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Running On Empty - Book Review

If you’re well into the circulation of famous Marathoners and elite endurance Athletes, you might have heard of Marshall Ulrich, author of "Running on Empty – An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-setting Run Across America", as the runner who purposely made his toes pulled-out. Yes, he just did that. Insane? Perhaps! But experts say that one of the quandaries that Ultrarunners face, such as Ulrich, are their toes. Battered toenails, blood pools beneath the nails which can cause pressure and pain, turns black and blue from friction and wear, fungal infections take roots in the nail beds.

But beyond toenails pulling, Marshall Ulrich is an ultrarunner like no other. I don't have any idea about the locations of his records, but all I could say, is he have such will and endurance that not many of the Runners has. He completed all six hundred-mile trail races in just one season; he champed the Badwater-146 four times; current record holder for the summit of Mt. Whitney; had done the Pike Peak Quad twice; ran across Colorado thrice; did the Leadville Trail 100 and the Pike Peak Marathon within one weekend; accomplished all nine Eco-Challenges; did the Badwater solo and without any aid, clambered the peak of Mt. Everest and other top seven summits on first attempts. His greatest feat of United States cross-country run from San Francisco to New York, and he conceded the struggles and regrets he had through his running years with his personal life.

An individual who went the course of a lot when he witnessed his first love suffered and lost, scared of facing his daughter with anguish, instead, he chose to run the other way to escape his reality. Love lost, and loved again, though because the misery and pain was never shared, another love was lost to a divorce. Despite of having three wonderful children, still, he kept on going, inflicting more challenges, reaching his personal dreams, breaking his physical barrier. Until he had found his new love.

Ultra Running, Ultra preparation, Ultra efforts!
His trauma of losing a loved one and nothing he could do was still there. When he lost his father and father-in-law to cancer and his friends within two months, the old role of strong facade happened again and yet again, running became his comfort zone. By the time his beloved wife, Heather, confronted him with the big "why?", why they have to go through the impending transcontinental run and another year of it, finally he told the truth and finally, she understood him and became one of his pillar of strength in his leg-breaking voyage.

Running on Empty is a sneak peak of the life of an Ultrarunner and what it will take to accomplish such feat. Clearly, family relationships often suffers because of times they are away from home, the solitaries and the stubborn self-reliance could take their toll, but if everything were open and priorities were the people you love, perhaps the curse of personal predicaments might be eluded (hmmnn... right on through my bossom!).

I have not yet finished reading the entirety of the book, but from the few pages that I came across, I could say that I admire his perseverance in his every endeavor - being afraid but still had the courage to face his faults and fears at the end. I would definitely recommend this book to all running fanatics and even to not so much of a fan because not just it has tips, medical advices, mind and body preparation counsels to be able to endure the challenges, but there are also a lot of lessons to be learned from the Author's personal experiences.

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