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Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.

HUMAN KINETICS

By Bob Schwartz
ISBN:   978-1-4504-2856-9
Binding: Paperback
Pages:   Approx. 252
Price: $16.95
Available: October 2012

 

 

Best-selling author releases new edition of beloved running book

Takes a humorous look at the peculiarities and obsessions of runners


CHAMPAIGN, IL—Runners are nuts. And, according to popular humor writer Bob Schwartz, they’re a different breed. “We wear black toenails as medals of distinction, use more Vaseline in a week than quintuplets with diaper rash and chapped lips, and try to convince ourselves that a horrifically painful muscle pull that prevents us from even walking is really nothing more than a temporary cramp,” says Schwartz. In the forthcoming new edition of his best-selling book, I Run, Therefore I Am—Still Nuts! (Human Kinetics, October 2012), Schwartz takes a humorous look at the peculiarities and obsessions of runners and pokes fun at their idiosyncrasies.

 

Often referred to as the Dave Barry of running, Bob Schwartz is the author of five books and a freelance writer whose popular articles have been published in over 200 magazines. His humorous essays on running have appeared in more than 40 national and international running magazines and regional magazines, including Runner’s World and Running Fitness.

 

In I Run, Therefore I Am—Still Nuts! Schwartz makes light of runners’ peculiarities and the strange situations they often encounter. Since the first edition of his book 10 years ago, Schwartz has continued running and gathered a multitude of humorous subjects along the way. The new edition includes 43 new essays paired with comical illustrations from famed cartoonist B.K. Taylor that capture the comedy, craziness, and folly of the running life.

 

“I’ve continued to enjoy the pleasures of running and the sometimes humbling nature of it as well,” Schwartz says. “I can now share those laughs with you from topics that include what occurs when your favorite training shoe is abruptly discontinued, the inability to admit that an injury is truly a big one, the issue of competition and aging, the inherent simplicity of running, running alone versus with others, the concept of schadenfreude, running logs, runner’s high, excuses, barefoot running, and the many peculiar talents runners possess.”

 

I Run, Therefore I Am—Still Nuts! speaks to novice and veteran runners alike and brings out the humor in situations that every runner can relate to.

 

For more information, see I Run, Therefore I Am—Still Nuts!.



 

About the Author

Bob Schwartz is the author of five books and a freelance writer whose popular articles have been published in over 200 magazines. His humorous essays on running have appeared in more than 40 national and international running magazines and regional magazines, including Runner’s World and Running Fitness.

 

I Run, Therefore I Am—Nuts!, a hilarious look at the sport of running, has become a best-selling book, and his books have been finalists in the humor category of the USA Book News Awards, the ForeWord Book Awards, the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, and the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Bob has also won the Gold Award from Parenting Publications of America for his humorous essays on family life. Bob has presented humorous talks at races throughout the United States.

 

Bob lives in Huntington Woods, Michigan, with his wife, Robin, and three children. He graduated from the University of Colorado and received his law degree from the University of Oregon. In addition to his writing, he is the CEO of the Here to Help Foundation (www.heretohelpfoundation.org), which he operates with his wife.

 

Bob raised over $50,000 through an ultramarathon benefiting the Institute for Craniofacial and Reconstructive Surgery and received the Dove Award from The Arc for implementing a basketball program for people with physical and mental disabilities. Bob also received the Avadenka Award from the State Bar of Michigan for his community service. He founded the Cheetahs Running Club in the Berkley School District of Michigan, for which he was awarded a grant from the Saucony Run for Good Foundation.


In the universal language of runners, Bob has PRs of 2:42:13 for the marathon, 34:18 for the 10K, 1:16:08 for the half marathon, and 58 seconds for the third-grade potato sack races.

 

Contents

 

Part I It’s All in the Approach to Make Your Runs Beyond Reproach

Chapter 1        Much Ado About Something

Chapter 2        Watch, What You Say To Me!

Chapter 3        We Could All Use a Little More Common Dense

Chapter 4        HIIT Me With My Best Shot

 

Part II Who’s Running With Me?
Chapter 5        Solitary Refinement

Chapter 6        Look At Me Now

Chapter 7        Forecast: Partly Cloudy, Good Chance of Pain

Chapter 8        Every Dog Has Its Way 

 

Part III Lacing ’Em Up and Laying ’Em Down

Chapter  9       What Are the Odds That Older and Slower Equals Better?

Chapter  10     Count Me in on Counting Me Out

Chapter  11     Refraining From Explaining

Chapter  12     Log Me In

 

Part IV The Road to Injury Is Paved With Foolish Intentions

Chapter  13     Runner, Heal Thyself!

Chapter  14     The Impact Of Nonimpact

Chapter  15     Behind Every Comeback Is a Foolhardy Failure

Chapter  16     Malady Malfeasance

 

Part V From the Back of the Pack to the Fleet-Footed Elite, Runners Are Not Run of the Mill

Chapter 17      If the Shoe Fits, Snare It!

Chapter  18     Running Is Elementary, My Dear

Chapter  19     Do What They Say and Watch the Day Zip Away

Chapter  20     Gesticulate in Kind

 

Part VI The Nonthinking Person’s Guide to the Path of Least Resistance

Chapter 21      Do What You Want to Do 

Chapter 22      Giving Yourself the Benefit of No Doubt

Chapter 23      More Than a Feeling

Chapter 24      The Time Is Now

 

Part VII The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Nonrunning Runner

Chapter  25      Woe Is Knee!

