Ultramarathon Man

I am reposting this from my old blog (first posted about a year ago).

A while back I read Ultramarathon Man find out more here. It is a great book, very inspirational, but left me feeling that Dean Karnazes is nuts err, maybe a little OCD. Anyway, regulars will no doubt have picked up on my own growing obsession with running (and if I developed a body like Dean’s I would be well pleased!) and last night I ran my first 10K, the most I have ever run and it took me about 50 minutes, so a little off my usual 4.40/km pace, but not bad. And, I am not too stiff this morning!

Last night as I ran I was thinking about Ultramarathon man, there I was thinking an hour is a long time and he ran for 72-hours, non-stop (a record I believe). Specifically I was thinking about the bit in the book where he describes going running for the first time in about 15 years, his life reached a kind of crisis point and he found some gardening sneakers and runs – with a $20 bill in his shoe in case he needs anything, it was late into the night.

After about 15 miles he sits down by a drive through that looked closed, but realised was open:

My legs throbbing and cramped, my foot mangled, my body covered in a layer of sweat and road grime, I hobbled around the back to the drive-through speaker. I stomped on the cord with my heal. “can I take your order?” a tinny voice asked.

“Oh, yes!” I cried. “To start, I’ll have…” [read the book to find out what he orders!] “Please pay at the window.” [the tinny voice says.]

Digging the crumpled twenty out of my shoe, I strolled joyously to the pick-up window. The girl there didn’t look so happy, however.

“Sir, do you have a vehicle? You cannot order food from a drive through unless you are in a car.”

the debate continues with dean saying

trying to keep the note of hysteria out of my voice “Let’s just make a quick transaction and we’ll be done with it. No one will ever know.”

“I am sorry, sir, but if we make an exception for you, we’d have to let everyone order from a drive through without a car.”

and she walks away from her window, the story continues with considerable debate, Dean desparate for food and the girl adamant that the rules are the rules and cannot be changed. He eventually manages to persuade the next (and only) car to take him through the drive through in return for buying the guy’s late night snack.

Why am I telling you this? Well last night as I ran, it came to me – church can be like that; rules, rules and rules, with no flexibility when the need arises.

I am still running, but don’t seem to have increased my distance much over the last year, and I still worry about rules, and rules with no contextual interpretations.