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.
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