March 12, 2009

Book: I Run Therefore I am ... Nuts

I Run Therefore I am ... Nuts!: Why we carbo load, fartlek train, hit the wall ... and love every minute of it by Bob Schwartz

This book had been sitting in our library since the day Tim and I combined our respective collections about eight years ago. This book was his.

Over the years I've often looked at it. But somehow always skipped it - a bit weird since I love reading about running. Something about the nuts bit in the title irked me, like some people do when they describe themselves, 'Me? Oh yes I am craaaaazy!'

I always think if someone is weird in that funny way as the crazy wannabe's wish they were, I'll notice without them telling me so.

Finally two weeks ago I did pick this book and opened it up - mostly because I was so frustrated with my own efforts to complete a book. As I was struggling with an ever-evolving structure that didn't seem to work, I was studying the table of contents of completed and published books.

I run Therefore I am ... Nuts! has 47 chapters, divided over 10 parts. Reading these titles, I became interested.

Part II is titled Racing - The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Da Feet. It starts with Chapter 6 Runner Mutation: Just pin that race number on the meek runner and let the personality transformation begin

I liked that, especially since it also reminded me of the transformation that triathletes make as soon as they are in their black wetsuits. The rubber will turn the nicest people into fierce competitors who will pull you under water unless they swim over top of you while `accidentally' bashing you in the head while they're at it. Yet, stripped of these floating power suits they'd probably share their last caffeine gel with you.

Back to Schwartz's book. After reading through the table of contents, I realized that I might have judged this book unfairly and started reading. I do most of my reading before I go to sleep and over the next few days I dozed off laughing out loud as I worked my way to Schwartz's brilliant book.

I cannot believe this gem sat in my library unread for eight years. Tim hadn't read it either, as the book had been a gift and somehow it never appealed to him either. I've since convinced him he should read it, or rather the parts that I haven't read to him already.

This is truly a brilliant book, extremely well-written by someone who not only loves to run but clearly knows a lot about it. My apologies Bob for not getting to it earlier - but as I've discovered that was clearly my own loss.

No comments: