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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Running on Empty Review and Giveaway

Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner's Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across AmericaSince I write both a running blog and a book blog, what better way to bring the two together than with a review of Marshall Ulrich's Running on EmptyI was excited to be contacted by Lisa from TLC Book Tours about hosting and giving away a copy of the book.

If you don't already know, Marshall Ulrich is an accomplished ultrarunner.  In addition to winning the Badwater Ultramarathon several times, he upped the ante for himself: "Running the Pikes Peak Marathon four times in a row. Doing the Leadville Trail 100 and Pikes Peak Marathon in the same weekend...Completing the Badwater solo [unaided]".  In addition to the many ultras he's completed, Ulrich is an accomplished mountaineer and adventure racer.  And as if all this wasn't enough, Ulrich decided to run across the country from San Francisco to New York.  Oh, yeah...and he was 57 at the time.

Unlike some athletes who are practically born running, Ulrich came to the sport late, using it to treat his stress-induced high blood pressure, to cope with his first wife's battle with cancer, and as an outlet to his pain after her death.  Much of his early competition was done in addition to his full-time job.  While this is inspiring to those of us who also must squeeze our athletic dreams in between work and family, Ulrich reveals the toll it took on his subsequent marriages and on his relationship with his children.

It was with the reluctant support of his wife Heather that Ulrich set out on the cross-country journey, and her presence was invaluable to him.  Most anyone would imagine that such a feat would require incredible physical effort, but this "record-setting run" was demanding in other ways, too.  The emotional rigors involved in putting oneself though repeated 60+ mile days, financial concerns of sponsors, and the interpersonal dynamics between crew members are all recounted in Running on Empty.

The cross-country trip wasn't just Ulrich's ultramarathon; it was very demanding of the support staff as well, and probably most of all of Heather Ulrich, who had to bite her lip and watch her husband suffer day in and day out.  And suffer he did.  Putting that many miles on his feet and legs led to repeated medical issues, most of which he simply powered through.  (Granted, he had a doctor on staff and got the kind of attention most of us would never imagine). Marshall Ulrich takes our excuses and throws them to the side.  Too old?  Not a chance.  Too busy?  Make time.  Too sore?  No way.

Definitely an interesting book.  TLC has offered me the chance to give a copy away, so if you'd like to read it, here's what you do:


1) Become a follower of this blog - leave a comment and tell me (1 entry)
2) What's the hardest thing you've ever done? (1 entry)

19 comments:

  1. I finished this last week as well and I was struck how he just glossed over his accomplishments. I know the book was about the run across America, but... Great review!

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  2. The hardest thing I have ever done was leave my country, my family and my friends to come live in the US.

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  3. Great review - looking forward to reading the book!

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  4. I am a follower (thanks for the review, I have heard great things about this book!)

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  5. The hardest thing I've ever done is to let go of my running and let nature heal me. I'm sort of a fix it person and it's been very hard not to fix this mess.

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  6. Great review! I'm so happy you enjoyed the book. THanks so much for being on the tour and telling your readers about Running on Empty!

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  7. The hardest thing I did...hmmmm

    It's a toss up between this awful 12 hour hike I accidentally did in Panama (Was told the hike was flat and quick), and the 24 hour ultramarathon I did last month.

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  8. The hardest thing was the Berryman Epic 50+mile MTB race. There was a lot of quit in me that day. I have a feeling that this year will bring a new #1 though.

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  9. my hardest thing: single parenthood. wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy!

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  10. I'm a superfollower of SuperKate!! :)

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  11. The hardest thing I've ever done was last years Adventure Racing National Championships. The terrain was incredibly difficult, and staying moving for 27hrs was a constant challenge.

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  12. I am a follower already. The hardest thing I have ever done was watch all 3 of my kids roll out of the driveway in a car that my oldest child was driving, not long after receiving a drivers license.

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  13. I already follow your blog. :)

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  14. Going through infertility treatments to have my two boys. Does that count? It's physical. It was hard. Yes?

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  15. I'll check it out.

    My favorite running book is "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" by Haruki Murakami. Read it?

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  16. Just reading your comment on Chris K's blog. Once I accidently ran over a snake on my bike and it caused it to "leap" up at me. I didn't go home for hours (I was a kid) in case it was still there. I always have a fear on bikes it could happen again.

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