I don't have any running buddies, but this book is kind of like the sarcastic friend who makes you feel better about all of your own aches, pains, and unmotivated days. Reading this book, you kind of feel like "if this woman could run a marathon, so can I." It's definitely not a technical book that gives you tips on things like form, but it is a good book for motivation. The training schedule she provides (which she says came from her own coaches) is probably good if you're just looking to be able to finish. And that's all the goal of this book really is - to get you to the finish. She doesn't promise lightning speed, or your best time possible, just that you'll survive the training and the race. Also, she makes it abundantly clear from page one that she's not a professional, and tells you in numerous places to consult them for varying issues. THIS IS NOT A "HOW TO RUN" BOOK. This is a "come bitch with me, then keep going even though you maybe don't want to" book. It serves it's purpose well - providing just the right mix of motivation and humor, and to be honest, I couldn't stop reading it once I started.