Dean Karnazes – The King of Pain

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Back in 1989 and 1992, I got a taste of what it was like to compete in an endurance event. I ran two marathons, both under four hours. After reading Dean Karnazes book, my accomplishments seem as challenging as a session of senior citizen bingo.

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes amazed me. I woke up at 5:00 AM this morning and could not stop reading this book. How can a story about running be interesting? Dean Karnazes took me back to my running days. That dialog that goes through your head at mile 20 telling you to stop running and the other voice telling you to continue. He then takes you where few go: 50 miles, 100 miles and 199 miles.

This book is stellar. Everyone that has every competed or thought about competing in an endurance event will be inspired by Ultra Marathon Man. From page 220:

People think I’m crazy to put myself through such torture, though I would argue otherwise. Somewhere along the line we seem to have confused comfort with happiness. I’ve now come to believe that quite the opposite is true.

If you don’t read the book, at least read his Wikipedia page. Be sure to have some Gatorade and Advil handy. You’ll get tired just reading his accomplishments.

Legacy Comments

Kelli

It’s one of the many books on my list of “must-reads”, so glad that you enjoyed it.

Nick

He just sounds like a moron to me. Running 80 hours straight? What the hell for?

I know this means not much coming from me, but seriously, people like this are just silly. There is nothing healthy about what he does. There is no real point to what he does.

If he can’t be happy and comfortable at the same time, he has some major issues.

MAS

Is Ultimate Fighting healthy? How about bull fighting? Climbing 8000 meter mountains?

How about sitting on your ass in an office chair for 40 hours a week for 40 years?

Dean has a remarkable ability to recover that most mortals don’t have. If you read the book you will see that running is healthy for his spirit.

Dean didn’t state he needed to be uncomfortable to be happy. He meant comfort is not be a prerequisite for happiness. Pushing himself outside his comfort level is where he finds happiness.