Listening to Eat and Run by Scott Jurek

I spend several hours a day alone in the basement with very noisy tools. Fortunately I also have lovely noise canceling ear muffs. MSA. That’s the brand. They are comfortable and sturdy. Home Depot has some decent ones, though not as good as mine, but the ones that Lowes sells suck.

Anyway, I recently (within the last several months) realized that I could stick my earbud headphones under my earmuffs and listen to things at a very reasonable volume. Sometimes I listen to music, but I love to listen to audiobooks.

I recently finished the biography of Scott Jurek. Jurek was made famous by Christopher McDougall’s book, Born to Run. He was already famous in certain circles for winning the Western States Endurance Run 7 times in a row. He also won the Spartathon a 152 mile race from Athens to Sparta 3 times in a row.

The book was not super well written (like Born to Run), although some of that may have been the choppy reading style of the narrator. Jurek was almost an enigma in Born to run, and hearing his story was engrossing. I’d compare it favorably to Dean Karnaze’s book: Ultramarathon Man.

He grew up without much money. His mother had MS. He had to chop and stack wood. He had to cook for his family and help take care of his younger siblings.

When he was about 12, his blood pressure was so high from the stress that the doctor prescribed him medication-which he refused to take. He visited a specialist that told him to relax and think of something he liked (the woods) before he took his blood pressure, and it worked. He was able to bring down his blood pressure on his own.

He started cross-country skiing in high school, and started running to to get in shape for that. And he never stopped running after that, though it would be a long time before he won a footrace.

It’s amazing to hear him tell about running 100+ mile races. And inspiring. The sheer bullheaded perseverance you have to have to force yourself through all that pain. And he didn’t just run them to finish. He ran to win.

The reason it’s called Eat and Run is because Jurek is a vegan, so he talks about his journey from being a hunting, fishing, McDonald’s eating teenager and young adult to becoming a health-conscious vegan.

During one period he even ate all raw. Though he gave that up after winning another Western States as too much effort getting food and getting enough food.

Being vegetarian-veganish myself, I enjoyed that aspect of the book. There are always naysayers out there telling you that you need to eat meat otherwise you’ll be weak, fat, unhealthy, etc. So it’s always nice hearing about stellar athletes that are vegan.

It was also neat to hear Jurek’s version of the Copper Canyon race featured in Born to Run. He doesn’t go into much detail about that, probably figuring that Christopher McDougall already covered it in enough detail for anyone. But he did talk about the race from his perspective, which was cool. He also told how he went back the next year and won the race (he lost to the best Tarahumara runner in the first race).

I definitely recommend the book, though I wasn’t a fan of the audio book reader. It also has recipes at the end of the book that sounded pretty tasty, so getting the paper book would be better in that way too.

Daily Rundown

Breakfast-green smoothie with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and some pomegranate juice

Provisions eaten while climbing our mountain-raisin bread J

Lunch-butternut squash soup from the freezer with more homemade raisin bread (whole wheat, no sugar)

Snack-2 small apples and 3 dates

Dinner-I plan on having 2 pieces of pizza (dominos) and then a quart of cherry tomatoes sliced with black beans and jalapenos—trying to cut back on the pizza

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