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The Tarahumara, Chia Seeds and St. Louis

Jim, Alex and I just got back from a few days in St. Louis.  Even when traveling, I always get my training in that is now a top priority.  Monday was cross training with one hour of bike riding – I did this in the gym at the Chase Park Plaza – St. Louis.  Then the following days were runs in temperatures a little more than 85 degrees/ heavy humidity and here is the data:

Both days humidity was so bad you could cut it with a knife.  I never felt the runs were easy or getting easier.  However, todays 5 miles was tolerated better and maybe because of my new found essential…Chia Seeds.

The only time I am able to really read a book is when I’m away from home.  Otherwise there is always too much competing for my time.

Alex loves going to nostalgic book stores so while in the Central West End of St. Louis…there we were – at what else, but a nostalgic book store.  There is were I found “Born to Run.”  Not nostalgic but captivating.  I have a hard time putting it down.

So funny in parts I laughed out loud.  Seriously!  If you haven’t read it…do so.  If you have and don’t like it…don’t burst my bubble.  I love the book.  I had never heard of the Tarahumara people from Copper Canyon in the Sierra Madre‘s.  If you haven’t, Google them and be amazed at their abilities and wonderful disposition.  They run 200+ miles per week at tremendous speed along very steep mountain peeks and with very little in their stomach or on their feet.

Also, never heard of Chia Seeds.  So many benefits.  The Tarahumara down  these as a source of energy.  Aztec Indians chewed these going into battle.  Hopi Indians downed these seeds for their epic runs from Arizona to the Pacific Ocean.  After calling a local health food store which told me they were a “staple” of the stores, I  bought a bag of the seeds and they are pretty interesting.  If you mix a couple of tablespoonfuls in a glass of juice or lemonade, they have a gelling component that surfaces.  When you drink the juice it has kind of a tang.   I drank a glass with some today.  I didn’t feel the jet propulsion described in the book, but I also didn’t get tired today as I normally do following a 5 mile run.  Even in the car for 2 hours – not tired.

I read portions of the book out loud to Jim and Alex on the way home.  A first.  Jim loved it – Alex…I think he was listening to Itunes.

Jim and I both laughed so hard at parts and so intensely interested in what the next page held I race-read through some of it to find out – what happened.

I read straight from Chesterfield to Jefferson City, MO (2 hours) and have the wraspy throat now to prove it.


What I thought was a hard run is not even a warm up for the Tarahumara.  Also, there are other ultra-marathon runners around besides the Tarahumara – but astonishingly though – this group runs at an unbelievable speed, with minimal foot protection and with very little in their stomach.

I get asked all the time, “don’t your knees ache?”  The Tarahumara knees don’t.  They run differently than us…barefoot running.  Running like what the Vibram Five Finger shoes shift us into through their technology.  I have started wearing mine about once a week.  Love them!! Run faster too.  It will take a while to transition completely.  Don’t want to risk injury.

I am not finished yet with the book but will be soon at this rate.

Thanks to my sister MJ for taking care of things while we were gone.


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