Born to Run. Christopher McDougall.


I’d love to write more about this book, but I am about to head out on my 1st 24 hour adventure race in several years.  I am glad I finished it before race!  There are many things I could write about, but not right now.  Instead I will say that if you are an endurance athlete of any kind, love the great outdoors, then read this book.  McDougall did an excellent job in telling this story.

And I’ll leave you with my notes from the book, mostly just a bunch of quotes:

  • “Tarahumara virtues:  strength, patience, cooperation, dedication, persistence”
  • on a 95 year old Raramuri hiking 25 miles over a mountain:  “Know why he could do it?  Because no one ever told him he couldn’t.  No one ever told him he oughta be off dying somewhere in an old age home.”
  • “you are tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.”
  • on women ultra runners:  “how come nearly all the woman finish Leadville and fewer than half the men do.”
  • “No wonder so many people hated running;  if you thought it was only a means to an end — an investment in becoming faster, skinnier, richer — then why stick with it if you weren’t getting enough quo for your quid?
  • on Leaville:  “pacing is so grueling and thankless, usually only family, fools, and damn good friends let themselves get talked into it.”
    • ( Hi Ben and Shane!  🙂 )
  • “Let us live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.” — Mark Twain
  • “I always start these events with very lofty goals, like I’m going to do something special.  And after a point of body deterioration, the goals get evaluated down to basically where I am now — where the best I can hope for is to avoid throwing up on my shoes.”
  • “You can’t hate the Beast and expect to beat it; the only way to truly conquer something, as every great philosopher and geneticist will tell you, is to love it.”
    • (The Beast is the “monster” that attacks every endurance athlete when they hit their lowest, and think they can’t go on.  It tries to convince them to stop.  I’ve been there, and I have survived.  🙂  )
  • On feet:  “They’re self correcting devices.  Covering your feet with cushioned shoes is like turning off your smoke alarms.”
    • Why I love my VFF’s!
  • “Your body needs to be shocked to become resilient..”
    • Why something like adding plyometrics to your work out is so good.
  • “You don’t stop running because you get old.  You get old because you stop running.”
  • “The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other, but to be with each other.”
  • When Jenn Shelton fell and at first thought blood was pouring from her hand, and then realized it was chocolate goo, made me laugh out loud.  I was racing in FL with Ben once, and crashed over a gate that I  had not seen in the dark.  When I got up I thought I had severed an artery in my leg, there was so much “blood” coming down.  Took me a minute (while trying to figure out why I didn’t feel excruciating pain) to realized the goo I had in my shorts and exploded down my leg.  Shew, I wasn’t going to die out there in the wilderness!

There are two goddesses in your heart… The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Riches.  Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come.  So they concern themselves with chasing money.  But they have it backwards.  You give your heart to the Goddess of Wisom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous and follow you.”  (Ask for nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.”

  • The oath:
    • “If I get hurt, lost or die, it’s my own damn fault!”
Books to read:
  • Dharma Bums — Kerouac

6 thoughts on “Born to Run. Christopher McDougall.

  1. Race went very well. We raced as “Triangle AR” and you can see results here:

    We won the open division and it looks like we were 3rd overall, behind the two teams that were competing for the overall season championship on checkpoint tracker.

    We were so close to sweeping the course… The one we missed we must have passed a few times as we were up and down the trail where we were later told it had been. :-/

    I’ll write a more detailed post later. For my first race back in 5 years, I am very happy. Brian is a star navigator and that makes such a huge difference!

  2. Two books I’ve read have changed my life: The Bible and Born to Run. I have found the outlet I’ve been looking for and understand why I enjoy running without having any specific purpose other than to just run because I can and I am so Blessed to be able to glorify God by doing so.

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