Friday, February 10, 2012


Ken and I went to see Unbreakable last night in Boulder.

Unbreakable Poster DVD Presales

The movie is about the 2010 Western States 100 miler – a race that had four male leaders, all vying for first place. I won’t tell you the ending because this blog is not called Shut Up + Spoil (although it could be Shut Up + Soil) .  I was so inspired by the end of the show I almost ran the 12 miles home to Longmont in my jeans and dressy boots. Seriously, I KNOW an ultra is in my future. I have been having a love affair with trail running lately, and this movie was the lighter fluid on my smoldering fire!

On a side note, there is nothing like being in a theater full of hard core runners in Boulder. Everyone is dressed in their best North Face clothing, eating their gluten free brownies and simply exuding so much healthfulness, it’s overwhelming. I don’t think there was a BMI over 20 in that room.

Here is me with one of the stars of the movie, Anton Krupicka. He is tall. Anton lives and trains in Boulder. Of the four competitors, all of whom had fascinating stories, I found Anton the most compelling.


Here’s what I love about this dude besides his shirt and hairy chest. He keeps it simple, and had absolutely no pretention. He runs just in minimalist shoes and shorts. No shirt, no problem. In one scene of the movie, Anton is cutting the heel off of his shoe to get less of a drop. He doesn’t carry water or food when he trains, commenting that when he does races and eats 2-3 gels an hour, it “seems like cheating.” Not eating/drinking is a way he prepares his body for racing.

This guy literally runs out his front door in Boulder and goes vertical. Up and down mountains, all day. It’s not unusual for him to run 200-250 miles per week when he's not at the University of Colorado studying geography and physics. Did I mention he ran his first marathon when he was 12? I don’t think he’s cut his hair since. If you want more info on his crazy training, see Anton’s blog HERE.

He’s what Jesus would might look like if he was  a trail runner.

This movie, while about a competition, was about something more. It takes running off the roads and into the naturally challenging landscape of the peaks and rivers. To me, it represented running in its organic form – not many bells and whistles, just the runner, the path and some healthy competition.

While there were many components to this movie, here is how it affected me: It made me want to simplify. In this day and age of Garmins, intervals, fancy running gear and Sports Beans, it’s easy to get caught up in the extras. While there is nothing wrong with these elements, when they begin to detract from the pure simplicity of the run, we’ve lost the point.

I’ve seen mostly every running movie out there and I’ve appreciated each one for its specific emphasis. Spirit of the Marathon will forever hold a place in my heart because it was the first running movie I watched, and I saw it two days before running my first marathon in 2009. I bawled like a baby. To me, a good movie is one that removes you from the theater and takes you to a different time and place in your head. It compels you to see and think about things differently.

There was a Q & A at the end and I desperately wanted to ask how they handle crapping while running 100 miles. I didn’t.

At the end of the night, I realized I was proud of myself for wearing my new jeans and forgetting to take off the tag. Ultra runners like that sort of thing.


What’s the best running movie you’ve seen and why? I would say this one and Spirit of the Marathon. I also liked Grease. Oh, wait. Wrong genre.

Do you ever run “naked,” i.e, with out Garmin, music, etc? I do run without music sometimes, but never without my Garmin. I am going to make an effort to do one run a week without it. It is kind of like email, if you have your inbox right before you, you will check it. If it is not with you, you let it go and are more present.



  1. shut up and soil? seriously. I swear I almost spit my soda on the computer I was laughing so hard.

  2. I saw Unbreakable at a screening in Portland. I really loved the movie, but it actually made me want to focus on my short distances first. I originally was planning to do my first 50k in 2013, and then I backed off. I want solid half and full marathons first.

    I run without my garmin especially when I'm coming back from injury and I don't want to get scared of my slow pace and push too hard. Even when I run with it, I usually don't check it till I'm done to see my time.

  3. I love Spirit of the Marathon too. I have watched it so many times, whenever I need a pick-me-up for running :)

  4. I sooooo want to see this movie!!!!!!!

  5. I loved 'Hoosiers'.......... Great job with the tag.

  6. That is a great comparison to checking email. I never go Garmin-less. I will to to work up the nerve.

    Sounds like a great movie and that is one hunk o' burnin' trail runner!

  7. I'm running naked tomorrow. Just me and the pavement.

  8. I'm pretty sure Anton has taken a crap in the woods Beth...You totally should have asked him :)

  9. Nice Butt! I never wear my music for races, although I have it for small runs. I just got a Garmin, so I'm not used to looking at it all the time yet!

  10. Running naked is good. But then I'm Dutch - we're fine with that kind of thing...

    Sounds like an awesome movie and they SO do crap in the woods.

  11. I loved this movie. I pre-ordered it and got it a few weeks ago finally. I'm so jealous you actually got to meet Anton! WS100 is my dream race, and after seeing them race it first hand I want to do it even more badly now!

  12. I run naked all of the time because I run purely for enjoyment. I bought and returned my Garmin without ever opening it. It just felt too trendy for me to bother with. I have found when I run based on how I feel I do better than when I nag myself. I check the times on the wall when I leave and come home becasue I do keep a log. I only wear my IPOD on marathon training long runs when I am in a group. I won't wear it when I run solo because I need to be able to hear what is going on in my surroundings and not be zoned out. Plus once when I did have it on in the days when I "couldn't" run with out music, it died. What a long way home that was that day...

  13. I have tickets for tonight's show. I'm so excited to go!

    Mtn biking is my first (and main love) for all the reasons you mention that trail running is so wonderful. I love running the trails I ride - gives me a whole different perspective. As a new runner and while my body is adapting to the new sport - I hope to incorporate mtn biking into my schedule.

    I gotta find a way to do it ALL! Road running, trail running, mtn biking and road riding - I LOVE all the above!

  14. Uh, for the people running naked out there. Where exactly do you do this? And don't you have things that, er, need support?

  15. "He’s what Jesus would might look like if he was a trail runner." I almost peed my pants laughing at that statement.

  16. I remember running in the days before Garmins and Gu, before tech fabrics, when no one carried water or wore sunscreen… But we did wear shoes. I'm old. And now I want to see this movie.

  17. I loved Unbreakable - so jealous! When I saw a screening of it I was just in awe of our local ultra runners so meeting a "famous" one sounds amazing! :) That movie definitely makes one want to run an ultra (just like Born to Run made me want to run barefoot).

  18. That's great that you met Tony Krupicka! He's so down to earth and humble and genuine. I wish I would have known they were showing that movie with a Q&A afterwards. If you ever hear more about local running movies/events, can you let me know?

  19. btw - thanks for posting the picture of Anton running in just his shorts...that's a beautiful sight! :)

  20. I saw this movie in December at a fundraiser for the Manitou Incline.. what a GREAT movie.. whether you run or not, I just thought it was great seeing the stories of these guys.. Anton and Geoff were both at the screening with a Q&A so that was cool.. I walked out of that movie wanting to run straight up Pikes Peak!

  21. The Oatmeal has a great recap of his 50-mile Ultra here. It answers the pooping question.

  22. All I have is DAMN!!! Ultra runners are hot! I LOVE Trails to the point where i totally will try anything to run trails and not roads anymore! I really need to order that DVD

  23. Hallelujah! I might just become religious after seeing that picture. Can't wait to see the movie.. looks ultra inspiring.

  24. I almost always run with my nike+ watch but often I set it back to the regular clock time and ignore it. so it's almost running "naked". I tried the minimalist shoes for a bit, but we didn't get a long, mostly because my foot is short, wide with a massive arch. (great for ballet not so much running) so I've returned to my Pegasus which I've been running in for 4 years. I'll definitely look into that movie. Running an ultra is definitely on my bucket list !

  25. Beth, I KNOW an ultra is in your future! I can't wait til you discover the beauty of it all. Remember: Nature is your Bathroom!

    I run naked often. I carry an iPod for really long ultras, but find I rarely end up using it at all.

    When I do use my Garmin it's more so I can see the cool map of my run than for miles/pace/time/heart rate info.

    Seeing Tony running was beautiful, but Hal's smile was AMAZING.

    And forgetting to take the tag off your jeans is exactly the kind of thing ultrarunners love. I had a trailrunning friend who complained about a pair of shorts that always chafed her, after about 5 long runs, she discovered the store tag still attached was the culprit.

