Born To Run For Love or Money? (Win the Book!)

The first time I started reading Born To Run by Christopher McDougall, I stopped about 10 pages in. It was about some crazy tribe in the middle of nowhere, running like wild animals, and the author was in search of a seemingly ghost-like white man living among them, referred to only as Caballo Blanco or ‘white horse.’ Um, what does this have to do with running as I know it? A hell of a lot more then I thought.


Fast forward to the FitBloggin‘ conference this past June, and the one-on-one meeting I had with Health Warrior. You know, the people who brought you those tasty super foods known as Chia Bars? Why did they have a copy stacks of Born To Run on their display table? Oh, I have to just laugh at how little I knew!

First off, the founders of Health Warrior all read Born To Run and are obviously way more intelligent then I am, since it basically changed their lives.  Shane (the Health Warrior CEO I met with & guy on the left in the picture above) is a lawyer and when he read the book, he made his two buddies read it as well.

They had the brilliant idea to start selling chia seeds, since that’s what these Tarahumara Indians (pronouced Tara-oo-mara) eat and then run for like a week though treacherous canyons, steep cliff climbs and over razor-sharp rocks. Seriously. I guess they figured if these super humans could run for days at a time, subsisting on only crude corn alcohol and chia, then imagine what it could do for an otherwise well-fed American looking to run their first marathon?  I’m also wondering why they went with the chia and not the alcohol?  Anyway…

The part of the book that truly resonated with me was about Coach Joe Vigil, and his slow discovery of why the Tarahumara could run so well and for so long. Was there a secret? The short answer is YES and it lies in the love of running, moving, having purpose through the act of putting one foot in front of the other, and not running for prize money and shoe deals:


That was so eye-opening to me! Yes, that’s exactly why so many people hate running. How many times have I said to someone “I’m a runner” only to have them roll their eyes and reply “Oh my God, I hate running!” Of course you do, if you’re out there because you feel like you have to run a certain race or you have to lose x number of pounds or you have to do blah, blah, blah – basically everything except being out there because it’s fun and you enjoy it. I know people think that’s crazy – to enjoy running – but if you don’t, maybe you shouldn’t do it. What’s the point?

This became very real to me recently. I’ve never in my life not loved running. Of course I’ve had horrible runs and races, but overall, running has meant so much to me, and I truly enjoy doing it. However, because of my sponsorship with Oiselle (which I’m over the moon about!) I had to end a relationship with a local sponsor. I absolutely didn’t want to, but my hand was forced. I would be lying if I said this didn’t send me into a tailspin and made me, for the first time ever, think about running as a business. The split left a bad taste in my mouth, and had me reeling over how naive I have been about racing.  For days, and for the first time in my life, I felt something other then love for running.  Until something dawned on me.

I run for me. I may have a sponsor on my chest (one that I love!), but I’m out there on a Wednesday at 9:30am in 85 degree heat with 54% humidity, running tempo splits with a goofy smile on my face because I love it. I run because that’s what I do, and it’s part of who I am, and no one can take that away.

I've got nothin' but love for you running!

That is an expression of pure joy!


And then I had a Coconut Chia Bar and got back to reading more about the love of running and the Tarahumara, and you should too!

WIN a free copy of Born To Run from the Health Warriors themselves, and take 15% OFF your next Chia Bar order with coupon code: FITBLOG15

To enter to win the book, tell me why you love running OR why you love Health Warrior Chia Bars, and what your favorite flavor is!  If they don’t have your favorite – now’s your chance to ask for it.


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  1. Don’t you love that? When you totally don’t get a book – then you go back and it’s like…’AHA’! That’s how I felt with “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. I despise running. I’m terrible at it…I can’t go very far, and I’m impatient because I suck so bad. But isn’t that what we teach our kids – it takes practice. Time. Sigh. I am going to try to win a copy now and if I don’t I’ll grab your code.

    I always wanted to run…just never knew how!
    Kristen recently posted…My Best Day as a Mom…So FarMy Profile

    1. I DO love that!! So glad you can relate. And, yes it’s very hard to practice what we preach sometimes! You’re in it to win it Kristen 🙂

  2. I’ve read Born to Run – loved it! Borrowed it from the library so would love a copy of my own to read over and over. Why do I love running? Because it makes me happy!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…High Five FridayMy Profile

    1. Best.reason.ever! It’s definitely a book to go back to again and again.

  3. I have always despised running and what you wrote above would so be me saying this to you quite frankly, but the book does sound enlightening and wonder if it would indeed change my mind. Might have to take the challenge and get a copy of it and see. Thanks for sharing and definitely gave me food for thought 🙂
    Janine Huldie recently posted…The Stars And Stripes Edition – GLOSSYBOX June 2014My Profile

    1. You never know!? Thanks Janine!! I hope a “doubter” wins 🙂

  4. That’s such a neat story of how their company came about! I’ve honestly never tried their bars but would love tasting the coconut one. I love all things coconut!
    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat recently posted…{Emotionally} Fit Friday: High-Low-HighMy Profile

    1. You MUST try them! Not only are they delicious but filling, low calorie, gluten free – the works! Coconut is my current fav but I have so many. Thanks Jaclyn!

