What do you do when you’re on winter break and finally have lots of time, but you’re too sore to run?
Watch a movie about running! I picked up Dean Karnazes’ Ultramarathon Man at the library yesterday (hint: your tax dollars pay for libraries — use them), so I’m watching that while I write this post. Add to that a Scottish ale in a can and a delicious new product to sample (see below), and you have yourself a nice little Wednesday night!
The reason I’m too sore to run, by the way, is that I ran in my Vibram FiveFingers for the first time in over two weeks yesterday; and I feel roughly like someone hit my calves with a Louisville Slugger. Apparently, during my 10-day layoff from all running, I lost all that small, stabilizer-muscle strength just as fast as I gained it. Oh well.
Anyway, Ultramarathon Man is good so far. It’s no Spirit of the Marathon, but still it’s entertaining. The coolest part so far is when Dean talks about how, on his 30th birthday, he had a “midlife” crisis while he was at the bar celebrating. He remembered how much he loved running as a kid, and he spontaneously left the bar and went for a 30-mile run while still a little drunk. And oh yeah, he hadn’t run consistently in 15 years. A few years later, the guy wins Badwater, the 135-mile race through Death Valley. My first 30 miles will be January 2nd, and I’ll have just turned 29. So I guess I have a year on Dean (right)! Also cool (to me): he sleeps four hours a night and runs a marathon every morning before he starts his day. No big deal.
My point is, how awesome is it that you can just decide to change your life and do it like that? Certainly his case is extreme, but still it’s inspiring. Another cool thing is that Dean’s 50 Marathons in 50 States in 50 Days thing wasn’t really about him showing off for publicity, like a lot of people seem to think. It’s an impressive feat, but people have run across the entire country in that time, averaging twice as much daily mileage. So some ultrarunners hate on Dean for self-promoting so much! But his point was to inspire people, especially kids, to get in shape. He ran most of the marathons with groups of people and got as many people involved as possible to spread a message. Call me a fan.
The product I’m trying tonight (with my beer and a loaf of organic rye bread) is Kenzoil, a vegan condiment that the company sent me to try out and review. And it’s so good! Ever been to Bonefish Grill, where they serve their bread with that pesto mixed with olive oil? It tastes like that, only there’s no cheese in it, since it’s vegan. It’s made from olive oil, fresh garlic, basil, and spices and it’s fricking good. And no sugar, either. They say you can put it on salads or use it as a marinade, among other things, but I’ve only tried it with bread. Highly recommended by your old pal the NMA.