During a recent used-book sale expedition I fortuitously discovered a mother lode of tomes devoted to running. One in particular caught my eye: a small 1985-vintage crudely self-published monograph by Arthur J. Amchan with the apropos (for me) title The Slower Runner's Guide. Its binding is professional quality but its typography is primitive --- a monospaced font with right-justification provided by sporadically inserted extra full spaces in short lines. Its page numbers are calligraphically-styled handwritten insertions. Its illustrations consist of humorous but primitive-style drawings done by the author himself.
But set aside the amateur production values, consider the content, and The Slower Runner's Guide shines. Throughout his little book, Amchan offers sensible guidance, light-hearted encouragement, and a strong dose of experience-based wisdom. Some examples:
- "Be tenacious. Don't worry about what other people think or what you think other people think."
- "No one race should be considered that important. When you finally are ready to run the distance that you have been working towards, your goal should be finishing the race without significant discomfort. Then you should build upon that experience to improve your time - IF YOU FEEL SO INCLINED!"
- "The quickest way to ruin your running career is to compare yourself to other people." (see SelfStandardization (6 Apr 2002), ...)
- "... the appeal of running a Marathon is doing something you never thought you could do. Even after you run a couple of Marathons, if you are like most people, you will never be quite sure that you can do it again."
- "[T]he first rule for sticking with it is to make sure that you remember that running is fun and make sure that it remains fun."
- "You should take great pride in the fact that you are exercising regularly and not spending all your time in front of the TV drinking beer or eating chocolate."
- "It's not what you could do last year or ten years ago that counts; it's what you can do today."
- "The most important thing about running the Marathon is to keep it in its proper perspective. Finishing a marathon is a great accomplishment regardless of your time."
- "Some days are diamonds, some days are stone."
(see also Bless the Leathernecks (28 Oct 2002), Rocky Run (17 Nov 2002), ...)
TopicRunning - TopicLiterature - Datetag20021030
(correlates: 2007-08-31 - Lap, Dog, SelfStandardization, PortmanteauWords, ...)