  5. I read born to run, and it was eye opening, although I do believe it was a liitttttlle unrealistic for people who then jumped on the vibram train when we live in a cement world. I do love the comparison you mentioned though, it does make me sad with the way people view exercise here. I am right with you, I run for ME, and that is why I continue to love it! Thanks for the interesting post on this beautiful friday morning….time for me to go love me some hills 😛
    Tina Muir recently posted…Skinny Buffalo Chicken and Vegetable EnchiladasMy Profile

    1. I could NEVER wear those and I so know that about it. It’s hard to resist those kinds of fads but again, if that was your takeaway from the book then…I’m thinking you really missed the point – right?? LOVE your outlook on running and it’s why you’re the champion you are! #KeepingItReal Hope the hills were crying when you were done with them…

  6. I love this message! This is why I do it! Of course it couldn’t hurt to lose a few pounds but if that’s the only reason I know I would hate it after awhile. I really need this book! Thanks for sharing!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…The Silly Things We Runners DoMy Profile

    1. This book is perfect for you Kris! I hope you win too 🙂

  7. Running makes me feel powerful!

    1. HELL YES!

  8. Whenever I read your posts about running, I develop a greater appreciation for it. You know how I feel about running but the one thing that I love, love, love about running is the community! There’s a support for people who even think they like running and that is something you don’t see everyday.

    I need to read that book. I already invested in the Kickstarter movie about Caballo Blanco and if you know his real name, you’ll know why.

    PS – I LOVE those Chia Health Warrior bars and need to order some stat!
    Melissa Burton recently posted…Friday’s Featured Female – 10 Women You Need To Meet At BlogHerMy Profile

    1. Yes I do know his real name 🙂 I totally get it, and now would be a GREAT time for you to read the book!! The running community is amazing, the support is complete and you always have someone to talk with who “gets it!”

      I am currently living on chia bars. I ordered a box from my local store and now I’m using the coupon to order some more, different flavors. YUM.

  9. Allie, I love reading your posts about running. Your ability speaks for itself, but your message has so much heart in it. I still remember last year when you made the comment on my blog how running frees you from yourself. I love being able to get out of my head when I run. I love that feeling of emotional as well as physical freedom. Thanks for being a constant inspiration for me. And the book? I read it and LOVED it. Glad to see you talking about it here today.

    1. YES!!! Thank you so much for telling me this. My hope is always that my heart comes through my words, and even if only you can sense it – that is SO worth it. Thank you for always making a point to tell me I inspire you. You have no idea how happy it makes me! Thanks Ilene.

  10. I totally agree. Great post. I’ve been running for almost 20 years now. Who does something for 20 years without truly loving it?! I love the feeling of accomplishment when I complete a long run or a race. It’s part of me and who I am. Could I survive without it? Of course, would I want to? Hell no! I did the same thing with Born to Run as well, I put it down after 1 chapter and didn’t pick it up again for another 6 months. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the Health Warrior Chia bars! Thanks for the discount code!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Friday 5: Goal update!My Profile

    1. Clearly we are soul mates. You have a few years on me running-wise but, other then that, we seem to be the same person 🙂 Thanks Sue!

      1. Haha, yes! I just drove through CT the other day and thought of you. Wish we could have met up!
        Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…MCM Training Week 4–beaches, lobster and missed runsMy Profile

  11. I haven’t tried a Chia Bar before but I would love to try coconut because coconut is my favorite of all time!!! I’ve never loved running because I’m more of a move to music type person BUT I love why you love running and think you are totally right in your assessment here!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…I’m a Fit Mama!My Profile

    1. Thanks so much Britt! And, do yourself a favor and get some Chia Bars! I’m sure you can walk a block in NYC and find them. They would be great little power snacks to pack for the hospital too!!

  12. I love running because it constantly challenges me and teaches me that I am capable of great things…but also that I must be humble!

    When people tell me they hate running but run anyway, I want to say, “why do you run, then?” Their negativity is so frustrating to me! If they don’t love it, I wish they’d find another sport!
    Ali @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…The Definition of FailureMy Profile

    1. I feel the same way. I know there are a lot of people who WANT to love it, and they love the people and community of running so they try and try to feel the love. I get that but, when do you start wanting to look for something you actually enjoy? I guess it’s an individual question, but I can certainly relate to all the “OH I hate running but I do it!” commentary. Boooo.

  13. Freedom. That’s why I love to run. Feels like that’s what we were born to be, free and running! Gives me life. I’ve not tried the chia stuff… Never heard of it. Need to try it soon. I hear so much about chia!
    Jess@ Flying Feet in Faith recently posted…Friday Five: GoalsMy Profile

    1. You should definitely try the bars. They are small, they won’t melt in your gym bag or purse, and provide just the right energy boost when you need a little something. Try all the flavors too 🙂

  14. Such a wonderful post! You can tell that you love running. I’m starting to love it more and more. Because it makes me stronger, it makes me believe in myself, and because of running I love my body regardless of what I see in the mirror. There’s nothing that can beat that feeling.
    Carla recently posted…The Skinny: July 2014My Profile

    1. You got it!!! When you’re mentally strong, it shows all over. Good for you Carla!!

  15. I don’t love to run but I love how you love to run. And no one could think for a second that your #1 reason isn’t that it’s what you love. It’s totally apparent!
    My favorite is the chocolate peanut butter!
    Tamara recently posted…Well, Happy Birthday To Me! Love, Cassidy.My Profile

    1. Thanks Tamara!
      Chocolate and PB is my very close second favorite right now… LOVE!!!

  16. I’m so glad that you had an A-Ha moment and realized you love to run no matter what. I went through this in college. I loved running and then went to college on a track scholarship. Everything changed – running became my job (in addition to being a Chemistry/Biology major) and I lost the love and joy. My senior year I actually gave up the scholarship and told my coach that I just wanted to run for fun again – my best seasons ever!!!
    Kim recently posted…My Weak Spot (7/20-7/26)My Profile

    1. That is awesome Kim. I’m so glad you can relate to that, and I really appreciate you sharing it with me. It was such a strange and lost feeling for me, and I hated it. What you went though makes perfect sense! So glad you had the courage to give up the scholarship and run for YOU.

  17. I would love to try the chia bars! I’ve read B2R twice and wouldn’t be surprised if I read it again. Crazy? I love to run because it makes me feel invincible! Like there isn’t anything I can’t do.
    jill conyers recently posted…7 Healthy Pancake Topping RecipesMy Profile

    1. Not crazy at all. I actually took my time reading it because I didn’t want to miss a thing! I can’t believe you haven’t tried the bars yet!? You will LOVE them!!

  18. I just like running to run now. Pure enjoyment. I don’t care how fast I run anymore. I’m never going to PR again, and that is just fine with me. Maybe at some point I will start worrying about my times agin, but I just don’t feel the need right now. 🙂 It’s all good.
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Parenting Choices: When a Parent Crosses the LineMy Profile

    1. I love that. I’m kind of in a state like that now…kind of. I’m focused on a few half-marathons I have coming up, but I’m not intensely training to hit a PR or any number for that matter. It will actually be kinda cool to see what my times look like, and it’s great to run without all the pressure!! Maybe someday we’ll have a chance to run together… 🙂

      1. You may have to slow down…I am a talker when I run! 🙂
        Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Gluten Free Vegan Sunflower Buttercup BrowniesMy Profile

        1. We’re exactly alike! When I run with a friend, I never stop talking 🙂 This would be an interesting run…and perhaps would turn into walk!

  19. You’re pretty awesome, Allie. 🙂 Loved this. Also, I never read that book because I thought it was some sort of barefoot running manifesto*, but now you have me intrigued.

    *based on total hearsay and not so much as reading the blurb – admittedly.
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted…Fit Mama Friday – Meet BrittanyMy Profile

    1. You know, it’s funny what the public will do with a book. I know people are always looking for ways to improve their running (or whatever their hobby, sport is) but the barefoot thing was such a small part of the book (I thought!?) and it would NEVER work for me, so I didn’t really get why that became such a HUGE thing from it. For me, it was way more about why are you running and do you enjoy it and here’s how it’s done in this remote part of the world by these forgotten people and here’s what they can teach us about OURSELVES and not just running. It would be worth a read, and no Five Fingers required 🙂

    • Anna B. on July 28, 2014 at 9:08 AM
    • Reply

    This made me chuckle because I *also* abandoned Born to Run about 1/4 of the way in…I think it was because it was one of my first audiobooks and I wasn’t enjoying the reader’s voice? Either way, the interesting facts about human evolution really got my attention….I really do want to go back and finish it!

    Why do I like running? Because it is my favorite way to experience nature and connect with my body!

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one, and yes, the reader’s voice could have a lot to do with it!
      I love your reasons for running, too!!

  20. I am in a very strong like with running which is like a million times better than where i was just a month ago!! I love that you discussed the pureness and the joy of running. I think a lot of people run because they see their friends doing it but if you don’t like it (like anything else in life) don’t do it!! Honestly now, the longer I go, the harder I push, the more I want to do it. I totally didn’t see THAT coming! 🙂 Huge fan of Chia over here–love the apple cinnamon and coconut the best!! delish!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…The Only Way to Win is to Sleep Your Way To The TopMy Profile

    1. Oh I just love when you don’t see it coming!! SMACK! One of the best things is seeing you develop this passion for running. I can’t wait to see where it takes you!!…powered by Chia of course 🙂

  21. I love running because it centers me. It helps me start my day in peace. It gives me confidence in what my body is capable of doing.

    And I absolutely love the comparison between the two philosophies of running…I pinned it, because I definitely want to remember this later!
    Julie @ Girl on the Move recently posted…On Turning FiveMy Profile

    1. That is so cool you pinned it! I agree – it’s something to always keep in the back of your mind. Thanks Julie!

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