Everyone in life needs a little adventure. Sometimes we learn through other people’s trials and tribulations to understand things better about the world, society and our own hobby. We like to live vicariously through others. We take knowledge and growth that we learn through other people’s lives and adventures and apply them to our own.
Sometimes all of these thoughts and ideas can be found in a good book.
The Summit Seeker written by Vanessa Runs wraps all of the growth, adventures, ideas, trials and tribulations into one fantastic read.
Vanessa takes the reader into a very personal account of what life is for her. She struggles with pleasing those around her while finding the escape of doing what she loves most – being alone on a mountain trail. Although Vanessa is an accomplished ultrarunner, the book is not all about ultrarunning. She takes you on a journey through spirituality and emotion and a will to survive.
Vanessa is a friend of mine, and I couldn’t be happier for her. That though, does not at all influenece my opinion and thoughts of her book. She is an amazing writer who will inspire us all.Want to know more about Vanessa and her amazing adventures? Read this book.
Late in 2011 I met Vanessa. We were sitting next to each other at a Girls On the Run coaches meeting and somehow we started talking. She told me that she ran ultra marathons, and once she described what an ultra was to me I was amazed. This seemed like something you only read about in magazines, or books. I asked her how someone would train for such an event, and she said, “You find a mountain and you just run up and down, a lot.” She was just a regular girl like me, but she was capable of amazing feats. I kept in contact a few weeks after that with her, as she would invite me out with her to run at Torrey Pines, but I could never make it out. For an entire year I would watch from the sidelines of her blog or facebook as she blossomed into an amazing athlete with so much drive and appreciation for the ultra-community, and the love of trails, it was contagious. Since the day she taught me about ultras, I knew it was for me. When the time came that I finally put my fear aside and signed up for my first ultra, she was the first person I contacted with questions. I asked her through where I should train and how long I should train, and if she were ever in the area if she would like to go for a run together. She was beyond helpful in my training for my race, and was supportive all the way through.
Vanessa is one of the most humble people you will ever know. She has so much passion about her sport and how she wants to live her life, that you can’t help but cheer for her. In the same fashion that she inspired me, she will inspire you too!
Had I never met Vanessa that day, who knows where my running would be. I thank her for taking the time to teach me that the ability to run an ultra is not for the elite athletes. Regular people like her and I can finish any ultra distance and the power of knowing that is immeasurable.
Thank you for Vanessa!
So after reading Vanessa’s awesome book, I wanted to know more. I craved more. I contacted Vanessa and asked her a few questions and got a little insight as to what the future holds.
K: ” What was the hardest part for you when writing your book?”
V: ” The editing. I had a hard time letting it go in the later stages because I would question and analyze every word – I wanted it to be perfect. That probably wasn’t a bad thing, but it took a really long time! I had the privilege of working with some amazing editors like Susan Fish from storywell.ca, and that really helped me. I probably could have stayed in the editing stage forever!”
K: “What is your biggest running accomplishment and why?”
V: “Finishing Chimera 100 and feeling so great at the end. I recovered quickly, and it was the first race I actually “trained” for. When I finished the race, I wasn’t the same runner that had registered for it. When I registered, I knew I couldn’t finish it. So I trained myself into someone who could, and I was really proud of that.”
K: “Who would you consider your running idol?”
V: “I am always in awe of Ginger (our dog). She has crazy endurance and energy–we still haven’t found her limit. After a 20-30 mile mountain run, we get back to the RV exhausted and when she realizes we’re stopping, she begs us to throw sticks for her.
Human-wise, there’s a quote by George Sheehan that says: “I have met my hero and he is me.” That’s how I try to live my life–always challenging myself and becoming someone I can consider a hero in my own mind. I don’t like to have running idols (though people are inspirations), because we’re ultimately all just humans trying to do our best.”
K: ” Where are you and the gang off to next?”
V: ” We’ll be running Zion 100 in Utah, then continuing North to spend the summer in Alaska. There are a few races in Alaska we’re looking at. One of them is a 100-miler, mostly unsupported, right through bear country. That’s a race I’m a little scared to do, so I might register.”
K: ” You’re working on another book, can you tell us a bit about it?
V: ” I’m still looking for a title, but it’s about women in ultrarunning. It explores issues that are unique to women in running long distances and aims to explore how we approach our running. I want to write about issues like femininity, relationships with male runners, female vs female competitiveness, etc. Right now I’m doing tons of interviews that are helping me uncover some of those common themes. After that I want to explore those themes more fully and research the hell out of them. It will be very different than my first book, but I think it’s a much-needed topic.
Don’t forget to follow Vanessa at her blog, Vanessaruns.com to keep up with her and her awesome adventures!
So it’s giveaway time!! Vanessa will be giving away a free paperback or ebook version (whichever the winner prefers) of her book The Summit Seeker.
To be qualified for the giveaway make sure to leave a comment letting me know you liked, shared or followed!
This giveaway opportunity will end in on midnight Monday March 4th, so SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!
Please comment and let me know your thoughts. Have you already read the book? Please let me know what you think of it!
Thanks for all the support and entries to the fantastic giveaway for The Summit Seeker!!
The winner is… Vanessa Bolin! Congrats! Vanessa Runs will be contacting you via email !