Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday 50/50 - Part I

Welcome to the first installment of...

Friday 50/50

First off, before I get started (and even explain to you what the heck Friday 50/50 is – yes, that means I’m leaving you in the dark for a second, deal with it; get a flashlight if you need to), happy belated St. Patty’s Day!  Hopefully you all wore green, had some fun, found your pot of gold, and were safe!  

Ok, now back to the regularly scheduled program.  

For those of you who are not aware (all but two of you – you know who you are!), I recently finished reading Dean Karnazes’ book 50/50.  Overall, I very much enjoyed the book.  My roommate will vouch for the fact that I probably laughed out loud approximately every 15 minutes.  On top of that, I stuck a number of post-its throughout the book highlighting over thirty different bits of information, stories, or thoughts that I figured would be good to remember and share.  If you haven’t guessed it already, the title “Friday 50/50” means I’ll be taking each Friday and sharing with you maybe five or so points that I highlighted from the book.  

For any readers who would prefer not to have the book ruined for them (like finding out the heroin dies in the end!  Oops), please read at your own risk!

Other than that, let’s get started!

1.  Review:  I want to start with a short overview.  Without a doubt, this book is all about Dean Karnazes’ adventure of doing 50 marathons in 50 days.  The book breaks up into over fifty smaller stories combined into one book, much like a set of short stories all with a common threaded theme.  Each of the marathons makes up a short story and from each, Dean brings home a point whether it be a suggestion for runner’s stomach, a plug for children’s activity groups, or a heart- (or funny bone-) felt story he heard from one of his fellow runners.  The biggest credit I give to Dean (as well as the co-author Matt Fitzgerald and their editors) is that the stories are written in such a way that you feel they come from the heart.  They don’t use fancy, complex wording or various styles of writing to draw the reader in.  Everything you read is written fresh, like you heard it first person from your running buddy while meeting for coffee after your afternoon run. 

2.  Karno Kids: 
This is Dean’s charity and the main reason why Dean himself runs so much publicly.  The mission statement of the organization is as follows:

“Our mission at KARNO KIDS is to encourage, motivate, inspire our youth to get outside and become physically active and to restore & preserve the environment for their use and enjoyment.”

And their slogan (as Dean mentions multiple times in the book) is…

“No Child Left Inside”

Sound familiar?  Haha  Dean talks about not specifically the charity, but the children many many many times throughout his book and with good cause.  The main reason Dean suggested the idea of the 50/50 to his sponsor North Face (aside from his personal desire to see if he could actually do it) was an attempt to raise awareness for children’s activities, for getting kids outside and… well, running (or I’m sure he’d be willing to accept any other form of exercise they’d prefer to do).  Personally, I agree with him.  Kids should be encouraged to play games, be active, and consequently, they will be healthier because of it.  And I very much applaude (and gasp in awe) of how well Dean has used his athletic ability to become an example instead of just preaching.

3.  Wedding Stunt: 
At Dean’s first of fifty marathons he pulled what many men seemed to call a “stunt” and women would call a “heart-felt story.”  I’ll let you decide which.

A long-time friend of Dean’s, Topher, who was a priest flew in from Europe specifically for this event.  While everyone was crowded around the general starting area, he whipped out a microphone and started reciting text.  At that same time, Dean’s daughter Alexandria pulled out a bouquet and his son Nicholas handed him a ring box.  Right there at the starting line of the first marathon, Dean surprised his wife (who he acknowledges as having worked tirelessly on plans for this whole endeavor) with a renewing their marriage vows.  Once finished, Topher ripped off his robes to reveal running clothes and ran the marathon with Dean, shortly after hopping a flight back to Europe. 

Heart-felt, right?  He’s so thoughtful for doing something like that for his wife who was unable to come along for the trip other than weekends since she had a dental practice to keep up.

Well, that night on the bus Dean got an email from a fan:

"Dude, you suck. You’ve now set the bar so high that none of us will be able to rival that.  My wife keeps asking me what my plans are for the next marathon.  I know exactly what she’s getting at!  Good luck Karno.  Just, please, for the sake of all of us guys out here, don’t pull anything like that again."

So, heart-felt or a stab in the back for every long distance running male on the face of the planet?  You decide. 

4.  Ginger Chews: 
Have you ever been out on a run and all of a sudden “ugh, my stomach doesn’t feel so good.”  Of course, we all have, right?  Dean strongly suggests raw ginger as a remedy for a runner’s upset stomach while on the run.  He adds that since raw ginger can be a bit strong, there are ginger chews available as well that have a more gentle effect.

I thought this was an awesome idea!  I had never heard or thought of ginger as a stomach remedy.  However, then I remembered, what is one thing a lot of people drink when they get sick? – Ginger Ale.  I had never saw the connection before, but I had always used ginger as a stomach remedy before without thinking about it.  Therefore, ginger really does make sense.

Dean also adds these points for avoiding the stomach issues in the first place:

-          Eat your pre-race meal at least an hour beforehand
-          Avoid dairy and high-fiber foods 24 hours before a race
-          Consume easily digestable foods pre-race
-          Let your thirst guide your drinking; don’t drink too much
-          Train properly for the race’s level of exertion beforehand

1.   Renewing wedding vows at the marathon start - cruel stunt or heart-felt?
I don't want to influence your decision, so go ahead and vote!

2.  Have you ever used ginger or ginger chews for an upset stomach?  If so, how well do they really work?
I'd be very interested to hear any actual stories.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 
Disclaimer:  In the case that this is at all necessary, I have received nothing in exchange for posting these reviews on Dean Karnazes and Matt Fitzgeral’s book 50/50 and am not in search of any compensation.  All the views portrayed herein are posted of my own desire, are strictly mine and have no connection to the authors, publisher, or related individuals/organizations discussed.  However, if Dean would like to come by to run with me, I would graciously accept.  Just sayin’!


Chelsea said...

As far as renewing wedding vows.. adorable! Here is the running wedding dress that I happened upon last week... love it :-)

I have not tried ginger chews, but I just bought some fresh ginger at the store the other day, and I am considering cooking with some of it, but using it as a stomach remedy is a great idea. I have plenty of ginger, if you want to use some in an experiment.

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

Now we just need to find a running tux for the groom.

CupCake@ Bigger Girls Can Run Too said...

I know that when I have an upset stomach, ginger tea works rather well at settling it down. So too does ginger ale. Therefore, I can only assume that ginger chews would do the same.

As for the wedding vows, I do think that that is adorable. While I may not necessarily want to run on my actual wedding day, the renewing of vows at the race would be rather epic.

runnergirl training said...

I've heard about the wedding vows at a race. Interesting...yeah.

I've used a ginger tea for an upset stomach. The chews sound like a great idea for out of run. Thanks for sharing!

Chelsea said...
:-) I have too much time on my hands today

racing dawn said...

This is one of the 3 books I'm in the middle of! One of the others is Ultramarathon Man.

Love inspirational. So real. And down to earth.

And that whole wedding thing was smart...he knew he was gonna owe her big time after being away for a couple months just out running... ;)

Anonymous said...

Depends. Are man and wife race directors of the marathon? Are the guests also running the marathon?

I say "No", unless instead of a wedding party the couple stages their own marathon race for their party goers (including post-race bash and awards ceremony).

But, that's just me.

Richelle said...

Dean is awesome, hands-down!

I think it's cool if couples decide to get married or renew their vows during races. It certainly makes for a unique experience.

I used to bartend at a Japanese restaurant, and one night I had a bad stomachache. My boss made me some ginger tea and it helped. Ginger is delish!