I'd ideally like to be a bird, but running is a close second.
—Bernd Heinrich, 2013
I started running in college, but I never went more than a mile until I turned 21. I ran my first 5K race in November 2010, and I was immediately addicted. Perhaps because running doesn't require hand-eye coordination.
I ran my first marathon in October 2011, and I've since made friends with the 26.2-mile distance, turning to ultramarathons in 2014. Now I'm on a mission to run a marathon or ultra in every U.S. state. I blog intermittently about the journey at Nike Told Me To.
I was interviewed about my ultrarunning on Pop, The Question, a pop-culture podcast. Check it out below!
I believe that less is more when it comes to running equipment. Moving to minimalist footwear has improved my performance and resilience. I run in sandals—I used to wear Luna Sandals, but now I mostly run in Shamma Sandals. Even besides running, you'll usually find me in sandals, except when it's bitterly cold, icy and snowy. If you'd like to learn more about natural running, I'd recommend reading Born to Run by Chris McDougall and ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer.
Running-related writing and thinking
Running offers a lot of time for thinking. Sometimes I learn things on my runs. For instance, check out the Ignite Talk I gave on a lesson I learned during my first 50-mile race in the video below.
Essays about running:
- On Repeat: Running Ultramarathons, an essay on the joy and meaning of repetition. Yes, repetition can be boring, but that's not a bad thing. Published in The Smart Set, October 2019
- Why would anyone choose to run a 100-mile race?, a theologically-inflected essay linking joy to suffering and illustrating this in the context of ultrarunning, published in America, April 2018
- Running and Worldmaking, a philosophical introduction to the world of ultra-distance running, published in Sinkhole, March 2017
In the realm of formal research, I have published a number of studies on running:
- A discussion of failure in ultrarunning, known as Did Not Finish (DNF), as a jumping-off point for a reflection on failure more broadly
- A philosophical article on the experiential motivations of runners of various distances in terms of beauty and the sublime
- An auto-hermeneutic study of the information experience in my first 100-mile race
- An exploration of how ultrarunners build understanding through engaging with information
- A study of ultrarunning race reports as a story-based document genre
- Results of a survey on ultrarunning information seeking and a conceptual discussion of building understanding through information constellations.