Book Review: “RUN!” by Dean Karnazes

My cat reads with me.

My cat reads with me.

I’ve been on a Dean kick!! Once you get started, there’s no turning back!

In the last couple of months, I’ve learned a lot about Dean Karnazes the ultra running legend. I read the Road to Sarta book, watched Desert Runners and I just got the movie “Ultramarathon man: 50 Marathons, 50 states, in 50 Days” on NetFlix DVD (which I did a book review on a long time ago and It turns out I’ve already seen the movie…I realized after I linked the post).

Anyway, I found and read “RUN! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss.” I love that this book’s chapters are broken down like that of a marathon, including a pre-run stretch and recovery!

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“RUN!” is a collection of short stories by Dean, from his friends, his wife, and his children. There’s even a chapter on funny race signs he’s seen. This book gives us side stories from events we have already seen or read about and a more candid look at Dean’s life. I love this aspect. It makes him seem more real and human rather than the running machine I picture.

My favorite story is either the one about carrying the Olympic torch or when he goes on The Regis and Kelly Show to break the world record for longest run on a treadmill (he met Obama before he was president and because he has vaseline on his hand, he fist bumped him!). I also really love the letter from his wife; it was super sweet and a good view from his family.

I definitely recommend this book to any Dean Karnazes fan. If you’ve never read anything by him before, I suggest starting with his other books.


I checked mine out from the library but you can find it on Amazon HERE:

Prediction Run With 3W Races

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Ok, ok, I know I said I didn’t have any racing schedule for this year! This was another random sign up.

For a second year in a row one of the owners of 3W Races, held a Prediction Run. It goes like this: You predict your time for a 5k. On race day, you run with NO timing device. No watches, no phone, no Ipods…nothing. The person that finished closes to their predicted their times WINS!

If you ever get a chance to do a race like this, I highly recommend it. It’s fun, challenging and unique. I love that fact that ANYONE can win – fast or slow, it just comes down to how well you can know your body, pace and stay steady on your run.

For this race, we had a competition with all racers and then a friendly competition between staff members as well. I’m not going to lie, I was kind of nervous! I didn’t really know what to predict. As you know, running has been the easiest for me lately. Do I predict a slower time and take my time (risking not getting close to my prediction) or do I predict fast and go all out??

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Here’s what I did: I predicted about 45 seconds slower than last weekend at the Six Pack Race given that this course was more flat. On race morning, I tried to replicate how I felt at the previous race (in terms of burn in my lungs).

I felt pretty strong on the run and tried to just run hard and hold my pace. I’m pretty psyched to have won (out of three) a free massage by being the closest of all 3W staffers to my predicted time! I predicted 25:45 and was off by 21 seconds (running  25:23). Overall I was 10th closest to my predicted time – the other runners were GREAT at predicting!


3W Races – 1 mile to half marathon races all across the CO Front Range!

 

First race of 2017 – Highland Ranch Six Pack Series – 5k

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It may have been my first race of 2017, but it wasn’t planned out. In fact, I still don’t have a race schedule planned out for the year. The only other race I know I’m running FOR SURE is the Erin Go Braugh 7.77k on March 11th because I never miss it. A lot of this is due to my up and down motivation for running in general, but that’s a whole other story.

Last weekend, “my boss” (she hates that word, but for the sake of my readers, that is who she is; she is also my friend), asked if I could help out at the Six Pack Series in Highlands Ranch and just time part of it. She suggested I run the race and then take over the timing while she announced awards. That sounded like a good deal to me! I then added on shadowing the course-set guy because in a couple of weeks I will be setting the same course.

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My friend Jen and I

So after getting up early, walking the whole course, I ran the 5k! I had no goals, none whatsoever, just to run and feel the sun on my face, the burn in my legs and feel my heart pumping. BONUS, a friend of mine and fellow cross country coach, decided to come run! I had no idea (and she was just hoping I would be there). It was such a good surprise and nice feeling to have a good friend on the course. She is also coming back from a non-running stint due to other reasons.

