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Showing posts from November, 2005

More Revelations From Running on the Edge

It took last week's track-centric Turkey Trot for me to realize when my plan or my digestive system veers off-course, I flake. Last night's discovery may prove more positive. I've only been doing speedwork on a bona fide track for the past couple of years, since joining the San Diego Track Club's annual marathon training program for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Prior, I used measured bikepaths or quarter-mile street blocks when I was so inclined. Last night was, according to our coach, the hardest workout of the year. 6 x 1 mile repeats with a 400m recovery jog in between. Those of us running this Saturday's Mainly Masters 10k were spared the final mile and instead continued to jog until it was time for our series of 100-yard strides, followed by core-strengthening exercises. I stayed in Lane 5, which was wider than Lanes 1-4, of course. It's the outermost lane for the Intermediate Group to use. As running buddy Mark and I rounded the final lap for t

'Border Bargains,' My Butt

Sorry, but I just stumbled upon this Expedia listing reposted by MSN and must say that if San Diego is a shopping mecca, I'm Paris Hilton. Top Cities for Holiday Shopping Maybe I'm just a tad sensitive now that the holiday hemmorhaging has started. I'm looking forward to a workout tonight at the track, if only to either spare or spread my annual funk to all who draw near. I need an endorphin rush in the worst way.

Pumping (Up) Iron

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I convinced the family to forgo Black Friday for a hike along the Iron Mountain trail. This is a natural treasure just beyond the city of Poway and not far from my suburb. For those interested, go to the end of Poway Road and turn right on Rt. 67 or go to the end of Scripps Poway Parkway and turn left on Rt. 67. Look for the cars parked on the road near the trailhead. We ended up getting a late start due to a serious lack of water pressure in the house after we got back from Thanksgiving in "The OC," my parents' place in Orange County. It was sunny and warm Friday morning but quite manageable by the time we lined up along the road with at least a dozen other cars and set out around 9:30. Make no mistake, this well-groomed trail requires a lot of careful maneuvering around boulders, rocks and pulverized pebbles constantly undermining your footing. And it's a fairly steep climb, upping heart rates in an instant. We saw all different ages and body types trekking u

Now this makes sense

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You Are The Stuffing You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together. People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why. What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?

I Kinda Liked Being a Dark Horse

Last night was the 16th annual San Diego Track Club Turkey Trot at Balboa Stadium. It’s a little different than your usually run in that [a] it’s at night; [b] it’s free; and [c] it’s as much a game as it is a race. Essentially, everyone writes down their name and predicted time. We then run 2 miles around the track sans watches and with no indication other than the first 400 of our pace. On the final lap, runners move into lane 9 and as they cross the finish they look up at a digital race clock facing away from the track and silently note their time. I noticed by the time the clipboard came my way, everyone was rounding numbers. 17:00. 18:10. 16:40. 13:30…. Days earlier, for no particular reason, the time 18:47 popped into my head. That boiled down to 9:23 per minute. I could definitely work with that, giving myself extra seconds for starting in the back and for sticking to a middle lane (rather than migrating to the shorter, crowded Lanes 1 & 2 like most others). Schools are

Is Walk the New Jog?

I decided to do penance for skipping Pilates today and walk, rather than drive, to the library. It was a typical San Diego Saturday, with cloudless blue skies and moderate temps. At one point, I passed a guy about my age going in the opposite direction. “Nice day for jogging, isn’t it?” he said as we crossed paths. “Sure is,” I responded. Here’s the thing: Neither of us was jogging. There’s a distinction between the pace of a jogger and a runner, and, so I thought, between a walker and a jogger. But after spending part of the past week engrossed in online discussions on the charity scandal, thanks to a comment posted by Donald in the Carmel Valley , I’m beginning to wonder. As Donald mentioned, the debate got ugly. Fair criticism of tactics used to help the slowest marathoners make the cut-off quickly devolved into foul-mouthed diatribes on fat people in competitive races. For some bizarre reason, the more immature commentators lump them all as charity runners. These rants are nothin

