This month, I was excited by a book which just got published in early October. Well, it’s not “just” a book, it’s a book and a journal and more importantly a source of smiles, inspiration and reflection. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to get your hands on it!
This is the first book from local pro runner Adam Kimble, co-written with Connor Crouch and Jim O’Brien. Besides the usual book summary, this month features an interview with Adam who has graciously offered his time to answer my numerous questions. You may remember Adam from his discussion with Chris Cloyd and Helen Pelster after both he and Helen set FKTs on the Tahoe Rim Trail.
This is a very enjoyable and quick read. You can also think about it as a book to leave on your bedside table or coffee table, ready to pick up at any time to read (and re-read!) entries at random. The book is organized as a journal with entries from the three authors that describe their feelings around life, their runs, their motivation, the changing seasons and the weather (as any runner would ha ha!!). The book brings a lot of smiles and motivation and makes you want to go out and run, and run, and run, and then stop to listen to the birds and the silence of nature or revel as the seasons change. Reading it just before bed, the short entries made me want to keep on reading, one more and one more.
I particularly enjoyed relating to the emotions and feelings shared by the authors. While each author brings their own experience, style and voice, there are also some shared themes around their common passion, the joy and challenges that it brings. To me, this highlighted how running has both very individual and unique experiences while also having universal experiences, likely what makes it so easy for runners to connect and start chatting away about our experiences (even with non-runners!!).
The book is also designed to be used as a journal, with lots of space for the reader to become writer and contribute their own story. I haven’t done that yet, but it may give me the inspiration to start journaling 😉
As I was reading, I had a million questions pop up in my mind about the book, the writing process. The amazing Adam enthusiastically agreed to answer my questions and share them with DPMR!
- How is journaling influencing / changing your relationship with running?
More than anything, journaling has helped me to capture and grow from the thoughts and inner conversations I have during a run. Rather than recognizing something meaningful and letting it pass, now I tend to write down those important revelations and allow them to have a greater, lasting impact on my life.
- How regularly do you journal? What medium do you use? What do you like most about journaling?
Just like we recommend in “Chasing Twilight,” I journal as often as I feel motivated! One of our goals was to take the pressure off of journaling a specific amount, so we removed the dates. You never feel like you’re pressured to journal if you’re not motivated to do it, but it’s always there when you are. The thing I love most about journaling is the ability to take an idea or situation in your life and allow written words to help you work though the situation more effectively. Sometimes the act of writing about something allows you to deepen your perspective on it.
- What other forms of reflection or meditation do you practice?
Typically, I let my solo runs act as my times of reflection and meditation! I feel the greatest sense of peace and clarity when I’m running. I also like to do some guided meditations.
- What are your favorite entries in the book (from you and the other authors)? What makes them special?
I apologize for taking the easy road on this, but every single entry in the book has an impact on me when I read it! That’s the beauty of it: there’s something there for everyone, either directly or tangentially. That said, here are three of my favorites (one from each author):
“Ultrarunning”- Page 4 (Adam)
“The Choice”- Page 8 (Connor)
“Shelter”- Page 212 (Jim)
- How do you see your future as an author (future books, articles, …)?
I love writing! I write monthly blogs for my sponsor, Tahoe Mountain Realty, and occasionally for some of my other sponsors. I’ve always wanted to author a book about some of the biggest moments in my life: traveling internationally for the entirety of 2015, running across the US in 2016, winning Discovery Channel’s “The Wheel” in 2016, and setting an FKT running across Great Britain in 2017. The process of writing “Chasing Twilight” has inspired me to take the next steps in that pursuit!
- What was special about writing this in 2020?
The odd thing about the timing of this journal is that we all began our journaling shortly before the start of the pandemic. Interestingly, however, the theme of what was happening in the world rarely steps into our writings. Running brings out the best in us, so in spite of the challenges going on in our lives during the time we wrote the journal, the joy of running was always the light shining the brightest!
- The book both has some aspects of journaling but also takes some freedom from that format (no dates, no chronological order)? How did you decide on the format? How did you think about ordering the stories?
We did our best to organize the writings into the four parts, which are meant to emulate parts of a run: Warm-Up, Tempo, Flowy and Cool-Down. Nothing ever fits perfectly, but many of the entries fit pretty well into one of these four categories.
- How did you organize your writing? Would you write several entries when you had more inspiration? Keep the “one entry a day” or “one entry a run”? Is each entry tied to a specific run?
Speaking for myself, I simply wrote once per day for about three months, and then I combined those entries with the work that Jim and Connor had done. I wrote exclusively after I ran, because that was always when I had the most thought-provoking ideas or the most interesting revelations. Some days I was much more inspired than others, but even on the more mundane days, it seemed that there was always a lesson to be gleaned from my run or the experience I had that day.
- How much did you go back and edit vs. leave the initial writing?
It was certainly a healthy dose of both! Collaborating with our publisher, Round Table Companies, we edited all of our entries over the course of several months. The editing was always to make the writing stronger, but inevitably, in the pursuit of improving the writing, it was common to tweak the actual content as well.
- How has the writing changed your relationship with Connor, and Jim?
All three of us were good friends before the ‘Chasing Twilight” journey began, but the biggest change in our relationship from my perspective was simply gaining a greater appreciation for our shared passion. Reading their writings inspired me so much and gave me so much to think about! That’s my favorite aspect of our journal: three authors (with unique voices) at three different stages of life, living in three different areas of the country, all writing about the same love of running!
- I have my thoughts from reading the journal, but maybe as a spoiler… what is your favorite season?
Did I give myself away? I’ve always loved autumn/fall the best! Cool, crisp mornings, leaves changing colors, and the perfect running weather!
Adam Kimble is a professional ultrarunner, motivational speaker, running coach, race director and amateur survivalist from Tahoe City, CA. Adam played Division-1 baseball at Bradley University prior to developing his passion for ultrarunning.
After graduation in the summer of 2009, he ran his first ever 5k race near his hometown of Minooka, IL. The race resulted in very bad cramps and a lot of pain, but fortunately it also came with a second-place age group finish! Once the pain subsided, Adam decided his racing days weren’t done, and he trained to complete his first half marathon in 2011. After completing his first ultramarathon (50k) in 2014, the question became “what else is my body and mind capable of?” Following the Fastest Known Time (FKT) ever on the 171-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, a 60-day transcontinental crossing of the USA (2,500 miles), seven podium finishes in 100-mile races, and a 31-day self-supported FKT across Great Britain, the limits are nowhere close to being reached.