CNN Anchor Talks 'Running Dangerously'
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
A lot of listeners tell us they hear this show while they run. Now at last we're going to have a guest on our show who's in the middle of a run. Tom Foreman, the CNN anchor and reporter, is training for tomorrow's Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. His path takes him right by our studios. Tom has a book out about taking up the challenge of his 18-year-old daughter for the two of them to train to run a marathon. His book is "My Year Of Running" - he's running in the studio - "Running Dangerously: A Dad, A Daughter, And A Ridiculous Plan." Don't think you're the first man to be here who's sweating and hot, OK? This is common among our guests. Thanks for joining us, Tom.
TOM FOREMAN: Good to be here, Scott.
SIMON: So why didn't you just tell your daughter Ronnie let's train for a chili cook-off instead?
FOREMAN: I tried. I tried, and she was insistent. She was in her first year at the great Georgia Tech studying aerospace engineering. She wants to be an astronaut. And she said, look, I've got to be fit. We have to do it. And I thought - past the age of 50, I just thought it was beyond me. I'd done it when I was young, but I didn't think I could anymore.
SIMON: You are running six marathons in nine days, right?
SIMON: First, Tom, I'm glad we had the chance to say goodbye.
SIMON: You read this book, which is moving in very many sections. It's also a catalog of the hurts and pains that you develop along the way, isn't it? Emotionally rewarding, but, my God, what it does your knees, your back; you wake up with swelling.
FOREMAN: Yeah, it's wild, but it's all good in its own way because you're right, this is - you know, people say to me what is this about? And I say this book is about getting older. It's about change. It's about how the relationships you have in your life are going to change as people age - your kids, yourself - no matter how much you may not want it to. And it happens to contain a lot of running. And the running became a mechanism for our whole family to have a new dialogue based on an adult experience, not a child experience because as our daughters hit college - my older daughter Ronnie, my younger daughter Allie - my wife Linda and I were both saying our relationship has to change to them because they're different. They're not 10 years old anymore, and it has been such an awakening for all the achy joints. When I get out of bed, I'll guarantee you, after the first mile every day it feels better.
SIMON: You learned the hard way to run with a cellphone.
FOREMAN: Yes (laughter).
SIMON: Even though it creates extra weight.
FOREMAN: Yeah, I got lost. I was - I've been lost a few times, but I was on a long run outside of Las Vegas one evening out in the wilderness and I basically miscalculated my time and it got dark. And I was out on these trails..
SIMON: It gets dark very quickly in that kind of landscape too.
FOREMAN: Oh, wow, it's like turning off a switch. And suddenly I was running down these trails in the dark and I didn't know where I was and I didn't know where I was going and it was getting colder. And all I could see was the distant glow of Vegas. And I was thinking, wow, I really like that city right now. I wish I were there and I didn't know how to get there.
SIMON: Yeah, you obviously were able to find your way to asphalt and you were able to get back to civilization. Very nice - of course, I'm a sucker for daughter daddy stuff in the book - but you really do say that marathon running - or the training even - reminds you of the preciousness of every moment, moment after moment.
FOREMAN: Yeah, it does. It puts you in the minute and being out there every day - bad weather, good weather, light, dark - I started this morning about nine miles ago in the dark and it was cold. And you just find yourself saying, you know, there are things in life that are important and that are worthwhile that require a little bit of sacrifice and a little bit of struggle and a little bit of suffering. It doesn't mean you shouldn't do them. And running reminds you of that all the time.
SIMON: Tom Foreman - "My Year Of Running Dangerously" - thanks so much for being with us.
FOREMAN: Good being with you. I have to hit the road (laughter).
SIMON: This is NPR News.