and life experiences has given me joy and comfort in my times of sadness and loneliness. There is no judgment among people who have no previous association but come together. There is only complete emptying and sharing of pain and sorrow, and in that sharing we create joy and hope. I am grateful to friends and family who where there for me. But on that day in Brooklyn, Yun offered me more comfort than lifelong friends and family had during my overwhelmingly lonely journey as a cancer caregiver.”
Praise for Come What May, I Want to Run
“Come What May; I Want to Run is a beautifully written story of triumph over seemingly insurmountable adversity. I laughed, I cried, I cheered and I learned. Miriam Díaz-Gilbert shows us that with enough positivity and perseverance, anything is possible.”
Dean Karnazes, ultramarathoner & NY Times bestselling author
“Honest, raw, and motivating! Miriam Díaz-Gilbert’s memoir tells of life-threatening fears, obstacles and challenges, and how to deal with them with deep faith and a positive attitude. Her story speaks of overcoming insurmountable odds as she turns them in to successes through long distance running. I encourage everyone to get inside the mind of this ultra-runner and recognize the fact that life is never easy, but great success awaits us all if we’re willing to work through the issues.”
Bill Watts, marathoner & author of Running for the Average Joe
“Miriam Díaz-Gilbert masterfully tells an inspiring story of personal growth, using running as both medicine and a launchpad to success. When life is good, she runs to celebrate. When life is hard, she runs to heal. The honest, unvarnished storytelling is fantastic, with just the right amount of humor mixed in to let us know that she is grateful for all of it. I loved this book.”
Charlie Engle, author of Running Man
“Running inspires creativity, relieves stress, and gives us insight into ourselves and the world, making the human condition more tolerable. I felt an interconnection with Miriam Díaz-Gilbert in the roles running helped her overcome lots of obstacles.”
Bart Yasso, author of Race Everything: How to Conquer Any Race at Any Distance in Any Environment and Have Fun Doing It
Buy Your Copy Today
Come What May, I Want to Run: A Memoir of the Saving Grace of Ultrarunning in Overwhelming Times is an inspiring and uplifting story of my unrelenting faith, family, perseverance, endurance, patience, positivity, hope, resiliency, overcoming adversity, and the healing power of ultrarunning.
I share experiences that you, as a reader, might identify with. You will see how my lived experiences and my life as an ultrarunner have affected me. My memoir is a story of survival, healing, personal growth, and transformation that readers will find relatable. You don’t have to be a runner to appreciate the universal themes in my memoir.
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If you feel my memoir resonates with you, please buy a copy. You can purchase it in paperback, hardcover, ebook, or Kindle from the publisher, Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble.
Order your copy today. Thank you for your support.
Tune in to my interview with Gina Meyer on her podcast Rise Resolute Podcast
Tune in to my interview with Martha Hughes on her podcast Martha Runs the World
And tune in to my interview with Michael Nielsen on his podcast The Runner's Resource.
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