This appendix is a list of terms used by me that are known by
most runners and denizens of the Internet running lists. Some of
them I may have dropped into RTtM without much thought, believing
that readers would know what they mean.
- Across the Years, referred to by the race director as ACTY,
and sometimes by me as AC(sic)TY.
- bite-me zone
- A condition late in a race or training run induced by
physical stress where one's mood is sufficiently high-strung
that he might easily be provoked to do something out of
character. The expression is similar in spirit to Clint
Eastwood's "Go ahead — make my day." As it
applies to running it may be chemically induced.
There are some sophisticated things going on in our bodies at
these times. I don't know anyone who cliams to have a clue as
to what, why it happens, or what it means.
- Among runners, `Boston," without qualification, means
the Boston Marathon, as in: "I picked up that jacket at
- Beats Per Minute, the measurement of one's heart rate.
- carpe viam
- A Latin expression meaning "seize the road," the motto of
Dead Runners Society.
- Clif Shot
- See GU. This brand is among the better-tasting sort, to my
own taste buds.
- Did Not Finish. In ultrarunning, this is sometimes Did
Nothing Foolish, or Did Nothing Fatal.
- Did Not Start.
- A euphemism for a naughty word substituted for a normal
bodily excretion, but readily accepted by some who would never
use the customary naughty word themselves. This usage is not
practiced outside the running lists, where it had its origins,
but is widely understood within that culture. Its origin is
understood only by those who were around the lists at the time
of its creation.
- The technique of walking at certain fixed intervals, such
as one minute in ten, during long runs and marathons. Although
many runners undoubtedly did it before him, it has been
developed and widely advocated by the well-known runner and
coach Jeff Galloway.
- A running email list word for food after races, supplied by
the race — usually bagels, fruit, yogurt, cookies, and
plenty of liquids.
- Brand name for a frosting-like high-carbohydrate
performance gel, eaten by being squeezed out of a little packet
while on the run. It is pronounced goo. As one of the
original products of its kind, it's sometimes used generically,
like Kleenex. This sort of food is eaten purely for survival,
not as a snack.
- Hammer Gel
- More GU.
- Running around and around a track for hours, days, or
- Medals, trophies, and similar physical awards given at
races to overall winners and age group winners.
- Hash House Harriers
- Drinkers with a running problem. There are many informal
hasher clubs, where runners get together for highly
unconventional runs, often accompanied by a measure of rowdy
- Heart Rate.
- Heart Rate Monitor.
- A runner who never participates in races. See runner for a distinction between the
- long run
- For me, any run of ten miles or longer. I go up to 50K in
training. Most distance runners run one long run a week, and
supplement their training with shorter and faster runs three to
five days, with remaining days being devoted to cross-training
and rest. Few runners train seven days a week, though there are
some. See streaker.
- Long, Slow Distance.
- Maximum Heart Rate. Most people cite either an estimate
from a chart or a rule of calculation, or else a figure that
actually represents a submaximum heart rate, measured
by taking a test on a treadmill. The latter measurement is what
I refer to. My own MHR, measured in this way, is 171 BPM.
A truly accurate maximum heart rate is obtained as a
by-product of a measurement of an athlete's
.VO2max, which is really a measurement of his
ability to consume oxygen. .VO2max is measured in a
lab, with expensive equipment, and technicians standing by
with a defibrillator nearby, in case the participant keels
over from a heart attack.
- negative split
- A time for the second half of a race that is faster than
the first half. Doing so takes planning and self-control at the
beginning, and guts at the end.
- Power Gel
- Still more GU.
- Personal Record, often used as a verb: "I PRed the
- Personal Worst.
- Race Director.
- Real Life
- All the other things a runner does in addition to running.
I thought I had invented this term the way it is used in this
book, including the use of capital letters (maybe I did), but it
has been picked up and freely used by others on the running
- Relentless Forward Motion. The tortoise and hare principle
by which slower runners eventually overtake faster ones.
- A pedestrian training session that includes a large
percentage of both running and walking.
- Someone who runs. Duh. The debate over what constitutes the
difference between a runner and a jogger rages on endlessly.
There is a wide-spread perception that joggers are less
proficient, slower, and less "serious" about running than
"real runners." Most people who train regularly and
participate in races prefer to be called runners, regardless of
- Runner's World magazine.
- split time
- The time taken during any training session at any
meaningful point during the whole session, such as halfway, at
individual miles, and at round distances such as 5K and 10K.
- A runner who runs seven days a week and never misses, not
just usually, but ever. There are runners who
have gone on for many years without a day off. The longest known
streak is held by Bob Ray, of Maryland, who has run every day
since April 4, 1967. A local runner, Craig Davison, has run
every day since November 11, 1978. To date he has finished 123
marathons, 76 of them sub-3:00, often winning or at least
getting age group hardware. One of his goals is to run 100
- The Road that Never Ends: the track at Bally's gym.
- To lie deceptively in such a way as to underplay one's
abilities: "Oh, my toes hurt, and I'm so fat I can barely stand
up. I'll probably run a 6:00 marathon," when one really weighs
140 pounds and is capable of a 2:45.