Monday, May 2, 2011

Running on Empty - A Review and a Giveaway

 Lisa Munley with TLC Book Tours asked me to read and review Running on Empty by Marshall Ulrich.  The deal was that I blog about it and then I could give one away.  I like to read, blog and give things away so it was a win win win situation.


Marshall Ulrich seems beyond human in the many things he has accomplished.  He obtains one goal and then sets yet harder ones.  He does spend time in the book talking about the toll it took on his family.  He readily admits he wasn't present as much as he would have liked when his kids were young.  Most of the book is about his run across America where he raced the third fastest crossing. When he was going through Colorado his grown children met him and ran with him to support him. I enjoyed the sections in the book with his children a great deal.  I found myself very interested in the support his wife gave him and how essential she  was to the whole endeavor.  I think a book by her about the run would also be interesting.


I had a hard time even imagining a great deal of what he has done because it is so far beyond anything I have attempted.  It is hard for me to comprehend that someone who has summitted Mt. Everest feels they have bigger things they can accomplish.  Marshall talks about how there is always more to achieve in ultra running. If you want to summit a mountain once you are at the top (and come down safely) you have done it. But you can do an ultra race quicker, you can run more miles or you can set your own challenges.  The goals can be endless.  


One section of the book that I noted was when he was pondering The Ten Commandents of Endurance.  He talked about how he accepted the suffering of his journey knowing that quitting was not an option. He went on to say that the suffering has given him a unique gift.  It allows him to appreciate the little things such as the comfort of a chair or eating with a spoon or a fork.  These simple things give him a quiet joy whereas love, compassion and connection are supremely meaningful in the present moment.  He made me stop and think about what I have and what I take for granted.  


If you look at Marshall's blog he talks about the pros and cons of running across America.  One con was not sitting in a chair, reading a newspaper and eating on the run.  While reading the book it struck me  all he did was run. He would have loved to sit and talk with his wife, Heather, and connect again with her.  Everything during this run was about taking care of him so he could continue. I can't imagine making those sacrifices day after day. Everyone made sacrifices from Marshall to Heather to his entire crew. I never realized how hard it would be for the whole crew. 


I have just touched on a few small things I picked out of the book.  If you would like a copy of your own, leave a comment for each.  I will randomly choose a winner on May 9.  


You get one chance for being a follower.
You get one chance for telling me a person you admire and why.
You get one chance for telling me about a book you would recommend.

31 comments:

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

1) I follow already.
2) My wife, because she brings out the best in me and my kids
3) "A race like no other" About the NYC marathon. Great book.

Thanks for doing the contest. I really would like to read this book!

Julie said...

I'm a follower!

Julie said...

I greatly admire my cousin, Michael, who recently passed. Each day he remains in my thoughts and his wisdom at such a young age continues to play in my head each and every day.

Julie said...

My favorite book I've read in the last year was Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie.

Tricia said...

loved that book (dont enter me, I have it :)

Richelle said...

Sounds like a worthwhile read. I'm a follower.

Richelle said...

I admire my grandma. She's an awesome lady full of stories, strength and humor. Grandma is in a nursing home right now and has dementia, so her mental health is deteriorating rapidly, which saddens me.

Richelle said...

If you haven't read it yet, I recommend The Long Run by Matt Long. Also, one of my favorite books is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.

Molly said...

well, you know I'm a follower, and I love to read : )

Molly said...

I admire my Mom. She raised us all pretty much on her own, and went to college at night, then went back to work to help support us.

Molly said...

Have you read Personal History by Katharine Graham? Great book.

Zaneta said...

I'm a follower! :)

Amy said...

Sounds like an interesting book - and I'm a follower! (if my name gets picked you don't have to mail it to Belgium, it can go to my mom in Texas and she'll bring it to me)...

Amy said...

A person I admire...Lieve Blancquert, a Belgian photographer. We just visited her exhibition last week and I love the work she does, the respect she shows for the people she photographs, and at the same time the way she is a real person and a mother. When I get some time, I might blog about it!

Amy said...

A book I would recommend...Haruki Marukami's book about running (I think it's called "What I Talk About when I Talk About Running") - have you read that? It's really interesting.

Amy said...

PS: Love the new banner picture of you with your kids!!!

Suzy said...

Ooh, a book giveaway! I'm in. I'm a faithful follower.

Johann said...

Oh yes I follow! You were one the the first I did!

Johann said...

I admire my dad. He is now 81, was married to my mom 57 years on 1 May and he still works 4 full days per week. He is also one of my running heroes, having completed numerous marathons and ultras.

Johann said...

I would recommend "The Lore Of Running" by Tim Noakes. Although very scientific in some areas this is a must have for any serious runner.

Laura said...

I follow!

Laura said...

IRL I admire my run coach who doesn't sugar coat things, encourages us and is an amazing athlete herself.

Laura said...

I love Bart Yasso's book and of course Born to Run...

Kandi said...

I'm a follower.

Kandi said...

I actually admire your daughter. She always sets goals and pushes herself to reach them. Very admirable if you ask me.

Kandi said...

I read Dean Karnazes "Ultramarathon Man" and I really enjoyed it. I've never read another book like it though. I couldn't put it down. It sounds like "Running on Empty" would have similar appeal.

cql said...

Of course I'm a follwer, you inspired me to blog!

cql said...

A book...it's not about running but The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. I just read it. And Born to Run, inspiring..

cql said...

Someone I admire...a girl I knew only via email and her website, Shannon. She was diagnosed with cancer about a year after me, she was a year younger than me, our stories were very similar but Shannon lost her battle too early at age 29. She faced every day brave and with grace and shared her stories with others.

Steel Springs said...

I'm a follower.

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

1) I'm a follower.
2) I admire my best friend from high school, Jim. After graduating with a degree in History, he completely dropped it to pursue theater and acting. He moved south with zero prospects and has built himself a nice little niche down there. I admire him for being brave enough to follow his dream.
3) Athletic book?, Born to Run (I'm sure many would recommend the same). Non-athletic book?, Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix.