Random Ramblings I

This was going to be a post dedicated to various running books, articles, and movies that I had read or seen lately, but I decided to add a few more things… until I realized that it’s completely random! I’ve titled it “Random Ramblings I” with the idea that it could become a series, but due to the, er, random nature of it, I guess we’ll have to see! Here goes nothing:

– I’m sure you’ve heard about the Paul Ryan story by now — how he “misspoke” about his marathon time of “3 hours, or just under that” when it turned out that his time was 4:01. Politics aside, it’s very difficult for me to believe that someone would forget their marathon time. And if they did, they certainly wouldn’t round it down by AN HOUR.

– An even crazier story is that of Kip Litton, a Midwestern dentist who outsmarted the chip timing systems at 10+ marathons (and MORE) before he was caught. It’s a long article, but definitely worth reading.

– Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon. I can’t speak for the latest edition because I read an older version a few months ago, but I think it’s pretty useful in terms of giving a nice overview of marathon training, what to expect, etc. It was also an easy, enjoyable read.

Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide: Advice, Plans, and Programs for Half and Full Marathons

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes. I listened to to the audiobook version during my runs, which was super nerdy, but also a lot of fun and inspirational. It’s amazing to me how bulletproof his body is — the fact that he can run so many miles and not have any injuries is crazy. I don’t want to to run the distances he runs, but I’d like to be able to eat pizza and cheesecake while I’m running. As someone who’s lactose intolerant, I can hardly eat those things sitting down!

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon edited by Neal Jamison. This was recommended to me by Mike. It’s a collection of 39 essays written by ultrarunners of all ages and experiences. I was drawn to this book because I love reading personal accounts of how people got into running, what they like about it, and their experiences during races. Don’t worry, I’m not already dreaming of running ultras when I haven’t even run a regular marathon yet! As inspiring as this book is, I can honestly say that I don’t have any desire to run 50 or 100 mile races. I might consider a trail marathon or a 50K, but the longer races just seem too much.

Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon

Spirit of the Marathon (on Netflix Instant). This is a pretty good documentary that follows 6 people as they train for the Chicago Marathon. It also presents marathon history and interviews with current and past marathon greats.

– Run for Your Life (on Netflix Instant). Another documentary, focusing on Fred Lebow, the eccentric founder of the NYC marathon. The story is interesting enough, but I found it strange (and slightly creepy) that they got a guy to pretend to be “Young Lebow” in various parts of the movie. (Lebow passed away in 1994.)

– My Run (on Netflix Instant). Yet another documentary (see a trend here?). This one features the story of Terry Hitchcock, a single dad from the Midwest who decided in 1996 to “run” from St. Paul to Atlanta over 75 days to raise awareness for single parents. I found the storyline about the father-son relationship more interesting than the running aspect. It was painful to watch this guy… and I was perplexed that he was still overweight at the end of the 75 days of running! (I know, I’m being a jerk. It’s my blog, I can be a jerk if I want to!!) Anyway, this is definitely more of a documentary about melodrama than running. You’ve been warned.

– I’ve booked my hotel for CIM!! I’m staying in Folsom. Anyone with good recommendations for what to do or eat there? Also, let me know if any of you are going to CIM — it’d be great to meet some of y’all IRL.

– I’ve linked him above, but y’all should check out my friend Mike’s blog! He recently wrote a thoughtful piece about Lance Armstrong, not to mention two really useful posts about Bay Area hills, on both roads and trails.

– I recently got contacted to do a product review! Exciting stuff. I’m keeping the details under wraps for now, but I’m looking forward to trying it out and telling you guys all about it. Question: do you think it’s creepy if I end up giving away the product? It will be lightly used… I just thought it might be cool to do a give away as well. What do you think?

– I am in the market for a running tank. I tried this one on (see below) and it was really high up around the back of the neck. Weird. Anyone out there have good recommendations?



Your turn! Any good running books/article/movies you’d like to recommend?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend! Any races this weekend? The Gypsy Runner and I are running the Brazen Drag-N-Fly 10K (6.6 miles)!


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in Book review, random
3 comments on “Random Ramblings I
  1. Mike says:

    Nice multimedia post! I don’t recall whether you’ve read “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami? I’m listening to the audiobook, and it’s a pretty compelling memoir for hardcore running nerds. And though I haven’t read it yet, Runner’s World has called “Once A Runner” by John L. Parker Jr. “the best novel ever written about running.”

    Where to eat pre-CIM? Three words: Old Spaghetti Factory, with locations in Sacramento and closer to Folsom. I’d recommend a reservation for that evening. OSF is a very safe choice digestively speaking, which is really all I look for the night before a marathon.

    • Jen says:

      I read the Murakami book earlier this year. I thought it was pretty good, but I think I prefer his fictional novels. I’ll definitely have to put Once a Runner on my list. As for Old Spaghetti Factory… yes, that was on my radar. I checked out their menu and I think the linguine with clam sauce is the one thing I can eat. I have to avoid tomato sauce, as I’m beginning to suspect a slight intolerance to nightshades — I think they trigger acid reflux. TMI?

      Anyway, thanks for the recommendations!

  2. […] some of you might remember that in my recent ramblings, I was in search of a good running tank top. I didn’t feel like I was being that picky; I […]

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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