By Max Greenberg
50 Marathons in 50 Days in 50 States: Don’t try this at HomeUploaded: Oct 28, 2016
Yes, you heard it right. And it was heard last night at Keppler’s Book Store. Dean Karnazes, the “Ultra-Marathon Man” himself, talked about his new book The Road to Sparta: Reliving the Ancient Battle and Epic Run That Inspired the World's Greatest Footrace. From Keppler’s synopsis: “ Karnazes explores his Greek ancestry and investigates the history of the world's first marathon by recreating the 150-mile long treacherous trail run from Athens to Sparta, depicting the epic drama that inspired the birth of the marathon.”
I went last night to hear Dean speak and get inspired, and I was not disappointed. The inspiration I sought was not to become a marathon runner, certainly not an ultra-marathoner man. I was just looking for some inspiration to get back on track with my health, fitness and business goals. The audience seemed to be filled with “serious” runners, and that in and of itself provided some of the inspiration I was looking for. Dean seems to be a humble man who loves to run, and run and run. He flew in yesterday and accepted an invitation for a “quick” 10K run to support a local running show store. He shows up at Keppler's still wet from the rainy run, removed his shoes and sox and delivered his talk barefoot on stage. But in a very unpretentious manner.
In answer to a question about him having any peculiar physical characteristics that enables him to run longer, quicker and more often than most mere mortals, he shared that his body produces very low levels of lactic acid, thus his muscles don’t fatigue like most people when used repetitiously. Like when you are doing barbell curls (for example). You hit 10-15 and your muscles just can’t do another one. He doesn’t experience that for a long while.
Another “secret” to his success is cross-training. He doesn’t just run. He does frequent workouts that involve muscles in various regions of his body. He certainly appears to be in great over-all shape.
Dean claims that running as he does is 50% physical, and 50% mental. Often on his runs (which have included 350 miles non-stop), he gets to a point where he feels his body can’t go on any longer, so he breaks it down to one step at a time. Reminds me of some Buddhists who at times focus on one breath at a time. Now that’s micro-managing your existence!
I’m still feeling the buzz from Dean’s talk and just being in that environment last night. If you haven’t been to Keppler’s for one of their author’s talks it’s a great place to go, especially on a rainy night, or when you are looking for a little jump re-start.