The Case for Meeting our Neighborhood Runners

Mark Matthews, an author and Salty friend, recently posted a hilarious essay about his reaction to strangers running through his neighborhood. “Yes, if you run by my house, my nose will detect your scent, I’ll watch you like a junkyard dog, my spidey sense will tingle, and I’ll be thinking, ‘Wait, why don’t I know you? You are a bit of a stranger here? Did you just move into this more » Read more

Snakes on the Run

As if it’s not enough to worry about human predators while we’re running, there’s a whole other species to watch out for in summer:  snakes. Runner’s World says it’s rare to encounter snakes on a run, but the editors must be spending too much time in the city.  I’ve leapt over three on the trail in the past month alone.  In New England, where I live, we’ve had a lot more » Read more

What Body Part Would You Remove for Your Running?

I enjoy a good movie as much as anyone, but for me to sit still for two straight hours requires three things: bad weather, a long run finished, and the possibility that Russell Crowe might appear on the screen. Otherwise, count me out. But I snapped to attention last week upon hearing the news that Angelina Jolie had removed her breasts.   Or rather, surgeons did, at her request, to dramatically more » Read more

Run like a rabbit this Easter

Here are the running books that most inspire me: George Sheehan’s Running and Being. Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run. Rachel Toor’s Personal Record, and, of course, The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. Yep, the best children’s book about Easter is also one of the best grown-up books about running, despite being published in 1939, when the only people who ran around city streets were either Olympians or freaks more » Read more

When the Only Safe Place to Run Is the Center of the Road

Even though the Boston Marathon is still two months away, the course is already busy on weekend mornings.  Locals start running the course – portions of it, at least – in January, ignoring the cold, snow, and hostility of sedentary motorists unwilling to share the road. Witness the complaint (right) to the Hopkinton Police Department: Officer O’Brien’s fine police work notwithstanding, let’s be honest:   At one point, the runners probably more » Read more

5 Best Broadway Musicals to Run to

Is there a Les Mis fan anywhere who doesn’t have “One Day More!” on her running playlist right now? The release of the Tom Hooper movie has made us Les Mis junkies go into Jean Valjean overdrive, and for weeks, I’ve been running with an abbreviated playlist of tunes from the West End show.  It’s abbreviated, of course, because you can’t keep a sustained pace when Eponine is dying in more » Read more

It’s time for us to run faster — by ending walking breaks

Can we get faster by going slower?  Occam’s razor and I say no. Occam’s razor is the philosophic principle that suggests the best answer to any dilemma is always the simplest.   That is, it seems pretty logical that you don’t run faster by, say, slowing to a walk.  This hasn’t stopped people like Jeff Galloway from building a huge following by encouraging people to run-walk their way to fitness. And I more » Read more

Mace’s training log, 12-16-12

Well, predictably, this being Christmas and all, I gained weight this week.   Unpredictably, I ran well, anyway. I started the week with a big accomplishment:  cracking a 10-something pace.  Okay, so technically, it was a lot closer to 11 than 10, but still.    Ever since I gained five pounds over the summer, I haven’t seen a 10-anything so I’ll take it, with joy. Slowed back down the rest of more » Read more

Avoid Injuries: Run from Gators

We hear so much about repetitive-stress injuries, like carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, or the latest, iPod finger.   For runners, just about any injury could be called a RSI, because what is running but repetitive stress, both literal and figurative?  As the late, great Bill Bowerman said, all training can be summarized in this:  “Stress. Recover. Improve.” Too much stress on any body part, of course, can have catastrophic consequences … not more » Read more

Mace’s training log, 12-9-12

Invisible progress, this week.   Ever had that? To look at my stats, it looks like I’m running in place:  too many days off, the usual pace, no weight loss or startling improvement.  But visible only to me, it was there.  My runs were more energetic than they’ve been in the past months.  And I only stopped to walk when dictated by dog. Plus, this close to Christmas, if you’re a more » Read more

The Gift Race Directors Don’t Want Us to Give: Race Bib Transfers

My fastest race ever was the one I didn’t run. A few years ago, I registered for a trail race in New Hampshire:   the Jack London 10K, named for the author of “The Call of the Wild.” It was in another state.  On Nov. 1.  Can anyone see the problem here? Captain Oblivious here didn’t, and so yes, I paid money to run a race in another state early on the more » Read more

Mace’s training log, 12-2-12

This week was a repeat of the lesson “if you can run, you must run, because tomorrow you might not be able.” I’d planned to run long on Friday, but I let work get in the way and postponed it to Saturday, which turned out to be a mistake.  Usually, I keep a close eye on the forecast so I can get pleasurably exhausted before bad weather hits, but somehow more » Read more

Smile, and the World Runs with You

Fresh off a six-mile run, I got an email that made me wince. “If running is so good, why do you seem to be in so much pain while you’re doing it?” asked a neighbor who’d passed me in his car and waved merrily while I was staggering up the last hill, apparently complete with ugly face. I replied,  “You saw me on mile 6.  I was positively euphoric on more » Read more

It’s Not a Fight, But Sometimes Your Body Wins Anyway

When I first started running, I believed two things that turned out not to be true:   First, that running would make me thin, and second, that there is no such thing as a bad run. Filthy, vicious lies, both of them. First:   Running, in and of itself, will not make you thin, not without an accompanying reduction in calories, a sacrifice I’m apparently unwilling to make past 11 a.m. on more » Read more

Mace’s training log, 9-29-12

Looking at my paltry mileage this week, I’m wondering if I have reasons for it, or excuses.  I rarely run fewer than 12 miles, and had been looking forward to some progress after topping 20 (huzzah!)  last week.  But a combination of work deadlines, and an exercise in hedonism called a visit to the state fair kept me immobile.  Not happy about it.  But the fair is only once year, more » Read more