When the whistle was blown, I took off at a nice comfortable pace. For the first mile, three of us ladies were sticking pretty close together, one to my right and one slightly behind me. The first place woman was way in front of us, so it was us three trying for 2nd and 3rd place. I’m not sure when the lady behind me fell back but at about a mile and a half we hit a hill and the other lady pulled ahead, leaving me in third.

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I decided then that I wanted to hold that 3rd place spot and kept up my pace. I reached the turnaround, cheered on by fellow 3W Ambassador (a team of 50 runners that run and promoted 3W Races), and kept pushing, telling myself there’s only less than half of the race left.  My friend was running the 4 mile and I saw her after the turnaround (as she was about to turn). I yelled out to “come catch me”, hopefully giving her a boost of energy. I knew exactly where I was on the course, having set it, and kept counting down the half-miles in my head.

Finally, I rounded the last corner, finish line in site, and pushed it in for the finished! I maintained my 3rd place and felt pretty great! (My friend finished 1st overall in the 4 mile, almost catching me in the 5k).

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For my lack of running and being on my feet that morning, I’m pretty proud! This race gave me a huge motivational boost in my running.


Six Pack Series Highlands Ranch (new series starting Fall 2017!)

3W Races – 1 mile to half marathon races all across the CO Front Range!

#60HikesDenverChallenge – Elk Meadow Open Space Park: Sleepy S Loop

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(For 2017, I have a goal of getting through all 60 trails in the book “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Denver”  You’ll see these posts all year-long. You can find a lot of info on each of the trails in the book, but I’ll highlight some things each time in addition to including my experience and opinion on the trail. The number below is associated with how they are labeled in the book if you have it.)

Trail #19 – Elk Meadow Open Space Park: Sleepy S Loop
Completed: 2/22/17 | Mode: Run/Hike
Location: HW 74 and Stagecoach Blvd
Distance: 2.5 miles (we did 3.75)
Difficulty:  Relatively challenging! Gradual climbs will some steep spots, flat open areas and fun downhills. Can be icy in the winter.
Surface: Hard packed dirt with a few bigger rocks in parts
Exposure: Lots of shade

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My Experience:
After some pretty busy and stressful weeks, I was begging to get outside and check off a trail from the book. I hadn’t done ANY for the month of February. On a particularly warm, sunny day in what’s supposed to be winter time, Ben and I ventured up to Evergreen again to check out another trail in the book. There are three trails in Evergreen in the book. I’ve already done the Evergreen Lake Trail, and now I have one more trip to Evergreen left – not that I mind, Evergreen is beautiful!

This trail was very fun, beautiful and challenging! It felt like we were in the high country but only 30 minutes from home. The trail varied between inclining and declining as it wound in and out of tall evergreen forests. The smell of the pines was great for the senses and satisfied my need for the outdoors.

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Pros:
-Beautiful views
-Tall trees lining parts of the trail; creates a very peaceful run
-The Sleepy S Loop is only 2.5 miles, but there are a lot of other side trails to take to add on the mileage.
-Trail is hard packed gravel with only a few large rocks to avoid
-Enough inclines and declines to get in a workout without being too challenging

Cons:
-Can be very crowded with people and off leash dogs. (There’s a dog park across the street from the trail head, but the trails themselves are NOT supposed to have off-leash dogs, however, people seem to not follow rules.)
-Can be icy during the winter; there is a lot of shade.

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Overall:
I really want to come back here and run to the top of Bergen Peak. That trail looks enjoyable, steep but fun (you can see the trail map on the picture at the top). I really liked the wooded parts of the trail; It felt like I was up in the high country of Colorado without having to travel far at all.  I highly recommend this trail for a great run or hike no matter if you’re from Colorado or just visiting!


Pick up your own copy: