Let’s cut right to the dirty chase. Last week, Pepper stole my soapbox and went all ultra on us. Well, two can play that game, so this week, Clove here is giving up on her quest for spiritual enlightenment via trails and world travels to get a little sexy. And what better day to … ummm … “do it” than hump day? I know, I know. I’ve promised in three separate posts that I haven’t actually read the creepy sexy tome, Fifty Shades of Grey. And I hadn’t. But then there was that eight-hour flight to Paris, and I don’t really like flying, and I just needed something stupid to pass the time, and (HONESTLY!) I had this “idea” for a Salty post germinating anyhow, so I had to like, do research and stuff. Right?
Right. Anyhow, it’s kind of a silly book. Yeah, there’s lots of weird filthy sex, but since I wasn’t taking the whole thing all that seriously, I kind of just jumped on for the ride (no pun intended). And truthfully, being a former honors English major, I found the writing absolutely horrific. But as I expected, one thing remained certain, besides the kinky … ummm … well, if you’ve read it, you know the rest of the phrase.
Despite the book’s short-comings (heh), the leading man, Christian Grey might very well be the best damn running coach you could have. And not just because he’s wielding a riding crop.
That said, ladies, let’s proceed with the “Fifty Shades of Salty,” or the seven sinful reasons I’d be willing to turn my own body over to him … at least for a three-month trial period.
1. BUILD A BASE. Our darling heroine/resident stupid girl sees no need to do this, going from virgin to BDSM in the space of a weekend. Anyone want to guess what happens? She gets hurt. Physically, mentally and emotionally hurt. How does this qualify Lord Grey to coach us? Well, he advises against it. Tells her to run, literally and figuratively. Makes her promise to take it slow and communicate with him. Anastasia is the one who jumps the shark, not Christian, and surprise, surprise, she gets hurt. Build a base. Take it slow. Don’t jump the shark.
2. DON’T BE REPETITIVE. Because “double crap,” I can’t believe the number of times this Anastasia chic says “Oh my!” or “double crap” or “triple crap” or worst of all, talks about her freaky “inner goddess.” Repetition creates nothing but dullness – in writing, life and running. That same five-mile route you’ve been running after work for the past year may “work” for you, but it’s not making you a better runner. Vary your workouts, your speeds and your surfaces to become the best runner you can be. But there’s nothing wrong with a vanilla run here and there …
3. KNOW YOUR BAD HABITS. Look, naïve little Ana knows there are two things that are bound to get her in trouble: lip-biting and eye rolling. And yet she insists on doing them, sometimes even doing them purposely to “test” Lord Grey. Anyone want to guess what happens? She gets in trouble. It’s the same for your running, and you know it. You know that if you push your mileage above 40, your left hamstring is going to start hurting. You know that if you run with that fever, it’s going to take a week longer to get better. You know you always get sick when you run in the heat, but you overslept this morning and have to get the miles in somehow. Avoid the temptation. Know your bad habits, and listen when your body asks you to stop.
4. EAT. Sure it’s all about his disturbing past as an abused and starving child, but Mr. Grey is really onto something with his obsessive insistence that Ana eat. And eat. And eat. Food plays a large role in this story, both psychologically and as sustenance. But Grey’s main point is pretty damn simple; they’re engaging in a lot of … ummm … activity … and Ana needs her strength. So too for running. It’s not just about calories and weight, but eating the right foods at the right times to fuel your body for its best training and racing. So eat, alright? Because you need fuel to get through those workouts – and to recover from them.
5. SLEEP. Speaking of recovery, do you know when it happens? That’s right, the majority of muscle recovery happens when you sleep. And if you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t get enough recovery, and if you don’t get enough recovery, you don’t run as well – and you become more injury prone. And emotional, and moody, and more likely to engage in bad habits, or skip meals or eat poorly. Sleep, rest and recovery are the most overlooked parts of the majority of training programs. Write adequate rest of seven to eight hours a night into your personal contract with yourself – and watch your running performance soar.
6. TRY NEW THINGS… Well, Anastasia may have gone a little overboard with this one, but there’s no doubt her vanilla mind was opened to a whole new world of … “options.” Step outside of your comfort zone – no contract required – and try some new workouts, new surfaces, cross-training or races. In a running rut or slump? There’s no better time to spice it up and try some “kinky runnery” to get your mojo back.
7. … BUT KNOW YOUR LIMITS. For Ana and Christian, it’s all freaky S&M “safe words,” with yellow meaning “caution” and red meaning “cut me out of these damn cable ties, NOW.” But just as you need to know your bad habits, you also need to know your limits – and back off when you get too close to the red line. For me, ice, lightning and deserted paths are HARD LIMITS. Know yours, and abide by them. Lest you want torn pants and a very ugly bruise on your bum, which is precisely what happened to me the last time I got antsy and decided to run on ice instead of the treadmill. Hmmmm, I’m not sure whether that would make Lord Grey happy or angry …
Also, as a side note, I don’t care that he’s too old, Simon Baker IS Christian Grey and as such should play him in any bizarre movie adaptation they actually attempt to make from this book. Which I swear I won’t see. Maybe they could make it about running instead? I can see it now, Mila Kunis panting on the track, half-naked after taking the “Salty Challenge,” curled up in a ball and cowering while Simon Baker commands “AGAIN!” Slowly, she rises. “ANASTASIA, NOW!” he screams, pressing a button on his stopwatch. And with one last roll of her eyes, she launches into her sixth 800, chest heaving and all liquid motion around the track.
I think I’m onto something here.
What about you, ladies? Who’s your dream/fantasy/fictional running coach – and why?