eat and run

Last night I finally finished up Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

If you haven’t heard of it: “In Eat & Run, Scott Jurek opens up about his life and career — as an elite athlete and a vegan — and inspires runners at every level. From his Midwestern childhood of hunting, fishing, and cooking for his meat-and-potatoes family, to his early beginnings in running (he hated it), to his slow transition to ultrarunning and veganism, to his incredible, world-spanning, record-breaking races — Scott’s story shows the power of an iron will and the importance of thinking of our food as our fuel.”

As the title suggests, Eat & Run most certainly spends a good amount of time discussing food (recipes included) as well as promoting a vegan lifestyle.  However, it is not in the least bit pushy about it.  Jurek is clearly just sharing his experience and how, through trial and error, he was able to figure out what works best for his body. I love that he also included a brief experiment with a raw diet that ended up not working for him. It’s not that I love that it didn’t work out, but that he was honest about how challenging it was and that at the time it wasn’t convenient.

As it turns out, veganism is just a small component of Jurek’s ultrarunning journey in Eat & Run.  The man is beyond inspiring. His focus, drive, determination and sheer running-insanity make him absolutely incredible.

It was the moment in an ultramarathon that I have learned to live for, to love. It was that time when everything seems hopeless, when to go on seems futile, and when a small act of kindness, another step, a sip of water, can make you realize that nothing is futile, that going on-especially when going on seems so foolish-is the most meaningful thing in the world.

At times, I found the descriptions of his training methods and race recaps to be jaw-dropping.  I mean really, he submerges himself in coolers filled with ice-water at aid stations to bring his core temperature down?!

Every single one of us possesses the strength to attempt something he isn’t sure he can accomplish. It can be running a mile, or a 10k race, or 100 miles. It can be changing a career, losing 5 pounds or telling someone you love her (or him).

Eat & Run is definitely a book that goes beyond just picking a new diet. It even goes beyond just running. It’s a story of how much the human body can endure.  It’s also a story of how much a person can accomplish when they quit making excuses, dig deep and don’t stop until they’ve accomplished what they set out to do.

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8 thoughts on “eat and run

  1. Thanks for reviewing this! I have been curious but hesitant to buy it in case it was too preachy about the veganism. I am not ready to go totally meatless and don’t want to be told how horrible I am. I think I will go ahead and get it. Um ice bath looks no fun.

    • i didn’t think he was too preachy at all…he was obviously advocating it and outlined the benefits, but that’s to be expected. his descriptions of his racing career more than made up for it. a few years ago i was a vegetarian, but once i developed gluten/dairy/soy issues i started eating chicken again (once or twice a week). i keep saying i’m going to go back to it, but honestly…the last thing i really want to do right now is restrict my diet even more!!

      yeaah, that cooler looks a touch uncomfortable!

  2. Wow. I’m no ultra marathoner, and I have definitely taken ice baths or gone in the ocean after a run for my legs to keep the muscles from swelling when I’m training for a marathon. But putting his whole body in to lower the temperature that quickly almost seems dangerous to me. But again, I haven’t pushed my body to those limits. I’m curious to read it though to see what the H-E-double hockey sticks motivates someone to run an ultra marathon?!?! They are nuts!

    • lol, they are! although after reading it i feel as if they’re no different than any other athelete with a passion for their sport and a drive to always improve themselves.

      it does seem kind of dangerous, but i guess the idea is that it’s less dangerous than allowing his core temperature to rise too high while running over a hundred miles through the desert!!

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