Chasing the Runner's High: My Sixty Million-Step Programby Ray Charbonneau
Marshall Ulrich, 4-time winner of the Badwater
In "Chasing the Runner's High", Ray Charbonneau tells the story how he pushed his addiction to running up to, and then past, his limits. There are plenty of hard miles, but there's lots of fun along the way too as Ray shares what he learned, what he should have learned, and what he still has to learn from running.
Marshall Ulrich, 4-time winner of the Badwater Ultramarathon and author of "Running on Empty", calls Chasing the Runner's High "a look at one man's life and obsession with running and addictive behaviors. Humorous at times, but always looking toward the greater good, Ray shares life's ups and downs and provides a hard look into the mind of a runner, offering advice that can only be had with experience and hard fought miles underfoot.
Adena Schulzberg, winner of the 2006 Arkansas Marathon, writes, "these are brutally honest tales, told with candor and frankness about strength, courage, obsession, desire and hard won understanding of self and sport."
It's a great read for runners or for non-runners who want to understand their running friends.
- CreateSpace Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.55(d)
Meet the Author
Ray Charbonneau lives in Arlington, Massachusetts with his wife Ruth and their two cats, Felix and Phoebe. Ray and Ruth can often be found running on the streets and trails of Arlington and the surrounding towns, but Felix and Phoebe stay inside.
Ray's work has appeared in both national dead-tree publications and landfill-saving electronic formats. His articles on running have appeared in the Boston Globe, Ultrarunning, Marathon & Beyond, Level Renner, Cool Running and other publications. Find out more at y42k.com.
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If there¿s one thing Ray Charbonneau understands, it is runners. In Chasing the Runner¿s High he may claim that he isn¿t sure what a typical runner is, but if the proof is in the pudding, not only is Charbonneau a true blue, died in the wool, run in the sun, rain or snow runner, but he talks the runner¿s language. And it sounds like heaven. At least it does until you remember how hard it is to get yourself out the door after bout of laziness during the holidays. I picked up Charbonneau¿s ¿Chasing the Runner¿s High¿ sometime before the weather turned from an autumn cool¿perfect for running outside¿to a chill winter freeze, with temperatures hovering around 25 degrees. Suddenly, as I flipped the pages, I found myself noticing runners who were braving the weather to keep the habit up. I found phrases and anecdotes from ¿Chasing the Runner¿s High¿ drifting through my mind as I took a shortcut to work through a quiet neighborhood and found myself alongside a trail through the woods. Charbonneau had hit on all the right notes, resonating with me, and reminding me of why I loved, and still love, to run. (Unlike Charbonneau, I¿m not quite gutsy enough to run through injuries, which I¿m working through right now). Even in recognizing the solo nature of the sport, Charbonneau is also cognizant of the community and bond between runners, not to mention the struggles and discipline that must come with a consistent running schedule. Yes, it¿s an addition, but running is still hard work. Finding that community of runners lends itself to beating the odds and pushing yourself out the door even on those days when running really doesn¿t seem all that easy. That¿s when it struck me¿running really is a drug. Once you have felt the flow of juices that come when you finally hit that distance necessary to get the endorphins to kick in, there¿s no turning back. You¿ll get the bug. It¿s clear that Charbonneau has it, and it¿s clear he understands the addition, too, or at least is trying to understand. In that way, ¿Chasing the Runners High¿ may be as much a therapy as anything else. It is his experience and history with running, as close as one could get to a memoir of the sport¿if a sport is what we could call it. Remembering that it is a memoir is key. Even though the book is broken up into chapters that cover different aspects of running, from shoes and clothes to injuries and ultras, Charbonneau fills the book with more personal experiences than direction and advice. If you are looking for guidance on getting started on running, or how to run better, Chasing the Runner¿s High is an excellent companion reader. However, skip straight to the appendix clearly labeled as ¿Advice for the New Runner.¿ In easy, conversational language, Charbonneau walks the beginner through getting the right shoes and how to get started. I¿ve been running since elementary school, but I¿ve never found a more reassuring and thorough introduction. Put him in the room with me, and it could not have been more helpful. Indeed, if you pick up and read Chasing the Runner¿s High for no other reason than the appendix it will be enough. Add the rest of Charbonneau¿s many anecdotes, and you have an inspiring memoir of the addiction, a reminder of why we run, not to mention a therapy group for addicts. Pick it up today. And then schedule your next run.
I just finished reading Chasing the Runner's High and, as I am about to go into, enjoyed it immensely. I have little use for runners writing about the ethos, spirituality or ontology of running. Sheehan was great but to my mind said everything he had to say in about 30 pages, and the genre is more typified by the likes of the eminently ennoying Rachel Toor of Running Times ('I just ran a 10 K, finished 314th, thought about my kids during the 2nd and 3rd mile, and I feel great!') I mean, no knock on her as a person but Sheesh and Whatever, lady. Ergo, the fact that I liked yours as much as I did surprised me. I believe without reservation that this is a book that deserves a far wider audience than it will probably get give the nature of modern of publishing and marketing and your (assuredly deliberate) failure to include formulae of the "Ten Steps to Your Best 5K in Only 8 weeks!" sort. Your happily admitted OCD helps to make the book linear and logical and thereby fascinating, since your description of how you consider and go about things, and the results of it all, resonate as clearly as any first-person account I have ever read. You also capture, better than I have ever seen, an admixture of the reality, hard technical and physiological truths, and spirit of running at (and this is one of the things that makes it so good) any level--this is a book to be enjoyed by the veteran and the first timer in equal measure. I have read dozens if not scores of running books and this is easily the best non-technical book I have ever read. This is one that every runner should look up and read more than once--I am halfway into my second helping and and enjoying it as much if not more than the first time. Plus, you are one funny bleeper, too!