Skip to main content

Born to run (my mouth)

There's been so much buzz on this book that I finally had to read it, or rather, listen to it on audiobook while running.

"Born to Run" is a new publication that documents the running history of the Taramuhara Indians, their spiteful race with ultra goddess Ann Trason, the advocacy of barefoot running, Barefoot Ted as part of that advocacy, and diet magic that can make you run hundreds of miles with a smile on your face.

Author Christopher McDougall does an excellent job of combining an epic assortment of running related topics. The story of the Taramuhara running in the Leadville 100 mile ultrarun was well known within the ultra community when it happened several years ago; but McDougall frames the information in a way that brings the tale to the masses.

If you'd like to glance into the peephole of an ultrarunner's mind, give this book a listen or read. Strange things happen when one stays on the trail for 50 miles or more and McDougall brings forward an agenda that begs for further debate:

1) As a Bluestreak member of the Brooks Sports athletic promotions team, I'm not going to advocate barefoot running. Sorry, just ain't going to do it. I'm quite happy having my feet well wrapped and protected by Brooks footwear. McDougall writes of footstrike and impact, but what about the uppers and toebox? Ever jam your toes into a rock or root? Maybe I'm a clumsy old fart but no thanks, I'll keep my toes shielded when on the trail, thank you.

2) The mystical side of running long distance is to be respected, but it doesn't have to overpower the essence of endurance sport. I understand the relationship between the Taramuhara and a copacetic existence. But sometimes I run angry and have a really good time of it. I'm running the Salem Lake 50K in frigid temps in Winston-Salem, NC tomorrow morning. I may pause on occasion to thank the Lord for all my blessings (there are many) but for another portion of time I'll be listening to Gene Simmons' new autobiography on his life with the band Kiss entitled "Sex Money Kiss." Should be a good listen but not totally mystical in nature.

I may rant more in future installments, but don't take my word for it. Read the book and send me your comments...I'm interested.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…