But I digress.
Long runs, speed work, tempo runs, fartleks, splits, yassos...GU, fuel, chews, hydration... compression, foam roller, Garmin...it's all running to me! Runners have their own language. Among other quirky things.
What do you think about on those solo long runs? Do you think about running? About other runners? That guy who just passed you? What kind of runner is he? Mark Remy thinks about other runners and over the years he's pretty much become an expert on running anthropology. His new book, Runners of North America: A Definitive Guide to the Species is not only a laugh out loud read, it's spot on. Perfect light reading for this time of year.
|You can purchase a signed copy here!|
Or if you just want a cheaper, unsigned copy, you can buy that here!
Remy lists 23 "subspecies of runners". Seasoned runners will recognize most if not all of these subtypes. There's the obvious: the Elite Runner, the Serious Runner, and the Newbie Runner. But Remy identifies a few other subtypes that we've all seen at races or on the road. The Weirdo Runner, who "keeps things fun in a sport that can suffer somewhat by overearnestness". That would include those guys running in tutus and maybe Doctor Dribble, whom I saw at the Chicago Marathon. The Fashion Mag Runner, aka lopus lulemonus (gotta love the genera), who always looks "terrific". The Grizzled Vet, several of whom I've lined up next to at legendary races like the Chicago Marathon. The Grizzled Vet I met at last year's Chicago Marathon told me he has run Chicago for the past 25 years. Big Sur honored their Grizzled Vets at this spring's race--there were 12 guys who have run and finished Big Sur for the 31 years since the race's inception.
This was a really fun section to read. In case you were wondering, I fit the profile of the Mom Runner. Apparently, it's all about a love of running and wine. Oh and calling myself "badass". I had hoped for something more intense, like the Serious Runner. But in all reality, I have to call a spade a spade. I'm a mom who runs. I'm a runner who's a mom. Who likes wine. I did have a minivan at one time. I have a ponytail. And I'm not old enough to be a Grizzled Vet, right?
|Graphic used with permission of Mark Remy|
In fact, he encouraged me to use this photo even though Rodale has the rights.
Especially if I provide links to buy the book.
You can find them scattered throughout this post.
All joking aside, you know that if you run, you are a runner.
At the end of the book, there's a handy dandy chart for you to keep track of all the runners when and where you see them. Kind of like Pokemon Go, without the bouncing ball. I dare one of you to develop an app for sighting all the runner subtypes.
Runners of North America: A Definitive Guide to the Species is a very comprehensive study of runners. It is also very clever. Clearly, Remy has been studying runners and their habits for a very long time. He covers other topics such as psychology, communication, and behavior. I learned a few new things about runners from this book. For example, the cross section of the runner's brain, which while appearing much like a normal human brain, has several different sections including the Painful Memory Suppression Gland, which "generates chemical substances that diminish bad memories of the runner's last marathon". Much like the Mom brain, which does the same after the birth of a child (my comment, not Remy's).
I completely enjoyed this book. As a person who works with the public, I'm fascinated by people and their behaviors. As a subtype, we runners take ourselves so seriously, don't we? And that's the whole point of the book. Not only did I laugh when I was reading this book, I found myself nodding at Mark's observations. In fact, when I'm running I spend a lot of time thinking about the runners I pass on the path. After reading this book, I want to go for a run with Mark Remy. We'd have a lot to talk about. And I promise to bring pie for the finish.
When I asked Remy what runner he was, he told me he thought he was a hybrid of the Dad Runner and Grizzled Vet. I'll give him that, since he's run 26 marathons and 7 Boston Marathons!
What runner subtype are you? Anything he missed here?
Here's the link up badge! You can find the linkup at the end of this post. The linkup stays live for 2 weeks. Comments stay live forever! Please remember to link back to this post. Try to read and comment on the other reviews. If you want to review a different fitness-related book, please feel free to link those posts up as well. I'm so grateful to all of you who participate in the book club.
Next month we will be reading Boston Bound by Elizabeth Clor. I am so looking forward to reading her journey to the Boston Marathon after 7 attempts to qualify. Elizabeth writes a blog, Racing Stripes. She's also agreed to an author interview, which I am really excited about! Perfect timing for all you fall marathoners who are hoping for a BQ! This review and link up will go live on August 19.
Click on the photo to purchase the book!