Monday, July 23, 2012

Training Run with Dean Karnazes (Yep, you read that right!)

Oh, the power of social media!  Late last week, my boyfriend saw an update scroll across on Facebook, that one of our friends was attending a training run with Dean Karnazes.  Huh?!?  Seriously?!?  We were just out running with our friend last weekend and Dean came up as a topic of conversation over our twelve mile run.  I thought it couldn't be true.  Well, after investigating on Facebook and the North Face website (HERE), it WAS true.  Dean was coming to Madison's Hilldale Mall on Sunday morning for a 10K training run.  Sign me up.

Me with Dean Karnazes after a seven mile run

Dean Karnazes is the Ultra Marathon Man.  You can check out his truly motivational journey on his website (HERE).  Dean has done some amazing things, including running 350 consecutive miles and running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.  I've truley enjoyed his UltraMarathon Man DVD that documents those marathons.  I've watched it over and over and have convinced runners and non-runners to watch it along side me.  The boyfriend and I were just watching it last week, when we needed a quick tv fix, since we omitted cable tv.  He was indulging in it again a few evenings later.

The training run was at 9am on Sunday morning.  We showed up a little early and The North Face store had about twenty people waiting to see this influencial icon in endurance sports.  The rain had stopped and we were excited to see him walk through the front door. 

It was amazing hearing his story and a very motivational talk.  He talked about his recent experience at Bad Water and his 50 consecutive marathons.  He also announced that he would be running a marathon in every country world-wide from 2013-2014 ... I can't even imagine the running, let alone the logistics of that journey.  After a 20 minute talk and Q&A session, we headed out for a run around Shorewood Hills and a trail run at Picnic Point on the UW campus.

The group pretty much stuck together on the roads, until the trails.  We ran side-by-side or single file on the hilly course.  Not incredibly technical, but definitely something different for a road runner like myself.  I enjoyed mixing things up a bit, running with my boyfriend, a friend and Dean Karnazes.  It was fun watching Dean interact with the other runners.  I love how this sport is different than others.  You can truly participate along side the icons in this sport.  You can compete in events like the Chicago Marathon, where the best of the best are battling their nerves at the start line, right in front of you.  I literally traced Dean Karnazes' wet footprints on the sidewalk yesterday.  THAT, my running friends, is cool.  Too cool for words on this blog.

We ran seven miles yesterday morning.  My first trail run and I enjoyed it.  Everyone in the back of the pack with me got a little disoriented on our trip back to The North Face store.  But, we all eventually got back for a meet-and-greet with Dean.  My only regret is that I didn't make more time to chat with Dean during the run or at the meet-n-greet.  I think my nerves got the best of me.  The option was definitely there.  I just didn't take it.  He is truly down-to-earth, personable and in love with the sport of running.

The North Face gave us some free posters, to get Dean's autograph and I also brought along my UltraMarathon Man DVD.  I told Dean how we got rid of cable TV, because we've been too active to actually sit down on the couch now; and how we put in his documentary when we need a fix.  I also thanked him for my first trail run.  Then we posed for some pictures.  He had me get in the middle, so that I was surrounded by these two men .... that made my day.  I can't believe that this moment happened.

Best running buddies ever:
My boyfriend ... and Dean Karnazes


  1. Very cool!!! Love the photos!!! Erica

  2. Oh wow, that is the coolest ever! So jealous!

  3. Wow, that is so awesome! I would've probably been nervous to strike up a conversation, just like you were. But that's such a great picture. I hope you're framing it!

  4. That is truly awesome. I would have been super nervous, too!

  5. visiting you back... i love north face :)