Ron Marinucci - October Column

Ron Marinucci - October Column

Provided by RMDC

Six-Word Lessons on the Sport of Running: 100 Lessons to Enjoy Running for a Lifetime by Tracey Cohen. 125 pp. $12.95 paperback. Pacelli Publishing.

Some books we read for fun, for the enjoyment they bring. Some books we read for information, to learn things and pick up new ideas and perspectives. And yet others we read because they are enjoyable while teaching us at the same time.

Tracey Cohen’s second book is this third type. While zipping through this readable short book, we find ourselves finding new pearls of wisdom or being reminded of running lessons we need to reconsider and embrace anew. And, while doing this, we find some delightful reading.

Tracey is no stranger to running in Michigan. She’s been a competitor for years, often pacing her age-group at a variety of distances. She draws upon her racing and training experiences, as well as her work in a running specialty store to present these worthwhile “100 lessons.” These lessons are not just for beginners, although they would profit greatly from them; long-time runners will benefit from them as well.

This book is one of “The Six-Word Lessons” series. Her first venture was Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome.

Each of ten chapters has a six-word title, such as “Jogger or Runner? It’s Your Decision,” “Injury. Don’t Freak Out. Try This,” and “Running Myths: They’re Just Not True.” Each of the “100 Lessons” is also introduced with “Six-Words.” These include “Girls on the Run inspires girls,” “Ouch! Nobody likes blisters or chafing,” and “Be visible morning, noon, and night.”

Throughout, Tracey conveys the joys and rewards of commitment to running. “Just enjoy running. Labels are overrated.” And in doing so, she writes with insight and wit.

In one of the beginning entries, I was led to reconsider a question I frequently ask of myself, “Am I a runner or a jogger?” She helped put me at ease, though, with this nugget. “Run or jog. It’s all good.” Indeed, it is. In my stress-filled life, that’s just what I need, a reminder to be non-judgmental. I suspect I’m not the only one who needs such a reminder.

She addresses hard to dispel myths, held among runners as well as non-runners, such as “Running is bad for your knees.” But then she does reveal what is really bad for our knees. In this chapter on “myths,” Tracey explores a wide-range of them, from carbohydrate loading and shoe weight to race distances and running as we age.

With “equipment,” there are worthwhile pieces about both shoes and snowshoes, reflective gear for safety, time pieces, “trusting a trained professional,” and even patience. Tracey provides valuable tips on staying healthy and injury-free. Included are the benefits of icing, hydrating, and eating properly.

She even reminds runners and racers of how to behave. “Treat race organizers with tremendous respect.”

Along the way, we find resources to help us with our individual running, to get the most out of it. Resources range from offering training tips, how and where to find races, and organizations that promote running.

Six-Word Lessons can be read in a single sitting. I enjoyed it a great deal and I think you would, too.

Maybe I’m alone on this, but I found this summer to be a hard one for running. I didn’t count, but my running buddy Bob claims there were only “three or four days” of 90 or more degrees. That

might well be so, but the humidity was brutal most of the time. To me, running sometimes resembled swimming, at least when I was finished with my workout.

Now, in the weeks of September, there is more strangeness. The first Sunday morning of the month I am sure I saw frost on the northern exposure of one of my neighbor’s roof. The temperatures have dipped into the upper 30s several times—in September! High temperatures the first week or so hovered in the 60s and 70s. The cooler temperatures are always welcome, well, maybe not this early.

Just when I became comfortable with the temperatures changes, the steam bath returned. What did we have, six or seven consecutive days of 90+ degrees? And the humidity was right up there to match. Ugh. Morning runs weren’t too bad, but one early AM run I had with Michael (my blind buddy) left us both sopping wet. At the other end of the temperature spectrum, Carrie and I managed to slog through several after-work runs, too, when it was in the 90s. I was “schweating” profusely; she was “glowing.”