“Dean Karnazes is Ultramarathon Man” Film.

After reading the book, “RUN: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss” by Dean Karnazes, I knew the guy was crazy, but I think this film, “Ultramarathon Man” about his Endurance 50 journey just solidified that idea. In 2006, Dean set out to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Yes, that means 26.2 miles EVERY DAY while traveling across America and doing each one in a different state… even Alaska and Hawaii!

Dean was sponsored by The North Face and he planned the trip for years before the actual start date. In each city, he would run their actual marathon race course, only a few of them being on the actual race days, including his 50th marathon in New York City. He had his family and crew with him the whole time and it was amazing to see through this documentary how much work and how many people were involved in this process.

I couldn’t believe some of the conditions he ran in – insane wind gusts, pouring rain, muddy trails, and extreme heat, but each and every day he got up and ran with whoever showed up to run with him in each city. I liked that the film talked about the science behind why Dean Karnazes can pretty much run forever. His body is physiologically different from ‘normal’ bodies in that he doesn’t build up lactic acid and his muscles don’t wear down like normal muscles do for everyone else. His trainer says that he can take low impact exercise (running at a reasonable pace) for a VERY long time. It blew my mind that for his 50th race, the NYC marathon, he pulled off a 3:00 marathon time. Whaaaatt? Hadn’t he just been running a marathon for 49 days before that? 

One thing I didn’t know about this whole 50-50-50 journey was that once he was done HE RAN HOME. Literally, he laced up the next morning and ran 1300 miles home. Pretty inspiring – so I watched bits of it every morning before I hit the gym so I was uber pumped to run. 

This morning I couldn’t wait for a nice quiet workout at the gym. I just can’t sleep in (and would rather make the most of my day rather than sleeping through it 😉 so I woke up, threw on my workout clothes, and got to the gym just as the sun was rising. It’s pretty gorgeous but pictures can never do a sunrise or sunset justice.

I only had 3.0 miles on the schedule today and I was surprisingly okay with that. Usually I have barely warmed up by the three mile mark and want to do just a little bit more but today I happily stepped off the treadmill once my three easy miles were done. I did want to do a bit lot more cardio however, so I jumped on a spin bike for 60 minutes of sweat. I didn’t have my spin playlists with me to do a class on my own but I did come up with a great workout that kind of felt like an endurance test on the bike. 

4 minutes seated (10*) @ 90 rpm.
1 minute standing climb (15).
4 minutes seated (11) @ 85 rpm.
1 minute standing climb (15).
4 minutes seated (12) @ 80 rpm.
1 minute standing climb (15).
4 minutes seated (13) @ 80 rpm.
1 minute standing climb (15).
4 minutes seated (14) @ 75 rpm.
1 minute standing climb (15).
4 minutes seated (15) @ 70 rpm.
1 minute standing climb (15).

Repeat, adding ONE gear to each interval (for example, your 1 minute standing climb would be at 16 instead of 15). 

* gears are relative to each bike and fitness level

I had to use a spin bike that was off to the side of the actual spin class area because there was a class going on and therefore I HAD NO FAN. I think I left a puddle under my spin bike.

Once I had sweat out every single ounce of fluid in my body, I did some bicep and shoulder weights and then headed home to down litres of water. 

I couldn’t imagine doing 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states. It was a pretty incredible documentary-style film about the whole journey. Dean met a ton of inspiring people and he himself was so down to earth and humble about how much he inspires people. I highly recommend this movie – it was great!

Any great running movies YOU have watched?


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