A Special Night with Mark Remy

Teresa, Mark and Robin

On December 22nd, Teresa and I set off for the Portland Running Company downtown to join in a group run.  This wasn't just any group run... After we both did some shuffling with family plans and routines, we were all atwitter to go and meet Mark Remy, the author of the popular humor site on Runner's World.  If you haven't seen it yet, (shame on you!) go check out Remy's World right now.   Well, maybe after reading my enlightening, informative and entertaining blog post?  Hopefully, at least entertaining.

When we arrived, I accidentally cornered Mark when I introduced myself and how nervous I was to meet him.  Yeah, I became that awkward fan girl and quickly moved to create an escape route so he could politely mingle with the other runners.   After we made introductions, discussed the running route and strapped on headlamps or flashlights, we set off from the store and had a beautiful run on the waterfront.  I had not run on the waterfront at night and found the lights reflecting in the water beautiful.

When we returned, Mark spoke about an upcoming book in the works and read to us an article he had written that inspired the idea for the book.  You can check it out too, it’s called “A Non-Runner’s Guide to Runners”.  Be on the look out for the book in Spring 2016! (Here is a link to some of the other books he has available.)

Here is Teresa’s summation of the night:

I may not know most of the people on the cover of magazines at the grocery store, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get excited about celebrities. When Chrissie Wellington visited Portland a couple of summers ago and lead a group run through Athlete’s Lounge, there was nothing that could keep me away. When Kara Goucher had a book signing at Powell’s, I’m sure I sounded like a crazy fan expressing my admiration while she was trying to sign my book. One time I spotted Galen Rupp along the Wildwood Trail. I was running with my brother and was in such awe that a superstar was sharing the trail that I didn’t hear a word my brother said. So I might not know a thing about the Kardashian family or Honey Boo Boo, but I get pretty excited to be near running royalty.

I heard Mark Remy was going to lead a group run from the Portland Running Company and immediately started planning. I didn’t have class that night, so I figured that was a sign I was meant to go. I hate going anywhere alone and was so grateful another blogger, Robin, was willing to tag along for the run and ‘reading.’ The run was a blast, I got to chat with the guy who normally leads their Thursday night group run and decided I need to make it to the Grand Portland Running Company more often.

Once we got back to the store, Remy did a short reading and then opened it up for some questions. He has another book coming out in 2015 so we heard a short excerpt from it and then the questions started. This guy was even more amazing in person than he is on his blog or in his books and I think he’s pretty dang funny with those too. He’s witty, has a great sense of humor and I’m so excited he’s calling Portland his home, more opportunities for me to run into him on a trail or at a group run. If you haven’t checked out his books, you need to. Not your typical ‘running’ books, they’re funny and any runner can totally relate. I can’t wait for his next one and my fingers are crossed he’s going to do another group run with a book signing so I can be that crazy fan girl again.

If you missed this “Special Night with Mark Remy”, here are a few get-to-know-you questions I pestered him with.  Enjoy!

What’s one question you hope interviewers will ask but never do?

“Have you ever met and interviewed Kevin Spacey?” (The answer is “yes.”)

Your favorite color?

Pie.

Can’t live without running item?

There’s very little I can’t “live without” when it comes to running; I’ve never been a big gear person. I guess I’d say a good jacket.

Do you still own the Lululemon “runsie”? (And how is a runner supposed to go to the bathroom while sporting it?!)

I do not. I believe it’s now in the Smithsonian. (How is a runner supposed to go to the bathroom while wearing a Runsie? Very carefully.)

Are you training for anything in particular right now? (You mentioned your knee is injured and you aren’t logging many miles…. what happened to your knee? Knees are my kryptonite.)

I’m not, but I REALLY need to sign up for a race. With nothing to train for, it’s hard for me to stay motivated. I hurt my knee when I fell on a trail run back in September. Took a month off to let it heal – it’s all better now, and has been for some time – and still haven’t really regained my mojo.

Favorite distance to run?

My favorite distance to race is probably half-marathon. It’s long enough to be a real challenge but not so long that training for it takes over your life and running it leaves you hobbled for a week. My favorite distance to run is “whatever distance I have time for.” Which sounds glib, but it’s true. For me, distance is less important than just getting out the door and getting my heart rate up. Even just two or three miles, if that’s all I have time for, is enough to boost my spirits and energize me. This is the beauty of running – unlike other addictions, you don’t build up a tolerance, needing more and more of the “drug” to get the same effect.

You’re a dad, husband, writer and have many other “hats” to wear, any tips for juggling life and making time for a run/training etc.?

My #1 tip when it comes to making time for running is to get a job at Runner’s World. Seriously. Working there, you can’t NOT find the time to run. People literally show up at your door every day at noon, holding gym bags and running shoes, to get you out for a lunchtime run. Barring that, I always recommend finding a good running buddy or buddies. Someone to hold you to account, someone to meet at 6 a.m. for a long run. Otherwise it’s too easy to bail. Oh, and speaking of parenthood and running, two words: Jogging stroller.

Do your kids like running? (I have to sneak out of the house to get a training run in by myself… otherwise I’m hauling the double stroller.)

Our son is just 20 months, but loves to “run” around the house. His sister is 4 1/2. She likes to “race” me sometimes when we’re out walking, and we’ve done two very short kids races. The first one went well; the second, not so much. (Think “screaming” and “refusing to run.”) I wrote a column about that first kids race:

http://www.runnersworld.com/fun/my-best-and-slowest-race-ever

Any favorite areas to run in? (You don’t have to be specific and giveaway any super cool secret routes.)

I’ve only run there a few times since we moved to Portland back in July, but Forest Park is just ridiculously gorgeous. I literally LOL’d the first time I ran there, it was so scenic. It’s the running equivalent of those winding coastal roads you see in car commercials – so perfect, it almost seems staged somehow.

Is Portland really all that weird? Was there any adjustment from uh-MAY-is? Why Portland? (Rumor is your family are cyclists. I can’t remember where I heard that. Total rumor.)

I don’t think Portland is all that weird. Then again, I’m pretty weird myself. So there you go. Of course there’s been a period of adjustment, moving here from Pennsylvania. Not just because the “vibe” is so different (which it is), either. Also because of the hundred other things that change when you move – new climate, new neighborhoods, new recycling rules, etc. Also, when we moved I went from full-time employee of Rodale Inc. to “independent contractor.” That’s been an adjustment too. Why Portland? Because Portland. That’s another answer that sounds glib but is true. My wife and I decided to move; we considered several places – Burlington, Vt.; New York City; Toronto; Vancouver, B.C.; etc. – and in the end, we decided that Portland was where we wanted to be. So we moved here.

Favorite type of pie?

Whatever is being offered.

Do you want to be on my Hood To Coast Team? (Sorta not joking. Unless you think I’m kidding, then it was a joke. )

For 2015? I’d sure consider it. Keep me posted!

 

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