I’ve made no secret of the fact that I dislike running. In fact, I think the word “loathe” may have even been used to describe my feelings toward this particular cardio activity. But no matter how long I get away from running, I always tend to go back for more torture eventually.
Jenn recently came out of the “running closet” when she declared her half-marathon intentions. My younger brother just ran his first marathon in Phoenix. Puma recently sent us running tights to review (keep your eyes peeled for that). In short, running is everywhere. I think the universe is telling me something.
It also doesn’t help that I just finished the book, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes—a must read for any type of runner. My crazy marathon-running brother wanted it for Christmas and told me to read it before I gave it to him. So I did. I pretty much devoured the whole thing. No offense to D. Karnazes, but the man is crazy.After a 15-year running hiatus, “Karno” takes off running from San Francisco in the middle of the night and keeps running. For 30 miles. (And because I’m in the Bay Area, it was fascinating to read about his excursion because I know the mountain he had to climb to get out to Half Moon Bay, where he ended his run.) After he recovers from this night of running, he turns into an ultramarathoner—the kind of runner for whom marathons are just a warm-up.
The book is a fascinating look into the mind of an extreme endurance runner. Someone who runs overnight, someone who thinks running 200 miles isn’t out of the question, someone who temporarily lost his vision doing the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run and kept going. Also fascinating is the fact that he can eat a large pizza and an entire cheesecake while running. That takes talent.
So as crazy as the book is, and as much as I know I’ll never be the type of person to be able to transcend the pain like Karno does, I must say, it did get me into the running mindset again. I’m taking it slowly, snail slowly. And don’t worry. I don’t think I’ll be signing up for ultramarathons, half marathons or even 10Ks any time soon. I’ll probably quit once I work my way up to three miles. But I figure if “everyone’s doing it,” I can be a runner, too, even if for a month at a time. —Erin
Photo grabbed from metaxin at Flickr.