So I wrote the music for UltraMarathon Man, the Dean Karnazes documentary about a year a half ago. A few months prior, when I first discovered running this is the film that "cemented" the passion for me - Dean hooked me. We started corresponding as I was working on the project in the fall of 2007 and we've kept up ever since. I've seen Dean around at various functions but we've never really had a chance to hang (or run) one on one. I'm up in Sonoma for the film festival (we're showing my film here) and Dean and I decided to take a run near his house in Marin.
I met up with Dean at his place at around 10:30 and after checking exchanging hellos with his lovely wife Julie we were off towards the trail. I'm just a few weeks out from Big Sur and told him I could use some hills. Man did I ever eat my words. What the hell was I thinking? We ran at a nice clip to a lake where we then proceeded up a trail that's as beautiful as I've ever seen. Downright gorgeous! But STEEP! I kept up with Dean for about 10 minutes but was quickly (and quietly) loosing steam. These were grades I would almost surely be hiking under usual circumstances. He gave me some great advice, speed up my cadence and decrease the distance of each stride. But it was too late, I had tried too hard to keep up with him! He was quite polite, running his pace then circling back. I tried to run whenever I could - and I probably ended up succeeding about 2/3 of the time. We finally made it to the top 20 minutes later and enjoyed gorgeous views. On the way down he shared another tip with me: bend your legs, tighten your core and swing your arms. This definitely helped my knees right away. Although I had my road shoes on unfortunately so my traction was not good on the decent.
We chatted about running, life and everything in between. Dean's as great in person as you'd imagine. A truely nice guy with a lot of good uplifting thoughts to share. As far as the run, in all we covered almost 9 miles in about 1:45 or so. (Yes, he was going nice and slow for me!) As I got in my car he said something like "I'm going to continue on" and ran off into the distance. He could still be going now! Anyway, It was a truly wonderful experience and I feel lucky to call Dean a friend. Now back to the shameless schmoozing at the festival!