Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday 50/50 - The Finale

As promised, today's post comes straight from Winston Salem, NC.  And as you would only expect, as soon as the 11 hour drive was finished and we got unpacked, it was time for a run.  haha  You have to have priorities, right?

But enough about me!  We have one final installment of Dean Karnazes and Matt Fitzgerald's book 50/50 to get to. 

I've very much enjoyed reading, re-reading, and reviewing the book.  Dean and Matt did an incredible job putting together a book full of great stories, suggestions, tips, and ideas that is easily accessible by any type of runner as well as reader.  And since this is the conclusion of my first (extended) book review, I would very much appreciate your feedback on whether you liked or disliked the idea/execution of the book review. 

But before that, we have a seventh and final installment of Friday 50/50 to get to.

First, have you read the other six?  If not, check them out below.
Friday 50/50 Part I
Friday 50/50 Part II
Friday 50/50 Part III
Friday 50/50 Part IV
Friday 50/50 Part V
Friday 50/50 Part VI

And now onto my final four points from Dean and Matt's book.  ENJOY!

25.  Changes of mind
One thing I was surprised at time and time again while reading this book was the incredible decisions that "normal" runners made.  First off, there were a number of runners that came to a race with the intentions of only running the half marathon.  However, many of those people continued on and ended up finishing the entire marathon even despite having only trained for a half at times.

One individual came to the marathon as many others with hopes of meeting and chatting with Dean.  While chatting with him, he tells Dean "I'll see you again in two other cities for two other marathons."  Being surprised by that, Dean asks how long he had planned on the three marathons.  The guy responds "I just decided right now."  Talk about addiction in action!

Another individual informed Dean while running that he had traveled to run the marathon for his wedding anniversary.  Again, Dean was surprised and remarked how understanding the guy's wife must be.  He responded by telling Dean that his wife was the one who bought the tickets and his registration as a surprise to him.  THAT is an amazing wife!

Lastly, the most amazing decision was of a Japanese couple who canceled their large wedding at home and instead eloped on the beaches of Hawaii in order to make it to the Hawaii 50/50 marathon where the groom was determined to prove his worth to his bride.  This was a very last minute decision by the groom who was completely unprepared to run 26.2 miles.  He barely made it, but he did. 

26.  50/50 Idea Presented to North Face
Dean presented the original idea of doing fifty marathons in fifty days to North Face as a type of family vacation.  He expected to take his family in a Winnebago around the country while he ran, the way they've done family vacations quite often in the past.  Obviously, that didn't quite happen.  It became so much more. However, it didn't even get considered until years after it's first proposal when North Face had a running shoe to put out.

Just another lesson to show that sponsors will only back your ideas - even if they are CRAZY - when they have a benefit.  Dean just wanted to run and had a great idea of how to do it and create a lot of press.  However, without more

27.  Hard Easy Rule
This rule is two-fold.  First, your training days should be patterned so that each hard workout is followed by an easy day or workout in order to provide time for recovery, but allow your muscles to maintain muscle memory.  Second, your weeks should also be patterned similarly.  Dean suggests every third or fourth week to be backed down approximately 30% in volume for the same reasons as alternating your daily workouts. 

29.  Run Home
The final topic I will bring up from 50/50 is that despite the incredible amounts of time put into making sure every detail was covered throughout the fifty days, when Dean finished and completed his interviews in NYC, it came to his attention that they had never arranged his travel home to California.  Now I would find it difficult that Dean couldn't manage a plane ticket, let alone that North Face wouldn't pick it up for him, but can you guess how Dean decided to get home?

Dean bought a running stroller, packed up some necessities and food, and did what he does best, he started running.  Dean ran all day and slept in parks from NYC to the site of his first 50/50 marathon in Missouri.  At that point he felt his overall experience had come full circle and asked for directions to the local airport.  He was ready to be home. 


1.  Have you ever seen an incredible change of mind in a "normal" runner/athlete?

2.  What is your ultimate post-race activity?  Do you go for another run or celebrate?
I love the idea of celebrating and then going back out for another run (if my body allowed it).  


3.  If you've read 50/50, what did YOU think of the book?  If you haven't read the book, what do you think of the book from these reviews?  
There are plenty of other great athletic books that I could use for future reviews if you like the idea of continuing.  Let me know (and I welcome book suggestions for). 

Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 


Anonymous said...

Was it "addiction in action" or was it the current attitude of "instant gratification"? IMHO, satisfying a spontaneous "urge" can't necessarily be defined as healthy and strong. Just asking. I wonder what some of your other readers will think...

Ken Y (former holder of the indoor marathon record) has an interesting corollary to the hard easy rule. To quickly and safely substantially increase his volume he went from 70 to 100+, back down to 70, then to 110+, down to 80, and then hung around 100+ mpw. Always different ways to skin a cat - or shock your system to new fitness levels.

SeeAliEatSeeAliRun said...

Post race margaritas always. Then sleep. Then maybe run the next day (depending on how many margaritas were consumed)
I'm so happy you reviewed this book-I really want to read it now!
I think that the change of mind in a "normal" runner always goes from "normal" to "crazy" and then they no longer become a normal runner and become one of us crazy runners. That's why we run and most people don't-because we are nuts! Running absolutely changes my state of mind and I have done some crazy things in the name of running!

Richelle said...

I've become a crazy runner over time. :)

I celebrate after a race, usually with a burger and beer. Yum!

Sounds like a great book from the reviews I've read. I've learned a lot. Thanks for dissecting the book and providing the advice for us readers!

Coy Martinez said...

I did the change of plan this time last year. I ran a full instead of a half and made the decision on race day. My longest run had been 14 miles up until that point. Took me 5 hours but I was happy with that, all things considered. I've been known to make crazy decisions.