The October issue of Runner's World magazine arrived a few days ago, but it wasn't until yesterday — the first day of my "weekend" — that I read it.
Usually I read it in two or more sittings, saving the long article for its own session. This time? I gobbled it (appropriate, because it's the nutrition issue) in one chunk. It was just a knock-out edition of a normally solid magazine.
What was I so cuckoo over? One small factoid, and the two biggest spreads:
"Race-Day Disasters: Don't Let Them Happen to You!" The small factoid: Researchers suspect runners are more vulnerable to allergies because, by being outside more often and breathing heavily (or heavier), they inhale more allergens. That's probably why I'm a Kleenex queen despite being only in my 20s!
"The Ultimate Guide to Pancakes." I do like pancakes, though not nearly as much as Ted Spiker. The variations on your basic pancake, running from as safe as cranberry oat to as wacky as guac it out (yep, with avocado), inspired some great pictures ... even if I'm unlikely to make regular pancakes, let alone ones with corn, chile and avocado in them.
Other fun pieces from the article: Pancakes date back to the 1400s; the roots of a pancake race in Olney, England, go back just as far, dating to when a woman ran to church flipping a pancake in a skillet; there are many other pancake races around the U.S. today, including one in San Antonio that encourages participants to run in their pajamas.
All this food talk — did you know that food historian is an actual career? — had me almost on a runner's high. And then came the runner's low.
" 'Don't Go Out in Those Hills. There Are Dogs Out There.' " Two brothers, out on a run with two of their sisters and a niece, encounter a pack of pit bulls – literally a pack; up to six attack them at once. UTTERLY TERRIFYING.
It's not just that I run outdoors and could conceivably find myself in their boat, though I don't usually run through isolated tribal territories like they did. It's that I too had a run-in with pit bulls once — in my parents' neighborhood, near plenty of houses where I could've sought help — but I was luckier, because the owner came to my rescue within minutes.
Seeing pictures of what the dogs could've done instead of leaving scratches whose scars took a year to fade and reducing me to tears ... chilling. I like dogs, and I do believe that the problem with a bad dog is a bad owner, but I won't apologize for disliking pit bulls.