  26. Running "naked" are truly my favorite runs to do. You don't care about pace, miles, anything. All it is about is you and the pavement.

    Running the Sahara is a great movie.

  27. I really want to see that movie, it sounds really good! I want to do an Ironman first but I also think that an ultra is in my future!

  28. You're hilarious, "Shut Up & Soil", lol. This movie sounds really interesting and now I want to see it too!

    Oh boy do I have some stories about "going" while doing Ironmans. :) And as far as the tag goes, you are just a trend setter. I'm going to buy a pair of jeans today and not take the tag off so I can be just like you! ;)

  29. ok love this paragraph and I hope you don't mind me using it on my blog...ITS WHY i've been running without my garmin ...I was losing perspective and why I went out in the first place. Look forward to seeing the movie!

  30. First of all, you said that Anton was compelling, then I scrolled down to the picture and said (out loud) "Why yes, he is compelling. Very." I laughed like a maniacal dictator when I read your comments after the photo. Have I told you lately that I love you?

    Secondly, I like this Jesus much better than the one who got mad at me as a child for enjoying more than my fair share of Communion wafers. I think this Jesus would like that sort of simplicity.

    I'm sorry- did you say something about running?

  31. I want to see that movie now! The scenery behind Anton in that running picture is unreal. Oh wait...I guess that's just how Colorado looks, huh? I do not own a Garmin because a.) I am cheap and b.) I spent most of my life swimming competitively which was intensely numbers focused. I remember one practice when we were doing 50 (50!!) 50 meter sprints and my coach wrote down our times for every. single. one. And then yelled at me when my timed jumped from a 32 to a 34 for one 50. And I just want running to be simple and to not have to obsess over splits and paces. I do use music most of the time, unless I am running with a friend (I don't get why some people listen to music while they are running with someone else that they could be chatting with) or unless I am trail running. On the trail I like the quiet and also I like to hear bears before it's too late.

  32. I can't believe you got to meet Anton! He seems like such a "real" person. No fuss. Just a honest person. Wow!

    I (almost) always run naked and by that I mean the only times I am carrying anything is when I am clocking a new route (garmin) or reviewing something I was given. I simply lace my shoes and run out my front door. Now I often have to push a jogging stroller full of stuff to entertain a little one but for me I prefer to listen to the nature around me.

  33. I'd love to see this movie. Didn't you run an ultra with Dean?

  34. Kovas: Yes it's true Dean is in love with me. But we only ran 21 miles together. No ultra.

  35. hehe like jesus, ah love that comment.

    i would really like to see this movie, not sure my experience will be as cool but still :)

  36. I really wish you hadn't made that Jesus comparison, because the way I'm drooling over that shirtless picture now feels a little sacreligious and dirty.

    I've only run w/o my Garmin once since I got it, but that's only been a couple of months and since my training (such as it is) is based on mileage, I'm really loving the opportunity to run wherever I want without having to map it out first. I run without music fairly regularly.

  37. i just got a Garmin, so have always run unplugged. I can NOT run outside w/ music...too much scensory overload for me. Although, can't run W/OUT music on the tready. Favorite running movie? I loved the one w/ the kid in England (i think) who runs and does the marathon. His house burns down. Mom is in the hospital. Forget the name. Great little flick though, and makes you wanna RUN!!! Cute jeans. Better than leaving the XL sticker all the way down the front of the shirt like my hubbs did!! HHAAA> love it. you know you're returning them tomorrow. Don't lie! hhaa

  38. I can zone out enough to be unplugged with a Garmin. I'll start it and subsequently because of the zoning forget to stop it, LOL!

    Right now Baton Rouge is flooded with ultra runners for the Rouge-Orleans race. It is 126.2 miles on the levee from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Added bonus this is Mardi Gras season :) It's pretty flat, but the stars are amazing! I hope to run it as a team of 3 one day. Around 40 mi each. We'll see how that goes and maybe a team of 2 one day :) and then subsequently a team of solo (unless you count my other personalities which I'm sure will present themselves on a run like that, LOL)! Dream big! Oh and remember Chris Farley: I live in a van down by the river-yes we have those shirts!

