Friday, January 08, 2010

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.

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