But first the back story. I've spent the last 27 days nursing a stress fracture (third metatarsal of my left foot, thanks for asking) and it hasn't been much fun. I've learned to dislike an elliptical trainer as much as a Stairmaster (two pieces of equipment with which I've been known to have an occasional, enjoyable fling). Also in that category...my mp3 player being stuck in my ears...and the view out of a smudge-stained plate glass window gazing upon a desolate street where, it seems, only law enforcement officers and an occasional delivery truck passes (if anyone needs to rent furniture or a TV, I have the number memorized). I digress.
Five important things I've learned:
5. Being on a stationary exercise machine is un-nerving in case one needs to escape a mugging; at least when running I have a pretty good chance of getting away unharmed (And it counts as fartlek training. A release, fartleking is.).
4. ESPN discusses the same three topics, ad nauseum.
3. I hate leaving BFF in the backseat; he, just watching me with his head cocked is sad.
2. It's impossible to read on an elliptical trainer.
1. It's not impossible to confuse Fox News with a SNL skit.
But I did find a way to enjoy three hours on the Stairmaster, enter The Runner's Rule Book. Yes, at 166 pages I averaged about a page a minute, including contemplation. (Hey, I never claimed to be very smart or a fast reader.)
And Remy gives a reading runner lots to contemplate.
Any runner with even minimal experience will find him/herself with a palm print on the forehead and a "I could have written that" realization after most pages. Newish runners, or those thinking of embarking on a running program - this is a must read - I'm looking at you, Santa Claus.
A few of my favorite Remy-isms include:
Keep unsolicited advice to yourself
Know your pace
Stand still at red lights
You'll find the runner's high when you stop looking
Line up where you belong
Never miss a chance to thank a volunteer
But my favorite Remy-ism is...
Run like a dog. He goes on to give a dog's workout, much like my BFF's. Here it is:
- Warmup - walk 8 seconds.
- Trot 4 seconds.
- Stop. Sniff.
- Sprint 7 seconds.
- Walk 5 seconds in any direction but forward.
- Pause. Stare 9 seconds.
- Lunge at rabbit.
- Double back, walk 3 seconds.
- Repeat six to eight times.
- Cooldown: Collapse on a rug.
The Runner's Rule Book, by Mark Remy; 166 pgs; hardcover; $17.99 USD; wide availability.