Whetting Your Appetite: Do as I Say, Not as I Do

01/29/2018 - 14:50

By Scott Ludwig

You may recall I mentioned in the last issue of Running Journal that my newest book, Running Out of Gas: A Lifelong Runner’s Take on Slowing Down will be published by Meyer and Meyer in January 2018.

As a reader of this fine running periodical you will now have the opportunity for a sneak preview; specifically the Foreword to the book. My hope is that it whets your appetite for the 77,000+ words that follow. Once the book is published it can be found at Barnes and Noble as well as on everyone’s favorite online shopping site, Amazon.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Foreword to Running Out of Gas:

It’s inevitable that all runners who have been pounding the pavement for a very long time will eventually slow down. Having run every day since November 30, 1978, I am certainly one of those who fall into this category.

Fortunately for me I’ve had my good friend and running partner Al Barker —almost 10 years my senior— preparing me for the inevitable for quite some time. Al has taken the time to walk (both literally and figuratively) me through the reality of slowing down with age gracefully so that when the moment finally arrived — and by all means it has definitely arrived — I would be prepared. Now that I can no longer run a single mile in the pace I ran 26 of them when I set my marathon best many years ago, I can say that Al has done a great job. I’m totally fine with it.

So where does that leave me now? I’d like to think that places me clearly amongst the ranks of what I’ve always referred to as the ‘grizzled veterans.’ The kind of runner you look to for the wisdom and insight they gained from their many years and miles on the roads or trails.

Well, I’m here to tell you I’ve got plenty of both. Well, the miles for sure; the wisdom and insight — well, you be the judge. Some of it is pretty sound and sensible; then again some is not. As you will soon learn, I’m definitely a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ type of runner. That is to say I can dole out pretty good advice but I’ll be damned if I’m able to follow it.

Maybe the best example I can offer is when I ran the Western States Endurance Run in 2006, a 100-mile race through the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. After running 62 miles and for more than 16 hours with my shoes and socks soaking wet, courtesy of traversing through an assortment of snow, melting snow and overflowing streams, I stopped at an aid station to have my feet examined. A medic removed my shoes and socks and advised me to pull myself from the race because the balls of both of my feet were split wide open and there was a pretty good chance of infection, not to mention the possible loss of one or both feet if I kept running. I looked him squarely in the eyes and said the first and only thing that crossed my mind: ‘Got any duct tape?’

So what you are about to read is my advice to you, dear runner. Listen to what I have to say, but be warned it might be best to shy away fro m most of the things I’ve done.

In other words do as I say, not as I do.

In the long run you’ll be better off. Trust me.

(Scott Ludwig has been an avid runner since 1978; in fact the last day he didn't run was November 29 of that year — he's run every day since. Scott is the author of 13 books, nine of them about running. His latest book, Running Out of Gas was released in January 2018 by Meyer and Meyer Publishers. His books can be found in Barnes and Noble stores as well as on Amazon. Scott lives, runs and writes in Senoia, Georgia where he lives with his wife, Cindy, and their three cats. In his free time he enjoys being 'G-Pa' to his grandson Krischan, something he's been training for his entire life.)

Copyright © 2018 Running Journal