Chapter  26      The Arms Have It

Chapter  27      Scope Me Out  

 

Part VIII Jack of No Trades, Master of Run

Chapter 28      Lessons Learned, Lessons Spurned

Chapter 29      Who Can Leap Standing Water in a Single Bound?

Chapter 30      Phoning It In

Chapter 31      Fashionable Fartleks

 

Part IX Enjoying the View on the Competitive Drive

Chapter 32      To Thine Own Self Be You

Chapter 33      Climb Every Mountain, or at Least a Small Mound Now and Then

Chapter 34      Just Lose, Baby!

Chapter 35      Faster-Finishing Counterparts

 

Part X The Legs Have It! Don’t Be De-Feeted

Chapter 36      May the Stick Be With You!

Chapter 37      Not Fully Baring My Sole

Chapter 38      The Rhythm of the Run

Chapter 39      Getting the Bends for Bending


Bob Schwartz
Bob Schwartz

 

 

Endorsements


"A great many runners take their running extremely seriously. Bob Schwartz does, too, but in a seriously funny way."

Rich Benyo

Editor, Marathon & Beyond

 

“In his quest to be a better runner, Bob Schwartz has captured the true mindset of the distance runner. In I Run, Therefore I Am—Still Nuts! Schwartz articulates this with humor.” 
Jean Knaack
Executive Director, Road Runners Club of America


 

Excerpt


Watch, What You Say to Me!

 

One of the differences between running and many other sports is its individualistic nature. How successfully you perform depends on you alone, and how hard you’re willing to go outside of your comfort zone is self-regulated. Our internal voice tells us when to push it harder, and sometimes an undermining voice arises and tells us to go back to sleep when the alarm clock goes off or to cut a run short. My internal voice often employs reverse psychology by appealing to my nuts running gene and asking, “What would a sane person do?”

 

But now we have other voices coming at us through what we wear on our wrist. Years ago running watches didn’t have much more than a stopwatch function. Want to know how far you went? Get in your car, retrace your route, and track it the old-fashioned odometer way. A little more difficult to measure those narrow single-track trail runs. Eventually, GPS technology emerged and we not only had our distance staring us in the face from our running watch, but our pace as well. But why stop there? We can now get the number of calories burned, elevation chart for our route, and the temperature. We can get our heart rate, mile splits, cadence, and step count. A vibration alarm signals when we’ve gone off pace. Heck, eventually our watches will probably be able to tell us how many more strides before we should rehydrate or pop an energy gel packet.

 

I certainly welcome all the magic that running watches can provide. However, there’s one addition I can do without. Most of us don’t have a reality show with a personal trainer shouting words of encouragement. Nor do we have, on a daily basis, race spectators shouting phrases like “You’re looking good.” But now we can. Sort of. Running watches have come along containing messages that attempt to put us on a pedestal after our runs. The wizards of watch technology offer words of praise like “Atta boy,” or “Job well done,” or “Way to go.” I recognize that some runners enjoy those accolades from their wrist. Personally, I’m leaning toward the opinion that if I need compliments from a chronometer or tributes from my timepiece, well, I may have other issues.

 

Does any other aspect of my life provide unsolicited words of praise? Heck, no. What’s next? My computer saying, “Nice sentence, Bob! Way to string those humorous metaphors. You da man, Shakespeare!” Or does my car tell me, “That was a heck of a parallel parking job! Nobody does that better than you.” I can’t imagine my stove top saying, “Nice omelet flip there, Chef Incredible! And the coffee this morning smelled divine.”

 

The last things I’m looking for after a particularly bad run are flattering yet fallacious words, which are about as welcome at that point as learning a course was mismeasured after you’d set a PR. It’s like the queen and her mirror in Snow White:

 

“My watch, my watch, on my hand. Who’s the fastest in the land?”

 

“You, my runner, are fastest of them all.”

 

I wouldn’t bet on it.

 

What I need are the words of legendary coach Bill Bowerman when my alarm clock goes off as a chilly rain pounds on my roof and I contemplate going back to sleep. I could use a bright flashing neon sign plastered across my bedroom ceiling with Bill’s words “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” And feel free to toss in for good measure “So get your lazy hiney out of bed there you weak little man. Now!”

I also could use, in the latter stages of a race, my watch to feed me a double dose of Winston Churchill, such as “Never, never, never give up” and “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I don’t need pearls of drivel like “Wow, you’ve just gone 20 miles. Amazing! You’re the greatest. The wall may be coming soon. Feel free to jog it in from here or, better yet, just take the sweep bus to the finish.”

 

Running watches also come with an artificial runner that lays down the gauntlet to challenge us to a race. That’s more like it: a healthy dose of virtual competition. Add in some trash talking and all the better! Let my watch berate me with “Is that all you got, Wonder Boy?” or “Feel free to pick up the pace anytime now.”

 

What I could also use before a race is to glance down at my watch to see words of wisdom from Steve Prefontaine. Such as “I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.” That’ll get my heart pumping. I don’t need flattering bouquets like “I just love the way your singlet matches your shorts.”

 

Feel free to give me a watch that will tell me after a run, “That wasn’t good enough, twinkle toes. Better be ready to push it tomorrow!” It was Prefontaine who also said, “You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.”

 

Or by having your watch do the patting for that matter. Or your computer, car, or stove top.

 

 

Excerpt taken from chapter 2 of I Run, Therefore I Am—Still Nuts! (Human Kinetics, 2012).






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