This installment of Nonfiction Nagging is killing three birds with one stone. Run! by Dean Karnazes is an Amazon Vine text they sent me to review, a much needed motivator before the San Francisco Half Marathon I'm doing on the 31st, and my nonfiction book this month.
I wish I could say this was the best running book ever, but I can't. For those of you that aren't familiar with Dan Karnazes, the ultramarathon man, he's kind of an attention whore and has a bit of an ego. But, the man can run. And by run I mean he eats marathons for breakfast. We're talking endurance runs that cover hundreds of miles on rough terrain.
The actual running narratives were interesting. He describes his experiences running the Badwater Ultra (135 miles in the Mojave Desert), the 4 Deserts Challenge (Atacama, Gobi, Sahara and Antarctica), and the Regis and Kelly record breaking attempt of running for over 240 miles in 48 hours (this was a little too showboat for me, but at least he took his defeat well). He's done 50 marathons across 50 states, and has recently ran cross country to promote youth exercise (he actually ran at the high school I teach at with students from our school district... I opted to not pay to participate). I find ultras fascinating- there is so much preparation in regards to gear, support teams, and mental well-being that has to be done. Halves seem like a cake walk (right)- shoes, a few Shot Bloks, water, the Garmin, and off you go.
I didn't love his ego, of course, the sections written by his wife and kids, nor the ass-kissing letters from fans that he included ("Oh Dean, you saved my life, you're me hero, blablabla"). It also really bothers me that the subscript to the title is "26.2 stories of blisters and bliss" when the man focuses on ultras. Nitpicky, I know.
I think the overall message behind this book is that everyone needs to find some sort of physical activity they are passionate about and go for it. You don't have to be as intense as Karnazes, or enter contests, but for you physical and mental health you should commit to exercise. I've been consistently exercising for about seven years and I do it to stay sane and prevent feeling like I need to constantly diet (if I did diet I'd actually look like I've been working out consistently for seven years). Days or weeks that I miss physical activity I feel myself getting cranky, worrying too much, and lacking energy. Studies have shown that consistent exercise reduces your risks for cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, and possibly even Alzheimer's.
Get off your ass and move!