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Dean Karnazes And The Spiritual Dimension Of Ultrarunning

Dean Karnazes shares his thoughts on running seemingly impossible distances in this article. I had to laugh at the website name posting the article. Oh, how most people would say the Asylum is where most ultrarunners belong.

The following excerpt connected with me.

Karnazes says he’s not a hugely spiritual guy, but his description of ultramarathon running can certainly sound rapturous — or a lot like a killer high. Once you reach a certain point in a distance run, he says you need to achieve a sort of “laser focus.” 

“The idea of being in the moment, being really present — having the mental discipline not to let your mind wander,” he stresses. “It’s rare that we have solidarity of focus. You’re bombarded by the news, ads, tweets … everything is kind of chaotic. You really have to focus on one thing, and that is
making it.”

And it seems like running, in its most extreme form, is a sort of aerobic LSD: “It’s very expanding, seeing what happens to your body. I’ve noticed ego suppression. You just kind of move down the road. Events transpire and it just kind of happens. You really don’t care what happens, you’re comfortable with what happens. During the normal course of a day we process information as to how it pertains to us. When an event transpires, the first thing that goes in your mind is how will this impact me? How will this impact my family?” Conversely, when you “pound yourself into submission,” you’re left in a more disconnected state. “You’re not so caught up in yourself.”

There definitely is something in the ultra world that is very hard to receive or experience anywhere else. Why do we keep coming back for the ass-whippin? Dean’s thoughts may just be one of those reasons.

What are your thoughts?

More adventures of Dean Karnazes can be explored in his ultrarunning books:

Have a great weekend!

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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