I love feedback. Leave a comment below!

Eat and Run: Scott Jurek

Fun Run participants just before the run. Note Jeff Reed representing the VHTRC in the blue shirt!
(Photo from Pacers Facebook page)

Since my earliest forays into ultrarunning, I've admired Scott Jurek. He was the real deal -- winning Western States 100 Miler year after year (7 times in a row!). He was a class act who stayed at the finish line of every race to cheer for every last finisher.

When I heard he was in town to promote his book Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, I jumped at the chance to see him in person. On a warm Friday evening, I donned my brand new red running dress and took my life into my hands the Metro over to Arlington to do a Fun Run with him.

We gathered in the back courtyard of The Nature Conservancy. What an incredible, stunning wildflower garden they have, hidden in plain sight! They even have orchard mason bees. *swoon*

Talking with Scott in the wildflower garden before the run.
(Photo from Pacers Facebook page)

I got the nerve up to approach him before the run and get a photo. Good thing I did, because he was swamped afterward and it was hot and muggy. I would have looked a sight in a post-run photo.

He asked what ultras I had run, and I mentioned Bull Run Run 50 Miler. He had run Bull Run Run in 1999, shortly before he went on to win his first Western States. "That's the VHTRC race," he said, smiling. I was pretty thrilled that he knew our little club by name!

Me and Scott Jurek. He's an amazing ultrarunner and gracious, too.

The run itself was anticlimactic. I didn't try to jockey for position at the front. We ran a section of the paved Custis bike path (sadly, no singletrack trail), ending at Pacers in Clarendon. Pacers had a nice spread for us: fruit, veggies, hummus and some baked goodies. Scott hung around outside and chatted.

Michael Wardian and Scott making plans to run the next day.
Somehow, they forgot to invite me.

We gathered inside the store and Scott spoke about his upcoming race in South Africa for charity, what he eats, how he trains and how he became a runner as a result of cross-training for Nordic skiing in high school.

One thing he said that resonated with me: To run an ultra you've got to be "hungry."  

It's so true. You may possess the training, fitness and ability to run 100 miles but you may not even make it 50K if you aren't focused on your goal. There are always excuses to DNF, and unless finishing truly matters to you, you're likely to succumb to those excuses.

Eat & Run - two thumbs up!

He also mentioned that he was looking forward to one day retiring from racing, and perhaps running the VHTRC Massanutten 100 Miler. How exciting it would be to have him toe the line!

I bought my book, tried on two pairs of running shoes and went for short test runs outside, browsed every item in Pacers (including the mens section) and got through Chapters 1 - 3 while waiting for the line for Scott to sign it. It was worth it.

And now, I can't put the book down. I'm captivated by his life story, his training, his races and his advice on running. His writing style is open and honest and right away, you feel like you know him. There are also a lot of great suggestions on how to become a better runner.


Though I'm not a vegan or vegetarian, I don't find his references to how he came to be a Vegan trite or sanctimonious. As someone who enjoys good food and cooking, I'm finding it interesting.

At the end of each chapter he includes a tasty-sounding recipe, and I'm looking forward to trying a fair number of them. I'll report back on my results!





22 comments:

run4daysbill said...

Really good stuff, Kir. Based on your recommendation, I may have to score this one. Plus, as always, you look GREAT! :)

Kristen Lawrence said...

I am cracking up at your picture caption about Mike Wardian and Scott Jurek making plans without you. So funny! :) lol. I have that book on my list of to reads.

ShutUpandRun said...

Awesome review. I so want to read thisone!!

Shannon said...

I am very jealous about this meet and greet. :) I am a fan of Scott Jurek and never fail to be amazed at his stories and accomplishments. Hubby and I got a chance to meet him last year at a fun run before Boston last year, and it was a very enjoyable experience. We have the new book - waiting to give it to Hubby for Father's Day - so I'll have to wait to read it. Looking forward to it. Glad to hear it sounds worth the wait. :)

Brittany Zale said...

Cool! Jealous!

MG said...

Great to hear your thoughts on the book and great photo of the two you. Running dress? I must know more! AND I think your comment about being hungry and hungry to finish an event is also relatable to randonneuring. If you are not hungry to go the distance there are just so many things and thoughts that can intervene to stop your forward momentum.

The Blonde said...

Yay! Can't wait to see him tomorrow night in Boulder!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why he didn't invite you to run!Ha! Great pic! and of course now I will have to get the book! @runreadrant

Doug said...

nice, you didn't tell us that last night (niether did Jeff). Anyway - you tasted the pre-race drink I made of his last thursday (or Tom did?) with the spirulina powder and miso? Would like more recepies like that. Good stuff.

Julie said...

I'm reading the book now and love it. So cool you got to meet him!

Casseday said...

Very cool. I just got the book today and can't wait to start reading it.

Couldn't agree more about what Jurek said, "To run an ultra you've got to be hungry." I've learned that first-hand.

I hope you're still planning on coming to Highlands; if so, I'll see you and the Blue Train there!

amyreinink.com said...

I LOOOVE this: To run an ultra you've got to be "hungry."

It's so true with any training goal! That's really hit home with me this week, as I modified my "long" run (only about seven miles right now) on Monday, only to have to squeeze it in today—something I haven't necessarily been hungry enough to make happen in recent months. I possessed all the same resources in previous months—I just didn't care quite as much as I do now.

Can't wait to try his recipes vicariously through you!

Sophie Speidel said...

Haha! Loved the comment about running with Wardian. Bummer they excluded you:-( good review, too, of the book. I had leafed through a few chapters at the book store and found the drama surrounding his divorce and estrangement from Dusty to be a little TMI...but I'll borrow your book when you are done and give it a go, 'K?

Loved running WUS with the gang on Tuesday, and seeing you! Hope to see you at SDM...

Neil Richard said...

I love the photo of Scott and Mike. They look like just two regular guys planning a run. And with reviews like this coming in, I think I'll just have to read it on vacation next month.

Katie said...

you, the running dress, awesome. and I heart him!

Rob said...

How cool! I'm sorry to have missed this one. He must've heard that all the cool kids are traveling to Africa for races this year! ;)

Carilyn said...

First, love the red running dress! Second, love Scott! He was my coach when I first started running ultras - help me make my first National Team. He is a very special guy with more talent in his little toe than I will ever have in my whole body. Glad you had such a great time!

Kansas JoAnn said...

I'm glad you got to visit with him and got a photo to boot. I might even have to read the book, now that I've become more involved with the running world. Good post.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Scott has really made the rounds touring about his book! Some many lucky runners have gotten to meeet him. He really does seem (in the many interviews I seen and read) to be the real deal and a humble honest person.

I'm sure you red running dress was a big hit! You looked great!

a. maren said...

i'm so new to the running world! i'll be running my first 10k in august! very cool to find your blog, and maybe this book would be a good place for me to continue learning about this crazy running culture!

nrmrvrk said...

He wore the same shirt in Seattle when I ran with him on Tuesday. Agreed, super nice guy.

Evan Fisher said...

The kindle book is on sale for 2.99 at amazon. I read his book over a year ago and enjoyed it a lot.