Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Born to Run + ENFL

Guys, I cried a little bit yesterday.

No, I didn't try and cut a glass bottle with my teeth. I did try the Jedi mind trick though...I figure it can't hurt, right...actually, I think I try that on something almost everyday. I digress. The truth is, I cried because I finally finished the book, "Born to Run," by Christopher McDougall.

I've heard the hype for two+ years and just now read the book. I think I mentioned in a previous blog that I'd actually used many of the theories from the book (passed on to me by fellow runners) to change my running life for the better. The story behind it, however is worth every bit as much as the facts found amidst it.

You know why I cried? It can be summed up in four words:

I don't want to risk butchering McDougall's story at all, so this will be quite cryptic, but his story reminded me of why I love East Nasty AND Running.

Last weekend, I ran with my friend Julie, and somehow we got onto the subject of struggling through long races. The surprising thing is this...it never ends badly. Whether it's a close friend, or a random weirdo you've never met, somebody is always there to pick you up when you fall, or encourage you through it when you think all hope is lost. ALWAYS.

Julie actually coaxed me through the disaster that became my first marathon attempt, which involved agonizing side stitches, an IT band lock-up on my right knee, and a thunderstorm which made them call the race before I had the chance to finish. That day I was pulled off the course at 20.5 miles on a 26.2 mile course.

That's why McDougall's account and reference to the community that running provides brought tears to my eyes...because I've been basking in that beauty for almost three years now, if my memory serves me correctly. It's changed my life, and quite possibly saved it.

So last night, in honor of this great book and Running in general, I broke out my Vibram fivefingers and did my normal Monday night 6-miler...I'd forgotten how good the earth feels when your bare feet (almost bare in this case) meet it. Then I swung by Kroger to pick up some pinto beans, corn tortillas and some cilantro to enjoy a RarĂ¡muri-style recovery meal.

If you don't run, I hope you find yourself doing it someday. I hope you can find a group like East Nasty has been to me. If you do run, I hope you get frequent reminders of how good we have it. If you haven't read the book, you're doing yourself a true disservice, and perhaps those around you as well.

I believe it firmly. We are born to run.


  1. Cool, Graham. Took me back to my marathon days way back when.

  2. So I have been holding on to this book for a few months now. I think I need to start it. ENFL!