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Running, Running, Everywhere

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.

This time, I think I’m caving to peer pressure.

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.

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  1. MizFit says:

    …and not a drop to drink?


    thank you!

  2. Erica says:

    This book sounds awesome! I enjoy the torture of running but only for smaller distances 3-6 miles. The furthest I’v ever run is 10 miles but I can see how one could get “addicted” and keep wanting to run further and further despite the pain!

  3. tfh says:

    Hooray for running peer pressure! There is something about it that makes many of us keep going back for more torture, isn’t there?

  4. Brooke says:

    I love that book… inspiring isn’t it? it makes you think that if he can run 30 miles on a whim, you can certainly do a mile or so. You will be a runner yet!!!!

  5. workout mommy says:

    i definitely need to go out and get this book!

    Just keep on running, it gets better (and easier)–I promise!

  6. Merry says:

    He ran from SF to HMB? What, was he jogging down highway 1 in the middle of the night? Now you’ve got me curious. And worried.

    slech – the exclamation I’d make if I came across a runner crossing Devil’s Slide at 1 a.m.

  7. Noodlegirl says:

    EEEEEks I hate running too and the funny part is I might do a small 5k run in april crazy no?

  8. David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts.com says:

    Don’t give in to the runners Erin! Runners are insane! The evidence is even in the post that you just wrote. I think it does something to your brain. You begin to think that various forms of pain like shin splints and twisted ankles are a good thing! They’re not! They’re your bodies way of telling you to stop running! 🙂

    – Dave

  9. Sagan says:

    So funny. I loathe the running too. Then sometimes I’ll get all running-fanatical and enjoy it. And all the sudden I’ll loathe it again. Weird.

  10. Lori says:

    I am so with you. I’m not a runner at all, but trying to overcome my dislike and get to a comfortable 3 miles. There is so much running peer pressure out there, isn’t there? That is what convinced me to pick it back up again.

  11. Chic Runner says:

    YAY! So excited I won and I love that book too! It’s so motivating and you’re like dude, if he can do that, I can run a mile! 🙂 Glad you joined the bandwagon!

  12. Laura says:

    I’ve read this book and I absolutely LOVE it. And for those who think Dean Karnazes is totally crazy…

    I started running two years ago after always hating it. (In high school, I was always the slowest one when we did the mile fitness test, finishing in 15 or more minutes). I started running to prove to myself that I could do something no one else thought I could do. Last January, I set my New Year’s resolution as completing a half-marathon, and did that in two weeks. I then completed TWELVE full marathons between May and December! Maybe it wasn’t completely overnight like Dean, but I still got hooked pretty quickly. Give running a try!

  13. Jill Will Run says:

    Dean Karnazes is amazing… I would love to be an ultramarathoner, and someday I WILL be. For now, I’m just doing my half-marathon and marathoning and trying to fit all that training into my life. But I used to hate running as well. Then one day, something clicked and I need it now.

  14. Juliet says:

    Hmm.. The reason I like running is that it is something I never thought I could do growing up and then I realized as an adult that I could run any distance if I just put my mind to it.. maybe the same will happen for you. 🙂

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