Earlier this morning I finished Dean Karnazes’ Ultramarathonman: Confessions of an all-night runner. I’ve been reading Run Wild by Boff Whalley. Both men have very different takes on running. Both took long breaks from running. Whalley ran a marathon in 1981 and then didn’t run again for several years before he discovered trail running, and that’s all he does now. Karnazes was a freshman in high school and he went out for track when he had a disagreement with the coach and then never ran again until his 30th birthday.
Karnazes uses a 199-mile run as a backdrop for his book. He tells the story of how he gave up running rediscovered it and fell into ultramarathoning. Whalley uses the New York City Marathon as the backdrop for his book. A marathon, I might add, he would never run. He sees the urban marathon as an attempt to control people.
This brings me to fellow blogger and runner Tanya Isch Caylor. Last month, she ran an indoor marathon at Goshen College in Goshen, Ind. I enjoyed reading her accounts of training, running laps at the YMCA using years as lap counters. I enjoyed reading her accounts of long runs on a treadmill. In all, I think it takes a special kind of runner to run an indoor marathon on a track. A few years ago, I spent the winter running on the indoor track at IPFW. I always lost count of my laps. I tried to break up the monotony of running laps by running a lap or two fast then a lap or two slow and then another walking. Once the winter was over, I let my membership lapse and I returned to running outdoors.
Which brings me back to Whalley and Karnazes. I want to run an ultramarathon and I want to increase my running on trails. Trouble is, most of the trails near my house are paved. There are parks that have unpaved trails. One is used by mountain bikers. I have done a lot of hiking in that park. I’ve done some running there. When (if) the weather ever improves, I’ll be going over there and run. The other day as I walked home from the Home and Garden Show at the Coliseum, I noticed the area around Johnny Appleseed’s grave (Yes, John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, is buried in Fort Wayne.), I noticed little bridge over a small creek and some hills. That, I thought, would be a good place to run off road.
Now, I’ve just got to get off my arse and start running again.