I haven't written about running much recently (possibly because I've been totally sloughing off on my training for this race), but I just ran a 20-miler today, and OMG...best 20-miler EVER. I can't quite pinpoint what made it seem so painless, but I think it was this:
Cool weather + salt pills + great running partner + reading Born to Run/possibly improved form) = awesome run
I don't think I've ever run such a pleasant 20-miler. Or even a 16 or 18-miler for that matter. I'm excited to see if I can maintain the same positive attitude/momentum on my 22-miler when it will no doubt be 10-12 degrees warmer. I want to be like a Tarahumara runner- do not fear the heat, eat the heat. If I can pull it off again, then it's settled- I'm doing another ultra someday. :-)
Born to Run is an amazing read, and a must for any distance runner. Not only has it influenced me to dream big, bigger than 26.2...but to also remember that the only difference between myself and any other ultra runner out there is not freaky genetics or corporate sponsorship...it's heart & a pure running form. If I want to run 30, 40 or 50 miles, I can.
And though I touched upon this on my previous blog post, the book has also made me want to try the hideous Vibram Five Fingers. When I first saw them a few years ago (though they've been around a lot longer than that), I was initially wary of another pricey fad shoe (I got suckered into buying $$$ MBTs that I was never quite sure worked). But this book lends great support to the idea that running as the human body was meant to run (that is to say, on flats vs. air cushioned heels) is not only healthier, but more pleasant/energy efficient. Of course I'm oversimplifying hundreds of pages of research, but it's a definitely a worthy consideration/argument. The book basically paints Nike (they're the scapegoat in this book, much like McDonalds is in the fast food world) as the evil, profit-driven money whores who design shoes even though they know that they are not as good as flats.
And...get this...you didn't hear it from me though...*whispered tone* the book references the fact that a lot of hardcore ultra runners think that Dean Karnazes is a over-hyped up, publicity-seeking pretty boy! Gasp.
See what I mean? This book goes against the grain, peeps.
But I liked it. It may have even helped me get over a mental block. If you're a half, full or ultra runner...give it a try. :-)