GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.
Read on for the review!
I was checking out some books at the library the other day, ' Run!and the Pfitzinger book (you know, this one).Because I can dream, right?
Anyway, the librarian and I started talking about running and running books and whether or not she should check out Dean's books for her son, who runs. Well, yeah. Absolutely, I told her. He's inspirational and all that.
So we talked about Dean and his exploits and then I said something along the lines of, "you've got to check out this other book I just read. Running on Empty by . He ran across the country, too. At 57 years old! He's insane and amazing."
Just like that. I was making a plug. Unsolicited. So, take that to mean that what I write in this here review is heartfelt.
I read the book. I liked it a lot. I liked the story, the journey, the love of running that Ulrich quite obviously has. That's the short of it. Now here's the long:
Marshall Ulrich is a nut. He has run all over the world, for super-long distances, facing extremely tough challenges and obstacles and he continues to go back for more. He's run over 100 races of 100+ miles, climbed Mt. Everest, won Badwater several times, run the and in the same weekend . . . it goes on and on. He's one tough ultramarthoning dude.
And at 57 he decided to run across these United States of America, from San Francisco to New York City.
The book chronicles the 52 days of his transcontinental run, sharing the details of the monster undertaking and, more importantly, sharing Ulrich's thoughts, feelings, and reflections. He'd faced substantial loss in his life and, for him, running across the country helped him sort out some of his feelings about that loss. He delves in to some of what originally drove him to run -- including the death of his first wife at a very young age -- and I found the back-story just as interesting as the one about The Run.
And the story about The Run was definitely interesting. And inspiring. No, there is no way I would ever in a million years attempt such a thing (not even close) but I enjoyed reading about Ulrich's journey. So much of what he encountered on the run and how he dealt with it could be applied to any run.
For example, when he was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis after running about 700 miles, he still had over 2300 miles to run. What was he going to do? Stop? Well, maybe he could have. But, no. He didn't. Instead, he disassociated himself from that foot. He completely rejected the pain. And for some reason I just loved what he said:
"This foot doesn't belong to me any more. It doesn't fit in with who I am, what I'm trying to do, or where I'm going. This is not my foot."And:
"If I ever noticed that throbbing at the end of my leg, I'd dismiss it as 'not my problem.' I simply wasn't going to deal with it."OK, maybe not the healthiest response but, hey, it got him through the run. If he hadn't rejected the pain, how would he have run across country? Well, he wouldn't have.
I've used this strategy since reading that it worked for him. I mean, if it can work to get a 57 year old guy from California to New York -- on his own two feet -- it can get me 5 miles.
Let me tell you: It works. That hamstring? I don't know who it belongs to because it certainly isn't mine. Try it next time you're racing. Pain goes away justlikethat.
There were a ton of other tidbits that I took away from the book, some of them traditional tips, others just plain inspiration. I'll leave it to you to find your own tidbits because I do recommend that you go out and read the book. It's a good one.
You can purchase Running on Empty on Amazon.It is currently listed for $17.16 and eligible for free shipping.
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