Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Born to Run

Being just a tad giddy about meeting Born to Run author Christopher McDougall

When I started this blog about six months ago I was considering running my first marathon. It seemed like a ridiculously ambitious goal and I devoted a lot of writing to the experience of training and eventually crossing that finish line. And now May 25th seems like along time ago.

I’ve continued running. Kip and I have been training for the Malibu Marathon in November, but somehow the experience has seemed significantly different. I am sure that the biggest difference is that subconsciously I believe that I can do it. And my body is more prepared.

The long weekend runs are still intense, sometimes painful. But nothing like last April when I’d come home from a long run, shower, eat and sleep for two hours. Once after running 18 miles I came home and slept for 12 hours.

This time I feel like I’m squeezing marathon training into the rest of our life. I don’t get Saturday afternoon to recover. I have to be at the soccer field, so I’ve adapted and my body has learned that it can do that just fine.

I’ve also spent less time running during the week in between long runs. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not. I’m trying to reduce the risk of overtraining injuries, but the truth is I have made it less of a priority. If I have difficulty sleeping or have to be out the door early in the morning, I’m apt to skip the morning run. Some weeks I have run as little as 9 miles during the week – maybe this is why I’m still carrying the extra weight I gained this summer over our fabulous vacations.

But I got some new inspiration today.

My friend Kathleen told me that Chris McDougall, author of Born to Run was going to be at a local bookstore this evening. Kip’s band practice was canceled, so I was free to go to the book reading/signing.

Giddy about having a night out with other adults, I dressed up a little and enjoyed being surrounded by books and people who actually enjoyed reading one of the best books I've read this year. I stuck around after the reading and talked to both the author and Micah True, the “star” of the book, a.k.a Caballo Blanco, who just happened to be in the crowd tonight.

As a writer and a runner, if I dare hold those claims, I enjoyed hearing McDougall describe his experience, his inspirations and what he has done since his race with the Tarahumara. But talking to Caballo was the real treat. How often do you read a story about a nearly mythical recluse who lives off the land in a Mexican canyon and then get to chat with him in an LA bookstore?

It really made me want to go to the Copper Canyons in Mexico. Wouldn’t it be an awesome road trip to run in the Cooper Canyon Ultra Marathon? Maybe I should start learning Spanish.

Caballo Blanco, drifting through LA on his way back to the canyons. This guy runs 100s of miles a week for the fun of it.

Chris McDougall answering questions at the book signing, which was at a very cute little book store on West 3rd Street, The Traveler's Bookcase. I could have spent an hour there just looking at the shelves.


  1. awesome write up & pics - so glad you could make it out Theresa.

    best of luck in your training!

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