It Must Have Been the W[h]ine

So this is what happens when you work among the professionally paranoid: You’re on the phone, about to speak, when your laptop’s screensaver kicks in and you notice the message is changed. It’s now a bunch of symbols that translate into I LOVE YOU! You should think: Shucks . Instead you say: " Shit .” You announce to everyone on the phone your machine’s been hacked and you need to go figure out how and by whom. You run anti-spyware, anti-virus and any other anti-malware software you can find while conducting a cursory dig through computer files only to discover the culprit isn’t in the machine. It’s a few feet away laughing at you. You way overreact to what at least one party considers a clever spousal communication. And that’s when you say to yourself, I've gotta run . I ended up leaving 14 hours after I said I would, at 5 this morning. My back was (and still is) sore from Tuesday’s track workout. It cramped while I was two-thirds into the workout of 4 x 600s. Actually,

More bad news for Sony -- and you

The depths of deception and dysfunction in the Sony DRM protection scheme grow. The latest is a discovery by researchers at Princeton University that the software Sony is now offering to uninstall the hacking tool it never should have been allowed to use creates a huge security hole that outstrips the damage done originally. [See SearchSecurity's story on this for some details.] Between 500,000 and 3 million CDs had this technology in circulation before Sony finally pulled the plug and began recalling the titles. The class-action lawsuit based out of Los Angeles, and other legal landmines this company can't stop stepping on, no doubt contribute to how much this ends up costing the company and, ultimately, CD buyers. In case your morning coffee or tea didn't give you enough of a jolt, here's a snippet from Ed Felten's Freedom to Tinker blog that is credited with bringing the latest security lapse to light: The consequences of the flaw are severe. It allows any w

Are Charities Cheating?

I just finished reading the latest featured story on MarathonGuide.com shedding light on a questionable tactic by charities to ensure all their folks earn a marathon medal by bussing slower runners/walkers to cut off points. It's based on the Marine Corp Marathon organizers asking a group of Canadian women to return their medals after learning they fell short of running all 26.2 miles. Their organizer in explaining her reasons said this is employed by other charities, including Team in Training. This disturbs me on several levels. Is this really standard procedure? And if it is, how must it feel to be caught in the crosshairs. I'm trying to sort if deep down those that earn a medal this way feel their individual victory is somehow tarnished, or if in realizing others 'win' this way it's justified. I've always supported friends running for a cause and I've had many uplifting moments running alongside charity runners on a course. The exception, ironically,

Are You Gellin’?

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A funny thing’s happened since I barfed my way to a DNF in Long Beach a month ago. I’ve been unable to consume Gatorade or Gu. Just the thought of either makes my stomach churn. So, in the weeks since that disastrous day I’ve gone Old School, relying on just water during my standard two-hour weekend long runs. I eat a potassium-rich banana beforehand and suck on a couple of wintergreen-flavored Lifesavers when it’s time to bring the blood sugar back up. If I return from my run especially sweaty, I’ll make a cup of Gookinaid HydraLyte, the low-calorie electrolyte replacement drink they serve at our track workouts. It’s gentle on the digestive system. Within minutes of downing a glass of Gook, I’m easing into post-run stretches and contemplating how I’ll spend the remainder of my day. I’m never sore and have energy to spare. This, if you recall from past posts, is a sharp contrast to the crappy runs that plagued me during my summer marathon training. For some time I’ve wondered abo

More on the Sony Scandal

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's listed some of the CD titles that include the Sony rootkit that you can't remove without a tremendous amount of trouble. It also provides information (including photos) of how to tell if other CDs published by Sony BMG Music install the spyware. Some of the CDs that you probably now wish you'd never played on your computer: Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia) Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic) Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia) Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia) Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia) Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia) Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia) The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia) Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia) Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic) Amerie, Touch (Columbia) Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic) Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy) Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy) Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy) The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activi

