26. The Incomplete Book of Running – Peter Sagal
week twenty seven – 51.5
2019 to date: 1,297 KM
Stephanie introduced me to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me… on NPR and I’ve been a fan since. Then heard Wait Wait host Peter Sagal’s story about running the Boston Marathon in 2013, which if you know your running history is a pretty significant year for not running reasons. Anyway, she tried to find a copy of this book for Christmas but it was another one of those cases of published in America and then a few months later published in other markets. So she got me a gift certificate to Pulp Fiction Books on Main Street, which I used to order the book once Simon & Schuster got around to publishing it in Canada. I feigned aghastment that PFB had never heard of Sagal in spite of the fact a couple years ago I hadn’t either. Anyway, the book arrived and I promptly read it and rather enjoyed it. The book coincides (neither correlating nor causing) Sagal’s running with the end of his marriage, which was interesting to me since I started taking running seriously as therapy to deal with my own longterm relationship demise. He writes about the time that he bandited a race and the backlash that drew after he wrote about it for Runner’s World, and his subsequent attempts at penance. You can read it here. I haven’t read it there because I read it in his book instead. I agree with the general consensus that bandits are douchebags, but I think (and I don’t know if he has or not) Sagal deserves much more vehemence for something else he talks about in his book. Pooping. (Though he cannot bring himself to type the word, so uses “egress.” Maybe it was his editor. Who knows.) Running can be an extremely effective laxative. Runners already know this. Non-runners or just-starting-out runners, now you know. Sagal writes, “I know where every public restroom is and what gyrations need to be accomplished to get to it” and yet he seems rather fine with going “behind the nearest bush” and that’s just not very neighbourly, especially if you “know where every public restroom is.” I too know where every public restroom is, and as a public service I made a map of every public restroom along or nearby my favourite running routes. And I have never had to go “behind the nearest bush.” Gross, Peter.
I expect that this map might come in useful for tourists, too. When I travel I always take my running shoes (and hope that I happen to come across a public restroom if one is needed). I’ve had to cut a run short, but I have never used a bush. Seriously, Peter, gross. Some cities are better than others, and to be honest Vancouver seems to be one of the better free-restroom-stocked cities I’ve run in.