Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On the Run with Dean Karnazes

This morning at 7am, I got to go on a group run with renowned ultramarathoner and author Dean Karnazes! About 15 of us stood around in a cafeteria in a pre-run Q & A session.  First off, he's shorter than I thought and way more tan than anyone has a right to be in January.   And he really answered questions with a desire to connect with you and the group.  I've given steno versions here:

Q & A: 
What do you do to avoid injury?  I've never had a running injury.  I do recommend ice baths.
How do you cross train?  Mountain bike, surf, windsail, climb
How did you find your passion? Got drunk on my 30th birthday, decided to run 30 miles and that did it!
Do you have plans to retire?  Run till they put me in a box.  Lots of good oldies out there, particularly women.
How many days were you gone last year?  250!
How do you stay in touch with your family? Technology - texting, photos through cell phones
What's your next challenge?  Working on that one.
What's the most interesting that you've done so far?  Ran ultras in 5 deserts last year!
How many times have you done Western States?  11
How do you make your work, passion and hobby work together?  They're all the same for me.  I make my money by running.

Group Run: 
When we went for the group run, I tailed him to watch his gate.   His hips do not drop but stay level, his shoulders sit directly on top of his hips, he lands with his foot flat rather than tipped to one side or the other, forefoot first not heels, and there is no side to side movement.  The overall impression is of flatness both back to front and side to side.  I couldn't make too many observations as I was quickly left in the dust.  I ran gently for about a mile and figured that was about the length of my rope given that I was on injury leave.

My Key Takeaways: 
Dean sells the belief that you too can do it where "it" has a double meaning: "It" means make a living from your passion and run crazy distances and still stand up straight afterward.  You can do it!
He's almost as good as two of my favorite runners, Tom McGlynn and Helen Klein:)

Postscript: 2 of the other 15 folks in attendance also blogged about this event.  At Never Stop Running, JW covers her reaction to Dean's visit and at I Swim Bike Run, Lynn does the same but differently!

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