Casting Ballots Among the Cast Iron

While I'm trying to convince myself to head out to the track tonight despite gloomy weather and a bloated belly, let me tell you about Election Day here. I've mentioned before that we don't vote in community centers, fire stations, schools or churches. We vote in our neighbor's garage. For a couple of years, we voted in a cul de sac. Then it shifted last spring to a house up for rent. While I was there, a civic-minded couple cast their ballots and then asked if the owner was giving house tours. By the way, the FOR RENT sign was gone the next day. This time the precinct moved to a home well known and well marked because the owners are addicted to lawn ornaments. Statues, benches, glass balls, flags, gnomes...you name it and it's out there. Here's the thing: there's no lawn. Just a few tufts of plants and a lot of rocks and dirt. I admit I'm fascinated with this house, whose inhabitants not only fail to conform to neighborhood norms but flaunt their in

The College Kid in Palo Alto

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Elise sent along some snapshots of her road trip to Stanford University last weekend, where she and members of the SSU dance team (including San Diegan and team captain Taryn, featured on the right) cheered basketball players from the stands, a small pocket of blue in a sea of red.

No Music to My Ear, Or Anyone Else's

First the Run. Another decent weekend on my feet. I finally got to wear my new purple Dri-fit, long-sleeved shirt when I discovered it was 47 degrees at 5:30 on Saturday morning. Hooray. The cool air helped propel me through a 5-mile loop with lots of hills. I wanted to keep running, but I also wanted to do Pilates in an hour and so I cut it short. This morning I was prepared for equally stellar running weather but, alas, it was at least 10 degrees warmer. Which is still cool enough to thoroughly enjoy my usual Sunday two-hour trip around my suburb. I just sort of made up the course as I went along. Zigging here and zagging there. Checking out different neighborhoods. Taking in a gorgeous sunrise. Again, the hills were no problem. And again I stopped only because I had somewhere else to be in an hour. Now to the DMZ. In all the Hokie hype, I failed to mention a significant IT security story from last week that involves some seriously shady dealings by Sony. In order to protect the

Win Some, Lose Some

But why o why did it have to be this one?! I do not wish to relive the last four hours of torturous television viewing and can only imagine the pall hanging over 'Vicksburg' right now. Momentum lost. Faith, to be restored.

I Like the Way This Guy Thinks

Those who know me well know there are three things in this world that make me go ape sh*t: thug-turned-basketball-star Allen Iverson; California's First Couple, Arnold and Maria; and the University of Miami football team. Iverson is a lost cause, far as I'm concerned. Arnold and Maria are finally getting what's due to them; and on Saturday night, Miami's goin' down. My sister sent along a nice column today from The Charlotte Observer's Tom Sorensen to get everyone pumped up. Not that we needed the extra motivation. Here's a snippet to get all the Gobbler fans going: Remember when folks used to ask what a Hokie was? By now, everybody knows. A Hokie is a guy who plays for the football team that beats yours. Virginia Tech has been a member of the ACC only two seasons, but anybody who cares about ACC football ought to pause - right now - to salute all things Hokie. Consider that the biggest game in college football Saturday will be played not in Austin, T

When You're Here, You're Family

I finally made it back to the track club’s Tuesday night workout after another self-imposed hiatus. I told myself I needed to get back into speedwork. I told myself I needed to do this by the time daylight savings ended and we moved from Balboa Park back to historic Balboa Stadium. I told fellow trackmate Jeanette I’d do this too, so that I couldn’t talk myself out of going again. I had a lot of angst to burn off. So much so that I put in three miles early that morning because the excess energy upon awakening couldn’t wait until 5:30 in the evening to be released. I thought about the wisdom of that quick pre-dawn run when we began the workout: three 1-mile sessions done any way we wanted, so long as they were completed with recovery jogs in under 10 minutes. You could do any combination of laps…1600s, 800s, 400s, etc. I elected to do the full mile and hope there was enough time to recover before we lined up for the next round. I got nervous whenever the coach started yelling into hi