Runners are always looking for the next challenge. They want to run faster, farther, on more extreme terrain or in awful weather, if for no other reason than to simply say they did it and to have a story to tell.
Adam Goucher, a 2000 Olympian, and his college teammate Tim Catalano had so many stories they decided to write a book.
Goucher and Catalano, cross country and track teammates at the University of Colorado in the mid-1990s, wrote "Running the Edge," released in September, 2011.
While geared toward runners, the book simply uses the sport as a catalyst of how to strive for excellence in the five "life stories" of education, career, family, friendships and passions.
"Running is what we know," Goucher said. "That's how we make it relatable."
Goucher and Catalano will be in Porter County on Friday and Saturday, promoting "Running the Edge" and presenting a two-hour program based on the life lessons in the book. They are being sponsored by Extra Mile Fitness company and owners Todd and Heather Henderlong.
"We really wanted to do something to help give back to the community," Heather Henderlong said.
Following a book signing Friday afternoon at the Extra Mile, Goucher and Catalano will speak at Chesterton Middle School beginning at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday morning, the authors will lead a group run starting at the Extra Mile.
Goucher, 37, said the purpose of the presentation is motivation, education, entertainment and inspiration.
"When we present, with anything we do, on Facebook or our web site, it has to fall in those four categories," Goucher said. "We talk about what the book is about and we pick out a few key elements.
"A good one that really hits home is the line between tough and stupid. It's a good one for everyone because as runners, we've all been there. We focus on engaging with the audience, interacting with them and having fun."
Goucher grew up in Colorado, and developed into an elite runner in high school. He won the Foot Locker National High School Cross Country Championship in 1993 before moving on to the University of Colorado.
As a freshman, he placed a remarkable second in the NCAA cross country championship. He was plagued by injuries the next few years before finally breaking through as a fifth-year senior, capturing the 1998 NCAA cross country title before graduating in December. His quest was documented in another book, "Running with the Buffaloes."
Despite battling more injuries, he won the 5,000 meters at the 2000 Olympic trials and represented the United States at the Sydney Games. He placed 13th.
Goucher's wife, Kara, made her second Olympic team this year. She placed 11th in the marathon at the London Olympics as her husband and 2-year-old son Colt cheered her on.
"When you're watching your spouse race there's nothing you can do, but you want them to do so well that it can really be nerve-wracking," Goucher said.
"When Kara runs a marathon, I get sick to my stomach because I know how hard she has worked and I want her to have a good race.
"But the Olympics was great. It was a lot of fun. We had a great time and it was a great experience, I just wish I was there running."