One good thing about all the cross-training I am doing – it gives me some time to get some reading done (during the warm-up and cool down periods anyway, in the middle, it’s just too much to try and do, while maintaining rpms of 95-100 on a higher level of resistance.)

I just finished Bart Yasso’s My Life on the Run. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because he works for Runner’s World and he is the guy that takes part in a lot of unique (or some may say, crazy) types of races, such as nude running, running with burros, etc. If it’s unconventional, he’s very likely done it.

His story is told with a lot of self-deprecating humor (exactly my kind of person). He explains how running changed his relationship with his dad, and very importantly, himself. He had a problem with drugs, that running helped him to overcome. He talks about his job with Runner’s World, making me want to move back to where my family came from (Runner’s World is based in Emmaeus, Pennsylvania where I have family still.) My favorite chapter is the one where he mentions those people whom he finds to be inspirations, such as Ryan Hall, Billy Mills, Sarah Reinertsen (a woman who ran a marathon as her prosthetic leg, literally, fell apart.) He also mentions as inspirations, Mike Huckabee (the former Republican presidential candidate) and George Hirsch, his dad, with whom he was not close earlier on in life when he felt he was not as athletic as his older brothers.

Also helpful are his various training programs for a variety of distances, from the 5K to the marathon for newbie and seasoned runners alike. He also discusses his famous Yasso 800 theory (I’d never heard of it, before, I admit, but it is supposed to help you determine your marathon time.) He also talks about training on a 10-day rather than 7-day cycle, which I’ve also heard is very good for you. The last chapter details the must-do races, all over the US and in a few other countries. (Lisa, you’ll be happy to know the Hood-To-Coast relay is one of them.)

I think what I liked most about this book is his message that running is a sport for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are short or tall, skinny or not, whether you like to run in the day, night, rain or sun, and whether or not you look good doing it. It is a sport that accepts whomever wants to do it, at any level. You don’t have to be a Kenyan and break Olympic records, you just need to enjoy doing it.  (That guy was amazing, though, wasn’t he?)

And, because I’m a law librarian by day, well, I liked the index at the back of the book. I recommend it as a good read if you like to run and you like biographies. If you’re a Runner’s World magazine reader, you’ll recognize a few of the stories from the excerpts that they ran a while back.

Now, I’ve got just one question – if your Life Fitness stationary bike gives distance in “miles or km” how in the world are you supposed to know which you are biking? I’ve been assuming I’ve been doing km all these weeks but realized tonight I might be doing miles! Which sounds more realistic – 16.4 km biked in 45 minute, or 16.4 miles? I’m busting my butt the entire time, with rpms between 95 and 100, sometimes even more!

Tomorrow is my 4th wedding anniversary – yay to Bill and me!

Happy Running everyone!