  39. i can’t stop staring at his body and that picture of him running. heelllooo….

  40. Ok, I am digging Anton. That's what running is all about. Would love to have that lifestyle. Oh, wait, my body would break down!

    I have only seen one running movie and that was Spirit of the Marathon, so I guess by default that would be my favorite. Gotta see Unbreakable, though!

  41. I never run with music or a Garmin---I enjoy getting in my own head. And we have a neighborhood groper on the loose, so I want to hear everything.

  42. I like the extraneous stuff. I'll probably never run an ultra unless something really changes in my life... like I'm no longer a teacher, part time behavior therapist and tending to a family. I like seeing my miles add up on Nike+. I love pink and sparkly running stuff. I look forward to gels and water stops during my long runs. I really don't think my running life would carry on in nakedness. I think I need all that stuff to keep me going.

  43. And I would totally love to have a BMI under 20...*sigh*

  44. Going to have to see this one! I love running movies... and running books, and running magazines!! Plus, I'm training for my first "ultra" - just a 50k - in May this year. (You know you're addicted to long distance running preface 50k with "just".)

    I run "naked" - ie. without music - always sinceI prefer to listen to the world around me. In fact, I blogged about it here: I always wear my garmin though - unless I forget to plug it in and the battery's dead.

    Thanks for another great post! And, BTW, I'll be thinking of Sherry on my run tomorrow morning.

  45. I've only seen "Spirit of the Marathon" and parts of "Pre", but I wish someone would make "Once a Runner" into a movie. With Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gossling.

    I need music to run city streets but on the trails I like to go without distractions. I might start a timer to see how long the run takes me but I try not to look at it til I'm done.

  46. It's funny that you bring up this 'naked' running. A couple of years ago I started blogginb about running, and then reading blogs about running, and then bought all of the stuff that everyone was talking about. Once I got all of the goods, my time slowed, my enthusiasm for the sport was gone, and I was frustrated.
    I stopped using my Garmin last fall (only used it a year), stopped Gu-ing, and stopped measuring every breath. My times started dropping again and I'm totally digging my new found freedom. (I even have been enjoying my runs with my husband - but don't tell him, he likes me crabby)

  47. You know you are an ultrarunner when: your kid sees a jesus statue on a bookshelf and thinks it is Anton.

  48. I don't run with music outside, ever. It was really cool when one of the dudes I rode with in NC on vacay had his ipod duct taped to his bike playing music out loud. Other than that, music outside and I don't get along.

    Inside is another story. All of my dreamill and trainer workouts have music, and lots of it. Sometimes TV AND music. Drives Ryan nuts. He has to listen to me singing badly AND watch crappy TV.

    I am really bad at remembering to charge my garmin. I am also really boring when it comes to changing where I run, so I pretty much know where my mile markers are. I mostly use my garmin in training to make sure I get in my minimum # of miles, so if I forget it, I just try to go a little bit more to make sure I get the distance in. It is only when I am running really long and needing to do a lot of repeating of the same roads that I really NEED my garmin to make sure I don't lose track that badly.

  49. Oh my gosh some of these comments are hilarious. I will say it takes a LOT for me to look around. I like my husband. He's pretty cute. But that was a GREAT photo. Thanks. :)

  50. Loved this movie! So inspiring. Check out Anton's race report from Leadville 100 in 2009 - your question answered. :)
    Love the tag on your jeans too.

  51. I use my Garmin pretty rarely - just races, long runs, and track. I just enjoy my other runs. I think if I want to serious it up I should start checking my pace more, though.

  52. I never thought that I would be ogling Jesus, but DAMN, he's fine.

  53. I've had my dvd for weeks now, haven't watched it yet. This is good motivation to do so, thanks!

  54. I hope this movie comes to Australia - sounds awesome!

    Your description of the movie goers had me in stitches - thanks for my Monday morning fix before starting my working week.


  55. I wonder how I missed this post. I own this movie and LOVE it! I have watched in multiple times because I find it ridiculously inspiring. Tony Krupicka makes me want to move to Boulder. Like right now. Do you think he would be my friend? I have a major running crush on him.

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